Friday, May 17, 2013

Fri May 17th Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Dyl Dylan. Born the same date that had in 1954 seen Brown triumph over Board of Education to allow desegregation of students in public schools. You have a lot to live up to, but luckily you were born to it.


Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (5:06pm)

Steve Price interviews head-tilty Gillard lookalike mummy blogger Eden Riley
RileyI believe that Tony Abbott sees women as lesser than men. Definitely.
PriceHow can you say that though?
RileyBecause I believe it. 
UPDATE. Voters have tuned out and Labor is worried
Finance Minister Penny Wong says difficulties encountered by the minority parliament and a “toxic” political culture are putting voters off.
“The temptation to turn off and disengage is real,” Senator Wong told a business forum in Melbourne on Friday.
“But while you can make a decision to not be interested in politics, you are always affected by the decisions a government makes.”
Her concerns are backed up by focus group research showing voters’ reaction to Treasurer Wayne Swan’s budget on Tuesday was largely disinterest …
Senator Wong blamed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. 
Of course she did.



Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (2:02pm)

Kevin Rudd, 2007
If elected, I will act on climate change by ratifying Kyoto. 
Tony Abbott, 2013
We will abolish the carbon tax … let me repeat: We will abolish the carbon tax. 
The debate has shifted a little over the past six years. Climate Change minister Greg Combet – that title isn’t ageing well – still hasn’t caught up
“With all of this policy that is working, that is environmentally effective, that’s economically responsible and socially fair, and what’s more is essential if we are to tackle climate change and protect the interests of future generations, Mr Abbott’s position on abolishing these measures iscompletely immoral.” 
Greg needs another holiday.



Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (1:39pm)

Professor Bunyip compares recent art works. One was created by AFL footballers and led to a scandal. The others were created by an actual artist and led to government funding.
Not. Safe. For. Work.
In other art news, our friend the Skywhale was a cheap commission
Artist Patricia Piccinini has revealed she designed Skywhale for the bargain basement price of $8800 ... 
The balloon’s eventual cost involved some inflation: 
The Skywhale project will cost ACT taxpayers $300,000, with an additional $50,000 from the Aranday Foundation to meet other costs. 
Arts administrix Robyn Archer remains a fan: 
Ms Archer has defended the controversial balloon and criticised “parochial” reactions and superficial social media commentary since its unveiling. Writing in a national newspaper on Thursday, Ms Archer described the enormous creation as a “monumental” achievement in hot-air balloon technology, adding “the connections to Canberra and its centenary year are obvious”.
“Many have applauded the risk-taking as an indicator of signs that cultural sophistication is on the rise in the national capital,” Ms Archer said.
She blamed “leaked” photos of the balloon, published on on May 9, for negative public reaction. The photos were taken by a member of the public during the balloon’s first flight in country Victoria and published in a country newspaper. 
Maybe the public would have liked it more if they’d never seen it. 
“The public was goaded to treat this new work of art as if it were part of a beauty or popularity contest,” she said. “This raises serious questions for those who champion the arts: when did the public start insisting that all art be ‘beautiful‘?” 
Probably around the same time that artists decided it should all be ugly. For such an exhibitionist, Skywhale has a surprisingly secretive side
Six of the 11 pages of the contract between the ACT and Melbourne-based specialist balloon operator Global Ballooning have been left blank in the version of the document that has been made publicly available with the pages simply marked ‘’confidential text’’. 
Public art has its limits.



Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (1:07pm)

Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle, dead at 71 after shooting himself, was one cool racer
There is that lasting image of Dick Trickle in the Winston 500 lighting up a cigarette while driving his stock car with his knees during a caution lap.

The green flag hits and out the window goes the cigarette butt and back to racing goes Trickle.
‘’Dick always had a cigarette lighter in his car,’’ said fellow NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine. 
UPDATE. Five top moments to light up.



Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (12:31pm)

G-rated television programs get into trouble if they include offensive language or “adult” content. But what happens if a show is rated for mature audiences
Dirty Laundry has been granted an MA classification and it has to meet that rating. That means there needs to be a certain level of coarse language and naughtiness or they will get into trouble for being too prudish. 
How does this work, exactly? Does the script return from the classification board with more obscenities added?



Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (12:05pm)

Sarah Hanson-Young presents her latest drawing to the rest of the class. Points deducted for not including a sunshine bubble.



Tim Blair – Thursday, May 16, 2013 (8:42pm)

Politifact, the fact-checking website launched in Australia by former Fairfaxer Peter Fray, fearlessly investigates Liberal claims that “federal government public servants are purchasing gold-plated coffee machines”. The site’s conclusion, following nearly 600 words of forensic analysis: 
We think there should be some form of modifier, a marker, when referring to gold-plating to ensure everyone knows it is not real gold. 
UPDATE. The coffee scandal received Politifact’s lowest rating
It is with mixed feelings and heavy (ish) heart, that we award our first Pants on Fire – our lowest rating, reserved for claims that are not only untrue but also ridiculous.
We could have called the statement false, as it is.
But, because it’s been spread around for almost a year, been given a fresh airing this week, and is acknowledged as untrue even by the people saying it, we smelt smoke. We felt flame. 
I think there should be some form of modifier, a marker, when referring to burning pants, the scent of smoke and the detection of flames to ensure everyone knows they are not real pants, smoke and fire.


“When did the public start insisting that all art be ‘beautiful’?”

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (5:43pm)

Do not clink on the link if you are easily moderately offended.  But we pay grants for this?
Is that because only an arts administrator, using other people’s money, will pay what people using their own cash and judgment would not?
More from Tim Blair, who notes this telling line from arts administrator Robin Archer, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an inflatable pig:

...when did the public start insisting that all art be ‘beautiful’?
The word “all” is a bit of a cheat, just as the scare quotes on “beautiful” is a giveaway.
But to wish a link between art and beauty is not at all something new or merely the taste of the mindless mob.
The great poet and critic Matthew Arnold thought beauty important, too:

It is by thus making sweetness and light to be characters of perfection, that culture is of like spirit with poetry, follows one law with poetry. I have called religion a more important manifestation of human nature than poetry, because it has worked on a broader scale for perfection, and with greater masses of men. But the idea of beauty and of a human nature perfect on all its sides, which is the dominant idea of poetry, is a true and invaluable idea… The best art and poetry of the Greeks, in which religion and poetry are one, in which the idea of beauty and of a human nature perfect on all sides adds to itself a religious and devout energy, and works in the strength of that, is on this account of such surpassing interest and instructiveness for us… But Greece did not err in having the idea of beauty, harmony, and complete human perfection, so present and paramount; it is impossible to have this idea too present and paramount; only the moral fibre must be braced too.
The philosopher David Hume similarly ranked objects of art by their beauty:
The coarsest daubing contains a certain lustre of colours and exactness of imitation, which are so far beauties, and would affect the mind of a peasant or Indian with the highest admiration. The most vulgar ballads are not entirely destitute of harmony or nature; and none but a person, familiarized to superior beauties, would pronounce their numbers harsh, or narration uninteresting. A great inferiority of beauty gives pain to a person conversant in the highest excellence of the kind, and is for that reason pronounced a deformity: As the most finished object, with which we are acquainted, is naturally supposed to have reached the pinnacle of perfection, and to be entitled to the highest applause. One accustomed to see, and examine, and weigh the several performances, admired in different ages and nations, can alone rate the merits of a work exhibited to his view, and assign its proper rank among the productions of genius.
Of course, we don’t all agree on what beauty is. We can also respond to a moral beauty in what may to the casual eye seem a superficially ugly work.
But for Archer to simply characterise a desire for beauty as some novelty or a bourgeois hankering for the kitsch suggests she isn’t much familiar with the history of art, or in sympathy with its greatest practitioners.
The anti-beauty movement we have had to endure in this age of hyper-democracy is the revolt of the talentless against ideals they cannot hope to meet. Shock and transgression always was simpler.  Any fool can destroy what only a genius can create.  


Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (2:35pm)

How did the Budget blow so many billions so fast?
Anthony Albanese joins us - the only Labor Minister ever to agree to come on the show.
Peter Costello and Michael Costa on the Budget and Tony Abbott’s cuts. Then there’s Julia Gillard’s tears.
Spin of the Week: won by ...  


