Childcare for babies is 'abuse', says author Mem Fox

"Babies have much higher levels of stress in childcare." This is indeed what the research shows. Cortisol (stress hormone) levels among young children spending long periods in institutional care are often disturbingly high

Putting babies into childcare is a form of abuse, leading children's author Mem Fox claims. Fox, a children's literacy advocate and author of the best-selling Possum Magic, said she believed society would look back on the trend of allowing babies only a few weeks old to be put into childcare and wonder, "How could we have allowed that child abuse to happen?".

"I just tremble," she said. "I don't know why some people have children at all if they know that they can only take a few weeks off work. "I know you want a child, and you have every right to want a child, but does the child want you if you are going to put it in childcare at six weeks? "I don't think the child wants you, to tell the honest truth. I know that's incredibly controversial."

She said a Queensland childcare worker had told her earlier this year: "We're going to look back on this time from the late '90s onwards - with putting children in childcare so early in their first year of life for such long hours - and wonder how we have allowed that child abuse to happen". "It's just awful. It's awful for the mothers as well. It's completely heartbreaking," Fox said. "You actually have to say to yourself, 'If I have to work this hard and if I'm never going to see my kid and if they are going to have a tremendous stress in childcare, should I be doing it?' "Babies have much higher levels of stress in childcare."

Fox, 62, who has a daughter Chloe, 38, said parents were sometimes distracted by "the trappings" of having a baby, such as designer clothing and decorated nursery. "When they have the good house, the good car, the good job - we're talking about very advantaged people - they have everything and they think, 'Now we need a baby which we can dress up and make look perfect'," she said. "But do they realise that a child needs love more than anything else in the world? It needs love, time and attention."

A Federal Government census of childcare services released this year found 757 children were attending long daycare services for at least 60 hours a week in 2006. A further 9426 children were in care for between 50 and 59 hours a week. An Australian study that measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in more than 100 children in childcare found children in centres with lower standards became more stressed throughout the day.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

No free speech for opponents of abortion

Denver police goons again:

"Two teenagers who had been given city permission to write their messages protesting Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's support for abortion on public sidewalks during the Democratic National Convention this week were shoved to the sidewalk, cuffed and arrested for doing just that....

Spokeswoman Danielle Versluys told WND the group had consulted with Denver city officials as well as police prior to the DNC, and had been told that chalk messages on sidewalks would be allowed. Even though the city's deputy chief was in the meeting, that message apparently didn't get forwarded to officers on the street.

"I was peacefully sidewalk chalking when I was forcefully pushed to ground by a police officer from behind," Jayne White, 17, described. "As I was being cuffed on the ground, the police officer pushed his knee into the back of my neck. I was pulled roughly off the ground and taken away. I was given no warning to stop and was completely shocked when I was arrested.'...

"I am horrified and outraged at the treatment of these two girls. Not only were they legally expressing their opinions on the public sidewalk, but they were doing so peacefully and without incident. The officers acted without provocation, and should be ashamed of themselves for terrorizing two young women," Versluys said.

"I am also appalled that the city of Denver boasted of the city's preparation for the convention but clearly neglected to train their police force to respect the First Amendment and the rights of citizens to peacefully demonstrate," she said. "The city of Denver sent a clear message to civic-minded young people this week: the First Amendment doesn't apply here," she said.


See here and here for more examples of Denver police-goons spitting on the 1st Amendment. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper is a Democrat so the fact that his police are pro-Democrat to the point of thuggishness is not much of a surprise. Stalin would understand.

Many will remember that Hickenlooper initially showed negligible reaction to a black singer mangling the national anthem in front of him. Am I questioning his patriotism? You bet!

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH


It's tempting but I am not going to add anything to the uproar over Sarah Palin today. My fellow bloggers over at STACLU are doing a fine job shooting down the frantic Leftist and media criticisms of her. It's amusing how most of the things that Leftists criticize in her apply even more to Wonderboy (e.g. lack of foreign policy experience; insufficient administrative experience). They're really desperate. They say that running Alaska is "not enough" experience. As far as I am aware, Wonderboy has never even run a raffle.

I will say this, however: I predict that she will one day be President of the United States.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Radical Islam - Different preachers, Same hate

Daily Mail - Hardline female ‘preachers of hate’ are radicalising Muslim women at one of Britain’s top mosques. The Saudi Arabian preachers were secretly filmed ordering women to murder gays and ex-Muslims. Undercover reporters from Channel 4’s Dispatches recorded the lectures in the women’s section of Regent’s Park Mosque in London. An unnamed Saudi woman is seen mocking other religions – labelling Christianity ‘vile’ and an ‘abomination’. Another, known as ‘Angelique’, claims Britain is a ‘land of evil’.

The investigators attended lectures for two months at the mosque, which had promised a clean-up after another Dispatches probe just 18 months ago exposed it for spreading extreme Islamic views. During one sermon, a woman called Um Amira says: ‘He is Muslim, and he gets out of Islam...what are we going to do? We kill him, kill, kill.’ In the programme, to be screened tomorrow, she adds that women adulterers should be stoned to death and people who have sex before marriage should get ‘100 lashes’.

...... One Saudi woman, who mocks other religions, says: ‘We feel nothing sometimes going past the church. What they say with their tongues is so vile and disgusting, it’s an abomination.’ ...... The man in charge of the mosque, Dr Ahmed Al Dubayan, is Islamic Affairs attaché to the Saudi Embassy. Dr Al Dubayan said he did not know the preachers in the documentary and claimed the mosque ‘does not support or condone extreme views’.
What the western world needs to do is catch these women preaching this hate, jail them for a certain period of time. Whilst in jail, no special arrangements like foot baths, prayer rooms, rearranging of toilets etc. Once the jail time has been served, deportation back to Saudi Arabia or wherever they came from, if they are born in the UK, then pay any country on the planet that will take them in, may it be Syria or Angola. If possible, the same for this Dr Ahmed Al Dubayan who doesn't have a clue.

If we lack the stomach to do this, think they have a right to say this and are not prepared to do this, then I fear there are only two outcomes. One, convert to Islam, live as Dhimmi's in our own lands and disappear into the History books in the hope that some other culture will learn from our mistake. Two, in years to come when this does not stop, when the Islamic radicals still won't stop hating us, then we will have to get far nastier than we would today. I'd much rather we punish the radicals now than punish the guilty and innocent in the future.

Beware the gaseous leftist platitudes

09.10.2007 - Labor leader Kevin Rudd has promised an extra $2 billion for health and put forward a plan to end the blame game between the federal and state governments.
Kevin Rudd [14.10.2007] - And what I’m offering the Australian is new leadership, both to help working families under financial pressure and new leadership for a plan for our country’s future. ..... I will end the blame game between Canberra and the States. I'm prepared to put up my hand and say "The buck stops with me"
Kevin Rudd [15.09.2007] - Where instead the nation had a leader prepared to put his hand up and say, “the buck stops with me”. ..... What Australians are looking for is new leadership – new leadership that extends a helping hand wherever possible to working families in dealing with the problems of today.
Kevin Rudd [15.10.2007] - The other big challenge is offering help to working families under financial pressure. ..... But here are two areas where you can provide real assistance to working families. ..... Chris, what Australia is asking for is new leadership with fresh ideas for the nation’s future and fresh ideas to help working families.
04.01.2008 Our Treasurer Wayne Swan: [In answer to the question - Your Government campaigned to protect families against increased living pressures. Were they just empty promises?] Not at all. We take cost of living pressures very seriously. That's why we've given the ACCC the power to supervise and monitor what's happening with petrol prices. That's why we're putting in place a petrol cop on the beat in the ACCC and if there has been untoward activity from petrol companies in recent days the ACCC will get to the bottom of it and throw the book at those responsible.
Julia Gillard, Deputy PM [17.10.2007] - This $12 million Rudd Labor Government initiative will: Help meet the needs of working families....

Elections over and he and the left are running the country now, 27.08.2008 - PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has admitted Australians are worse off since he took power late last year, but says he is not to blame. ..... But he said it was not Labor's fault - instead it was the global economic slowdown and mismanagement by the previous Coalition Government.

