Your best interests

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THE jobs of Australians who worked in mining and industries dependent on fossil fuels would not be sacrificed for symbolic measures aimed at tackling climate change, John Howard said today. ”Let me simply say, however, that in pursuing that objective we will make certain that the natural advantages this country has been given by providence are not squandered. One of the great natural advantages this country has is that we are a major possessor, user and exporter of fossil fuels.

"It therefore follows that, if we are not careful in the implementation of our policies in relation to this issue, not only can we do great damage to our own economy but, in the process, we will not serve the interests of those who live in other countries."

Mr Howard said Australia would be part of a “new Kyoto" if all nations agreed. He said Australia would honour its international obligations and was prepared to be part of any system that included all countries.

“I am not going to take decisions that will put at risk the jobs and the investments associated with the natural advantages this country enjoys.

Careful there Labor, remember what happened in the last federal election, that lunatic Latham you wanted to foist upon us, climbed into bed with the Greens in Tasmania, while the 'bonehead' Howard chose the workers. Guess who is in Kirribilli while the other’s avoiding reporters and slandering you lot.

I also post at Crusader Rabbit.

Take the Sheik’s advice

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THE leader of the nation's most radical Islamic group has fuelled the Taj Din al-Hilali controversy by accusing Australian judges of discriminating against Muslim rapists.

As Sheik Hilali yesterday took "indefinite leave" from preaching after a "heart attack", The Australian can reveal Melbourne cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran told his flock on Friday that rapes committed by Australian non-Muslims - such as "bikies" or "football stars" - were treated more leniently than those committed by Muslims.

"I feel there is no justice here. Not 60 years and someone else three years and they did the same crime. Why?" Sheik Omran told worshippers at his Brunswick mosque.

Well Omran, just follow the logic of Hilali, which is blame the victim. The convicted rapists are, by Omran’s standards victims as they are being unfairly punished because of their religion. So Omran, if you don’t want to be discriminated against by the judicial system, then don’t go raping people, simple. If all else fails, you can always tolerantly and peacefully convert to Christianity, somehow I don’t think the judges will go any easier on you.

While we are on the subject of the law, you would think the French riots just started last week and all the burning and pillaging of last year, happened somewhere else.

French PM Dominique de Villepin has pledged to toughen anti-vandalism laws after a woman was severely burnt in an arson attack on a bus in Marseille.

Existing laws would be broadened to punish all those who are "involved in and encourage" such attacks, not just the perpetrators, Mr de Villepin said.

Good heavens, these fools are totally out of touch. When we had the Cronulla rioting, started by Middle-Eastern thugs in Sydney, our leftist government got off their bums pretty quickly and passed new legislation to help out the Police.

A full year has passed and the bumbling leftists in France still haven’t figured out what the hell is going on in their own cities.

I also post at Crusader Rabbit.

Amusing: Hospital meals carry more fat 'than fast food'

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Most traditional home-cooked dinners would too. They are the source of hospital "cuisine"



Public hospitals serve meals that contain more fat, salt and calories than McDonald's burgers. The Sunday Times obtained a Royal Perth Hospital hot meal and sent it to a laboratory for testing. The analysis revealed that the chicken and vegetable dinner had more fat, sodium and energy than a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder, and nearly as much as a burger and french fries combined.

But this meal is far from the worst that is often on the menu for patients. The Sunday Times is aware that fatty pork chops in sauce and sausages and bacon are also served. "The pork chops are horrible, they must be about 50 per cent fat," one hospital worker said.

Prominent dietitian Margaret Hays said patients should get a selection of food, but the Government also had a responsibility to offer healthy choices in hospitals -- especially considering the obesity epidemic. "With such a huge number of Australians being overweight, or having heart conditions or diabetes, I'd expect that hospitals, of all places, should be paving the way to healthy eating and setting standards," she said.

The lab results showed the hospital meal contained 28.4g of artery-blocking fat, 1208mg of high-blood pressure-friendly sodium and 625 calories. This compared with a Big Mac's 25.5g of fat, 846mg of sodium and 480 calories. A Quarter Pounder has 20g of fat, 690mg of sodium and 460 calories. Grab a McChicken burger and fries, with 944mg of sodium, and you still get more salt in the hospital meal. There's also not much more fat and energy in the burger and fries, at 33.5g and 672 calories respectively.

Hospital workers said there were "boring" healthier choices, such as cold meat and salad, and cereal. But people often opted for "greasy hot stuff", such as roast beef swimming in gravy.

Ms Hays said healthy food did not have to be bland, nor would it cost more for hospitals. Tasty casseroles and soups, using plenty of vegetables and lean meat, were among many cheap and healthy options. Australian Medical Association president Geoff Dobb said unhealthy meal options should eventually be phased out in all hospitals. Opposition health spokesman Kim Hames said with obesity now the major cause of health problems, it was disgraceful that there was still hospital food that was less healthy than burgers. The Health Department refused to comment.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Was the "incorrect" sheik partly right after all?

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Post below from Angry Harry. His comparison with British pornography law is interesting:



Muslim Cleric Causes Uproar Over Women's Clothing: Australia's most senior Muslim cleric has prompted an uproar by saying that some women are attracting sexual assault by the way they dress.

Of course, this uproar was caused by various women's groups who think that women should bear no responsibility for what they do. Well, in my view, Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali is correct in what he says - at least to some extent. Indeed, only recently, I wrote the following on my Your Emails page to a woman who seemed to think that women should be able to dress as they please without needing to take into account how others might respond.

"... if women behave stupidly, then they deserve less sympathy should something untoward happen. And if, for example, they wander about the place showing off all their bits then they should not be too surprised to find that some mentally dysfunctional male might respond to them. And the fact that women know that such unhappy events are more likely to occur if they are sexually provocative then the fact that they carry on regardless suggests that they are not very concerned about such events. That is the message that they are sending out.

As such, the law should reflect this lesser concern - this message - when deciding what level of negative impact any assault might have had, AND when deciding any punishment.

... Many women, however, seem to wish to take no responsibility for their behaviours. They seem to think that they should be able to flaunt their sexuality all over the place - in order to incite men - and then they think that they have the right to claim that they are victims when some men respond to them in a manner which is absolutely consistent with the message that they, themselves, have been sending out.

In my view, women who set out to entice men sexually bear more responsibility for sexual assaults against them than do women who do not set out to entice men sexually. And this should be reflected in the law.

... Are women such sluts that they think that they are entitled to foist their sexuality on to every passing member of the public? Are women so mind-boggling stupid that they cannot see that flagrantly enticing men sexually might bring about consequences? What makes women think that they have the right to overtly sexually stimulate men who happen to be in the vicinity whereas if men did a similar thing in response - perhaps with their hands - they could be prosecuted?

When women stick out their sexual organs uninvited into men's vision then this is not much different from men sticking out their hands uninvited for a grope. After all, in both cases they are merely trying to elicit a sexual response in the other party in the best way that they know how.

... Furthermore, we all have to accept that in order to safeguard our liberties, we have to tolerate many dysfunctional and/or unstable beings in our society, as well as those who are temporarily 'unbalanced' - for one reason or another. The alternative, in practice, is truly horrible. And, of course, some 20% of males have very low IQs. As such, I think that women are - as seems typical these days - being incredibly selfish if they believe that they are entitled to swirl up the passions of whomsoever they wish and then escape all responsibility for any negative consequences that might arise from ending up with the wrong kind of attention.

In a nutshell: People who go out of their way to provoke "an attack" are less deserving - should an attack materialise - than those who do not.

Most people would agree with this. But western women see themselves as so superior that they think they should be above such things. And they think that they should be able to provoke men - all men - as much as they like - and then take no responsibility! (And this is true not just in the area of sex. It is true in many other areas.) 'Ollocks, I say. Their own behaviour must be taken into account. And, take it from me, it soon will be!


