Thursday, January 23, 2014

Global warming deniers lose court battle but leave taxpayers with the bill

Here's a nice, sober outline of how the international conspiracy against climate science operates. While the denialists lost their court case in New Zealand, they have successfully cast doubt on good science, wasted the time of parliament, scientists and the courts, and left taxpayers with the legal bill after liquidating the 'charitable trust' that appears to have had no function but to run this case.

As usual on The Conversation site, the comments add a lot more to the story (including the usual trolling by a climate 'sceptic').

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Latest 'coward's punch' triggers more moral panic about Kings Cross

Sean McNeil, charged with the murder of Daniel Christie.
Sadly another young life has been ended by a violent thug king-hitting innocents in the street. Daniel Christie was attacked in Kings Cross on New Year's Eve and later died in hospital. Shaun McNeil, a self-described 'mixed martial arts expert', has been charged. Bizarrely, photos show has the name of his victim tattooed on his arm (while apparently sculling Bundy rum, the one said to contain "a bushfire and a bashing in every bottle").

Predictably the anti-Kings Cross hordes (most of them from elsewhere) have spun into loud chorus blaming venues and the AHA, and calling for lockouts, earlier closing of pubs and application of the Newcastle 'solution' to Kings Cross.

The facts, however, throw a few wet blankets over the moral panic.

The attack happened at 9pm. How would earlier closing have helped in this case? Do the anti-venue crowd propose 8pm closing?

Meanwhile violence rates in Kings Cross venues have dropped by about a third (a similar rate to that of Newcastle after the lockout regime) since the similar manslaughter of Thomas Kelly - which happened at almost the same spot and at 10 pm - also nothing to do with late-night venues.

And the "coward's punch" has been used to deadly effect in other places besides Kings Cross. Strangely the anti-Cross brigade do not raise a hue-and-cry in these cases.

So, what's the bet that Shaun McNeil is a Rugby League fan, like other recent king-hit killers? When is macho footy culture going to be dragged into this debate? That sacred cow is where the real problem lies.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Best drug scare stories of 2013

Here's a neat roundup of the latest crop of blatant bullshit the media publishes about illicit drugs - and some examples of prohibitionists picking up the bullshit they themselves create to back their fallacious arguments. One example: Police try to convict a man of murder because his girlfriend died after he gave her an acid trip. Shock, horror, scary, eh? Heard that one before?

The real story turned out to be somewhat different, however. Click the link above to find out what really happened.