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The Parents’ Jury, whoever the heck they are, take a shot at McDonalds in dishing out their inaugural Fame and Shame Awards.

McDonalds won the Techno Hack category for their Maths Online programme – a free (and very good) online maths tuition available at no charge to every Australian teacher and student. Well, we certainly don’t want businesses providing high quality educational resources to just anyone, now do we?

McDonalds won the Pester Power award for Happy Meal ads which showed kids actually, you know, being happy and active and stuff. Well, we certainly don’t want businesses encouraging children to be happy and active, now do we?

McDonalds won the Bad Sport category for its sponsorship of Little Athletics. Darn those McDonalds restaurants for encouraging children to participate in athletics. What devious plans will they come up with next?

I assume that all this vitriol is based on the idea that McDonalds sells unhealthy food and therefore anything they do is evil.

But there are all sorts of healthy choices at McDonalds, which is also one of Australia’s leading employers of young people.

The Parents Jury (which seems to have no idea of the proper use of apostrophes) needs to get a life.

So there must be a global climate crisis.

That’s the argument of the Labor nitwits trying to foist on the nation what is almost certainly the worst piece of legislation in Australia’s history, the ‘Destroy Our Economy And Cause Massive Unemployment Because We Have To Follow The Latest Lunatic Media Scare Scheme,’ or ETS for short.

Boys and girls, two weeks of warm weather in Australia, or two weeks of any sort of weather anywhere, do not amount to a global climate anything.

It isn’t warm everywhere.

Meanwhile, for those who still claim no reputable scientists doubt AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming), and there is no peer reviewed research which questions AGW, here is a list of 450 such peer reviewed journal articles:

450 Peer Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of Man-Made Global Warming

via Watts Up With That

A clear and well-written article titled Ideology and Money Drive Global Warming Religion by physicist and engineer Andrew Kenny, in South Africa’s Business Day (which, incidentally, reports unseasonable cold weather).

I don’t usually simply copy and paste whole articles, but this is such a good summary of some of the problems with global warming alarmism that it is worth reading in its entirety:

LESS than a month before the Climate Conference in Copenhagen there is fierce competition to see who can produce the most absurd global warming scare. Hence the hysterical warnings of disappearing ice caps and temperatures rising 2°C. The winner must be President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, who held a cabinet meeting underwater to warn about rising sea levels.

In reality, the Maldive Islands are not threatened. Dr Nils-Axel Mörner, a world expert, points out that sea levels there are now lower than they were in 1970. Like other climate horror stories, it is nonsense.

From about 1850 to now, carbon dioxide (CO² ) ) in the air has risen from about 280ppm (parts per million) to 390ppm. Global temperatures have also risen modestly — about 0,6°C in the 20th century. This is the flimsy basis of the scare that rising CO² is causing harmful global warming. Overwhelming scientific evidence shows it is not.

CO² is not a pollutant. It is a harmless, life- giving gas on which green plants depend. Over the past half-billion years, CO² levels have averaged more than 2000ppm. Present levels are low, way below optimum for green plants. CO² has never been seen to affect temperatures (although they affect it, as cooling oceans dissolve more of it). It is a feeble greenhouse gas (by far the most important is water vapour) and its only significant absorption band is already saturated.

The climate is always changing. From about 900 to 1200 was the worldwide Mediaeval Warm Period, when temperatures were rather higher than now. This is confirmed by hundreds of scientific studies and historical record. It saw booming agriculture, good health and great advances in Europe, and a doubling of the Chinese population. The Vikings colonised Greenland and grew crops, where it is now too cold.

Then temperatures dropped to the Little Ice Age from about 1400 to 1850. The Thames used to freeze over. The Vikings abandoned Greenland. It was a time of crop failures and ill health. In the bitter cold of Shakespeare’s time, malaria (known as the ague) decimated the European population.

Since about 1850, temperatures have been rising in a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age. They peaked in 1998. All the years of the 21st century have been cooler.

What causes these ups and downs? Certainly not CO² . . Mounting evidence points to the sun. There are variations in the sun’s emission of charged particles, known as “the solar wind”. Sunspots give a measure of this. There was high solar activity in the Mediaeval Warm Period and the 20th century, and low activity in the Little Ice Age. In the coldest period, or Maunder Minimum (1645- 1715), there were no sunspots at all.