Yeah, the buck stops with him and he will end the blame game alright. While I'm on the subject of lies, BS, spin, platitudes, whatever you want to call it, guess what another such leftist said the other day.

B. Hussein Obama [29.08.2008] - "I will cut taxes, cut taxes, for 95 per cent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class."

There is a lesson somewhere in the Australian story for Americans.


This sort of thing has been a subject of debate worldwide for some time and is now getting a good airing in Australia. Three articles below

School may backflip on cartwheel ban

An Australian school which recently banned its students from doing cartwheels, somersaults and other gymnastics during recess is reviewing the decision after parents and students got all bent out of shape.

The school, in the coastal town of Townsville in Queensland state, told students they could not perform any acrobatics such as handstands outside class because they were a safety hazard.

"The school is actually reviewing this," a spokesman for the Queensland state's education department said Wednesday. A statement by Education Queensland released Wednesday said the decision had been taken "in the interests of the safety of all students as well as in recognition of the school's physical environment."

But it added: "The school will work with its parents and citizens' committee and the school community to ensure an appropriate balance between student safety and their right to engage in gymnastic activities."

The school had classified gymnastic activities a "medium risk level 2" danger to children when performed in class. But Australian media said parents shocked by the ban also discovered that other popular sports such as cricket, tennis and soccer also had the same risk classification but were not banned.


School sued over tiggy

CHILDREN are suing schools for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages for injuries caused while playing games such as tiggy [tag]. Nearly 100 lawsuits were filed against the State of Queensland for injuries suffered by schoolchildren in the last financial year. One child is asking the court to award her $280,000 plus interest after she hurt herself playing tiggy (chase) in the schoolyard when she was six. Another launched a lawsuit last month claiming more than $136,000 for an injury she says she suffered while high jumping during a Sunshine Coast school carnival.

The revelation that schoolyards are becoming fertile ground for litigation follows public outcry over the banning of cartwheels, handstands and somersaults at a north Queensland school and admissions by Education Minister Rod Welford that fear of legal action was partly behind the decision.

The case involving tiggy centres around an incident at the Bribie Island State School in 2004. Documents filed in the District Court of Queensland say the now 10-year-old girl tripped on a metal bar "comprising part of the playground equipment" during her lunchbreak. It is alleged she suffered a shortening of her right leg, disuse osteoporosis and a deformity at the neck of the right femur as a result of the fall and then inadequate medical treatment by Queensland Health.

The girl claims through her legal representative that she was not supervised adequately and the playground equipment was not safe. A notice to defend filed by the State of Queensland denies many of the allegations.

A claim for more than $136,000 was filed in the District Court last month on behalf of a girl who was eight when she allegedly injured her lower left leg and ankle during an athletics carnival at the Kuluin State School on the Sunshine Coast. The girl's foot allegedly landed between two cushioning mats during the high jump, striking the ground. The claim states the now 12-year-old has an altered gait as a result of her injury and "has since undergone hospital, surgical, medical and para-medical treatment".

The State of Queensland filed a notice of intention to defend on August 11, denying that the consequences of the incident were caused by a breach of common law duty or negligence.

State schools are not the only ones subject to claims. The St Margaret's Anglican Girls School trust is being sued over an alleged injury suffered by a Year 8 student on July 20, 2005, while skipping on concrete during a physical education class. Kerin and Co Lawyers solicitor Stuart Wright said a settlement had already been reached in the case, filed in the District Court of Queensland last month. The amount was confidential. St Margaret's Anglican School deputy principal Cynthia May said it was compulsory for all staff to be trained in first aid and there was a full-time nurse on duty at the school. "We make every effort to minimise risk for the girls," she said yesterday.


Lunchtime games ban turns children into wusses: experts

SOMETHING has crept under the skin of top child and adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg. An ambassador for the federal youth suicide prevention program MindMatters and a founding member of the National Centre Against Bullying, the Melbourne-based practitioner is generally unflappable despite his daily diet of teen angst and hurt. Yet a Townsville school's banning this week of a few allegedly unsafe gymnastic pleasures - handstands, cartwheels and somersaults - appears to have galled him.

"It's all part of this 'wussification' syndrome that we're seeing in contemporary Australia where schools have been forced to bow to the great god of occupational health and safety," Dr Carr-Gregg said. "We have schools in Victoria which have banned birthday cakes with candles on them because the children might burst into flames and where soccer has been banned during recess because the kids might be hit in the face by the ball. "Children are not accessories to dress up and keep behind glass. If we continue to cloak them in cotton wool and outsource their development to lawyers we will have a bunch of kids who are almost frightened of the world. This is very serious."

Deadly serious, according to Rob Pitt, director of the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit. Like Dr Carr-Gregg, he believed adventurous play was a critical tool in teaching children how to appraise risk - with resulting injuries usually minor. "When you do something that's a little bit on the edge, the (lessons) are learnt before you get to an age when the toys you're playing with can potentially kill," he says. "If they haven't learnt appropriate risk-taking before they're in charge of a motor vehicle, the consequences are often fatal."

Not that Dr Pitt would class cartwheels among dicier high jinks. As well as running the QISU, he is director of the Mater Children's Hospital emergency department, which sees 42,000 patients a year. He said injuries from handstands and cartwheels "just don't turn up on our radar".

Townsville's Belgian Gardens State School principal Glenn Dickson continued to keep his public silence after mum Kylie Buschgens hit the headlines on Tuesday with claims that her daughter Cali, 10, was banned from performing cartwheels during breaks. But the cartwheels, handstands and somersaults ban will continue until at least October. The school's Parents and Citizens Association vice-president Jan Collins said about 40 to 50 parents and teachers attended their monthly meeting on Wednesday night and moved to set up a committee to discuss the ban.

Education Minister Rod Welford was slow to react, saying playground rules were a matter for individual schools. It is understood some Queensland public primary schools outlaw tree-climbing and contact games such as Red Rover. By the following day, Mr Welford had entered the wider debate, shifting blame to parents by contending it was their "mollycoddling" that had put schools on a defensive footing in case of lawsuits.

Education Queensland released figures showing that last financial year 93 compensation claims involving students allegedly injured at school or during school activities were brought against the State Government. They included a (now) 10-year-old girl who allegedly suffered a leg deformity and osteoporosis from tripping over play equipment in a game of tiggy at Bribie Island State School in 2004. The girl is seeking more than $280,000.

In reality, the paternalism stunting the liberties of modern children is all-pervasive: at once, cultural and institutional. It's there in the anxiety-ridden "helicopter parents". "Hovering over their children keeping the germs away and making sure that they're safe," explained Australian Council of State School Organisations president Jennifer Branch.

And it's underscored by skittish bureaucracy, the likes of which severed an incident-free, 57-year tradition by outlawing the Grand Carousel from this year's Ekka. A state workplace health and safety inspector speculated children could be crushed beneath sets of prancing timber hooves.

Dr Carr-Gregg was concerned all the fussing would usher in a generation of children who struggled to self-identify as adults "because we're pausing the DVD of their development". They would lack decision-making ability, independence and other life skills. Moreover, they would be low on that key survival ingredient - resilience. "If you extend this ludicrousness to its logical end, no child will ever learn to ride a bicycle because they might fall off," Dr Carr-Gregg said. "What's next? Are we going to ban the pencil because of the risk of RSI? "An essential part of growing up is exposure to the fact that life isn't always fair. "When things do go wrong, children can pick themselves up, start again and learn from the negative experience. "Because we're (sheltering) them from that, I'm seeing 12- and 13-year-old kids who are just normally sad because their dog's died or their parents have divorced. And they're running off to GPs looking for anti-depressants because they think they're depressed."

Educators like University of Queensland physical education professor Richard Tinning point out that scaling a tree or negotiating a climbing frame is a natural instinct and has benefits for honing motor co-ordination, building muscle and exploring boundaries. "But schools have increasingly sanitised the playing environment for kids, taking out a lot of the monkey bars in order to protect from litigation," Professor Tinning said. "As a result, if kids do any physical activity, it's usually not involving their upper body. Most kids today couldn't hang and support their weight."

