JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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How not to do journalism

IMAGE: The Age SatireIMAGE: The Sydney Morning Herald Satire
Watch the whitewash– so white it’s Green. The Peter Spencer story has finally broken into the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Two “journalists” paired up to put together almost identical stories as a joint effort, and do their best to add doubt and smear to every part of the Spencer story. It’s a text book case in PR. These two journalists might make passable press secretaries for a Labor government. (Which is a well worn career path).

The big-picture situation, where farmers are asking for $10 billion in compensation for land that was stolen from them, was turned into a story about how the Coalition might be split by a guy on a hunger-strike over land-clearing laws. In reality Peter Spencer could drive one heck of a wedge into the Labor Party, who paint themselves as “helping the little guy” and simultaneously claim they are good economic managers. The Labor government can’t find $10 billion easily anymore, but less than a year ago they gave out $42 billion fairly randomly as a supposedly “clever” economic policy and another $43 billion to get into the broadband business.

Here’s how these major dailies “carried” the story:
The Age’s version

Farmers rally for hunger striker

DAN HARRISON AND BEN CUBBY

and
The Sydney Morning Herald’s.

Hunger strike drives further wedge into Coalition

DAN HARRISON AND BEN CUBBY

They only have 600 words, and Peter Spencer’s story is about mass long-term government ineptitude or deep corruption, so you’d think a good journalist (or two) would be careful to focus fast and hard on what matters. The reporters are there to serve their readers. Right?

But these journalists don’t even bother to state the starving man’s aims correctly. Nowhere has Spencer claimed he just “wants to highlight NSW laws that prevent him from clearing vegetation on his land.”  He wants compensation for unjust, anti-constitutional laws and a royal commission. But if you are a farmer who has lost income, your livelihood or your farm due to land-clearing laws, don’t expect to read that someone is protesting on your behalf in either of these two mast-heads. Instead you might read about infighting in the Coalition. Are you feeling informed?

Then they find someone who set up the flawed legislation. He’s allowed to speak in defense of his work, and to attack the supporters of Spencer, and then pointedly is not asked any awkward questions.

Senator Heffernan, a member of the Howard government when the land-use laws were introduced a decade ago to help meet emissions reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, has criticised Mr Spencer’s supporters for not doing more to end his hunger strike.

Finally Cubby and Harrison resort to launching a series of clumsy ad hominem smears, but they haven’t done much research on Peter Spencer and didn’t bother to interview him, so they can’t smear him. Instead they attack a few of his supporters. Try and imagine how any laws of logic and reason or any sense of proportion could justify spending 13% of their small article attacking a not very widely known blogger who happens to be connected to the story only because she has written three posts on the topic.

That’s right, last night I pointed out how readers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald would have no idea of this story, and today I’ve got a named mention in both The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. I’m beginning to feel more powerful every day. These so called journalists could have written about the constitutional legalities, or the 200 days Spencer says he has spent struggling within our legal system, or the fact that the Sheriff has a warrant to reclaim Spencer’s home, or that more than 80% of his farm was expropriated without compensation. But instead, what they think is important is that … I went to Bali.

The Sydney Morning Herald even thinks it’s relevant and newsworthy that my partner holds different scientific views to their journalists on the value of the carbon credits that they didn’t mention.

I’m humbled at this celebrity treatment, but fully aware that they “think” that because they can mention yours-truly, they figure they can then get away with mentioning Heartland, and throw in a line about passive smoking and cancer. All of which has exactly nothing to do with Peter Spencer, but they aimed to smear him, and it took all six degrees of non-sequiteur separation to do it, and in an activist’s brain, that’s justified. In the tribal world of neolithic analysis, Peter Spencer belongs to the wrong tribe. He’s a farmer, with support from The Nationals, and he poses quite a threat to Rudd, the Greens, and to all the environmental agencies who Cubby and Harrison have pitched their tent with.

Stone-age (and irrelevant) ad hominems fit in with the tribal theme, but they don’t belong in a respectable paper.

Cubby and Harrison resort to bully-boy tactics instead of investigating the story. When I point out they are failing as journalists, they up the ante by trying to smear me (the paid hacks attack the volunteer eh?). Were they hoping that by mentioning my maiden name (which has zero recognition on the Australian political scene) that they would strike fear into my heart and intimidate me?  Was there some need to bring my husband into this who has made exactly no public comments on the starving man? Why are they researching me in detail instead of Peter Spencer?  That they resort to such a naked baseless attempt to smear everyone associated with Peter Spencer, instead of reporting the news, shows how dismally inept or hopelessly biased they are. It reflects badly on the mastheads. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are not even trying to give their readers the news, the whole news, and nothing but the news. The sub-editors who allowed or even encouraged this clumsy smear ought be exposed.

The inanities continue to the end:

The president of the NSW branch of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Brian Morton, said Mr Spencer’s long-term health could be seriously affected by the hunger strike.

