A mother was arrested for murder after hospital misdiagnosed her son, 3, and sent him home to die. Is every parent who loses a child to be treated as a murderer?
The young mother of a three-year-old toddler who died of a chest infection was arrested on suspicion of his murder and held in a police cell for 24 hours, an inquest heard today.
Abby Podmore, 20, whose son Alfie Podmore had been misdiagnosed by hospital staff, was prevented from seeing his body until 10 days after his death.
In a statement to the inquest at Birmingham Coroner's Court, Ms Podmore, from Quinton, Birmingham, described her arrest as a 'horrifying' event which had robbed her of the chance to grieve for Alfie.
In the statement, which was read to the court by Birmingham Coroner Aidan Cotter, Ms Podmore told how her son was taken ill while at his nursery on February 2.
Alfie, who was not known to social services, was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital the following day, but was discharged after staff failed to diagnose a developing infection on his lung.
The inquest heard that antibiotics may have saved Alfie, but he was instead given antacid medication and he died at his home on February 6.
Ms Podmore was arrested on suspicion of his murder just hours after his death. In her statement, Ms Podmore said a doctor at the hospital had told her that Alfie, who had a fever and shoulder pain, was suffering from a virus.
The grieving mother, who works as a dental nurse, said: 'We just thought this was a 24-hour bug and he would get better.'
Relating how she tried in vain to revive Alfie when she found him on the morning of February 6, Ms Podmore added: 'I knew he was not breathing so I started to give him CPR.' An ambulance then arrived, the inquest heard, but police then asked Ms Podmore to leave the house and change out of her clothes.
Commenting on her arrest for murder, Ms Podmore said: 'I found it distressing because I wanted to be with his body. 'I was in a state of shock and didn't know what was going on.'
Two riot vans and a total of 15 police officers then arrived at the address and Ms Podmore's partner was also detained by the police. Ms Podmore continued: 'I couldn't believe what was happening - I felt like I was being treated like a criminal.'
Neighbours had looked on as Ms Podmore and her partner were arrested, Mr Cotter was told, and the pair were then taken to separate police stations.
It was only when a doctor acting on behalf of the Birmingham Coroner informed police that Alfie had died from natural causes that her innocence was recognised. A post-mortem later revealed that he had suffered from pneumonia, a bacterial infection and septicemia.
Although Ms Podmore's partner was released quickly, she was kept in custody until the following day. 'I remained in a police station for 24 hours,' she said. 'Looking back, I feel I have been robbed of the chance to say goodbye to Alfie.'
Ms Podmore only just returned home this week after living with relatives since the incident. She said some members of the community still believed she played some part in Alfie's death.
Paying tribute to her first son, she said; 'He was boisterous, happy. He was always smiling, dancing. Everything he did made me laugh. I have lost all that now. It has been hard to come back home because he is not here so it doesn't feel like the same place anymore. The happiness has been sucked out.'
In a statement released in July, West Midlands Police said it had launched an internal investigation into the circumstances of the 21-year-old mother's arrest.
Must not criticize Obama:
"Remember that clever little Ford ad that showed an actual buyer being led into a surprise news conference and answering impromptu questions? You know, the one where the buyer says, “I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by the government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work.”
Well, the last time you saw it may have been the last time you saw it. What do I mean? According to a report from The Detroit News, the ad has now been pulled by Ford due to pressure from the Obama administration.
Columnist Daniel Howes explains:
[...] Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ‘09 and again when the ad flap arose.
With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can’t have that.
Michelle Malkin has been corresponding with representatives from Ford and the White House via Twitter. Both have denied any pressure. [But they would, of course]
Is this the new Greenie version of the global warming scare? First they abandoned "global warming" in favour of "climate change". Will it now be "climate unpredictability". I hope it is because that will mean that they have finally got it right
As the climate heats up, scientists expect all sorts of animals to move to cooler places. But that may be easier said than done.
When researchers mapped out the escape routes that a variety of amphibians would need to take in the coming decades to adapt to changing climate conditions, they uncovered some serious trouble.
Because of unpredictable rises and dips in temperature, many salamanders, frogs and newts will get stuck in unfavorable conditions along their travels -- enough to threaten their survival.
The findings are likely to apply not just to amphibians, but also to insects and other types of animals as well as plants. The study adds fire to a longstanding debate among conservation biologists and wildlife managers.
Some experts argue that threatened species need to be bred in captivity or that animals should be moved to places that will foster their survival. Others cite infamous examples like the invasive cane toad in Australia and argue that introducing species to new environments is simply a recipe for disaster.
"What conservationists have been planning for some time is that we might be able to use green habitat corridors so species can jump from place to place quite easily," said Regan Early, a climate change ecologist at the University of Évora, in Portugal. "We're finding it isn't going to be that simple. If we put corridors in place, we are going to have to do a lot of work to help species along."
My view is that there are sufficient allowances in the law to have enabled the judge to have thrown out the case. I think Bolt was simply the victim of a hostile and illogical Jewish judge.
For understandable reasons Jews tend to be very sensitive about any hint of racism. Mordechai Bromberg should have recused himself from the case.
As it is, he is a disgrace and a burden to his community. Taking part in such an act of gross censorship against quite mild comments reinforces the Leftist and Arab claim that Jews are the modern-day Nazis. As a strong supporter of Israel I could not deplore Bromberg's activities more. He has made himself an enemy of Israel by reinforcing the claims of its critics.
Four current articles on the subject on AUSTRALIAN POLITICS
There are a lot of similarities between Nazism and Islam so I suppose we should expect Germans to protect Islam
Officials in Germany will meet tomorrow to decide whether right wing groups who are vocally critical of Islam– so-called “Islamophobes”– will be placed under domestic intelligence agency scrutiny alongside other extremists.
The German daily newspaper Der Spiegel reported today that “Islamophobes” could be placed under surveillance by the BfV, the German equivalent of Britain’s MI-5 or, less precisely, our FBI.
The meeting to decide this designation will be held between “the president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Heinz Fromm, and the agency’s leaders in the 16 German states.”
The German states of Bavaria and Hamburg have already started to view “Islamophobes” and other “right-wing populists” as extremists who pose a threat to order and security. Hamburg officials have declared they monitor a German internet web forum with the less-than-threatening name “Politically Incorrect,” though they say the site is not technically under watch by spies.
Why are German authorities looking at the site then? An unnamed German official told Der Spiegel it was “undemocratic” and meant to “incite young people.”
Der Spiegel summarized the question facing the intelligence agencies as whether: “The hatred of Muslims is enough to endanger freedom of religion and international understanding — or whether it is a radical but legitimate expression of opinion by individual authors within the limits of the constitution.”
The German government already criminalizes political parties deemed offensive or threatening to public order. Last week, Germany outlawed what had been its largest Neo-Nazi party. The country also has stringent anti-hate speech laws on the books, which can call for serious criminal penalties
The liberal Senate candidate sets fire to a straw man
Elizabeth Warren is cheesed off.
Received wisdom says conservatives are the ones driven by anger—Republicans took the House last year because 2010 was another “year of the angry white male,” and all that. But in August remarks about class warfare that have gone viral, the Democratic candidate for a Senate seat from Massachusetts is visibly seething.
That’s okay; everyone gets worked up now and then, and most of us are lucky enough not to be caught on camera at the moment. Funny thing is, Warren’s comments—her rage and resentment and sarcasm—have made her an overnight heroine.
In the video, she addresses an imaginary captain of industry:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” she lectures. “Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you! But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory . . . .Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
A few points.
(1) This is a pretty powerful takedown—of a position nobody holds. Or at least nobody outside an Ayn Rand novel. If Warren can find someone who thinks he does not live in community with other people, then she might have an argument. But don’t sit on a hot stove waiting.
(2) For someone who objects to the term class warfare, she sure draws a mighty bright line between “you” and “the rest of us.”
(3) The question is not whether a captain of industry should pay taxes—but how much. Reasonable people can debate where to set marginal tax rates. But when the richest fifth of Americans pay 64 percent of federal income taxes while the bottom two-fifths pay less than 3 percent, the case for even greater progressivity is not beyond rational debate.
(4) Outside of a few anarchist collectives, there isn’t a soul around who minds paying taxes for roads, cops, firemen, or schoolteachers. It’s the jillion other things government does—from corporate welfare to the Iraq war—that people object to.
(5) Plenty of smart, well-meaning people also think even government’s core functions could be delivered better and for less—just as the Obama administration has used the Dartmouth Atlas to argue for greater efficiency in medical care. E.g., since 1970 inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending in public K-12 education has doubled. Class size has been cut in half. Neither change has produced any substantial effect on academic performance. Why don’t we have the equivalent of a Dartmouth Atlas for public education?