And I stand by that view! I think I'll become a Muslim. And, while on this particular subject, I wish to make an interesting point!

Here, in the UK, we are soon going to outlaw certain types of pornography because some sex-offenders have claimed that "pornography made me do it". In other words, the government reckons that men can be 'enticed' into doing bad things by looking at pictures. Well, surely, if lofty people can accept the notion that men can be 'enticed' by pictures, then they should also accept the notion that men can be enticed by 'reality'!

And, if this is so, then women - who bring about their own reality - and who thrust it upon others - must also often be viewed as responsible for enticing men in much the same way that pornography allegedly does. So, how is it that women can escape all responsibility for enticing men, whereas pornography and pornographers cannot?

Well, of course, the answer is obvious. Women are nowadays held to be responsible for almost nothing that they do; not even for those situations in which they choose to place themselves. They are not held fully responsible when it comes to choosing to bear offspring, when it comes to their work choices, when it comes to whom they have sex with - especially when they are drunk - when it comes to child abuse, and even when it comes to murder.

And now we are simply being indoctrinated with the view that pornography can entice men to do bad things, but women, themselves, cannot. What hokum, eh? What lies!

Notice also that misleading women - especially younger women - into believing that their dress has no effect on the likelihood of being sexually-assaulted will simply lead to more women enticing more sexual assaults. In other words, more women will be hurt.

But, despite what they might say, most women do not actually care about this. So long as they can say and do as they damn well please, they do not actually care how many other women might be assaulted as a result.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Scottish drinking

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For those who have a special affection for Scotland, there is a great article here by a Scotsman about the Scottish love of the bottle. He is trying to be censorious but cannot help celebrating Scottishness. A few excerpts:

The Buckfast fracas is emblematic of the ingrained, abusive and horribly destructive relationship between my countrymen and the bottle. We Scots make the best drink, and the best drinkers, in the world. No parties in the world can compare, in riotous enjoyment, with Hogmanay and Burns Night [Hear here!]. We just don't know when to stop...

Scottish humour and culture are soused in alcohol. Billy Connolly has long been sober, but his performance inevitably recalls, mocks and celebrates his legless days. Harry Lauder composed Glasgow's unofficial anthem as an ode to the city going "round and round" [That's from "I belong to Glasgow", which is usually attributed to Will Fife] on a Saturday night. John Reid, another reformed drinker, likes to tell a joke about how he found he was "allergic to leather" because he kept waking up with his shoes on and a splitting headache....

The drunken hero is a staple of Scots literature, and drinking has become culturally linked to the idea of liberty. Robert Louis Stevenson stated that "wine is bottled poetry" and Robert Burns himself wrote: "Freedom and whisky gang thegither." Somehow that sentiment has evolved into the freedom to get miserably blootered and die young....

The strange, miserablist tradition of Scottish drinking seems out of kilter with a nation that is increasingly self-confident, a country raking in money from tourists to spend on new livers. Today Scotland is wealthier, better educated and warmer than ever before. All dark, northern countries drink more deeply than those in the lighter south, [The French and the Italians might disagree with that] but now even Scottish weather seems to be improving. As I look outside the window, the rhododendrons are flowering for the third time, in late October.

As a child, I vividly remember the drunks lined up outside the hotel in our local village. Lurching, friendly men with wind-scoured faces, they would lean, patiently if unsteadily, against the wall between afternoon closing time and reopening in the evening regardless of the weather. My father insisted they were propping up the hotel.

Those drunks have long been gathered to the celestial tavern, but a new generation of Scottish drinkers is being pickled, with the freedom to drink all day, and alcohol comparatively cheaper than ever.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

A means to an End

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We occasionally hear of animal rights groups in the UK turning violent and terrorizing drug companies and their employees for testing their potentially life saving drugs on animals before they try it out on humans, the nerve!!

Well, I am confident the following testing is sure to get a big tick from the eco-terrorist greenies like PETA and the corporation-hating leftists. Why.. read on.
Scientists are developing a male contraceptive drug which stops the development process of sperm. Tests on rats show blocking connections to cells which "nurture" developing sperm makes the animals infertile.

Dr Richard Anderson, from the University of Edinburgh, who has been investigating hormonal male contraceptives in the UK, said: "This is very promising.

"A non-hormonal approach to male contraception using a drug which specifically targets a process in spermatogenesis has long been a very attractive option, as it leaves hormone production by the testis intact."

He said it appeared the drug effects could be fully reversible, although only a single dose was given in the study. "Clearly there are enormous amounts of work needed to translate this to humans.
Seriously, when was the last time leftists and greenies were opposed to any form of contraception, ok there is abstinence, but that's something those wretched Christians are banging on about and technically, not opposed by and not promoted by the left.

If the drug was being developed to save a human life or improve human reproduction in any way, the rat lovers would be screaming till their voices were hoarse. But in this case, sorry Stuart, Mickey and Jerry, suck it up, we’re all out of petitions.

While I’m on the subject of eco-terrorists, here are some academics talking sense.
Rifle-toting tourists hunting exotic animals could actually help protect Africa's vulnerable species, a leading conservationist has suggested.

Elephant populations had benefited from a permit system that allowed sport hunters to kill a limited number of the beasts, according to Eugene Lapointe. Writing in the BBC News website's Green Room, Mr Lapointe, president of the International Wildlife Management Consortium (IWMC), said that despite the best efforts of conservationists, the number of threatened species continued to grow.

A number of nations in southern Africa had adopted a "sustainable use" philosophy, including Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, he added. "They have issued permits to sport hunters to kill a limited number of elephants that are pre-selected according to factors like age and sex. They cannot shoot breeding animals, for example," Mr Lapointe explained.

As a result, these nations had well-stocked and healthy elephant populations and poaching was not a major problem, he observed.

The idea of "trophy hunting" being a weapon in the conservationists' armoury to protect vulnerable species was supported by Peter Lindsey from the University of Zimbabwe. "Realistically, for conservation to succeed, wildlife has to pay for itself in Africa," Dr Lindsey told a recent meeting at London Zoo.
Makes sense, to those of us with a bit of common sense, after all it’s not like they are going out into the bush with tanks and Apache gunships to let loose at anything that moves, they are talking about sending some old timers off to a better place and getting the local citizens involved in conservation by giving them a financial incentive.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) spokeswoman Rosa Hill called the idea of shooting elephants and rhinos "morally unjustifiable".
Yeah, these fellows are talking too much sense, we just need to get into our thick skulls, that the problem is humans, guns are mean and not enough aid is given by the guilty west.

I also post at Crusader Rabbit.

Freedom of Choice

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Over the weekend, I saw a story on the evening news about the Dixie Chicks; I have to admit, I know very little about country music, and didn’t even know about the controversy surrounding the Dixie Chicks and US President George Bush. Somehow I think he might not know much about the controversy either, what with dealing with terrorist butchers abroad and democrats and the left hell bent on surrendering America to her enemies.

From what I saw on the news, apparently one of the Dixie Chicks stated she was ashamed that Bush was from Texas, fellow Texans and country music fans didn’t agree and refused to buy their music. I then saw one of the Dixie Chicks whine about her right to free speech and blah blah..

And now there is a movie about their life, I wonder if they will insist they are being oppressed and stifled if the movie fares no better than their music. Incidentally, there are two movie posters, one for Canada and one for the US. I don’t understand why, but in the Canada one they appear to be ‘less’ scantily clad, are they implying they are forced to cover up by the neo-con cabal. I thought it was because of differing opening dates, perhaps I’m drawing too long a bow here.

Well, from what little I know about them and what I saw in the News, no one is inhibiting your right to say what you want to Dixie. However they are exercising their right to free choice by not supporting you. And if these ex-Dixie fans were looking for a patriot to support, click here, here or here.