Well yes, death does affect people’s long-term health (and it took someone from the AMA to let them know that?).

Many of us are doing all we can to help Peter Spencer stay alive. But we want more than just the pale beaten shadow-of-a-man-fed-on-an-IV-drip that Senator Heffernan aims for. We think Spencer deserves a full life, free of tyranny and injustice.

We think he deserves to live AND have a fair go.

Farmers, land-holders, and readers of both publications should be angry.

If investigative journalists were doing their jobs they would have discovered this giant billion dollar scandal years ago, they would have been standing up for the citizens crushed by big-government. They would have fought for the small farmers hit by big tyranny and Peter Spencer would never have had to resort to something as desperate as a hunger strike. He should have been front page news long ago: Farmer’s land stolen for carbon credits! or Government laws send farmers bankrupt.

No wonder subscriptions to The SMH and The Age are declining. The people are tired of being fed propaganda.

The fake pretense that we get the news from the dinosaur-industrial-media is fading fast.
May the internet always be free.

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How not to do journalism, 5.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

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48 comments to How not to do journalism

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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GORE LIED, Joanne Nova. Joanne Nova said: How not to do journalism vis a vis the SMH and The Age. They should cringe. href=http://joannenova.com.au/2010/01/how-not-to-do-journalism/ [...]


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    Phillip Bratby

    Can’t remember if I’ve said Happy New Year. Anyway go for it even more this year. The truth will out in the end. The more publicity you get from these charlatans the better. More power to your elbow.

    Good luck from a very cold and frozen England.


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    Mark

    While there are people who choose to be deluded, the journos know they can get always get away with this sort of crap.

    Some years ago I had a spruiker on the phone trying to flog me a subscription to the Mirror/Telegraph whatever. He really was quite amazed that there were people out there who could resist his blandishments.

    We really have gone back to the days when people in Russia used to comment thusly about the state of news in their country.

    “The Truth (Pravda) contains no news (Isvestia) and the news contains no truth”.


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    Matty

    There are plenty of injured and resentful journo’s around post-copenhagen. We wrecked the party and they have had to bite their arse and shut up, until now. It wasn’t reporting as much as it was retaliation.


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    Rod Smith

    If it is any consolation, journalism in the US has also “gone to pot.” If I were cynical I might blame it on Al Gore’s short stretch as a reporter in the 70′s – but I won’t do that. I suspect it has had a lot to do with declining newspaper circulation as well as the lowering of standards at Universities, things that are likely paralleled to some degree in Australia.

    Perhaps a flood of letters-to-the-editor(s) might have some worthwhile results. Sorry I don’t have anything else to offer.

    Somehow, offering a Happy New Year seems out of place to me in this instance. Better might be a, “Don’t let-em grind you down.”


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    dave ward

    A Labo(u)r party running out of money? An arrogant, bullying prime minister? Left wing hacks resorting to dirty tricks? How very familiar this all sounds! You might be geographically on the other side of the world, but your country now seems to going down the pan (dunny?) almost as rapidly as ‘Blighty….

    I’m sure the publicity you’ve gained will do some good, hopefully those readers who look you up will become better informed as a result.


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    News Radio ran a brief interview with Peter Spencer this morning. You can find the audio on the home page
    at http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/default.htm under the News Radio Audio header, tagged Tues 07:45.
    Peter mentions that 500 farmers have committed suicide as a result of this policy.
    Also, he states quite vehemently that he does not want to meet Kevin Rudd. What you don’t get on this recording is that the main presenter, back announcing the item, said “That was Peter Spencer explaining why he wants to meet Kevin Rudd” or words to that effect.


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    MadJak

    Comrades,

    Let’s let go of the Lamestream media entirely. Unless you want to hear about how the queen slipped in the bath or how some celebrity has managed to fill a couple of pages with well, not much, let’s decide our time is too valuable for this crap.

    Maybe Cheryl Crowe was talking about using a page of the sydney morning herald? Maybe she was talking sense after all.

    The Lamestream media is about entertaining the ignorant here in Aussie as far as I am concerned.

    Why waste our time even complaining about a communication mechanism which is obviously corrupted and becoming more and more irrelevant?

    The only way for this story to get proper exposure in time is for it to hit the idiot boxes (T.Vs) – and for the story to be placed somewhere between Tiger Woods’ latest bit on the side and some other useless piece of trivia.

    Let the “Journalists” – and I use that word loosely – out onto the Net where they have to compete with real reporters.


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    As I have said there is absolutely no shortage of people lining up to be obergruppenfuhrers for a possible Fourth Reich.

    Add Cubby and Harrison to that now enormous list of green goons.

    As MadJak says – the main thing is to forget the Lamestream print media and always remember that in this day and age we have that unique and glorious invention the Internet on which to fight this Mother of all Ideological Wars.