Ironically, West Australian Ian Lillico, an internationally renowned expert on boys' education, strode into Townsville yesterday as part of a professional workshop tour for teachers and school administrators. He labels the cartwheel curb "rubbish" and says, especially for boys, broken limbs and various playground scrapes are often worn as a badge of honour.



More on Palin

The Moose Hunting "Barracuda"

Everybody and his dog can see that McCain's VP nomination is a brilliant grab for all the disgruntled Hillary supporters. You can almost hear the election ads already: "There's no glass ceiling in the Republican Party". She is much more than just a woman, however -- as Dick McDonald notes below:

Sarah Palin was the point-guard on the state's winning basketball team. The team members nicknamed her "Barracuda". She and her father are big "moose hunters". Her son will be fighting in Iraq soon. She opted to keep her new baby son with "Down's Syndrome" at the same time as the woman was the Governor of Alaska. Her first act as Governor was to sell the Governor's private jet. She won the race promising to clean up the corruption, including destroying Republican Senator Ted Stevens and his "Bridge to Nowhere". Today John McCain has chosen her to be the nominee for Vice-President of the United States.

She must be something special she has five kids and was runner-up in the Miss Alaska contest in 1984. She has the toughest job in America - a mother. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they celebrate their 20th anniversary today. Right at this moment she is speaking for the first time and she is one powerful speaker who will make mincemeat out of many of her detractors. She is a reformer with a record and she has all those attributes men celebrate - and sometime wither under - a phenomenal memory and an ability to make us toe that line we so often want to cross.

I am learning more about her as the minutes pass. My first impression is that we may have found our Margaret Thatcher. Her spirit shines through her face and the visage is much more attractive than Margaret's. The 2008 race has become a lot more interesting just when you thought it couldn't get any more interesting than Obama's love fest at Mile High. She will be the pit bull for McCain and boy she sounds as if she will be effective. As a woman she will be a softening influence on his administration - she was Miss Congeniality in 1984.

She is a hockey mom and the wife of a commercial fisherman, a member of the NRA and a pro-life advocate. Can this election be more different? Her approval rating in Alaska is above 80% which is totally phenomenal in any state. Apparently her reputation with the people is that the countryside is littered with the bodies of those who challenged her. Wow! McCain you did it again. You found an attractive and effective women - I can't wait to for this to all play out. The first call I got on this pick was from one very strong Republican woman who said she was in tears - of joy - after hearing Sarah talk


John McCain's introduction of her and her acceptance speech are on video here. It is a "Don't miss" video. McCain is not as good as The Gipper but he has The Gipper's straightforward sincerity. Details on how McCain came to pick Palin here


What Palin Does

1. Steps on the story of Obama's speech (and convention), and possibly the bounce coming from them, and wipes them off the news cycle. The Sunday news shows will be all-Palin, all of the time.

2. Sends Republicans into their convention on a huge head of steam.

3. Wipes out the image of McCain as the crotchety elder and brings back that of the fly-boy and gambler, which is much more appealing, and the genuine person.

4. Revs up the base AND excites independents, which no one else in the party, or perhaps in the world, could have accomplished.

5. Puts youth, change, and history on both of the tickets.

6. May detach some young people, especially women.

7. May attach some women pissed off about Hillary.

8. As a pro-life super-achiever, puts feminists in a tizzy.

9. Revives some of the double-edged nature of the Democratic primary, which featured a black vs. a
female trail-blazer, and put both sides on notice on sensitivity issues. Democrats used to raising charges of racism against Obama's critics may face charges of sexism and/or condescension if they try to diss her.

10. Steps on Obama's claims to have been a reformer, as he reformed nothing (much less the corrupt mare's nest of Chicago arrangements), while she was a dragon-slayer up in Alaska.

11. As a mother of five, one a Down Syndrome baby, helps her side take on the Democrats on abortion extremism and the Born Alive bill.

12. Reignites the deep and unhealed stresses inside the Democrats, some of whom will now wonder more loudly than ever why they didn't pick Hillary.

13. Counters Michelle in a way Cindy couldn't.

14. Counter-intuitively, makes the issue of Obama's light resume more potent than ever. Her lack of experience is no more than his is. And he's--to use a term from Alaska, and the Iditarod--their lead dog.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Brilliant choice McCain!

Hat tip Woman Honor Thyself.

She definitely has my vote, too bad I can't vote. Need to read up some more on her, but that video is definitely a good start. I'll add quotes as I surf the net pilfering merrily. Updates to follow.

NRO - Strength in foreign policy; reforms of taxes and health care geared to the middle class; and a moderate social conservatism: It’s a potentially winning message, and now Republicans have a ticket that is suited to it.

Via Michelle Malkin - She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington. .... She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the “bridge to nowhere” that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.
David Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union - I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain - Palin ticket.
Jennifer Rubin at PJM - a pro-life hunter with a passion for domestic energy development.
Ed Morrissey: Change conservatives can believe in!
Something that will hurt Obama because of his left-of-left position on abortion.

Lifenews - Palin, the 44-year-old governor of Alaska, takes a strong pro-life position on both abortion and bioethics issues.

"Senator McCain made an outstanding pick from the choices that were on the table. Sarah Palin clearly addresses the issues so many conservatives are concerned about," says Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
As many as 80 percent of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome become victims of abortion, but Palin didn't let her child become a statistic. Palin, who has deeply-felt pro-life views, gave birth to her fifth child and the baby was diagnosed with the condition. Palin confirmed her baby, named Trig Paxson, has Down syndrome.

Sarah Palin is the whole package. There couldn't be a better vice presidential pick,” says Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “Women voters are electrified, and Sarah is someone who is truly in sync with the way real American women think," she told right after the selection. "She is a reform-minded woman who will give all Americans, born and unborn, the authentic leadership they deserve.” .... Dannenfelser added that having Palin on the ticket will attract women voters and some of the Hillary Clinton supporters who aren't happy with Barack Obama. “The majority of American women support commonsense restrictions on abortion. Adding Palin to the GOP ticket will resonate with independent women voters nationwide," Dannenfelser told

Rev. Rob Schenck, an evangelical pro-life advocate who directs the National Clergy Council, also commented on the selection and said McCain made an excellent decision. "Governor Palin is a committed and active Christian who takes her faith seriously and lives her pro-life and pro-family convictions," he said.

Townhall - Earlier this year Dr. Jim Dobson, President of Focus on the Family made news when he announced on “The Dennis Prager Show” that he “cannot and will not vote for Senator John McCain.” Today, on The Dennis Prager Show, the conservative leader changed course and announced his enthusiastic support on the heels of the announcement by Senator McCain of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Sarah Palin is a real deal conservative, down the line, on all of the issues. .... the Palin pick guarantees that the party will remain a conservative party long-term. .... she has demonstrated you can run, win and successfully govern on conservative principles in the face of the government-accommodating Republicanism that has infected so much of the party.
Even if Sarah Palin doesn't persuade John McCain to come out for exploring ANWR now [MK - highly unlikely], a vigorous exploration/conservation strategy has an ideal spokesperson in Palin. .... she is not a Beltway Republican.
Winning the war remains the first priority, and Supreme Court justices after that, but on a host of key issues Governor Palin represents the reagan wing of the party, and that's a great thing.
.... she is young enough to be a bridge to the next generation, and with five kids, she has been living in the world of young moms and technology-dependent teens.
This advantage will be hard to quantify, but when she is out on the trail talking about her kids and her family's path, it will be a huge counterpoint to the Obama's narrative, one that underscores that millions of American families are conservative, traditional, proud of their country and full of optimism about the future if the government's burdens do not grow to large and the country's enemies are kept in retreat.

Michael Medved - Palin’s obviously an expert on energy production (taxpayers in her state get yearly government checks because of it) at the same time she’s won credibility taking on big oil companies.

