all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

28 December, 2011

Advertisements and Stupid Males

Unlike those advertisements on commercial television which attracted the most complaints, among the worse ads of 2011, for me, were the like of these:

Virgin Life Insurance:
irritating female:  Lets talk about your ringing up Virgin to get life insurance so me and the kids won’t starve, when you die, you fat slob.
stupid male:  Nah, even though there are heaps of ads on TV
life insurance which go on about not requiring long forms and medicals, there’ll surely be heaps of forms to complete and boring medicals.
irritating female:  Well, Virgin’s not like that, you useless, lazy bastard, I’ve checked.
stupid male:  Nah, it’ll still cost too much.  If I cark it, you’ll be all right.  The grandparents will look after you.
irritating female:  So you expect us to scrounge on others?  You want the kids to leave good schools and be reduced to attending state schools?  You want me to go on the game when I can’t afford mortgage payments?  Virgin is great!  Here’s the ’phone.
stupid male:  All right, all right, I’ll call them now.  Though I don’t know why you couldn’t.

McCain Sweet Potato Fries:
stupid male:  What are these meant to be, for frock’s sake?
smug daughter:  Fries, you stupid dad.

stupid male:  But they’re orange!
smug daughter:  That’s because they’re sweet potato fries, you ignorant idiot.
stupid male:  Well, I hope they’re as good as ordinary potato chips, which was what I asked for.
smug daughter:  You know, sometimes, particularly at the disinterested bidding of corporations, consumers need to try different things, you unadventurous moron.

Cottee’s Double Concentrate:
stupid male:  What’s all this?
demonstratrix:  Cottee’s concentrate is now twice as strong, so you need only half as much to make the same amount of mixed cordial.
stupid male:  What?  Impossible!  Sacre bleu!
  It’s so incredible I don’t believe it!
demonstratrix:  Well, it’s true.
stupid male:  Ha!  If you need only half as much concentrate as before to make the same amount of cordial, you can call me by a risibly inappropriate, feminine name, such as Elizabeth—

Before these advertisements I occasionally bought McCain’s frozen fries—sometimes, when they’re on special, they’re cheaper than the equivalent weight of raw potatoes—, and I would buy several Cottee’s cordials a fortnight, but I now boycott those products.  I shall avoid Virgin insurance, too.
See Tim Blair’s “Seven Shockers”.

UPDATE I:  among the silliest advertisements of the year, of course, we must include the “Say ‘Yes’ to a Ruinous Tax Even Though You Have No Say Either Way” campaign, fronted by Cate Blanchett.  See “Let’s All Jump Together” and Let Them Eat More Dirt”.

UPDATE II (14 June, 2013):  a far from astonishing survey, which might provoke the odd cry of “You reckon?”, reported in The Times (by way of The Australian), revealsDim-witted TV dads not presenting a true picture”:
Parents have criticised the “casual contempt” shown for fathers on TV programs and in advertising, which invariably depict them as hapless and lazy.
A survey has found that more than 90% of mothers and fathers say the archetypal bungling TV dad unfairly misrepresents the reality and overlooks the contribution most are making to family life, while almost a third say it amounts to discrimination.  […]
The authors said the “incompetent dad” theme continued into light entertainment for adults and children.  These include the bumbling, misanthropic dentist father in My Family, played by Robert Lindsay, and Pete Brockman, the disaster-prone dad played by Hugh Dennis and struggling to keep up with his street-wise kids in Outnumbered.
In these popular shows, dim-witted dads are invariably teamed up with shrewd, hard-working wives who are obliged to bail them out on a regular basis.  […]
The report found evidence of double standards when it came to the perceptions of lone fathers and lone mothers in the media.  While single fathers are portrayed as heroic [what, always?], single mums were more commonly presented as benefit scroungers.

23 December, 2011

Know Your Odd Lies

The Tasmanian Government funds and authorises a campaign, “Know Your Odds”, which claims to present the facts of gambling and the odds thereof.  An advertisement, which is regularly broadcast on commercial television, features a cove, who calls himself Jack, inviting people to ask questions at the Know Your Odds website.  According to the obligatory authorisation details at the end of the advertisement, however, the person identifying himself as “Jack” is actually called Chris, so I submitted a question to “Jack”, this morning:
“I’m Jack,” says the bloke apparently called Jack; however, in the authorisation details at the end of the advertisement broadcast on television (though not on the website), we can read “Spoken by Chris Bowen.”
So is “Jack” Jack or Chris?
Why lie?  If you lie when naming people, why should anyone believe anything else you say?
In a rare example of bureaucratic efficiency in Tasmania, my post—even before office hours begun—was deleted, unanswered [but see the update below].
The Government’s campaign:
provides important information to assist poker machine players and players of other games of chance with their gambling should they elect to gamble at all[Emphasis added.]
The ‘House Edge’ commercials are designed to inform the public of how commercial games of chance really work, drawing attention to the games’ in built House Edges.  Gambling providers are businesses and these games are designed to make their businesses profitable, ensuring commercial viability, payment of staff and other costs.  Some gamblers have false beliefs about their chances of winning, partly due to not understanding the House Edge, and the role of luck over the short and long term.  [sic!]

UPDATE:  I received an e-mail from Ben Ross, of the Gambling Support Program, Department of Health and Human Services:
thanks for your post on the blog.  Yes, there is an authorisation at the end of the ads giving Chris’s name.  Know Your Odds is an advertising campaign, funded by the State Government—the info about the campaign is on the blog.  Chris is an actor, and Jack is the campaign ‘character’ who delivers the information.  The information in the campaign is carefully researched and you don’t have to worry—it’s all correct.  The campaign aims to provide information that will assist people to make safe choices when they gamble on games of chance.  This can help people avoid gambling more than they can afford and therefore experiencing the subsequent problems that can arise.  Information about where to get help for gambling problems is also contained in the campaign.