    I suspect that the ‘next big thing’ will be a rash of concerted attempts by pro-AGW Western governments to attack, control and strangle the climate information democracy that is the Net.

    From Net Nanny to Net Stasi.


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    Roy Hogue

    From back in our own fight for freedom from King George the so-called Gadsden Flag had the image of a snake with the words, “Dont tread on me,” on a yellow background. It seems like you down there need some similar symbol standing for your cause to rally people around. Display it in windows, make bumper stickers of it and do anything to make it’s meaning known and keep it in front of the public.

    Just a wild thought.


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    Colin

    Steve(9),
    That day is closer than you think.
    “The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said today he would introduce legislation just before next year’s elections to force ISPs to block a blacklist of “refused classification” (RC) websites for all Australian internet users.”

    The whole tragedy is here:
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/internet-censorship-plan-gets-the-green-light-20091215-ktzc.html

    I wonder if the blacklist will include http://joannenova.com.au


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    GAIAGATE: THE OTHER ENEMY WITHIN
    by Rod Freeman
    australiamatters.com

    Notice the controlled consolidated MSM media are talking about Peter Spencer’s lawyer being a “Rhodes Scholar”! Why?

    African diamond plunderer Cecil Rhodes whom the ‘scholarship’ was named after, was a world empire tool for the Rothschild’s international banksters family that today, with young David de Rothschild out front on plastic boats, are pushing that global carbon tax carbon sink fear mongering rubbish. Research Cecil Rhodes and Rothschild and see why 200 times Peter’s lawyer has failed to get one appearance. It’s a Rhodes maxim that the best way to control opposition, is to lead it.

    Look up what family got mad when MSN mogul Murdoch gave his son leadership of bSkyB. (I’ll save you the search, it was Rothschild) Look up the co-producer of the film about a fake reality within another called “The Truman Show”. (I’ll save you the search, it was Rothschild) Look up whom bought England for pennies on the pound in 1815 after the battle of waterloo. (I’ll save you the trouble, it was Rothschild) Look up who today in Australia with E3 International Group are wanting to be our Australian carbon tax / sink banksters. (I’ll save you the trouble, it’s Rothschild’s)

    Look into the Labor Party and their Fabian Society love affair sometime. Then really go spend time and see what the Fabianism believe. (I’ll save you the trouble, international socialism brought in using “reforms”)

    I’ll spell it out for those still under the Murdoch, woops, Rothschilds MSN spell, GLOBAL incremental privatisation consolidation “globalism”, “global governance”, “new world order”, “U.N Agenda 21″ of wealth into few private hands under the guise of a global threat to the planet they call “gaia”.

    Had Toto pulled this curtain back, you’d literaly find luciferianism held together by international 33 degree Freemasonry in all walks of law, medical, industry, government, etc. (low levels Masons are “useful idiots”)

    I don’t expect anyone to take my word as truth, just like many of you here (that’s why you’re here) don’t expect our Australian zombies to take our global warming skeptics words as truth either. Many of you are seeing fraud from one degree, the environmental degree. I’ve had the displeasure of seeing 359 other fronts the promoters of a global “scientific dictatorship” that would make Aldous Huxley and Saul Alinsky (whom literally dedicated his book “Rules for Radicals” to “Lucifer” those like Obama and Hillary Clinton adore) while milking the global “plantation”, very happy!

    I’m no fan of the liberal party either. For those zombies that still haven’t figure out that the left and right wings are on the same bird and live by labels, I could be called a ‘National Republican’ Thank you for your work on this site.

    John 8:32


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    Greg

    Interesting to see that your “news” media is as bad as US “news” media.

    Technically, it may not be “state owned media,” but it’s really hard to tell the difference, isn’t it? The state rules and the media bases its news on state press releases.

    They must find blogs like yours to be really irritating.


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    Joanne,

    My blood is boiling. I feel such a solidarity with my strong Australian cousins but so helpless over here.

    Listening to Peter’s harrowing account on the radio brought tears to my eyes.

    You continue to write so well about Peter’s plight and please, please, keep right on ripping up the so-called journalists who ought to be standing in the mud beneath that protest pole.

    I desperately hope that the public outcry just beginning will be heard in your halls of power before Peter’s strength gives out.

    Where is Greenpeace, the WWF and the other environmental groups? Where are those who signed up to tcktcktck? Where are the delegates to Copenhagen? The celebrities who posed for the photo opportunities and the sound bites in support of destroying our means of production? Where are those who profess to love humanity so deeply? Are they helping?

    All we can do from here is to publicise your efforts the best we can. The Climate Conversation Group sends all its support.

    My deepest love and respect to you all.

    Richard Treadgold,
    Convenor,
    Climate Conversation Group.


