PARENTS are being urged to start talking about sex with their children from the age of two. A new sex education guide by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society says discussing sex is not going to make kids go out and "do it". [Really? The expansion of sex education in British school has coincided with an upsurge in teen pregnancies there]
"Talk soon. Talk often" author Jenny Walsh, of La Trobe University, writes that talking about sex with young people actually had the opposite effect. "We can be so worried about getting it right, perfectly right, that we end up saying nothing at all," Ms Walsh wrote.
The booklet says many parents are still nervous talking about sexuality, including topics such as bodies, babies, love and sexual feelings. It recommends talking to children as young as two about sex and continuing until they are 17. From birth to two years old it is important to start using the right names for body parts, the guide says.
It also covers everything from what you should do if you find your child "playing doctors" to how to approach masturbation.
Family Planning Victoria welcomed the new sex education guide. "We would say that old idea of sitting down and having a talk is absolutely not the way to do it," FPV deputy CEO Elsie L'Huillier said. "There should be a whole process where the issue of sexuality comes up as a natural conversation. It's not a highly stressful 'Let's sit down and talk'."
She said some parents still felt embarrassed to discuss sexuality issues with their children, but it was changing. "There's a reluctance or taboo in some families about being frank about sexuality. It's a big jump for them," she said.
Marie Stopes International Australia CEO Maria Deveson Crabbe said there was no right age to start sex education - it depended on individual families. "I think it is important to recognise that these topics have been stigmatised, but there is no point in burying our heads in the sand." She said sex education was important because poor knowledge of sexual health and decision-making can have long-term impacts.
When it comes to monitoring their children's media diets, some parents worry about sex, while others worry about violence. I worry more about inane sitcoms featuring smart-alecky kids and dumb adults, which is why I have blocked the Disney channel.
Different parents have different standards, and the same parents are likely to have different standards for different children, depending on their age, maturity and personality. Because of this diversity, policies that aim to bolster parental authority by restricting minors' access to material the government deems inappropriate, such as the California video game law that the Supreme Court overturned this week, would be doomed to fail even if they did not violate the First Amendment.
California's law made selling or renting a "violent video game" to a minor a civil offense punishable by a $1,000 fine. It covered games "in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being," depicted in a way that "a reasonable person, considering the game as a whole, would find appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors," that is "patently offensive to prevailing standards in the community as to what is suitable for minors" and that "causes the game, as a whole, to lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors."
The thing about reasonable people, of course, is that they may disagree, especially on such abstruse issues as whether a video game appeals to a minor's "deviant or morbid interest," whatever that might be. "Prevailing standards in the community," which determine what is "patently offensive," are likewise a matter of dispute. Pretending that everyone in California agrees about "what is suitable for minors," or sees eye to eye on the redeeming value of violent entertainment, does not make it so.
The one thing all parents probably do agree on is that teenagers should not be treated like toddlers. Yet that is what California's legislators decided to do, decreeing one (indeterminate) standard for everyone under 18. The industry's game ratings, by contrast, draw six distinctions based on age and use 30 "content descriptors" to indicate the nature of potentially objectionable material.
Since parents can use these ratings to regulate what their children play (and can even use system settings to block games with certain ratings), what was the motivation for California's law? "California cannot show that the Act's restrictions meet a substantial need of parents who wish to restrict their children's access to violent video games but cannot do so," the Supreme Court concluded.
"Not all of the children who are forbidden to purchase violent video games on their own have parents who care whether they purchase violent video games," Justice Antonin Scalia noted in the majority opinion, questioning the premise that "punishing third parties for conveying protected speech to children just in case their parents disapprove of that speech is a proper governmental means of aiding parental authority." He suggested that the main effect of the law was to enforce "what the State thinks parents ought to want" -- the opposite of respecting parental authority.
On the same day the Court overturned California's video game law, it agreed to consider a First Amendment challenge to the federal ban on broadcast indecency, another policy that imposes government-determined standards of propriety in the name of helping parents protect their children. It features the same sort of constitutionally problematic vagueness and subjectivity, yet applies to adults as well as minors, banning "patently offensive" material related to sex or excretion between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Like California's law, which arbitrarily distinguished between video games and other forms of violent entertainment, the indecency ban is "wildly underinclusive," applying to broadcast TV and radio but not to programming carried by cable, satellite or the Internet. In both cases the solution is not to expand the government's cultural regulations but to privatize them by letting people raise their own children.
"The Israeli prime minister's 19-year-old son posted disparaging and obscene comments about Arabs and Muslims on his Facebook page, an Israeli paper reported today.
Earlier this year, Yair Netanyahu posted that Muslims 'celebrate hate and death,' the Haaretz daily reported.
After Palestinian assailants entered a West Bank settlement and stabbed five members of an Israeli family to death, he wrote that 'terror has a religion and it is Islam.'
Yair Netanyahu, the eldest of the prime minister's two sons, is currently a soldier in the Israeli military's media liaison unit.
But a lawyer for the Netanyahu family, David Shimron, defended teh soldier, insisting in a statement that the comments were those of a 'teenager' and were 'taken out of context in an attempt to defame the prime minister and his family.'
In another comment, he wrote that there had never been a Palestinian state and that he hoped 'there would never be one.'
I am sure I would feel similarly in his situation
CHILDCARE operators have begun to sell off their businesses to avoid a barrage of new fines and regulations that are expected to force fees up by an average $13 per child per day, more than 20 times what the government had predicted.
Kerry Lada, who ran the Hardy's Road Early Childhood Centre at Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast for 12 years, sold up two weeks ago. "It was too hard, I was going to have to increase fees by at least $13 a day," she said.
Under national reforms to start on January 1 childcare centres will have to decrease the ratio of babies to carers from various state-mandated levels to four to one.
The full cost will not be felt until 2016, when centres will have to be hiring one staff member for every five children aged 25 to 35 months, and one carer for every 11 children aged three to school age.
Ms Lada said her 55-place centre would have had to drop eight childcare places or hire two extra staff next year as a result of the new regulations.
Nerida Campbell, who trained as a teacher and has two young children, runs a centre in Katanning, Western Australia. She said she could not find the extra qualified staff she needed to meet the regulations in a rural area and her fees would have to rise by $10 a day next year. "In the next six months we'll be thinking about selling," Ms Campbell said.
Staff who had worked in childcare for years were also considering resigning ahead of new regulations that will make staff and centres subject to fines if they did not meet new standards, Ms Lada said.
Childcare Minister Kate Ellis insists independent modelling from Access Economics shows the reforms will have a minimal cost impact of just 57c per child a day in 2012 and $8.67 in 2014-15. But a new survey of 414 private and community-based childcare centres shows operators will raise their fees by an average of $13 a day after the new regulations are introduced.
One in five of those surveyed was contemplating rises of $25 a day.
The survey found 70 per cent of proprietors were not fully aware of their responsibilities under the new laws and 64 per cent said they would have to cut the number of places they offered.
The reefs have been going to hell in a handbasket for years -- according to the Greenies
Disturbance and the Dynamics of Coral Cover on the Great Barrier Reef (1995–2009)
By Kate Osborne et al.
Coral reef ecosystems worldwide are under pressure from chronic and acute stressors that threaten their continued existence. Most obvious among changes to reefs is loss of hard coral cover, but a precise multi-scale estimate of coral cover dynamics for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is currently lacking.
Monitoring data collected annually from fixed sites at 47 reefs across 1300 km of the GBR indicate that overall regional coral cover was stable (averaging 29% and ranging from 23% to 33% cover across years) with no net decline between 1995 and 2009.
Subregional trends (10–100 km) in hard coral were diverse with some being very dynamic and others changing little. Coral cover increased in six subregions and decreased in seven subregions. Persistent decline of corals occurred in one subregion for hard coral and Acroporidae and in four subregions in non-Acroporidae families. Change in Acroporidae accounted for 68% of change in hard coral.
Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) outbreaks and storm damage were responsible for more coral loss during this period than either bleaching or disease despite two mass bleaching events and an increase in the incidence of coral disease. While the limited data for the GBR prior to the 1980's suggests that coral cover was higher than in our survey, we found no evidence of consistent, system-wide decline in coral cover since 1995. Instead, fluctuations in coral cover at subregional scales (10–100 km), driven mostly by changes in fast-growing Acroporidae, occurred as a result of localized disturbance events and subsequent recovery.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(3): e17516.
This is a "policy statement", not science. There have been many gravely mistaken policies in medical science
Television creates a "perfect storm" of childhood obesity, paediatricians warn today. The mixture of long-hours sitting doing nothing in front of the box, exposed to advertising for unhealthy products, means today's children both get too little exercise and end up consuming foods which make them put on weight.
The caution comes from the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), in a policy statement about children, obesity and television.
It advises parents to limit their time their children spend watching non-educational programmes to two hours per day, and take the television screeens and computers out of their sons' and daughters' bedrooms.