She’s clearly identified with the reform wing of the notoriously corrupt Alaska Republican Party.
McCain and Palin are the right team to go to Washington to drain the swamp and give back the people’s money....
Now McCainiacs [MK - I like the sound of that] can claim a miracle of our own, as we pinch our delirious selves: “I can’t believe we can really elect a woman on a national ticket – and a conservative woman at that!”
The choice should help to reassure grumblers on the right [MK - guilty as charged] who have insisted that McCain isn’t a “real conservative.” For these folks, the Arizona Senator’s lifetime rating of 82.3% from the American Conservative Union was never enough..... Along with his pro-life, pro-gun, never-supported-a-tax increase voting record, McCain now shows that in the most important decision of his political career he reaches to the right, not to the center. .....but when it counted to define his legacy, to launch his administration, he selected one of the nation’s most conservative governors....
The televised Vice Presidential Debate in October suddenly becomes an important media event, and offers more risks for Joe Biden than Sarah Palin. .....Republican Rick Lazio lost the Senatorial election against Hillary when he tried to be too tough and confrontational in the debate. Palin, on the other hand, can surprise the world by being as aggressive as possible against Biden....
On Sunday, along with the rest of the Republican world, I get on a plane to travel to St. Paul. Suddenly, my attitude toward the journey has become more than dutiful --- like so many others, I feel vastly more eager, pumped, energized, optimistic about the Republican Convention.

Hey, me too, and I'm not even an American or a Republican, can't vote either, can't even contribute 10 lousy dollars to the McCain-Palin campaign. But the energy has infected the Conservative peanut gallery too and that's a good thing.

Democratic National Convention Order of Speakers

I somehow never quite made it to Denver but a reader has sent me a program from it that makes me feel that I am almost there:

5:00-6:00 pm - Jimmy Carter. Topic: Lets give Appeasement a Chance (sung to John Lennon tract).

6:00pm-7:00pm - John Edwards. Topic: Standing erect behind my principles

7:00pm -8:00pm - Jesse Jackson. Topic: I am not bitter OK and if you don't believe me I will cut your nut off. (In place of Al Sharpton's Apolcalypse Now speech: "Do you smell that? It's a race riot, son. Nothing else on the world smells like that. I love the smell of a race riot in the morning. Actually I love the smell of a race riot in the afternoon too.Come to think of it...)

8:00pm 9:00pm - Arrival of Al Gore's personal jet followed by speech. Topic: Do as I say not as I do. (Snacks to Follow .... Drinks sponsored by the Kennedys)

Concurrent workshops (8:00-9:00pm)

Workshop A: 150 ways of using the word `change' by the Obama Speech writers collective (Thesaurus not required).
Workshop B: Milking the `Blame-it-on-Bush-Line'. Can we get another four years out of this? Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi
Workshop C: Why I plan to go to Cuba for my brain surgery? By Michael Moore
Workshop D: George Soros pays tribute to Obama - background song `Puppet on a String' Sandie Shaw
Workshop E: Some deep thoughts on global politics by Maggie Gyllenhaal/Sean Penn and Scarlet Johansson (10 minutes only)

9:00 pm -10:00pm - Hilary Clinton: Reciting I could have been a contender from 'On the Waterfront'.

10:00pm - Barack Obama arrives in a chariot to the lyrics of Jesus Christ Superstar

10:00-11:00pm - Barack Obama's speech. Special Lottery: Guess the number of references to JFK? (Special Note to delegates: Don't mention the 'sucess of the surge' or we'll give you the Joe Lieberman treatment)

11:00 pm - 'God', one of the few outstanding celebrities, officially endorses Obama (pending an ACLU objection). Apparently it was Oprah who swung him over.

Convention clears. Exit Strategies initialized.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Leftist double standards

Daily Mail - Councillors have been ordered not to eat during town hall meetings while Muslim colleagues fast during the holy month of Ramadan. All elected members at Left-wing Tower Hamlets Council in East London have been sent an email asking them to follow strict Islamic fasting during September no matter what their faith. As well as restricting food and drink until after sunset, the authority's leaders have decided to reduce the number of meetings throughout the month so they do not clash with the requirements of Ramadan. .... But some members of the Labour-run council say the demands favour one religious group over the others.
So the leftwingers finally get a bit of their own totalitarian medicine fed to them ey, not surprisingly they aren't happy about it. If only they could see this when they're busy marginalizing Christianity and pushing them out of the public sphere. Anyway, I'd like to see these members hold the line if some Muslims in the area were to get a bit hot under the collar, issue the odd death threat, accuse the leftists of intolerance, racism and Islamophobia etc.
Dr Stephanie Eaton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said she would ignore the restrictions. She said: 'The Liberal Democrats have enormous respect for the contribution of all faith groups and cultures to the life of the community of Tower Hamlets. 'But we fervently believe that the rules of any one religion should not be imposed upon others. .... 'We object to the request that non-Muslim councillors observe the fasting rules for Ramadan. This sends out the wrong message to our community. 'Our community consists of a huge number of different religions, all of which should be valued, and no one religion should be accorded more status or influence than others.'
Oh nicely said Dr. Eaton, so all religions should be valued and no one religion should be held above others. So care to explain this Dr. Eaton, looks like a bit of coerced 'renaming' or marginalizing of one particular religion to me.
This is not the first time the council, which has a broad ethnic make-up, has courted controversy. It has been criticised in the past for being 'overly politically correct' after calling its staff Christmas meal a 'festive meal'.
So shafting the Christians is alright, but when Muslims try to force you into line, suddenly all religions are equal and one cannot have more influence than others. Care to rename Ramadan a 'festive meal'? What's that, no balls, yeah didn't think so.

While I'm on the subject of leftists changing their tune on ideology when it suits them, the other day I posted about that Texas school that allows teachers to be armed on school premises. I saw the following at the time in the article and thought I should write about it. - But critics say the risks of having guns around children far outweigh the potential threat of a crazed gunman. "Which risk is more likely: that someone is going to accidentally set off a gun in class and God forbid hit a student, or someone will come in off the highway and start a random shooting spree?'' said Doug Pennington, spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. While random shootings grabbed headlines they were extremely rare, Mr Pennington said. Fewer than 1 per cent of school-age homicide victims were killed on school grounds or on the way to and from school, he said.
Hang on a minute there, when a school massacre does happen, the gun-haters are out in force demanding stricter gun control laws and asking how many have to die before we bastard gun nuts finally give up our bastard guns. So how come they never remember the above stat then? If random shootings are so rare, why should we give up the easiest and most effective method of defending ourselves. Yet when we come up with the logical idea of arming the law-abiding that has a better chance of actually working, suddenly it's very rare and there really isn't any need to actually protect the children. It's almost as if they really don't want the law-abiding to be able to defend themselves.

Arrogant architects who think they know what's best for other people

Regardless of what the people themselves want, of course. NOTE: 1). This is just a regurgitation of the failed American "Smart Growth" strategy. 2). Low quality houses throughout the metropolitan areas are already often torn down and replaced by apartment blocks -- so that people who are willing to live in apartments can do so almost anywhere they choose

AUSTRALIA'S big cities are being urged to ban outer suburban housing estates to cut urban sprawl and be more like London and Rome. The nation's peak architectural body wants Australian cities to focus on boosting their inner and middle suburbs' density rather than release land in outer areas, to become more sustainable.

The Royal Australian Institute of Architects' new urban design policy also pushes for greater regional development, which in Victoria would mean more people to living and working in cities such as Geelong or Ballarat. However, Victoria's peak housing developer group says a move away from outer suburbs would cripple the economy and hurt families who were calling for more housing in affordable areas.

RAIA president Howard Tanner said increasing urban density to maximise efficiency and sustainability of infrastructure was the only way forward for Melbourne and Sydney. "You have got people encouraged to buy a block of land way out of the city and they are having to travel for three hours a day to commute. That's not sustainable," he said. Mr Tanner said a roads-based city like Los Angeles was seeing infrastructure crumble, and Australian cities would do better to aim for the city models of London and Rome. "People there live in town houses or terrace houses, the houses are never one-storey and you have got the population that lives closer to the city," he said. "We have to curtail land subdivisions at the extremities of the city. The other option is to put in some very fast trains to regional centres. Somewhere like Geelong could be an attractive destination for working and living."