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    Tom Forrester-Paton

    A bit off-thread, but has anyone with the necessary expertise examined today’s BOM claim, seized upon by Peter Garret, that the last decade was Australia’s warmest on record. As far as I can see this is detaermined by ground stations, not by satellite. Anyone qualified to comment?


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    Wyn

    I didn’t think the story was that bad. It may be a bit too left for my liking, but The Age is a privately owned paper and can report what if wants however it wants. It’s called freedom of speech, the same ideology that allows this blog to exist.

    I think what many supporters of this blog are doing by actively encouraging Peter Spencer to kill himself is very irresponsible. What good will that do anyone? Perhaps the people who claim to be concerned about this man should convince him to end his dangerous and unneccesary protest. There are better ways to protest than by encouraging a man to suicide. What sort of message does this send out to farming communities already crippled by high rates of suicide? You may blame the government, but if Mr Spencer dies it will his ‘supporters’ that will have blood on their hands.

    Farmers need to understnad that a person’s chosen occupation is not his/her birthright. If farming is becoming too tough, do something else! I’ve had to change my occupation many times due to chnages in market forces and government regulations which were out of my control. This sort of things happens every day in the city. The difference is, we adapt and simply get on with it.


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    ed gallagher

    I always find it ironic when the press plays kill the messenger. Instead of focusing on the issue that caused Mr. Spencers decision to go on a hunger strike, and explain just how the law confiscated his land, they attack the folks who bring his plight to attention. How nervy of anyone to try to intrude on the news monopoly of the left. I have been watching this phenom since I was compared to the Hitler-Youth by a CBS news correspondent during the 1972 Republican National Convention. This happened after I filed a report to my local radio station about a news/camera truck helping to orchestrate a demonstration against President Nixon. The idea of a young person supporting the president was such an affront to the main stream media that they demonized all 3,000 Young Voters for the President.

    That they now attack the supporters of a farmer fighting for his economic life against an oppressive and unwarranted law is hardly surprising. The farmer is being an obstructionist in their mind, and calling attention to him helps derail an annointed agenda. That the cause of objective journalism is being molested and raped in the process is irrelevent to the big picture of social engineering.

    Freedom of the press is only applicable if you suscribe to their agenda.


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    Wyn,

    I can’t believe I heard you say that: “If farming is becoming too tough, do something else!”

    You’re not listening. He’s got just days before they take everything off him. He’s spent months trying to be heard in a courtroom. For more than ten years he was doing “something else” by raising special sheep, then fish farming, then a wind farm, thousands invested each time, but each time they changed the rules on him. Pay attention! He’s got nothing left.

    Nobody comes into your office and uses it for hydroponic vegetables or pig farming while you’re trying to write reports and answer the phone, do they? That makes the job too tough, but they should get out of the office, not make him change jobs.

    Spencer’s not allowed to use his own office, but he still has to pay the mortgage on it! Since the government are causing it, he can’t sue them before the law to stop, because they make the law.

    Most of the land can’t be cleared, so its value has been destroyed; if he sold the farm, he’d get a lot less money for it. Do you think he should get some compensation for that? (Hint: it’s his, what we call, private property.)

    Whaddya think, Wyn? You drongo.

    Oh, and nobody’s encouraging the man to kill himself, you nitwit. They’re standing by him to demand the government make some changes to his situation. You distort this tragedy beyond belief with your ignorant comments.

    Richard.


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    Black Duck

    The mainstream media both in Australia & throughout the world are only showing the so called “settled science” side of AGW. Fairfax more than the rest seem intent on actively pushing every facet of this agenda. In this week’s Sun Herald a large chunk of the finance section dealt with how to trade “carbon credits”.
    It makes one wonder if there is a vested interest in this by the company itself or the board of directors. It looks to be yet another case of follow the money!


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Wyn, “If he can’t be a farmer, let him do something else”. Unbelievable! Spoken like a true city-dweller who probably never gets closer to the source of food than the supermarket shelves, and disturbingly reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s careless remark “If they have no bread, let them eat cake!” If all the farmers gave up and got jobs in the city (provided they could find work) – who would grow the grain for your daily bread? Who would rear the cattle for your burgers and your leather shoes? The wool for your winter clothes? Ever thought further than your own nose-tip, Wyn?

    No-one is encouraging Peter to kill himself, nor is it his intention to kill himself, but he is willing to go that far if he has to. That is HIS decision and we should respect him for it. If you listened to the short interview from this morning you would have heard him say that he could have hanged or shot himself just like 550 other farmers have done over this criminal legislation. He has chosen to make a stand and try to cause a change through his actions, rather than just becoming a statistic, soon forgotten.

    Your comment, and the attitudes and platitudes of the ABC interviewer, Senator Heffernan and others who encourage him to stop his hunger strike, reminded me of this great quote from the writer Dorothy L. Sayers:

    “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”

    Peter Spencer is a passionate man who believes in his country, cares for his land and his life and the lifetime of sweat and toil he has invested in it, hates injustice, finds purpose in taking action to see justice done, loves and lives for his family and yes, he is a man who is willing to die for this cause if necessary.

    Some things are worth dying for, Wyn. In today’s bland, pleasure-seeking, post-modern and morally wishy-washy world some (most) people can’t understand that.

    Would I die for a cause if it were important enough to me? I honestly don’t know. I think each of us would only know that if it were put to the test. Most of us (certainly I would) would die for our children if we had to, but beyond that … That’s why people like Peter Spencer are worth more than gold.

    May he prevail and justice be done.


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    lucklucky

    “I think what many supporters of this blog are doing by actively encouraging Peter Spencer to kill himself is very irresponsible.”

    Those that support, defend or mask the State theft of Mr.Spencer property are those “very irresponsible”.


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    Good one, Jo, and all commenters.

    550 farmers down, in Oz and 20,000 in India, a year or two back, when their wells ran dry. We are playing for keeps, here.

    But, Peter, come down now. We need you, mate. Alive and kicking.


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    Macha

    I watched the small segment that the 7PM PROJECT here in WA put on as ‘news’ last night ~7.45pm. It was pathetic. Albeit a humorous style look at the news of the day, to interview Mr Spencers’ son and ask “how long do you think he will last?” and “have you slipped him a few secret sangers?” is as much as I could stand. No mention of his 200+days in the courts, no substantive facts at all…. a few sound bites from his 10min radio bit would have been worth its weight in gold. But no, it was all the same stuff I now believe was plundered from the same ‘journos’ from the other two rags mentioned above. Nothing from the ABC news that night either…most of the topics they come up with was irrelevant.


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    BJM

    What can I say about The Age. Back in the eighties, I worked for an ‘opposition’ daily publication. We always referred to the The Age as ‘Pravada‘. I am not surprised at The Age’s ‘white washing’ of Mr Spencer’s plight. When it is a bunch of sea going ferals, attacking a Japanese Whaling boat, they are ‘heroes’, despite the breaches of international marine-time law. However, the Australian MSM leaves a lot to be desired – with a few exceptions of course. All they seem to do, is take the government line and tout with advertisements ad nauseum. No wonder Internet censorship only receives a casual mention. They know that people have had jack of the whole outfit and use the Internet to get the real story – such as Mr Spencer’s plight and ClimateGate, not to mention Conroy’s attempt at limiting our Internet freedom. One more point. A lot of (although not all) Journalists that work in our MSM these days, are ‘University’ graduates – so given the ideology of some of our ‘Media’ Academics . . . well, enough said.


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    Billy Blake

    JoNova lets Fairfax have it right between the nuts. You go girl!


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    Matty

    RE: Tom #15

    I think even if it was Australia’a hottest decade on record, it’s only since 1910, and it wouldn’t justify holding it up as “global warming”. More like Australian warming, and says nothing much about the role of CO2 in climate system. I’m assuming Fielding/Jensen will get to work with that because I think it’s getting desperate really.


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    Tel

    Wyn,

    You are making a show of pretending to care for Peter’s physical body while being happy to ignore his personal dignity, self respect and productive future. None of us are “actively encouraging Peter Spencer to kill himself” that is an outright lie. This whole caper was his own idea, I didn’t put him up to it.

    Sure there are a great number of suicides in the farming community — for the most part they are completely ignored. The vast majority of Australians don’t hear about the issue at all because the mainstream media don’t bother reporting, and when they do report a suicide they avoid reporting any useful information that might help the reader understand the causes driving people to this sad end. Has this policy of ignoring the problem achieved anything so far? Are we saving lives by looking the other way and pretending nothing is wrong?

    You say “there are better ways”, so how about a workable suggestion?


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    I thought that under the Australian constitution, private property could be appropriated by the government, but only “on just terms”.

    Seems to me that removal of a property right requires compensation. I actually don’t object to preventing further land clearing. But I do object to it being done by law without compensation. That’s just immoral, and if it were taken to the high court by somebody wealthy enought, it would in all likelihood be found to be illegal.


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    JS

    Re : Matty @ 26 “Australian second warmest year after 2005″

    You are exactly right, it is a clear sign of desperation, the politicians are now clutching at straws to support their case.

    The temperatures in Australia in 2009 were significantly warmer than normal because of a very strong El Nino weather pattern in the southern pacific similar to 2005.
    Australian temperatures will quickly drop again as the El Nino is now losing strength. The lamesteam media are complicit when they allow this kind of politically motivated local warmist alarmism to be passed off as scientific proof of Global AGW without even the slightest quibble from gullible journalists.

    This has nothing to do with Co2 or Anthropogenic Global warming and is quite irrelevant to the global warming debate. Also, the subtext is: Hey, don’t look behind the curtain, don’t think about recent weather in the US, or the UK, or Europe, or Asia, or the whole northern hemisphere where they are having the coldest snow white winter in decades. The BBC’s recent headline ” coldest winter since 1981 ” was quickly censored because it blasphemed against the warmist faith.

    I notice that nothing is ever said about warmist Tim Flannery’s dire predictions for Australia of severe drought and dwindling reservoirs being proved exactly wrong by recent floods and rapidly filling reservoirs. The warmists are very good at predicting past weather, but singularly clueless when it comes to predicting future weather patterns.


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    Ian

    You hit the nail on the head in terms of the increasing irrelevance of the MSM and in particular the two tabloids mentioned. I for one have ceased buying both propaganda rags having become sick of their immensely biased prose. The legislation stinks. The trick of the Federal Gov cajoling the State Gov to implement this legislation to circumvent issues of compensation is a national disgrace. It has parallels with the actions taken by Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. The Greens and the socialists have gone mad at the moment…adopting as they have all of the hallmarks of fascists. That this is occurring in a democratic Australia is a disgrace. That it is being aided by a biased MSM is far worse!


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    Bernd Felsche

    Russia TV Ads incite people to ask questions; and even more, to have journos ask questions.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    “…today I’ve got a named mention in both The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. I’m beginning to feel more powerful every day”

    That does it! Can I have your autograph, please? … Pretty please?


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    Elore

    Wyn,

    Imagine that the state government wanted to acquire your land for a new freeway, but instead they just bulldozed one of your investment properties, built the freeway, and let you keep the land (without paying you any rental/compensation/etc..). Would you like people to ignore the injustice to you?

    Perhaps YOU should go and purchase Mr Spencer’s property (with it valued at a non-discounted commerical farm price), then Mr Spencer can come down and you could feature in an article in The Age about how a ‘clever-city-person’ easily solved the problems of the ‘simple-country-bumpkin’. Immediate problem (Mr Spencer’s health) solved – and a precedent for our ‘public servants’ to do it again to anyone else.


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    hunter

    I think the lesson is that just because a press is more or less free, it is not a given that it is good.
    In the US, the Spanish American war of the 1890′s was, in large part, created as a journalism project to increase newspaper sales.
    The Vietnam war was lost in no small part because the journalists decided to that it was lost.
    My grandfather told us how, when he was a child in the early 20th century, the consensus was we were running out of oil.
    The great ice age of the 1970′s was promoted heavily by scientists in the popular press.
    My point is that not only is the press of today not good; it has never been very good any way.
    In the age of the internet we get to see how poor it really is more easily. That is the difference.


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    J.Hansford

    If investigative journalists were doing their jobs they would have discovered this giant billion dollar scandal years ago, they would have been standing up for the citizens crushed by big-government. They would have fought for the small farmers hit by big tyranny and Peter Spencer would never have had to resort to something as desperate as a hunger strike. He should have been front page news long ago: Farmer’s land stolen for carbon credits! or Government laws send farmers bankrupt.
    No wonder subscriptions to The SMH and The Age are declining. The people are tired of being fed propaganda.

    Well said Jo. Well said.

    It seems to me, that the mainstream media write more about what is in their heads, than what they see with their eyes…. and thus they will tell you, that what you have heard, was never said. That what you saw, was never done.

    They drive the sane, insane….. and marvel at the results. They must be malevolent.

    This media cannot even look and examine critically, the very simple truth that has been pointed out to them.

    …That a land owner is forced to pay rates on land they can no longer use because of flawed legislation….. That the government can enforce this flawed legislation without compensating land owners….. That the flawed legislation is not constitutional….. That the States have gone against the Spirit of the constitution to achieve this dubious outcome…. and finally these media clowns cannot see the real story of a brave man at his wits end, fighting a fight by himself, for the benefit of all people who value their individuality and want the freedom to prosper by their own endeavour….

    I tire of the ruthless, powerful people who interfere in our lives. They tell us things that are not true and we see the damage that they are doing….. There is nothing wrong with us. It is them.

    Why a journalist would make excuses for them astounds me.


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    Roy Hogue

    Regarding Peter Spencer and suicide:

    My wife has a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and according to her, suicide is a result of depression. Depression is a state in which one has given up, sees no hope and withdraws within himself.

    It is abundantly clear that Peter Spencer is not suicidal. He has not given up, is continuing to fight and wants a good outcome for his being deprived of all use of his property. He clearly does not want death.

    Peter is no more suicidal than the soldier who dies in battle. Anne-Kit Littler pointed out the words of Dorothy L. Sayers, so I need not repeat them here. But some things are worth fighting for, even risking death.

    Peter is among the most valiant soldiers of our times because of his crusade for justice.


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    Roy Hogue

    Then I will add that I wish a whole lot more people around the world were willing to stand up and be counted in spite of whatever risk is involved.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Hunter #34

    I think the lesson is that just because a press is more or less free, it is not a given that it is good.

    I am sure that I have mentioned this before, but in his book “Flat Earth News”, Nick Davis gives a very clear description of how the modern MSM has become the way it has, at least in much of the English speaking world – and it started in Australia and New Zealand.

    The MSM, and in particular the newspapers, have had the slash and burn treatment.

    Experienced journalists are too expensive, it seems. Subject matter experts are now a luxury. And provincial journalists are a waste of time. At least in the eyes of the media moguls.

    Of course in better days, the local journalist would know Peter Spencer. He or she would be aware of his story, and they would be prepared to fight for the column-inches required to get the story out.

    But that is now history. Today, there are so few journalists, and they are so inexperienced that they can’t see a good story even when it drops on them from a height.

    The real money for the ex-journalists is in writing PR copy which they then feed to the wannabes in the pub.

    Of course, PR is all about presenting the opinions of the people who are paying for it, so it is not journalism. It is often not even remotely true. It is propaganda, exactly as Joseph Goebbels would understand it.

    Real journalism has now shifted to the blogosphere.

    But the politicians and the corporate world have now had a taste of what the world might be like if they did not have the fourth estate looking over their shoulder all the time. Nobody in power wants to have an informed populace, so the internet is now seen as a threat by the power-hungry in society.

    The censorship in China is significant, because it serves as a model that might serve to curb the “damage” caused by a population with the means to question what is going on, and why.

    Peter Spencer’s story is much bigger than most of us assume. It is actually a significant skirmish in a battle that is part of a much bigger war.

    This war is not just about social injustice, and it is not just about climate change, or any of several other themes on this and other blogs. It is about people having the right to know the truth about things that could affect their lives, and having the ability to make their own decisions based on that understanding, and not being screwed by an elected Government that likes to play games.


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    Tel

    The temperatures in Australia in 2009 were significantly warmer than normal because of a very strong El Nino weather pattern in the southern pacific similar to 2005. Australian temperatures will quickly drop again as the El Nino is now losing strength.

    I would say that surface temperature measurements were up in Australia mostly because of how much rain we got last winter. It can’t get properly cold without a clear sky and our skies were regularly cloudy last year.

    This of course is the problem with this type of reading — it gives a number but doesn’t say much about the meaning of the number. Overall 2009 was an excellent year w.r.t. weather in Australia.


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    I am surprised that the “mast heads” have not gone the way of the mastadons–extinction! Any citizen can get the real news on the web free of charge, and can see every side and viewpoint. Why waste good money on one-sided rags? Keep giving us the news, Joanne.


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    Mark

    Tel:
    “It can’t get properly cold without a clear sky and our skies were regularly cloudy last year”.

    Yeh! ain’t that the truth Tel. It hasn’t been worthwhile taking even the smallest of my three telescopes out of a night for months because of clouds.
    Sorta validates the idea that an inactive sun does not deflect the ionizing cosmic rays which are always out there in deep space.


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    Saint

    “I think what many supporters of this blog are doing by actively encouraging Peter Spencer to kill himself is very irresponsible. What good will that do anyone? Perhaps the people who claim to be concerned about this man should convince him to end his dangerous and unneccesary protest. There are better ways to protest than by encouraging a man to suicide. What sort of message does this send out to farming communities already crippled by high rates of suicide? You may blame the government, but if Mr Spencer dies it will his ’supporters’ that will have blood on their hands.”

    You haven’t read any of what has been said. (Oh, and how did your post get hidden? It shouldn’t have been. You have an opinion, and it needs to be represented, and will be in the heavenly courts above. Opinions are one of the things that separate us from our inhuman brethren, even if they do get us killed. In fact, because they get us killed they need to be represented.) Us supporters are not urging him to die. Of course, he will regardless of whether or not we tell him to, because his property is quite literally nonexistent. The food he grew has been stolen from the government. His only other option is to become a beggar, which would be amusing, if it weren’t so morbid. And the amusing thing about it is that its the socialists, who profess to want to end world hunger, who have caused this to happen.
    His supporters want the government to give him back his land, not for him to die.

    “Farmers need to understand that a person’s chosen occupation is not his/her birthright. If farming is becoming too tough, do something else! I’ve had to change my occupation many times due to chnages in market forces and government regulations which were out of my control. This sort of things happens every day in the city. The difference is, we adapt and simply get on with it.”

    In the CITY. Its difficult to get a job when you’ve spent your life growing food for yourself. I know someone who works with dangerous chemicals manufacturing strange materials, in a radioactive building used to manufacture radioactive substances. If not for the AAA, which, ironically, supports the Big Food industry which Greenies whine about, at the expense of real, traditional farmers, than this friend of mine would be making plenty enough to support his family selling food at the local New Seasons. But no, Transcendentalists had to go and not be transcendentalist. Funny world we live in. You may do just fine and dandy, but how well you do has a microscopic bearing on how well everyone is doing. Go live in Detroit, if you want to know what human “adaption” means.