21 December, 2011

Sartre Wars: No Hope

Un film par George Lucas et Jean-Paul Sartre: 

(Merci à Retronaut par voie de Paco.)

19 December, 2011

“Rigid and Simplistic”

To kill or Not to Kill 

“Not killing—killing—it’s complicated;
but your western courts are over-rated,
for heathens must be assassinated
when such people have contaminated
newspapers with dreadful, illustrated,
things called ‘cartoons’.  Allah’s will has fated
such beasts to be well and truly hated
and then slain.  They must be castigated
by pious men, and defenestrated
or flogged to death or decapitated.
Your judges are too sophisticated
for us:  quibbles can’t be contemplated,
our faith must not be investigated;
therefore, they’re corrupt.  They’ve demonstrated
massive bias, and they’ve discriminated
against us with their foul, antiquated
creed that all views should be tolerated
with differences accommodated.
Infidels must be annihilated
but quite how soon has not been stated
by clerics.  The point must be debated:
to kill now or not—it’s complicated.”

See “Danish cartoon sparked fanatic’s plot to kill Aussie’, by Steve Lillebuen, in The Sydney Morning Herald
[Wissam Fattal] was infuriated by what many Muslims believed was an insulting, offensive depiction of the prophet Mohammed.  [...]  His religious beliefs became also become [sic] more rigid and simplistic.  [...]
The court ruled [that Fattal and two others] had no remorse and had never renounced their extremist beliefs.
On Friday, as they were all sentenced to 18 years with a minimum of 13 and a half years for their terrorist plans, their beliefs appeared to be as rigid as ever.
“This is corruption,” Fattal yelled as he shot up from the prisoners’ box when the judge entered the court.
“This is wrong.”  [...]  “Allah gives us justice,” he declared as he walked past the judge, “not these courts.”
Just over a year ago I wrote the following verses in response to the silly suicide bomber of Tim Blair’s “Stockholm Absorber”.

The Bomber’s Farewell

The murder and mayhem won’t cease

despite “the religion of peace”.

    The free West, by choice,

    will stifle its voice,

but terror attacks still increase.

You see, I have read The Koran
(that “murderer’s manual” for man):
    it says paradise

    for me will be nice;

I’Il have all the sex that I can.

I must slaughter paynim and Jews
(and apostates too, if I choose).

   I can’t, though, eat ham,
    say rules of Islam,
and I must stay clear of all booze.

For anarchist lads such as I

the Koranic rules will apply.

    A volatile vest
    says “nuts!” to the West,
as bolts send my nuts to the sky.

UPDATE (20 December) see Jihad Watch:

15 December, 2011

Shoot the Messenger’s Laptops to the Lab

Police Priorities 

The Norfolk rozzers
—half a dozen of them!—durst
take stuff from Tallbloke.

Seriously, they
need six cops to search a
blogger?  What a joke.

Sex slavery and
similar crimes increase, but
they hound sceptic folks.

Other malefactors
ignored are those who push the
global warming hoax.

The wallopers have
no clue anent images
their conduct evokes.

UPDATE I (17 December):  see Jeff Id’s “Crackdown – U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) – It’s time to bring them to justice!” and Maxim Lott’s “Climategate Bombshell: Did U.S. Gov’t Help Hide Climate Data?”.

UPDATE II (21 December)see Pointman’s “It’s not just Tallbloke who’s in the firing line; you are too”, and Tallbloke’s “Greg Laden: Libellous article”, as well as “Tallbloke to take to torts” and then “Greg Laden caves – makes nice with Tallbloke” at WUWT.
At a silly awarmist site, Greg Laden posted some typically stupid remarks, shewing that he seems to believe in swift legal redress.  In comments on an apparently actionable post—since removed—by Zachary Shahan, one Markus had posted:  “Be very wary.  The retribution that will be inflicted on those warminista, who have harmed the orderly progress of humankind and the poorest of the poor, will reverberate throughout academia, for generations.”
In response, Laden posted:  “I think Markus is threatening you and you should sue him.”
Laden, seemingly, would consider even a polite warning as a threat.  I suggested a parallel:
Stranger: “Young boy, be more careful!  You are running too closely to that cliff! If you slide on that slippery surface you could fall onto the rocks far below and suffer serious injuries or even death!
Foolish Boy: “Help, police!  This stranger is issuing death threats!”
Unfortunately, the pseudo-scientific scoundrels pushing the CAGW fraud are the sort of unprincipled scammers who have often demonstrated that, just as they can’t discern how empirical evidence differs from incompetently formulated modelling, they can’t determine how a warning differs from a threat.  The wicked seeker of a totalitarian one-party State, and aggressive buffoon, Clive Hamilton, for instance, asserts that “If we see you continue, we will get extremely organised and precise against you” is a death-threat.

UPDATE III (22 December)see also Tallbloke’s “Breaking news: Norfolk police to hand over Climategate inquiry”.

UPDATE IV (22 December)see “When the Police Knock on Your Door”, by Donna Laframboise.

UPDATE V (23 December)see  hro001’s “of Climategate, Constabularies, Hickman and l’affaire Tallbloke: a timeline to consider”. 