Clouds are the most important determinant of the climate on earth, especially low clouds (cumulus), which cause cooling by reflecting away sunlight. A theory, developed by physicist Henrik Svensmark, is that cosmic rays from outside our solar system induce clouds by providing sites for droplet condensation. The solar wind wards off the cosmic rays. The more active the sun, the fewer cosmic rays, the fewer low clouds, and the warmer the earth.

Science says that the present climate change is natural. But a great international clamour, from politicians, activists, journalists and academics, cries out that it is caused by wicked mankind. Why? There are two reasons: ideology and money.

Climate alarm is the new religion of the rich. In the climate religion, the sin is industrialisation and damnation is the over- heating of the planet. Redemption lies in forsaking fossil fuels and returning to a simpler, purer life.

Climate alarm is also an international multibillion-dollar business, providing jobs, careers, funding, travel and conferences to a multitude. Any questioning of the alarm threatens their livelihoods. The more alarm, the more funding they get and the more secure their jobs.

The high church of global warming is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is funded by governments to promote the belief that mankind is changing the climate dangerously. Its “technical summaries” select evidence for global warming and reject counter-evidence. Its “summaries for policy makers”, couched in scientific language, are expressions of dogma, telling the faithful what to believe.

In 2001, the IPCC was guilty of one of the worst travesties of science. The Mediaeval Warm Period was a huge embarrassment for the warmers. So they set out to eliminate it. In its third assessment report of 2001, the IPCC brandished before the world the infamous Hockey Stick curve. This graph showed temperatures in the northern hemisphere steady from 1000 to 1900 (like the handle of a hockey stick) and then suddenly shooting up to unparalleled highs (like the blade), so that the end of the 20th century was the warmest period of the past thousand years. The hateful Mediaeval Warm Period had been abolished.

After facing much prevarication and obstruction, two mathematical experts, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, finally managed to get hold of the data and methods on which the Hockey Stick was based, and swiftly showed it was nonsense. It relied on bad data, wrong selection and contrived statistical methods. Using proper data and methods, the Hockey Stick disappeared and the Mediaeval Warm Period reappeared.

Still trying to rewrite climate history, an IPCC insider group produced new Hockey Stick curves, which depended on the work of British scientist Keith Briffa. McIntyre asked to see Briffa’s data. Briffa refused, and scientific journals in which his papers were published backed his refusal. Such is the perversion of science under climate change. A few months ago, McIntyre got the data, and found the same nonsense.

Current computer climate models are useless for prediction. This is because we do not understand many climate mechanisms and modellers deliberately use assumptions to get the result they want: global warming.

An example is climate feedback. Standard methods of radiant heat transfer give you a temperature rise of 1°C as a direct result of CO² doubling. However, there will be “feedback”. The modellers assume “positive feedback”, which amplifies change.

But all the evidence is for “negative feedback”, which counters the change (for example, by more evaporation and more cooling clouds). Prof Richard Lindzen of MIT reckons negative feedback makes CO² insignificant. Predictions of temperatures rising 2°C or more have no scientific basis. The only consequence of rising CO² will be that crops and forests grow better.

The sun became ominously quiet recently. Global temperatures have been falling since about 2004 (contrary to climate model predictions). The Antarctic has been getting colder and its ice growing since 1978, when satellite measurements began. The Arctic is now colder than it was in 1940; in recent years its ice extent decreased until 2007, and is now increasing again. All of this information, including satellite measurements, the most accurate we have, is freely available.

Politicians and activists will converge on Copenhagen next month looking for more control over our lives and more money. They will urge governments to damage their economies by restricting the use of fossil fuels. The greater their failure, the better it will be for the world.

Interesting that the comments, mostly from warming collaborators, attack (as usual) the man and not the arguments. Not one referenced counter-point is made to any of Kenny’s arguments.

Thousands of examples to choose from, but this MSNBC headline caught my eye today:

Teen suffers rare illness after swine flu shot – Boy diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, but CDC says no clear link.

The headline suggests the CDC thinks there might be a link, just not a clear one. Or they just don’t want to admit there is a link. Or something.