It’s a bit like a decision I made on Friday afternoon, I was driving along and I spotted a poster stuck to a light pole. A “Stop Global Warming”, gathering in Martin Place, Sydney this past Saturday [I could be wrong on the date, it was a bit far away to see clearly], with such enlightened speakers as Greens Leader Bob Brown.

I chose not to attend, that might seem like I was muzzling Brown’s right to free speech to a Dixie type leftist, but no I just exercised my right, not to listen to his nonsense. By the way, this Saturday, the ever warming weather had us reaching for the jumpers and beanies.

Arrested 'al-Qaeda suspects' all from NSW

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From correspondents in Sanaa, Yemen
October 30, 2006 09:50am
Article from:
Reuters

AT least three Australians with suspected links to al-Qaeda
are facing terrorist charges after being arrested in Yemen for alleged arms
smuggling.
A foreign affairs department spokesman in Canberra confirmed
reports from Yemen that Australian passport-holders were among eight foreigners
arrested in Yemen. The spokesman added that the three were from New South Wales.


more here:

All with good Aussie names, no doubt. Names beginning with Al- or somesuch.

No Separation of Church and State in Australia

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Unlike the USA, Australia has no first amendment to be perversely interpreted by its High Court so the only opposition to the move below will be political, not judicial. Given the still considerable Catholic connections of the Australian Labor Party, it is only minor parties such as the Greens who seem likely to kick up much of a fuss about the policy. Australia is one of the world's most secular countries so the announcement below is more about expanding access to Christian thinking in Australian life than anything else..


Chaplains will be posted in schools across Australia under a federal Government plan to provide students with greater spiritual guidance. Prime Minister John Howard will today unveil details of the $90 million national chaplaincy program, which also aims to give support to students during times of grief. The initiative, which was immediately criticised for discriminating in favour of Christians, was approved by Cabinet earlier this month.

Today's announcement follows last weekend's fatal car crash near Byron Bay which killed four teenagers from Kadina High School. It also follows the tragic death of a Sydney high school student who was found dead the night before her first HSC exam.

Under the plan, government and non-government schools will be able to apply for a grant of up to $20,000 a year to employ a chaplain. The federal Government wants to encourage schools to spend more time developing the ethical and spiritual health of students. While not necessarily requiring to have a religious background, the chaplains will be expected to provide religious support. The chaplains will also be required to work with existing schools counsellors in supporting students dealing with issues such as a family break-up or the death of a fellow student. The program will leave it up to individual schools to decide on whether to employ a chaplain on a part-time or full-time basis.

Andrew Macintosh, of political think tank The Australia Institute, condemned the proposal as "ridiculous". "The money would be far better spent on teaching resources," he said. "And it is overtly discriminatory if you are only talking about Christian chaplains." It would be more appropriate to appoint professional counsellors without religious affiliations to provide support to students in times of grief, he said.

Source
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

An antisemitic university press in Australia

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An article by Michael Danby, MHR:

In July last year I learned that Louise Adler, publisher of Melbourne University Press, had commissioned Antony Loewenstein, a little-known online journalist who has his own far-left blog, to write a book about the Australian Jewish community and its attitudes to Israel. Mr Loewenstein sent me a questionnaire asking my views on various subjects.

After making some inquiries about him and reading the extreme anti- Israel views at his website, I decided not to participate in this project, knowing that my participation would give it a credibility it didn't deserve. I wrote to the Jewish News urging readers to have nothing to do with Mr Loewenstein's book.

Ever since, Mr Loewenstein has painted himself as a heroic dissident being persecuted by the "Jewish establishment" for daring to criticise Israel and the Jewish community. It is sometimes perfectly obvious what is going to be in a book before it is published. If a leading publisher commissioned Pauline Hanson to write a book about multiculturalism, or Fred Nile about the gay and Lesbian Mardi gras, no doubt all the commentators at the AbC and The Age would have plenty to say, because it would be obvious what such books would be like.

The fact is that I and many other people knew Mr Loewenstein's views on Israel and on Australian Jews long before his book appeared. This is the point that Mr rodgers and his ilk persistently fail to acknowledge so they can misrepresent criticism of Mr Loewenstein. After all, he stated them openly at his own website a year ago, where he called Israel "fundamentally undemocratic and colonialist" and "a terror state", and described the Australian Jewish community as "vitriolic, bigoted, racist and downright pathetic." He also said that "so-called Western `values' deserve to be challenged and overthrown." I give Mr Loewenstein credit for honesty - he stated his views quite openly, so everyone knew what would be in his book long before it appeared.

Of course, when the book appeared, my anticipation about its contents was proved to be correct. The book is shallow, predictable, trite and obvious, as well as riddled with factual errors. This was not my view alone. Dr Philip Mendes of Monash University, author of Jews and Australian Politics (and himself a frequent, but fair, critic of Israeli policies), said: "The majority of the text [of Mr Loewenstein's book] is overwhelmingly simplistic and one-sided. This could have been a serious and objective examination of the role of local lobby groups in influencing Australia's Middle East policies. Unfortunately, that book still waits to be written."

Dr Michael Fagenblat, of Monash University's Centre for the study of Jewish Civilisation, says: "There's nothing new or interesting here and several things that seem patently false. These remarks seem completely one-sided; they overlook the complexity and manifold responsibility that has contributed to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." (both these comments appeared in the Jewish News of 28 July) since his book came out, becoming a hero of the anti-Israel commentariat seems to have gone to Mr Loewenstein's head. Despite being lionised at writers' festivals around the county, he still complains that the "zionist lobby" is working to silence him. His attacks on Israel are growing more strident. In brisbane, debating Phillip Mendes, he said: "Israel's behaviour in the West bank and gaza are the tactics of a rogue, terror state. Enough with the Holocaust, alleged Palestinian `terror' and victimhood. Take some responsibility for the parlous state of Israel in the international community. For all of us who want a safer Middle East, today's Israel is currently the problem, not the cure."

In August I was given a chance to confront Mr Loewenstein faceto- face on AbC radio, and I must thank the Jon Faine program for setting up this debate, which was ably moderated by gerard Whately and gideon Haigh. The debate was conducted in a civil manner, but I made a point of taking Mr Loewenstein to task over a comment of his which I considered particularly offensive. speaking of the comedian sandy guttman (Austen tayshus), he said at his website: "Jews are often their own worst enemies. It might help if tayshus didn't look so much like those awful caricatures we know from the 1930s!" so Mr guttman is to be criticised because he looks too Jewish for Mr Loewenstein's sensibilities!

Mr Loewenstein is, of course, entitled to his views - ignorant, offensive and superficial though they are - but I don't apologise for my decision to launch a "preemptive strike" against his book last year. Nor do I resile from my view that a person who thinks that a Jewish state is "a fundamentally undemocratic and colonialist idea from a bygone era," and that the Australian Jewish community is "vitriolic, bigoted, racist and downright pathetic" was not a suitable person to be commissioned by a major publisher to write a book about our community and its attitudes towards Israel.

This is not MUP's first excursion into anti-Israel polemic under Louise Adler's direction. In 2005 she published Jacqueline rose's The Question of Zion, a tract so blatantly anti-Israel that even a self-professed anti-zionist reviewer, simon Louvish in The Independent, called it a work of "overriding shallowness" which showed "a lack of basic understanding" and "overreliance on certain dissident Israeli historians, and avoidance of others."

Ms Adler is, of course, free to publish as many bad books as she likes, but why do they all have to be anti-Israel bad books? Why does she lend the prestige of the MUP imprint to a one-sided rehashing of all the usual anti-Israel propaganda?