UPDATE VI (6 January, 2012)slightly apposite is Donna Laframboise’s “What Financial Meltdowns Teach Us about the IPCC”:
Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World is Michael Lewis’ latest book on the global financial train wreck. Brimming with sharp observations and fabulous turns of phrase, it examines recent financial shenanigans in Iceland, Greece, and Ireland among other places.
I experienced a shock of recognition while reading those case studies.  People were doing bizarre things that they—and all of those around them—should have known would lead to tears.  Yet almost everyone bought in.  Normal rules were jettisoned.  Ordinary morality was abandoned.  Disbelief was suspended.  The few souls who tried to sound the alarm were ignored, ridiculed, demoted, or fired.
In other words, the behaviour I’ve spent the past three years writing about isn’t unique to climate science.  The same pattern is horrifyingly evident elsewhere.  It’s as though our IQs have all dropped sharply in recent years.  It’s as though we have no standards anymore.  [...]
When a Danish bank wrote a report concluding that something was amiss in the Icelandic banking sector the reaction was eerily similar to what we see in climate science.  The messenger was accused of having suspect motives and the message was summarily dismissed.
When an economics professor from Chicago gave a speech five months before Iceland’s economy crashed in October 2008 (in which he declared that their banks were already dead and that the economy had no more than nine months) Lewis reports that Iceland bankers in the audience “sought to prevent newspapers from reporting the speech.”
In other words, a gang of Icelandic kids trashed their nation’s economy.  And rather than stopping them, the grownups went along for the ride.  The checks-and-balances we would all expect to have been in place, the safeguards we would imagine going hand-in-hand with financial transactions of that magnitude, were entirely absent.
Does this make rational sense?  No.  Does it sound plausible?  Not really.  But it happened.  And the people of Iceland are going to be living with the consequences for a long, long, long time.

14 December, 2011

Dashing through the Cold

Tim Blair, at “Encyclopedia Ekphrastica” called for antarctic verses; accordingly, I dashed off the following:

Gratuitous advice

Antarctic poems
should be, like the continent,
distant, severe, cold

but not at all warm
because the Antarctic’s not
heating, I am told

by real scientists,
and weather, pacé Combet,
can’t be controlled.

Still, Antarctica,
if you ignore “researchers”,
provides manifold

rewards: that frozen,
paradoxical desert
bears sites to behold.

An Earlier Antarctic Poet Sought Solitude without a Tent

There once was a captain called Oates
who loved to make verse anecdotes:
    “in my search for a rhyme,
    well, I may be some time;
I do wish we’d brought warmer coats.”

His colleagues within held their throats,
and shook as they penned their last notes.
    “You are what?” He replied,
    “I’m just going outside...”.
At least he’s remembered in quotes.

UPDATE I (15 December):  see “IPCC’s Claim That Antarctica’s Ice Sheets Are Melting Due to Global Warming Is Found to Be Fraudulent”.

UPDATE II (16 December):  the very gallant gentleman is known for more than just one memorable quotation:
Oates has descendants:
in his greener days, he had
known a twelve-year-old.

Earth Hour Unearthed

In “Untangling the ownership of EarthHour”, Boy on a Bike reveals that Fairfax Media has neglected to divulge to the few remaining readers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that it partly owns the Earth Hour it heavily promotes each year:
According to the 2011 Annual Report from WWF Australia, Earth Hour is a “grassroots environmental campaign that had its humble beginnings in Sydney in 2007.”
Grassroots?  How can it be “grassroots” when it was conceived and run by a major multi-national media corporation and a huge muti-national environmental outfit?  [...]
What exactly is the "sponsorship arrangement" that Fairfax Media has with Earth Hour?
A quick delve into a few years worth of Fairfax annual reports shows that it is a lot more than a "sponsorship agreement".  Fairfax Media actually owns 33% of Earth Hour Limited. 
WWF and Leo Burnett each own a third of Earth Hour.
Boy on a Bike also reveals that it’s a rewarding gig administering the allegedly charitable WWF Australia:
What I did discover from searching the WWF reports is that the top three managers at WWF Australia took home total compensation of just under $500,000 between them last year—that’s from a total income of $19.4 million for the entire organisation.  In other words, the top three managers creamed off 2.5% of all donations.  Also, they took home a whopping $65,000 more in 2011 than 2010—a 19% pay rise.
See also Prof. Bunyip’s “Sprocket Rocket’s Latest Scoops” and Asian Correspondent’s “Shouldn’t Fairfax-properly declare its interest in Earth Hour?”.
On a slightly similar note, see my “Defrauding Schools, Teachers and Schoolchildren”.

UPDATE I (27 March, 2012):  see “The Wealthy Corporations behind Earth Hour”, by Donna Laframboise:
people who participate in this annual lights-out ritual are demonstrating their support for corporate-orchestrated environmentalism.  They’re also saying it’s OK for media companies to stage-manage the news rather than merely report on it.
UPDATE II (28 March):  see “Earth Hour: Corporations Preaching Morality”, by Donna Laframboise:
it’s OK for multinational insurance companies—such as Britain’s RSA—to urge “customers and employees to sign up to Earth Hour.”  An intrusive, meddling statement on that corporation’s website goes so far as to suggest that we “mark the hour with a candlelit dinner for friends and family”  [...]
Who do these people think they are? Banks and insurance companies have no moral authority to preach to the rest of us.  About A N Y T H I N G.
The world, it seems, has turned upside down.  Once upon a time, activists intent on making a difference viewed corporations with healthy suspicion.
Burning candles, of course, whether made of paraffin or beeswax, would produce more CO2 for the equivalent light than would be produced by coal-burning stations.

UPDATE III (29 March)Donna Laframboise is on a roll; see The Enormous CEO Salaries Behind Earth Hour”.  See also Jo Nova’s The Hour of Power: Celebrate Human Achievement This Saturday”.

09 December, 2011

“The Future Is in Renewable Energy!”