Victoria's housing estate developers are represented by the Urban Development Institute of Australia, and executive director Tony De Domenico said banning estate developments on Melbourne's fringe was unrealistic and blinkered. "The population is still growing and there's a demand for these properties," Mr De Domenico said. "It's near impossible to dictate to the market what should happen. The thing that's keeping Victoria's economy very competitive compared to the mining states is we are very competitive in housing." Mr De Domenico said RAIA members should spend more time in outer suburbs and see what people wanted.

Victorian Council of Social Service policy manager David Imber said a sweeping ban on outer-suburban estates was wrong.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

"Racist" to describe past cannibal practices

New Zealand:
"A study of Maori cannibalism by historian Paul Moon has prompted a racism complaint to the Human Rights Commission. Sent anonymously to Dr Moon, the complaint said This Horrid Practice "describes the whole of Maori society as violent and dangerous. This is a clearly racist view claiming a whole ethnic group has these traits".

The commission has taken no action on it yet but a spokesperson said yesterday any mediation would occur in confidence and the complainant's name would not be released. The commission said books and publications were covered by the Human Rights Act, however there was a high threshold that had to be met to prevent unwarranted incursion into the right to freedom of expression.

Released in August, the book posits that consuming vanquished enemies' mana had little to do with the underlying reason for Maori cannibalism. Instead cannibalism, in pre-colonial times, was simply about "rage and humiliation".

Dr Moon said he was disappointed that a complaint had been made. "I spent several years researching this book, using an enormous body of documentation, and I am not about to denounce it just because it upsets a few people.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG does not think very highly of the un-conservative conservatives in the New South Wales parliament.

Posted by John Ray.

"Renewables" a Mirage

Press release from Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition. []

The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused governments and media of spreading myths on the ability of "renewables" to supply Australia's future electricity. The Chairman of "Carbon Sense" Mr Viv Forbes said there was no chance that wind, solar, hydro and geothermal could supply 20% of Australia's electricity by 2020 without massive increases in electricity costs and severe damage to Australia's industry and standard of living. "The belief that we can go further and eliminate coal from our energy supply is a dangerous delusion."

Wind and solar suffer three fatal flaws which no amount of research dollars, climate junkets, green papers, government gifts, carbon taxes, ministerial statements or imperial mandates will change. The first fatal flaw is obvious even to children at school - no wind turbine or solar panel anywhere in the world can supply continuous power. Power from wind turbines varies with the wind speed, stops when the wind drops and they have to be shut down in strong winds, storms or cyclones. Solar power stops at night or when it is cloudy, and solar panels only supply maximum power around midday, in summer, in the tropics.

The output of both wind and solar varies or shuts down with little warning; this causes big problems in maintaining stability in large power grids. Thus any power grid with more than 10% supplied by wind and solar will risk sudden blackouts or damaging fluctuations. To maintain stable power requires that every kilowatt of solar or wind is shadowed by standby power (preferably gas or hydro) ready to switch on to full power in a very short time. The capital and operating cost of these standby facilities should be added to the real cost of "green power".

The second fatal flaw with wind and solar is that the supply of energy is very dilute, so a large area of land is required to collect significant power. This causes extensive environmental and scenic damage and very large transmission and maintenance costs.

The third fatal flaw of wind and sun power is that only a few places are ideally suited to collect significant quantities of energy, and these places are often far from the main centres of population. Solar power is best collected from places like the Tanami Desert in Northern Territory, and wind power is best collected from places in the path of the Roaring Forties, such as King Island and Western Tasmania. It will be a long time before either of these sites is connected by high voltage power lines to Penny Wong's desk in Canberra or the PM's Lodge in Sydney.

Wind power is useful for providing stock water and moving sailing ships; using solar hot water heaters makes good sense; and solar energy (combined with harmless carbon dioxide from the air and minerals from the soil) provides the primary resources for all farming, forestry, fishing and grazing industries. But neither wind nor sun will supply economical and reliable base load electricity to big cities or industries.

Hydro power can provide low cost stable energy providing it is backed by a large dam in a reliable rainfall area. Finding such spots where approvals could be obtained in a reasonable time frame is almost impossible in Australia. Hydro will not keep the lights on for a growing population.

Natural gas and coal seam gas are hydro-carbon fuels which produce the same two "greenhouse gases" as coal and oil - water vapour and carbon dioxide. They too will be crippled by Emissions Trading and carbon taxes. When the Luddites realise that gas is also a non-renewable carbon fuel, it too will be taxed and regulated to death. It is not a "renewable" and it is less abundant than coal. It is far too valuable to be mandated for base-load electricity generation or city hot water systems.

This leaves geothermal. Geothermal makes good sense in places like New Zealand and Iceland with big areas of active volcanic rocks at shallow depth. But in an old, quiet, cooling continent like Australia, hot rocks are rare and deep. Here it is a totally unproven power source likely to have very high costs for exploration, development, transmission and water. It is worth investigating by people prepared to speculate their capital, but geothermal will not prevent the power brownouts on the horizon unless someone abandons the misguided "crucify carbon" campaign.

With nuclear power and oil shale banned, and plans to tax coal, oil and gas out of existence, man is headed back to the "green" energy sources of the Dark Ages - muscles, horses, firewood and sunshine. But without carbon fuels to bring heat, light, food, transport and water to our large cities, many people will not survive the transition to green nirvana, especially if the current global cooling trend continues.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Thanks to gun control & 'weapons-free' zones

Daily Telegraph - While the school has security fencing, the gates were open for students who were running late. But at 8.50am, chaos erupted when five boys aged 14 to 16 dressed in jeans and hooded jumpers stormed the assembly, making threats with baseball bats, machetes and a samurai sword. School principal Liliana Mularczyk yelled out "lock-down" - and the teachers quickly ushered their students inside classrooms. The gang of boys pursued them, searching for a student over a perceived slight said to be about one of their cousins. Using their weapons, they smashed their way through glass windows to gain access to the classrooms. Two teachers and seven students - three of them female - were injured after being assaulted and cut by flying glass.

A senior teacher named Henry remonstrated with the attacker on the quadrangle. "You cannot do this," he said. "You have to leave." The attacker brandished the sheathed sword at the teacher and then swung the weapon. The sword struck the teacher on the left side of his torso. .... And when police stormed the school six minutes after the original attack, the attackers - four of whom were of Pacific Islander background and one of Middle Eastern origin - showed no fear. The youths, who are associated with a Guildford-based gang known as Gee40, laughed while in police custody and claimed there was more to come in their reign of terror.
This was back in April, there were 750 students at that school, 5 boys terrorized the lot of them and why not. The teachers had training and had a plan, it just happened to be a fancy and complicated way of running, hiding, cowering, begging and waiting for someone else to come to the rescue. Our educational institutions are incapable of putting together an plan or program that teaches 20 or more students in such situations to band together, grab the nearest chair, desk, mop, books, anything and throw it at their attackers. And so the next generation of cowards is being trained to never fight back, always be unarmed, always run, always hide, always cower, always beg and always wait for someone else to rescue you.

The youths laughed at the 750 students, the police, the teachers, the law and the citizens because they can, they have nothing to fear and no one could stop them. You might think the police stopped them, think outside this incident, the police and the law are merely delaying them. The courts won't punish them, they're not afraid of the courts, this is what they think of the courts. At the time I remember the investigations found these punks were bragging quite openly on the net about the number of crimes they've been caught for far exceeding the number they actually committed. Head over to the land of the free for a moment, this is how you remain free and this is how you raise the next generation of free & responsible adults, not big children. - The isolated, 110-student school near the border with Oklahoma is thought to be the first in the US to allow guns in the classroom. School officials say arming teachers is the only way to protect the old brick schoolhouse, which is 30 minutes from the nearest police station. .... The Harrold policy requires that each teacher who carries a gun be approved by its school board, earn a concealed carry licence, and complete training in crisis management and hostage situations. Guns must be worn - not locked in a safe - and loaded with ammunition designed to blast into powder instead of ricocheting through the hallways.