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

"Dangerous" pear tree

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A ripe pear is soft and squishy but that's still too dangerous for the soft and squishy people in charge of one British school

The laws of gravity might never have been revealed if Isaac Newton's apple tree had suffered the same fate as that of the Sacred Heart primary school's pear tree.

It may warm the hearts of health and safety commissioners across the country, but yesterday a move to cut down the tree was condemned elsewhere as madness. Governors and the head teacher at Sacred Heart Primary School, in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire sparked a furious reaction, when they decided to chop down the tree overhanging the playground. "A risk assessment was done on the tree and it was found necessary to have it removed. The risk was mainly from falling pears," said Geoffrey Fielding, chair of the governors. "We have a duty of care to the health and safety to people on this site, particularly the children and that's the decision that we have taken."

The school said they had made the decision after witnessing parents being hit on the head by falling fruit as they waited for their children. Lizzie Summerwill, a mother, praised the tree cutters. "I think it's brilliant they cut it down because of the health and safety issues," she said. "In the summertime it was infested by wasps and the fruit stank."

But Gill Franklin, owner of Cross Lane Fruit Farm, Mapledurham, which has 400 pear trees, has never been hit on the head by the fruit in 29 years. She said removing damaged pears and picking the fruit before it became ripe would resolve the issue. "Fruit doesn't drop down for no reason. You never ripen a pear on a tree. We have gone mad on risk assessment," she said. "Environmentally the world needs more trees and the children need to eat fruit. Why didn't they pick the pears? It's a frightening thought they're not using their natural resources. They're probably buying fruit in and letting the pears go to waste."

The tree is thought to be at least 25 years old, but was not included in a tree preservation order served on the site. Adam Dawson, a tree preservation officer for South Oxfordshire District Council, said Mr. Fielding did not accept his recommendations for solving the perceived problems. He added: "On balancing up the issues, and bearing in mind the considerable number of other protected trees in the vicinity, I did not consider it expedient to dedicate resources to serving an emergency tree preservation order on this one tree."

Earlier this year the school filled in a pond claiming it was very dangerous for pupils and that the area was needed for a temporary classroom.

Source
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

No further comment necessary....

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Watch on local Syrian activists
Chris Tinkler
October 29,
2006 12:00am
Article from: Sunday Herald Sun

A GROUP that
supports suicide bombers and is being investigated by Australia's intelligence
agencies meets in a Melbourne suburb.
The Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a
self-proclaimed anti-Semitic revolutionary Arabic group, has Victorian branch
headquarters in Brunswick.
And, in a state election controversy, it has been
revealed that a Labor candidate in next month's poll, Khalil Eideh, has close
links to the group.
Syrian-Australian trucking boss Mr Eideh is running for
one of Labor's safest Upper House seats.

Crass, Jaw-droppingly stupid lefties on the problem the West has with radical islam:

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"Our only hope is to offer those 1.4b people something BETTER than what they already have, and just in case you haven't noticed, they are no more likely to convert to all convert to enmass to the Celtic-Saxon Christian view of the world, than we are to all become Hasdic Jews. We cannot FORCE the Islamic nations to to our view, we can only model to them something better. Yet for the most part, I wonder if you and I could walk a mile or two in their shoes exactly how WE would judge the actions of the West...as distinct from the platitudes we mouth at them.Posted by RedRag October 28, 2006 10:04 PM"

We've modelled to them "something better" for hundreds and hundreds of years. They don't want something better, they want something better gone or enslaved. Their rotten 7th century primitivism can't accept such concepts as freedom and peaceful co-existence because that would mean admitting that they live in rancid hellholes of their own making.He wonders how we would "judge the actions of the West". Fuckwit--I have an answer to that. I judge a civilisation that treats women and children with respect, that's the first to the scene of natural disasters with massive aid, that's produced Mozart and Goethe and Rheims cathedral and the space shuttle and Hubble..with a great deal of respect indeed.And no little pride. What has the islamic world produced? What exactly does it contribute to civilisation? And why are people from the shit-holes of islam flocking to theWest for a better life? How many people move from America or Australia or Canada to islamic countries?The migration patterns tell the story.

Social workers hopelessly ideological

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No wonder they do so much harm. Ideology clearly takes the place of commonsense on many occasions

Free speech advocates are warning the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services against supporting political litmus tests in social work schools. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said Wednesday that HHS currently requires its social workers to have degrees from programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, whose standards require evaluating students on the basis of their beliefs.

The foundation urged HHS to end its relationship with CSWE unless CSWE drops these vague and politically loaded standards, a request echoed in similar letters sent today by the National Association of Scholars and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. 'By requiring that its social workers come from CSWE-accredited schools, HHS is tacitly approving viewpoint discrimination,' FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. 'HHS should take steps to ensure that CSWE eliminates the ideological requirements it currently places on universities and students.'

CSWE maintains a set of official standards on the basis of which it decides whether or not to accredit a social work program. The standards require that CSWE-accredited programs 'integrate social and economic justice content grounded in an understanding of distributive justice, human and civil rights, and the global interconnections of oppression.' They also require that graduates of CSWE-accredited programs 'demonstrate the ability to...understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.'

'`Social justice` and `economic justice` are vague and politically loaded terms that mean different things to different people, yet CSWE`s standards force schools to evaluate prospective social workers based on their commitment to these ideals,' Lukianoff said. 'It`s an invitation for schools to discriminate against students with dissenting views, as FIRE has seen happen many times before.'

Requirements of ideological conformity have led to specific incidents of viewpoint discrimination against students at institutions across the country. Washington State University (WSU) threatened an education master`s student with dismissal for expressing his opinion that white privilege and male privilege do not exist. That sentiment supposedly violated the school`s requirement that students should 'exhibit an understanding of the complexities of race, power, gender, class, sexual orientation and privilege in American society.' Rhode Island College`s School of Social Work required a conservative master`s student to lobby the government for 'progressive' social changes if he wanted to continue pursuing a degree in social work policy. At Le Moyne College, a student was dismissed from the graduate education program for writing a paper expressing his personal beliefs about the propriety of corporal punishment.

'HHS should decisively reject the use of political litmus tests for its social workers. People can hold a wide variety of views and still make excellent social workers,' a foundation spokeswoman said.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Race is a Leftist obsession

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So many people are racists, it's hard to keep up! Let's take a look at this week's charges of racism, which come from the Left. They focus on two ads in the Tennessee Senate race. This race features Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. Corker is a white, former mayor of Chattanooga, and owner of a successful construction business. Ford is a black Congressman from a prominent political family in the state.

Here's the TV ad in question. Go ahead and watch it. I'll be here when you get back. The alleged racism lies in the fact that a white, blonde woman says, "I met Harold at the Playboy party," and entreats him to call her at the end of the ad. The theory of those crying racism is that the idea of a white woman fraternizing with a black man was meant to conjure up some good Old South feelings about interracial dating.

It's a serious reach to assume that was the intent of the Republican National Committee. Had they featured a black woman asking him to call her, I'm sure there would have been some coded message there as well, like, "Harold Ford should stick to his kind." I don't know how the liberal mind works, but I've gotta believe if it weren't this racial overreach, it would have been another one.

People disagree with me on this. Republicans disagree with me on it. Ken Mehlman said he understands the other side's point of view and Corker disavowed the ad on the grounds that it was "tacky." Others have told me it was a Republican gaffe, racist or not, because it could be read as racist. Well, frankly, if we limit our political advertising things that won't offend liberals, we will have no political advertising.

Try the other one on for size. It's a radio ad, once again anti-Ford. Listen to it, here. Now, the "racist" story behind this one is that there are drums as soundtrack to the parts of the ad that talk about Harold Ford. Liberal blogs have referred to them as "tom-toms" and "jungle drums," and suggested that they're meant to evoke images of Africa, the Dark Continent, thus turning off lily white Southern voters. Of course, it's hard to make the argument that the anti-Ford ad is accentuating Ford's ethnic "savagery" when the ad copy refers to his prep-school education and Northeastern roots.

