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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Blockbuster rolls on: FBI finds 650,000 emails. Polls turn. Australian taxpayers fund Clinton slush fund.

The Blockbuster rolls on. Books will be written about this week in politics. The FBI have apparently found a gargantuan 650,000 emails. They have also got a search warrant.  The news rattled markets and currencies. It’s being called a bombshell, and political TNT.  Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile said it was “Like an 18-wheeler smacking into us.” At least one mainstream columnist says the Democrats should ask Clinton to step aside before the election.

Excuses are flowing but the Clinton campaign has only itself to thank for this PR disaster

Count the ways the Clinton’s could have prevented this trainwreck. 1,2,3…

The Clinton’s raised the stakes from the start — earning something like $57 million on-the-side during the four years that Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State. This is not illegal, but it raises red flag questions of “conflict of interest”. Anyone playing this game while in charge of trade deals for the largest economy on Earth had better play straight, be careful, and be totally transparent. Hillary apparently did none of the above. The combination of an incoming river of money, with the mysterious disappearance of 30,000 emails added a radioactive glow to what was just a red [...]

Watergate II?. National Review calls Clinton’s State Department “Racketeering”.

Ten days to go, thousands of emails to read. The FBI say they “don’t know what they have”.

We do know that they have a monster-load of emails of Hillary’s right hand woman, vice chair of Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the FBI think they can’t afford not to let the world know. For those who don’t know who Huma Abedin is: Vanity Fair pretty much describes her as the “key glue” for Hillary, around her all the time, the inner-inner circle:

… along with Chelsea, Abedin is “the third rail” of the Clinton political world.

 Bob Barnett, the lawyer who brokered the Clintons’ multi-million-dollar book deals, says Huma is “now one of the key glues that holds Clintonworld together…. She knows everyone and everyone knows her.

For those wondering why the FBI would make this “blockbuster” announcement now, read the National Review to get an idea of the potential.  (Noting that the FBI have released almost no details on what they have found):

Clinton’s State Department: A RICO Enterprise

Mrs. Clinton appears to have converted the office of secretary of state into a racketeering enterprise.

Andrew C. McCarthy

She appears to have used her [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Psychoterratica — environmentally induced mental distress

With every baseless scare come the inevitable victims:  those who are gullible, through no fault of their own, like children, graduates of eco-science degrees, and people who think the ABC gives them impartial information.

Psychoterratica:  or earth related (terra) mental health (psyche) states or conditions.

© 2013 Glenn Albrecht.

GlennAlbrect did a Ted talk, if you can bear to watch it, tell us the best quotes: I spot a “Tipping point of the brain”. He’s a philosopher. If only he understood the philosophy called science, he might be useful.

We live in the richest, safest era of human life on Earth. For a hundred thousand years everyone was afraid of dysentry, snakes, and the marauding tribe next door. They all starved periodically and buried their children often. They said prayers to pagan gods they hoped would save them. Now 1 – 2 billion lucky sods have escaped that dreadful fear, and live a life rich beyond the wildest dreams of the neolithic grinder. Some that won the lottery worry instead that burning coal in Queensland will melt arctic ice and create homeless polar bears. Or they think there are climate death squads.

Apparently the ABC is [...]

Trump is the Molotov Cocktail the middle classes can throw at the establishment: Sayth Michael Moore?!

The US election continues to surprise. It breaks all the rules. Who stands up for the workers now, for the disaffected middle class — Donald Trump, and that’s according to Michael Moore, dedicated progressive. He gave a speech that is going viral with conservatives and has even been used to make an advert for Trump.  Moore is telling the world that  Trump will win (which he fears). Perhaps Moore was trying to get complacent Clinton fans worried and and get them out to vote. It may have the opposite effect. Even Moore sounds like he admires Trump. Perhaps he is hoping the left will pick up the same memes — even as he calls Trump voters “legal terrorists”.

Bits of the Transcript:

Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of the Ford Motor executives and said: if you close these factories, as you are planning to do in Detroit, and rebuild them in Mexico, I am going to put a 35% tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody’s going to buy them.

It was an amazing thing to see.

No politician — Republican [...]