President points, IRS takes out

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (11:23am)

Steve Kates says Barack Obama will be impeached.
Big call, but then you read the Wall Street Journal’s latest on the IRS scandal:
Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. “He put a target on our backs, and he’s now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?” asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.
Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. Vandersloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
The last of these audits was only concluded in recent weeks. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty. But Mr. VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That figure doesn’t account for what the president’s vilification has done to his business and reputation.


Where are Gore’s hurricanes?

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (9:14am)

Remember how cynically Al Gore exploited Hurricane Katrina to flog his eco-propaganda, An Inconvenient Truth?

Now I’m going to show you, recently released, the actual ocean temperature. Of course when the oceans get warmer, that causes stronger storms.  We have seen in the last couple of years, a lot of big hurricanes. Hurricanes Jean, Francis and Ivan were among them. In the same year we had that string of big hurricanes; we also set an all time record for tornadoes in the United States… And then of course came Katrina. It is worth remembering that when it hit Florida it was a Category 1, but it killed a lot of people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. And then, what happened? Before it hit New Orleans, it went over warmer water. As the water temperature increases, the wind velocity increases and the moisture content increases. And you’ll see Hurricane Katrina form over Florida. And then as it comes into the Gulf over warm water it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger. Look at that Hurricane’s eye. And of course the consequences were so horrendous; there are no words to describe it.
Remember how his film’s poster even used hurricane imagery to hype fears of catastrophic global warming and more hurricanes to come?

At what stage does the media hold Al Gore to account?

Hurricane inactivity is also setting all-time records. The United States is undergoing its longest stretch in recorded history without a major hurricane strike, with each passing day extending the unprecedented lack of severe hurricanes, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.It has been more than 2,750 days since a major hurricane struck the United States. This easily smashes the prior record of less than 2,300 days between major hurricane strikes.
Reader Charles says the Bureau of Meteorology has finally updated its graphic of cyclone activity - and it’s another blow to the warming alarmists:

After years of warming alarms and extra emissions, Australia is suffering fewer cyclones. Global warming might be a good thing, after all.
(Thanks to reader Rocky.) 


If their other loyalty is so strong, they shouldn’t mind losing ours

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (8:20am)

Australians face yet more terrorism threats thanks to the lax immigration program of naive politicians who didn’t want to seem mean:

The author of a major review of counter-terrorism laws, Anthony Whealy QC, ... predicted counter-terrorism police were likely to start applying for control orders at a quickening rate, given the events in Syria.
“My feeling is that there might be a good case for an increase in the number of control orders in Australia over the next four or five years,” Mr Whealy said.
As The Australian has reported, authorities suspect up to 200 Australian dual citizens may be participating in the fight against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Many are thought to be fighting with the al-Qa’ida-linked al-Nusra Front. Four Australians have died in the current conflict.
Authorities fear the men, most of whom are dual Lebanese-Australian citizens, will return more deeply radicalised and equipped with the training and experience to do serious harm to the community.
Dual nationality? Choose to sign up with terror groups overseas? Then you lose one of those nationalities. I’m sure you’ll fit in better on your other home. 


Green energy: keeping warm by burning billions of dollars

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (8:03am)

Nothing, not even red ink, can spoil the green dream:
Make solar a reality like Spain. ABC1’s Lateline, Wednesday: 
REPORTER Kerry Brewster: (Port Augusta’s mayor) Joy Baluch’s solar vision was not a dying woman’s delusion. The solar thermal plant she wanted for her city is a reality in Spain.
Spain’s reality. Reuters, February 14:

THE Spanish parliament approved a law on Thursday that cuts subsidies for alternative energy technologies ... to eliminate the ... $37.4 billion tariff deficit ... built up through years of the government holding down electricity prices ... Foreign investors poured money into Spanish wind and solar projects, drawn to generous subsidies ... the cost of the subsidies was not passed on fully to consumers because that would have pushed prices to unprecedented highs. 
South Australian reality. Adelaide Advertister, March 21 last year:
A REPORT released today ... shows South Australian (power) prices are the third highest (in the world) ... Roman Domanski said it was only a matter of time before SA would have the world’s most expensive power prices.
What’s driving up those prices? ABC’s The World Today, March 21, last year:

MR Domanski says ... “The three key factors that will increase prices again in 2012 are ... network charges ... subsidies that are paid by people to support renewable energy ... (and) the introduction of a carbon price from July 1.”
From the home page of The Age, a dilemma. Do we believe an activists’ survey of warmist science and another puff-piece on a troubled green “fix” that has lost shareholders a motza, or do we believe the stuff floating down from the skies?
(Thanks to reader GoldCoastSeer.)  


Katter kaos

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:56am)

Clive Palmer is the bigger joke, but Bob Katter is in trouble, too:
BOB Katter’s Australian Party is “imploding”, with senior figures deserting their posts, membership plummeting and a regional delegate turned-Clive Palmer ally accusing his former colleagues of constant infighting…
This comes on the back of the resignation of national director Aidan McLindon and party vice-president and chair of finance Kevin Brown.
Former first-class cricketer Carl Rackemann has resigned as Shadow Agriculture spokesman, Lyn Bishop as Health spokeswoman, Keith Douglas as Shadow Tourism Minister and Michael Bates as Shadow Attorney-General…
Industrial Relations spokeswoman and union liaison officer Belinda Johnson said she would be making a decision whether to step down once she had spoken with Mr Katter and his son.
“Why are the key players leaving the party and what is the future?” she plans to ask them.


Not even her tears spare her

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:41am)

Former Labor Minister Graham Richardson is astonished by the hatred for - and suspicion of - the Prime Minister:
I turned back to Sky News and was again presented with the Prime Minister speaking in the parliament to introduce the national disability insurance scheme… You would think that nobody could doubt her sincerity on this question.
I saw her lip begin to quiver and her voice begin to falter. The tears were genuine as she provided some long overdue justice to a half-million Australians whose plight has been ignored…
During the afternoon I was listening to talkback radio and what I heard rocked me to my core. Callers and emails were heard and read one by one. Virtually all of them accused the PM of putting on an act to gain sympathy. It would appear that many Australians now loathe her so much that no matter what she says or does they will find a fault. If this kind of hatred were limited to the odd few it wouldn’t worry me too much. You can always make allowances for the odd nutter. But what I heard on Wednesday demonstrated that this problem is far more widespread than that.
Back in the 1970s Gough Whitlam was hated by too many Australians. In the 90s Paul Keating had his share of detractors. None of those experiences prepared me for what I heard this week.
Voters will not forgive being cheated and lied to.  Gillard broke promises she never intended to keep, and now cannot complain she is no longer believed:
The polling, conducted by JWS Research ... after Treasurer Wayne Swan’s budget speech, found the budget had largely failed to engage voters. The most strident criticism concerned the belated forecast to deliver a surplus in 2016-17.
“Attitudes towards the budget are a dangerous mix of disinterest in what the government has to say, disappointment in a budget that offered very little of tangible value to ordinary voters, ignorance about the key disability and [Gonski] education reforms ... ?and a lack of faith in a government that has previously failed to deliver on its surplus promises so many times,” concluded JWS research’s John Scales…
The default view was ”I just don’t listen to what [Julia] Gillard has to say any more,” Mr Scales said.
(Thanks to reader Hmmm.) 


We cannot pay for today’s handouts with tomorrow’s money

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:28am)