Actually, the CDC and other medical scientists say there is no link, for the very good reason that there is no link.

Many journalists are people of courage and integrity, who genuinely want to make a difference to the world by telling the truth, and thereby helping to find real solutions to real problems.

Then there are people like John Pilger and Michael Moore, who get awards and money for a career of spectacular distortions.

Somewhere in between are journalists like MSNBC medical reporter JoNel Aleccia, who can get a good headline, and either don’t think or don’t care about the impact of what they write.

JoNel’s story will make parents think the H1N1 vaccine is dangerous. Some children will not be vaccinated who otherwise would have been. Some of those children may become seriously ill when that illness could have been avoided. Some may die.

This article Nerve Disease from H1N1 Vaccine from cheap and nasty ‘news’ site examiner.com is even worse.

One thing following another does not mean the two are connected. The rooster crowing does not cause the sun to rise.

This Telegraph article – People will die after swine flu vaccine – but it’s just coincidence – explains how that coincidence works:

Dr Steven Black and colleagues calculated that if 10 million people in Britain were vaccinated, around 22 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome and six cases of sudden death would be expected to occur within six weeks of vaccination as coincident background cases.

In other words, the same number of people would have been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome or suffered sudden death whether they had been vaccinated or not – they just wouldn’t have the vaccination to blame it on.

.. research also suggested that 397 per one million vaccinated pregnant women would be predicted to have a spontaneous abortion within one day of vaccination.

But this is the rate of spontaneous abortion that would occur on any given day out of a group of one million pregnant women during a vaccination campaign or not.

As the article points out, a headline reading ‘Man wins lottery after swine flu jab’ would make just as much sense as the MSNBC headline.

Britain’s new high commissioner, Baroness Valerie Amos, has expressed surprise that Australians are still debating whether humans cause climate change and says other nations have long since ”moved on”.

Not only have we stopped thinking, she says, but you should stop thinking too.

Maybe political leaders in other countries believe thoughtful examination of the evidence is an unneccessary inconvenience, but polls show most ordinary people, and most scientists, disagree.

Politicians who allow the media to drag them along by their snouts should not be surprised when their constituents demand an explanation for the billions of wasted dollars, the lost jobs, the suppression of industry and employment, for a scare with as much substance as the Jupiter Effect.

News yesterday that an Israeli judge refused to sentence an Arab teenager to jail for throwing stones at a police car.

The judge disqualified the youth from driving for two years, ordered that he pay approximately $1300 in damages, and sentenced him to 200 hours of community service.

The judge refused the jail time requested by the prosecution because he said he believed there was a double standard in the way Arab and Jewish youths would have been treated by police in the same situation.

I am not in a position to know whether this is true or not, whether it is fair to the police concerned, or whether Jewish youths throwing stones at Israeli police cars is a major problem.

But ask yourself this:

Is there any Arab country in which a young Jew throwing stones at state offcials and property would be released because the court found that that his arrest was probably a result of anti-semitism and double standards in law enforcement?

I have many years experience using partition management software. I have four MCTS qualifications, am an MCITP and an A+Certified IT Technician.

I frequently have clients who want disk partitions copied, extended, etc.

I have used Paragon software before with good results. Or at least, without major disasters.

I recently upgraded to the latest version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager. The disasters began immediately.

Moving partitions is always risky. I always save or image user data before any partition operations. About one out every four times the operation will fail, because of file errors, or a full moon, or the day of the week having a ‘y’ in it, or whatever. It is never a problem, because I always make a complete back up of target disks beforehand.

The first time I used the new Paragon Hard Disk Manager the operation failed. No problem, I thought. A minor inconvenience at most.

Until I tried to restart my computer. I got a message saying there were interrupted operations, and I should insert my recovery CD.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager had no business making any changes to my C: drive at all – that was not one of the drives I was operating on – let alone making changes to critical boot files or records.

No recovery CD would let me restart Windows, nor could the repair utility on the Windows CD get the system working.

Now I had a problem, because the user’s data was no longer accessible from his drive, and my C: drive, where I had saved his disk image, was also inaccessible.

I recovered my and my user’s data from the disk, reinstalled Windows, and tried again. Same problem – the partition operation failed. Windows would not start. Same error message.