Commenting on the statement, the lead author, Dr Victor Strasburger, said: "We’ve created a perfect storm for childhood obesity – media, advertising, and inactivity. "American society couldn’t do a worse job at the moment of keeping children fit and healthy – too much TV, too many food ads, not enough exercise, and not enough sleep."
Although the warning was about American children, it could almost as easily apply to British ones as well. Studies show that British children watch on average almost as much as their American counterparts.
Dr Strasburger said children saw £5,000 to 10,000 food ads per year, most of them for junk food and fast food."
The policy statement is published in Monday's edition of the AAP's journal, Pediatrics.
by Walter Williams
The late South African economist William Hutt, in his 1964 book, "The Economics of the Colour Bar," said that one of the supreme tragedies of the human condition is that those who have been the victims of injustices and oppression "can often be observed to be inflicting not dissimilar injustices upon other races."
Born in 1936, I've lived through some of our openly racist history, which has included racist insults, beatings and lynchings. Tuskegee Institute records show that between the years 1880 and 1951, 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites were lynched. I recall my cousin's and my being chased out of Fishtown and Grays Ferry, two predominantly Irish Philadelphia neighborhoods, in the 1940s, not stopping until we reached a predominantly black North or South Philly neighborhood.
Today all that has changed. Most racist assaults are committed by blacks. What's worse is there're blacks, still alive, who lived through the times of lynching, Jim Crow laws and open racism who remain silent in the face of it.
Last year, four black Skidmore College students yelled racial slurs while they beat up a white man because he was dining with a black man. Skidmore College's first response was to offer counseling to one of the black students charged with the crime.
In 2009, a black Columbia University professor assaulted a white woman during a heated argument about race relations. According to interviews and court records obtained and reported by Denver's ABC affiliate (Dec. 4, 2009), black gangs roamed downtown Denver verbally venting their hatred for white victims before assaulting and robbing them during a four-month crime wave.
Earlier this year, two black girls beat a white girl at a McDonald's, and the victim suffered a seizure.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered an emergency shutdown of the beaches in Chicago because mobs of blacks were terrorizing families. According to the NBC affiliate there (June 8, 2011), a gang of black teens stormed a city bus, attacked white victims and ran off with their belongings.
Racist black attacks are not only against whites but also against Asians. In San Francisco, five blacks beat an 83-year-old Chinese man to death. They threw a 57-year-old woman off a train platform. Two black Oakland teenagers assaulted a 59-year-old Chinese man; the punching knocked him to the ground, killing him.
At Philly's South Philadelphia High School, Asian students report that black students routinely pelt them with food and beat, punch and kick them in school hallways and bathrooms as they hurl racial epithets such as "Hey, Chinese!" and "Yo, Dragon Ball!" The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund charged the School District of Philadelphia with "deliberate indifference" toward black victimization of Asian students.
In many of these brutal attacks, the news media make no mention of the race of the perpetrators. If it were white racist gangs randomly attacking blacks, the mainstream media would have no hesitation reporting the race of the perps. Editors for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune admitted to deliberately censoring information about black crime for political reasons. Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern recently said that the paper's reason for censorship was to "guard against subjecting an entire group of people to suspicion."
These racist attacks can, at least in part, be attributed to the black elite, who have a vested interest in racial paranoia. And that includes a president who has spent years aligned with people who have promoted racial grievance and polarization and appointed an attorney general who's accused us of being "a nation of cowards" on matters of race and has refused to prosecute black thugs who gathered at a Philadelphia voting site in blatant violation of federal voter intimidation laws.
Tragically, black youngsters – who are seething with resentments, refusing to accept educational and other opportunities unknown to blacks yesteryear – will turn out to be the larger victims in the long run.
Black silence in the face of black racism has to be one of the biggest betrayals of the civil rights struggle that included black and white Americans.
While 22-year-old Rory McIlroy was teeing up on June 16 during the first round of his historic victory at the U.S. Open, another drama unfolded outside Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
A Montgomery County inspector busted some kids for running a lemonade stand at which they were setting aside half the proceeds for pediatric cancer victims. The charge? No permit.
One of the dads involved got a $500 fine. After a TV station's tape of the bust went viral, the county backed off, canceled the fine, and let the kids set up on a side street. The children decided to donate the entire take to cancer kids.
Although it ended well, the incident became news because it illustrates how bureaucrats can abuse power and bully citizens – even kids.
Along the same lines, many Americans were outraged upon seeing footage in April of a Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) agent patting down a six-year-old girl at the New Orleans airport and an eight-year-old boy patted down in Portland (Oregon) International Airport.
But wait. TSA topped that in Kansas City, where they patted down an eight-month-old baby on May 7 after the infant's stroller caused the scanner to beep. A pastor, Jacob Jester, who was in line, snapped a photo, and Twittered it.
What got into those agents? As far as I can see from the picture, the baby was not dressed in a black burqa with a suspicious bulge, nor maliciously brandishing a bottle or pacifier. Jester, who said he respects the TSA for trying to ensure everyone’s safety, commented, "I'm not out to embarrass the TSA But I do believe there has to be a line drawn. I do not believe that an eight-month-old constitutes a security threat."
Public exposure and outrage is the best medicine for curbing overzealous bureaucrats. On June 22, the TSA said it would do less intrusive checks on children. This will reduce but not abolish such procedures. Wouldn't want al-Qaeda to get the green light to hot-pack the Pampers.
Another bureaucratic outrage is simmering in the Midwest, where a family has been threatened with a potential fine of $4 million for raising bunnies without permission from the federal government. Blogger John McCarty, who publishes on BigGovernment.com, has been following the story, abbreviated here:
John and Judy Dollarhite of Nixa, Mo. wanted to teach their teen-aged son about management, so they got a male and female rabbit in 2005 and let him sell the bunnies. In 2009, his parents paid him $200 for the business and took in about $4,600 a year selling bunnies.
Before you could say "What's Up Doc?" along came a woman from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who asked to inspect the operation, to which the Dollarhites say they readily agreed. The inspector found not only that they lacked a federal permit for selling more than $500 worth of rabbits in a year, but that the tidy, 30-inch by 36-inch cages were – wait for it – a quarter of an inch too small.
The FDA came back in January, 2010, and issued a warning. The case dragged on. On advice of an attorney, the couple went out of the bunny business, unloading their equipment on Craigslist. But the FDA sent them a certified letter in April 2011, assessing a fine of $90,643, which, if not paid, could result in civil fines of up to $10,000 for each violation (for about 390 bunnies sold), which adds up to $3.9 million. The FDA helpfully advised the couple to pay the $90,643 fine online with a credit card by May 23.
On May 25, at a rally outside the FDA's office in Ozark, Judy Dollarhite called the experience a "nightmare," telling the crowd that "it certainly wasn't what we expected when we got a few bunnies to try to teach our kid where money comes from, where food comes from, family farm values we grew up with." Here's the most chilling part. She said an FDA official told her by phone that even though they were out of business, the FDA was going to prosecute them anyway "to make an example of us."
Think about how often this happens with other federal agencies, such as newly empowered Environmental Protection Agency agents looking for carbon-related "crimes" and often dry "wetlands." Or Obama’s union-packed National Labor Relations Board, telling Boeing, Soviet-style, that it cannot operate a new airliner plant in right-to-work South Carolina.
The bunny saga is still unfolding, with the couple asking Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt to enter the fray. The FDA should back off, cancel the fine, and discipline any bureaucrat who abused this couple. This kind of thuggery should never be tolerated in a free country.
Let's all hope that reason prevails. From kid searches to lemonade stand shakedowns, bunny busts and EPA and NLRB goons, an informed, active citizenry and media exposure are crucial to thwarting tyranny.
Cutting back the deep, deep thickets of unconstitutional bureaucracy would be a more permanent solution.
Ruth Davis, the senior policy adviser at Greenpeace UK, is quoted in The Guardian about the deferral of a vote in the European Parliament on whether to increase the EU’s emissions reduction target from 20 to 30 per cent. Here is what she says:
This vote was postponed after the prime minister personally intervened so that those opposing a higher climate target could no longer count on the support of his party. The politicians backing dirty industries realised they would lose in their bid to scupper moves towards a greener Europe, and they had no option but delay.
Her statement is – there is no way of putting this gently – a lie. The reason the vote was delayed is that the voting session had overrun, and some MEPs [MEP = “Member of the European Parliament”] wanted their lunch. The postponement was approved on a free vote. From where I was sitting, it looked as though just over half the British Tories voted to carry on with the session. Frankly, though, MEPs didn’t vote on Left-Right lines so much as on the basis of whether they were in danger of missing their flights.
My point isn’t really about the emissions target. As far as I’m aware, and contrary to what Ms Davis says, Conservative MEPs still oppose the change. Martin Callanan, our leader, believes it would outsource jobs from the EU to parts of the world with lower environmental standards, and is thus ecologically as well as economically unsound. There are, though, decent and sincere people on both sides of the argument, many with far greater technical knowledge than mine.