All right, so much for wind; but, you ask, what about solar?  See “Rooftop solar panels overloading electricity grid”, by Annabel Hepworth in The Australian:
The runaway take-up of rooftop solar panels is undermining the quality of electricity supplies, feeding so much power back into the network that it is stressing the system and causing voltage rises that could damage household devices such as computers and televisions.  [...]
Adelaide solar panel installer Chris Hart said the problems were worse in the summer months, when airconditioner use added to the stress on the system.  Mr Hart, who owns EcoSouth Solar Electricity, said areas with a lot of solar panels pushed the voltage up to the maximum allowable level, triggering shutdowns in the individual systems and taking the load off the grid.
He said solar systems “drop out for a few minutes” when voltages get too high, a phenomenon known as “tripping out”.
“Then they try to come online again and it pushes the voltage up again and it’s very wearing,” he said. “That’s the problem with having too much solar in an area where the local authority hasn’t got enough wires or copper in the street to hold the voltage down.”
Mr Hart said the size of conductors and cables in the streets would have to be upgraded “so it can handle lots of solar, versus times when there’s lots of load and no solar”.
“If you get a very, very hot night and there’s obviously no solar, the mains voltage is going to drop a lot,” he said.  “If your wires aren’t up to it, you’ve got a problem.”
UPDATE I (12 December):  see “1500 accidents and incidents on UK wind farms” by .

UPDATE II (13 December):  see also Alan Caruba’s “The Wind Power Pipe Dream” (and, linked therein, from John Droz, Jr., Wind Power Facts).

UPDATE III (14 December):  “Environmental Scientist Caught Agreeing to Ignore Her Own Data, Make Up New Claims”:

UPDATE IV (15 December):  see German Solar Stock Pioneer Solon Plummets on Insolvency Filing”, by Bloomberg’s Stefan Nicola:
Solon, which in 1998 was the country’s first listed photovoltaic producer, fell 46% to 50.2 euro cents.
The Berlin-based company filed for insolvency after failing to reach an “amicable solution” with banks and investors, it said in a statement yesterday.
Solon had sought to speed up cost cuts and extend a year-end deadline to repay a 275 million-euro ([US]$357 million) loan to Deutsche Bank AG and a group of seven German banks.
The country’s solar manufacturers including Q-Cells SE (QCE) and Solarworld AG (SWV) are reeling from rising foreign competition just as demand ebbs in Germany, the biggest photovoltaic market last year.  Chinese companies have increased production capacity even as international prices slumped, tipping three U.S. solar companies including Solyndra LLC into bankruptcy this year.
UPDATE V (15 December):  see Solar Subsidies: Misdirecting Industry and Consumers”, by David Bergeron, at MasterResource:
Here is the real problem:  Subsidies make solar appear viable today, so where is the motivation for an entrepreneur to risk money, or even focus on developing real energy alternatives when solar is “almost” there?  How can an inventor justify striving with the effort it takes to really develop something great when he is competing against a straw man technology which can provide power at almost the same cost of traditional power sources today?  But of course it really doesn’t.  
The answer is he can’t justify the effort, so the next great thing is not developing, at least not with the sense of urgency it should be.  Why enter a contest when you are competing against someone with an unfair advantage?  You may be the faster swimmer, but your competitor is using flippers. 
Solar subsidies are a placebo which is giving the general public a sense of security about our energy future and is robbing the motivation of those entrepreneurs that could actually address our energy problems.  Subsidies are much worse that just wasteful, they’re diabolical.  They lull us into thinking we have almost solved the problem and they hinder us from seeking the real solutions.  [...]
Leprosy maims its victims by robbing them of their sense of pain.  The leper can put his hand on a hot surface and not feel the heat.  He can twist an ankle and will keep walking.
In the same way, on-grid solar subsidies will allow a homeowner to continue using much more electricity than he can afford (or the planet can sustain) and he will not know it.  If he felt the pain of the real cost, he would use less power.
But he does not feel it, since subsidies hide the pain, like leprosy.
Subsidies defeat market forces on both sides of the equation.  They reduce potential supply by hindering entrepreneurs from developing new energy supplies, and they increase demand by artificially keeping the price of energy down.  There could hardly be more cleverly disguised means of exasperating a potential climate issue.
UPDATE VI (16 December):  see “China’s ‘Rare Earths’: A Threat to America’s Strategic Standing”, by Michael Silver, at PJ Media:
future generations of Ford’s automobile may not require either iron or oil, but they will most certainly require neodymium (electric motors) and lanthanum (batteries).  Erbium, neodymium, and lanthanum are three of fourteen elements collectively called the rare earths.  The rare earths are essential to everything from modern automobiles, cell phones, televisions, and jets to countless military applications.  Every Prius has fifteen pounds of rare earths in it.
While the U.S. was the dominant producer of raw materials in the last century, China today controls nearly 100% of global production of rare earth metals.  That’s right, nearly 100%.  [...]
An American company that sells rare earth metals is Colorado-based Molycorp [which has] a mine in California.  Currently, Molycorp sells rare earths on the world market, yet [its] prices are essentially determined by China, which, given the size of its reserves, will always act as the OPEC of rare earths by dictating global prices.  China can at anytime drop prices to pre-2009 levels, effectively putting Molycorp out of business.  [...]
The U.S. environmental movement supports restrictions on mining [but the environmentalists] need to realize this is a Catch-22 that threatens the very future of our country—as they themselves envision it!  They cannot both demand a green technology future and simultaneously stand in the way of mining the raw materials essential to manufacture these products.  Simply not blocking approvals will not be enough; they must actively demand a fresh approach to critical mineral mining.

UPDATE VII (11 January):  see “Abuse of power against anti-windfarm movement” (and the references therefor) at European Platform Against Windfarms:
Mark Duchamp, Executive Director of EPAW, declared that he was respectfully asking UK government Ministers [whether] they intend to investigate and harass other members of the public who oppose the destruction of the British landscape, the killing of protected bird and bat species, and the deterioration of the health of wind farm neighbours.  Mr Watson’s only crime, he said, was to have found legal flaws in the way the UK government's energy policy is being applied.
EPAW claims that wind farms are ineffective, immensely expensive, and destroy jobs in the rest of the economy; that they are also seriously harming human health, resulting in home abandonment, or worse; and finally that they are killing protected wildlife into extinction.  In the circumstances, concludes Duchamp, the 514 associations from 23 countries represented by EPAW would like to know why their members deserve to be investigated and harassed by the authorities, using special powers reserved for criminals and terrorists.
UPDATE VIII (14 January):  the EPAW link above is no longer available, so see Tallbloke’s post thereon.