I had just upgraded to Windows 7, and thought perhaps there might be an incompatibility, though there was nothing to suggest this on Paragon’s website.

I wiped the disk, went back to Vista Business, and tried again, ths time with a different partition operation on a different disk. Exactly the same result. The operation failed, and Windows would not restart, even though there was no reason for Partition Manager to have made any changes to my primary drive at all.

This is a dog’s breakfast of a programme. There is no excuse for releasing to market a piece of software that repeatedly causes such disastrous disk and sytem errors.

Until Paragon fix this, anyone who uses Hard Disk Manager is at serious risk, not only of wasting several hours of time, as I did, but of losing any or all information from their hard disks.

You could quibble about the headline.

By tough love, the ABC reporter means parents setting boundaries and sticking to them. Children don’t seem to be smarter, just more resilient, more confident, more capable. And setting consistent rules is raising children, not breeding them.

But it is an interesting story.

9,000 families were studied over eight years.

Children treated with warmth, and given clear consistent guidelines, followed up by clear, consistent discipline, were much better at developing life skills including self-control and empathy.

Before you start thinking that this is as much of a headline as Britney’s lip-synching, let me tell you what I think is interesting.

The study claims that clear rules and firm discipline are more important to a child’s self-esteem and future success than any other factor, including household wealth, single or both parents, etc.

But it also notes that discipline is likely to be firmer and more consistent in families with average or better income, and in families where both parents are involved in raising children.

Why might this be?

Raising children is emotionally exhausting. Children are hungry, energetic, rude, thoughtless, constantly testing the boundaries. It is often tempting to give in. Having a loving and supportive partner makes it easier to say no, to stay in charge and in control.

But why should a good income make it easier? The answer, I think, is that it is not the income that makes it easier, but the skills and self-discipline that are the usual pre-requisites to earning a good income.

If you are capable of saying no to yourself, capable of making sacrifices, capable of managing your time, and see the value of work and study, you are more likely to take the harder road of firm, fair discipline in raising your children.

Teacher friends have frequently confirmed this, telling me it is generally (but not always, obviously!) the children from two parent families on reasonable incomes who are more considerate, more creative, better workers, with more confidence in themselves and the world, and consequently more chance to succeed.

But if all of that is true, and I think it is, how do we in Australia begin to address the huge problems facing young people from groups where confidence in the world around, and consistent, positive, active parenting have been lost?

There has been a lot about the Fort Hood shooting on news sites and blogs.

I haven’t commented till now, because I really hoped that the fact that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was a muslim was irrelevant to his murder of  thirteen of his fellows.

I was wrong.

Malik shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he shot his friends and colleagues.

He had previously told other army doctors that unbelievers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats.

Why was nothing said or done? ‘One Army doctor who knew him said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim soldier had stopped fellow officers from filing formal complaints.’

Even in the aftermath of the shooting, official opinion seems to be that what we really need to be concerned about now is an army/community backlash against muslims.

Jeffrey Goldberg comments on a number of media stories which either do not mention Malik’s beliefs, or claim they were irrelevant.

Meanwhile, other US muslims rejoice in this latest victory against the infidel.  “This took place in the belly of the beast…  This was a military target… ”

This is scary.

A referendum in the US state of Maine has rejected homosexual marriage.

There are five states in the US in which homosexual couples’ co-habitation can legally become a marriage. In the majority of those, the necessary changes to the law have been a result of court decisions.

Wherever the people have had a say, the answer has been no.

California and Maine were probably the best chance to get the nature of marriage changed by a popular vote. There is intense disappointment and anger amongst gay lobbyists at the Maine vote.

Does this mean that the majority of people in the US are anti-gay? I don’t think so.

The best man at my wedding, one of my best friends, is gay. One of my brothers is gay, as is my brother in law. I love them dearly, and want them to have stable, long lasting relationships in which they can find security and happiness.

But those relationships are not, and cannot be, a marriage. Marriage is between male and female.

That’s it. That is the way it is.

The word itself does not matter. You could have a law which decrees that homosexuals are entitled to be ‘married.’ The law could define any relationship in which two or whatever number of people of whatever gender who have made a public commitment to one another, as a marriage.