No, my point has to do with the sheer flagrancy of Greenpeace’s deceit. Alright, in the scheme of things, it’s a trivial fib. Still, this is the first time that I’ve been able to check one of the pressure group’s claims against my first-hand knowledge and, on this basis, Greenpeace has a 100 per cent record of falsehood. Extrapolating from my experience, I shall henceforth assume that its spokesmen are equally unreliable in their claims about deforestation, ocean pollution, nuclear power, sustainable agriculture and climate change.
Super-epic fail, dudes.
A Leftist State government is abandoning poor children who have vision and hearing problems
There has been only passing mention of this in the media so I thought I might flesh it out a little.
Ever since 1911 Queensland has had specially trained nurses going around all the schools testing children's vision and hearing and keeping an eye out for any other health problems that they might detect.
This has been especially important in lower socio-economic areas where parents are often not alert to such problems in their children or do not have the confidence to do anything about problems that they are aware of. In such communities the nurse can often galvanize action on a child's vision or hearing loss at an early age and thus remove very large roadblocks to the child's educational progress.
This has been particularly so where Aboriginals (native blacks) are concerned as hearing loss is something of an epidemic among Aboriginal children and the parents are usually far too timid to do anything about it.
So what is the latest from Queensland Health on the centenary of this invaluable service? They are cancelling it. As a substitute they have agreed to pay local GPs a small sum to carry out such testing on anyone who comes in for it
So for a start they have just lost the Aborigines. Many Aborigines won't be alert to the problems concerned and in any case will rarely have the confidence to approach local GPs about such problems. The people who need the assistance of school nurses the most are now having it taken away from them.
And few GPs have the experience and equipment to do a job as good as the job that the specialized nurses do.
And it will just lengthen the already long waits to see a doctor in lower socio-economic areas. In such areas it can take a couple of weeks to get an appointment with a GP. So Queensland Health is just putting a new burden onto already overstretched GPs and stretching out waiting times for appointments even further.
So why is Queensland Health doing this dastardly deed to the poor families of Queensland? Budget cuts. They have spent hundreds of millions on getting their botched payroll system working and the money has got to come from somewhere.
But why take it away from frontline services? 20 years ago the school nurses had only a couple of employees in addition to the nurses themselves. Now there is a great bureaucracy that is more numerous than the nurses. If there have to be cuts, why not cut back the bureaucracy to what it was 20 years ago? The sevice ran perfectly well for many decades without a huge bureaucracy on top of it and could easily do so again.
But Leftist goverments regard their bureaucracies as sacred for some inscrutable reason so that is the last thing they will consider. I guess it gives them a feeling of power to have so many people dependant on them. Pity about the poor, though.
The Minister for Health in the Queensland State government is Hon. Geoff Wilson MP
You can email him here
We have below an impressive explanation of various marine phenomena in terms of global warming. Such a pity that there has not in fact been any global warming. Even according to Warmist climate tabulators, the earth warmed by less than one degree Celsius in the 20th century and in the 21st century the temperature has been completely flat. So the explanation given has to be wrong. The phenomena cannot be caused by global warming if there is no global warming
The global warming of sea waters is causing the biggest movement of marine species in two million years, according to a huge new international study by 17 different science institutes
Among the changes recorded by scientists contributing to Project Clamer is the fact that huge blooms of a venomous warm-water species of jellyfish are massing in the North Atlantic.
The Pelagia noctiluca 'dominates in many areas and outbreaks have become an annual event, forcing the closing of beaches,' says the report.
'This form of jellyfish is a gluttonous predator of juvenile fish, so researchers consider its spread a harmful trend.'
However, there was further bad news as the report also warned that the highly-venomous Portuguese Man O'War is also moving closer.
Physalia physalis, a jellyfish-like creature usually found in subtropical waters, is more regularly being discovered in northern Atlantic waters.
The research is to be published this year by Project Clamer, a major collaboration between 17 institutes on climate change and the oceans.
Among the other discoveries in worldwide waters, it was noted that aa 43-foot gray whale was spotted off the Israeli town of Herzliya last year.
Scientists came to a startling conclusion that it must have wandered across the normally icebound route above Canada, where warm weather had briefly opened a clear channel three years earlier.
On a microscopic level, scientists also have found plankton in the North Atlantic where it had not existed for at least 800,000 years.
The whale's odyssey and the surprising appearance of the plankton indicates a migration of species through the Northwest Passage, a worrying sign of how global warming is affecting animals and plants in the oceans as well as on land.
'The implications are enormous. It's a threshold that has been crossed,' said Philip C. Reid, of the Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in Plymouth.
'It's an indication of the speed of change that is taking place in our world in the present day because of climate change.'
A super-duper scare cooked up for the obesity war. But it's just the usual epidemiological nonsense. They have shown that fat women have less healthy babies -- but why? Could it be that obesity is greatest among lower class mothers and they are less healthy anyway? Social class is a PERVASIVE predictor of health outcomes. When will epidemiologists develop some honesty about what is going on? I'm not holding my breath
Pregnant women who ‘eat for two’ could be damaging their babies’ IQs, research shows. They may also put them at risk of developing behavioural problems, eating disorders and mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.
Doctors have long known that obese pregnant women are more likely to suffer blood clots, but the long-term effects of a mother’s overeating on her child’s health are not well understood.
Now a review of existing research has found evidence that obese women or those who put on excessive amounts of weight when pregnant could be harming their children’s development.
Scientists from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, looked at a dozen studies. Research in the U.S. found that children of obese mothers tended to have IQ scores five points lower than the results of those whose mothers were a normal weight.
Swedish studies showed children were more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder if their mothers were obese.
And work on Australian teenagers suggested a child’s chance of having an eating disorder increased by 11 per cent for each point their mother’s body mass index increased during pregnancy.
The researchers, whose findings are published in Obesity Review, believe hormonal and chemical changes may explain the results.
James Paterson writes from Australia's Institute for Public Affairs with news that Andrew Bolt, Australia's most prominent conservative columnist, is currently being prosecuted under appallingly restrictive racial tolerance laws. Mark Steyn recorded this special message for an event held by the IPA in Australia to defend free speech.
Andrew Bolt comments: "Of all that was said on the night and sent, Mark Steyn's contribution was the one that brought down the house. I confess to being in awe of it -- not just because I appreciate the compliment of having it come from probably the most brilliant columnist in the English-speaking world, but because it's such a tremendous piece of writing.
I covered the beginning of the hate speech trial concerned on "Tongue Tied" on April 17
I see the billboard as a rare positive recognition of Christianity from Muslims
PROCLAIMING Jesus to be ''a prophet of Islam'' on billboards is a statement of belief and does not discriminate against or vilify Christians, the Advertising Standards Bureau has found.
The billboard, one of several in an awareness campaign by Islamic group MyPeace, was the subject of a series of complaints to the bureau on the grounds that the statement was insulting to those who believed Jesus to be the son of God.
Other complaints included the charge that Jesus ''must not be associated with such [an] aggressive religion'' and another claiming the advertisement was upsetting to children. ''What [my child] knows of Islam she has learnt from watching mainstream news broadcasts and to have her saviour identified as being part of this malicious cult was very traumatic!'' one complaint stated.
But the bureau found that while some members of the community would be offended by the statement, which would be inconsistent with Christian beliefs, ''such a statement does not, of itself, discriminate against or vilify people who hold different beliefs'' and was not a breach of the Advertiser Code of Ethics. ''The board acknowledged that the Islam faith does consider that Jesus is a prophet of Mohammed,'' it read.
It found the billboards did not suggest violence or contain frightening material ''and that it is not unreasonable for children to be exposed to a variety of information in their daily lives, some of which may conflict with the views with which they are raised''.
MyPeace founder Diaa Mohamed confirmed earlier this month that two billboards - one at Rozelle and another at Rosehill - had been vandalised.
Another reading ''Mary and prophet Jesus: read about their lives in the [Koran]'' was erected on Fairfield Road, near the M5 at Padstow at the weekend, he told the Herald.
In a written response to the Advertising Standards Bureau, he said misunderstandings about Muslims and Islam prompted the campaign, which aimed to reduce discrimination and vilification of certain sections of the community - and in particular Muslims.
''[The advertisement] conveys the message that, like Christians, we the Muslims also regard Jesus with extreme reverence,'' it read. ''The idea being that the people will see beyond the words in the advertisements and recognise that Islam and Muslims are not much different from any other ordinary Australian.''
That it took a court to force into the open the data that normal scientific practice would have made freely available tells a story all of its own
Breaking news: Today probably marks the closing chapter of the longstanding FOI request for CRUTEM station data. The UK Information Commissioner (ICO) has rendered a decision (see here) on Jonathon Jones’ appeal of the UEA’s refusal to provide Prof Jones with the CRUTEM station data that they had previously provided to Georgia Tech. The decision that can only be characterized as a total thrashing of the University of East Anglia.