UPDATE IX (19, April 2013)see “90ft Aberdeenshire turbine felled by wind”, by Alan Shields of The Scotsman:
A 90ft wind turbine has been blown over in Aberdeenshire.
Three blades were found scattered on the ground in a field near Hatton, in Banff and Buchan, after the turbine collapsed.
Local residents yesterday described the turbines as “dangerous” and said it was lucky no-one was walking in the area at the time.
UPDATE X (2, July)see14,000 Abandoned Wind Turbines in the USA
The US has had wind farms since 1981, what the left and the green movement don’t want to talk about regarding windmills is (as usual) the truth.  The truth is: windmills, like solar panels, break down.  And like solar panels, windmills produce less energy before they break down than the energy it took to make them.  That’s the part liberals forget: making windmills and solar panels takes energy, energy from coal, oil, and diesel, energy that extracts and refines raw materials, energy that transports those materials to where they will be re-shaped into finished goods, energy to manufacture those goods.  More energy than those finished windmills and solar panels will ever produce.
There are many hidden truths about the world of wind turbines from the pollution and environmental damage caused in China by manufacturing bird choppers, the blight on people’s lives of noise and the flicker factor and the countless numbers of birds that are killed each year by these blots on the landscape.  The symbol of Green renewable energy, our saviour from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it's too cold or the wind speed is too high.
The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms.  […]
The problem with wind farms when they are abandoned is getting the turbines removed, as usual there are no Green environmentalists to be seen.  The City of Palm Springs was forced to enact an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio.  But California’s Kern County, encompassing the Tehachapi area, has no such law.  Imagine the outraged Green chorus if those turbines were abandoned oil drilling rigs.
The truth is: wind energy is just a tax scam.  Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and environmental issues for the Heritage Foundation, is not surprised.  He asks:
“If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place?  It’s a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end.”
And therein lies a lesson for those who seek to make fortunes out of tax payer subsidies, and for those who want to live in a dream world of “clean energy”, the whole renewables industry of solar, wind and biomass is just an artificial bubble incapable of surviving without subsides from governments and tax payers.  The Green evangelists who push so hard for these wind farms, as usual have not thought the whole idea through.
 UPDATE XI (15 October):

07 December, 2011

Ban Ki-moon Barking at the Moon

Silly Ban Must Ban Debate

Ban Ki-moon screams:  “it’s
difficult to overstate
the vast gravity

of global warming!
We cannot exaggerate
how dangerously

our future’s threatened!
But don’t mention Climategate—
that’s nothing to me.”

“Nations are doooomed, not by loooons like me, but by CO twoooooo!”

One Cause of Alarm

Himalayan ice
melts at a worrying rate:
Indians must flee!

Of fifty thousand
glaciers, say, ten abate—
huge calamity!

Wee samples ever
suffice to extrapolate
a catastrophe.

05 December, 2011

The Power Index Continues to Err

At Eric Beecher’s alethophobic Power Index, the incompetent Matthew Knott continues to produce erroneous articles.  In “The 10 people behind Labor's gay marriage shift”, he describes Rodney Croome as the man who “fronted the successful campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania, which until May 1997 was a criminal offense [sic] punishable by up to 25 years in jail.”
Up until May 1997, when §122 (a) and (c) and §123 were repealed, Sections 122 and 123 of the Tasmanian Criminal Code Act were:
122.  Unnatural crimes
Any person who – 
(a) has sexual intercourse with any person against the order of nature; 
(b) has sexual intercourse with an animal; or 
(c) consents to a male person having sexual intercourse with him or her against the order of nature –
is guilty of a crime.
Charge:  Unnatural sexual intercourse.  [Emphasis added.]

123.  Indecent practices between males
Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any indecent assault upon, or other act of gross indecency with, another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with himself or any other male person, is guilty of a crime.
Charge:  Indecent practice between male persons.
Physical acts—such as proctorychan coition, whether between two men or between two women or even between a man and a woman—were, by the old-fashioned law, illegal; but homosexuality itself was not illegal.  Also, according to the Criminal Code, the maximum punishment for any crime was imprisonment for twenty-one years.

UPDATE (5 June, 2012):  AAP and The Herald Sun make a similar silly error; see “I almost banned lesbian sex, Bob Brown says”:
The 67-year-old’s final speech to the National Press Club in Canberra today was littered [sic] with anecdotes about his political career, which ends in 10 days.
The story that got the most laughs related to his time campaigning for gay rights as a Tasmanian MP in the mid-1980s.
Senator Brown said he expected the then opposition Labor party to move to get rid of section 122 of the criminal code, which proscribed male homosexuality – but it didn’t.

01 December, 2011

Shock “Climate Change” News: Media Bias!