(6) Warren’s remarks epitomize the caricature of a progressive as someone who loves jobs but hates employers. She implies the captain of industry is simply sponging off society and hoarding the proceeds. But hiring workers is a huge social good. So is providing a funding basis for pensions, which generally rely on stock returns. So is creating products people want. Five bucks says Warren has a smartphone and a DVR and a bunch of other modern conveniences, and that she didn’t buy any of them with a gun to her head. So why is she so mad at the people who offered to sell them?
(7) Warren suggests the principle of fair play means the industrialist owes society a debt, to be repaid in steep taxes because his other contributions do not count. But this argument is one of the weakest of all the arguments for political obligation, for reasons most people can figure out after a few minutes’ thought. (E.g., Suppose I mow your lawn without asking, then demand payment because it’s “only fair.”) Why hasn’t she given them any?
(8) Perhaps, like film critic Pauline Kael, who famously didn’t know anyone who had voted for Nixon, Warren doesn't know anyone who believes government and taxes should be small. And, therefore, perhaps she does not understand their reasoning. She certainly doesn’t give any indication that she does.
So for the record, the reason is that—as Sheldon Richman wrote recently in The Freeman—“government is significantly different from anything else in society. It is the only institution that can legally threaten and initiate violence; that is, under color of law its officers may use physical force, up to and including lethal force—not in defense of innocent life but against individuals who have neither threatened nor aggressed against anyone else.” Many of those who truly love peace prefer to live in a society where the use or threat of violence is minimized. Maybe that idea simply hasn’t crossed Warren’s mind.
Maybe that’s why she looks like she’s ready to haul off and hit someone.
"She’s the first Canadian Tamil MP and the standard bearer for young women in a male dominated political culture.
But rising member of Parliament, Rathika Sitsabaiesan, 29, is at the centre of an embarrassing Photoshop controversy -- after authorities apparently deemed her cleavage (pictured left) too hot to handle.
According to political blog Contrarian, an enterprising reader performed an image search for Sitsabaiesan and came across the thumbnail. But when the reader clicked through to Sitsabaiesan’s official Parliamentary profile, he found a modified version of the headshot, which had been retouched to edit out her feminine curves.
Canada’s conservative politicos apparently decided that the photo was inappropriate for a workplace as formal as Parliament.
I have been to Canada a couple of times and I must say that in general they did seem rather uptight compared with Australians. We have had female politicians breastfeeding in Australian parliaments. I wonder how Canadians would deal with that? Would they all faint away?
She is living proof that a wrong initial premise (the effect of CO2 in this case) can led to wrong conclusions. She is clearly not a critical thinker -- just a useful tool for others
It's much like Canadian hatred of the USA -- except that Canadians are much better mannered
Australian rugby fans claim they have been spat on and abused by New Zealanders at the World Cup. Phil Dunne, a Sydney man who flew into Auckland with his wife last weekend, told the New Zealand Herald a "hate vibe" had become entrenched in the psyche of many New Zealanders.
"Some of the charming exchanges involved sexual comments about my wife, instructions on how we could all f--- off back to Australia and even included one charming bloke attempting to spit on us," Dunne said. "I think the hate vibe given off by New Zealanders towards us is so entrenched at this World Cup that most Kiwis don't even realise how hostile they actually are."
The story set off debate on talkback radio. Radio Sport host Miles Davis said he had observed the same "vitriolic" hatred directed towards Australians in other cities. "I saw it in Dunedin and I have got to say it's not a pleasant side of the New Zealand rugby fan," he said.
Another supporter told the Herald there were patches of real meanness at Eden Park during the Australian game against Ireland. "A Kiwi, dressed in Irish green, shouted to a group of Australian fans, 'It's not mardi gras you f---ing poofters'," the unnamed fan said.
Radio Sport listeners said the abuse was not confined to Australian rugby supporters or to the World Cup. Davis heard from two listeners who said they were abused and had beer tipped on them for supporting Australian NRL teams. "I no longer go to (Warriors' home ground) Mount Smart because I've been spat on, had beer spilled on me, I was almost run over in the car park," listener Brian sent via text message to Radio Sport.
A listener named as Alex said his wife was abused for supporting the Springboks. "There's a fair amount of it out there and it's not pleasant," Davis said.
"But anyway a lot of people think 'harden up' - it goes on elsewhere in the world so it makes it right here."
I rather agree with Bryan Caplan below. I always considered most of my academic colleagues to be frauds leeching off the taxpayer and in some years I got more papers published than the whole of the rest of my Department put together(a Department with about 20 academics in it). But as Caplan says, their behaviour is largely a reaction to the system in which they work
In my view, low conscientiousness is a major cause of poverty. Laziness and impulsiveness lead to low marginal productivity. Sooner or later the market notices and gives you your just deserts. A smug, self-satisfied view, I know, but I'm only a messenger.
Still, I have to wonder: What would the world say if someone shined a hidden camera in my office? How hard do I really work?
I could just compare myself to other professors. But that begs the question. When I look around academia, I see lazy people everywhere. (My own impeccable department excepted, of course). Many professors virtually retire the day they get tenure. Plenty of others start even earlier. It's fairly common for tenure-track professors to "work" seven years with zero discernible output. By most measures, professors are extremely successful. How do such success and such laziness coexist?
To resolve this paradox, you need to remember that laziness is a preference - and that behavior is the reaction of preference to environment. Before you pronounce a professor "lazy," you should ask yourself, "How would most people act given his situation?"
Imagine taking randomly selected people, putting them in an office, and saying, "In seven years, your peers will decide whether your research is important enough to merit a job for life. See you in seven years." That's only a slight caricature of what it's like to be a tenure-track professor. You have to decide what's worth studying. You have to figure out something original to say. And you have to actually say it despite your peers' presumptions of apathy and negativity.
I submit that, placed in this situation, the vast majority of people would accomplish nothing. Indeed, I bet that many people would voluntarily resign because they wouldn't know what to do with themselves. Even if, by normal standards, you have a very good work ethic, you still need someone to (a) tell you what to do, (b) clearly tell you how well you're doing, and (c) reward you before you forget why you deserve a reward. Professors, in contrast, are supposed to toil day after day on a self-defined goal, bereft of clear-cut feedback, to impress habitually apathetic and negative peers seven years in the future. Bizarre.
On a gut level, professors who don't publish appall me. Untenured professors who don't publish actually baffle me. How can they squander their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? On reflection, though, the amazing thing about professors isn't that they accomplish so little. The amazing thing about professors is that they accomplish anything at all. They may look lazy to outside observers - and even to each other. But considering their situation, professors are amazingly industrious.
The child star of the Labour conference and the truth behind his 'life of poverty'
At just 16, Rory Weal was being feted yesterday as the ‘hero’ of the Labour conference for an impassioned speech telling how the welfare state saved his family from ruin.
The schoolboy tugged at delegates’ heartstrings with a tale of his home being repossessed and the family having ‘nothing, no money, no savings’, and only the benefits system to fall back on.
But Labour leader Ed Miliband may be surprised to know he was not so hard-up after all.
For it turns out he is the privileged son of a millionaire property developer who sent Rory to a private school until his business went bust. Even now he goes to a selective grammar school, which Labour policy opposes.
Rory’s father Jonathan Weal, 53, owned homes worth an estimated £2.25million in some of the most sought-after addresses in the land. He had a luxury penthouse apartment in leafy Blackheath, South London, valued at £1.3million, but it was repossessed and sold for £359,000 – which is still more valuable than the average British home. Then the banks sold Mr Weal’s £950,000 Grade II listed lodge house in Chislehurst, Kent, for ‘only’ half a million pounds.
In the good times, Mr Weal gave Rory an advantage over ordinary families by sending him to £13,788-a-year Colfe’s School in Blackheath. But when his business ventures failed, his son was lucky enough to be accepted by Oakwood Park Grammar School in Maidstone, Kent.
On Monday, Rory electrified the conference with his tub-thumping speech, giving Labour a ‘William Hague moment’ – a reference to 1977 when a teenage Hague wowed the Conservative Party conference.
Attacking the ‘vicious and Right-wing’ Government, Rory conjured up an image of his destitute family as he told Labour delegates: ‘Two and a half years ago, the home I had lived in since birth was repossessed. We had nothing, no money, no savings.
‘I owe my entire well-being and that of my family to the welfare state. That is why I joined the Labour Party, but that very same welfare state is being ruthlessly ripped apart by a vicious and Right-wing Tory-led government.
‘I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for that system, that safety net. So I take this opportunity to plead with the Government to reconsider their measures.’
Yesterday Rory’s own grandmother described the budding politician as an accomplished actor.
At her home in Stockbridge, Hampshire, Sandra Weal said: ‘He used to do a lot of acting and I think that’s why he was so confident in front of an audience.
After the banks repossessed the family’s homes in 2008, Rory’s parents split up. In a Sunday Times interview about his financial downfall, published earlier this year, Mr Weal said: ‘For my wife, Elaine, the humiliation was unendurable.’
He went on: ‘My father and sister are both architects. She went to Cambridge. I came last in everything at school and I’ve spent my life making up for that. It was so important to me that Rory had the best education.’ Colfe’s School is steeped in history as one of the oldest schools in London.
Rory’s mother was a director of a number of her husband’s companies before they went bust, and she, Rory and her eight-year-old daughter now live in a four-bedroom £300,000 semi-detached house in Allington, Maidstone.
There are only 164 grammar schools left in the country, 32 of them in Kent, where Rory lives.
This is an issue that has repeatedly arisen at other universities but Vanderbilt is a private university so is not bound by the 1st Amendment -- and may therefore be able to maintain its absurd policy. The real agenda, of course, is to force acceptance of homosexuals onto Christian groups.
"Is Vanderbilt University flirting with the suppression of religion? Yes, according to Carol Swain, a professor at Vanderbilt’s Law School.
Specifically, Swain is referring to four Christian student groups being placed on 'provisional status' after a university review found them to be in non-compliance with the school’s nondiscrimination policy.
Vanderbilt says the student organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values."
Carol Swain is CLS’s faculty advisor. She insists the university has gone way beyond political correctness with its actions and demands. “It seems reasonable”, she told me, “to require that leaders share the beliefs of the organizations that they seek to lead.” She sees this as part of a larger problem at liberal-leaning universities across the nation. She says, “I see it as part of a larger attack on religious freedom that’s taking place across the country – particularly when it comes to conservative groups.”
Vanderbilt officials refused to be interviewed, and instead released a statement saying in part "We are committed to making our campus a welcoming environment for all of our students."
A welcome for all students except Christian ones, apparently
The simple solution would of course be for Christian groups to meet off-campus. Any nearby church would probably oblige with a room for meetings.
That would put the university administration's nose out of joint too. A university with no Christian groups on campus would look odd and that might hamper their recruitment of students. It would certainly make their assertions about being "welcoming" look hollow. Putting up posters and placards at appropriate times saying: "Vanderbilt U does not welcome Christians" would really drive that nail home.
Echoing a report from some German scientists, Joe Romm says "Historic Low Arctic Ice is a “Consequence of Man-Made Global Warming with Global Consequences”
But if we look up the original German report we see in their figure 3 that there is a large area that has GAINED ice as well as a fringe that has lost ice. The legend on the figure says: "Differences of ice concentrations of the minima in 2007 and 2011. Green: ice covered in 2011, not in 2007, red vice versa" So the tale is more complicated than it sounds. It is clearly regional fluctuations that are happening rather than some overall change.
But when were the "minima" recorded? The Germans do not say but Romm's comment was on 12th Sept. so it was presumably some time before that. Steve Goddard, on the other hand, has an updated version of their graph which IS dated. See below. Clearly the ice area that has increased is greater than the area that has been lost. The overall ice cover is GREATER in 2011 than in 2007
Dark green is September 26 ice present in 2011 that wasn’t present on the same date in 2007. Red is the opposite. Romm calls this a record low.
"Coconut" is a very offensive racial slur to blacks. The cause is a dispute between the Greens and the miners, with the Aborigines on the side of the miners
THE first indigenous woman elected to any Australian parliament will today announce her resignation after being vilified as a "toxic coconut" over her support for Woodside's contentious $30 billion gas hub proposal near the West Australian resort town of Broome.
Labor MP Carol Martin, 54, yesterday told the party's West Australian leader, Eric Ripper, she would not contest the next election in March 2013.
She was elected to the seat of Kimberley in 2001 after the resignation of Ernie Bridge, the Labor-turned-independent country music star who was the first indigenous Australian to become a cabinet minister.
Ms Martin has repeatedly urged opponents of the Woodside development to respect the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr people's right to do a deal with the company for the gas hub. In June, they voted 60-40 in favour.
Ms Martin's position put her at odds with members of her own extended family, and in a town of vociferous anti-gas sentiment it was widely speculated she could lose her seat over her stand.
The dispute over the gas hub has created ugly tensions in a community that prides itself on being laid-back. Ms Martin was named last week in an anonymous 10-page newsletter as "brown on the outside and full of the milk of white man's money" on the inside for not opposing the proposed gas hub.
Her name appeared on a list of nine Kimberley Aborigines, including former Australian of the year Patrick Dodson, under the heading "toxic coconuts".
Ms Martin said it was the worst slur against her in public life, and she would sue the authors if they could be identified.
The Nationals hope to win the seat of Kimberley from Labor at the next election after gaining popularity in the region through the big-spending Royalties for Regions program, under which the government promises to spend 25 per cent of mining and onshore petroleum royalties in the bush. In the Kimberley, that has included $220 million for the expansion of the irrigation area outside Kununurra.
Ms Martin told The Australian yesterday it had been a privilege to serve the people of the Kimberley, but she said she was tired of the travel between Broome and Perth, a distance of almost 2300km, and no longer wanted to be separated from her husband, Brian, for long periods. "I actually like my husband," she said.
Ms Martin said the attacks on her had been wearing. "I feel that after three terms it is time to move on, and things like that shit from last week I just don't want to put up with any more," she said.
Ms Martin is a Noongar, the Aboriginal people of the state's southwest. She lived in foster care from the age of 12 and repeatedly ran away. At 15, she went to live with her mother and siblings in Broome.
In the Kimberley, Ms Martin became a social worker and served in local government.
Her views have sometimes clashed with popular feelings. In 2009, she expressed doubts about alcohol restrictions in the towns of Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, where fetal alcohol spectrum disorder was rampant. "I'm a social worker in my real life," she said. "I know prohibition doesn't work, has never worked historically, and if you're going to deal with addictions, you deal with addictions."
Ms Martin said she would continue to strongly represent the interests of the Kimberley until the next election.
In her maiden speech, Ms Martin said she hoped she could be an example to others. "I cannot help but feel a slight touch of disbelief it has taken so long for a person like me to get here," she told the parliament.
Must not criticise the good and the great. The little people must know their place
The Law Society has been found guilty of discrimination after its executive in charge of promoting disabled workers' welfare sacked the only full-time member of staff to have a serious disability.
Solicitor Elizabeth Marshall, 44, who has cerebral palsy, won 'substantial' compensation at a tribunal after she was made redundant from her role as a policy adviser and speechwriter for the body's president and chief executive.
She said she was humiliated and shocked when told she was to lose her job after 11 years in the role.
Ms Marshall told the Central London Employment Tribunal she believed the real reason for her dismissal was a series of emails she sent to colleagues who were fellow union members accusing the Law Society of 'systematic discrimination'.
Six days after she wrote the last email she was summoned to a meeting with the director of corporate responsibility, Stephen Ward, who is also the Law Society's diversity champion.
It was at this meeting she was told her job had been made redundant. When she complained, she was told that the decision could be justified by sound business reasons.
Ms Marshall claimed she was the only full-time disabled employee at the headquarters of Britain's most powerful law body in Chancery Lane, Central London.
She added: 'Unfortunately... I have to take the view that my disability is potentially an issue.' She said at no time was her performance in her role criticised. To her knowledge the only other disabled workers were two work-experience staff.
The tribunal ruled that the dismissal was unfair and that the society failed in its duty to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate her disability.
The Law Society, which represents more than 100,000 solicitors and often advises the Government on upholding diversity rights, had denied discrimination. Despite repeated requests for a response to the ruling, the body declined to comment.
The Law Society claims that it 'is committed to playing a leading role in the elimination of discrimination and the promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity in all its activities'.
I sometimes am in the position of being present where prayers are being said and, even though I am an atheist, I always bow my head to some extent as a mark of respect for the occasion and the feelings of the people around me. So bowing your head may or may not indicate what your beliefs are and it is an impertinence to be making any enquiry about it or making any criticism of it. It is an entirely personal matter
Several public high school football coaches in Westmoreland, Tenn. are in trouble for bowing their heads during a student-led prayer before a recent game. According to local NBC affiliate WSMV, the coaches didn’t say anything aloud themselves, but bowed their heads in observance alongside the students.
Word got back to the principal and the school district, which found the coaches’ participation to be an uncomfortable mix of religion and public school. “We’ve been telling our principals to kind of be looking for those things, because that is kind of a shift in how things have been done,” district spokesman Jeremy Johnson told WSMV. “It can in no way appear like it’s endorsed by Sumner County Schools personnel.”
The coaches weren’t disciplined, but were made to sign letters indicating they understood the school’s policy, which prohibits staff from appearing to participate in a student prayer in any way, even if it takes place after hours.
But resident Tony Bentle, who has been refereeing football games in the town for years, said crackdown “blew [his] mind.” “We’re just respectful, God-fearing people up here,” he said. “Nobody in this town is offended if you pray. Nobody.”
I think Dick Smith has a point below. He overlooks the very important fact that competition between Coles and Woolworths is benefiting all Australians in the form of lower prices so I don't agree that Coles should pull back from its marketing strategy.
At the risk of sounding like a Leftist, however, it does seem rather obscene to me that people with lots of money don't use a substantial part of it to help others. I give money away constantly as does Dick Smith so both of us do literally put our money where our mouths are. One might also note that both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are in the process of giving most of their money away to worthy causes
And philanthropy is much more efficient than taxes. Government inefficiency and waste is legenday whereas philanthropy will generally get the money straight to the intended beneficiary
COLES boss Ian McLeod is destroying the livelihoods of Australian farmers with a "new form of extreme capitalism", says entrepreneur Dick Smith. The criticism follows reports the supermarket chief pocketed a $15.6 million pay cheque for 2010/11.
"Where does this extra money come from?" asked Mr Smith, a former retail electronics king and one-time Australian of the Year. "This salary and most of Coles' increase in profit clearly comes directly from Aussie farmers and Aussie processors as they are destroyed by this new form of extreme capitalism."
Coles sales have soared under Mr McLeod, with a 21 per cent lift in earnings last financial year. Mr McLeod's reward was a total salary of $15.6 million for the 12 months to June, including $11 million in bonuses.
Mr Smith said the flip side of "this greed" would be a crisis in rural areas, with "country towns boarded up, more rural suicides".
"Aussie farmers are now ploughing in their crops and Aussie processors are sacking workers and closing down because they cannot sell at a price that will even cover their costs because of the huge push by Coles to buy at lower and lower prices," he said in a statement. "Why keep pushing down down prices are down - and putting more and more Aussie farmers and workers on the scrap heap?"
Last Christmas, Mr Smith labelled chief executives of Australia's big four banks greedy.
Then last month he threatened to name and shame rich people who don't contribute to the community, saying if they don't want to open their wallets they can "rack off".
Mr Smith said the rich in the US donate about 15 per cent of their income, while Australia's wealthy give less than one per cent.
Today he called on Mr McLeod to "give something back". "Ian McLeod, you've done incredibly well out of Australia ...," he said. "I look forward to hearing that you are fulfilling your obligation as a wealthy person and have become well known publicly as a major philanthropist."
He has never heard of of Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants, has never heard of when Greenland was green, has never heard of the days of the dinosaurs and has never heard of vegetation growing in the Antarctic
All of the events above show that the earth has been warmer in the past than it is today. On the last point see here. Yet below is a statement recently made on the record at an official enquiry by Australia's chief scientist, Professor Ian Chubb:
"With respect to this cooling stuff, I have seen the claim, but the evidence that I have seen is that the last decade has been the warmest decade that we have ever had on this planet"
Such profound ignorance as his cannot be mere ignorance, it has to be outright crookedness.
Persecuted British Christians take Government to European Court so they can express their beliefs at work
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is leading a campaign to urge David Cameron to back the rights of Christians to express their beliefs at work. He wants the Prime Minister to press for greater legal protection for Christians who have been sacked for following their consciences when a group of test cases are heard by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg next month.
Four Christians are taking legal action at a landmark hearing because they believe British laws have failed to protect their human rights to wear religious symbols or opt out of gay rights legislation.
The cases include those of Shirley Chaplin, a Devon nurse banned from working on the wards after she failed to hide a cross she had worn since she was 16, and Gary MacFarlane, who was sacked as a Relate counsellor after suggesting he would refuse to provide sexual therapy to gay couples.
The judges will also examine the cases of Nadia Eweida, a check-in clerk for British Airways who was told to remove her small crucifix at work, and registrar Lilian Ladele, who lost her job at Islington town hall, North London, after refusing to officiate at civil partnerships.
The Government must submit a formal statement by the end of next week outlining whether it believes the rights of Christians have been infringed in Britain. Lord Carey, along with 150,000 other campaigners from the lobby group Christian Concern, has written to Mr Cameron calling on the Government to back new safeguards for religious believers.
‘No one wants to deny homosexual people rights, but can a way be found for Christians to have rights as well? I would like the Government to acknowledge that something has to be adjusted in the law so people can express their faith in the workplace in a non-confrontational way.’
Both he and the former Church of England Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali have made their own submissions to the ECHR, asking employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate the religious beliefs of employees.
Under this proposal, staff could refuse to do something against their religious consciences as long as the same service could be provided by a colleague.
Bishop Nazir-Ali said ‘reasonable accommodation’ could include ‘both expression and manifestation of belief. Thus a registrar refusing to officiate at a civil partnership because of religious belief would qualify because other registrars would be able to officiate and the delivery of a service would not be unduly hindered.
‘Similarly, a counsellor refusing counselling on the sexual lifestyle of same-sex couples would fall within the criteria for reasonable accommodation as there are other counsellors, even in the same agencies, who could deliver the service.’
In July, the watchdog Equality and Human Rights Commission announced its support for the concept of ‘reasonable accommodation’ but it appeared to backtrack within weeks following criticism from pressure groups.
THE global financial crisis, the latest episode of which boiled over last week, did more than destroy wealth and jobs, or embarrass the rating agencies. It exposed the malaise within the economics profession and the deep flaws in its orthodox theories.
George Soros, the billionaire financier and philanthropist, was among those who joined the search for new ideas.
Mr Soros funded a new organisation called the Institute for New Economic Thinking which for the past two years has handed out millions of dollars in grants, funding research projects that look at economics in fresh ways.
This month, the institute gave more than $125,000 to an Australian. Steve Keen, Associate Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Western Sydney, has won a grant to turn his money-based model of the macro-economy - which draws on the theories of economists such as Hyman Minsky and John Maynard Keynes - into a computer program for students and economists.
Professor Keen says his program will make it easy to develop "dynamic" models of the economy that incorporate money and debt - something that orthodox models do not do.
Last year, Professor Keen had to walk from Canberra to Mount Kosciuszko after losing a bet with Rory Robertson, the then interest rate strategist for Macquarie Bank.
Professor Keen had bet in 2008 that Australian house prices would lose 40 per cent in value in the aftermath of the financial crisis.. [They showed only a slight fall overall]
Doesn't he know that Obama is sacred?
German comedian Martin Sonneborn is well-known for jokes bordering on the tasteless. But a satirical political billboard of him posing in blackface makeup as US President Barack Obama is sparking outrage.
“Ick bin ein Obama (I am an Obama),” reads the poster at Berlin’s central Ernst Reuter Platz square, in an apparent play on John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. On the poster, a "black" Sonneborn smiles as he raises his arm in the air.
The billboard is the latest in Sonneborn’s campaign for his satirical political party Die Partei ahead of state elections in Berlin this Sunday. It’s meant to make fun of the entire German political establishment and go up to the edge of propriety – another poster is entitled “MILFS against Merkel” and the campaign has also mocked the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party.
But the latest one is upsetting to some because of the racial connotations of blackface theatre, which was widespread in America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Based on ugly stereotypes, blackface consisted of white performers painting themselves black for degrading minstrel shows.
The characterization of black minstrel shows above is outrageous. It's just America-hatred from some supercilious German. Al Jolson often sang in blackface and there was nothing hateful about either him or his performances. He was in fact actively anti-racist.
The comedian above is in any case only concerned with his local elections. His poster even uses Berliner dialect. "Ick" would be "Ich" in High German.
by: Tony Abbott
In his notorious February 2009 essay for The Monthly, Kevin Rudd pronounced the death of 30 years of neo-liberalism. It was up to government, he said, to rectify the ills of a market economy.
This failure to grasp the requirements of wealth creation has characterised the Rudd-Gillard government.
To every problem, the government's response is a new tax, a new regulation or a new bureaucracy. Higher spending, borrowing and taxes have put upward pressure on interest rates and the dollar, squeezed household budgets and depressed consumer and business confidence. The resources boom has only emphasised how deeply subdued conditions are for most of the domestic economy. Although headline economic growth has remained solid, gross domestic product per person has increased by just one half of 1 per cent since late 2007 compared with annual growth of 2 1/4 per cent between 1996 and the end of the Howard government. This is why so many people are convinced that Australia is a rich country at serious risk of becoming poorer.
The government is making our economy less productive by virtually closing down the live cattle trade. It's progressively closing down much of the Tasmanian forestry industry. It's spending $2 billion to close down the brown coal power stations that have been the source of Victoria's cheap-power comparative advantage in manufacturing, and it's spending $11bn to buy and close Telstra's copper network. In other words, it's spending billions in borrowed money to put people out of work, not into it.
By contrast, the Coalition will cut wasteful spending, abolish counterproductive taxes and build a more productive economy through our six-point productivity plan, which will encourage more people into the workforce, make public institutions more effective, cut red tape, improve competition rules, get greater value from infrastructure spending and reform workplace relations to encourage more pay for better work. Cutting spending means lower borrowing and less pressure on interest rates.
Deloitte Access Economics estimated this year that a $13bn reduction in commonwealth spending would allow interest rates to be a percentage point lower than otherwise would be needed to contain inflation against the backdrop of the mining boom. Getting more people more productively into the workforce will mean a larger economy, a bigger tax base and more ability for the government to fund services without tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere. The government's budget papers suggest a 1 per cent rise in growth through higher productivity would produce an ongoing improvement in the budget bottom line of about $4.5bn a year.
If economic growth is high enough through strong productivity growth, it's possible to deliver simultaneously higher spending, lower taxes, a bigger surplus and higher wages without triggering inflation. Far from being "magic pudding" economics, this is what happened during much of the Howard government.
I do not personally accept the authority of Godwin as a lawgiver any more than I accept the authority of Al Gore, Jesus Christ or Karl Marx -- but Godwin's observation that Hitler comparisons are often the mark of desperation in an argument has some cogency. It lacks cogency only if the comparison is accurate.
So when we find a Warmist who compares a skeptic to Hitler, it is reasonable to ask what accuracy there is in the comparison. A Warmist who rather amusingly calls himself "Science Guy" has replied to a critic who mocks meteorology generally as well as global warming in particular. The critic goes by the nom de guerre of "Cowboy". "Science Guy" says:
I found someone who agrees with Cowboy on the weather
The following quotes come from perhaps the most famous man of the 20th century:
“One can’t put any trust in meteorological forecasts. (Weather men) ought to be separated from the army.
“Weather prediction is not a science that can be learned mechanically. What we need are men gifted with a sixth sense, who live in nature and with nature, whether or not they know anything about isotherms or isobars. As a rule, obviously, these men are not particularly suited to the wearing of a uniform. One of them will have a humped back. Another one of them will be bandy legged. A third paralytic. Similarly one doesn’t expect them to live like bureaucrats.”
The quotes come from … Adolf Hitler
It is certainly clear that Adolf did not think much of the meteorologists of his day but he would not be alone in that. Weather forecasters so often get things wrong that they are widely mocked to this day.
So the issue is not skepticism about meteorology unless "Science Guy" wants to brand all those millions who mock weather forecasters as Nazis.
The issue is whether Cowboy would agree that credibility is to be assigned to shamans and the like. There is no evidence that Cowboy does. His skepticism seems as wide-ranging as mine and I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful!
So "Science guy" has indeed fallen foul of Godwin's law and his reply to Cowboy reveals that his argument is one of desperation, not science.
The UC Berkeley College Republicans are planning a bake sale — where the price of a cupcake depend on your race.
The “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” is meant to satirize an affirmative action-like bill in California that would let the university system consider ethnicity in student admissions.
“Just like the CA Senate Bills 185 and 387 the phone bank supports, we will be considering race, gender, ethnicity, national/geographic origin and other relevant factors to ensure the equitable distribution of baked goods to our diverse student body,” the College Republicans wrote in a Facebook announcement publicizing the event, set for Tuesday. “Hope to see you all there! If you don’t come, you’re a racist!”
But with a price structure that includes $2 for “White/Caucasian,” $1.50 for “Asian/Asian American” and $.0.75 for “Black/African American,” some aren’t finding it very funny.
“I’m ashamed to know that I go to the same school with people who would say stuff like this,” student Skyler Hogan-Van Sickle wrote Facebook. “I’m really trying to figure out how someone can be this hateful.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, more than 200 students responded to the event, mostly in opposition. One threatened to burn the table and set the cupcakes on fire. At least four student groups sent complaints to campus administrators, and a student-only meeting was set for Friday evening to discuss it.
“It’s offensive because of the tactics that they chose,” Joey Freeman, Berkeley’s student government vice president told the Chronicle. “This should be done for constructive dialogue and debate. But not in a way I thought was, frankly, racist.”
In a separate Facebook post, the College Republicans doubled down on their intent to hold the bake sale:
The Berkeley College Republicans firmly believe measuring any admit’s merit based on race is intrinsically racist. Our bake sale will be at the same time and location of a phone bank which will be making calls to urge Gov. Brown to sign the bill. The purpose of the event is to offer another view to this policy of considering race in university admissions. The pricing structure of the baked goods is meant to be satirical, while urging students to think more critically about the implications of this policy.
Gibor Basri, Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, told the Chronicle the Facebook posting does not violate any campus policy.
“The only policy it violates is the principles of community,” he said, adding that a campus-wide letter will go out Monday. “We can use this as a teaching moment.”
Shawn Lewis, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, said he was surprised by the number of critics and their harshness his organization has received. He said agrees that race-based pricing is discriminatory.
“But it’s discriminatory in the same way that considering race in university admissions is discriminatory,” he said.
Police have threatened a Christian cafe owner with arrest –for displaying passages from the Bible on a TV screen. Jamie Murray was warned by two police officers to stop playing DVDs of the New Testament in his cafe following a complaint from a customer that it was inciting hatred against homosexuals.
Mr Murray, 31, was left shocked after he was questioned for nearly an hour by the officers, who arrived unannounced at the premises. He said he had turned off the Bible DVD after an ‘aggressive inquisition’ during which he thought he was going to be arrested and ‘frog-marched out of the cafe like a criminal’.
But he added: ‘I have now checked on my rights and I am not going to be bullied by the police and the PC lobby out of playing the Bible silently in my cafe. It’s crazy. Christians have to stand up for what they believe in.’
The Salt and Light cafe in Blackpool has for years repeatedly played the entire 26-hour-long Watchword Bible, a 15-DVD set produced in America in which a narrator reads the whole of the New Testament, on a small flatscreen TV on the back wall.
The sound is turned down but the words flash on to the screen against a series of images. The cafe, which opened eight years ago, also prides itself on being an oasis of calm in a high-crime area of Blackpool.
Mr Murray said the two uniformed officers from Lancashire Constabulary arrived at lunchtime on Monday, the cafe’s busiest time of day. WPC June Dorrian, the community beat manager, told him there had been a complaint and he was breaching the Public Order Act 1986.
Mr Murray said: ‘I told them that all that appeared on the screen were the words of the New Testament. There is no sound, just the words on the screen and simple images in the background of sheep grazing or candles burning. I thought there might be some mix-up but they said they were here to explain the law to me and how I had broken it.
‘I said, “Are you really telling me that I am facing arrest for playing the Bible?” and the WPC fixed me with a stare and said, “If you broadcast material that causes offence under the Public Order Act then we will have to take matters further. You cannot break the law.” ’
Mr Murray, who worked in a homeless shelter for five years before taking over the cafe three months ago, said he realised the only way to appease the police was to pull the plug on the Bible.
‘I was worried about being handcuffed and led out of the shop in front of my customers. It wouldn’t have looked good so I thought it was better to comply. It felt like a betrayal. They left the shop and told me they would continue to monitor if we were displaying inflammatory material. At no stage had they spoken to me like I was a law-abiding citizen trying to earn a living. I felt like a criminal.’
Mr Murray said he had been given no indication of who had complained or which verses of the New Testament had caused the offence, but he guessed it may have been a reaction to the Book Of Romans that had been playing the week before. The Book takes the form of a letter from the apostle Paul to the people of Rome, in which he rails against all manner of godlessness.
In verses 26-28 of Chapter One he says: ‘God let them follow their own evil desires. Women no longer wanted to have sex in a natural way, and they did things with each other that were not natural.
‘Men behaved in the same way. They stopped wanting to have sex with women and had strong desires for sex with other men. They did shameful things with each other, and what has happened to them is punishment for their foolish deeds.’
The verses take 30 seconds to play and the Bible translation used is the 2005 Contemporary English Version (CEV), a plain English text by the American Bible Society. Experts at the British Bible Society, whose patron is the Queen, have described it as a well-respected text that, while using straightforward language, fairly reflected the meaning of the original.
The Christian Institute, which is supporting Mr Murray, said its lawyers had told him he is free to display the Bible in any way he chooses, and they are preparing a complaint against the police.
The Institute’s spokesman Mike Judge said: ‘I have no problem with the police looking into a complaint, but once they realised it was just the words of the Bible being shown on the screen then they should have walked away. ‘They did not even look at the offending DVD. They simply told Mr Murray that he had to stop showing the Bible and warned him that they would continue to monitor what he was doing. This is intimidatory and completely unacceptable.
‘It is a problem right across the country that the police are under huge political pressure to be seen to respond to anything homophobic.’
Lancashire Police said they had received a complaint on Saturday afternoon from a female customer who was ‘deeply offended’ by the words she had seen on the screen. A spokesman said they were ‘duty bound’ to respond to the complaint and had concluded the cafe could be in breach of Section 29E of the Public Order Act, which warns that people who play images or sounds that stir up hatred against homosexuals could be guilty of an offence.
However, it also says criticism of sexual conduct ‘shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred’.
A police spokesman said: ‘At no point did the officer ask the cafe owner to remove any materials or arrest the man and we took a commonsense and objective approach in dealing with the complaint. We believe our response and the action we took was completely proportionate and our officers are always available should the cafe owner want to discuss the matter or need any advice in the future.
‘The Constabulary is respectful of all religious views. However, we do have a responsibility to make sure that material that communities may find deeply offensive or inflammatory is not being displayed in public. ‘No complaint has been received about the conduct of the officer in question and we are satisfied that they performed their duties professionally.’
Reports kept under wraps by Labour showing that immigrants who came to Britain from Romania and Bulgaria had low education levels and were more likely to claim out-of-work benefits are to be released for the first time by ministers.
The figures are contained in five separate controversial studies commissioned by the last Labour government but never published - amid claims the party wanted to avoid a damaging row about its record before last year’s general election.
Ministers accused Labour of a “disturbing cover up” and promised to publish the reports - which cost the taxpayer a total of £165,000 and have now been seen by The Sunday Telegraph - in full within days.
The documents also contain revelations that immigrants from all countries into Britain are more likely to be out of work than the native population - and are less likely to engage in any form of “civic participation.”
More than one third of London’s population, moreover, has now been born outside the UK.
The release will turn the spotlight once again on the party’s controversial record on immigration. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, used a weekend interview to admit the party had “got things wrong” on the issue.
Up until 2008 the Labour government was criticised for effectively operating an “open door” policy which saw a massive rise in the number of visas, work permits and extended residency being granted.
Gordon Brown’s government then introduced a new “points based” system which was designed to make it harder for non-skilled people to come to Britain from outside the European Union.
However, particular controversy surrounded the rules governing immigration from countries which joined the EU during the first decade of this century - which included Bulgaria and Romania (which joined in 2007) and Poland (2004).
Labour ministers repeatedly promised that restrictions would be placed on those coming in from Eastern Europe in order to “manage” numbers and protect jobs for British workers. However, the secret reports show that 27 per cent of people coming from Bulgaria and Romania had “low education levels” while as of 2009 more than 15 per cent of them were claiming out-of-work benefits.
The documents, commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) reveal that immigrants from the two countries are more likely to claim unemployment-related benefits than either non-immigrants or other migrant groups in Britain.
A report said that despite the implementation of a “cap” on numbers, the migration rate into Britain from Romania and Bulgaria increased significantly after the countries joined the EU in 2007.
Meanwhile, migrants from the two countries were shown to be more likely to have four children or more than people coming to Britain from elsewhere - placing a significant strain on the education system, particularly in London where over half the Bulgarians and Romanians who came settled. More than three in every 100 migrants from Bulgaria and Romania had five children or more.
One of the five reports, Identifying Social and Economic Push and Pull Factors for Migration to the UK by Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals, showed that while Bulgaria’s and Romania’s population declined between 2004 and 2010, Britain’s increased considerably.
During that period the two countries’ unemployment rate fell, while the UK’s rose.
Another report on overall immigration, The Socio-Economic Integration of Migrants, claimed: “Immigrants in the UK exhibit lower employment rates than natives....Immigrants are on average less likely than natives to engage in any form civic participation.”
A further document, Drivers of International Migration, stated: “The increase in immigration into the UK since the mid 1990s is entirely explained by a rise in the number of foreign-born people migrating to the UK from abroad, rather than by returning UK-born people.”
At the start of the 1980s the key annual “net immigration” figure for the UK was minus 42,000 - meaning tens of thousands more people left Britain every year than came here. By 1992-95 this figure had gone up to plus 9,200 - while by the period between 2004 and 2007 it had mushroomed to plus 178,000 a year.
Britain’s population was slated to increase by more than four million to 65.6 million between 2008 and 2018, while by 2008 over one third of London’s population (34 per cent) was born outside Britain.
Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, said: “This is another disturbing cover-up by a Labour Party that failed on immigration and then tried to bury the truth. “‘This Government is bringing immigration under control to restore public confidence in the system left broken by Labour.”
The Coalition’s policy of putting an overall cap on immigrant numbers from outside the EU is designed to reduce net migration to Britain significantly.
David Cameron said in a speech in April that it should be “in the order of tens of thousands each year, not the hundreds of thousands every year that we have seen over the last decade.”
Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, said: “We have cut down on sham marriages, we have brought in a variety of policies which curb the number of people coming into the country and then overstay.
And we will continue to look at how we can further improve the balance between the people who at value coming into the country and those who do not.”
Labour’s record on immigration sparked bitter debates before last year’s election, exemplified by unguarded “bigoted woman” comments during the campaign by Mr Brown, on an open microphone, about Gillian Duffy, a Rochdale grandmother, when she questioned the former prime minister on it.
In an interview this weekend Ms Cooper admitted: "We did get things wrong on immigration. "We should have had the transitional controls on migration from Eastern Europe. We should have introduced the points-based system much earlier.”
The dinosaurs flourished in a very warm climatic period and were both cold-blooded and VERY large. But you would never guess that from the effusions of the alleged scientist below. According to him they should have been about the size of mice.
And this crap was published in "New Scientist". But "New Warmist" has been a better name for that publication for some time now
It is well established that cold-blooded species get smaller as the climate heats up, says Andrew Hirst of Queen Mary, University of London. Experiments show that, on average, 1 °C of warming reduces their adult body mass by 2.5 per cent. The mystery is why.
To find out, Hirst pulled together data on 15 species of copepod that swim in the open sea, focusing on how they grew at different temperatures. As temperatures rose, the copepods got heavier faster. Hirst thinks that's because physiological reactions accelerate at warmer temperatures, allowing the copepods to bulk up faster.
But they also matured to adulthood faster, so their rapid growth ground to a halt at a young age. The overall effect was such that the warmer copepods wound up smaller.
It's not clear why temperature has such a strong effect on the way these organisms mature, but Hirst suspects evolution favours organisms that are flexible in how fast they mature to adulthood. In a competitive environment, this increases the odds that individuals will reproduce before they are killed.
Not good for the young?? This sounds like kneejerk Puritanism. Where is the evidence of harm from coffee? When I was growing up kids in Australia were quite normally given a cup of tea with their evening meal and tea is also a caffeinated beverage. I have never heard of any harm from the practice
STUDENTS as young as 12 are being served coffee by a full-time barista employed by one of Sydney's top private schools. Presbyterian Ladies' College Sydney has opened the "Cyber Cafe" as part of extensive library renovations.
The cafe has outraged nutritionists who are concerned there are no restrictions on how many coffees students from the school in Croydon can purchase in a day.
Coffees cost $3 each (50c extra for soy or syrup flavour). Year 11 and 12 students are free to use the coffee shop all day, while Years 7-10 students can only buy before and after school and during recess and lunch.
Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton said the cafe should be restricted to Year 11 and 12 students as younger children should not be encouraged to consume caffeine. "It is too early to be introducing them to coffee," she said. "This is going to need a close watch because it is easy for girls to drink lots of coffee to keep them going instead of eating."
A barista at the cafe told The Sunday Telegraph the students drink a lot of coffee. She said they also add sweet syrups, including caramel and vanilla, which masks the taste.
The cafe makes between 10kg and 15kg of coffee per week, which equates to about 2100 cups, according to owner of coffee academy Barista Basics David Gee. "Say the coffees are $3, they'd be making about $5000 per week just in coffee sales,'' he said.
The school's director of information services Joanna Taylor said the caf is "a very popular space''. "I don't know how much coffee they drink but the reality is, in the morning, even before the caf, the girls come walking up the street holding their coffees.''
On Friday afternoon, Abbas said he was adamant about not recognizing Israel as the Jewish state.
"They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state," Abbas said in a meeting with some 200 senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the US, shortly before taking the podium and delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
What he denies to Israel will inevitably be denied to him
This is a surprisingly reactionary letter from a group of Lefties. As long as they can interfere in other people's lives they are happy, I guess. But it is all just assertion and opinion so is not worth much.
Let me make some counter-assertions: I helped bring up a son and a stepson who spent most of their free time as kids playing computer games, with my approval. They are both now happy, well-adjusted achievement-oriented young men who work hard at what they do -- one in business and one in academe. So they came to no harm from their computer "addiction".
I think that there IS concern about the behaviours that young people learn these days but that lies at the feet of moronic "non-directive" modern schools and bombed-out parents. One of my "boys" went to a selective State school and the other to a private school but their genes and their civilized home life were probably more important factors
Childhood is being eroded by a “relentless diet” of advertising, addictive computer games, test-driven education and poor childcare, a powerful lobby of more than 200 experts warns today.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the group of academics, teachers, authors and charity leaders says children’s wellbeing and mental health is being undermined by the pressures of modern life. They urge the Government to address a culture of “too much, too soon” in Britain.
This includes a ban on all forms of advertising aimed at the youngest children, the establishment of a play-based curriculum for infants and a public information campaign warning of the dangers of screen-based entertainment.
The comments came five years after many of the same experts sent similar letter to the Telegraph that criticised politicians and the public for failing to allow children to develop properly at a young age. It led to a debate on the state of childhood in Britain and coincided with the publication of Labour’s Children’s Plan — a policy document covering all aspects of young people’s lives.
But the group, which includes Philip Pullman, the children’s author, Baroness Greenfield, the Oxford University neuroscientist, Lord Layard, emeritus professor of economics at the London School of Economics, and the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, claims that the “erosion of childhood in Britain has continued apace since 2006”.
A UN report published last week accused British parents of trapping children in a cycle of “compulsive consumerism” by showering them with toys and designer labels instead of spending quality time with them.
The academics say Britain has the “lowest levels of children’s wellbeing in the developed world” and is regularly placed “at or near the top of international league tables on almost all indicators of teenage distress and disaffection”.
The letter adds: “Although parents are now deeply concerned about this issue, the erosion of childhood in the UK has continued apace since 2006. Our children are subjected to increasing commercial pressures, they begin formal education far earlier than the European norm, and they spend ever-more time indoors with screen-based technology, rather than in active outdoor activity and play.
“The time has come to move from awareness to action.”
The letter, which is signed by 228 people, was circulated by Dr Richard House, senior lecturer at Roehampton University’s Research Centre for Therapeutic Education. It calls for major reforms to save children from a “relentless diet of 'too much, too soon’”.
This should include a public information campaign highlighting children’s developmental needs, the requirement to promote high quality child care and the dangers of a “consumerist, screen-based lifestyle”.
The group also criticises the education system, saying that five year-olds should be given a play-based curriculum in the first full year of school instead of formal lessons. The comments will be seen as a criticism of Coalition plans to subject all children to a reading test at the end of their first year in school.
The letter calls for a ban on all forms of marketing directed at children up until at least the age of seven.
Dr House told the Telegraph: “The inexorable momentum of moderntechnological life is such that despite the awareness raised through the September 2006 Telegraph open letter on 'toxic childhood’, matters have improved very little.
“We also live in an age of seemingly ever-mounting anxiety; and when the adult world is unable to contain and process its own anxieties in a mature way, they inevitably get projected on to children, resulting in countless well-intentioned but often highly inappropriate intrusions into children’s experience that leave children’s true needs misunderstood and neglected.”
Publication of the letter coincides with the publication of a book, Too Much, Too Soon?, featuring 23 essays on early learning and the erosion of childhood.
One study by Sally Goddard Blythe, the director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester, concluded that up to half of children were not ready for school at the age of five because of “sedentary lifestyles”. They struggled to grip pencils properly, sit still, stand up straight and even catch a ball after failing to develop physical and communication skills at a young age.
Mrs Goddard Blythe said: “If I go back 23 years to when I first started to work in this field, the majority of people we saw were those for whom there was a primary underlying cause for their difficulties, such as mild cerebral palsy.
“Increasingly, I am seeing children with no single, obvious cause but general lifestyle issues that seem to be contributing to the fact that they are not developing motor skills in the way they did 20 years ago.
“They are spending more time in front of computer games and electronic media, meaning they have less opportunity to go out and play, explore and take risks.”
Sarah Teather, the Children’s Minister, said the Government was trying to help families but added: “Government can only do so much. As a society, we all have a stake in making sure there is time for family life and children are free to cherish their childhoods.”
Texas Teacher Calls Tea Party President A ‘Nazi’
On Tuesday, the San Antonio Tea Party was part of a panel supported by a local public radio station – 89.1 KSTX. The topic of discussion – the DREAM Act and the problem of illegal immigration.
Jonathon Bryant, a Government Studies teacher from John F. Kennedy High School attended the event along with some of his students (who, according to Bryant, may be illegals). Mr. Bryant asked a question of the panel about students that were illegal aliens and what should be done with them.
After the president of the group affirmed his support for the laws governing illegal aliens in the schools, Mr. Bryant just couldn’t contain himself. He decided to levy a “Nazi” charge:
The Fascist instinct to punish speech they dislike is never far beneath the surface among the Leftists who infest the education system:
Dakota Ary, an honors student at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas, was in for a surprise after being sent to the principal’s office and punished for sharing his opinion. After telling another student that he believes homosexuality is wrong, Dakota was reprimanded and given in-school suspension.
Following the incident his mother, Holly Pope, received a call from an assistant principal at the school informing her of the punishment. In an interview with Fox News Radio, she says was “absolutely stunned“: "Dakota is a very well-grounded 14-year-old. He’s been in church his whole life and he’s been taught to stand up for what he believes. He was stating an opinion. He has a right to do that. They punished him for it.”
After hearing the student’s explanation, the assistant principal reduced the punishment from two days to one, but Dakota and his mother aren’t satisfied, as they believe his free speech has been infringed upon.
While the district isn’t speaking out about the incident, on Wednesday, Dakota, his mother and attorney Matt Krause met with the school’s principal. Pope hopes that the school will remove the disciplinary blemish from the child’s record, while pledging that there won’t be any further retaliation.
Rich Kozlovich on the bedbug coverup
Yesterday I received an e-mail from Steve Milloy of Junkscience.com about a report released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) outlining how many people had been made ill by pesticide applications over a seven year period involving treatments for bed bug infestations in seven states.
Over that seven year period there were 111 reported reactions with one fatality. Considering that 93% of these cases were caused by inappropriate applications of pesticides by these people themselves, and literally tens of thousands of applications have been made in the last seven years for bed bugs alone; this is a remarkable safety record for pesticides….after all if any product is misused there will be unhappy consequences.
You will notice that most of these problems have occurred in the last couple of years. Why? Because this plague of bed bugs is expanding at a rate that would have been considered impossible a few years ago. In 1996 the Environmental Protection Agency promoted something called the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), which was to be a fix for something called the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938. For more information on this please go to my article, We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges. As a result whole categories of safe effective chemistry was lost to the structural pest control industry, and to the general public.
It didn’t take long before the impact of that action was felt. There were those in our industry that predicted that one of the first major problems we would encounter as a society from FQPA would be the return of bed bugs. They were right. There were those in our industry who predicted all of these problems involving health problem caused by misapplications. They were right, and all of what has occurred was perfectly predictable.
The one thing we have to come to understand is that the finger of blame needs to be pointed at the right party. The blame must be placed at the feet the ones responsible for this plague overtaking the nation, the pesticide misapplications and the related health problems; The Environmental Protection Agency! Through their irrational anti-pesticide agenda we have lost effective products that would prevented this plague in the first place. As a result people would not have required unending treatments they cannot afford by professionals which has forced them to attempt to eradicate this problem on their own. As a result of the EPA’s actions people, especially the poor, are desperate for relief. This sense of desperation these people feel causes them to act with folly in order to rid their homes of these pests.
Reports such as this from CDC amount to unnecessary scare mongering as they admit themselves that “Although the number of acute illnesses from insecticides used to control bed bugs does not suggest a large public health burden, increases in bed bug populations that are resistant to commonly available insecticides might result in increased misuse of pesticides.” This report is scare mongering with no solution to the problem. They go on to say:
Public health recommendations to prevent illnesses associated with insecticides used to control bed bugs include media campaigns to educate the public about bed bug--related issues, including nonchemical methods to control bed bugs, methods to prevent bed bug infestation (e.g., avoiding the purchase of used mattresses and box springs), and prudent use of effective insecticides. Persons who have a bed bug infestation should be encouraged to seek the services of a certified applicator…If they had stopped there they would have at least offered something of value, but they continue…. who uses an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach to avoid pesticide misuse. And finally they supply the answer to these misapplications; “Persons applying insecticides should follow product instructions for safe and appropriate use. Insecticide labels that are easy to read and understand also can help prevent illnesses associated with bed bug control.”
None of this changes the fact that bed bug numbers are expanding at an outrageous rate throughout the nation because of this foolish IPM mentality. In point of fact there is no such thing as IPM in structural pest control. The EPA has an irrational desire to eliminate pesticides, including pyrethrins and pyrethroids, no matter what they say publically, and so they have promoted IPM for years as an alternative. The reality is that IPM is an agricultural concept that is based on a logical foundation of threshold limits. What is the logical foundation for IPM in structural pest control? There isn’t one! Since there is no logical foundation for IPM in structural pest control IPM doesn’t exist in structural pest control except for the fact that the government says it exists. Please see The Pillars of IPM.
This whole report is nothing more than anti-pesticide scaremongering with no solutions, no insights and little value to society. Here is the whole story in a nutshell; the EPA’s ideology created the desperation these people feel and this desperation generated the folly of their actions; and folly has consequences; unfortunately the penalties of green activism is always paid for by an unsuspecting public; it is never paid for by the perpetrators.
The answer to this problem in 1946 was effective, inexpensive, easy to use chemistry that was available to everyone. If that isn't the answer to our current problem there will be no answer.
I have written extensively on this subject. Please read My Bed Bug Series.
If it doesn't fit in precisely to a category on their computer screen they ignore the call. Nothing has been learned since the death of David Iredale 5 years ago, apparently
TWO frantic 000 calls by a woman who was murdered minutes later went unheeded after an emergency operator was unable to obtain precise information and did not pass the request for attendance to police.
James John Potter, 24, was committed yesterday to stand trial for the murder of Penelope "Penny" Pratt, 27, who was shot three times after an argument over a $160 drug debt on November 28 last year.
"I'm in the vicinity of being heard, do you understand what that means ... trust me, you want to get to this address," Ms Pratt was recorded saying during one of the 000 calls at 11.28pm, replayed in Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
"You're going to get me bashed," she said moments later in frustration at not being able to give her exact location other than a street, suburb and nearby hospital. "I'm hiding in a bush answering your questions," an agitated Ms Pratt said, adding there were "three violent offenders" after her.
"If I can't hear you, how am I to help you?" the operator said at one point. Ms Pratt is heard to say she is hiding and in fear, then giving her name and mobile phone number to the 000 operator.
"A city councilman in San Juan Capistrano, California, has come under fire by Muslims and local council members alike for naming his dog Muhammad and later announcing it during a city council meeting. Councilman Derek Reeve is not backing down, however, stating on Tuesday that the decision to name his dog Muhammad was not meant to be offensive but was rather abut his family exercising their freedom of speech.
According to the local SJC Patch, Reeve’s dog-naming came on the heels of the councilman explaining to his children that in some parts of the Islamic world, they could be sentenced to death for using the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s name in a fashion deemed inappropriate.
On Friday, the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked Reeve to apologize for his remarks, stating he showed “disrespect toward Islam’s revered prophet Muhammad by making [the] derisive public comment.”
As a result, Reeve, during his subsequent explanation, referred to CAIR as a “terrorist organization” and was reportedly upset over the organization’s reprimand.
But CAIR and Kramer weren’t the only ones to voice disapproval. Citing a Muslim in the audience who was offended by Reeve’s comment, Mayor Sam Allevato weighed in, stating ”You have to be really careful about what you say.” He added that “these types of comments are not acceptable” and could lead to a hostile work environment for City Hall employees.
News from 1892, Yes: 1892, not 1982
The Muir glacier, which is the great wonder of of Alaska, was, says a scientific writer in the Globe, doubtless discovered by Vancouver in 1791, but Professor John Muir was the first to describe it. Muir Inlet, at the head of Glacier Bay, is the termination of this great ”river of ice.”
The wall of blue ice is there a mile long and about 400 feet high. It is worn into towers, castles, and caverns, and is continually discharging fragments, from the size of a paving-stone to that of Cologne Cathedral. These falling into the sea cast up the spray for hundreds of feet into the air, and send forth waves which dash upon the shores and echo like thunder among the mountains.
The Muir glacier is really a sea of ice, with numerous branches in the valleys, any one of which is as large as the Gomer or Aletzch glacier of Switzerland. It is according to Mr. S. P. Baldwin, a recent visitor, as large as all the Alpine glaciers in one, being 1,200 square miles in area. The ice is 1,000 feet thick at the mouth in Muir Inlet, and the glacier, is estimated to comprise as much water as Lake Erie.
It disharges 77 billion cubic feet of ice as icebergs, and 175 billion cubic feet of water by melting every year. The centre of the glacier, where the motion is quickest, is so rough and broken into crevasses that it is considered impassable. The eastern half, however, can be travelled as far as the névé.
Professor Wright has found the motion at the centre to be as much as 65 feet a day, whereas that of the Alpine glaciers is only 33 inches or so. As much as 90 feet a day has been found in the case of a Greenland glacier. The Muir glacier has once extended much further into the bay, and is now receding every year, while the sources of the ice supply are failing.
Contrary to what the author says below, the graph appears to cover just one ski location: Spencer's Creek, which reminds one of Keith Briffa's solitary Siberian tree. None of the other trees fitted Keith's global warming story so he relied on the one tree that did.
And Australia has had unusually early openings to its ski seasons in recent years so why is that not reflected in the graph? It could be that we are getting less extreme weather. The average depth rather than the peak depth would be more informative. The Greenies keep shrieking that were are having MORE extreme weather but a lot of data show the opposite. America has had unusually few major hurricanes in recent years, for instance
But the major point is that snowfall in most locations is more influenced by available atmospheric moisture than by temperature, and Australia DID suffer one of its recurrent droughts up until recently. If there is a real effect there, it's a drought effect
Look at this graph. Each blue bar shows the peak annual snow depth at Snowy Hydro’s five official snow measuring stations at Spencers Creek, about halfway between the NSW ski resorts of Perisher and Thredbo.
The black line shows the downward trend over the last 58 years. Pronounced decline, isn’t it. The consistent big seasons of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s are a thing of the past. On average, we’re losing three quarters of a centimetre of snow each year. That’s nearly half a metre since records were first kept.
Snowy Hydro has taken these measurements since the 1950s because they like to know how much snowmelt is going to end up in their dams each summer. The information is neutral, reliable, and untainted by ski resort PR. Even more crucially, it relies not on pie-in-the sky computer modelling, but on clinical, unhysterical observation.
And those observations reveal beyond doubt that Australia is getting warmer.
The problem with the climate change debate is that most of us can neither observe, nor feel, the data presented.
We cannot detect small annual changes in temperature, and are no hope of perceiving increases in CO2 or other gases. Moreover, popular graphs like the “hockey stick” championed by Al Gore, are endlessly open to misinterpretation and dispute.
But there’s no arguing with this snow depth graph. It is elegantly simple and best of all, it represents something tangible. The graph clearly shows that less snow is falling, and less snow is sticking around. And that ain’t happening because the world’s getting cooler, as some argue.
A warming globe impacts the Australian snow pack in two simple ways. Firstly, and most obviously, warmer weather means a greater likelihood of rain instead of snow, and quicker melt after snowstorms.
The second effect is a little more technical. Basically, a warmer globe makes it tougher for the snow-bearing cold fronts in the Southern Ocean to push north and make landfall on the Australian continent. Most experts agree that’s why areas like SW Western Australia are drying out so rapidly.
Now, no one’s saying the snow is going to disappear entirely this century, as predicted by a 2003 CSIRO report with a distinctly doomsday tone. But slowly, it’s going.
The $64 million question is why. Is all this part of a natural cycle or is the hand of human activity at work here?