But then you would need to find, and people would find, another word for real marriages.

Because they simply are different, and changing the word won’t change the reality, whatever Wittgenstein may say.

A twelve year old girl has given birth to a baby boy after having become pregnant to her fifteen year old live -in boy friend.

Live in boyfriend? Yes. The girl lives with her mother, who was apparently unconcerned by the ongoing statutory rape/molestation of her daughter.

The girl’s father was concerned, and repeatedly asked DOCS to intervene. Nope. Too busy. And anyway, he was only her father.

What is most alarming about this is not just another appalling mess which DOCS was too ideologically blinded or too lazy to address, but the comments from DOCS minister Linda Burney which make it clear that nothing will change:

“I’m treating this very much as a private matter… the role of community services is to make sure that the young girl and her baby and her mother are getting all the support that they need.”

Actually DOCS has another role, which includes acting on complaints of child sexual abuse, and taking steps to ensure children are not repeatedly raped in their own homes.

And the girl’s mother? How much can her care be relied on to ensure this new baby’s safety and well-being?

The more hope fades, the happier I will be.

Alas for the alarmists, ‘dark clouds are gathering over Copnhagen’ despite an apparent majority of political leaders being committed to ‘take action to tackle the threat of climate change.’

I feel more threatened by their idiotic plans to spend vast sums of money to tell the weather it is not allowed to change.

Dr Marty Herzberg has written a brief overview of the nonscience of ‘global warming science’. That link will download the article in Word format.

Number one point (in my view) – the absurdity of calling CO2, the basis of photo-synthesis, and therefore of all plant and animal life on Earth, a pollutant. 

Dr Herzberg notes that the science is very thin indeed to be the basis of such far-reaching and expensive policy decisions. So why are such policies being implemented? Who benefits?

Viv Forbes at the Carbon Sense Coalition suggests the answer is not hard to find – huge amounts of money have been spent on global warming research and bureaucracy, and if the ETS or RAT scheme is implemented, more vast amounts of money will be made.

All at the expense of ordinary tax-payers, of course.

A long haired Australian removed a shoe and lobbed it at former Prime Minister John Howard at Cambridge University last Friday. Mr Howard was speaking on Leadership in the Twenty-first Century.

This from the ABC News website:

Jonathan Laurence, who organised the event as the president-elect of the Cambridge Union, said he found the incident quite surprising because shoe-thrower made his move at the start of the talk.

He described the man as a “long-haired Australian” who shouted at Mr Howard, telling him to go home and accusing him of being a racist.

“John Howard said I am not racist and I’m going home on Tuesday,” Mr Laurence said.

“There was a pause, and then he got up and tried to throw a shoe but it was the weakest throw in the world.”

“I mean it shows why you lot lost the Ashes, if you don’t mind me saying.”

Speaking to ABC Radio’s Red Symonds, Mr Laurence said Mr Howard had not said anything to prompt the outburst and he continued the speech with “good grace”.

“The best part of the story is that the person who threw the shoe then later got one of his friends to ask for it back. You know, he couldn’t even walk home with one shoe,” he said.

“He just left immediately afterwards.”

What a loser. And I don’t mean Howard.

Absolutely tasteless, but beautifully done and hilarious, the real Australia:

Well, no more tasteless than that other Australian tourism promotion.

Interesting figures here from the Pew Research Center on declining faith in the religion of global warming apocalyptic, with only 36% of those surveyed agreeing there is good evidence the world is warming because of human activity.

As Watts Up With That notes, this is about the same as the number of people who believe in haunted houses. Pity they weren’t asked the two questions at the same time – I’d be interested to see the extent of overlap.

And you might like to visit the UK Science Museum’s website to make it clear you want to be ‘counted out’ of efforts to convince the government to sacrifice jobs and industry while implementing polcies which will not change climate by one tenth of one degree, and to sign up to the Copenhagen treaty.

So far, despite the museum’s manipulative wording to try to get people to agree the science is settled, 6070 so far want to be counted out, compared with 967 wanting to be counted in.

I hope the government is listening.

Update:

As at Monday 9th November, the realists are still ahead on the museum’s vote, but the haunted house crowd are catching up. Rationalists please go and vote!

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