Is it just me or does it feel more likely that the people who see and hear these innocuous ads and immediately jump to accusations of racism are the ones with the racial hang-ups, not Republican Southerners?

More here

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Curry good for your brain?

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Since I am a keen curry-eater, I like this study

Eating curry may keep the brain active, a study of elderly Asians suggests. Consumers of curry were found to have sharper brains and better cognitive performance than those who never or seldom ate it. The magic ingredient may be curcumin, found in the curry spice turmeric, which possesses potent antioxidant and anti- inflammatory properties, say the authors of the study, led by Tze-Pin Ng from the National University of Singapore.

It is known that long-term users of anti-inflammatory drugs have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's, while antioxidants, such as vitamin E, have been shown to protect brain cells in laboratory experiments but have had limited success in alleviating cognitive decline in dementia patients.

In their study the team compared scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination for three categories of regular curry consumption in 1,010 Asians who were between 60 and 93 years old in 2003. Most of them ate curry at least occasionally (once every six months), 43 per cent ate it often or very often (between monthly and daily) while 16 per cent said that they never or rarely ate it.

The team report in the American Journal of Epidemiology that people who consumed curry "occasionally" and "often or very often" had significantly better MMSE scores than those who "never or rarely" ate it

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Are Leftists Men Without Chests and Women Without Breasts?

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The second picture above is of an Australian conservative politician. Below is an excerpt from Gagdad Bob which is probably meant to be metaphorical as much as literal but I kind of doubt that Leftists and Rightists are in general physically differentiated in the way he says -- though I have little doubt that physical unattractiveness is ONE of the motivations for Leftism:

Even--or especially--if you are a moonbat who hates the classical liberalism embodied in the conservative movement, you will no doubt agree that it espouses scary masculine virtues such as competition, maintaining the rule of law, standards over compassion (i.e., not changing the rules for members of designated liberal victim groups), delayed gratification, and respect for the ways of the father--that is, conserving what has been handed down by previous generations of fathers, and not just assuming in our adolescent hubris that we know better than they.

Contemporary left-liberalism, on the other hand, has come to represent the realm of maternal nurturance--compassion over standards (i.e., racial quotas), idealization of the impulses (just as a mother is delighted in the instinctual play of her child), mercy over judgment (reduced prison sentences, criminal rights, etc.), cradle-to-grave welfare, a belief that we can seduce our enemies in a feminine way and not have to defeat them with manly violence, and the notion that meaning, truth and values are all arbitrary and subject to change (which is true of the fluid world of emotions in general).

Now, I am not one of those modern space age a go-go people who imagine that gender is irrelevant to our destiny. But nor do I think that our destiny can be reduced to gender. Rather, our destiny is influenced by several archetypal factors that go into our "blueprint" and inform who we are: sex (for each sex emphasizes different divine qualities), age (i.e., season of life), intellect (not its content, but its height, depth and breadth), temperament (e.g., Jung's useful system), caste (e.g., priest, warrior, menial/intellectual laborer, merchant, etc.), and even zodiacal type (in the archetypal sense, not the debased "predictive" variety found in newspapers and most books on the topic).

Now the feminist movement of the 1960's and 70's had very little to do with comprehending, much less honoring, divine femininity, but generally degraded and devalued it. In the long run, it represented nothing more or less than the flight from a temporary or at best "pseudo problem" in exchange for a real and abiding one. It largely became a vehicle for the expression of female envy, giving existentially angry and maladjusted women license to imitate the men they envied. After all, few women are less feminine than the typical NOW activist.

Nor are they masculine, however. A woman cannot actually become a man, but can only become a monstrous blending of male and female. They become "women without breasts," except perhaps for plastic ones. (If you ever want to hear the archetypal voice of a woman without breasts, try listening for a few moments to Randi Rhodes on Air America. If you have ears to hear, you will know in an instant what Petey is talking about. Woe to her luckless child and, one assumes, luckily ex husband. Only a man with no chest at all could have survived in such a shrill atmosphere.) (Importantly, this is not to even remotely suggest that a woman cannot develop her masculine side or a man his feminine side. What we are talking about is a complete nullification of sexual polarity, a kind of magical, self-imposed blindness, so that these critical differences are effaced.)

Because they have disassociated their own devalued femininity, these women without breasts will try to locate them elsewhere. In the deepest layers of the unconscious explored by psychoanalysis, the breast is associated with the source of life and of being itself. How could it not be? The infantile mind does not separate breast, milk, love, life, being, or mother into separate existential categories. Rather, these categories will only gradually emerge from the harmoniously mixed-up intersubjective diad of mother-baby. But not always. The primordial edenic memories of the perfect breast-paradise remain.

For some, these dreams of a non-friction life with unlimited abundance are transferred onto an inanimate object called the government, which becomes the great existential teat for all of us. It will heal us when we are sick, rescue us from hurricanes, take care of us when we're old, educate us, and generally shield us from the vicissitudes of fate.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

More Favoritism for Muslims in Britain

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Police in Manchester have been told not to arrest Muslims wanted on warrants at prayer times during Ramadan. Greater Manchester Police confirmed it had asked detectives not to make planned arrests during those periods for reasons of religious sensitivity. The advice was emailed out to officers working in Moss Side, Hulme, Whalley Range, Rusholme, Fallowfield, Ardwick, Longsight, Gorton and Levenshulme. Police said it was not a blanket ban, just a "request for sensitivity". The email stressed the order did not apply to on-the-spot arrests, only the execution of arrest warrants.

The holy month of Ramadan began on 22 September and is due to end with the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr next week. The internal email was sent to staff listing the prayer times, but confusion arose and a second memo was sent clarifying it was not a total ban on arresting Muslims at these times. A GMP statement said: "The primary objective of Greater Manchester Police is to fight crime and protect people. "The month of Ramadan is an important time of the year for members of the Muslim community throughout the world. "It is important that normal, planned policing activities and operations are maintained, while ensuring that officers are professional and respectful to members of the community while going about their duties."

Liberal Democrat councillor Simon Ashley, who represents the city's Gorton South ward and leads the party on Manchester City Council, said: "This sounds odd but we would need to find out what impact rescheduling arrests had on police operations. "The police's first job is to police. "I understand they have a difficult task to do and need to do it sensitively, especially within minority communities, but that can't stop them policing serious crimes."

Source

No arrests of Christians over Easter or Christmas/New Year too? That seems to have been overlooked

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Germany drags homeschool kids to class

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Authorities haul crying children away to avoid 'danger' from parental teachings

A Nazi-era law requiring all children to attend public school, to avoid "the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions" that could be taught by parents at home, apparently is triggering a Nazi-like response from police.

The word comes from Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit, or Network for Freedom in Education, which confirmed that children in a family in Bissingen, in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, have been forcibly hauled to a public school. "On Friday 20 October 2006 at around 7:30 a.m. the children of a home educating family ... were brought under duress to school by police," the organization, which describes itself as politically and religiously neutral, confirmed.

A separate weblog in the United States noted the same tragedy. Homeschoolblogger.com noted that the "three children were picked up by the police and escorted to school in Baden-Wurttemberg, with the 'promise' that it would happen again this week." The Network for Freedom in Education, through spokesman Joerg Grosseluemern, said the Remeike family has been "home educating their children since the start of the school year, something which is legal in practically the whole of the (European Union)." "However, on this morning, they were confronted by police officials, who, in an incredibly inconsiderate manner, forced their crying children into a police car and drove them to the school. The police stated that they had been instructed to continue this measure in the coming week," the network statement said.