Many journalists, such as those of The Power Index, continue to produce partisan drivel whilst claiming to be able to identify bias.  Matthew Knott, for instance, stupidly asserts:
it’s worth pointing out that six parliamentary and scientific committees into the original ‘climate-gate’ emails found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct on behalf* of the climate scientists involved.
The useless Matthew Knott hasn’t yet ascertained—because, no doubt, the incompetent hack has not bothered to check—that no impartial inquiry has yet been established to investigate whether “climate scientists” ever acted inappropriately.  If Knott actually stopped wanking over pictures of Julia Gillard or the evil stalinist, Jew-hating witch, Lee Rhiannon (or, perhaps, Bob Brown), whilst vacuously accepting what his biassed sources tell him, but instead studied the “Climategate” e-mails, the indolent, ignorant dupe could see for himself clear evidence of dishonesty, fraud and gross misconduct.
Lucy Clark must have spent a busy minute or two mining a methodologically shonky report, A Sceptical Climate: Media coverage of climate change in Australia 2011: Part 1—Climate Change Policy, from Wendy Bacon, a professor of journalism:
An extensive study examining coverage of the carbon tax debate has found that News Limited papers crossed the line from reporting to campaigning.  Sydney’s highest-selling paper, The Daily Telegraph, was most hostile to the policy, with 89% of articles expressing negativity and only 11% being positive about the tax.
Negativity?  Oh no, how dare those naughty media!  On a not dissimilar note, I recently examined some modern reporting on Falangists, Fascists and Nazis, as well as reports detailing convictions of murderers, rapists and arsonists, and was dismayed to discern predominant negativity!  Why wasn’t the ratio of positive to negative stories 50/50?
“Both The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun were so biased in their coverage it is fair to say they campaigned against the policy, rather than covered it,” writes report author Wendy Bacon, a professor of journalism at the Australian Centre of Independent Journalism.
“Many Australians did not receive fair, accurate and impartial reporting in the public interest in relation to the carbon policy in 2011.”
Of course, writing for the Murdoch-hating Power Index, Lucy Clark first noticed that News was sledged:
An extensive study examining coverage of the carbon tax debate has found that News Limited papers crossed the line from reporting to campaigning.
According to Bacon, “The Age was the only newspaper whose coverage was more positive than negative.”  Hang on, isn’t positive coverage as much campaigning as negative coverage?  Let us see more of that report which The Power Index esteems so highly:
There are few media stories in which there is such an obvious public interest as that of climate change.  [p. 3]
Really?  Considering that the climate has always changed, and always will, some may find that assessment puzzling; but we might interpret “climate change” as “the conjecture of anthropogenic global warming” (AGW) which is of some public interest—particularly to those credulous chumps who uncritically accept the notion which activist proponents of catastrophic AGW shout at any opportunity:  that industrial emissions of CO2 are causing all sorts of nasty climatic changes.  The report’s lazy use of the term “climate change” to mean AGW demonstrates the bias of the report because, for the most part, “climate change” is the preferred terminology of propagandists of AGW, of political parties which purport to believe in AGW (sufficiently, at least, to propose “carbon” emission schemes, and the like), and of the gullibly compliant media.
There is no doubt that the subject has been well covered by the media.  [p. 3]
No doubt?  Bacon concludes her report’s Preface by asserting:
the quality of reporting on the critical issue of climate change provides a litmus test in seeking answers to the Inquiry’s terms of reference.  [p. 5]
The main use of litmus is to test whether a solution be acidic or alkaline.  So, in other words, the standard of the reporting on the allegedly pressing matter of anthropogenic global warming constitutes a simple method of determining acidity or alkalinity within the search for answers not to questions but to terms of reference.  That’s clear.  It’s no wonder that she teaches journalism.  Of course, she could test her own skills some time.  (They are, talking of litmus tests, quite base.  Notice, for instance, that Bacon has never quite come to grips with the adequate placing of commas.)
The words used to describe issues influence the way it is discussed [sic—better, surely, would be either “they are” instead of “it is” or “an issue” instead of “issues”, but this comes from a professor of journalism who considers media to be singular].  The carbon emissions reduction policy was originally referred to as the carbon pricing policy, although[,] from the beginning, the Opposition leader Tony Abbott from [sic] referred to it as a ‘tax’.  Under questioning, Prime Minister Julia Gillard agreed on February 24 that the policy would be “effectively like a tax” (7.30 Report, 24 Feb 2011).  [p. 12]
The PM called the “carbon” tax a tax on many previous occasions, most famously when she promised that she would not introduce one, because it is indeed a tax and not a price.  A price is the amount of money (or its equivalent) which must be given in payment for some good or service; a tax is a compulsory contribution to the State, levied on income or profits, or added to the cost of goods or services.  If I had no CO2 and wanted to buy some, I should pay a price therefor; if, however, I already had some CO2 and the government insisted that I owed them a fee for having produced the beneficent gas which is essential for life on Earth, that would be a tax.  Calling a tax on some industrial emissions of CO2 “a price on carbon” is a politically biassed decision; that Wendy Bacon fails (or pretends to fail) to realise this terminological inexactitude is ipso facto partisan demonstrates how lamentably prejudiced she is.  Partisan terminology used by the media to describe issues, I’m led to believe, will influence the way those issues are then discussed by the public.
Bacon also ignores how much “climate change” and “global warming” are omnipresent notions throughout the media.  One can hardly watch a documentary on SBS, for example, or even a sports or cooking show, without hearing off-hand remarks which are predicated on the silly assumption that catastrophic AGW is definitely proven.  She also ignores the pictures which can severally convey a thousand words of propaganda.  Even articles unrelated to “climate change” can, with a doctored or misleading picture or two—of dark, foreboding steam, say, from looming, sinister cooling towers—indoctrinate the scaremongering of the awarmists.
Negative arguments against the policy were strongly focused on the impact of the policy on the Australian economy.  [p.13]
It is amazing how some assessments of a tax (which would do nothing for the environment—based on the admissions from the Government’s own ministers and the incompetent Climate Commissioner—but would instead lead to increased costs of goods and services) concentrated not on the non-existing virtues of the tax but on rational forecasts of consequent economic damage!
Fairfax newspapers did not publish any opinion articles by climate sceptics about climate policy, [sic] during this period.  [p. 16]
That’s a good thing?  Also, what exactly is a climate sceptic?
Promoting sources with vested interests without testing them [sic] against credible sources provides opportunities for misinformation and scare campaigns.  [p. 19]
That sentence could be intended to mean, I suppose:  “Relying on claims from sources with vested interests in any complex, controversial issue, without testing the accuracy of such claims, could help promulgate misinformation and even assist in partisan propaganda campaigns which willfully foster unjustified fears.”  How much effort, then, we may well wonder, has the semi-literate Bacon applied to testing (perhaps with litmus paper) the sources of all those farfetched claims that slightly more atmospheric CO2 might calamitously alter the world’s overall climate any day now?  Within Australia, after all, much misinformation and fear-mongering propaganda recently came from the Australian Greens, and their minions, as well as the most incompetent federal Government in history, passed on by those supercilious lap-poodles, the Canberra press.  Just because moronic ministers such as Sen. Wong constantly claim that the opposition is running a scare campaign—in between her usual emesis of more poppycock about rising seas and flooded lands and deadly warmth and apocalyptic coolth and the supposed consensus of the world’s most fraudulent pseudo-scientists—does not make it true.  Remember, during the last federal election campaign, when the Treasurer, the Hon. Wayne Swan, accused the Leader of the Opposition of making “hysterical allegations” after the latter claimed, correctly, that the Gillard Government would introduce a “carbon” tax?  Remember when the late Robyn Williams predicted that seas would rise by over one hundred metres?  Remember when the very silly Tim Flannery foresaw that Adelaide would run out of water by 2009? Remember when Bob Brown asseverated that Australia was in permanent drought?  The proctoleichous Wendy Bacon, that half-smoked, useless, inexpert, unprofessional, galegnathous, ham-fisted toady, cannot spot misinformation or fear-mongering when promulgated by those whose politics she supports; she notices alleged misinformation or purported scare campaigns only when supposedly coming from those whom she already despises.
Meanwhile, the ABC (whilst steadfastly refusing to mention the “Climategate e-mails) continues to warn us that climate change will doom us all... 