The decision to arm teachers wasn't a far-fetched idea for this ranching community, said Bridget Knight, who lives in nearby Vernon. "For Harrold, it makes total sense.'' Its windswept fields were ranch country, she said, where guns were a mainstay - if not to stop a madman, then to shoot a snake, a wild hog, a wild dog or coyote that might run onto the playground. Even Harrold children were raised to handle guns, said Lee Anderson of nearby Wichita Falls, Texas. "Most high school seniors been huntin' on their own since the age of 12,'' he said.
Take it a step further, if the kids who've been raised with guns all their lives are also allowed to carry them to school, do you honestly think our 5 gang bangers, heck make it 20 gang bangers will be swaggering into that school, breaking, beating and doing whatever they feel like. Perhaps if they've got some sort of suicide wish.

Aussie men eating more meat pies

Note for American readers: Most pies sold in Australia contain minced or cubed meat, not fruit. The meat pie is Australia's national food. I LOVE meat pies and eat them frequently -- both for breakfast and for dinner

DOWNTRODDEN blokes are biting back and sending meat pie sales soaring. One of Australia's biggest pie maker, Patties, has announced a 10 per cent jump in sales and says fed-up men are fuelling the surge. "Blokes are sick of being told what they can and can't eat," Patties marketing manager Mark Connolly said. "They've had a gutful of it and are going back to living by their own rules. "If they feel like having a pie and a few beers, they'll have a pie and a few beers."

Patties holds over half the Australian market for pies, sausage rolls and pasties. Its brands include Patties, Herbert Adams and the iconic Four'N Twenty range. The Melbourne-based firm reported an 8.6 per cent overall profit rise in the 2007-08 financial year. Pie sales were slightly down the year before, in a fall blamed on unusually hot weather.

The success of its blokiest brand, Four'N Twenty, follows an advertising campaign ridiculing salads. Mr Connolly called meat pies "the nearest thing we've got to a national cuisine". He said strong sales at supermarkets were matched by a 10 per cent jump at sporting venues, despite a constantly growing range of alternatives. "Pies keep selling and selling," Mr Connolly said. "At the end of the day they can't move the more trendy stuff."

Road worker Grant Dye said there was nothing better than a hot pie on a cold day. "A good meat pie is chunky and nice and tender," Mr Dye said. "It doesn't worry me what brand it is as long as it's nice and fresh."

Spotless, which caters for the Melbourne Cricket Ground, said pies were only one of a broad range of food options now, but remained a staple seller. Any growth in sales would reflect the growth in attendances, a spokeswoman said. "There are more people going to venues and more events held at the MCG. "If it is due to anything, it would be due to the increased patronage."

But Mr Connolly said tradition and tighter economic times were also factors. But it was more about manpower. "They're not that complicated. They just want to be left to their own devices," Mr Connolly said.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Bill says wonderboy can't deliver

He almost says: Vote McCain!

Hours before former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took center stage Tuesday night in Denver to offer words of healing for the Democratic Party, her husband was detonating what could be interpreted as another blast at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Speaking at a forum of ex-world leaders less than a mile from the site of the Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton drew an analogy that had many wondering whether the former president had made peace with the idea of an Obama candidacy. “Suppose for example you’re a voter and you have candidate X and you have candidate Y,” Clinton said. “Candidate X agrees with you on everything but you don’t think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver.”

“This is the kind of question that I predict — and this hsteeleas nothing to do with what’s going on now — but I am just saying if you look at 5, 10, 15 years from now, you may actually see this delivery issue become a serious issue in Democratic debates because it is so hard to figure out how to turn good intentions into real changes in the lives of the people we represent.”

Whether Clinton, who for 20 years has been the star of the Democratic Party, intended the analogy to represent a futuristic look at presidential politics, its relevance to the current candidacies of Republican John McCain and Obama were unmistakable.

More here

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

The left want to foist this upon America

Yahoo!7 - A Seven News investigation has revealed hospital blunders have led to dozens of serious injuries or deaths. Secret internal documents detail the errors in Western Sydney hospitals, and outline a two year review of investigations into blunders that can mean the difference between life and death. 61 people have died following serious mistakes over the past two years. The reasons for these deaths have until now been kept under wraps, because the information is not made public. Those reasons include surgical material or instruments left inside patients, procedures performed on the wrong patient or wrong body part, and incorrect diagnosis. Furthermore, a report in 2006 led to a raft of recommendations, but 40 percent of them were ignored, and 20 percent were implemented after serious delays.

Daily Mail - The NHS drugs rationing body is forcing cancer patients to remortgage their homes to pay for medicines freely available elsewhere in Europe, senior doctors warned yesterday. More than 20 leading cancer consultants said they were 'dismayed' at guidance issued by Nice - the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence - to refuse four kidney cancer drugs on the NHS. Accusing Nice of rationing too severely, they called for a radical change in the way the NHS makes decisions. .... The outcry follows draft guidelines from Nice this month on the drugs sunitinib, bevacizumab, sorafenib and temsirolimus. The body concluded that the therapies - which can extend a patient's life by months - were not good value.

Daily Mail - Labour's record on the NHS came under unprecedented attack yesterday from one of Britain's most senior doctors. Professor Paul Goddard, a former president of the Royal Society of Medicine, accused the Government of leading the NHS into 'catastrophic meltdown'. The award-winning professor directed particular anger at the drugs-rationing body Nice, which he accused of virtually killing patients to save money. He said Labour's obsession with bureaucracy and political correctness had resulted in dire care for patients. Money-saving practices, introduced to meet strict Whitehall targets, had contributed greatly to the rise of superbugs killing patients on hospital wards. Professor Goddard said he became so disillusioned he ended his 30-year career as a consultant radiologist in disgust.

MK - Naturally they'd insist they have Americans' best interests at heart. This I find extremely hard to believe, given how Socialized medicine and just about any form of socialism has turned out anywhere else in the world.

Food for thought

I guess I must be a sentimental old fool. I read recently a story in "The Times" which I cannot get out of my head. I have posted it on Paralipomena. It is about a man who was adopted out as a baby but who finally traced his birth mother when he was 41. Such stories are usually emotional but you read such stories often so what was unusual about this story? The striking thing is in the very last sentence -- a sentence that is at once totally crazy and totally right. I am sure that the sort of self-obsessed person we often find on the political Left would think nothing of it but it brings tears to my old eyes. If you choose to read it, do read the whole story first. Peeking at the last sentence first may well deprive it of much of its impact.

A recent post on Wicked Thoughts has got some memorable entries in it too.

Posted by John Ray.

Bulls**t Watch - Rising Sea to Drown 600,000 Australian Homes

A real sea-level rise of a few centimetres becomes a prophesied rise of metres! Comments below from rural publication "Agmates"

The Courier Mail and ABC radio continues on with its Climate Change scare mongering and hence register on our Bulls**t Watch. The headline screams “Homes at Risk from rising sea”. in todays Courier Mail. Online the headline reads: “Sea level rise from climate change ‘underestimated’.”

“THE speed at which the climate is changing has been significantly underestimated, with thousands of Australian homes potentially at risk from rising sea levels, a conference has heard.
Ports, harbours and airports situated near the ocean are also vulnerable to the immediate effects of climate change, said keynote speaker Jo Mummery. Preliminary modelling has found that if there is a rise in sea levels, 269,505 houses could be at risk in NSW and 2,875 houses in the NT.”

And again on ABC Radio: “Australian expert says sea levels to rise four metres”
“Dr Jo Mummery, from the Department of Climate Change, told the delegation that if sea levels rose just one metre - exclusive pockets of the Gold Coast would be completely washed out. She says if water enters a 200 metre buffer zone almost 559,000 residential buildings would be affected across the country.”