The network noted that the previous Minister of Education, Annette Schavan, had said such actions were not needed, because "... the children are generally not lacking in any other respects." Officials at that time, in 2002, confirmed that "forcible methods" generally are "not in the long-term interests of either the children or the police."

However, the network noted the priorities of current officials obviously are different. "The family involved emphasizes that their children are neither truant nor school deniers, which are the cases for which such measures were intended," said the network's statement, a translation from the original German. "The Remeike family is fulfilling their children's right to an education by educating them at home, with the support of teachers from a distance learning academy, which also supplies the necessary material." School arguments that homeschooling endangers the welfare of the children "lacks any factual foundation," the network statement said. "Tearing the children from the bosom of their family by forcing certainly does not contribute to their welfare. The result is more likely to be traumatisation and the development of an aversion to instruments of state authority," the statement said.

No comment could be obtained immediately from school or police officials. "The Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit strongly empathises with the Romeike family, whom many of us know personally to be an intact and conscience-driven family. We condemn the degrading act carried out by the police as a blatant breach of the personal rights of individual family members and call for the Mayor of Bissingen, as well as the Office for Education of the District Authorities of Esslingen, to end these sanctions."

The American blog noted that several other homeschooling parents recently have been fined or imprisoned for brief jail terms for teaching their children at home. The blog reported that one mother spending a few days in jail for providing homeschooling for her child "ended up leading a Bible study for women who have begged her to come back." It reported another family was fined $2,250 and members were being attacked emotionally so that the father handed a nervous breakdown that landed him in a hospital. The family put their two children in a public school "but it was so awful, they pulled them out again . and put them in a public Catholic school."

It also contained reports that Waldemar Block, the father of nine, was arrested at his work earlier this month and jailed for 13 days, while Olga Block, his sister-in-law, was jailed for 10 days for not paying fines after she sent her children to a Christian school in Heidelberg. The Home School Legal Defense Association, the largest homeschooling group in the U.S. with more than 80,000 families, also has been working to raise attention in the international community to the plight of German homeschoolers, including several families in the Baden-Wurttemberg region. The group suggested contacting the German embassy, which had an answering machine attached to the telephone line when WND left a request for comment yesterday. The HSLDA said that contact is:

Wolfgang Ischinger Ambassador German Embassy 4645 Reservoir Road NW Washington, DC, 20007-1998 (202) 298-4000 or it can be e-mailed from its its website.

The U.S. organization also noted that homeschooling has been illegal in Germany probably since 1938 when Hitler banned it. It recently announced a campaign to address the persecution Christians in Germany are facing from education authorities. Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the HSLDA, said it was launched after a mother was arrested and jailed on criminal homeschooling counts. In that case, according to a report in the Brussels Journal, Katharina Plett was arrested and ordered to jail while her husband fled to Austria with the family's 12 children.

The latest police-state actions follow by only weeks a recent ruling from the European Human Rights Court that affirmed the German nation's ban on homeschooling. The Strasburg-based court addressed the issue on appeal from a Christian family whose members alleged their human rights to educate their own children according to their own religious beliefs are being violated by the ban. The specific case addressed in the opinion involved Fritz and Marianna Konrad, who filed the complaint in 2003 and argued that Germany's compulsory school attendance endangered their children's religious upbringing and promotes teaching inconsistent with the family's Christian faith. The court said the Konrads belong to a "Christian community which is strongly attached to the Bible" and rejected public schooling because of the explicit sexual indoctrination programs that the courses there include.

The German court already had ruled that the parental "wish" to have their children grow up in a home without such influences "could not take priority over compulsory school attendance." The decision also said the parents do not have an "exclusive" right to lead their children's education. The family had appealed under the European Convention on Human Rights statement that: "No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions." But the court's ruling said, instead, that schools represent society, and "it was in the children's interest to become part of that society. "The parents' right to education did not go as far as to deprive their children of that experience," the ruling said.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

The End is near

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Virgin Atlantic is to defer its order for the new Airbus A380 by four years. The airline had ordered six of the new superjumbos for delivery in 2009, but now wants to delay their arrival till 2013.

There had been speculation that Virgin would ditch the A380, but the firm says it still has confidence in the plane. Virgin is now arguing that it wants the aircraft to prove itself in commercial service for several years before it puts its own A380s into operation.

The airline is now extending its leases on a number of Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets to cover the delay.

Go Boeing!! If only we could get our ABC and the BBC to also prove themselves in commercial service without the help of the taxpayer.

British Greenie hypocrisy

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I recently went to a mobile phone mast protest meeting. The local church was full of well-heeled people poring over leaflets about the possible dangers of electromagnetic radiation. Then something started to ring. The man on my right calmly pulled his Nokia out of his Paul Smith jacket and started yabbering into it. “Do you all have mobiles?” I asked the group I had joined. Yes. “Er, don’t you think you need a mast to get a signal?”

They hadn’t thought. Didn’t really want to. They were much readier to sign a petition and express outrage over a cup of coffee than actually to tackle their own contribution to the problem. Like the people who drive around the country expleting at wind turbines, oblivious to the pollution streaming out behind them. Like those who campaign against incinerators — the health risks of which are far clearer, and more alarming, than those of phone masts — without apparently asking themselves whether they could stop chucking away the vast amounts of unwanted plastic that they insist on purchasing.

If you really thought mobile phones were irradiating your children, surely you would jack them in and stick to the landline? If you think wind turbines are damaging the landscape, why don’t you reduce your energy use? If can’t be bothered to compost your rubbish or give usable stuff you don’t want to someone who does via www.freecycle.com (an activity, incidentally, that I highly recommend for offsetting both carbon and guilt), who are you to argue when an ugly great dioxin-emitting chimney comes to perch on your doorstep? Our budding consciences have led to a lot of soul-searching, but not yet to much personal action.

Part of the problem, of course, is the fear that any minuscule step one takes to do good will simply be exploited by someone else. Why should I endure the rain at the bus stop with my four-year-old every morning when some other mother is just going to use the road space I have vacated? I do, because my conscience dictates it. But I wouldn’t mind Ken Livingstone extending the congestion charge. My decision not to drive would be backed up with penalties for those who do, and the proceeds invested in alternatives that I use.

Now I want someone to back up my other principles. I am fed up of feeling like a criminal when I prowl around the office at night switching off colleagues’ computers; of feeling pressured to buy a new handbag (or five) when my old one hasn’t worn out; of taking holidays that do not involve flying, only to be looked at strangely by friends who have started to apologise for taking so many planes, but who still flaunt their tans when they get back.

The greatest objection to the wider use of environmental taxes is their regressive nature: they tend to hit the poor hardest. The fuel protests are still uppermost in ministerial minds, which is why cross-party support for the climate change Bill has been so vital. The other problem, less discussed, is that such taxes will have the least impact on the rich, who have the most impact on the planet. Richmond upon Thames council’s decision, much publicised yesterday, to slam gas-guzzling cars with high parking fees provoked howls of predictable outrage from the AA. But what will an extra £200 a year mean to someone who can afford to buy a Jaguar X-Type or a BMW X5 in the first place? Not much.

The Richmond councillors have become evangelical about SUVs since they discovered, through a British Gas survey of local authorities, that the people in their borough consume more energy and emit more carbon dioxide than anyone else in Britain. British Gas found that people living in the richest areas use three times more energy than the rest. It stands to reason: they drive more, they heat larger homes, they buy more stuff.

To price the rich out of polluting activities would either mean prohibitive tax burdens for everyone else, or slanting the burden so much the other way that you would get a revolution by the chauffeur-driven classes. So the answer must also lie in cultural change. We all crave the status symbols that the rich create. But while Hollywood celebrities sport their caring credentials on unbleached hemp sleeves, the new rich ethical mafia is in serious danger of jumping on the wrong bandwagon.