UPDATE I:  seeGillard EXPO-ed!”, by Michael Kile, at Quadrant Online:
Less than twenty-four hours after the government’s Clean Energy Legislative Package was passed by the Senate just after midday on the 8th November, the prime minister celebrated her Year of Decision and Delivery with a victory speech to the Carbon Expo Australasia 2011 conference.
It was, the PM said, an historic day; a day on which “the federal parliament landed our nation on the right side of history.”  Carbon (dioxide) pricing will be the magic key that unlocks the door to the nation’s “clean energy future”.  There had been, however, some bumps along the way.  [...]
The PM understood why many Australians were anxious about the government’s legislated carbon (dioxide) price. The other side’s fear-mongering on the issue was sickening.  They were full of “rash, irresponsible talk”.  “Their sole intention is to cause damage by corroding certainty and seeing investment deferred.” Her fear-mongering, however, was in a different class.  It had an apocalyptic dimension.  So she was not going to sit back and accept the slings and arrows of our outrageous climate without a fight.  [...]
The other side, the PM stressed, was guilty of “distortion of facts and the trashing of science”.  It was “playing to short-term political advantage to the detriment of the national interest.”  In its “bizarre parallel universe”, there was “juvenile talk of repeal and promises etched in blood, with fingers firmly crossed behind their backs as they are made.”
In her side’s parallel universe, the PM’s favourite planet, Hyperbole, revolves precariously on the edge of a black hole of scepticism.  Here, she said, there was reason, creativity and innovation.  Here was the “ability to see solutions where once there were only problems”.  Here, there was no distortion of facts, no trashing of science, no contradictions, no obfuscation—and no Climategate 1 & 2 emails [...]. Here the ruling elite had mastered the knowledge (or so it said) to engineer a “stable” climate, one (like Goldilocks’s porridge) just right for the planet’s inhabitants.
UPDATE II (2 December):  meanwhile, according to Malcolm Holland of The Daily Telegraph:
Senior bureaucrats in the state government’s environment department have routinely stopped publishing scientific papers which challenge the federal government’s claims of sea level rises threatening Australia’s coastline, a former senior public servant said yesterday.
UPDATE III (2 December)from Bishop Hill, quoting the awarmist BBC, comes another example of excellence in both climate science and reporting:
The drought that has affected parts of England since June will last into next summer if there is insufficient winter rain, the Environment Agency has said.
UPDATE IV (2 December)do listen here to Marc Morano of Climate Depot chatting “about the latest from the world of crimatology” on The Corbett Report.CO2

UPDATE V (2 December)from The Washington Post’s editorial (of 29 November), “A climate of fraud”:
The latest release of 5,000 emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) reconfirms what the 2009’s “Climategate” files established:  Global warming is more fiction than science.  [...]
Warmists dismiss the leaked emails or complain they have been taken out of contextNot so.  Collectively, the emails provide evidence of various crimes against the scientific method, such as concealed or destroyed source data, selective measurement, predetermined conclusions, hidden funding sources and bowing to government influence.  They knew they were doing wrong and sought to hide the evidence.  “One way to cover yourself,” wrote professor Phil Jones, head of the CRU, “would be to delete all emails at the end of the process.  Hard to do, as not everybody will remember to do it.”  Fortunately for science, Mr. Jones was, for once, correct.
UPDATE VI (2 December)see Andrew Bolt’s “Bacon fried on warming coverage”.

UPDATE VII (3 December):  Gavin Atkins also examines Bacon’s self-supposed fairness in “How independent is the Centre for Independent Journalism?”.