In both the Courier Mail Report and the ABC they quote:
“The head of the climate change unit at the Australian National University and science adviser to the federal Government, Professor Will Steffen, says he believes the scientific community is underestimating the speed at which the climate is changing. “The evidence over the past 12 to 18 months suggests that we have underestimated how fast this aspect of the earth’s system can change,” he said.”

Are you alarmed yet? Don’t be - Below is a graph showing actual sea level rises from 1991 to 2005.

And in the last 12 months sea levels have actually fallen almost 10mm.

Since global warming plateaued in 2001 sea levels have risen just 5mm or so in 7 years. Even the alarmist IPCC reports predicts sea levels will rise 50cm by 2100.
Here is a graph of sea level changes over the last 24,000 years. The graph shows that sea levels in Australia have risen 20 metres or so in the last 8,000 years.

And in the last 128 years they have risen less than 20cm.

It’s difficult to take scientists seriously who make such outlandish predictions of sea levels rising 1-4 metres in the next 90 years. Those claims immediatley register on the Agmates Bulls**t meter.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Wake up and smell the .... Ruddster

Daily Telegraph [Malcolm Farr] - Daily Telegraph polling of Sydney voters reveals working families he invited to the fore of his election campaign are worried about going backwards. Almost 80 per cent of those surveyed by Galaxy said household finances had tightened since the change of government last November. And 56 per cent were less optimistic than they were in November. These are the people who helped get Rudd elected by lending their circumstances to his campaign rhetoric, and their votes to his elevation. As a reader’s comment on a Daily Telegraph blog said last week: “Kevin Rudd? Is he the man who occasionally deigns to visit Australia and watch. He seems to prefer to be always overseas or talking down the Australian economy.”
It would appear those that bought the spin and half-baked promises are starting to wake up. We're painfully finding out that when the Ruddster told us he knew our pain and he was in touch, that's not quite the same as knowing our pain and actually doing something about it. It's taken a while, but the electorate is finally seeing the Ruddster for what he really is, just a globe-trotter looking for glamor shots and taxpayer funded rides around the planet. Speaking of the planet, can someone tell him about the enormous carbon assprint that's the result of all his overseas trips. After all in a recent 60 Minutes interview, the Ruddster was telling us working families that global warming is probably one of the biggest if the not THE biggest challenge for the century and the reason's pretty clear - it affects everything. Well if it's so clear, how come you're running around the planet doing who-knows-what PM Ruddster. The carbon assprint thing is turning out to be a bit like the Ruddster's pre-election promise that the buck would stop with him, in reality it seems to stop with everyone else but him, so I guess the biggest challenge of the century also affects everyone but him.

Still yearning to abandon Iraq

ABC News - Thousands of anti-war protesters have marched through the US city of Denver ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which starts tomorrow (Australian time). Police in riot gear, on horseback, and others on bikes monitored the protest march as it moved through the city. .... The Denver convention falls on the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago which erupted in violence as anti-Vietnam protesters fought running battles with police.
That folks, is our local taxpayer funded ABC fantasizing about the opposition to the war in Iraq. Thousands they crone, thousands. In truth though it's a far cry from thousands.
The Windor Star - Propping up a large banner beneath the steps of the Colorado State Capitol dome, 25-year-old Weston Wilson was clearly underwhelmed with the anti-war protest taking shape around him. "I'm a little bummed out," the Denver English major and seasonal landscaper said Sunday morning, estimating his fellow anti-Iraq war marchers at no more than 700. Wilson was well aware of the hype that preceded this day: one group, calling itself Re-create 68, was hoping for a turnout of 10,000 to 20,000 and was advocating for a re-creation of the infamous 1968 Chicago Democratic convention when protesters battled police for more than a week.
Perhaps most of the anti-war brigade have wizened up to the reality over in Iraq, perhaps after years and years of keeping their eyes tightly shut, hands pressed firmly against their ears and screaming their lungs out, they've finally accepted that they could not defeat & humiliate America, that American troops are not the murdering bloody thirsty killers the left insisted they were. None the less, given the leftists' passion for peace, social justice, no war and all that, you'd think that they'd be able to muster even a 100 protesters to picket outside the nearest Russian embassy/consulate over Georgia.

Has anyone heard of such marches, has anyone heard of leftists anywhere in the world day-dreaming about sending Russia back. Has anyone heard of any leftists being underwhelmed or "bummed out" that few or none turned out to scream at jackboot Putin? Impeaching Putin, war crimes, anything? At my blog I try to keep a record of the news stories that come out of Iraq. Not the usual terrorist murdering, it's all bad, the was is lost, every square metre bombed & burned 24/7; but the other stories, those that our 'unbiased' media are strangely not interested in. Have a browse, perhaps those stories are the reason why the left are still calling for the abandoning of Iraq and aren't very vocal on Georgia.

Hate is the Democrat alternative to policy

Even Left-leaning columnist David Ignatius can see it. Excerpt:

The partisanship of the congressional leadership has been a virtue for Democrats, up to a point. By being as tough and unyielding as their GOP rivals, they won back control of Congress. But they haven't done much with their majorities these past two years, beyond bashing Bush.

Which raises a question to ponder as you watch the convention this week: Will Mr. Cool be a strong enough leader to transform the Democratic-controlled Congress from a reflexive role into a force for change? Can the Get-Even Gang become the Get-Ahead Gang? Or will Obama remain the aloof, judicious ex-professor who gives a great speech but leaves the dirty work of governing to Pelosi and Reid?

As an extra-credit assignment before this week's convention, I've been reading the recent books published by congressional leaders. And I must say, these are not works that rank with the political novels of Anthony Trollope. The titles -- Pelosi's "Know Your Power" and Reid's "The Good Fight" -- sound almost pugilistic. They reveal the mindset that has made these leaders such effective partisan brawlers.

Pelosi and Reid are each throwbacks to the muscular Democratic Party of several generations ago. It's telling that both grew up in homes that celebrated the Democratic godfather -- Franklin D. Roosevelt. Reid's mother displayed in their little home in Searchlight, Nev., an embroidered pillowcase with a quote attributed to FDR, "We can. We will. We must." Pelosi's father, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., led the Democratic machine in Baltimore, serving eight years in Congress and 12 as mayor. When constituents came to ask for favors, they would walk past a large portrait of FDR.

These old-fashioned Democrats don't just oppose Republicans; they seem to actively dislike them. Pelosi describes how, as a young woman, she refused to rent a house in San Francisco because the owner was serving in the Nixon administration. Reid is almost contemptuous in voicing his antipathy toward George W. Bush, who he says "will rank among the worst presidents -- if not the worst -- in the history of our country."

Pelosi and Reid rose to leadership positions during the hyper-partisan years of Republican control of Congress, and it shows. They are the people who refused to be Swift-boated, DeLay-ed, or otherwise crushed by the Republican attack machine. They attacked back, and were as vengeful as the Republicans.

Pelosi describes with relish her strategy for trouncing Bush's plan to privatize Social Security -- which was to blast it mercilessly, without offering an alternative. The implicit message is that negotiation and compromise are for losers. The reality that Social Security is facing bankruptcy seems not to interest either Pelosi or Reid. Indeed, their memoirs are largely policy-free zones.

More here

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG almost feels sorry for Kevvy Rudd -- seeing the pickle that his climate follies have got him into.

Posted by John Ray.


By New Zealander Nicholas Sault []. Received via email

Dr George Wilson of the Australian Wildlife Services has told thousands of his Australian farmers they should ditch farming cattle and sheep and start farming kangaroo in a big way (see here). The reason? - yes, you got it, kangaroos don't fart and belch methane like cattle and sheep.

That may be the case, but does this boffin really think that overnight you can ditch 12,000 years of domestication, and replace hundreds of millions of relatively easy-to-manage, relatively docile animals with wild animals? Even though he is a scientist, he is obviously one of those people I encounter often, who really have no comprehension of the scale of things. The reason cattle and sheep farming is so big is because these animals can be mass farmed - farmers have the feed, the fencing and the handling down to a tee. Introduce a new animal out of the bush, and you have to start learning and domesticating from scratch.