    “I would say that surface temperature measurements were up in Australia mostly because of how much rain we got last winter. It can’t get properly cold without a clear sky and our skies were regularly cloudy last year.”

    I don’t know much about El Nino, but I would think that out-of-the-ordinary weather fits in with the pattern of El Nino. So…wouldn’t a rainier winter than normal be CAUSED by El Nino?

    I find it also amusing, and I’ve said this elsewhere, how Socialists seem to like getting money. I personally HATE the stuff, yet I’m a strong Capitalist. Than I take a look at all the Socialists at my school (I hate to break it to you all, but the Media generation here in my state seems to be taking a particularly Leftist stance…but maybe the internet will break that spell,) and they are the richest jerks on the planet. (Yay for the fallacy of anecdotes.) Just worth thinking about.
    Sadly, here in Oregon, we’re thinking about launching a campaign to put taxes on small businesses… even if they don’t make money. And I’m thinking about getting myself a rocket launcher and fasting on a telephone pole myself…and if any lamestream media junkie or government-governed “lawman” comes to carry me off, I’ll show them what the business end of a rocket launcher looks like.

    Maybe we should start a fundraiser to buy Peter’s land back! I’d do that, but I’m too poor/unimportant. My family is going to be paying off the loans those government-governed banks have given us (as a Liberal said, the banks have been nationalized for years (yet that Lefty seemed to think that this is a reason why we should make the banks nationalized, not the reason why marketing bubbles and the recession happened so easily)) for decades. I mean literal decades.

    A friend of mine had his siblings carried off for a few months because some police officer (who was visiting on a quite innocent mission to do something…maybe it was to get a wallet returned, can’t remember) told the State Department of Child Protective Services (this department has been, in fact, trying to nationalize children (sicko lefties)) that his house was too messy, and therefore dangerous, for such young children. I’ve been there, and its not messy. Just…barren. And a little damp and murky, sure, but its mostly just discoloration, saturation, and oxidation, not actual mold or anything. They finally gave them back recently. These are also the people who tried to take away the children of some rich white Mormon family away, merely because the mother spanked an eleven year old. The Mormons brought the case to court, and the courts told the Department (which was congratulating itself on having found a rich, non-minority family that abused its children, rather than the usual poor minority) to present real evidence of abuse or to pack their bags and leave. The Department than proceeded to do the equivalent of that weird huddle-thing that weird football people do in football, and, for quite a while, kept promising the courts that they had some really good evidence that they needed to compile to show them. It momentous day when they came waltzing in as bloated as politicians and bureaucrats can be, on the day the evidence was promised to show up, and than proceeded to describe how…messy the kitchen was. They got laughed out of court. It was a tad bit anti-climatic. Those who the gods destroy…


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    Tel

    I don’t know much about El Nino, but I would think that out-of-the-ordinary weather fits in with the pattern of El Nino. So… wouldn’t a rainier winter than normal be CAUSED by El Nino?

    The BOM tend to associate El Nino with drought in Australia, but the tail-end of El Nino is associated with floods as it flips to the other state.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/glossary/elnino/elnino.shtml

    I personally suspect that a lot of guesswork goes into these theories. They work well, except when they don’t work. You know how it is. The current SOI graph is here:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soi2.shtml

    Looks like it should stay down a bit longer before the cycle bounces up again, that’s just my estimate.


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    Ralph Prestage

    There are insufficient words of gratitude for Jo Nova in her massive fight for logical outcomes and fair and just decisions for civil rights void of political spin and propaganda and particularly in publicising this draconian situation.
    Peter Spencer is placing his life in jeopardy for all Australians whether rural or residential land owners.
    In Western Australia many private residential property has been quarantined from any further improvements, use or soil disturbance which is now in its eleventh year. This is whilst the government delays legislation for its resumption and leaving land owners in limbo.
    The value offered by the government was being determined by the then Minister for Planning ( a has been solicitor with no land valuation experience) at approximately 16% of the market value of similar unaffected adjoining land.
    This amount would never allow a corresponding or reasonable replacement property to be purchased.
    Land owners who could not continue to suffer the health and mental anguish, family destruction and massive legal and financial commitments have accepted the payment under absolute duress and despair. These land owners financial retirement, which had been provided for, has been absolutely destroyed.
    Is this the democracy that many Australians have and are continuing to lose their lives fighting for?
    It is nothing but criminal dictatorial theft.


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    Mark

    “Tasmanian residents deserve better than Christine Milne.”

    With great respect Brian, Tasmania is a basket case. an island of welfare recipients and public servants. This is exactly why people like Bob Brown and Christine Milne get elected.


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    Mark

    Dear oh dear,

    Sorry all, that post (#45) went on the wrong thread.


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