Wish list   31/12/2010

May 2011 bring us good health, prosperity, grandchildren, more time with friends, reduced barbarism, truthful and commonsense public policy, more winners at double digit odds, some decent movies and a back-to-back Magpies flag.

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Myth-spreading embarrassment   

Climate alarmists get bitten on the bum:

“[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” Michael Oppenheimer, published in “Dead Heat,” St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

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Arise, Sir Keef   

Wholehearted agreement with Boris:

It is a continuing scandal that Keef Richards has not been made, at the very least, a knight bachelor, and the outrage became clear to me this Christmas when – like so many other men of my generation – I was sentenced to Life. That is, I was given a copy of Keef’s super-selling autobiography of that name; and by the end of my researches I felt the full weight of the injustice.

Despite anvil-strength droppings of hints, no one presented me with a copy of Life for Christmas. So, it’s off to Borders after work.

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Farewell Phil   

A fine report by the highly talented Danny Lannen on a moving memorial service for much loved Geelong Advertiser photographer Phillip Stubbs.

Dugdale said his mate was the one who always returned from the assignment with the 1000-word picture. He assured Imogen, Meredith and Isobel that their dad’s love and pride for them was beyond measure.

It’s regrettable it took such a tragic event to bring together so many old colleagues and friends.
I’m sure Stubbsie would be delighted that such a big crowd turned out to pay their respects.

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Prison payout   28/12/2010

This should prompt plenty of slips in the showers, falls in the exercise yard and mishaps in the workshop.

A DRIVER jailed for killing two people in separate accidents has been awarded $120,000 compensation.
Alan Philip Brown was dubbed Victoria’s worst driver after he killed passenger Margaret Loveday in 2001, the second time he had killed while driving drunk.
Another woman, Carol Jancic, was injured in the smash, and forced to spend months in intensive care and then rehabilitation.
Serial offender Brown claims to have injured his shoulder and suffered psychological damaged when a garden shed roller door closed on him in Loddon Prison in April 2007

Bet it’s got Roberta Williams scheming.

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They never learn   27/12/2010

Never a truer word . . .

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area – crime, education, housing, race relations – the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them. – Thomas Sowell.

Another pearl of wisdom from Sowell:

Some of the most vocal critics of the way things are being done are people who have done nothing themselves, and whose only contributions to society are their complaints and moral exhibitionism.

Looking at you, Victorian local government wastrels.

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Funatics   

Yet more idiocy from clown hall as tinpot tyrants deny kids amusement and throw casual workers out of jobs.

FUN police have shut down a carnival in Lorne over red tape.
Surf Coast Shire officials forced the closure of the Lorne carnival on Christmas Eve.
Officials ordered the carnival to pack up its rides and entertainment on Friday on the eve of a month-long event at Lorne’s Mantra Erskine Beach Resort.

The regulatory over-reach comes on the heels of similar stupidity at the neighbouring City of Greater Geelong.

A STREET sweeper known for spreading Christmas cheer has had his vehicle stripped of its decorations by council grinches.

Any shame? Perhaps the hint of embarrassment? Not on your life. They intend to reward themselves abundantly. With our money.

Revelations of the salaries come as the state’s mayors prepare to go on a three-day summer holiday together next month that could cost ratepayers as much as $165,000. Victorian mayors will attend the $2100-a-head “essential mayors’ weekend” in Torquay from January 27, where they will be treated to free food, drinks and accommodation at Peppers The Sands Resort.
The program for the retreat includes “speed dating without the twist: networking with fellow mayors, nightly pre-dinner drinks and networking, and a daily “mayoral stroll”.
The publicly funded event also includes a “masterclass” on “emotion, outrage and participation”.

Gawdelpus!

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Brrrrrr!! Love this global warming   

Bloody hell, a man gets tired of wearing pullovers and jackets in late December. Ah well, it’s a damned sight worse elsewhere. Not that you could tell from the forecasts by ninnies who predict a global frizzle.

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Hoo-roo pal   25/12/2010

Victoria’s newspaper industry this week lost a huge talent and colleagues past and present a true friend. RIP Stubbsie.

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Season’s greetings   

Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all who venture to this blog.
We’re planning Christmas dinner with a difference this year. The bride’s dad, Jack, is in St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne after surgery so the clan are having a picnic lunch in Carlton Gardens, allowing everyone to visit him in shifts. The weather forecast is positive and all the offspring, most of whom live in Melbourne now, will be there. Should be fun.

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Doom denied   20/12/2010

Almost 10 years ago, the Independent expected manmade global warming to change the look of Britain forever:

Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.
Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

Remind me to never take any notice of the Independent’s form guide. UK headline today:

Coldest December since records began as temperatures plummet to minus 10C bringing travel chaos across Britain

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Colossal failure   18/12/2010

Chris Kenny reflects in The Weekend Australian on how almost all the Canberra press gallery had no idea of the build-up to the year’s biggest story, Kevin Rudd’s dethroning. A situation that Wikileaks reveals was well-known early on to US diplomats.
Kenny also examines why the gallery’s soft-left biases made them skim over the big stories – insulation and schools rorts, climate change hysteria and a renewed flood of refugee boats and deaths caused by Rudd axing Howard’s Pacific solution – to deliver groupthink journalism to a badly served public.
A summary of Kenny’s brilliant piece is here, but you’ll have to buy the paper to read the lot.

Extracts:

This groupthink has delivered a consistent narrative of national affairs during the past decade that now has been exposed as completely inaccurate. It is a version of history that portrays the people living in Australia’s regions and suburbs as gullible stooges who resisted the pleading of Labor and the educated elite, only to fall for Howard’s fascist, populist trickery and return a series of Coalition governments.

Furthermore:

Rather than disparage as easily manipulated xenophobes those people who aspire to own a home, raise a family and improve their lot, journalists would do better to live among them and listen to them.

They won’t, because most of the gallery are Fitzroyals, too.

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Labor betrayed   

Michael Thompson identifies where Labor went wrong and predicts annihilation unless the party gets back to its working class roots.

The ambition of apparatchiks such as Faulkner and Cavalier led them to recruit those with the same unstated, unconscious mores as themselves: young lawyers, schoolteachers, public servants and academics.
Working-class union members need not apply: Unions should be the main recruiting ground for working-class candidates. However, as a consequence of its president Bill Kelty pushing his policy of “20 super unions” through the ACTU in the late 1980s, unions are fast being infiltrated by progressives.
The amalgamations led inevitably to bureaucratisation of unions. This meant that time spent on the shop floor was no longer necessary for a career in the unions, and so students straight out of university jumped at the opportunity of jobs in the unions as stepping stones on their paths to political careers.
Whereas in the past workers off the shop floor could hope to progress through the ranks from delegate or shop steward to organiser, then on to their union’s executive, and maybe the secretaryship of their union or a seat in parliament, now few make it much past organiser.

So, to what point have these “progressives” taken Labor?

But the crunch will come on carbon pricing. If Gillard keeps her nerve on that issue, the Greens will bring down the government. They have no choice. Their inner-city supporters are at least as extreme as any Greens parliamentarian and will turn on them if they compromise on climate change (although they will risk losing those who voted Greens at the last election as a protest against Kevin Rudd postponing the emissions trading system).
If Gillard caves in, the ensuing rise in electricity prices will hurt most in low-income households, Labor’s support base, not that of the Greens (a point Tony Abbott will make time and time again). And the Greens will increase their primary vote at the next election. With its primary vote stuck in the mid-30s, however, the ALP’s future would then be as a political rump.
The Greens aim to be the left political party in Australia and they will happily ally with Labor short term as a means to that end; they’re the enemy of Labor and its working-class supporters.

The new elite – the Fitzroyals.

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SNAFU at Fairfax   

With exclusive Australian rights to highly explosive documents, you’d expect Fairfax to accurately report their contents.

Senator Arbib told The Weekend Australian yesterday that “the unedited cables show that there are serious factual errors in the original story, which is very disappointing”. The Weekend Australian cross-checked the WikiLeaks cable against the Fairfax report and discovered a comment attributed to Senator Arbib in one report was in fact made by Kevin Rudd’s brother, Greg Rudd.
Several other errors have emerged, including misquoting former US ambassador Robert McCallum and claiming former defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon’s resignation was a “blessing in disguise” when the WikiLeaks cable quoted US officials saying it was a “blessing for the government”.

Deliberate distortion or blunders? I normally opt for stuff-up over conspiracy, but hell, with stuff this important, you’d think every fact would be double-checked within an inch of its life.
And the upshot is that Arbib, of the Labor Right, is cast by the leftish Fairfax group in an even more demonish light.
However, it’s probably just another glaring example of leftwing incompetence. They’re good at that.

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Councilation of festive fun   17/12/2010

Bah, humbug at our City Hall:

A STREET sweeper known for spreading Christmas cheer has had his vehicle stripped of its decorations by council grinches.
City of Greater Geelong employee Colin Kay was ordered to remove tinsel and baubles from the sweeper because the ornaments were a danger to passing children.

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Get outta town   16/12/2010

Great satire from Gavin Atkins who takes the piss out of Greens hypocrisy.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience while we demolish the buildings of central Sydney so that one day the mighty, historic Tank Stream can flow once again.
Of course, you Sydney types will need to find new jobs and, some of you, new homes, but there can be no grounds for complaint because – how to put this politely? – it’s not like you guys produce anything we actually need.
And when the next recession hits, we all know you city people are all going to be the first seeking government payouts. Meanwhile, your environments are dying from over-exploitation all because you want to go to work and feed your greedy children.
Frankly, you city workers are not sustainable, you are not bio-diverse and you are not appropriate. Sorry, people, but you’ve got the unholy trinity right there.

In more balanced – and funnier – days, this was the type of brilliant, cutting humour you would expect from the ABC.

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Situation greatly exaggerated   14/12/2010

The New York Times reported that Earl Weaver, former manager of the Baltimore Orioles, was dead.
It was news to Weaver.

“I’m still here, although my knees have given out, so I don’t play golf anymore. I’ve always said that there were two places that I wouldn’t mind dying. One was Memorial Stadium; the other, the golf course.
“Now I’ve got to wait forever [to go], because both of those places are gone.”

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Swedes terrorised   12/12/2010

Another murderous blow struck in the name of the religion of pieces. How long before we hear condemnation from its leaders here?

STOCKHOLM — A car explosion and what appeared to be a suicide attack injured two people, killed the apparent bomber, and caused panic among Christmas shoppers in Stockholm Saturday.
The Swedish news agency TT said it had received an email warning with a threat to Sweden and its people ahead of the blasts. The agency said the threat was linked to Sweden’s presence in Afghanistan, where it has a force of 500 soldiers, mainly in the north.
“Now your children, daughters and sisters shall die like our brothers and sisters and children are dying,” the news agency quoted the e-mail as saying.

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Exclusive   

Pretty good scoop for a regional newspaper:

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange says Prime Minister Julia Gillard has put his life and freedom at risk by publicly pre-judging his actions as “criminal”.

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Warneing   

Someone should tell Warnie that even though his TV show has viewers and there are calls for him to return to Test cricket, he’s definitely playing out of his league here.

UPDATE:
Seems Warnie is indeed batting above his average.

It is believed Hurley, who has an eight-year-old son Damian, spent two nights at Warne’s hotel suite last week.
They were spotted in lingering kisses after leaving the flashy digs Warne was using while filming his TV talk show.
“They were so passionate they looked like honeymooners,” one witness told News of the World.
The paper reported they were locked away in the suite – at the Bentley Hotel in South Kensington – for more than 11 hours.

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