A case in point from my own country is deer farming. Deer have been farmed for decades in New Zealand, but venison is still little more than a curiosity, a meal you might have in a posh restaurant on your anniversary. Deer are the most skittish of the cloven hoofed brigade. They are extremely difficult to handle, difficult to keep confined and difficult to move. In most cases, when he wants to move cattle or sheep from one field to another, the farmer simply opens the gate and the animals, tired of their current location, just go walkabouts into their fresh new field.

I have seen deer farmers on their farm bikes chasing their deer around for hours, trying to round them up into a bunch to move them. They don't respond to dogs, and it can be quite laughable to see the lengths farmers go to move them around. Also, I have my own experience with farming exotic animals. Emu became a fad in the 1990s in New Zealand, and I still shudder at the memory of nights when I could hear the tall fences screaming, and the fixings working loose from the fence posts, as the highly excitable birds decided as a mass that they wanted to go walkabouts (or runabouts, actually). Worse than that was going out next morning and finding one of giant birds didn't make it and got tangled in the fence, almost totally de-feathering itself in the process.

Like deer and the equally exotic ostrich, emu never caught on with a people in love with roasts and barbecues. All of these exotic meats are low-fat. That was our marketing strategy - get people to eat red meat that is low in fat. But that low-fat content of the meat means that you need some skill in cooking, and time to stand over it to make sure it is not over-cooked. You can't shove a joint of ostrich in the oven and go watch the Olympics 10,000 meters track race; you have to watch it. Same with the barbecue. Take your eyes off this meat for a minute and you might as well be eating beef jerky for lunch.

In reality, deer farming has only survived in New Zealand because millions of Asian men imagine they can get their sex drives going by consuming ground-up deer antler. Hundreds of emu and ostrich farmers went bust in New Zealand simply because the meat just didn't catch on. It was expensive and difficult to cook correctly. Added to that was the sheer difficulty in farming the critters.

From an economic viewpoint, emu, ostrich and deer are browsers and cannot obtain most of their nutrients from the field, as is the case with cattle and sheep in this part of the world. The supplementary feed is very expensive, requiring a premium on the shelf price of the meat. So when the supermarkets come back to you and say "hey, we put it on the shelves for a month, but it's not selling", you tend to get very dismayed (and poor).

Then there's the slaughter (gosh the list goes on). When you spook skittish animals, they fill their blood streams with adrenaline, which is pumped into the muscle making it extremely hard. The resulting meat is as tough as old boots, literally.

When I farmed cattle, the happy chappies used to waltz onto the truck as if going to pastures new rather than to slaughter. To lessen the stress on emu, we planned to have mobile slaughter trucks, so the birds did not have to travel. The industry failed long before that ever eventuated, but lets get real. If you are going to replace the mass market of cattle and sheep with a relatively wild, unpredictable animal like a kangaroo, you'd need slaughter trucks the size of the Queen Mary to go around to the each of the farms. Well, I think I proved the point here. Boffins, please do not get into the habit of expounding outside your field of expertise.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Sydney - Poofter* capital of Australia

Daily Telegraph - First there were nuclear-free zones, then alcohol-free zones. Now gay-friendly Sydney is set to introduce homophobia-free zones. In an Australian first, the City of Sydney is moving to single out parts of the city for a crackdown on homophobic behaviour. The policy is still being finalised, but Oxford St - as well as parts of Darlinghurst, King St, Newtown and Erskineville Rd, Erskineville - will be recognised by the council as gay and lesbian precincts.

The move, passed by a vote of five to four, could allow the City of Sydney Council to revoke late-night trading privileges for venues if their patrons commit homophobic abuse or violence. It could also require venues to include anti-homophobia measures in staff training and patron management programs. Local businesses will be encouraged to use signs and window stickers to declare their premises homophobia-free. Hat tip Andrew Bolt.
What a bunch of drama queens, it's as if homos are being hanged from lamp posts all around Australia or something. I think it's nothing more than a useless, whiny, cry for attention. Perhaps the gay crowd can't deal with the fact that they no longer have that curiosity factor, that we have now become indifferent to them. You want to be gay, dress up like the opposite sex, engage in unnatural forms of sexual activity, yeah whatever, good luck then, knock yourself out. Just on this nonsense, I wonder what'll happen to local business who choose not to display homophobia-free signs and whatever else. Will the whiners whining for tolerance and acceptance tolerate that?

Also, is the bastion of equality and tolerance that is the City of Sydney Council implying that straight folks in the homophobia-free zones are somehow less equal, have less rights or something? Are they sending a message to those that don't want to associate with homosexuals, that perhaps it would be best if they just shove off. Or do they consider assaulting and hanging homos the same as simply not going to the local gay bar. What next, everyone will be strongly encouraged to prance around at that annual homo parade and engage in homosexual practices or else. I don't know folks, getting a lot of mixed messages here. Speaking of drama queens, mixed messages and bloviating leftists.
The Australian - US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has chosen his Senate colleague, Joseph Biden, as his vice presidential running mate, CNN television reported today. .... The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Biden would bring decades of national security experience on board, having first been elected to Congress at the age of 29 in 1972. On the campaign stump this week, Senator Obama has singled out Senator Biden for praise over his response to the crisis in Georgia and proposals to extend more US economic aid to Afghanistan.
And perhaps as a sign of what things would be like under an Obama-Biden administration.
The Australian - Barack Obama and Joseph Biden both fluffed their lines today as the new White House running mates ceded an opening to their Republican enemies by veering off-script. Perhaps it was the temperature nudging 100 F (37.8 C) that forced Senator Obama into a slip of the tongue as he introduced Senator Biden as "the next president'' before correcting it to vice president. .... If the silver-tongued Senator Obama does not often slip up, Senator Biden comes with a treasure trove of gaffes that is already feeding the Republican attack machine. The Delaware senator, 65, was in full cry against Senator McCain when he botched his new boss's name, saying "Barack America'' today.
*Poofter : uncomplimentary term for a gay man, homosexual. Source: Australian Slang. Sorry Sydney-siders, I know not all of you are like those wankers* at the City of Sydney council, but I couldn't help it.
*Wanker : a male person who's unpopular and fairly stupid but this person thinks he is the greatest.

Couple flee to avoid compulsory medical treatment

Another case of DOCS (child welfare agency) harassing good parents over minor infractions while ignoring feral parents. Decent people are a lot easier to deal with, you see.

And the record of compulsory medical treatment is not at all good. The medical wisdom of today is often the iatrogenic disaster of tomorrow. Take the example of compulsory blood transfusions for Jehovah's Witnesses. It was eventually discovered that JWs had a higher survival rate WITHOUT transfusions than did people who got transfusions. As a result, use of transfusions is now much more guarded than it once was.

Fear of vaccines is widespread and objections to it should be regarded as a basic civil liberty in my view. How would YOU like people coming and injecting into you something you did not want? I myself know of no proven harm done by vaccines but people should be allowed to make up their own minds in such a contested area. I have myself had Hep B vaccinations

A Sydney couple are in hiding after the Department of Community Services (DoCS) took out a court order to have their three-day-old boy vaccinated against hepatitis B. The parents, from Croydon Park, fled their home on Thursday to avoid police and DoCS officers after refusing to have their son vaccinated at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. They told Fairfax newspapers they believe aluminium in the vaccine can cause him more damage than contracting the disease.

The infant's mother, who is from China, was diagnosed with hepatitis B several years ago, but both parents believe the illness, which can cause liver cancer and cirrhosis, can be managed more effectively than any potential neurological damage from the vaccine.

Vaccinations are not compulsory in Australia but it is NSW Health policy that babies born to hepatitis-B mothers are given the immunoglobulin within 12 hours of birth. The treatment is followed up with four more doses of the vaccine over six months.

The father, a financial adviser, is seeking an injunction against the court order. He told Fairfax doctors and midwives on the post-natal ward told him he and his wife would be arrested and they would lose custody of their child if he left the hospital without being vaccinated.

The Supreme Court order, obtained by DoCS, states the baby must be vaccinated by midnight on Thursday but the father is adamant they will stay on the run indefinitely.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH