Welcoming the new overlords

You have to hand it to Europe. They're getting so good at appeasing Muslim "sensitivities", they have actually started to anticipate their demands in exciting new ways:
The new sobriety: Covering up the body

Paris: The forecast for the new fashion season is as somber as it is certain. It is going to be a long dark winter.

After a decade of free-fall hipster pants, bared midriffs, bras on show under sheer dresses and naked legs, fashion has started on its great coverup. Forget girlie frills and celebrities flashing flesh on the red carpet. The typical outfit in the current international fashion collections is in any color as long as it is black with a silhouette long, lean and layered.

The mood is now for a chaste sobriety, with sturdy fabrics, thick leggings and even ankle-length hemlines.

The world's leading designers have no doubts as to where fashion is headed as they talk about "restraint" and "sobriety."

"I think 'modesty' is a beautiful word today - and a beautiful attitude," says Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, who has built his career on designing dresses with a respectful attitude to women.

Marc Jacobs, founding father of the girl-woman aesthetic, shocked the audience at his New York show last month with hefty knits, leg warmers and thick layers of clothes shrouding the body.

"The leg thing was a conscious decision," says Jacobs. "Early on I knew I wanted to show pants under skirts - and I didn't want to do pink and frills."

As Karl Lagerfeld, whose New York show debut featured entirely long, dark, layered clothes, puts it: "If you read the daily papers, you are not in the mood for pink and green."

Various influences are pushing fashion away from bare-it-all vulgarity - not least that there is nowhere to go but up from low-slung pants and strapless gowns. But among themselves, thoughtful designers are putting the change of mood into a different context, as they talk about the "Muslim-ization" of fashion. They are referring both to drawing, deliberately or unconsciously, on a culture of female sobriety. In a world clearly in turmoil, cocooning clothes are a response.

With the wearing of Muslim headscarves in school an abrasive issue in France and after the violent reaction in the Muslim world to the Danish cartoons considered disrespectful to the prophet Mohammed, few designers want to speculate openly about the influence of visual exposure to constant news reports on the Muslim world. Jacobs describes how his multicultural references included snap shots of Arab women with only eyes uncovered, but that he deliberately effaced the shrouded Muslim women in the corner of the collage.

"It looked a little scary to us because of what has happened in the wider world," he said.

As with any artist, the creative process of fashion design is complex. Lagerfeld said that he surprised himself by designing ankle-length white shirts, only realizing afterwards that they looked like a fashion take on Arabian culture.

"It was very strange," Lagerfeld says. "It goes in your mind and out of your fingers. You don't do it on purpose. It is about sensitivity and one cannot escape this kind of influence. It also has something mysterious, a mood of danger - something exciting."
Yes, I've no doubt at all that having a religious maniac standing behind one with a scimitar can have wonderful, magical effects on one's creative processes.

Anyway, it's time for the journalist to start explaining why this really isn't craven dhimmitude on the part of frightened fashion designers:
There is nothing new about designers sampling foreign cultures. The caftan has been a staple beach coverup since Yves Saint Laurent, born and raised in Algeria, made it a part of his collections. Djellabas are considered vaguely exotic, but have never previously been seen as an overt reference to the Muslim world.

Many liberated westerners might be dismayed at the idea of fashion absorbing any form of dress that suggests the subjugation of women - or of discussing a subject that has so many connotations and overtones.

"We have talked about the Muslim-ization in fashion, but I don't want to be quoted," says one Paris-based designer, referring to conversations between himself and his partner. "I remember what an idiot Tom Ford looked when he raved about Hamid Karzai's robes, with all that was going on in Iran. It just makes fashion seem so dumb."


Nobody is really suggesting that the winter 2006 shows are covering the body for political reasons, although Olivier Saillard, program curator for fashion at the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs, said at this week's Yohji Yamamoto show (where the clothes were over-size, body-concealing and with giant crosses, as for crusaders) that "fashion is much more political" than it was 20 years ago.

The Japanese Yamamoto, a designer of poetic, romantic clothes for a quarter of a century, said backstage: "I am very bored with tiny, sexy little fashion and with T-shirts and jeans - I want women's clothes."

Asked about the Christian symbol, he said: "I don't know what it meant. I don't know why I did it."
Sure. It just came out of nowhere!

Just like the guy with the big knife and gun who shot and sliced Theo van Gogh to death for making the wrong kind of documentary, I suppose.

But wait... this is weird... the Paris-based reporter hasn't yet found a way to make America look like the real misogynists!
A visceral reaction to the ultra-sexy and over-exposed is often behind the change of fashion faith. Jacobs talks of listening to the singer Pink and her disc "Stupid Girls" - and then putting Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson in the context of America not yet having elected a woman president.
Phew. I really thought they'd forgotten, that time.

Oh, and in case you'd forgotten, the designers really, really aren't dhimmis. Honest.
Elbaz says: "Fashion is about the moment, about what is relevant. Every day wherever I go, women are in charge. You cannot play with women; they are serious about themselves."

For a new generation of designers, covering up women is an aesthetic choice. The Belgian Olivier Theyskens, 29, the creative force at Rochas, was one of the first to practice a delicate restraint.

"I have always had a problem with vulgarity," says Theyskens. "I like a certain sobriety. It is above all a way of looking at a woman. I don't want to push the barrier of dignity. I think it is vulgar to display skin, although I like bared backs - there is a certain sensuality. I am not interested in sexy glamour. I want something more poetic and romantic."
Uh huh. Fashion designers scorning vulgarity and encouraging dignity. This sounds very normal and not at all inspired by fear of Muslim violence.

I'll spare our readers the next dozen paragraphs, which are taken up with egomaniacal designers defending their decision to 'modify' their attitude to design, in a manner that is eirily familiar to the editors and journalists who recently twisted and turned to explain away their sudden disinterest in freedom of speech.

But it doesn't take long before all of the denials, misdirections and claims of political disinterest turn into something we've all seen before in liberal social circles - a thinly disguised admiration for the religion of peace:
The sensuality, even eroticism, of a veiled woman was the subject of 19th- century photographers. And even designers whose connection with Muslim coverups is oblique, can see the appeal of what Saillard calls "a certain elegance after over-exposure" and the idea of beauty as hidden, secret and interior, in contrast to what the 1990s dubbed "porno chic."

The irony is that in countries where the culture demands that women are covered, the robes are often in contrast to the extravagant sexiness of what is worn underneath and in private. Now, in the shopping malls of Dubai, the flash of a high-heeled shoe or the embroidered edge of fraying jeans has the same sexual charge as the Victorian era when "a glimpse of stocking was something shocking."

But those who know and understand the Muslim world are quick to point out that there is no single and absolute vision.

Sheik Majed al-Sabah of Kuwait, whose Villa Moda stores have brought international brands to the Middle East, says that Muslim countries have different approaches and that there are generational changes.

"Covering up is our culture and tradition. It is something we have always seen as a challenge when we first starred the retail business," says al-Sabah, who describes Lebanon, Syria (where he will open a store in April) and North Africa as the exceptions, because of the French colonial and Christian influences.

"I'm very proud of our women," he says. "I don't think cleavage and tight jeans are sexy. It doesn't keep the mystery of a woman."
Not like a big black bag does, at any rate.

But let's get back to how those designers have always secretly yearned to dress women in garments which strongly resemble the large blankets trainers hurl over horse's backs.
Saillard believes that an atavistic urge for "a sort of cocoon" is behind the need for covered-up clothes.

"People need to be reassured," he says. "There is a pervasive concern - bird flu and the disturbing feeling that the world is at war."

John Galliano's dramatic, disquieting Dior couture show, which featured Marie-Antoinette and the bloody terror that followed the French Revolution, was directly connected to the riots spawned by the grievances of immigrants, many of them Muslims, in the Paris suburbs.

Does Galliano, a deeply creative designer whose vision is so often a precursor of things to come, believe that his austere vision, with giant crosses worn like badges of martyrdom, is significant? "I am not a prophet," says Galliano. "But suddenly veiling is sexy - to evoke the sense of a woman. And often, when I look back at my inspiration, I find it really spooky."
There's something spooky about him, all right, but it probably isn't his deep personal spiritualism.

The death of Europa and birth of Eurabia is, I must admit, a fascinating (and agonising) thing to watch, but it's certainly not anything new, by historical standards. Once again, the way of the invader is being paved by - you guessed it - the liberal intelligensia.

The leftist willingness to abandon their most dearly-held beliefs in the face of naked, violent opposition has been done before, most notably in the cases of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. In both totalitarian (see: socialist) utopias, the forms which 'approved' art took was dictated by the state vision of what was aesthetically beautiful.

Hitler, for instance, hated postmodern art. So the artists of Germany happily cranked out lots of lovely landscapes and heroic teutonic images. Fashion designers produced clothes with the Hitlerian ideal woman in mind; modest, sober and (most of all) German. Had the Nazis repulsed the D-Day invasion and continued their occupation of France, one imagines you would have seen a similar process take place in Paris (it already had been low underway all over Vichy-controlled France).

It doesn't matter if it is cartoons, news stories or fashion. In the end, if you chop enough heads off, liberals will do precisely what you want, and eventually, get so good at knowing what you want that they'll do it before you can blow anything up.

And all the while, they'll assure themselves (and us) that that's precisely the opposite of what they're really doing.

Think this is an isolated incident? That it won't happen again?

Think again. It already has.

What? You didn't know that artists working as teachers in art schools have always secretly yearned to avoid painting and drawing anything other than nature scenes and geometric shapes?:
The Art of Compromise
[That title makes me want to be sick. Is it really compromise when Muslims dictate the terms, and dhimmi weakling teachers give in to them? - Ed]

As violent protests over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad continue around the world, a St. Paul charter school is quietly negotiating the delicate question of how to teach art to Muslims.

Any depiction of God and his prophets is considered offensive under Islam, and disrespectful representations are even worse, as the recent worldwide outrage over the Danish cartoons has shown. But some Muslims also refrain from producing images of ordinary human beings and animals, citing Islamic teaching


Out the window right away went masks, puppets and that classic of elementary school art class, the self-portrait, said Sara Langworthy, an artist with ArtStart. Revamping the curriculum "definitely requires stepping outside of the normal instincts that you fall back on," she said.

In their place came nature scenes and geometric forms and patterns, said Carol Sirrine, ArtStart's executive director. This week, the class was cutting out shapes to make into cardboard pouches. Another project involved taking photographs and mapping the neighborhood around the school.

The conversation about what is appropriate is still open.
Note the similar way in which the despicable reporter spins the story, attempting to find a positive side to the fact that children of non-Muslim backgrounds are no longer able to draw or paint what they like in art class.

Can you imagine the tone the journalist would have taken if this had been a Catholic school which forced non-Catholic students to stop painting God, Jesus or angels?

Any leftists who continue to obfuscate on behalf of Muslim encroachment, I feel, are behaving in the same manner as those treacherous Frenchmen and women who were shot at the end of the war for collaboration.

Because that's what this is. Plain and simple.

Cross-posted from FoJ.

It Will Take More Than Just Cash

Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice is holding off on a Liberal pledge of $5 billion saying there is more to it than simply cutting a cheque.
Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice says "overwhelming" groundwork must be laid before $5 billion promised for native people can be well spent.

Until that's achieved, survival of the landmark Kelowna accord reached just before the Liberals were toppled last fall is in doubt.

But throwing money at dilapidated housing and dysfunctional education systems isn't enough, he said.
As much as people don't like to admit it he's right. Throwing money at a problem without a plan of action in place is akin to pissing in the wind. One only has to look at our pathetic national health care system for evidence of that. No one is denying that many of this nation's reserves are in shambles but it will take more than just money to correct this travesty. But wasn't that the Liberal way - instead of tackling the problems facing this country just keep tossing money at them?

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Saddam and WMDs

Very interesting story from Investors.com of all places. Hint, hint - where are you mainstream media? Apparently Saddam Hussein had made tapes of conservations he had in his presidential office where he discussed such things as programs of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.
Inconveniently for critics of the war, Saddam made tapes in his version of the Oval Office. These tapes landed in the hands of American intelligence and were recently aired publicly.

The first 12 hours of the tapes — there are hundreds more waiting to be translated — are damning, to say the least. They show conclusively that Bush didn't lie when he cited Saddam's WMD plans as one of the big reasons for taking the dictator out.

Nobody disputes the tapes' authenticity. On them, Saddam talks openly of programs involving biological, chemical and, yes, nuclear weapons.
Now I'll be the first to admit that Bush is far from perfect. In fact, I have many Republican friends in the US who vehemently oppose the president on various issues including illegal aliens. But one of the points of contention of the anti-war crowd is that Bush lied which of course is ridiculous. We can argue til the cows come home about whether invading Iraq was the proper course of action or not (personally I believe Iran posed and still poses the greatest threat) but he certainly didn't lie about his reasons for doing it. He acted on the intelligence given him. Don't forget that even Clinton and the Democrats agreed with him at the time.

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cross-posted to RTO

How long to wait

A Prison escapee who has been locked in a tense standoff with police at a Sydney block of flats is speaking with negotiators, senior police say. Local police and members of the state protection group have been at the inner-city block on Henry Avenue in Ultimo since 5pm (AEDT) yesterday.

Armed officers, wearing helmets and bullet-proof vests, have positioned themselves around the building and cordoned off the surrounding streets. City Central Commander, Superintendent Paul Carey, today said it was not known if the man, who had made no demands, had a weapon.

It was believed the man was alone in the unit. Supt Carey said at least one neighbour had been evacuated. Police had made contact with the man over the telephone and were continuing to negotiate.

"At this stage our plan is to resolve the matter peacefully without anybody being hurt and ... to continue negotiating with this person until he walks out of the unit," Supt Carey told reporters.

Last I heard the guy has been in there for 18 hours and counting, we know he doesn't have a hostage, probably no weapon, we have cops armed to the teeth surrounding the place, he has no where to run, but won't give up, so how long do we have to wait for this prick to fall off to sleep, 25 hours, 2, 3, 4 days till he feels better about himself. How long do people in the immediate vicinity have to be inconvenienced because of this scum?

Personally I would like to throw in a few flash bangs, then walk in there and shoot the crim in the crotch a few times and get it over with.

Am I being too harsh?

Commie News Network

Former president says U.S. should not cut off aid to Palestinians

Hamas deserves to be recognized by the international community, and despite the group's militant history, there is a chance the soon-to-be Palestinian leaders could turn away from violence, former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday.

Carter, who monitored last week's Palestinian elections in which Hamas handily toppled the ruling Fatah, added that the United States should not cut off aid to the Palestinian people, but rather funnel it through third parties like the U.N.

"If you sponsor an election or promote democracy and freedom around the world, then when people make their own decision about their leaders, I think that all the governments should recognize that administration and let them form their government," Carter said.

"If there are prohibitions -- like, for instance, in the United States, against giving any money to a government that is controlled by Hamas -- then the United States could channel the same amount of money to the Palestinian people through the United Nations, through the refugee fund, through UNICEF, things of that kind," he added.

Imagine, Carter had been saying things like, death to terrorists, cannot kill women and children, no to terror, go back to your cave Osama, cannot sponsor terror, cut off funding for terror? Would CNN be publishing such material, oh no, nothing to undermine support for their terrorist allies. The next time we send off a cruise missile to some cave in tora bora, can we send one to CNN HQ as well, instill a certain sense of gratitude, God-forbid.

And as for that Carter fool, perhaps he can supply some of his own money to the terrorists as opposed to helping himself to taxpayers money to fund child killers. He reminds me of Australia's greens senator Bob Brown, a similar waste of skin and drain on Mother earths dwindling resources.

Thanks Cox & Forkum

A bigger Australian news roundup today:

Drug companies refuse to import abortion pill: "Abortion pill RU486 will not be freely available to Australian women, despite this month's emotional Federal Parliament debate. Major pharmaceutical companies have informally advised their peak industry group, Medicines Australia, they have no intention of importing the drug. They have decided the move would be too costly and controversial. This month's rare conscience vote, releasing MPs from the constraints of voting along party lines, stripped Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott of his veto over the pill. More than 150 members and senators spoke on the Bill during the five sitting days it took to pass through both houses of Parliament. It was hailed by supporters as a breakthrough giving all women access to the drug - particularly rural women who might not be able to easily obtain a surgical abortion. But given the unwillingness of Australian-based drug companies to get involved, the dream of Federal MPs who voted for RU486 - that it be readily available across the pharmacy counter - is unlikely to be realised. Well-placed sources said the decision not to import RU486 was based on two factors. The first is that the market is limited and the elaborate approval process would not make commercial sense. But the second reason is more important. Pharmaceutical companies understand that their industry is not particularly well regarded by the community and they believe it is not worth stirring up a high-profile campaign against them by the pro-life movement".

Christians singled out, says senator: "Christians are seen as fair game when it comes to poking fun at religious icons, while Jews and Muslims are seemingly off-limits, Family First senator Steve Fielding said on Sunday. The Victorian senator has called for the Federal Government to ban an episode of US cartoon South Park titled "Bloody Mary" for its depiction of the Virgin Mary menstruating. SBS Television has decided to "defer" the airing of the controversial episode, because of the "current worldwide controversy over cartoons of religious figures". Overseas riots in reaction to newspapers publishing satirical cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed led to the death of nearly 30 people. "How come Christians are such easy targets? How come it's okay to make fun of symbols at the heart of Christianity, such as the Crucifix or the Virgin Mary, but people seem to think twice before having a go at the Star of David or the Koran?" Senator Fielding said.

Australia: Gun ownership explodes: "Gun ownership is on the rise in Queensland with evidence the tough restrictions introduced after the Port Arthur massacre nearly a decade ago are losing their effectiveness. Despite bans on certain types of weapons and a successful buyback and amnesty, police figures show there are more firearms in the community now than three years ago. Police Minister Judy Spence yesterday foreshadowed possible changes to the Weapons Act, to be reviewed this year, saying she was 'aware of some operational suggestions from police and these will be considered as part of this review.' Queensland police Weapons Licensing Branch manager, Inspector Mike Crowley, said gun ownership applications had increased 30 per cent since 2002. Up to 11,000 of last year's 26,000 applicants were first-timers. 'There has not been a decrease in the number of firearms, but an increase. It shows they do not really depreciate and are a resilient commodity,' Insp Crowley said."

Health insurance price rises not as bad this year: "Private health fund premiums will climb an average of 5.7 per cent from April 1, adding $3 a week on a typical family policy. But the increases - which will fall to an average weekly slug of $2 after the federal Government's 30 per cent rebate - are the lowest annual price hikes for five years. Health funds say increased payouts to members, which rose 8.1 per cent to almost $5.9billion for hospital benefits alone in 2004-05, are one factor behind the rises. Other drivers were said to be a 20 per cent rise in payouts for prostheses and the popularity and spread of "gap cover" products that in some cases paid the doctor's entire fee. Private health fund membership is increasing. There are now about 8.8 million Australians with hospital cover - 43.1 per cent of the population - and 8.6 million with ancillary cover. Almost all the increase is among people aged more than 60, who place the greatest pressure on health funds."

Another failure of government medical services in Queensland: "A paramedic shortage has forced the Queensland government to search interstate and overseas for ambulance staff. The Department of Emergency Services today launched a major advertising campaign in newspapers throughout Australia and New Zealand to fill 144 paramedic positions. However, Queensland Emergency Services Minister Pat Purcell said he was not concerned by the staff shortage and the need to search beyond the state. "Paramedics are not coming here at the moment so that is why we are going elsewhere with the advertising," Mr Purcell said. "I don't know why they wouldn't want to come and work here as it's the most professional (paramedic) service in Australia." [Pay?] The positions needed to be filled throughout Queensland by September next year, he said.


Stalinism still lives among American "liberals"

Stalin of course said that there was perfect freedom of speech in Russia -- as long as people agreed with him

A friend of mine took his young daughter to visit the famous City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, explaining to her that the place is important because years ago it sold books no other store would - even, perhaps especially, books whose ideas many people found offensive. So, although my friend is no fan of Ward Churchill, the faux Indian and discredited professor who notoriously called 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns," he didn't really mind seeing piles of Churchill's books prominently displayed on a table as he walked in.

However, it did occur to him that perhaps the long-delayed English translation of Oriana Fallaci's new book, "The Force of Reason," might finally be available, and that because Fallaci's militant stance against Islamic militants offends so many people, a store committed to selling banned books would be the perfect place to buy it. So he asked a clerk if the new Fallaci book was in yet.

"No," snapped the clerk. "We don't carry books by fascists."

Now let's just savor the absurd details of this for a minute. City Lights has a long and proud history of supporting banned authors - owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was indicted (and acquitted) for obscenity in 1957 for selling Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," and a photo at the bookstore showed Ferlinghetti proudly posing next to a sign reading "banned books."

Yet his store won't carry, of all people, Fallaci, who is not only being sued in Italy for insulting religion because of her latest book but continues to fight the good fight against those who think that the appropriate response to offensive books and cartoons is violent riots. It's particularly repugnant that someone who fought against actual fascism in World War II should be deemed a fascist by a snotty San Francisco clerk.....

Strangest of all is the scenario of such a person disliking an author for defending Western civilization against radical Islam - when one of the first things those poor, persecuted Islamists would do, if they ever (Allah forbid) came to power in the United States, is crush suspected homosexuals like him beneath walls.... The store's website proudly declares that the place is "known for our commitment to freedom of expression".

More here. (HT Augean Stables)


Google's latest

Google have just introduced the trial (beta) version of a new facility called Google Pages. It is yet another facility that claims to make it easy to create your own home page without your needing to know any html etc. It appears to be in a very rough state at the moment, however. About all I could find that I could usefully do with it was to upload and store images there. The image above comes down from my site there. I hope they allow a bit of bandwidth or the image will NOT come down. They are very generous with diskspace so I hope the same applies to bandwidth. Yes. I do know about photobucket. I have got my most sickening image stored there. See below:


EU Caving In?

It looks like the EU is ready to cave in.
France and the European Commission are leading a diplomatic drive to unblock £23 million in EU funding for the Palestinian Authority, without waiting for Hamas to renounce violence or recognise Israel.
I wonder how much this has to do with the recent cartoon furor?

CPC Stands Firm On Gun Registry

According to a report by CTVNews the Conservatives have no intention of changing their minds with respect to scrapping the bloated and ineffective gun registry.
Canada's new minister of public safety says the government has no plans to back off on its intention to scrap the controversial long gun registry.

"We're not backing away at all," Day said on Sunday. "We're moving ahead on this. It was an election promise. It's something we've been talking about for years."

Day said the total registry costs could be approaching $2 billion, while the registry has not had a positive impact on gun crime.

"It has not reduced gun crime," he said. "As a matter of fact, homicide rates in the last two years have gone up in Canada. And we have committed to scrapping it."
The gun registry has done nothing to deter crime. It's another example of legislation that appeals to the emotions of people but does little else. Of course not everyone sees it that way.
However, Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control, said the registry has helped improve public safety.

"It's true that rifles and shotguns aren't used today as frequently as handguns in murders, but that was not the case 15 years ago," she told CTV.ca. "And one of the reasons why murders with rifles and shotguns have declined so precipitously is because of the stronger controls on them."
What controls? The FAC? The process of obtaining an FAC 15 years ago was as simple as getting a replacement driver license for the one you lost. It was no big deal. I got mine when I was an 18-yr-old after filling out a silly application like I was applying for house insurance or something. After a short wait it arrived. Presto. The FAC has had absolutely nothing to do with the murder rate involving long guns.

As a former collector I would have had no problem with being directed to take safety courses, purchase proper storage facilities or even pay higher insurance premiums but to outright ban firearms is only a knee jerk reaction which accomplishes nothing.

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cross posted to Rite Turn Only

The elderly are just a nuisance in socialized medicine

Best if they get a bug and die. Excerpts below of a report from the U.K.

Barbara Yeo died in March last year, and time has not yet been able to diminish for Harriet the distressing, haunting images of her mother as she lay breathless and in pain in her hospital bed. An 83-year-old former hospital matron who, in her working life, specialised in care of the elderly, Barbara had not been in the peak of health, but nor was she terminally ill. And yet her own admission to hospital for routine treatment of leg ulcers was to prove fatal. Barbara died of viral gastroenteritis - a stomach bug that she contracted from a highly infectious patient who was placed next to her on the ward. As her condition rapidly deteriorated, the acronym DNR - for Do Not Resuscitate - was placed on her notes.

'I told the doctor that that would be going against her wishes. Because she was a nurse, it was a conversation we had had many times. But they did it anyway. They treated the age, not the patient, and it cost my mother her life,' says Harriet.

The story of Barbara's demise is one that will resonate with many. We are living longer and, consequently, more likely to become frail and vulnerable through age. Two thirds of patients in hospital wards are over 65. Most of those who have had to care for an elderly and sick relative understand that resources are limited. But care, sympathy and dignity shouldn't be, and yet you do not have to canvass hard to find those who, in some way, feel let down by the system.

The problem is that, too often, frustration is swiftly overwhelmed by grief. Rather than kick up a fuss, families find themselves slinking away in bitter resignation. Harriet Yeo, however, is not a slinker. A strident woman who stands six feet tall, she is used to making her presence felt as a councillor in her home town of Ashford, Kent, as a former trades union official, and also as someone who has served on three National Health Trust bodies.

Shortly after her mother died, she was appointed a member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee - a position that brings her into direct contact with Government ministers. And shortly after that, she found herself launching 'Forgetmenot' - a campaign that will very possibly clash with Party policy but will also, she hopes, give a strong voice to those who feel alone and powerless. 'I'm not saying that all hospital care for the elderly is bad, but a lot of it is,' she says. 'The more I talked to people about what happened to my mother, the more I realised that older people are being discriminated against, not just in my hospital, but all over the country. 'It is too big a problem for any one individual, but by creating a national force, we can be heard. And I am not going to be cowed, because speaking out is the only way I can feel some good might come of my mother's death.' ......

In November 2004, Barbara's GP arranged for her to be admitted to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford with suspected constipation. In fact, tests revealed that there was nothing wrong with her bowels, but doctors did then advise that she undergo intensive treatment on her leg ulcers - painful sores that are usually caused by circulation problems and are common in the elderly.

Barbara was given morphine for pain relief, and from that point, according to Harriet, her condition rapidly deteriorated. She became dehydrated and delusional and remained in pain because, says Harriet 'it was the wrong sort of pain relief for the arthritic pain she had'. Following complaints from Harriet, Barbara was taken off the morphine, and within 48 hours, the delusions had stopped. But her weight appeared to have dropped drastically - although how drastically Harriet cannot be sure because Barbara was not weighed. 'With hindsight, I would have insisted she was weighed on admission, as all elderly patients should be.'

Barbara came home for Christmas, during which time she ate enough to go up two dress sizes, and was re-admitted in January to continue the leg ulcer treatment. As the weeks passed, the ulcers improved, but Harriet was less than impressed with the more general care her mother received. 'She was catheterised as soon as she was admitted, despite being fully continent. Why? Because it is easier, of course, if a nurse doesn't have to attend when she needs to go to the bathroom. But by keeping her still, they were depleting her mobility. 'During two months in hospital, she had her hair washed just once, and that was because we insisted and paid a hairdresser to do it. My mother was a woman who went to the hairdressers every week. Not enabling her to maintain her appearance was an affront to her dignity.'

Barbara died four days after contracting what staff in the hospital were referring to as the 'winter vomiting bug'. When Harriet questioned why an infected patient had been put next to her mother, she says she was told that the consultant and the infection control nurse had deemed it 'an acceptable risk'. The matter is now the subject of a police complaint, and also a complaint that Harriet has lodged with the General Medical Council. Both cases are unlikely to be resolved for many months.

More here


Coercion and abortion

I am going to dip my toe into some very hot water here so please don't shoot me over this post. For a start, let me say that the very idea of abortion horrifies me. The deliberate murder of the totally innocent and defenceless is to me just about the greatest of crimes and I cannot for a moment comprehend the mentality of the doctors who do it. But I do NOT believe that we should TREAT it as a crime. We tried that once and it did not work. It just killed a lot of women as well as babies. What I think is that we should take a positive approach. We should do everything possible to encourage the mothers to have their babies -- including paying them if that is what it takes. And there are a few oddballs around who agree with me -- people like President George W. Bush, His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney and Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Australia now pays ALL mothers to have babies. And the Australian birthrate has shot up, funnily enough.

Anyway, that's just a preamble. It is this news item that is bothering me:

"Abortion pill RU486 will not be freely available to Australian women, despite this month's emotional Federal Parliament debate. Major pharmaceutical companies have informally advised their peak industry group, Medicines Australia, they have no intention of importing the drug. They have decided the move would be too costly and controversial.... Well-placed sources said the decision not to import RU486 was based on two factors. The first is that the market is limited and the elaborate approval process would not make commercial sense. But the second reason is more important. Pharmaceutical companies understand that their industry is not particularly well regarded by the community and they believe it is not worth stirring up a high-profile campaign against them by the pro-life movement".


So although this issue has got nothing to do with free speech, the same principles as those affecting the Mohammed cartoons apply. People are refusing to do what they have a perfect legal right to do basically because they have been terrorized over it. As noted here, the main reason why hardly any of the U.S. print media reproduced the Mohammed cartoons was out of fear of Muslim attacks on them.

It is fairly unlikely that attacks on the drug companies would take physical form but it cannot be ruled out. Anti-abortionists have killed American abortion practitioners in the past. So, like the good libertarian I am, I deplore ALL attempts at coercion and am sad that we live in an era when it seems that small minorities can impose their will on the majority by terrorism.


Mike Tremoglie sums up the U.S. ports nonsense

The "Washington Post" headline sounded the clarion call that Arabs are "poised to take over significant operations at six American ports."..... This was all very confusing to me. As a Philadelphian who used to live near the waterfront, knew people who worked there and would occasionally watch ships unload, I knew that the port was controlled by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) - not by any one company.....

It seems the facts are quite different from the hysteria. I asked the port authority to explain what will happen after DPW buys P&O. According to Joe Menta, communications director for the PRPA, what this sale means to Philadelphia is that Dubai Ports will acquire half interest in a firm that loads and unloads ships at one terminal - Tioga Marine. Little or no container cargo passes through this terminal, primarily used for the fruit trade. Menta explained the structure of the port of Philadelphia. It's controlled by the PRPA, an independent entity of the state. PRPA owns several terminals on the waterfront. It leases these terminals to private operators who are primarily responsible for arranging the loading and unloading of cargo.

Arabs will own or control no part of the port itself. The only Arab influence will be on the appointments of some of the board members of the stevedoring firm. This is quite different from the image of Arabs controlling the port. The idea that Dubai Ports World will be determining who comes, who goes, the number and type of ships, how and where they are unloaded and loaded, who's hired and the security for the entire port of Philadelphia is simply not true.

Ever since 9/11, the liberal mantra (which included even some Republicans) has been to chide Americans in general and the Bush administration specifically to be careful about stereotyping all Arabs and Muslims as terrorists. As recently as last week, Al Gore, while speaking in Saudi Arabia, said that the Bush administration had mistreated Arabs. Now, many of these same folks are now themselves stereotyping Arabs.... Many Democrats went from demanding constitutional rights for Arab terrorists in court to opposing Arab business owners buying a share of some terminals.

More here



Anyone else catch 60 Minutes (Australia), and its latest offering on Australia's live export trade? What a load of bollocks. Too PC to lay blame at the door of the primitive Middle Eastern attitude to animals and their treatment, oh no, we ambush poor old Julian McGauran, jumping up and down on his 'evil' for facilitating the treatment by selling them cattle and sheep in the manner they demand.

Terrific. So brave. We can't criticize another cultural practice, because we're cultural relativists (doncha know; no culture is better than any other - especially Muslim ones). So, in yet another example of Leftist double standards and split-brain think, we attack those among us who actually do what these same Lefty cultural relativists demand. . .

Don't waste my time. You want to end this? Then call it like it is.

Until then, push off, you pathetic, gutless weasels.


Throughout its history, the Australian flag has been used to promote an exclusive white Australian nationalism. Even while flying over multicultural Australia, its message is that Australia, fundamentally, remains a white, Anglo-Celtic outpost in South-East Asia and that refugees and many non-white immigrants need not apply for membership.

In this context, it’s not surprising then that the initiative by the socialist youth organisation Resistance to sell flag-burning kits has taken off.

“Given the Howard government’s attack on our right to speak out and to dissent, burning the Australian flag is one way we have of dramatising our opposition to this”, Melbourne Resistance organiser Brianna Pike told Green Left Weekly. “The kit was inspired by Resistance member Azlan McLennan’s artwork Proudly Un-Australian, which was censored by police”, Pike said.

“The flag-burning kit campaign is a way of highlighting our total opposition to the government’s racist and nationalist policies — including its refugee and war policies, and its treatment of Australia’s Indigenous people. The Australian flag is not a unifying flag. It does not represent the majority of working people’s aspirations for decent working conditions and wages as, for instance, the Eureka flag does, and nor does it acknowledge the original inhabitants as the Aboriginal flag does.

“It is a flag for the ruling elite — it is a symbol of racist nationalism. It symbolises Australia’s slavish willingness to follow the US into imperial wars and to play deputy cop in the Asia-Pacific region. That’s why people should be proud to burn it”, Pike concluded.

Rather than belittle or degrade the mental giants that created this ridiculous attempt at political irony (communist sympathisers arguing FOR their free speech rights), I thought it would be worthwhile to reflect on Australians that have been busy in other regions of the world.


For Gallantry, as a Patrol Commander, while under intense Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) fire and showing total disregard for his own safety he manoeuvred forward to recover a machine gun in order to protect the left flank and to neutralise enemy fire positions.

During the conduct of an Operation in southern Afghanistan, an Australian force was engaged by a numerically superior ACM element. In the lead up to the engagement Sergeant "Y" was tasked, by the on-scene commander, to conduct a foot patrol to clear and secure a potentially dangerous obstacle in order to facilitate the safe passage of the Australian patrol. Whilst conducting this task Sergeant "Y" commenced to clear and secure the south-western sector of a village and obstacle choke point.

An engagement on the south-eastern sector of the village and subsequent contact resulted in the south-western clearing patrol being separated from the remainder of call-sign. Sergeant "Y" placed himself in an extremely hazardous situation whilst under heavy fire to gain situational awareness and command of his patrol in order to linkup with the main-force element. On linking up with the main-force element Sergeant "Y", whilst under fire, retrieved a machine gun from a tactical vehicle in order to move to a position to put effective fire onto ACM positions. This action turned the balance on the left flank, enabling the entire Australian element to regain the initiative. Sergeant "Y", with assistance from another patrol member, occupied a fire position under extreme ACM fire with the intent to suppress the ACM. This action enabled the Australian element to regain the initiative and was pivotal in preventing loss of life on the south eastern sector of the contact site. It also enabled further elements to move into positions to prevent an ACM advance and to facilitate the withdrawal of the Australian patrol from the engagement area.

Sergeant "Y’s" actions of gallantry and disregard for his own safety in order to reinforce the main force element and his ability to recover a machine gun in order to suppress the ACM, while under fire in extremely hazardous circumstances, displayed courage of the highest order and is keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.


For Gallantry, as a Patrol Commander, while under intense Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) fire and showing total disregard for his own safety he attempted on three occasions to recover a critically wounded Afghanistan National Army soldier.

During the conduct of an Operation in southern Afghanistan an Australian patrol was engaged by a numerically superior ACM element. In the lead up to this engagement WO2 "Z" was tasked, by the on-scene commander, to conduct a foot patrol to clear and secure a potentially dangerous obstacle in order to facilitate the safe passage of the Australian patrol. Whilst conducting this task WO2 "Z" commenced to secure the south-eastern sector of the obstacle choke point. In doing so, WO2 "Z" and an Afghanistan National Army soldier, were engaged by ACM at close range. This engagement resulted in the critical wounding of the ANA soldier. The decisive reaction of WO2 "Z" contributed to the early initiation of the ACM ambush which in turn prevented the remainder of the Australian element from entering the ambush killing ground.

The Australian patrol then became engaged in a sustained fire fight with the ACM for several hours. During this time WO2 "Z" made three attempts to recover the critically wounded ANA soldier whilst still under extremely heavy fire from numerous enemy positions. Unfortunately, the critically wounded ANA soldier died of his wounds before he could be recovered. WO2 "Z’s" actions of gallantry and disregard for his own safety in attempting to rescue his fallen comrade in extremely hazardous circumstances displayed courage of the highest order and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.

The socialist scum of Resistance and Green Left Weekly aren't fit to lick the road clean from beneath these soldiers feet. Fucking treasonous scum. Count the days fuckers, because your turn is coming. First against the wall.

Crossposted@Bastards Inc.

My Australian news roundup again:

Another cowardly Muslim gang attack: "Two men are being questioned over an attack on a man in Melbourne's CBD this morning. The men were arrested early this afternoon but have not been charged, police said. The alleged attack involved a group of men kicking an unconscious man, 26, as he lay in the gutter. A second man tried to intervene but the group then turned on him, police said. Doctors today operated on an injury to his hand. The first victim was taken from St Vincent's Hospital by his parents before doctors could treat him, hospital spokesman Mike Griffin said. Mr Griffin said the victim was conscious when he arrived at hospital, but was believed to have been unconscious for two or three minutes during the attack. The attack happened on Elizabeth Street, south of Little Bourke Street, about 6am (AEDT) today. Members of the group were described by police as being of Middle-Eastern appearance and left the scene in a yellow car.

Bloody Australia: "Tourism chiefs in Australia have ditched the country's highbrow sales pitch to attract foreign visitors in exchange for a more rustic approach: swearing. "So where the bloody hell are you?" is the new slogan, which was announced yesterday as part of a $180 million campaign that will appeal to people in Britain, Europe, the United States and Asia. The "bloody hell" advertisement replaces the "Australia - a different light" campaign of 2004, which featured Australian artists and British celebrities such as Michael Parkinson. It was artistically acclaimed but was a marketing flop. The latest advertisement marks a return to the use of rustic Australian idioms made famous by the actor Paul Hogan's "Throw another shrimp on the barbie" campaign of the 1980s. It begins in an Outback pub with a man saying, "We've poured you a beer". Then follows a sequence of idyllic images including a boy at the seaside saying, "We've got the sharks out of the pool", and partygoers watching Sydney harbour fireworks saying, "We turned on the lights". A traditional Aboriginal dancer says, "And we've been rehearsing for more than 40,000 years". The advert ends with a bikini-clad young woman stepping out of the sea asking: "So where the bloody hell are you?""

Good old Arthur Tunstall is still as straight as a die: "Controversial sports administrator Arthur Tunstall has done it again - this time he risks managing to offend everyone on the planet who doesn't speak English. The outspoken official who in the past has ruffled the sensitivities of Aborigines and the disabled, today said one of the best things about the coming Commonwealth Games is that "everybody" speaks English. The former Australian Commonwealth Games boss said the lack of language barriers and need for interpreters was one of the big advantages the Games had over the Olympics. Tunstall and his wife Peggy will be VIP guests at next month's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne at the invitation of Melbourne 2006 supremo Ron Walker. "When you get to the Games you are able to converse with people from many, many different countries who speak the same language," said the 84-year-old, continuing a career-long disregard for political correctness.... Tunstall is noted for the controversies he has caused.... The greatest stir he caused was four years later in Victoria, Canada, when he criticised track star Cathy Freeman for carrying an Aboriginal flag and questioned the inclusion of disabled athletes at the Games...."

Clinton snubbed: "An army of senior golfers have shot down a former US president in the Battle of Medway. Maidstone's Medway Golf Club refused former president Bill Clinton a round of golf on Thursday because the crowded course was hosting its midweek championships. The rejected Mr Clinton instead played at Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club at Point Cook, where he happily signed autographs and posed for photos. The incident has left Medway red-faced, but yesterday members were standing firm on their presidential snub. "We can't deprive the paying members of their golf, even for an ex-president," said 62-year-old member Wendy Alley. "But it would have been a buzz for the ladies. There's no Monica Lewinsky here -- we're better." Ms Alley's regular golf partner, Lorraine Bramley, agreed: "We would have played with him -- golf, that is." Head club pro John Dixon took the phone call from Mr Clinton's people, but thought it was a hoax. "Being our midweek championships, I politely told him we didn't have room," Mr Dixon told the Herald Sun".


Vicious Croat politically correct

Feisty Scottish blogger, Neil Craig has had a good letter published in The Scotsman:

"David Irving is sentenced to three years in jail for denying the Holocaust. The late ruler of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, also denied the Holocaust, but this did not prevent us helping him to get his own country and ethnically cleansing 560,000 Serbs, 240,000 of whom are still "missing". Nor did it prevent him being invited to the United Kingdom's celebration of the defeat of Nazism in Europe. Just as there are some Holocausts which may not be denied and some which may, there are clearly acceptable and unacceptable Nazis".


Neil Craig takes a line broadly opposite to the Clinton one -- he favours Serbia and deplores Croatia. There is no doubt that the Croats of WWII were appalling. They even sickened the Nazis. Gouging people's eyes out was their specialty. But I think I am like most Westerners in saying "A pox on both their houses". I think they deserve one-another.


Abraham Lincoln: The facts

From my point of view as someone whose ancestors came to Australia chained up in the holds of sailing ships, America's two civil wars -- the war of independence being the first -- are quite appalling. Australians achieved all the same ends without a drop of blood being spilt. We were just more patient and less driven by religiously-based absolutism. The excerpts below are from the editor of America's "Patriot Post"

The Founding Fathers established the Constitutional Union as a voluntary agreement among the several states, subordinate to The Declaration of Independence, which never mentions the nation as a singular entity, but instead repeatedly references the states as sovereign bodies, unanimously asserting their independence. The states, in ratifying the Constitution, established the federal government as their agent -- not the other way around. At Virginia's ratification convention, for example, the delegates affirmed "that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to injury or oppression." Were this not true, the federal government would not have been established as federal, but instead a national, unitary and unlimited authority. Notably, and in large measure as a consequence of the War between the States, the "federal" government has grown to become an all-but unitary and unlimited authority.

Our Founders upheld the individual sovereignty of the states, even though the wisdom of secessionist movements was a source of great tension and debate from the day the Constitution was ratified. Tellingly, Hamilton, the greatest proponent of centralization among the Founders, noted in Federalist No. 81 that waging war against the states "would be altogether forced and unwarranted." At the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton argued, "Can any reasonable man be well disposed toward a government which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself?"

Yet Lincoln threatened the use of force to maintain the Union in his First Inaugural Address, saying, "In [preserving the Union] there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national authority." Lincoln may have preserved the Union geographically (at great cost to the Constitution), but politically and philosophically, the concept of a voluntary union was shredded by sword, rifle and cannon.

In his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln employed lofty rhetoric to conceal the truth of our nation's most costly war -- a war that resulted in the deaths of some 600,000 Americans and the severe disabling of over 400,000 more. He claimed to be fighting so that "this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." In fact, Lincoln was ensuring just the opposite by waging an appallingly bloody war while ignoring calls for negotiated peace. It was the "rebels" who were intent on self-government, and it was Lincoln who rejected their right to that end, despite our Founders' clear admonition to the contrary in the Declaration....

The second of Lincoln's two most oft-noted achievements was ending the abomination of slavery. It has come to be understood that this calamitous war was the necessary cost of ridding our nation of slavery, yet no other nation at the time required war to do so. In fact, the cost of the war itself would have more than paid for compensatory emancipation, giving each slave 40 acres and a mule -- all without bloodshed....

Little reported and lightly regarded in our history books is the way Lincoln abused and discarded the individual rights of Northern citizens. Tens of thousands of citizens were imprisoned (most without trial) for political opposition, or "treason," and their property confiscated. Habeas corpus and, in effect, the entire Bill of Rights were suspended. In fact, the Declaration of Independence details remarkably similar abuses by King George to those committed by Lincoln.

More here

An Australian news roundup

Pauline Hanson calls for action as well as speeches: "Former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said Treasurer Peter Costello's comments that people who come to live in Australia should show loyalty to its values were a vindication of her own views. Ms Hanson said she was "crucified" and called a racist during her political career. "I could foresee what was happening to our country," Ms Hanson told ABC radio. In a speech last night to the Sydney Institute, the Treasurer said people who wanted to live under Islamic sharia law should move to a country where they would feel "more at ease". He said anyone not prepared to accept Australian values, and who had citizenship of another country, should not remain an Australian citizen. Ms Hanson called on Mr Costello to follow through with his claims. "If Peter Costello is wanting to be a future prime minister of this country he needs to take a tough stand on this," she said. "He needs to deal with it harshly. "He needs to throw these people out of this country who do not embrace Australia".

Howard backs nuclear power: "Prime Minister John Howard has reignited the nuclear energy debate in a wide-ranging interview to mark his 10th anniversary next week as prime minister. Mr Howard said he "had no hang-ups at all" about taking advantage of nuclear energy when it was economically viable. "I can't for the life of me understand why (Opposition Leader Kim) Beazley has categorically ruled it out," he said. Mr Howard said he did not think there was any argument that continuing to use fossil fuels and making them cleaner was more in Australia's long-term interest than renewable or nuclear energy. "That doesn't mean to say you stop the other two, but you can't ignore market forces," he said. "But we also have vast supplies of uranium. The economics of nuclear energy might change and if it does, well, we'll take advantage of it. But I have no hang-ups at all about nuclear energy."

NSW police manage to arrest a few more Muslims: "One of New South Wales's most senior detectives has warned Cronulla's rioters they have a week to come forward or face being hunted through the national media. Strike force Enoggera has already arrested 54 people in connection with the December 11 riot and the reprisals that followed. Enoggera boss Superintendent Ken McKay yesterday revealed he has another 50 in his sights. If they do not give themselves up in the next seven to 10 days, 25 of those will find their faces splashed across the national media. The blunt warning came after police announced 10 more arrests - seven yesterday in dawn raids across southwestern Sydney. These seven people of Middle Eastern appearance, aged 19 to 23, allegedly pelted police and ambulance officers with rocks and projectiles at Hashem's car park in Brighton-le-Sands on the night of December 11. Supt McKay vowed those whose pictures will be released will be identified and arrested." [The Muslims will get off with a slap on the wrist, of course]

Negligent NSW police (surprise!): "A Sydney magistrate yesterday lashed out at police inaction over a group of alleged rioting ringleaders. A group of men were yesterday charged almost three months after they allegedly pelted police with projectiles and verbally abused the officers called in to quell unrest at Brighton-Le-Sands on the night of December 11. As one of those arrested, Ahmad El-Ahmad, applied for bail in Sutherland Local Court, magistrate Paul Falzon expressed disbelief why the police arrested the men that night, took their details and then released them. "Wouldn't it be better to stop the civil unrest by putting them in the back of the truck?" Mr Falzon said. "[Police] let them go at the height of what was happening, then 2 1/2 months later you go and arrest them." When the prosecution asked him to refuse bail, Mr Falzon said El-Ahmad was unlikely to flee the jurisdiction or commit further offences, and so granted him bail. El-Ahmad will reappear in the same court on April 5."


"Yahoo" Panders to Muslims

We have all heard of a certain search engine company that panders to the Communist Chinese while defying the Bush administration (does that tell you anything about their politics?) so I thought I might remind readers that they are not the only "evil" search engine company around. "Yahoo" does its share of political pandering too. There is a story here noting that the words "allah" "binladen" "osama" and "raghead" (among others) were not allowed as part of Yahoo usernames -- until that got adverse publicity.

And appeasement is working its usual magic. The Chinese now want even more "co-operation"

I myself use MSN Search. In my experience they are the ones who find most hits anyway.


Thoughts on David Irving

I note that The Wall St. Journal has editorialized in defence of imprisoned historian David Irving. Excerpt: "And just when the Danish government is under unprecedented attack for its refusal to intervene in the editorial decision-making of a private newspaper, it seems perverse to offer Muslim provocateurs an example of a European country catering to one set of sensitivities but not another".

The WSJ accompanies this defence, however, with vast aspersions on the character and competence of Irving. But any claim that Irving is incompetent is absurd. I have been studying the Hitler era for over 40 years and it is clear to me that NOBODY knows the period better or in more detail than Irving does. He was after all the only one of the many eminent historians consulted who immediately picked the Kujau "Hitler Diaries" as a fake.

So what of the aspersions on Irving's character? I think those aspersions show a lack of understanding too. I would like to venture a more nuanced view. For a start, Irving's earlier position (which he now appears to have recanted) that there was no holocaust at all is clearly absurd. He is undoubtedly right in pointing to the 6 million figure as the roughest of guesses but I am totally unmoved by that. Whether 6 million died or 1 million died, the loss that Hitler inflicted on the human gene pool by his attacks on Jewry is incalculable (I am avoiding moral language here. Outrage is the Leftist's usual substitute for thinking and I hope to do better than that).

So what motivates Irving's gnawing away at the details of the holocaust? I think the WSJ is right in saying that Irving wishes to rehabilitate Hitler as far as he can. But why would he do that? I think I know. I think that Irving has immersed himself so deeply in the Hitler period that it is alive to him. I think in fact that he has fallen under the spell of Hitler. Mainly because of their need to deny that Hitler was a socialist, almost nobody in the modern world understands why Hitler had such vast appeal to Germans or why Germany followed him fanatically to the bitter end. Both Roberts (1938) and Heiden (1939) -- prewar anti-Nazi writers -- portray Hitler as widely revered and popular among the Germans of their day. As Heiden (1939, p. 98) put it: "The great masses of the people did not merely put up with National Socialism. They welcomed it".

So why did they welcome it? It is simple. Socialism and nationalism have long been and long will be the two political ideas which have most emotional appeal to people. And Hitler offered both in one package. That package would be powerfully appealing to this day except for the way Hitler's follies discredited it.

But in his constant reading of material from the period, Irving lives in a world where Hitler's ideas have not yet been discredited and he has fallen victim to their appeal. Very few people these days seem to have read Mein Kampf but it is in fact (as it was meant to be) a very persuasive book if you read it without thought of what it led to. Hitler comes across as an enquiring, passionate and yet reasonable mind who offers persuasive explanations of what has gone wrong with the world. And I think he has persuaded Irving. It is a strange thing but, as we know from the example of Leftist intellectuals today, simplistic explanations often do attract intelligent people.

Heiden, K. (1939) One man against Europe Harmondsworth, Mddx.: Penguin
Roberts, S.H. (1938) The house that Hitler built N.Y.: Harper.



Premier Iemma (NSW - ALP) has just come out in total agreement with Treasurer Costello:

Citizenship 'not taken seriously'

FEDERAL Treasurer Peter Costello has taken aim at "mushy multiculturalism" in a hardline call for citizenship to be taken more seriously.
Premier Beattie (QLD - ALP) totally condemns the Treasurer for his remarks (for the usual reasons).

And so, on one side, we have some belated respect for our nation, our culture, our way of life.

On the other, we 'maintain the rage'. . . (a reminder to those old enough - like me - to remember what that means).

Who would you vote for? One Premier realises (that it, the multi-culti BS, is over - though I [the writer] hold no illusions as to his sincerity).

The other maintains. . .

All know the score.

Vote now.

Bond, Lame Bond

I'm not going to launch into a long-winded editorial as to why I believe English actor Daniel Craig is the worst Bond yet. Mainly because too many people already have, and it would just be boring if I added to the noise.

Plus, I'm not a Bond fanatic. Bond isn't supposed to be taken seriously. The last Bond films I liked starred Timothy Dalton. I liked them precisely because Dalton attempted to make them vaguely realistic.

I do, however, want to briefly take a look at the sort of "man" the Bond people have chosen to step into the boots once filled by men like Dalton and Connery. I think the latest Bond says a good deal about the way Britain has changed.

Craig is an actor. So, theoretically, if he can pretend for a bit to be someone whom he's not, he might be okay. Many people disagree, pointing out that he behaves, well, like a bit of a girl. I would tend to agree.

The first attacks against Craig began early, while reporters were still speculating as to who the next Bond would be. He was tagged "James Bland", presumably because of a lack of charisma. I thought he wasn't bad in Munich, but that was mainly because he played an assassin who (unlike the rest of the cast) didn't break down in tears every time he shot a terrorist.

When Craig was unveiled as the new Bond in a dramatic riverside launch, he didn't do himself any favours by the way he described the boatride he's just taken with several members of the Royal Marine Commandos:
"I would like to thank the Royal Marines for bringing me in like that, and scaring the shit out of me." [Followed by a fit of giggles - Ed]
Uncouth and unmanly, all in one sentence, beamed out to the entire world. This gaffe was compounded by the silly looking life-jacket that he fumbled to remove while leaving the boat.

This was closely followed by a damning indictment by actress Lois Maxwell, who will be forever entrenched in Bond lore for having played Miss Moneypenny in no less than fourteen Bond films:
"He has what you'd call an interesting face. Perhaps the make-up girls could do something to him, maybe give him a wig."
Ouch. She was never quite so mean to Sean.

Seemingly intent on emphasizing his lack of traditionally manly Bond-like qualities, Craig admitted that he was adverse to guns:
"I hate handguns. They are used to shoot people and as long as they are around, people will shoot each other. I've seen a bullet wound and it was a mess."
So we should ban all guns and live in peace. What a utopia that will be... until the criminals who have all the guns break down our doors and blow us to kingdom come.

He also announced that he was unable to drive a manual car:
"Er, I don't do gears."
The movie's producers had to go to some lengths and considerable expense to have Bond's traditional car, an Aston Martin DB5, modified, so that the automatic gearshift would "appear" to be manual.

Then, as we all know, Craig got smacked in the face by a lowly goon, and lost his two front teeth. But that can happen to anyone.

I've no idea about Craig's politics, but I think that I'm fairly safe in conjecturing that he isn't a big fan of conservatism. Bond, on the other hand, was always the conservative posterboy.

It is, I think, a sad reflection on the way our 'sensitive' society has neutered men, insisting that, in order to be more complete males, we need to be more like women. Britain has especially reflected this trend. Criminal sentencing is a joke, the police aren't armed and the military has been severely neglected since its Thatcherite period of supremacy.

How long will it be, I wonder, before we see Bond behind a desk, with Moneypenny striding in to halfheartedly flirt with him, before disappearing inside the office of 'M'... who is now, of course, female.

Well, at least we still have Martin Riggs.

Oh, wait... No, we don't.

The makers of the Lethal Weapon series made sure to finish the series with Riggs cheerfully playing the whipped husband to his much more sensible and hardy wife. And sidekick Roger was revealed as a girdle-wearing romance writer, authoring Mills and Boon novels under a female pen-name.

No neutering going on there at all.

Well, we still have Clint. Thank God.

Cross-posted from FoJ.

Not fit for publication

On the front pages of newspapers or the evening news, as it may cause offense to anti-war activists, lead to excessively high levels of progress and peace in the middle east, may lead to unacceptable levels of cooperation, might undermine global support for child murdering terrorist scum etc.






Whenever there is a whiff of some terrorist scumbag's human rights being violated out of Iraq or Afghanistan, its splashed cross the news broadcasts, around the world repeatedly, lest anyone miss it.

Do we ever seen any of these pictures from Iraq on our tv screens or newspapers, never, I suppose it would go against the, hate-America, Iraq=Vietnam, anti-Bush, anti-soldiers, leftist, half empty, won't work, pro terrorist, achieve nothing, perfect war, agenda.

Thanks to The Jawa Report, and more importantly, also to the female G.I. who goes by the nickname of Parabellum who served in Iraq, for bringing these pictures back.


Some excellent and long overdue comments from Australia’s Treasurer overnight. . .

Citizenship 'not taken seriously'

FEDERAL Treasurer Peter Costello has taken aim at "mushy multiculturalism" in a hardline call for citizenship to be taken more seriously.

Mr Costello said yesterday Muslim immigrants wanting to live under Islamic law in Australia should hand back citizenship. "There is one law we are all expected to abide by -- it is the law enacted by Parliament under the Australian Constitution," he said.

And he called for a tougher approach to the "second generation" -- children of immigrants -- who flagrantly refused to respect Australian law.

"Before becoming an Australian, you will be asked to subscribe to certain values. If you have strong objections to those values don't come to Australia."

The oath of citizenship requires loyalty to Australia and respect for democracy and the rule of law. Mr Costello said law-breaking immigrants who failed to understand that could be stripped of citizenship and sent back to their homelands.

He said Australia needed to make more of the demanding requirements of citizenship.
And not just Australia. The Anglosphere in general. For decades, we’ve pretty much given it away.

Mr Costello recalled a citizenship ceremony in his own electorate where a state MP claimed that becoming an Australian did not mean having to surrender culture, language, religion or opinions. "This confused mushy multiculturalism completely underestimated the audience," he said.
‘Did not mean having to surrender culture, language, religion or opinions’. Oh really? I guess that explains why certain leftist academics are now rolling over on issues like female genital mutilation (for example). And we know which party that particular state MP hails from – don’t we. Once again, the ALP displaying its ‘hate Australia’ credentials.

Some good quotes from Windschuttle's latest essay

"The Western concept of freedom of speech is not an absolute. The limits that should be imposed by good taste, social responsibility and respect for others will always be a matter for debate. But this is a debate that needs to be conducted within Western culture, not imposed on it from outside by threats of death and violence by those who want to put an end to all free debate."

"The concepts of free enquiry and free expression and the right to criticise entrenched beliefs are things we take so much for granted they are almost part of the air we breathe. We need to recognise them as distinctly Western phenomena. They were never produced by Confucian or Hindu culture. Under Islam, the idea of objective inquiry had a brief life in the fourteenth century but was never heard of again. In the twentieth century, the first thing that every single communist government in the world did was suppress it."

"But without this concept, the world would not be as it is today. There would have been no Copernicus, Galileo, Newton or Darwin. All of these thinkers profoundly offended the conventional wisdom of their day, and at great personal risk, in some cases to their lives but in all cases to their reputations and careers. But because they inherited a culture that valued free inquiry and free expression, it gave them the strength to continue."

"Today, we live in an age of barbarism and decadence. There are barbarians outside the walls who want to destroy us and there is a decadent culture within. We are only getting what we deserve. The relentless critique of the West which has engaged our academic left and cultural elite since the 1960s has emboldened our adversaries and at the same time sapped our will to resist."

"The consequences of this adversary culture are all around us. The way to oppose it, however, is less clear. The survival of the Western principles of free inquiry and free expression now depend entirely on whether we have the intelligence to understand their true value and the will to face down their enemies."


The "Green" UK government

I have lifted the post below from the Adam Smith blog

The UK government is to give ministers a choice of 'green' cars - a Toyota Prius hybrid or a Jaguar that runs on biodiesel - alongside the conventional alternative. (The picture shows a Toyota Prius being driven by a government minister).

Ministers could, of course, save the planet in more effective ways. Why do they all have to have official cars in the first place? It's pretty appalling to see ministers and their officials being driven the 300 yards from the two ministries near the ASI to the House of commons.

In any case, the chauffer-driven lifestyle separates them from their electors, who have to crowd into the trains and buses. They actually forget how the rest of us live.

They could do most for the environment, however, by issuing less paper. Like all those Bills and regulations (and, no doubt, Whitehall rule-books on things like the specifications for ministers' cars. The volume of official reports and 'consultation documents' - not to mention just straight government puff pieces - that are regularly mailed or biked round to ASI from ministries and quangos is quite ridiculous.

Save trees - stop employing so many scribblers, having so many rules and passing so many laws!


Some good news

We all tire of all the bad news that comes in everyday from around the globe, its good to read a good story every now and then.

8 Co-Workers to Share $365-Million Powerball Jackpot

They are the rainbow of the American Dream: Three were refugees from war and hostile regimes, two Vietnamese, one from central Africa. The five others were bred in the U.S. Midwest to a life of working hard as mechanics, janitors and factory employees.

That is, until today, when the group of eight people claimed their pot of gold -- the record $365 million Powerball jackpot. It's just a bunch of money," said Alain Maboussou, 26. "It's too early for me to retire, but I did four days ago" when the winning numbers were drawn and the group learned they had won.

The televised news conference from Lincoln, Neb., was a far cry from the scripted reality television that graces the major networks. The winners, many wearing sunglasses and some having come directly from the night shift at their jobs, seemed genuinely in shock as officials handed out the oversized checks that were symbols of their winnings.

"I didn't know what to think," said Robert Stewart, 30, echoing a common refrain. He said he was a maintenance supervisor at the ConAgra meat processing plant near the convenience store where the winning ticket was bought. "I still don't know what to think," he said, and smiled to the cheers.

Each person contributed $5 to buy lottery tickets. There was one woman, Chasity Rutjens, 29, who had contributed to the pool only three times before hitting the biggest jackpot in U.S. lottery history. The group decided to take the cash immediately rather than a staggered payout, so each won slightly more than $22 million. After withholding for taxes, each will receive about $15 million.

Powerball tickets are sold in 28 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Two of the winners were Vietnamese, who said they fled the fallout from the U.S. war in Vietnam.

"I come here to be free," said Quang Dao, 56. "It is a great country."

Yep he is now free, rich and in a great country.

What Ivory Tower?

The Ivy League has lost another one. Larry Summers has resigned.

Over his time at Harvard, Summers has brought the university back into public light, and tried to make the university more accessible. Unfortunately, he has made unfortunate comments such as this:

He offered three possible explanations, in declining order of importance, for the small number of women in high-level positions in science and engineering. The first was the reluctance or inability of women who have children to work 80-hour weeks.

The second point was that fewer girls than boys have top scores on science and math tests in late high school years. "I said no one really understands why this is, and it's an area of ferment in social science," Summers said in an interview Saturday. "Research in behavioral genetics is showing that things people previously attributed to socialization weren't" due to socialization after all. This was the point that most angered some of the listeners, several of whom said Summers said that women do not have the same "innate ability" or "natural ability" as men in some fields.

Asked about this, Summers said, "It's possible I made some reference to innate differences. . . I did say that you have to be careful in attributing things to socialization. . . That's what we would prefer to believe, but these are things that need to be studied."

Of course, at the bastion of liberal sensibilities that is Harvard, that comment did not go down well, as there's no possibility that a white male could have any purpose in mind other than to degrade, denigrate, and disreard womyn. Right.

And now, the flickering light of sanity that Summers was trying to bring to the ivory towers of the Ivy League is to be extinguished. And Summers isn't completely coy about his reasons:

Working closely with all parts of the Harvard community, and especially with our remarkable students, has been one of the great joys of my professional life. However, I have reluctantly concluded that the rifts between me and segments of the Arts and Sciences faculty make it infeasible for me to advance the agenda of renewal that I see as crucial to Harvard's future. I believe, therefore, that it is best for the University to have new leadership.

(Hat-tip: Mad Minerva)

Look for the "liberals" now to proclaim that the hens have chased the fox out of their house. Of course, never having been out of the coop, it may be easy to mistake a guard dog for a fox.

[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]