How many warnings do we need?
CORPORATE heavyweight Don Argus has warned a doubling of gross national debt to $3 trillion could trigger a long period of low growth and declared it crucial to increase productivity to deal with a heavy debt load.
In a closed-door speech in Melbourne yesterday, ... the former BHP Billiton chairman and National Australia Bank chief executive said there was uncertainty surrounding the budget and that the forecasts in it were subject to political interference.
In a devastating critique, he also warned that: Australia was set to inherit the same challenges confronting stricken economies elsewhere in the developed world; there was “Ponzi financing” of debt in the global economy; and if the crippling cost rises striking resources projects continued, “our so-called boom will finish sooner than we think"…
[Argus’s] analysis found revenue growing at a 3.6 per cent annualised rate over the past five years, while recurring spending costs had grown at 7 per cent.
Miner Gina Rinehart says the Government is treating miners as an ATM while racking up unsustainable debt:
“What few seem to properly understand - even people in government - is that miners and other resources industries aren’t just ATMs for everyone else to draw from without that money first having to be earned and, before that, giant investments are made,” she said in a video recorded for the conference.
“It is incredible that after the last six years of record commodity boom times, we now find the once lucky country in record debt, with the federal budget tipped to deliver yet another deficit, to further increase our record debt.
“This debt is simply unsustainable, especially when Australia now faces an increasing elderly population with increasing needs, and fewer workers to pay for it all....”
In a call to arms, Ms Rinehart again describes Australia’s economy as “too expensive and cost uncompetitive”, saying government red tape and regulations are damaging the nation’s reputation on the world stage.
Mrs Rinehart has cited Woodside Petroleum’s recent decision to shelve its $40 billion gas project at James Price Point in Western Australia, and comments from the former global head of Ford, Jac Nasser, who predicted the eventual demise of the Australian car industry, as evidence that Australia was becoming am unattractive place to do business…
“Too many of our governments seem to have had their thoughts clouded by six record years of revenue. They seemed to think the ATM would never empty, and never need refilling,” she said…
“It is as if Spain, Greece, Britain, Italy and Portugal had no warnings to give us about the similar path we are now taking...”


Look at this other drowning island, the Global Mail writer insisted. So I did…

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:08am)

Yesterday I noted this typical example of eco-catastrophism by one of the warming alarmists on the Global Mail:
The waves are slowly seeping over Kiribati, which is at the frontline of the climate-change-induced rise in sea levels striking low-lying nations all over the world. Formerly part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands — a British protectorate until the mid 1970s — Kiribati is lower, frailer and more defenceless. It may be the first nation to enter an end game against climate change.
Kiribati’s leaders now face wrenching questions: How many of its 100,000 people will need to leave? Where will they go? How will it feed those remaining? And, as its islands become uninhabitable, can Kiribati remain a nation at all?

I wondered how that Kiribati-is-drowning meme squared with satellite time-lapse pictures showing no such thing.
Indeed, recent studies show no cause for alarm:

Climate scientists have expressed surprise at findings that many low-lying Pacific islands are growing, not sinking.
Islands in Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are among those which have grown, largely due to coral debris, land reclamation and sediment.
The findings, published in the magazine New Scientist, were gathered by comparing changes to 27 Pacific islands over the last 20 to 60 years using historical aerial photos and satellite images.
Auckland University’s Associate Professor Paul Kench, a member of the team of scientists, says the results challenge the view that Pacific islands are sinking due to rising sea levels associated with climate change.
“Eighty per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or, in fact, gotten larger,” he said.
But you just can’t tell an alarmist anything. The Global Mail’s alarmist, Bernard Lagan, promptly claimed that I’d simply looked at the wrong island:

What Bolt failed to tell his readers is that the Earth Engine link he posted is in fact Christmas Island, the most remote and among the least populated of Kiribati’s 33 islands and atolls…
Here is the Landsat link to South Tarawa that Bolt — had he wanted to show Kiribati’s tiny, low-lying population centre — should have posted.
I wonder how many Global Mail readers clicked on that link to see if it showed what Lagan implied it showed - an island drowning under rising seas.
In fact, if anything, it seems to suggest the very opposite. The satellite time-lapse series begins in 1999 (the top picture) and ends in 2012 (the bottom). Check for yourself if the island of Kiribati said by Lagan to better show the effects of global warming is indeed drowning - or just waving:

Another thing, Lagan informed the credulous readers of the Global Mail that global warming was filling South Tarawa with refugees from global warming:

The main population centre of South Tarawa is severely over-crowded and the problem is worsening because outer-islanders fleeing the effects of climate change are coming to South Tarawa.
They are?
That’s odd. The 2012 Republic of Kiribati Report Series also notes the population boom, but of all the explanations it gives, not one is global warming:
The population of Kiribati grew by 10,525 people between 2005 and 2010. Almost all of this growth is in South Tarawa, which grew by 9,871 people.
The practice of sending children for schooling and leaving them with relatives on South Tarawa, and relations visiting families on South Tarawa hoping to find jobs, or for health reasons and staying with them indefinitely are some of the main reasons for this overcrowding issue. But though these are the usual reasons given for the growing population of South Tarawa, the 2010 Census reveals that more babies are now being born on South Tarawa than on any other island, contributing to about 2.26 of the population annually to South Tarawa.
Indeed, it’s inclined to reject what Lagan suggests:

However, there is evidence that at present, climate change is not the main cause of coastal erosion, water shortages or overcrowding. Other issues, especially population growth and the move to Western lifestyles, are having a more immediate impact.
Mark Lynas, once a prominent global warming catastrophist, last year noted how warmists were misrepresenting the facts about Kiribati:

A new paper published in the AGU’s house journal Eos Transactions shows why caution is often justified. Here ... is the 1993-2011 sea level trend data from Tarawa atoll, part of Kiribati in the central Pacific:

Whoa! No sea-level rise there, then. And yet of course climate campaigners – and even the Kiribati government – understandably anxious to highlight the future existential threat to the islands, have used storm surges, flooding events and suchlike as evidence of current sea-level rise impacts. Which they are almost certainly not, at least not in Tarawa atoll anyway…

In Tarawa atoll, direct human interference probably explains the majority of what is often pointed to as evidence of sea-level rise impact, according to Donner...:

The combination of natural weather – and climate – driven variability in sea level and the astronomical tidal cycle can lead to flooding and erosion events, particularly in sand-dominated systems like atolls and barrier islands. For example, the 2004–2005 ENSO event contributed to two major flooding events in Tarawa…
These flooding events, though statistically more likely to happen as global average sea level rises, are themselves no more evidence of rising sea level than an individual heat wave is evidence of rising global temperatures. Despite a continued global average sea level rise, the gauge height reached on 10 February 2005 in Tarawa has not been surpassed since.
The paper then goes on to discuss some direct human impacts which can impact shoreline dynamics with or without a sea-level trend:
Three types of shoreline modification that are typical in low-lying island nations have altered sediment supply and island shape in South Tarawa [Webb, 2005]. First, land reclamation, accomplished by infilling behind a constructed sea wall, has increased land area in some locations but exacerbated erosion and inundation in others…
Second, the practice of mining of beaches and barrier reefs for construction materials, common in Kiribati, Tuvalu, and other atoll nations, can make the shoreline more vulnerable to tidal extremes and storms…
Last, the construction of causeways between islets has altered islet evolution. Unlike a bridge, a solid, hard-topped causeway limits or blocks the natural flow of sediment between the ocean and the lagoon… The lagoon islet of Bikeman, which was dotted with coconut trees during the Battle of Tarawa, is now a sandbar that disappears from view at high tide. Despite some claims to the contrary by climate activists, the loss of this once popular resting spot for fishermen is primarily due to the construction of the Betio-Bairiki causeway, which redirects sediment flow.
Yesterday Lagan suggested I was a liar and “denier” to doubt his tale of global warming horror on Kiribati. An apology would be nice.
Willis Eschenbach:

Since (as Darwin showed) atolls float up with the sea level, the idea that they will be buried by sea level rises is totally unfounded. Despite never being more than a few metres tall, they have survived a sea level rise of up to three hundred plus feet (call it a hundred metres) within the last twenty thousand years. Historically they have floated up higher than the peaks of drowned mountains.
So the third claim is not true either. Atolls are created by sea level rise, not destroyed by sea level rise.


Labor priorities

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:03am)

Labor MP Craig Thomson has been found by a Fair Work Australia investigation to have misappropriated union money. He has been charged by police. He has claimed his party offered him a dodgy pre-selection race so he could collect a $100,000 payout.
Despite all that, Labor has kept him as a member.
But finally he has crossed a line. Finally he has done something so unforgivable that he must be expelled from the party:

The Daily Telegraph has learnt a special hearing is expected to be held within days to expel Mr Thomson after he announced he would run as an independent in the seat of Dobell.
NSW ALP assistant secretary John Graham has brought charges against Mr Thomson under rules forbidding Labor members standing against the party.


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MEDICAL HOPE: There's been a breakthrough in the treatment of Osteoporosis. Researchers have discovered a combination of two particular drugs is more effective than any current medical approach.

Health reporter Gabriella Rogers explains in 9 News at 6pm on Channel 9.



A$ is falling against many other currencies. Now 97.46c. Not just vs US!


Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie, and Graeme Garden, photographed in London earlier this month as they recorded a video that will be shown during Bill's Australian Tour (June 20th-27th). Tickets for all 5 shows are on sale from

Show dates/times/venues:
* Brisbane: Thurs, June 20th at 7:00pm at The Tivoli
* Sydney: Fri, June 21st at 8:00pm at The Concourse Theatre
* Melbourne: Sat, June 22nd at 3:00pm at The Astor in St Kilda
* Adelaide: Weds, June 26th at 7:30pm at Adelaide Town Hall
* Perth: Thurs, June 27th at 7:30pm at The Astor in Mt Lawley
 — with Tim Brooke-Taylor andGraeme Garden.


Gõ vắng thu về


Girls, watch out for this mother fucking creep. He is a tall middle eastern man, was on the north shore and western line, still on train around 9.24-9.51 He pretended the force of the train was pushing him towards me, stuck his pinky out as a means to touch my crotch, and even when I stepped back watching whether it was an honest mistake, he swung further in. Then, he swung backwards and tried to grope the girl behind him two or three times. Already reported him to a station manager, but what are they gonna do. I will break those fingers off you if I see you touch anyone again!!! .. Michelle


We exist anonymously amongst you. We live and breathe to learn. We scour your confines in search of opportunities. We fight battles against none other than ourselves. We think, we move and we create by any means necessary. We utilise whatever is available and we will prevail. Ali Kadhim

As part of the First World War Centenary commemorations the Australian War Memorial is creating a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their experiences. We’re digitising items from our Private Records collection including diaries, letters and a wide range of other material. If you are a relative of one of the creators of these collections, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our blog for more details:
Mental illness is NOT a synonym for insanity or crazy. EVERYONE struggles with unhealthy thoughts at times. Rick Warren
Shame says that because I am flawed, I am unacceptable. 
Grace says that though I am flawed, I am cherished. 
Natalie Tran - the real one

May you live forever. And may the last voice you hear, be mine

Time for a bit of fun to round out the day. Watch this toy muscle car hunt down a deer-slaying cement truck in this awesome stop-motion video. Amazing!

4 her


Warriors ready to take on the voice inside that says "I can't". #team9lives #9livesparkour

Do it with PASSION, or not at all! #team9lives #9livesparkour


Tony Robinson filming Time Walks at the Australian War Memorial Annex today.
Well, has NSW Labor conspired to defraud taxpayers?

That is the claim made by Shadow Attorney General, George Brandis, yesterday

The Coalition has written to AFP Commissioner Tony Negus requesting it investigate an alleged Labor offer to Craig Thomson “as a matter of urgency”

The offer allegedly put to Thomson by NSW ALP Secretary Sam Dastyari 10 days ago would have allowed Thomson to exit Parliament with $95,000 in entitlements but without running against Labor at the September election

In other words, Thomson would have been admitted back into the party and allowed to contest Labor preselection for his seat of Dobell

But the contest would be a sham – predetermined so Thomson would lose

Thomson would then leave Parliament with a resettlement allowance of $95,200

The evidence for this alleged offer comes from Thomson himself

Earlier this week he recounted a conversation with Dastyari on 7 May as follows:

“He (Dastyari) said why don’t you stand for the party? We’d rather you do that than stand as an Independent. You know your entitlements are the same if you’re beaten in a preselection as they are if you stand”

George Brandis says any offer “to induce Thomson to agree to a sham preslection process” may breach criminal and electoral laws

The Government is running for cover

Sources are now claiming Julia Gillard would never have agreed to Dastyari’s plan

Voters are sick and tired of this sleaze

The AFP should indeed investigate

Alan Jones


Heston Blumenthal: Crazy cook, or creative genius? 

Would you brave this exploding chocolate gateau recipe? 

Check out the recipe here:'s_exploding_chocolate_gateau/search/true

Praciting timed drills, climbing up and jumping down within a time frame forces not only commitment but it also forces everyone to work together to beat the clock. We grind together we rise together! #team9lives #9livesparkour #parkour #freerunning #movement #training #fairfield


I have a beautiful 4 year-old girl who sits on my knee and helps me do cartoons. Her job is to colour in Julia Gillard’s hair, and she uses all the right colours. 