UPDATE VIII (5 December)see Tim Blair’s “Spendy Wendy”:
For whatever reason, Bacon and her team of researchers—some thirteen or so were involved in compiling the report—decline to dwell on the government’s obvious reversal of policy.  Dishonest government is evidently less important to academics than is criticism of that government.
Some of the basic assumptions in Bacon’s report are intriguing.  “Climate change has been a hot topic in the Australian media for several years,” she writes, “not so much because it threatens the planet but because of the tense political struggle over how the Australian government should respond.”
So the planet itself is threatened.  Not just low-lying island populations or coast-dwelling Australians or poley bears, but the earth itself.  Note that Bacon implies doubt over the Prime Minister’s carbon tax promise, but exaggerates climate change concerns to the point that the planet may cease to be.  The joint may have survived for 4.6 billion years, but a couple of degrees of temperature change are going to blast it out of space.
UPDATE IX (5 December)the ABC has, at last, graciously condescended to permit mention of the recently released Climategate II e-mails in “Leaked emails confirm climate change questions”:
A Newcastle University professor, whose research questions the science behind climate change says he feels vindicated by recent leaked emails from an international expert on the subject.
Stewart Franks says there is no evidence that carbon dioxide drives global warming and he blames the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for scaring people about a future climate catastrophe.
For the past decade Professor Franks has focussed his research on natural variability in climate as being the driver of extreme droughts and rain events, rather that CO2 emissions.
He says the emails from Kevin Trenberth from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, show fundamental flaws in their methodology, but the public is being kept in the dark.
Professor Franks says he believes the emails support his own argument that natural variability is responsible for warming.
“Now I’ve been criticised for talking about these modes that we’ve barely beginning to understand as somehow being some kind of a denier of climate change or a pure contrarian,” he said.
“But it is really heartening to see that these scientists actually acknowledge [sic] and in fact one scientist went as far as to say ‘What if all the warming we actually see is just natural multi-decadal variability?’
“He then said, ‘They’ll probably kill us’.
“I think we do need an independent and judicial review of the evidence both for and against the likelihood of climate change beyond naturally catastrophic climate variability.
“I must say the IPCC is far too sullied by the leaks and some of the shenanigans that the emails show have be going on.
“It is now too sullied to be credible.”
UPDATE X (6 December):  you might notice that Wendy Bacon just loves to determine the hydrogen ion concentration of media:  in “Coverage of phone hacking scandal – a litmus test for News Ltd”, back in July, she was finding problems with News Ltd because, though linked to Fairfax and the ABC, and a grovelling apologist for the Gillard government, she’s so independent:
This week, Jenna Price and I published a small Australian Centre for Independent Journalism study on the coverage of the phone hacking scandal in Australia on The Conversation [sic] a new publishing venture from the Australian university and research sector.  [...]
It was great to see our story taken up by ABC site, The Drum.
The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, by the way, according to its website:
works with reporters and associates who are interested in producing journalism that reveals the complex, multi-faceted nature of Australian society, and its position as a Pacific Rim nation, in an independent and critical fashion.
If it were not for such independent journalism, I’d never have known that Australian society (or, perhaps, journalism) has a position as a Pacific Rim nation.

UPDATE XI (6 December)for $1,490 (or only $1,140 for some), you too can be taught how to make a mess of punctuation or how to spell subeditor as two unhyphenated words; but, judging from the spiel, you’ll not learn how to avoid contempt:
Learn to select appropriate stories for your readership; write strong headlines and captions; edit with authority for different readerships and capture attention with attractive page layout and design.
This course covers the fundamentals of sub-editing, proofreading, layout and design for print publications.  Topics covered include understanding your readers, story selection, copy editing news and feature stories, writing headlines and captions, marking copy, proofreading and avoiding defamation and contempt.  Basic concepts of page layout and design using industry standard InDesign will also be covered.
People who edit articles, put together newsletters or magazines and/or need to learn about the role of a sub editor will benefit from attending.  People who would like to become freelance sub editors would also benefit.

UPDATE XII (8 December):  for an account of the BBC’s egregious bias, see Christopher Booker’s “BBC’s bias on global warming: An inconvenient truth on climate change:
In 2009, the BBC’s journalists could scarcely hide their dismay at the collapse of the UN’s great Copenhagen climate conference, which planned to cut the world’s ‘carbon emissions’ to such an extent it would have landed mankind with the biggest bill in history, at an estimated cost of hundreds of trillions of pounds.
They tried to brush aside the huge embarrassment of the so-called ‘Climategate’ row in 2009 when hundreds of emails from the Climate Research Unit in Norwich were posted online and which revealed how some of the top scientists had been fiddling their data.
They downplayed scandals erupting round the IPCC when it was revealed that many of its more alarming predictions had not been based on proper science at all, but only on scare stories dreamed up by environmental lobby groups.
Then, last summer, in a bid to justify its conduct, the BBC Trust commissioned one of the Corporation’s regular contributors, the geneticist Professor Steve Jones, to review its science coverage, notably on climate change. Professor Jones made the astonishing claim that the only problem with the coverage of climate change was not that it was too biased, but that it wasn’t biased enough.
All this is why I am far from alone in concluding that the BBC’s coverage has, on this key issue of our time, gone hopelessly off the rails.  The Corporation has been guilty of three separate betrayals.
By making its coverage so flagrantly one-sided on the environment issue, it has betrayed its statutory duty to report on world events impartially.
Second, it has betrayed the basic principles of science by giving such unquestioning support to a theory which the evidence has increasingly called into doubt.
Above all, however, the BBC has betrayed the trust of its audience, by failing to give a fair and balanced picture. 

*  on the other hand, Knott’s use of the words “on behalf of the climate scientists involved” (instead of, say, “on the part of the climate scientists involved”) might not be accidentally incompetent writing but intentional satire—knowing that the obtuse editors of The Power Index would never notice sceptical ridicule.  After all, the alleged inquiries, conducted in order to exculpate the pseudo-scientists and not to ascertain the truth of how widespread corruption is within the small world of those criminals, could be fairly said to have been held in their interest, “on behalf of the climate scientists”.