“Royalties for Voters” — WA political party offers $38,000 to each voter to expose just how big the government grab is

A new party is forming in WA in time for the state election next March. It’s skeptical, and very cheeky, and as The Spectator says “a chance to shame the Nats”.  Where the Nats offer Royalties for Regions, but the new party wickedly offers Royalties for Voters.

Real democracy starts with the freedom to vote with our wallets

It needs to reach 500 members by Sunday Monday: WA Voters can join for free online  

What if voters could choose to keep the funds themselves instead of  giving bureaucrats a blank cheque to spend it on their behalf?  Our pollies casually toss around billions of our dollars and Royalties for Voters will expose just how big those sums are. Hands up who wants $38,000?

West Australians pay their 10% GST (Goods and services tax) like the rest of the nation, but they get only a third of it back from the Federal Gobblerment at the moment — which leaves Sandgropers feeling pretty miffed over here. No other state has ever got less than about 80% back. The mining boom meant the population grew a massive 40% from 2000 to 2015. Infrastructure, roads, rail, public transport has failed to keep up. [...]

The Al Smith charity dinner, a weapons grade roasting of Clinton

The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner was a few days ago.  The traditional charity event is the last time both candidates will probably speak at the same place before the election. They were roasting each other. The jokes get sharpened to bleeding point.  I love the idea of this charity bash as a quasi fourth debate. The two candidates are jousting with satirical jabs, able to say things that they may not have been allowed to say in any other context. It is a high and difficult art.

I’d like to see it in Australia (though I fear the laughs would be few and far between). Both US candidates are high caliber performers, both can deliver a line with the right timing. Both were composed. Both probably had good speech writers.

Some would say that Trump crossed the “line” with his pointed barbs, where the jab is a little too sharp, and too thinly disguised. (There’s a certain ratio of joke to message that carries the meme to the most people.)  I would say satire is meant to make to make a point, otherwise it’s just stand up comedy.

In terms of the psychology of speeches, for this 15 [...]

Ray Stevens has some Arctic land to sell for people worried about Global Warming

We need more of this sort of thing. :- )

by Ray Stevens – The Global Warming Song. A song about a “Gullible Venture”.

Top Job!

h/t  Ian. Thanks! And RedPower

Scientists find one place on Earth that climate change is good for

Lo and Behold — climate change “may” help feed the starving Ethiopians and turn the nation into a “food exporting country”.

( That sounds pretty serious. Pay billions –  Stop That Now!)

With so many climate models, sooner or later one was going to turn up something good — in much the same way that Lotto somehow “finds” the winner. Incredibly the happy possibility even made it into a press release.

Perhaps it is safe to admit that climate change may help people in a country where the UN is not wanting to scare the voters into buying carbon credits?

Where are the headlines “Burn Oil and help feed Ethiopia?”

Where are the Green NGOs who see an opportunity here to get Ethiopia on its feet? Don’t they believe the climate models –  Or is it that they don’t really give a toss about hungry black kids?

Climate change may help Ethiopia, increase the country’s access to water

A team of researchers from Virginia Tech have predicted that water availability in the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia may increase in coming decades due to global climate change. It could also lead to increased crop production, spur massive hydroelectric [...]

US donors funding activists to shut down Australian mines, ports and rail, approved by Hillary’s right-hand-man?

The Australian has been busy exposing how the supposedly grassroots anti-coal groups in Australia are being funded by the US and with the full knowledge and approval of John Podesta who used to be a special counselor to Barak Obama and is now Hillary’s campaign chairman. Thanks to Wikileaks for the info.

Restrictions needed on overseas charities funding legal battles

The US money was designed to bankroll a strategy developed five years ago by green activists to “stop Australia’s coal export boom”.

The focus of these efforts was to “run legal challenges that delay, limit or stop all of the major infrastructure projects (mines, rail and ports)”.

A particular priority was to stop the Adani coalmine in central Queensland that would employ up to 10,000 Australians and provide high energy, low impurity coal to India, where 300 million people still do not have access to electricity.

And Hillary wants us to believe that Trump is “risky” and “unpredictable” for foreign relations? This kind of industrial sabotage is a good way to hobble the competition — though playing mean and deceitful with your dedicated allies usually works better if done from secure computers, eh? For [...]