I was rather surprised yesterday when she earnestly asked me, “Why do people hate Julia Gillard, daddy?” 

I was a bit taken back because I don’t discuss politics at home, I know she doesn’t understand the cartoons and the strap-on is actually Julia’s handbag, so how did she arrive at such a conclusion?

After some gentle persuasion she explained that all her friends’ parents hate Julia Gillard and I was told I had inadvertently dropped a few expletives while watching TV.

Now, hate is a big word and hatred does no favours for the hater but the level of disdain for this Prime Minister is beyond all comparison.

I’ve known most Prime Ministers and have often disagreed with their politics but never have I refused to hear what they had to say. Never had I personally shown them disrespect.

I recall having a heated argument with Malcolm Fraser while we both pissed on the same bush... but something has changed.

It all changed, it was a moment in time, when a silver-haired lady in a supermarket walked up to Julia Gillard, looked her in the eye and asked, “Why did you lie to us Julia?”

It was only then that I realised things were very different.

This lady wasn’t an activist, she was articulate and genuinely wanted to know why her leader had lied to her. Of course Julia’s answer was that she hadn’t lied... and that’s why Julia Gillard is not really our Prime Minister.

If she had admitted to the lie, apologised and explained the unusual circumstances, Gillard may well have cached a million valuable votes and satisfied the lady, but unfortunately the real Julia was on show.

Now people have stopped listening. Even a political animal like me reaches for the remote when she opens her mouth. There is something un-Australian about her.

This depth of distaste for a Prime Minister is not good for her or us.

The crying pic on my Facebook yesterday received 200,000 hits and was shared over a thousand times and re-shared again. The Pickering Post has 23 pages of comments and still counting, 6,000 emails have gone viral.

I can’t possibly moderate the sheer volume of angry comments. There’s just me!

Two or three million people should have felt sorry for a poor woman weeping for the plight of the disabled, but they didn't feel sorrow, their anger was white hot!

It’s really sad that it has come to this.

Oh well, I can safely turn the TV back on again now to watch Peter Van well-I-believe-you-Prime Minister Onselin.

But what do I tell my daughter?


Join Us in Protesting Burma's President Thein Sein’s Visit on Monday

Please join us on Monday, May 20 in front of the White House to protest President Obama’s decision to welcome Burma’s President Thein Sein to the White House. President Thein Sein’s trip follows a troubling downward trend in his administration: hundreds of new political prisoners, ongoing war against the Kachin, breakdown of several ceasefires, ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, escalating anti-Muslim violence, denial of humanitarian aid, pandemic land confiscation, and a complete lack of justice and accountability.

Activists from around the US will gather for four protests outside events hosting Thein Sein. The largest rally will be from 10 am – 1 pm at the White House, but we expect a large turnout at all protests:
  • Sunday, May 19 – 4pm to 8pm @ Voice of America, 330 Independence Avenue SW (Protest held directly behind VOA on C Street), Washington, DC 20237
  • Monday, May 20 – 10 am to 1pm @ White House, Lafayette Park in front of the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500
  • Monday, May 20 – 3pm to 5pm @ John Hopkins University, SAIS School, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • Monday, May 20 – 5pm to 9pm @ U.S Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street NW, Washington, Dc 20062
President Thein Sein will be the first Head of State from Burma to visit Washington, DC in nearly five decades. But President Thein Sein has not taken any recent steps to investigate allegations of government perpetrated violence, revise laws that condone human rights abuses, or hold anyone accountable for gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Inviting Thein Sein reinforces the message of a positive US-Burma relationship while human rights violations escalate and rampant impunity in Thein Sein’s government is condoned.

If you can’t be with us in person on Monday, please join us by using the attached image of Thein Sein as your Facebook picture during the duration of President Thein Sein’s trip from Saturday, May 18 – Tuesday, May 21. Should you have difficulty accessing the image for your Facebook, email

Please stand with us in protesting Thein Sein’s arrival in Washington, DC. For more information, please see USCB’s Press Release on President Thein Sein’s Trip to DC. For questions about the protests, please email or give us a call at 202-234-8022.

In solidarity,

Rachel Wagley

Rosalía de Castro


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