We cannot save the planet by shopping. “Fairtrade” and “Green”, for example, which are mentioned in the same breathless breath, are almost wholly contradictory. The one encourages the importation of consumer goods from halfway round the globe, which contributes to the climate change that will hit the poorest countries first and hardest. The other dictates that we buy locally, if at all.

Since “ethical lifestyle” became the hottest new trend, a lot of rubbish is being peddled as eco-chic. Despite heroic attempts by some travel editors, “eco” and “tourism” are a non sequitur. While sales of the hybrid Toyota Prius are helping to kick-start a new market, the bog-standard Honda Insight has better mileage. Even recycling, the great guilt-absolver, puts diesel-powered trucks on every street to collect mountains of glass that cannot be used and shipping plastic bottles off to China to be burnt, when the water we drank from them could have come a lot cheaper from the tap.

Which brings me back to phones. Why do people rush to protest about the infinitesimally small risk posed by a mobile phone mast, but seem unable to feel anything about the much greater risk of climate change? It is partly because the potential impact of one is much more local and immediate. It may also be because the mast company is a more clearly defined enemy. But in both cases we are actually both victims and perpetrators.

Righteous indignation is easy. If we can’t face taking personal action, we can at least back the Government to give us some incentives. And the fashionistas could also do me a personal favour, by designing a hair shirt that I can wear every season and look cool.



Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

The partridge in a pear tree

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(He is so out of touch he must be the partridge in the pear tree)

Thanks to Keith Burgess Jackson, I have come across another post by the amusing Leftist "philosopher" Ernest Partridge. I have commented on the philosophical one's vast ignorance previously. I note that he is still harping on his amusing contention that "progressives" are really "conservative". I pointed out some of the peculiarities of his claim about that in my previous post. A few of his latest gems:

"Soros, for example, has commendably donated billions to "promote democracy" in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. How about a few million of a billionaire's pocket change to defend - better, restore - democracy in the U.S. of A? ...

The regressive right, taking careful note of this, has consolidated and muffled the mainstream media (with a few honorable and courageous exceptions), and the GOP presidents since Nixon have packed the courts with like-minded judges....

The only available way for a disapproving public to halt this headlong rush into Fascism is to vote for the Democrats.


So the USA has ceased to be a democracy. Why is everybody bothering about that non-event on Nov. 7th, then? Obviously, America as a whole has not yet benefited from the wisdom of the man in the pear tree. And conservatives have muffled the media? I guess the New York Times does not get delivered up pear trees. I am inclined to agree with him about the headlong rush into Fascism, though. The GOP seem to be only slightly slower than the Donks at expanding the size of the State. And we know that Mussolini famously defined the State as the be-all and end-all of Fascism: "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato". It's unlikely that you will ever get force-fed castor oil for criticizing George Bush, though.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Working hours for young doctors still insane

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Young doctors are still being compelled to work far more hours than are good for either them or patients, the Australian Medical Association said today. Despite the best efforts of the AMA over recent years, the latest safety audit of doctors found some still worked more than 100 hours a week, AMA president Dr Mukesh Haikerwal said. In one case, a doctor reported working 63 hours continuously.

The audit covered more than 15,000 doctors from hospitals around the country. Details will be released today. Dr Haikerwal said it showed 62 per cent of hospital doctors still were working unsafe hours and were classified as working at high or significant risk. "It used to be part of the folklore and it continues to be part of the myth and the myth is that you need to work long hours non-stop continuously to gain the experience," he told ABC radio. "At the end of the day, you can't actually learn anything if you are dead beat on your feet. "People who are seeing a doctor would expect them to be sharp and aware and alert when they are being treated and they certainly wouldn't want to be seeing them on their 80th or 39th or so hour on the trot."

Dr Haikerwal said he had been working in this issues since his days as a student and as a young doctor. The situation had improved, "but it is still not acceptable for people to be working 39 hours non-stop and it's not acceptable for people to be working up to 100 hours on average a week," he said.

Dr Alex Markwell, from the AMA council of doctors in training, said there was still an element of older doctors who trained under the old regime who felt their junior colleagues should undergo similar experience. "We need to start putting in place strict guidelines that actually enable safe rostering, enable doctors to say 'hold on, it's 16 hours, I am tired, someone else needs to come on and take over'," she told ABC radio. "We just need to stop expecting our doctors to keep going until something tragic happens which we have unfortunately seen in some states."

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

We are weak

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Last night, I happened to catch The Force - Behind The Line and Police Files – Unlocked, on channel 7. In these two programs, they showed how police catch criminals who may be running or fleeing from the law, they also showed the penalties that these criminals ultimately received. They showed stories from America, Australia and New Zealand, after watching the penalties dished out, it is quite obvious the Aussies and Kiwis judiciaries are just soft.

A few examples, in one incident in the US, a copper [maybe a state trooper] pulled over a driver in a pickup with suspect license plates. The cop asked the guy to open a suspicious looking package [later found to contain cocaine], the guy then tried to attack the cop with the knife he was using, the cop shot him in the stomach, but that didn’t stop the fellow, while the cop was trying to get help for him and calm him down the scumbag continued trying to attack the cop. To cut a long story short, the guy was sent away for 38 years! That’s 13,870 days behind bars, and some of those days are “no lube”!

There was also a guy who led police on a wild chase through the hills of Hollywood, he too got a few years, I think 10+, I cannot remember the exact number of years. I hope one of our readers watched it and can fill us in.

Coming back to the softies down under, in New Zealand 3 or 4 kids stole a car after losing a football match and led the police on a wild chase, they refused to stop after repeated attempts by police to bash their car off the road, they almost caused the death or serious injury of 5 or more police officers who were physically trying to stop them, they got 6 months weekend detention. The narrator [probably recognizing the obviously weak sentence] added, ‘they faced much worse consequences, from their parents’!

The next one was some piece of garbage that stole a sports car and had a police escort for 300+ kilometers, while he repeatedly broke the speed limit, till they could stop him with road spikes. All other traffic was diverted to give this fellow his freedom. He was given a few fines and maybe a good behavior bond thrown in to really scare him! I would have called in an apache gunship to give boys some much needed real life target practice, or at best, had this fellow clearing litter from that 300km stretch of highway by foot. That’s what I call setting an example.

Earlier in the night I happened to catch Today Tonight, they had a story about underage criminals and how their identities are hidden. They had a story about a grandmother who was brutally murdered by two teenage girls, the faceless murderers were sentenced to 6 years and were soon to be released. This was basically about naming and shaming teenage criminals, which I know the bleeding hearts and leftists are against.

Well I don’t care who they are either, I’m not interested in looking through some database trying to remember criminals faces so I can watch my back, underage or over 40. I don’t think the majority of the public care either, recently we heard of the brutal killing of a taxi driver, the suspects are two teenage girls, why should I care what their names are or what they look like. I just want them locked up so they can’t do it again. Take that fellow in the states who got 38 years for attacking the cop, does anybody care what he looks like or who he is, that’s simply because he is going to be wishing for “lube” on certain days for the next 38 years.

We have reached an absurd situation where we are trying to watch our own backs, the judicial system is not a dating service or a rehab centre, they are not a business with criminals being their clients and hence their priority.

They are supposed to lock away violent criminals for long periods of time so we don’t have to worry if some murdering scumbag has moved in next door because a faceless parole board didn't want to be mean, give them longer sentences, bring in the death penalty and gas the scum.

I know the criminal-coddling lazy left will be whining that the death penalty doesn’t stop murderers from killing. Well as Ann Coulter points out; it does stop the convicted ones from murdering again. Besides I’ve been in Australia for at least 5 years, in that time no one’s been hung from the local light pole and criminals are given light sentences, but people are still being molested, raped and murdered.

We need boots to Ass

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In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame.

While not specifically referring to the rapes, brutal attacks on four women for which a group of young Lebanese men received long jail sentences, Sheik Hilali said there were women who "sway suggestively" and wore make-up and immodest dress ... "and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years".

"But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he asked. In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

"The uncovered meat is the problem." The sheik then said: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

He said women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men.

It’s not all bad news though, read the full article and many Muslim community leaders are busily lighting fires under the Sheik’s bum, the rest are fetching petrol.

This morning on Radio 2GB, most of these community leaders declined to have their outrage aired, make of that what you will, however a Walid Ali [may have mis-spelled that] from the Victorian Islamic Council was brave enough to speak. I don’t think he read the full article or even heard the Sheik’s sermon, but he wasn’t about to pull an ACLU or Criminal Liberties Union, he came bearing matches and petrol for the Sheik.

The good thing is, well atleast to me, that muslims seem to be getting the message that this is their problem and they need to take out their own trash.

I just hope they are not displaying outrage in public but in private are only taking the wet lettuce to the Sheik.

American "civil libertarians" defending paedophiles

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But will they defend something healthy, like the Boy Scouts? No Way! Pedophiles are entitled to their views but the Scouts are not!

These are the facts: In October 1997, 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley was lured into a car in Cambridge by Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari. He fought back for as long as 20 minutes before he was suffocated with a gas-soaked rag. His body was sexually molested before it was finally packed in a container and dumped into the Great Works River in Maine.

Sicari was later convicted of first-degree murder and Jaynes was convicted of second-degree murder and kidnapping. Both are in prison on life sentences, Sicari without chance of parole. Sicari and Jaynes were members of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), although Jaynes' membership check had apparently bounced.

Curley's family filed a federal wrongful death suit in 2000 against NAMBLA in Massachusetts, seeking $200 million on allegations that the organization had turned Jaynes from a timid and confused soul into an aggressive pervert. NAMBLA has since been dismissed from the case, but several of its members who were responsible for its Web site and published materials remain as ACLU clients.

Among the allegations is that Jaynes read material he obtained on NAMBLA's Web site or directly from the organization. Some of the material Jaynes read was horrible. In essence, it told readers how they could rape a child and get away with it.

The ACLU of Massachusetts is defending the case because it regards the publication of such materials, whether on a Web site or in hard copy, as a basic free-speech right regardless of how repulsive it might be. "This is a First Amendment case," said Sarah Wunsch, one of the ACLU attorneys handling the defense, in an interview Friday. "It's about NAMBLA putting out a magazine." "The organization did not commit these crimes," she said. "In this free society that we claim to be, it may mean representing people whose rights are being violated but who are not popular," she said. "This is one of those cases. People should not be ashamed of that or run away from it. It is what makes us a free society.".....

The lawyer for the Curley family, Larry Frisoli, is the Republican candidate for Massachusetts attorney general in the November elections, and his lawsuit is a key element of his campaign. "I have devoted hundreds of thousands of dollars of my time and money because I believe there should not be a national organization training its members to rape young children," he said in his acceptance speech in April at the Massachusetts Republican Party convention.

Conservative Web sites have also seized on the case. Type ACLU and NAMBLA into Google.com and it will return 96,400 hits, the first being a link to the "ACLU NAMBLA Rage Page." In a statement shortly after the Massachusetts chapter took on the case, the national ACLU in New York issued a statement defending the decision. "The lawsuit involved here, were it to succeed, would strike at the heart of freedom of speech," it says. "The case is based on a shocking murder. But the lawsuit says the crime is the responsibility not of those who committed the murder, but of someone who posted vile material on the Internet."

More here

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Strange attitudes towards Israel

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Excerpt from Arlene Peck

In retrospect, frankly, I think that the last time I trusted the "powers that be" was when Yitzhak Shamir was running Israel . Now, I shake my head in amazement at the mentality or lack of it that is seemingly running things. For instance, Gaza is once again receiving massive amounts of anti-tank missiles to be used against Israel. If that weren't enough, the Hamas terror organization recently ordered and received Soviet-made SA-7 surface-to-air missiles. What are the Israelis going to do? Wait until they fall onto a Tel Aviv dicso before doing something? Now would be the time to have an offensive but, naw..they'll wait. In the meanwhile, the terror group Hezbollah are busy little bees using their broadcaster TV station, Al Manar, to recruit homicide bombers, have fund-raising campaigns to gather money for terrorist operations, conduct pre-attack surveillance and oh, did I mention, incite violence in various ways. Hamas is not far behind. However, who in the liberal media is paying attention to any of this? Do they even care? ....

Hell, I "almost" don't even have the energy to say I told you so with issues like "the security wall" that Israel built to the tune of raging protest and resolutions in the United Nations and the EU and voices against them in The Hague. That topic has died down though. Not because it was instrumental in stopping homicide bombers from entering their malls, restaurants, busses and schools to kill Jewish children. Why? Because we, in the United States, are chomping at the bit to start building a fence on our Southwestern border to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens invading our country into Arizona and California every day. China has already erected a massive fence along its border with North Korea India on its borders with Pakiastan, Saudi Arabia next Yemen and so on. You probably didn't even know about those though, as not even anyone from the liberal left are out there protesting.....

Jews, a minuscule dot in the world census, have made and continue to make an enormous contribution to the benefit of humankind as reflected by the dozens and dozens of Noble Prizewinners. We excel in medicine, arts, science, and political science, among others, yet are blind to the dangers that face us. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Bush's mouthpiece, made a speech at the American Task Force of Palestine's inaugural dinner in Washington . The world clapped when she stated, "There could be no greater legacy for America than to help to bring into being a Palestinian state." This, folks, gives me shivers when the so-called Palestinians go all out to prove themselves to be the most overtly pro-jihad, terrorist society in history and no one in our government is willing to see reality for what it is. These "people" are clearly evil, genocidal and terrorists, whether active in Fatah, Force 17, or a supporter . Yet Dubya and Condi see no evil and hear no evil but speak evil. It brings back shades of Neville Chamberlain. Yet, where are the cries from either the Jewish or the Christian communities (other than the Zionist Organization of America), for that matter fighting against what is the beginning of the end of the Jewish State?

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Vegemite reprieved!

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Australians travelling to the US can breathe easy. So can the 100,000 or so Australian expatriates living in America. The US Government today dismissed media reports it had banned Vegemite. "There is no ban on Vegemite," US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesman Mike Herndon said.

Media reports at the weekend claimed American border officials were confiscating Vegemite from Australians as they entered the US. The FDA, charged with policing America's food supply, has not issued an "import alert" to border officials to halt the import of Vegemite. Mr Herndon said the FDA was surprised by the media reports.

The controversy centres on folate, an ingredient in Vegemite. Under US regulations, folate can be added only to breads and cereals. "One of the Vitamin B components (in Vegemite) is folate," Mr Herndon said. "In and of itself, it's not a violation. If they're adding folate to it, boosting it up, technically it would be a violation. "But the FDA has not targeted it and I don't think we intend to target Vegemite simply because of that."

Joanna Scott, spokesperson for Vegemite's maker, Kraft, reportedly has said, "The Food and Drug Administration doesn't allow the import of Vegemite simply because the recipe does have the addition of folic acid". But Mr Herndon said, "Nobody at the FDA has told them (Kraft) there is a ban". To eradicate any grey areas or potential regulation breaches, Mr Herndon said, Kraft could petition the FDA, something other food manufacturers have done.

While many Aussies living in the US rely on visiting Australian relatives and friends to bring them a jar or two of Vegemite from Australia, the product is available in some US supermarkets. The price slapped on Vegemite, however, is tough to swallow. A tiny, four ounce jar of Vegemite sells for around $US4.80 ($6.33) in US supermarkets.

Source
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)