Professor Jonathan Jones of Oxford University (like me, an alumnus of Corpus Christi, Oxford), is a Bishop Hill and CA reader and was one of several CA readers who requested the CRUTEM version sent to Georgia Tech earlier that year. (Contrary to disinformation from Nature, relatively few readers requested CRUTEM data; most FOI requests at the time were for the supposed confidentiality agreements prohibiting data being sent to “non-academics” – agreements that the University was unable to produce.
Jones’ request for CRUTEM data, like mine, was refused by UEA. Like me, Jones appealed the refusal at UEA (the first stage). On Oct 23, 2009, UEA rejected his appeal. (My appeal was rejected about 3 weeks later on the very eve of Climategate.) While I didn't pursue the appeal to the ICO, Prof Jones did appeal and the present decision is the result of this appeal.
I was unaware that this appeal was pending and the decision came as a surprise to me. Since the story started at CA, Andrew Montford and Prof Jones decided that news of the decision should also be broken here. I anticipate that Bishop Hill will also cover the story.
I urge readers to read the thoughtful decision. My own comments will be restricted to some legal aspects of the decision that intrigued me.
As a first comment on the University’s defence – in keeping with similar refusals of other requests, rather than focusing on their best line of argument,the practice of the UEA is to use a laundry list of exemptions – more or less throwing spitballs against the wall to see if any of them stuck. Many of the spitballs seem pretty strained, to say the least. In his ruling, the ICO picked each spitball off the wall and, in the process, established or confirmed a number of precedents that will hopefully encourage fewer spitballs in the future.
The ruling on intellectual property rights interested me in particular, as UEA has attempted to apply this in other cases as well (e.g. Yamal, presently under appeal). The ICO observed that the mere existence of a copyright or database right did not demonstrate the application of s 12(5)(c), let alone the primacy of the exemption over the public interest test.
In addition to other arguments, the UEA claimed both copyright and database rights to the CRUTEM station data and argued that, if released to Prof Jones, they would “lose any right of commercial exploitation of its [CRUTEM] databases. Once the information was released and freely available, extraction and reutilization of the data could be carried out by any party without further recourse to the UEA”.
The Commissioner dryly wondered how “UEA might have planned to commercially exploit the specific information requested and how disclosure might have impacted on any plans that it might have developed or been in the process of developing” before rejecting their arguments.
Some of the University’s arguments purporting to uphold their supposed “intellectual property rights” should ring as particularly contemptible to most members of the public. If climate scientists exhort the public to make personal sacrifices, it seems hypocritical that they should claim that their “intellectual property rights” prevent examination of data being used to underpin those requests to make sacrifices.
Given the crisis in the Eurozone, what on earth could motivate China to buy Euro-denominated bonds? It isn't for love of Europe, you can be sure. It's all just a comment on the Greenback. As troubled as the Euro is, China sees it as having a better future than the inflated dollar. What a comedown that is for the Greenback! The Mediterranean end of the EU might be in financial trouble but -- thanks to the dummy in the White House -- the WHOLE of America is in financial trouble
Europeans were of course both surprised and pleased to hear that China has declared its intention to buy more Euro-denominated bonds. And what will it be buying those bonds with? Any greenbacks it has. It is trying to get rid of greenbacks any way it can -- while they are still worth something.
China has vowed to increase its support of the eurozone after pledging to spend billions of pounds propping up the single currency. Premier Wen Jiabao said it will keep buying government bonds – the debts of stricken European nations.
In a boost for Greece ahead of a pivotal vote on greater austerity cuts tomorrow, Mr Wen said Europe could count on his ‘unremitting’ support.
However, according to billionaire speculator George Soros, the debt crisis has pushed the eurozone to the ‘verge of an economic collapse’. It was all but ‘inevitable’ that at least one stricken member will have to exit the euro because of massive debts, the hedge fund tycoon warned.
His warning came just days after Bank of England’s Governor, Mervyn King, branded European attempts to shore up Greece as a ‘mess’.
Huge demonstrations are once again expected in Athens as the government there makes a final attempt to approve almost £25billion of cuts which are a condition of the latest bailout. If the Greek parliament does not pass the austerity budget tomorrow, the nation will receive no more support and is likely to run out of money by the middle of next month.
But the turmoil engulfing the region has not diminished China’s desire to buy up more European debt. China has foreign reserves of around £2trillion and is the largest creditor to the United States.
At the start of a three-day visit to Britain yesterday, Mr Wen said: ‘China is a long-term investor in Europe’s sovereign debt market. In recent years, we have increased by quite a big margin our holdings of government bonds. We will consistently continue to support Europe and the euro.’
It is not an offence to abuse British police: Officers told not to arrest people who scream obscenities because courts won't convict
"Police have been banned from arresting foul-mouthed yobs who abuse them with the most offensive swear words in the language. The rule change, which has sparked a revolt in the force and anger among MPs, is revealed in secret advice issued to officers and leaked to The Mail on Sunday.
Scotland Yard has issued a card to its officers, telling them to do nothing if they are subjected to a torrent of obscene abuse.
The card, which the police are told to keep on them, secreted behind their warrant badges, says: ‘The courts do not accept police officers are caused harassment, alarm or distress by words such as ‘f**k, c**t, b*****ks, w*****s’.
The guidance has been issued despite existing laws that sanction the fining of people who swear at police and the jailing of persistent offenders.
Officers have the power to arrest yobs who swear at them, either by quoting the Public Order Act – which prohibits the ‘use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour’ – or as a breach of the peace under Common Law.
But the new guidance, issued to officers in London by the Civil Actions Unit of the Metropolitan Police, states that a prosecution for swearing will be lost without ‘compelling evidence of a person within sight or hearing likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress’. It adds that this is ‘very unlikely to be you [the police officer]’.
Scotland Yard says the advice was issued because compensation had recently been paid out to ‘victims’ who had been ‘falsely’ arrested for swearing.
Tuvalu is saved! What follows is a press release from the Leibniz Institute for Marine Science (IFM-GEOMAR) on a new paper appearing in the GRL, which shows sea level changes are far more complex than first thought. It’s back to the drawing board for climate and sea level modellers.
Quo Vadis Sea Levels? New Study Shows Ocean Currents Lead To Strong Regional Fluctuations
Dr. Andreas Villwock
Scientists of the Leibniz Institute for Marine Science (IFM-GEOMAR) have now shown that there are large regional variations when it comes to sea level change. The causes are due to changes in ocean currents, which lead to varying sea levels, especially in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Chart above: Sea level fluctuations caused by wind and ocean currents (relative to mean global sea level rise) for the period 1958-2007 (in cm). The model simulation shows regions with sunken sea level (blue) in the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean. Graphic from IFM-GEOMAR.
Why has the sea level in some regions of the tropical Indian Ocean and Pacific risen strongly over the last 15 years, while in the decades before the sea levels at these locations dropped? The ocean scientists from Kiel are uncovering why by using computer simulations. A paper now appearing in the Geophysical Research Letters shows that fluctuations in ocean currents, caused by trade winds in the tropical Pacific, play an important role.
The impact of wind and ocean currents are prevalent in the tropical Pacific especially in the wake of the El Niño phenomena. “The associated swashing back and forth of the warm surface water leads to a continuous rise and drop in sea level of up to 20 cm within just a few years“, explains oceanographer Franziska Schwarzkopf of the Leibniz Institute for Marine Science (IFM-GEOMAR) and author of the study.
While these short term fluctuations are well documented by modern satellite measurements, little was known about the long-term pattern of changes. “Our computer simulations which use current models show that regional water levels also over time periods of several decades are affected by wind changes and ocean currents“, says Professor Claus Böning, director of Kiel Ocean-Modelling and co-author of the study. A surprising finding from the scientists in Kiel:
"In the middle of the last 50 years, some areas in the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean experienced a drop in sea levels, contrary to the global trend.”
These new results on sea level rise of the last decades mean an additional challenge for climate modeling. “Whether a group of islands has to reckon with a greater increase in sea level with respect to the average, or can reckon with a temporary drop over the next decades depends decisively on the development of the wind systems and ocean currents“, says Böning. “Future research programs will put increasing focus on the regional fluctuations in the oceans.“
The paper: Schwarzkopf, F.U. and C.W. Böning, 2011: Contribution of Pacific wind stress to multi-decadal variations in upper-ocean heat content and sea level in the tropical south Indian Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L12602, doi: 10.1029/2011GL047651.
SENIOR police are demanding prosecutors relaunch legal action against the veiled Muslim woman cleared of lying about being attacked by an officer.
Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas told The Sunday Telegraph new material had emerged about the case over the past few days and a fresh appeal had to be mounted against the acquittal of Carnita Matthews.
"The NSW Police Force is obviously disappointed with the outcome of the appeal," Mr Kaldas said. "The force will examine the judge's reasons for his decision and has requested the Director of Public Prosecutions consider another appeal. "NSW Police will examine further information that has come to light in the media since the appeal judgment."
Ms Matthews was sentenced to six months' jail in November for falsely accusing a policeman of attempting to rip off her niqab during a random breath test conducted in June.
An appeal court last week quashed the conviction on the grounds there was no proof she was really the veiled woman who walked into a police station to make the complaint, a few days after the alleged incident.
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, who has been at a conference in Europe, will meet Police Minister Mike Gallacher this week to discuss possible law changes that could give police the power to fingerprint veiled women, or insist upon removal of headgear including helmets or veils.
Civilization is coming unraveled in the city that gave us Barack Hussein Obama and much of his crew. But don't be racist by noticing:
Pardon the unintentional rhyme, but Chicago is under attack by packs of wild Blacks. (Paul Kersey is all over this.) They're storming buses 15 at a time, beating White people with bottles and robbing them (NBC Chicago, June 8). Gangs of 15 or 20 are ambushing White pedestrians and bicyclists (CBS Chicago, June 5 and June 6; Chicago Tribune, June 6). Smaller packs are using pepper spray to disable their White victims (CBS Chicago, June 3 and June 5). …
Until recently, the hopelessly biased mainstream media were content merely to ignore, to suppress, to censor the race of these savages — that's race, not races. But censorship wasn't enough. It couldn't stop readers from seeing the photos. It couldn't stop them from watching the videos. It couldn't stop them from looking out their windows at the dark-skinned mobs rampaging outside. And it couldn't stop the White victims from telling everyone they knew.
So the readers noticed, and pretty soon they cracked the secret code: if a story omits the race of the perpetrators, it's not because the reporter doesn't know what race they were. It's because they were all Black.
That's when readers started to complain.
The Chicago Tribune responded to the complaints by denouncing its own readers and by shoveling out the usual politically correct pabulum about how awful it is to acknowledge facts liberals deem to be racist (see here and here and here and here).
Meanwhile, Chicago's government is blaming the mayhem on Sarah Palin, the Constitution, and of course racism. Chief of Police Garry McCarthy serves up the moonbattery:
The pervasion of illegal guns in America's black and Latino communities is a result of "government-sponsored racism," akin to "slavery, segregation, black codes [and] Jim Crow," Rahm Emanuel's new police chief, Garry McCarthy, told parishioners at St. Sabina's Church earlier this month.
St. Sabina's Church is where unhinged Obama crony Michael Phleger, the Emimem of Black Liberation Theology, spews maniacal diatribes denouncing Caucasians. Back to McCarthy:
"Let's see if we can make a connection here. Slavery. Segregation. Black codes. Jim Crow. What, what did they all have in common? Anybody getting scared? Government sponsored racism."
"Now I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of the African American history in this country, and tell me if I'm crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms, into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children," he said.
McCarthy blasted the NRA, telling parishioners that their communities have paid the price while the gun manufacturers are getting "rich and living in gated communities."
And he told an anecdote of just one night with the New York Police Department. After returning home from investigating a pair of shootings, he said he flipped on the television to relax, only to find "Sarah Palin's Alaska" being broadcast.
"She was caribou hunting, and talking about the right to bear arms," he said. "Why wasn't she at the crime scene with me?"
Whether out of idiocy or out of sheer evil, liberals have created a monster in the form of millions of perpetually aggrieved blacks whose culture was reduced to savagery when welfare destroyed the two-parent family. As their monster runs amok, the Dr Frankensteins of the governmedia blame its victims.
Communists were always good at "popular front" operations too
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has created a coalition of 17 parties, including liberal and secular groups, to form a common platform ahead of legislative elections, Egytrian state media said Wednesday.
The new political alliance, including the Brotherood's Freedom and Justice Party, the liberal Wafd party, the left-leaning Tagammu, and the newly formed Salafi (Muslim Fundamentalist) Noor party, say they joined forces to "channel their efforts... into building a state of law based on citizenship, equality and sovereignty of the people."
In a statement, the parties outlined their common principles including "freedom of belief and worship", freedom of expression and a free media, the independence of the judiciary, and "an economic system based on social justice."
The members also reportedly discussed the idea of a unified list in the coming legislative polls, but disparate sectarian goals and worldviews between the party's may render such a move unrealistic.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Egypt's interim junta which took power following president Hosni Mubarak's ouster on February 11, has scheduled parliamentary elections for September.
A September election is expected to boost Islamic factions, particularly the highly organized Muslim Brotherhood which was banned by Mubarak, but gained broad support through decades of charity work and community projects.
Shortly after Mubarak's ouster A Muslim Brotherhood leader told an Arab language newspaper that Egyptians “should prepare for war against Israel."
Roughly 15 years after many “scientific experts” had warned about the arrival of another Ice Age, an estimated 35,000 government officials, diplomats, Non-Government Organization (NGO) activists and journalists from 178 countries attending a U.N.- sponsored 1992 Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, or “Earth Summit”) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, began to negotiate international agreements to counter a reverse climate threat. An observed shift to warming was seized upon as the basis for stabilizing “dangerous” anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gases (principally CO2) at 1900 levels.
By that time they had already established a Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), and determined that “human activities have been substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses, that these increases enhance the natural greenhouse effect, and that this will result on average in the additional warming of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere and may adversely affect natural ecosystems and mankind.”
The Rio Earth Summit codified the U.N.’s central theme for the famous (or infamous) Kyoto Protocol, which the U.S. has refused to ratify. Along with the FCCC, which established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it also produced three other much lesser-known initiatives — the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Statement of Forest Principles, The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, and Sustainable Development Agenda 21. The latter may ultimately prove over the long term to be most broadly influential of all.
Earth Summit chairman Maurice Strong left no doubt about where to place blame for global problems, stating in the conference report: “It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class…involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, ownership of motor vehicles, golf courses, small electric appliances, home and work place air-conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable…A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns.”
Addressing the Summit audience, Strong also suggested a primary remedy, whereby: We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse.” Former Senator Timothy Wirth, representing the Clinton-Gore administration as undersecretary of state for global affairs, stated that public concern about global warming could be used to advance that cause: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” Wirth now heads the U.N. Foundation which has lobbied for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.
The global warming rubric has served as an ideal platform to enable the U.N. to advance large philosophical visions, wealth redistribution agendas, and world governance goals under the banner of environmentalism. If this sounds a bit like conspiratorial paranoia, let’s review some words spoken by then-President Jacques Chirac of France in a 2000 speech supporting a key Western European Kyoto Protocol objective: “For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance, one that should find a place within the World Environment Organization which France and the European Union would like to see established.”
Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev clearly recognized an opportunity to use climate alarmism to advance global socialistic Marxist objectives following the U.S.S.R.’s economic and political collapse. In 1996 he observed: “The threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key to unlock the New World Order.”
Banning is supposed to be an extreme policy, used in severe circumstances with great caution. Today, however, it seems to be the first tool politicians reach for amid public protest. Our representatives are banning everything – from live cattle exports to cigarette advertising, from mortgage exit fees to swearing in public. In the time of focus group politics and governance by poll, the ‘ban’ is the new ‘in thing.’
While some may think this is harmless, the real economic and social ramifications of knee-jerk policies are repeatedly underestimated.
The recent ban on Spanish cucumbers thought to be contaminated with E. coli cost Spanish farmers $306 million per week. The suspension of live cattle export to Indonesia has already cost $10 million to the Australian Agriculture Company and threatens to shut down many smaller Aussie farmers. Melbourne’s 2am lockout trial in 2008 cost many bars and clubs thousands in lost revenue with no reduction in violence.
Of significant concern is the estimated $3 billion in lost revenue to be borne by pokies if Independent MP Andrew Wilkie gets to put limits on gambling, not counting the flow-on effects.
Apart from the retrospective economic costs of wrongheaded restrictions, there are social costs to individual liberty. Discussions of whether Ban A will reduce smoking or whether Ban B will reduce gambling ignore the fundamental issue of individual rights.
The real question is whether Australia is committed to a free society or whether we are prepared to have the government decide for us what we can advertise, how we may do business, how we manage risk and health, what mistakes we may make, and how we speak to each other.
The more the public offloads individual decisions and responsibilities to the state, the less say we have in governing ourselves.
The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated 24 June. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.
Not only are U.S. temperatures below climate model predicted values, but global temperatures are also not behaving in the mode of the "consensus" IPCC climate models that represent the supposed 97% of scientists who say climate science is "settled."
Directcomparison IPCC vs Hadcrut UAH The actual temperatures (bright green curve for UAH-NASA satellite and bright blue curve for HadCRUT) shown in this chart are compared to the various IPCC scenarios of CO2 emissions. The orange curve ('commitment') was the IPCC climate model temperature scenario that assumed CO2 emissions would "stabalise" at levels for year 2000. The darker blue, green and red curves represent different growth scenarios of "business as usual" CO2 emissions.
As is clear in the chart, global temperatures are significantly below even the the IPCC scenario of stabilized (orange curve) CO2 emissions. This is a spectacular failure, confirming that increasing CO2 emissions are not driving temperatures up, despite the "consensus" science. It also confirms how worthless climate models are for policymakers to rely on as predictive tools.
As this next chart indicates, global CO2 emissions (tons) continue to grow with 2010 levels substantially above the 2000 CO2 emission levels. Clearly, the CO2 growth continues at the pace of the IPCC's "business as usual" terminolgy.
SOURCE (See the original for links)
He's right. In politically correct England, some bigotries are still OK: Dislike of people from a different social class; contempt for people from the North of the country; amusement at anything Scottish; dislike of Jews and mockery of redheads
He may have found fame with Simply Red, but you mustn’t mention the colour of Mick Hucknall’s hair. The ginger singer claims making fun of his roots is akin to racism.
After facing a series of belittling comments on social networking website Twitter, the 51-year-old told his followers: ‘Let’s play a game: whenever you read “ginger” try replacing it with “black” or “asian” and see how it reads.’ A later post added: ‘Bigots are mostly best ignored. Tho a little outing once in a while spices up ones Tea!’
The pop star questioned why a string of prominent Britons were not similarly defined by the colour of their hair. ‘Interesting also that Prince Harry almost never referred to as Ginger by the media,’ he noted. ‘Or Churchill, or Elizabeth 1 or Shakespeare (allegedly). And lest we forget, dear old Henry VIII!’
Approximately one in ten people in the UK [mostly in Scotland] has ginger hair, or titian hair as it is sometimes known, giving us one of the highest redhead rates in the world.
The colouring is caused by high levels of the pigment pheomelanin and relatively low ones of the darker eumelanin.
There are plenty of historical examples of extreme ‘gingerism’. In 15th-century Germany, redheads were seen as witches and 45,000 were tortured and murdered. Elsewhere, the Egyptians burned ginger people alive, and the Greeks claimed they turned into vampires when they died.
Nevertheless, some of the modern world’s most desirable women are redheads, including models Lily Cole and Karen Elson.
Hucknall – once known as the Ginger Lothario for his womanising ways – married former art dealer Gabriella Wilke-Wesberry, 40, the mother of his four-year-old daughter Romy True, 13 months ago.
Consumers must not be told that a wireless connection could give them a better deal
THE entire basis of the National Broadband Network has been exposed as fundamentally unsound by the "wireless non-compete" clause in the deal between NBN Co and Telstra. At its simplest, it's a clause that is completely unacceptable and arguably illegal. What would be, what was, objectionable with cardboard boxes should also be so with broadband services.
Broadly, but simply and accurately, NBN Co and Telstra agree not to compete. Worse, NBN Co is actually paying Telstra for that agreement. Indeed the Communications Minister himself no less, Stephen Conroy, all but put it in exactly those terms on Melbourne's MTR radio yesterday.
He explained, indeed justified, the non-compete clause as being a "perfectly sensible corporate decision". "A commercial arrangement." That Telstra agreed not to "take NBN Co's money and sledge (the) NBN". Conroy was all but saying that NBN Co was paying Telstra not to compete with it.
Indeed. Where was Conroy when the late Dick Pratt needed him to explain that his Vizy group had a "perfectly sensible commercial arrangement" with Amcor for each not to "promote" their boxes as a "substitute" for the other's?
The relevant clause in the deal is that Telstra can't promote "wireless services as a substitute for fibre-based services for 20 years". But it otherwise remained free to compete in the market for the supply of wireless services.
Telstra explains this clause by saying that it can't put flyers in letterboxes saying buy our wireless broadband instead of NBN Co's fixed broadband. But we're perfectly free to put flyers in letterboxes saying buy our wonderful wireless broadband that can do all these wonderful things. And that further, it didn't see the clause -- insisted on by NBN Co -- as limiting in the slightest its ability to sell wireless. Except and absolutely crucially, that's wireless against wireless. Not against fixed.
Two points. Except of course it does limit its ability to sell wireless. And does so for 20 years. An awful lot of technology can be invented and developed in that timeframe. Right now Telstra might not want to sell wireless broadband instead of fixed fibre. But in 10 years?
The second point is exactly that. Telstra doesn't want to sell wireless instead of fixed broadband in the new world of the NBN. It wants to sell wireless and fixed together, in a package.
Why? Because it sees the NBN as finally freeing it to use its market dominance across the telco space in a way that it has been limited in doing under the existing competitive regulation. Given that the NBN is coming at it whether it likes it or not, it's perfectly happy to share monopolies, so to speak, with it. Rather than competing head to head with the NBN -- my wireless network against your fixed fibre network.
After 13 days Cecilie Skog canceled her attempt reach the North Pole with a canoe. "It is really no disgrace," is the title of the North Pole expedition blog post that Cecilie Skog and Rune Gjeldnes published on Tuesday.
The woman thought they had a realistic timetable to be first to reach the North Pole in summer without the addition of supplies.
"If we continue north now, the consequence will be that we set in motion a rescue operation in the middle of the Arctic Ocean in about 4-5 weeks, and we do not want that", they write on the Expedition blog on Tuesday.
The expedition had an appointment with an icebreaker to get them at 90 degrees north on 27 July. However, because ice conditions were worse than expected, and leads to paddle did not materialize, they have the past few days only managed to travel a daily distances of around ten miles.
Skog believes that this is only half of what they should do in this phase of the trip. In recent days, Skog and Gjeldnes described how they have fought their way through ice, slush and water, under very strenuous conditions. "It's thick ice in front of us for hundreds of kilometers, and it does not appear that it will change significantly, they write.
However, there have also been good moments and Skog reports both ice bathing in good weather, and other adventures along the way.
"Now we will enjoy ourselves on the trip back. We have food and supplies enough to get back without having to stress, and it may be that we need both supplies and time to the fullest, they write.
As conditions have gotten worse in recent days, she is still excited about what the return trip will be.
Like Germany but unlike most other countries, Australia has a "Green" party that is politically influential. Their policies (below) are therefore instructive
To the people who say that those pushing the global warming agenda are using it and carbon taxes for “World Government” is a conspiracy theory, I think should take a look a “The Greens” policy titled: Global Governance. (see here)
I want to basically abolish the UN or at least remove any legal powers it has. I want to ensure the sovreignty of Australia and want Australians to be governed by a democratically elected Australian government. The Greens want to strengthen the UN and want a world government. Here are some points their policy covers:
* The system of global governance must be reinvigorated.
* A stronger UN capable of dealing with threats to international peace and security.
* Support the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and ensure that all nations are subject to its decisions.
* Major structural reform is needed to provide stronger, more effective and more representative multilateral institutions.
* The leading role of the United Nations (UN) in the maintenance of International peace and security must be recognised and respected by all countries.
* The international financial institutions that govern aid, development, trade, and transnational financial movements require extensive reform to enable them to provide global economic justice
A stronger UN capable of dealing with threats to international peace and security.
* Support the establishment of an international environmental court and an environmental council at the UN, with similar decision-making powers to the Security Council to deal with environmental issues of global significance.
These very fighting polices must be kept in mind when they move to give land to the United Nation when they list “word heritage” areas, When they want open borders with some of their refugee policies and when our carbon taxes are paid to the United Nations.
And to those who will email me saying is says governance not government, here is the dictionary definition of both words.
Governance: The action or manner of governing.
Government: The governing body of a nation, state, or community
They are one and the same.
Hells Angels bikie member wins challenge to NSW gang law
BIKIES have scored a victory over the New South Wales Government, securing a High Court ruling that a tough law designed to break up their clubs is invalid.
The High Court ruled today that a Hells Angel's challenge had been successful and the NSW law had been declared invalid, a registrar at the High Court in Canberra said today. The NSW Attorney-General's office confirmed the decision.
The NSW Government introduced the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act in 2009 following the death of Hells Angel associate, Anthony Zervas, during a violent brawl at Sydney Airport.
The law allowed the police commissioner to ask a NSW Supreme Court judge to declare bikie gangs criminal organisations and then seek control orders banning individual members associating with one another.
Derek Wainohu, a prominent member of the Hells Angel Motorcycle Club, launched a bid in 2010 on behalf of Sydney chapters of the club to have the law declared invalid.
"Right-wing politician Geert Wilders was today cleared by a Dutch court of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims. The court in Amsterdam ruled that Mr Wilders' anti-Islam statements, while offensive to many Muslims, fell within the bounds of legitimate political debate.
Presiding judge Marcel van Oosten said the politician's claims that Islam was violent by nature and his calls to halt Muslim immigration and ban the Koran must be seen in a wider context over immigration policy. He also ruled that Mr Wilders' public statement could not be directly linked to increased discrimination against Dutch Muslims.
Mr Wilders did not react as the verdict was read out, but supporters in the public gallery hugged one another and clapped after his acquittal.
One of the most powerful and popular politicians in the Netherlands, Mr Wilders was accused of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims through numerous public statements and with insulting them by comparing Islam with Nazism.
He said outside court: 'I'm incredibly happy with this acquittal on all counts. 'It's not only an acquittal for me, but a victory for freedom of expression in the Netherlands. 'Fortunately, you're allowed to discuss Islam in public debate and you're not muzzled in public debate.
The court found that Mr Wilders' rhetoric was 'on the edge of what is legally permissible', but not illegal. In speeches, written articles and a short film that incited riots around the Muslim world, Mr Wilders said Islam is an inherently violent religion, and he compared the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf
Mr Wilders argued that his statements represented the views of millions of Dutch voters, that they were protected by freedom of speech law and that the court was biased against him. He also claimed the charges were politically-motivated
What follows is a summary version of a piece appearing at the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) based in Germany, written by retired meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls
PIK report: “Sea level rising fastest in 2000 years” turns out to be quackery! Data shows no change!
Sea levels are now rising faster than at any time in the last 2000 years claims a new hockey stick manufactured by Michael Mann and Stefan Rahmstorf. But that claim has already turned out to be bogus.
As nobody cares much about so-called climate change anymore, the Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research (PIK) had to come up with another scare story: rapidly rising sea levels. That claim is supported by a whopping 2 (cherry-picked) North Carolina coastal sediment cores, which the authors claim reflect sea level behavior for the entire globe. Other scientists have already poured cold water on the paper, like Jens Schröter of the Alfred Wegener Institute, who says Mann’s and Rahmstorf’s paper is “unsuitable for making predictions”.
The new predictions of catastrophe are not based on actual MEASUREMENTS. Actual measurements made by coastal tide gauges and satellites show the opposite is likely happening, i.e. sea level rise is actually decelerating. Presented are 7 datasets that contradict the latest Mannian hockey-stick fantasy.
More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
FOREIGN Minister Kevin Rudd has been recruited to help solve the worsening crisis over the ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia and has met with a key industry group several times this week.
As criticism mounts over the Gillard government's handling of the issue and deteriorating relations with our neighbour, The Australian has confirmed Mr Rudd has had numerous meetings with the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association.
The revelation of Mr Rudd's involvement comes on the first anniversary of his removal as prime minister and follows repeated calls by the opposition for Mr Rudd to take the lead on negotiations over the cattle standoff between the countries.
It is understood Mr Rudd is taking a supporting role, bolstering Australia's position.
The damage done to Australia's relationship with Indonesia is also expected to be one of the main topics discussed at a meeting today between Julia Gillard and West Australian Premier Colin Barnett.
Confirmation of Mr Rudd's involvement in the cattle dispute comes amid suggestions Australian officials in Indonesia warned the Department of Foreign Affairs about animal welfare issues as far back as six months ago.
DFAT has refused to confirm or deny the existence of diplomatic cables, citing long-standing protocols that it does not comment on the subject of internal correspondence. Mr Rudd's office has stated that he "has not seen any cables on this matter".
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig returned from Indonesia on Tuesday night after failing to secure an agreement with the Indonesian government on a timetable for trade to resume or agreed standards.
Senator Ludwig was initially criticised by animal welfare groups for failing to act when they first raised their concerns, and then by industry players for being heavy-handed and not allowing trade to continue with Indonesian abattoirs currently operating to Australian standards.
Nationals leader Warren Truss yesterday implored the Prime Minister to "release" her Foreign Minister and allow Mr Rudd to negotiate a solution. "The government must urgently send the Foreign Minister to Indonesia to patch up the damaged relations between our two countries," Mr Truss said. "The government's bungling of this issue has damaged our relationships with our important neighbour."
The foreign relations crisis was sparked when the Gillard government suspended the $320 million live cattle trade to Indonesia on June 8 following a community outcry over shocking revelations in an ABC Four Corners program of animal cruelty in the country's slaughterhouses.
Australian cattle exporters fear Australia could be pushed out of the Indonesian cattle marketplace, with the head of an Indonesia parliamentary agriculture commission Muh Romahurmuziy saying the country could push for a permanent ban on Australian cattle.
Vietnam was lost in Washington DC. Looks the same for Afghanistan. In Vietnam's case they talked about handing over to local forces too
US President Barack Obama used a prime-time address to the nation from the White House today to confirm the withdrawal of about 10,000 troops from Afghanistan this year. Mr Obama said a further 23,000 troops would be brought back to America by mid-2012 - ending the US military "surge" in the war-torn nation.
"After this initial reduction, our troops will continue coming home at a steady pace as Afghan Security forces move into the lead. Our mission will change from combat to support," he said. "By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.
"We are starting this drawdown from a position of strength. Al-Qaeda is under more pressure than at any time since 9/11."
The US currently has about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, so even after all of the surge troops leave, the military will still have nearly 70,000 forces in the country.
Responding to Mr Obama's address, House Speaker John Boehner said he was pleased the president recognised that success in Afghanistan was paramount.
However, he cautioned, "It is my hope that the president will continue to listen to our commanders on the ground as we move forward. Congress will hold the administration accountable for ensuring that the pace and scope of the drawdown does not undermine the progress we've made thus far".
General David Petraeus and top Pentagon officials had asked for a slower drawdown through the (northern) summer of 2012 to allow them to solidify gains in southern Afghanistan and to mount counter-insurgency operations in eastern districts.
Senator John McCain said Mr Obama's decision, communicated to senior national security officials yesterday represented an "unnecessary risk" and said Gen Petraeus and Defence Secretary Robert Gates had recommended a "more modest withdrawal".
"Chris Evans has been accused of racism after telling a black scientist he could not see her in a dim BBC studio. The presenter told Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a highly respected space expert and government adviser: ‘I can barely see you, to be honest.’
The remark came after he mistakenly said she was Caribbean when she is of Nigerian descent.
The Corporation received 56 complaints from viewers who interpreted his comments as a racist joke. One angrily condemned the words as ‘proper foot-in-mouth’.
Evans’s comment was made early in The One Show last Friday during a discussion about a week of ‘space spectating’ which had included a lunar eclipse.
Dr Aderin-Pocock, sitting next to singer Tom Jones on the studio sofa, was asked if there were more to come.
She replied: ‘There’s plenty out there to see, unfortunately not tonight.’
Mr Evans then said: ‘It’s terrible tonight, I can barely see you, to be honest.’
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is apparently unconcerned that the chief architect of the EU's forthcoming multi-annual budget has major doubts over the existence of global warming.
Environmental groups are sounding alarm bells however, warning that EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski's scepticism towards climate change is almost certain to affect his drafting of the crucial EU document which will shape the bloc's policy for years to come (2014-2020).
"There's an emerging point of view, that the thesis about coal energy as the main cause of global warming is highly doubtful," Lewandowski told Polish trade magazine Nowy Przemysl earlier this month.
"Question marks are appearing ever more frequently over global warming itself," added the Polish commissioner, whose country relies on coal for 90 percent of its electricity generation.
A spokesman for Lewandowski confirmed the accuracy of the statements.
"His overall line is that it would be impossible for Poland to shift away from coal overnight. But he also expressed his doubts over climate change, in a personal capacity," Patrizio Fiorilli told this website.
Barroso is apparently unconcerned by Lewandowski's comments however, despite recently issuing a speech in Brussels in which he declared: "The effects of climate change are - quite literally - all around us."
"We have a clear commission position on climate change which is the one that [EU climate commissioner] Connie Hedegaard expresses every week," said a spokesman for Barroso.
"We have no fears that when the budget is presented it will reflect the views of the commission as a whole," added Alejandro Ulzurrun.
Green groups said Lewandowski's comments were deeply perturbing however, amid reports that next week's budget proposals may include cuts for environmental schemes under the EU's common agricultural policy (CAP).
"It comes as a shock, especially following the commission president's recent statements. So much for collegiality," said Tony Long, director of the WWF's Brussels office.
"That degree of climate change scepticism is now rare in Europe, and even rarer among politician's of Lewandowski's seniority."
"One can't have much faith in the commission's budget proposals if one of the chief architects admits in a private capacity that he has doubts over global warming."
At the same time, various news reports suggest next week's highly-anticipated proposals may seek to cut spending under pillar two of the CAP, a funding stream currently used to reward farmers for various environmental activities such as protecting endangered wetlands.
MOST Australian internet users will have their web access censored next month after the country's two largest internet providers agreed to voluntarily block more than 500 websites from view.
Telstra and Optus confirmed they would block access to a list of child abuse websites provided by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and more compiled by unnamed international organisations from mid-year.
But internet experts have warned that the scheme is merely a "feel-good policy" that will not stop criminals from accessing obscene material online and could block websites unfairly.
The voluntary scheme was originally proposed by the Federal Government last year as part of a wider, $9.8 million scheme to encourage internet service providers to block all Refused Classification material from users as an optional service.
The Government dropped its funding for the scheme last month due to "limited interest" from the industry, but a spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said a basic voluntary filter was still on track to be introduced by Telstra, Optus and two small ISPs.
"The ACMA will compile and manage a list of URLs of child abuse content that will include the appropriate subsection of the ACMA blacklist as well as child abuse URLs that are provided by reputable international organisations (to be blocked)," the spokesman said.
System Administrators Guild of Australia board member Donna Ashelford said blocking these website addresses should not affect internet speed, but was only a "cosmetic fix" that was easily circumvented by criminals.
"The effectiveness will be trivial because you're just blocking a single website address (and) a person can get around it by changing that address with one character," she said. "Child abuse material is more likely to be exchanged on peer-to-peer networks and private networks anyway and is a matter for law enforcement."
Electronic Frontiers Association board member Colin Jacobs also expressed concern at the scheme, saying the Government and internet providers needed to be more upfront about websites being blocked and offer an appeals process for website owners who felt URLs had been blocked unfairly.
"There is a question about where the links are coming from and I'd like to know the answer to that," Mr Jacobs said. "We've been waiting to hear details on this from the Government. It they turn out to be zealous with the type of material that is on the list then we'd want to have a discussion about ways to introduce more transparency."
Homeowners and shopkeepers are to be given the right to protect themselves against burglars and robbers. They will now be allowed to use reasonable force if they perceive a threat to their property. Previously they could act only when they feared for their lives.
The surprise proposal is a response to public outrage over cases such as that of Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who shot a burglar dead, and Munir Hussain, who chased and beat a man who had held his family at knifepoint.
It is one of a series of reforms unveiled by David Cameron in a sharp turn to the right on law and order. As well as more life sentences there will be tougher punishments for knife crime.
Liberal Democrats were quick to condemn the package, especially the pledge for mandatory life sentences for those committing very serious offences twice.
The Prime Minister finally scrapped controversial proposals to halve jail terms for offenders who enter early guilty pleas.
Other measures include:
* A six-month mandatory sentence for adults who use a knife to threaten or intimidate;
* Prisoners made to work while inside, with earnings used to compensate victims;
* Tougher community sentences, with longer curfews, travel bans,confiscation of assets and £2,500 fines for non-compliance;
* Plans for a criminal offence of squatting.
Mr Cameron and Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke attempted to deny they were making a U-turn, insisting previous Coalition policies had merely been 'proposals'.
But in reality, yesterday's package marked not only a rowing back on sentence discounts following a public outcry, but a complete shift of tone and a bid to restore the Tories' reputation on law and order.
The Prime Minister's intervention was a crushing blow for both Mr Clarke and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who chaired a Cabinet committee that signed off the reforms.
The father of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor welcomed the about-turn, but called for the Justice Secretary to be sacked. Richard Taylor said: 'Ken Clarke does not know what is going on in the streets, he does not know what criminality is about.'
The Justice Secretary now has to find £130million a year in extra savings, with deeper cuts likely for the probation services and courts.
After a series of policy U-turns, the Prime Minister claimed abandoning 50 per cent sentencing discounts was a sign of confidence, showing the Government was prepared to listen. The 'weak thing to do', he claimed, was to keep 'ploughing on' even when it became clear there was a better way of doing things. 'Being strong is about being prepared to admit you didn't get everything right the first time, you are going to improve it and make it better,' Mr Cameron said.
'My mission is to make sure that families can feel safe in their homes and they can walk the streets freely and without fear. The public need to know that dangerous criminals will be locked up for a very long time.
'We want prisons to be places of punishment with a purpose, instead of prisoners sitting in their cells. We will require them to work hard and reform themselves.'
The self-defence clause is likely be added to the sentencing bill over the next few months. Guidance to police, prosecutors and the courts will be revised to give clarity about when it is sensible to prosecute. They have previously had to decide what constitutes excessive force by using legal precedent.
With 23,000 violent crimes against householders every year, campaigners say the case for a change to legislation is growing ever stronger.
The tough sentencing rules would mean predatory violent and sexual attackers who carry out a second serious offence will face a mandatory life term. The 'two strikes and you're out' policy, first proposed by Michael Howard in 1997, will mean the most dangerous criminals automatically receiving a life term after a second offence.
Senior Liberal Democrats expressed their unease. Lord Thomas of Gresford, co-chairman of their parliamentary home affairs committee, said it would be a 'very strange thing' for mandatory life sentences to be imposed in cases other than murder.
And Lib Dem justice minister Lord McNally said: 'The longer I have been in this job the more convinced I have been we should rely on the discretion of a well-informed judge rather than Parliament trying to second-guess the judiciary.'
Mr Clegg yesterday claimed he had never supported the shorter sentences policy and appeared to blame Mr Clarke for the fiasco. He called the original plans 'arbitrary' and sources close to him insisted they had been 'badly sold' to voters.
I reproduce below the whole of a news report from an English-language news site in Sweden. The "local youths" are of course Muslims -- but you are not supposed to mention that in Sweden
The police station in Malmö district Rosengård, in the south of Sweden, was fired upon early Saturday morning. "At 4:29 a.m. police on location alerted us about the gunshots," Hanna Berndtsson, Skåne police information officer, told the TT news agency.
No one was physically injured by the shooting. "There were police officers on the second floor of the building, but the shots were fired towards the first floor, so there were no injuries."
Security at the police station has now been tightened, and a forensic investigation squad is on location to find out what happened.
Thus far the forensic investigation has revealed that live ammunition was used in the shooting, and therefore an attempted murder probe has been initiated, according to the Malmö police force. At this moment the police have no information about the type of weapon used, or the reason for the shooting. "We don't know the origins of all this yet," said Hanna Berndtsson.
Rosengård, centrally located in Malmö, is an area commonly associated with social difficulties, and has been the place of several riots and clashes between local youths and authorities in recent years.
See here for some videos about the matter that call a spade a spade
An exponent of that old Green/Left skill: How to convey false impressions without actually lying
Professor Ross Garnaut recently compared Australia and Norway in the context of climate change policy and a carbon tax. It is both curious that he should choose this comparison and that no journalist, as far as I am aware, has thought to question it.
In his report, Prof Garnaut states that Norway is the "only other developed country with endowments of fossil fuels that are in any way comparable to Australia's" (The Garnaut Review 2011, p. 52).
He also set the stage during his speech in Perth at the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy breakfast meeting, 2 June 2011, by stating that Norway has a larger endowment of hydrocarbons per capita than does Australia, and yet exhibits lower per capita emission.
The argument then led to the fact that Norway has had a carbon tax since 1991, with the clear implication being that the lower emissions were due to the tax.
Is this point of comparison relevant to the debate? Should we make a comparison with a country that Australia may actually emulate? If so, Norway definitely is not the country of choice.
While Norway may be comparable in terms of fossil fuel endowment, it uses virtually none of this endowment to generate its electricity. It primarily exports its produced hydrocarbons.
By contrast, the electricity generation sector of Australia is heavily fossil fuel reliant. Perhaps more importantly for the thrust of Prof Garnaut's argument, Norway has not used its fossil fuel endowment to produce electricity since well before it introduced a carbon tax.
This is relevant for policy comparisons because the thrust (at least implicitly) of Prof Garnaut's argument is that Norway's introduction of a carbon tax has led it to be a relatively lower emitter than Australia.
Norway produces nearly all of its electricity from hydroelectricity projects. In 2008, 98.5% of Norway's electricity production came from hydro, and less than 0.05% came from fossil fuels of any form.
Just over 0.75% percent of Norway's electricity production came from geothermal, solar, and wind renewable sources, whereas these sources represented 1.6% of Australia's production. Neither country registered any geothermal, solar, or wind capacity in 1990. These numbers are readily available in the International Energy Agency publication Electricity Information 2010.
In terms of installed capacity by generation type, in 1990 (the year before the introduction of a carbon tax) hydro accounted for 99.1% of capacity in Norway. In 2008, the share was 96.6% of total installed capacity.
Given the relative status between installed generation capacity and actual production, the non-hydro installed capacity was relatively underutilized; 98.5% of production coming from 96.6% of the capacity.
Both coal and natural gas generation capacity increased over this period with the carbon tax in place.
It is also useful to note that Australia's population is about 4.5 times larger than Norway's. Australia consumes about 9.9 TWh of electricity per million population, while Norway consumes about 23.5 TWh per million population.
Finally, an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Policy in 2004 (Greenhouse gas emissions in Norway: do carbon taxes work?", A. Bruvoll and B.M. Larsen) shows that total CO2 emissions in Norway continued to increase after the imposition of the tax. While CO2 emissions intensity declined by 14%, the carbon tax could only be credited for 2%.
According to this study, there were a range of carbon taxes, differing according to the type of fuel. In 1999, the highest tax was US$51 per tonne of CO2, which led to the carbon tax constituting 13% of the purchaser price. Coal was assessed at US$24 per tonne and US$22 per tonne for auto diesel.
Hence, with higher carbon taxes than those contemplated by the Australian Government emissions continued to rise and only a small fraction of the reduction in CO2 emissions intensity are be attributed to the tax.
The Norwegian carbon tax failed to produce a reduction in CO2 emissions even in a country with almost no hydrocarbon-based electricity generation.