-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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Muslim pair who laughed as they raped woman they 'came across' in British town centre have sentences CUT because they are not 'dangerous'
Two men who laughed during a horrific 'gang rape' of a drunken woman have had their sentences slashed after three senior judges ruled they were not 'dangerous'.
Rezgar Nouri, 27, of Preston, and Mohammed Ibrahim, 24, of London, were jailed indeterminately after being convicted of assaulting the 24-year-old in Preston last June.
Sitting at the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Hooper, Mr Justice Silber and Mr Justice Hamblen heard how the men 'came across' the woman before taking her to a flat where Ibrahim pinned her down while another man raped her.
After that, Ibrahim raped her before Nouri 'grabbed' her and 'dragged' her into a bedroom where he raped her, judges were told.
But today, despite the evidence, they ruled at the Royal Courts of Justice there was 'insufficient evidence' that Nouri and Ibrahim should be defined as 'dangerous'.
They said Judge Anthony Russell QC had been wrong to decide that 'imprisonment for public protection' was necessary and hand down a jail sentence which gave the men no automatic right of release.
They allowed the men's appeal against the imposition of an indeterminate sentence and instead handed each a 12-year term.
The court earlier heard how the woman had become separated from friends - when she was 'quite drunk' - in the early hours after visiting a number of bars and clubs, the court heard.
The judges were told that she 'came across' Nouri, Ibrahim and a third man in the town centre and went to Nouri's nearby flat with them. Her next recollection was of waking up naked with the three men nearby before the horrific ordeal began.
When it was over the woman left the flat before realising that she had left her phone behind. She was allowed back in. Nouri then pinned her down and raped her again before 'pushing' her out of the flat, judges heard. Judges said the woman was found in a 'very distressed state' shortly after she left the flat and police were called.
Mr Justice Hamblen said that before 'imprisonment for the public protection' could be imposed, courts had to be satisfied that there was a 'significant risk' to the public of serious harm through the 'commission of further specified offences'.
He added: 'There was insufficient evidence to justify the finding of dangerousness made and an imprisonment for public protection should not therefore have been imposed.' Both men admitted rape at Preston Crown Court in November 2011.
Discrimination is fair
I'm scared. I fear that even if the Supreme Court overrules most of Obamacare (or did already, by the time you read this), Republicans will join Democrats in restoring "good" parts of the law, like the requirement that insurance companies cover kids up to age 26 and every American with a pre-existing condition.
Those parts of Obamacare are popular. People like getting what they think is free stuff. But requiring coverage to age 26 makes policies cost more.
Even Bill O'Reilly lectures me that government should ban discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions. Most Americans agree with him. Who likes discrimination? Racial discrimination was one of the ugliest parts of American history. None of us wants to be discriminated against. But discrimination is part of freedom. We discriminate when we choose our friends or our spouse, or when we choose what we do with our time.
Above all, discrimination is what makes insurance work. An insurance regime where everyone pays the same amount is called "community rating." That sounds fair. No more cruel discrimination against the obese or people with cancer. But community rating is as destructive as ordering flood insurance companies to charge me nothing extra to insure my very vulnerable beach house, or ordering car insurance companies to charge Lindsay Lohan no more than they charge you. Such one-size-fits-all rules take away insurance companies' best tool: risk-based pricing. Risk-based pricing encourages us to take better care of ourselves.
Car insurance works because companies reward good drivers and charge the Lindsay Lohans more. If the state forces insurance companies to stop discriminating, that kills the business model.
No-discrimination insurance isn't insurance. It's welfare. If the politicians' plan was to create another government welfare program, they ought to own up to that instead of hiding the cost.
Obama -- and the Clintons before him -- expressed outrage that insurance companies charged people different rates based on their risk profiles. They want everyone covered for the same "fair" price.
The health insurance industry was happy to play along. They even offered to give up on gender differences. Women go to the doctor more often than men and spend more on medicines. Their lifetime medical costs are much higher, and so it makes all the sense in the world to charge women higher premiums. But Sen. John Kerry pandered, saying, "The disparity between women and men in the individual insurance market is just plain wrong, and it has to change!" The industry caved. The president of its trade group, Karen M. Ignagni, said that disparities "should be eliminated."
Caving was safer than fighting the president and Congress, and caving seemed to provide the industry with benefits. Insurance companies wouldn't have to work as hard. They wouldn't have to carefully analyze risk. They'd be partners with government -- fat and lazy, another sleepy bureaucracy feeding off the welfare state. Alcoholics, drug addicts and the obese won't have to pay any more than the rest of us.
But this just kills off a useful part of insurance: encouraging healthy behavior. Charging heavy drinkers more for insurance gives them one more incentive to quit. "No-discrimination" pricing makes health care costs rise even faster. Is it too much to expect our rulers to understand this?
Of course, the average citizen doesn't understand either. When I argue that medical insurance makes people indifferent to costs, I get online comments like: "I guess the 47 million people who don't have health care should just die, right, John?"
The truth is, almost all people do get health care, even if they don't have health insurance. Hospitals rarely turn people away; Medicaid and charities pay for care; some individuals pay cash; some doctors forgive bills. I wish people would stop conflating the terms "health care," "health insurance" and "Obamacare." Reporters ask guests things like: "Should Congress repeal health care?" I sure don't want anyone's health care repealed.
Reporters also routinely called Obamacare health "reform." But the definition of reform is: making something better. More government control won't do that. We should call politicians' insurance demands "big intrusive complex government micromanagement."
Let the private sector work. Let it discriminate.
Hallmark bashes Tea Party
Great joke. How about a Hallmark card that says: "Be a panther, but not a black one". Would that be a great joke too? Or maybe: "Occupy Wall St -- but clean up after yourself" Hilarious?
Lennie Jarratt’s children had gone to Walmart over the weekend in search of a gradation card for a family friend. But instead they found a Hallmark card that has generated outrage within the Tea Party community – along with calls for a national boycott.
The card, published by Hallmark, features an image of President Obama on the cover declaring, “You graduated! Time to go to a lot of parties!”
The inside of the card reads, “But avoid those tea parties if you can. Trust me.”
“It’s offensive,” said Jarratt, the founder of the Lake County Tea Party in Illinois. “Why is Hallmark getting political? What’s the point of this? Why would they want to bash a whole group of people?”
Jarratt said his children returned home from the store and told him about the card – so he decided to go to the store and purchase a copy of the card.
“My kids didn’t like it because it was bashing tea parties,” he said. “I got the same reaction.”
Leftist attempts at censorship never stop
A truth-telling media threatens their survival
MEDIA owners will be forced to submit to a public interest test under a plan to be presented to the federal cabinet within weeks.
The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said the test had nothing to do with Gina Rinehart increasing her stake in Fairfax as work had been under way for two years to tighten media regulation and ownership rules.
"We've been looking at these issues with a view to acting for a considerable period of time," he said. "Ms Rinehart will come, Ms Rinehart may go. But we've actually been putting in place a whole range of processes to give us some advice, to canvass these issues publicly.
"I absolutely reject that anything that we're doing at the moment is based on a knee-jerk reaction to Ms Rinehart. We have strong views about the charter of editorial independence but the Convergence Review, the Finkelstein [review], all occurred long before Ms Rinehart was a significant media player."
Mrs Rinehart has refused to sign Fairfax's charter of independence, should she win seats on the Fairfax board, and has publicly threatened to sell her shares in the company if she was not offered board seats "without unsuitable conditions".
Fairfax issued a statement on Tuesday saying it would not invite Mrs Rinehart to join the board until she signed the charter.
The chairman, Roger Corbett, said he regretted the decision and hoped "it might be possible" for Mrs Rinehart to join in future. "However key elements yet to be agreed include acceptance of the charter of editorial independence as it stands and the Fairfax board governance principles as agreed by all existing directors," he said.
"In coming to this view the board has gauged the opinion of other shareholders and noted some of their recent public comments on these matters, noting in particular they share the company's view on maintaining editorial independence and their desire that board members act in the interests of all shareholders. The company has received tens of thousands of emails and other correspondence from shareholders, our readers and others making it clear that they support Fairfax's long-standing position on editorial independence."
The Australian Financial Review reported yesterday that the public interest test legislation could vet investors such as Mrs Rinehart and the expansion plans of Rupert Murdoch's News Limited. "Labor MPs have been told to sell the idea of a media crackdown to their electorates over the next six weeks after allegations involving the media's role in the Peter Slipper affair galvanised cabinet into 'fierce backing' of the controversial test," the paper reported.
Senator Conroy said there was a clear role for legislation but it was incumbent on news organisations to abide by their codes of conduct.
"There's been a whole range of issues internationally where it's been seen that people [journalists] have played roles - and I think that's the hardest part in today's 24/7 media cycle, just finding that balance between comment, reporting, opinion - and that's why news organisations have their codes of conduct and their standards," he said. "And we're asking simply that they apply them."
Does the Greenie logic ever stop?
"The Register" recently relayed a new finding about the Fimbul ice shelf (floating ice) in the Antarctic: It isn't melting overall and what melting there is comes from the bottom up rather than top down. That is of course very pesky for theories about the influence of atmospheric CO2.
It is so pesky that some of the Warmists involved have "replied" to the Register. Their reply in essence: "It is only one little pesky iceshelf and doesn't tell us about the whole of the Antarcric and, anyway, satellite measurements tell us that the rest of the Antarctic IS SO melting."
What they fail to mention is that the Fimbul shelf was deliberately chosen for its potential as a bellwether of the Antarctic as a whole. As Science Daily says:
"The Fimbul Ice Shelf -- located along eastern Antarctica in the Weddell Sea -- is the sixth largest of the forty-three ice shelves that dapple Antarctica's perimeter. Both its size and proximity to the Eastern Antarctic Ice Sheet -- the largest ice sheet on Earth, which if it melted, could lead to extreme changes in sea level -- have made the Fimbul Ice Shelf an attractive object of study"
Furthermore it is precisely the satellite measurements that the Fimbul data discredits. If the satellites were wrong about the Fimbul melting, what credibility do they have in telling us about the rest of the Antarctic?
The circling of the wagons concerned is below. The last sentence contains an interesting admission:
"Crafty boffins" have discovered "no ice is being lost at all" from the eastern Antarctic, the Register claimed in delighted tones on Monday.
Is it right? Not if you take a look at the research discussed by the IT blog - which has quite the penchant for publishing skeptic takes on new climate science. In fact, the research's lead author of told us it reveals a slower melt rate than previously thought for one ice shelf - the Fimbul ice shelf in Antarctica, but doesn't contradict or undermine research which shows the continent losing mass.
Under the headline 'Antarctic ice shelves not melting at all, new field data show'. the Register says:
"Twenty-year-old models which have suggested serious ice loss in the eastern Antarctic have been compared with reality for the first time - and found to be wrong, so much so that it now appears that no ice is being lost at all."
But what did the "boffins" do, and were their conclusions as dramatic as suggested?
Scientists drilled through the vast Fimbul Ice Shelf in eastern Antarctica to see if they could find out how fast the shelf's underside is melting and determine what is causing it. They concluded that models estimating that ice shelves in this region are losing significant amounts of ice are overestimating the melt rate. Ice shelves are floating bodies of ice that connect continental ice sheets like the East Antarctic ice sheet to the sea. They range in thickness from 50 metres or so up to a couple of hundred metres.
The scientists placed recording devices in the holes they drilled in the ice, which collected data over two years. They supplemented the data from the drilling with temperature, salinity and depth readings from sensors fitted to a group of elephant seals, which were being monitored as part of a project by biologists from the Norwegian Polar Institute.
It's a very clever way to get continuous data on conditions in the area - the seals spend the entire winter around the Fimbul ice shelf. So the data from their sensor packs gave the scientists nine months' worth of detailed information about circulation changes in the water surrounding the ice sheet - how warm and salty it was at different locations and depths.
According to the paper, the combined data from the sensors on the seals and the sensors in the ice helped the scientists understand in more detail how ocean circulation patterns heat the underside of the ice shelf, something which they note had been a "major source of uncertainty" in previous attempts to assess the melt rate of Antarctic ice shelves. Previous models simply assuming that the warm deep ocean alone caused ice shelves to melt from beneath, so this is a more sophisticated approach.
Says lead author of the sturdy Tore Hattermann: "It has been unclear, until now, how much warm deep water rises below the Fimbul Ice shelf, and previous ocean models, focusing on the circulation below the Fimbul Ice Shelf, have predicted temperatures and melt rates that are too high, suggesting a significant mass loss in this region that is actually not taking place as fast as previously thought."
Slow ice shelf melt doesn't mean Antarctica's not losing ice
The media's Niagara Falls Tightrope
Nik Wallenda's recent, amazing tightrope trek across Niagara Falls was a powerful testament to his obvious faith in God and belief in the importance of family values, as evidenced by his frequent, unceasing references to both before, during, and after the successful effort. However, what was almost as obvious as Wallenda's foundation in faith and family was ABC's awkward attempts to ignore his references to Jesus clearly heard throughout the event, thanks to a microphone fitted on Wallenda to capture his comments during the crossing.
Given the mainstream media's distaste for such references, and ABC's failure to mention or comment on these references neither during its broadcast nor in its blog otherwise fully documenting the event, it is abundantly clear that Nik Wallenda was a lot more relaxed crossing the mighty falls on an often soaked wire 200 feet above peril amid treacherous sprays of mist than ABC was uttering the words "God", "Jesus", or "Father" in reference to the Almighty.
One wonders if ABC would have been so reluctant to reference Wallenda's words if he referenced Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, the Right's so-called war on women, Obamacare, or a myriad of the Left's other treasured agendas and topics. One can almost see the headline "Nik Says Crossing Inspired by Obama" splashed across every paper and screen in the nation.
Nobody knows (officially) what food stamps buy
Seeing they currently cost the U.S. taxpayer around $100 billion p.a., isn't that a little strange?
Legislation seemingly designed to protect the industry goes so far as to say that anyone who releases the amount of food stamp dollars paid to a store can be jailed.
Profiting from the poor's taxpayer-funded purchases has become big business for a mix of major companies and corner bodegas, which have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the USDA to keep the money flowing freely.
The National Association of Convenience Store Operators alone spends millions of dollars on lobbying yearly, including $1 million in the first quarter of this year.
In February, 7-Eleven hired a former aide to House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, to lobby on "issues related to the general application and approval process for qualified establishments serving SNAP-eligible recipients."
The USDA is notoriously secretive about who receives its money, relying on weak legal reasoning, said Steve Ellis of the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.
"USDA hides behind a specious proprietary data argument: The public doesn't want to know internal business decisions or information about specific individuals' finances," he said. "The USDA sees retailers, junk food manufacturers and the big ag lobby as their customers, rather than the taxpayer."
The agency also has no idea what type of food the benefits are buying, even though the combination of universal bar codes and benefit cards makes that entirely feasible.
"It's one of those questions that frankly those of us who have been working on this issue have been struggling with a long time because we need to see the data. The industry looks at it as proprietary. The USDA doesn't track where that money goes," said Beth Johnson, a former Senate Agriculture Committee and USDA staffer who now consults for the Snack Food Association.
She noted that stores have breakdowns of products bought with food stamps but declined to share them with the USDA.
The junk food lobby appreciates the informational void.
Susan Smith of the National Confectioners Association, a candy trade group, dismissed assertions that food stamp recipients commonly buy candy and soda as "anecdotal info," while declining to call for the collection of statistics.
Why does the U.S. government halt skilled immigration?
Halting skilled immigration while tolerating millions of Hispanics who can barely speak English makes no sense at all
Just two months after the government started accepting applications, next year's highly skilled worker visas hit the numerical cap. No firm will be now able to apply to sponsor highly skilled foreign workers. Foreign high skilled workers neither "take" American jobs nor do they lower American wages. The low numerical cap, along with other regulations and visa fees, need to go, if the American economy is to grow.
The H-1B visa is a three year, employer-sponsored work visa, renewable one time, for highly skilled foreign workers. Only 85, 000 such visas are issued annually to private firms.
Most H-1B workers specialize in fields demanded by the technology sector, a major source of innovation in the American economy. In May 2012, the unemployment rate for engineers was 5 percent, well below the national average of about 8 percent. There is an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent in computer or mathematical occupations and a 1.9 percent unemployment rate for science workers. H-1B and highly skilled workers fill those niche professions.
Foreign highly skilled workers do not "take" American jobs because the economy doesn't have a set number of jobs. Highly skilled foreign workers create many of the firms that make America a center of technological innovation. Highly skilled foreign born workers and immigrants were instrumental in the founding of Intel, Sanmina-SCI, Sun Microsystems, eBay, Yahoo and Google, firms which have produced billions of dollars in value and employ thousands of Americans in skilled positions.
Foreign skilled workers do not lower American wages. Immigrants in general do not directly compete with Americans, but instead complement them by bringing in different skills and ability. Highly skilled foreign workers have skills that few Americans possess and are greatly demanded by American firms.
Wages aren't affected much by H-1Bs because firms hire them as they expand, so the H-1B cap is a limit on expansion rather than a protection of American wages. If the goal of the H-1B was to lower wages, American firms would apply for more of them as a cost saving measure when profits are low and the economy is sour. But H-1B applications pour in when business and the economy are improving. H-1B application patterns show that their goal is not to lower wages.
More than half of all startups in Silicon Valley were started by immigrants, many of them Indians and Chinese who have been living here for over a decade. The government cannot tell who will be a successful entrepreneur, but the evidence is clear that immigrants — especially the highly skilled — are prone to creating businesses. Many H-1B workers apply for green cards while working here, eventually becoming Americans.
The benefits of highly skilled immigration don't end with the immigrant though. Their children have a remarkable propensity to succeed.
The 2012 winner of the National Spelling Bee was Snigdha Nandipati from San Diego, California. She became the fifth consecutive American of Indian descent to win the contest and the 10th in the last 14 years. Her parents emigrated from India, a major source of skilled foreign immigrants and workers.
Her father, Kirshnarao Nandipati, used his skill as a software engineer to help train his daughter because, as he said after her win, "My English is so weak that I cannot train her. I had to look into finding information of how to prepare her. I am a software engineer. I wrote a program for her that pulls information from the dictionary."
Spelling bees aren't the only academic competitions where the children of highly skilled immigrants excel. According to Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy, 28 of the 40 finalists of the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search Competition, known as the "Junior Nobel Prize," have at least one immigrant parent. Twenty-four of those parents originally came to the U.S. with H1-B visas.
H-1Bs are not perfect and there are several ways to improve them, including removing or expanding the cap as well as the time limit, slashing fees, and eliminating the need for employer sponsorship.
Cutting ourselves off from foreign highly skilled workers makes all of us poorer. America's strengths of relative free markets, contract, and property rights attract immigrants and skilled foreign workers because they can produce more here and make higher wages than in their home countries. For all of our sakes, we should let them come unhindered.
Legal warning on same-sex "marriages"
Referendum may be needed
Senator Gary Humphries is warning that future legislation allowing same-sex marriage could be struck down by the High Court, leaving gay couples devastated. The ACT Liberal says the Gillard government should not act "irresponsibly" by allowing gay marriage to become law.
"I think it is particularly dangerous to be proceeding on constitutionally shaky grounds," he said last night.
"Somebody who has been married in the belief that they are legally entering into an enforceable arrangement only to find a year later or whatever, the High Court strikes down that situation, is an incredibly difficult position.
"It seems to me that the Commonwealth should go to every possible length to avoid that occurring.
"It's utterly irresponsible to potentially put people in that position."
Senator Humphries is deputy chairman of the committee which has released its report on the private members bill of Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, of the Greens, on the issue.
He is personally opposed to gay marriage but another Liberal on the committee, Sue Boyce, backed the majority report in favour.
The committee received an unprecedented 79,200 submissions, 46,000 of which were in support of same-sex marriage.
The six-member committee voted 4-2 in support of recommending changes to the Marriage Act to accommodate same-sex marriages and that the bill pass with minor changes.
Last week, a cross-party lower house committee inquiry into two private members bills on same-sex marriage tabled a report but declined to support or reject the legislation proposed by Labor backbencher Stephen Jones and Greens MP Adam Bandt.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is opposed to legalising same-sex marriage and will not move a government motion to allow debate on the issue. But Labor MPs are allowed a conscience vote on the private members' bills.
Section 51 (xxi) of the Constitution gives the federal government power to make laws over marriage.
Senator Humphries said proponents of same-sex marriage should push for a referendum.
"They assert that there is strong support for same-sex marriage, then they would have little doubt they would get change through a referendum, but in the absence of that, I think it's very unsafe to proceed," he said.
"The committee heard strong legal argument that you can't assume the power over marriage assumes a power over other relationships we might like to call into the definition of marriage.
"When the Constitution was put together, marriage was assumed to be between a man and a woman.
"Suddenly that question is in doubt, but that doesn't alter the fact that that's a strong traditional understanding of what the word marriage means. "To now argue that it may mean something else and we can use the power for that defined purpose for other purposes is I think quite inappropriate.
"It's either one thing or it's not. "The Commonwealth can't acquire a power over schools by defining the section of the Constitution to give it power over 'lighthouses' to mean 'schools'."
Anti-Israel journalist Gwynne Dyer compares climate skeptics to Nazis
With all the usual charm of the Green/Left. Dyer's expertise is in military history. Perhaps he should bone up on some physics too. He might even learn the melting point of ice and how far away the polar glaciers are from that
There was no law against genocide in the early 1940s; it only became an internationally recognised crime after the worst genocide of modern history had actually happened. Similarly, there is no law against ”ecocide” now. That will only come to pass when the damage to the environment has become so extreme that large numbers of people are dying from it even in rich and powerful countries.
They are already dying from the effects of environmental destruction in some poor countries, but that makes no difference because they are powerless. By the time it starts to hurt large numbers of people in powerful countries, 20 or 30 years from now, most of the politicians who conspired to smother any substantial progress at the Rio+20 Earth Summit will be safely beyond the reach of any law. But eventually there will be a law.
'War on drugs' is fuelling HIV epidemic
This is simply logical. Needle sharing would plummet if you could get all your gear legally. It could even come in single-use pre-packaged shots from your local pharmacy
A pressure group that includes six former presidents has called for the United Nations to acknowledge that "repressive drug law enforcement" is driving an HIV/AIDS pandemic.
THE global "war on drugs" is forcing users away from treatment and into environments where the risk of contracting HIV is high, the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) argues.
In a report published on Tuesday, the panel urges the UN to "acknowledge and address the causal links between the war on drugs and the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug market violence".
It also presented evidence that aggressive law enforcement policies created barriers to HIV treatment.
"The public health implications of HIV treatment disruptions resulting from drug law enforcement tactics have not been appropriately recognised as a major impediment to efforts to control the global HIV/AIDS pandemic," it argues.
The GCDP is a panel of politicians, writers and businessmen that advocates decriminalising drug use by those who "do no harm to others".
Members of the GCDP include six former presidents, four of whom are from Latin America: Mexico's Ernesto Zedillo, Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Ricardo Lagos of Chile and Colombia's Cesar Gaviria.
It was Gaviria who led Colombia when police gunned down the notorious drug-runner Pablo Escobar in 1993.
Other supporters include the European Union's former foreign policy chief Javier Solana and George Shultz, the who served as US secretary of state during Ronald Reagan's presidency.
The report accuses the US, Russia and Thailand of ignoring scientific evidence about the relationship between law enforcement policies and HIV rates "with devastating consequences".
The increased availability of drugs worldwide proved that the strategy is failing, it says.
"The war on drugs has failed, and millions of new HIV infections and AIDS deaths can be averted if action is taken now," it concludes.
Thomas Sowell has some fun with the trash that Leftists talk
Since this is an election year, we can expect to hear a lot of words -- and the meaning of those words is not always clear. So it may be helpful to have a glossary of political terms.
One of the most versatile terms in the political vocabulary is "fairness." It has been used over a vast range of issues, from "fair trade" laws to the Fair Labor Standards Act. And recently we have heard that the rich don't pay their "fair share" of taxes.
Some of us may want to see a definition of what is "fair." But a concrete definition would destroy the versatility of the word, which is what makes it so useful politically.
If you said, for example, that 46.7 percent of their income -- or any other number -- is the "fair share" of their income that the rich should have to pay in taxes, then once they paid that amount, there would be no basis for politicians to come back to them for more -- and "more" is what "fair share" means in practice.
Life in general has never been even close to fair, so the pretense that the government can make it fair is a valuable and inexhaustible asset to politicians who want to expand government.
"Racism" is another term we can expect to hear a lot this election year, especially if the public opinion polls are going against President Barack Obama.
Former big-time TV journalist Sam Donaldson and current fledgling CNN host Don Lemon have already proclaimed racism to be the reason for criticisms of Obama, and we can expect more and more other talking heads to say the same thing as the election campaign goes on. The word "racism" is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything -- and demanding evidence makes you a "racist."
A more positive term that is likely to be heard a lot, during election years especially, is "compassion." But what does it mean concretely? More often than not, in practice it means a willingness to spend the taxpayers' money in ways that will increase the spender's chances of getting reelected.
If you are skeptical -- or, worse yet, critical -- of this practice, then you qualify for a different political label: "mean-spirited." A related political label is "greedy."
In the political language of today, people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be "greedy," while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give it to others (who will vote for them in return) show "compassion."
A political term that had me baffled for a long time was "the hungry." Since we all get hungry, it was not obvious to me how you single out some particular segment of the population to refer to as "the hungry."
Eventually, over the years, it finally dawned on me what the distinction was. People who make no provision to feed themselves, but expect others to provide food for them, are those whom politicians and the media refer to as "the hungry."
Those who meet this definition may have money for alcohol, drugs or even various electronic devices. And many of them are overweight. But, if they look to voluntary donations, or money taken from the taxpayers, to provide them with something to eat, then they are "the hungry."
I can remember a time, long ago, when I was hungry in the old-fashioned sense. I was a young fellow out of work, couldn't find work, fell behind in my room rent -- and, when I finally found a job, I had to walk miles to get there, because I couldn't afford both subway fare and food.
But this was back in those "earlier and simpler times" we hear about. I was so naive that I thought it was up to me to go find a job, and to save some money when I did. Even though I knew that Joe DiMaggio was making $100,000 a year -- a staggering sum in the money of that time -- it never occurred to me that it was up to him to see that I got fed.
So, even though I was hungry, I never qualified for the political definition of "the hungry." Moreover, I never thereafter spent all the money I made, whether that was a little or a lot, because being hungry back then was a lot worse than being one of "the hungry" today.
As a result, I was never of any use to politicians looking for dependents who would vote for them. Nor have I ever had much use for such politicians.
Jewish truth-teller about Islam silenced
Banned by nervous-Nellie Jews! She simply reports what Muslims themselves say and draws the appropriate conclusions
Pamela Geller, an outspoken Islamophobe who spins wild hateful conspiracy theories about Muslims, as well as President Obama, had a speaking event entitled "Islamic Jew Hatred: The Root Cause of the Failure to Achieve Peace" cancelled in Los Angeles over the weekend following condemnation by a number of local advocacy groups.
The speech sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America was terminated after the venue owner, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, intervened to prevent its tenant from hosting the controversial speaker.
She's been condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center, so that shows that she is on the right track. Being condemned by the money-grubbing Southern Poverty Law Center is a badge of honor for conservatives. Anyone right of center is a "hate group" to them.
Pamela is rather fun though, if you enjoy outspokenness. Her blog is here. She says (rightly) that the Quran is full of hate speech towards Jews (it is) and it should therefore be banned under Leftist rules. LOL!
Dodgy science in the courts too
It's not only global warming and the flood of food myths
THE acquittal of Jeffrey Gilham is the latest in a string of decisions that reveals the serious systemic failures in the use of scientific evidence in NSW, one of the country's top forensic law authorities says.
As further revelations emerged about the failure of prosecutors in the Gilham case to call a key expert witness, Gary Edmond from the University of NSW said the case highlighted the need for radical changes to the way expert evidence was both formulated and presented at trial.
"[Jeffrey] Gilham, [Gordon] Wood … they all reveal serious and systemic problems in the ability of our criminal justice system to credibly engage with scientific and medical evidence," Professor Edmond said yesterday following the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal's acquittal of Mr Gilham over the 1993 murder of his parents.
In reaching its decision, the court found that vital pieces of scientific evidence presented to the jury in Mr Gilham's second trial were seriously flawed and t this had resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
Among the flawed pieces of evidence were the opinions of three scientific authorities that there were "similarities" between the clusters of stab wounds on the bodies of the victims.
The judges concluded that not only were these opinions without scientific foundation, but prosecutors were aware that another expert had tested the claims and found they were incorrect.
Before the start of Mr Gilham's first trial in March 2008, the Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, received a report from Stephen Cordner, the then head of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, to this effect.
However, Mr Tedeschi rejected this evidence as "plainly unreliable" and based upon "a complete acceptance of the accused's account", electing not to call the professor as a witness.
The prosecutor in the second trial, Margaret Cunneen, SC, also did not call Professor Cordner.
The judges found the decision "does not withstand scrutiny". "an objective and detached prosecutor would have rejected any suggestion of bias in [Professor Cordner's] methodology or his conclusions", the appeal panel found.
Professor Edmond said this highlighted the fact that prosecutors in NSW were often more focused on the capacity of forensic evidence to persuade a jury rather than its actual validity.
He said it revealed problems about the general use of scientific evidence, in particular that such evidence was often not based on proper peer-reviewed research.
"Forensic techniques and evidence relied on routinely by investigators and prosecutors have never been assessed for their validity and reliability," he said.
"We have no idea if many of the techniques in routine use actually work or how accurate they are."
Al Gore: The "Dear Leader"
America's very own Kim Jong Il
Al Gore’s supporters at wikipedia repeatedly erase the info regarding his environmental hypocrisy
Al Gore. Just his name warms our hearts with love and admiration. He loves the environment. He cares about the environment. He’s doing everything he can to protect the environment.
He has won so many major awards for his concern about the planet. Wikipedia’s Al Gore article states:
"Gore has received a number of awards including the Nobel Peace Prize (joint award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) (2007), a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (2009) for his book An Inconvenient Truth, a Primetime Emmy Award for Current TV (2007), and a Webby Award (2005). Gore was also the subject of the Academy Award-winning (2007) documentary An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. In 2007 he was named a runner-up for Time’s 2007 Person of the Year."
Ah… isn’t that sweet? Why, there’s no one who cares more about the earth than Al Gore!
In addition to that article, wikipedia has a whole entire other article called Environmental activism of Al Gore, which is devoted to telling us just how much Gore cares about the Earth. He must be an incredibly wonderful caretaker of the planet, to have an article such as that!
But wait! Certain information about Gore has been repeatedly deleted from both of those articles. Gore’s supporters have made sure that readers will never learn what Gore truly thinks about the environment.
This information has been added to both articles multiple times, but it always get erased. Editors who continue to add these things to the articles get accused of “edit warring,” and if they continue to put the information into the articles, they get blocked from editing for 24 hours. If they continue adding the information after their 24 hour block expires, they get blocked for a week, then they get topic banned from editing any Gore related articles for three months, and then they get banned, permanently, from editing any of wikipedia. If they then create a new account, they get accused of “sock puppeting,” and the new account gets permanently banned.
Because of this repeated and persistent censorship, those two article on Gore are puff pieces which ignore the things that Gore has actually done to the environment.
Here is the content that Gore’s supporters have repeatedly censored from those two articles:
Gore has been repeatedly accused of environmental hypocrisy. Gore has been criticized for owning a private jet.
In July 2008 when Gore gave a speech on global warming in Washington D.C., he was criticized for bringing a fleet of two Lincoln Town Cars and a Chevy Suburban SUV, and for letting one of the vehicle’s engine and air conditioner idle for 20 minutes.
Gore has been criticized for owning stock in Occidental Petroleum, a company which drilled for oil in ecologically sensitive areas. He was also criticized because a zinc mine on his property had polluted a nearby river.
In 2010, Gore admitted that his 1994 tie breaking vote as President of the Senate in support of ethanol subsidies was actually bad for the environment, and that he did it for political reasons.
Despite Gore’s repeated insistence that global warming is causing sea level to rise, in 2010, he spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa in Montecito, California.
A report by Science and Public Policy Institute pointed out 35 alleged errors in Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth.
Gore was criticized for stating that the temperature of the earth’s core was “several million degrees,” when in fact the actual temperature is several thousand degrees.
Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize award was criticized because Gore had beat out Irena Sendler, who had been nominated for saving the lives of 2,500 children and infants during the Holocaust.
Britain's Stasi cops a setback
The exhaustive record keeping of the Stasi was legendary
Police will have to destroy mugshots of innocent people following a landmark case brought by a 15-year-old. The boy went to court after being told his image would be held until he reached 100 – even though no charges were laid against him.
The High Court ruled yesterday that retaining photographs of suspects who have never been charged was a breach of their human rights.
Police forces will now have to trawl through their records deleting images, including those of people cleared at trial.
The teenager from Peckham, South London, was arrested on suspicion of rape in April 2009 but no charges were brought when a witness failed to confirm an offence took place. When he asked to have his details removed he was told the mugshot could be retained until he reached the age of 100. He was 12 at the time.
The second claimant was a cyclist from Chelsea accused of assaulting a police community support officer who stopped her riding on a footpath in April 2007.
The 60-year-old, who was described as of good character, had DNA samples, fingerprints and photographs taken but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge her with any offence. When she complained, the Metropolitan Police refused to delete her record.
The force’s policy, which is based on the Home Secretary’s code of practice, is to retain mugshots for a minimum of six years, although this can be extended indefinitely. Scotland Yard argued that it was necessary to keep the photographs to prevent crime and disorder.
But Lord Justice Richards said the policy drew ‘no adequate distinction’ between those who are convicted and those who are either acquitted or not even charged.
The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, concluded: ‘I am not satisfied that the existing policy strikes a fair balance between the competing public and private interests and meets the requirements of proportionality.
‘In my judgment, therefore, the retention of the claimants’ photographs in application of the existing policy amounts to unjustified interference with their right to respect for their private life and is in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.’
The judge granted the force a few months to revise their policy. Home Secretary Theresa May now has two weeks to lodge an appeal on the ruling, which has implications for all police forces. The courts have already ruled that it is unlawful to keep innocent people’s fingerprints and DNA indefinitely.
But Lord Justice Richards said the Met would not have to delete details of the teenage boy’s alleged offence from the police national computer.
Yesterday John Wadham, general counsel for Equality and Human Rights Commission, which backed the test case, said: ‘There is no good reason why the police should hold on to information about people who have not committed any crime.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are urgently examining the implications of today’s ruling.’
Arctic find could cause major shift in climate debate
There's a huge amount of CO2-eating marine plants that somehow got left out of the "models". If the models had been checkable against reality, it would have been recognized that there was this huge gap in them. That no gap was detected shows how far they are from reality
Two years ago, a Canadian research team alarmed climate scientists when it published the results of a survey of the oceans. The researchers reported that the world's phytoplankton - tiny, plant-like organisms that grow in seawater - seemed to have been disappearing at a rate of about 1 per cent a year for the past century. Using measurements of ocean clarity, they found that phytoplankton biomass had shrunk by about 40 per cent on average since 1950 and that the decline was observed in eight of 10 oceans and seas that circle the globe.
Water murkiness increases or decreases depending on the amount of phytoplankton drifting on or near the surface. In bloom, masses of microscopic marine algae show up in images taken from satellites as spectacular swathes of bright green or blue in the oceans. The fewer phytoplankton, the clearer the water, with the exception of zones of near-coast pollution.
The lead author of the study, Daniel Boyce, a marine scientist at Canada's Dalhousie University, said that a global phytoplankton decline of this magnitude was ''shocking''. Why? Because phytoplankton act in the same way as living trees and plants on land. They consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen as they grow.
Scientists say that phytoplankton provide more than half of the oxygen needed for life on earth. The tiny marine plants also remove up to 40 per cent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere each year, mainly from burning fossil fuels and clearing forests. CO2 is the long-lasting global warming gas from human activity that most concerns climate scientists. Even small changes in the growth and density of phytoplankton could affect atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which have been rising steadily. In addition, phytoplankton are the basis of the marine food chain and sustain the health of fisheries. They are eaten by small ocean animals that are, in turn, eaten by larger fish and ocean creatures.
In the Arctic, the region of the world that is warming fastest, researchers have long assumed that the algae blooms only start in summer in open waters after the sea-ice melts, allowing sunlight to reach the marine plants and foster growth.
But an on-the-spot scientific survey in 2010 and 2011 using an ice-breaker, has come up with a result that astonished the scientists involved. The survey was sponsored by the US space agency, NASA, to validate images from its earth observation satellites.
The scientists found huge and highly productive phytoplankton blooms that satellite sensors could not detect because they were hidden under Arctic Ocean ice, a phenomenon one said was akin to finding a rainforest in a desert. Their findings were published on June 7.
One of the blooms extended from the sea-ice edge about 100 kilometres into the ice pack. It was up to 70 metres deep in places. The phytoplankton under the sea-ice were extremely productive, doubling in number more than once a day. Blooms in open water grow at a much slower rate, doubling in two to three days.
The researchers estimated that phytoplankton production under the ice in parts of the Arctic Ocean could be up to 10 times higher than in the nearby open ocean. They believe that thinning Arctic sea-ice is allowing sunlight to reach waters underneath and that about a quarter of the Arctic Ocean now has conditions conducive to such blooms.
Does this mean that the global ecosystem has a self-righting mechanism and that as humans pump ever more CO2 into the atmosphere warming the atmosphere and sea, and melting ice, phytoplankton production will increase and absorb the surplus greenhouse gas?
The jury is still out. But Paula Bontempi, NASA's ocean biology and biogeochemistry program manager in Washington, says that the discovery ''most certainly changes what we thought was happening in the Arctic'', where earlier research showed that phytoplankton was diminishing.
If Arctic sea-ice melts earlier in the summer because of climate change, the under-ice blooms could grow in extent or happen earlier in the year. This could affect marine life species that time their eating and breeding cycles to match peak phytoplankton growth.
Kevin Arrigo, a climate scientist at Stanford University in California and lead author of the new study, says at this point it is not known whether the rich phytoplankton blooms have been occurring under the Arctic Ocean ice for a long time without being observed, or whether they will become more widespread if Arctic sea-ice cover continues to thin as a result of global warming. The question has major political ramifications, since many countries are reluctant to curb their CO2 emissions because of the cost to economic growth. It will only be answered with more extensive research.
Homosexual hate in Britain
A newlywed couple have been targeted by internet trolls after they joined a campaign against the Government's gay marriage proposals.
Campaign group Coalition for Marriage (C4M) said Rhys and Esther Curnow, both 23, from Newcastle, have been subjected to a torrent of abuse on Facebook and Twitter.
C4M, which is a coalition of groups opposed to plans for same-sex marriage, backed by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, said the messages included deaths threats.
One Facebook message said: 'I really hope you & your husband turn out infertile & die of cancer. That would be something to celebrate.'
Another, on Twitter, said: 'Did Esther Curnow suffocate and die a sad and lonely death in her polyester wedding dress yet? No? Shame....'
And a further tweet said: 'Esther Curnow needs a punch in the face. That is all.'
C4M said one troll urged others to send excrement to the couple, who married in March and live in Newcastle.
They have also been told to 'Go and die and rot in hell.'
Internet hate; One of the vile tweets targeting young bride Esther Curnow
The group said the hate campaign began after Mr and Mrs Curnow took part in the presentation of a C4M petition to Downing Street last week. They posed outside the famous front door in their wedding outfits. The petition opposing proposals for gay marriage has 575,000 signatories.
C4M campaign director Colin Hart said: 'The level of abuse that this young couple have been subjected too is shocking.... Mr Hart said the matter has been referred to the police.
The real Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband is leader of the British Labour Party. His speech about immigration to Britain has generally been reported as a backdown on the "open door" policy favoured by his Labour Party predecessors. It is however a different story if you look at the detail of what he said
In political, economic and demographic terms, we are living through remarkable times. The news, whether it be domestic or international, is almost uniformly bad. And yet amidst this maelstrom, the helmsmen of the emergent global economic and political order continue to chart a course that they set long ago, cognisant of the storms that their policies must surely engender, yet happy for us to suffer the ill-effects of their globalist tempest, utilising the naïveté of those who believe in the ideal of a global village, to aid in their construction of a global prison, from which none, they hope, will be permitted to escape.
Miliband’s speech, like his recent speech on Englishness, was essentially devoid of content. Its intent however, was just the same as its forerunner: to generate headlines conveying the impression that he cares about the ostensible topic under discussion.
Whilst sections of the media and some trades union spokesmen have dutifully complied with this charade, feigning outrage over his touching upon such topics as national identity and immigration, both speeches delivered the same message as found expression in the policy of the last Labour Government: immigration and globalisation are positive, and should be promoted as such. This can be demonstrated through reference to key elements of Miliband’s speech reproduced below:
Excerpt 1: “Britain must control its borders but it must always face outwards to the world. The Britain I believe in is a confident and optimistic country, not one which is insecure and inward looking. If people are looking for a politician who says immigration is just bad for Britain, that's not me. I believe immigration has benefits, economically, culturally and socially.”
Excerpt 2: “I am the son of immigrants and I am hugely proud of it. I will always talk about immigration in a way that is true to who I am, to my heritage, to my mum and dad.”
Excerpt 3: “Providing a refuge for those fleeing persecution. And a new approach to immigration based on building a different kind of economy. An economy that doesn't leave anyone behind. That continues to attract people from abroad who contribute their talents to our economy and society. That offers proper wages and good conditions. That's the kind of economy that will enable Britain to compete with the world.”
In summary the core message of Miliband’s speech was this: Labour made a gaffe in selling mass immigration from the EU accession states to the public and this backfired electorally, not because the party believes this to have been wrong, but because it handled its propaganda maladroitly. The Labour Party needs to repair its image with its traditional indigenous (although Labour’s upper echelons would never use such a term) working-class supporters, who have to a considerable degree deserted Labour; it would still like their votes.
By talking about “immigration” in a manner which suggests to the public that Miliband is recognising Labour’s mistakes and addressing their concerns, whilst in reality simply acknowledging that there had been public disquiet and then reiterating the message that Labour still advocates mass immigration and thinks that it is beneficial, Labour hopes that it can pull the wool over the public’s eyes and win back the support of ex-Labour voters without changing policy. Miliband wishes to change the presentation of policy, whilst retaining its essence: open borders and the deculturisation of the United Kingdom, especially England.
Another highly noteworthy aspect of Miliband’s speech was the target that he selected in his discussion of mass immigration: white Central and Eastern Europeans from the EU member states of the former Soviet bloc. Nowhere did he have a critical word to say with respect to the far larger, as well as more culturally and economically problematic influx, of immigrants from Asia (predominantly Pakistan and Bangladesh) and Africa (e.g. Somalia and Nigeria). It seems that he is perfectly at ease with this mass settlement.
Why? Although it is true that mass immigration from the EU accession states of the former Soviet bloc has lowered wages, increased unemployment and placed an increased strain on housing, education, health and utilities, there is not so great a cultural gulf between these immigrants and the host population as that between us and the incomers from Asia and Africa.
Although the press are keen to run stories about ‘East European’ or ‘Romanian’ criminal gangs, these are predominantly Roma, and thus should not be conflated with ethnic Romanians or other immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe.
So, why is it, taking into consideration the additional problems associated with significant elements of the immigrant populations from Africa and Asia, that Miliband chose not to focus upon them? Given Miliband’s glaring omission, it could give the impression that he has some issue with white European peoples that he does not have with non-Europeans.
Ed Miliband is the son of a Belgian-born Marxist theoretician of Jewish origins. Is that why he seems to have so little attachment to England and Englishness? He certainly stresses his family ties. Both Marxism and Jewishness would tend to lead him towards little respect for civilizations of Christian origins -- JR
Does Gillard support harassment of public servants who support the opposition?
It looks very much like it. Lori Dwyer asks below whether Darrell Morris was bullied by the Australian Public Service after working for the Liberals
"Bullying" is a great Leftist theme at the moment. It's an excuse for censorship. If you criticize homosexuals you are a bully; if you look cross-eyed at a black you are a bully and if you preach the Bible you are CERTAINLY a bully.
So it should be no surprise that the real bullies are Leftists themselves. Thuggery is never far beneath the surface with them
The recent announcement by Julia Gilliard of a nationwide review on workplace bullying was so well received, it was almost disturbing– it seems that the culture of harassment and standover tactics within Australian places of employment is so ingrained and accepted that the detractors of this government initiative were few, and their criticism at relatively low volume.
Quite recently, the story of Darrell Morris began to generate buzz within Australia's social media circles, despite the apparent reluctance of mainstream media to become engaged in the hierarchical warfare of our public service departments.
By his supervisor’s own admissions, with the evidence collaborated by formal reports, Morris had been consistently “performing well” in his role with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He's worked in the Canberra–based department for the better part of a decade. A quiet but conscientious man, he admits that this is the only job he has ever wanted to do, and he relocated his wife and very young family to the ACT on finishing university specifically to cater to this career.
A fairly typical Aussie guy, Darrell forfeited his weekend rugby games and essential time with his kids in order to advance his employment– putting in the extra effort that is an unspoken requirement of being a ’good employee’ in this country.
It was during late 2009 and early 2010, while on leave with out pay working for Liberal Senator Helen Coonan, that unfounded accusations of sharing classified information were leveled in Morris's direction. While DFAT issued him with a ’letter of regret’ over the incident, the subversive harassment continued and union officials report that the tone in meetings and other forms communication become between Morris and his superiors became increasingly hostile.
It was last year, 2011, that Darrell Morris first took medical leave for severe depression. While ComCare, the relevant workers compensation providers, declared his workplace a significantly contributing factor to his illness, they have a ’no fault’ policy and no blame was laid, or compensation sought.
Morris's return to work in late 2011 was plagued with accusations of poor conduct from senior staff members and inflexibility within his senior management in regards to providing a safe and secure work environment– every employers ethical duty of care to those in their employ.
Currently on his second round of medical leave for depression, the DFAT has instructed Morris that his claims of stigmatization are invalid and further claims will result in disciplinary action. On his return to work, he will be blocked from receiving any training or promotion within the Department for a period as yet undetermined– it could be as long as three years.
While stating that a blanket ban on individuals returning from medical leave is ’policy’, no formal evidence of such a policy existing has been presented, despite numerous requests.
On this story breaking in the social medias, the general reaction from readers was subtle disgust overladen with a cynical acceptance that this conduct is to be expected within Government departments and all layers of bureaucracy, not only within our country's capital but in our state departments as well– those employed within our public sectors often work under a cloud of silence and passive aggression.
Transparency in workplace practices is always welcome, and Gilliard’s review of workplace bullying is timely, significant and valid. But it needs to focus its attention on sectors that are publicly known for using discrimination and stand over tactics– the Government’s own recruitment, advancement, internal complaint handling and ethical practice policies in particular.
Is that even possible, with the current culture of terrified silence that surrounds the topic; when people are too afraid to put name to their experiences for fear of covert retribution? When the best advice anyone within the public sector can give Darrell Morris is to change jobs, change departments, walk away and don't make a fuss?
Results of the review, due out in October, may provide a clearer picture– But don't go holding your breath. Given the current atmosphere, it may take more than one government review board to break the covert ranks of conspiratorial silence that surrounds this bizarrely underground, curiously Australian phenomenon.
Children of lesbian couples are NOT affected by lack of male role models, claims controversial new study
This pro-Lesbian study is ludicrous. The authors have obviously never heard of the Rosenthal (experimenter expectation) effect. Their close involvement with the people involved over no less than 26 YEARS could only have provided ENORMOUS opportunities to inculcate experimenter expectations into their subjects. I don't believe it is going too far to say that the experimenters BRAINWASHED their subjects into giving the "right" answers. The whole thing is a joke scientifically.
I can't believe that any of the researchers were psychologists. That they were feminists would however provide an excellent fit. Feminist respect for science or indeed evidence of any kind is negligible
A new paper contradicts claims that children of same-sex parents are prone to experience psychological problems as adults.
The U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) examined how the lack of a male role model affects the children of lesbian couples.
Using the testimonies of 78 teenagers, researchers in Amsterdam and California determined that neither the presence nor lack of a father figure affected their gender development or their psychological well being.
The findings shed light on a highly debated subject and follow hot on the heels of the University of Texas' widely criticised study published last week.
Led by Henny Bos of the University of Amsterdam and Nanette Gartrell of UCLA's Williams Institute, the NLLFS is the first and only study to have recorded the progress of children from same sex couples since conception.
Dr Gartrell explained to MailOnline: 'Our [study] is an in-depth, longitudinal, prospective (meaning it is happening in real time, not asking questions about events that occurred 30 years ago) study of PLANNED lesbian families (meaning that the mothers were OUT, IDENTIFIED AS LESBIAN before the children we have been studying were born) that began 26 years ago.'
The investigation kicked off in 1986 and has spawned many sub-papers, the most recent of which looked at the 39 girls and 39 boys as they turned 17.
The teenagers were asked whether they had grown up with male role models and if so whether that person was a biological father, a grandfather, a cousin, teacher or even friend.
Of the 78 participants, 38 indicated that they had indeed enjoyed the influence of an important male role model in their lives and of these, roughly half were boys and half were girls.
Given ten adjectives that described typically feminine traits and ten that reflected those we've come to understand as masculine, the teens were asked to rate each word as it pertained to their own personality and character.
The results showed that the presence of a male role model did affect the way a child developed its own gender traits.
Another exercise asked the subjects to rate buzzwords that described feelings such as anxiety, depressed, angry or curious and found again, that whether or not they had a male role model did affect their mental health.
As Dr Gartrell put it to Buzzfeed: 'The adolescents are doing very well.'
Dr Mark Regerus of the University of Texas, however, was sceptical about the Dr Bos and Dr Gartrell's findings and based his criticism on their study candidates' backgrounds, 87 per cent of which are white and about 57 percent middle-class.
He told Buzzfeed that he doubted whether such a small sampling of 'of largely well-educated, mostly-white women' could truthfully represent lesbian families nationwide.
Though the NFFLS team were reluctant to compare the two they did point out the importance of the length of their study and how closely they had managed to follow the parents and children by visiting them at home and recording development with 'with paper, pencil, and tape recorders.'
Dr Regerus' report on the other hand looked at 3,000 children whose parents had at one time or another been involved in a same-sex relationship but who were not necessarily in one now or even identified themselves as gay or lesbian.
In contrast, though half of the parents in the NFFLS study who had started families together in 1986 had since divorced or split up, they were all still co-parenting and providing as stable an environment for the children as possible in such circumstances.
Saying “Crippled” Leads to Arrest
Make sure your Newspeak dictionary is up to date, and study it carefully on a daily basis. Use of previously innocuous words that our rulers have arbitrarily forbidden can lead to arrest:
A man who says he was charged with disorderly conduct after using the word “crippled” to promote a comedian with muscular dystrophy claims Cincinnati police violated his free speech rights, and the comedian agrees.
Forest Thomer, of Cold Spring, Ky., is to appear in a Cincinnati courtroom on the charge Wednesday. He was cited by Cincinnati police last month at a park after he and comedian Ally Bruener say he asked people if they wanted to “laugh at the crippled girl.”
The question was not intended to demean his friend Bruener, but to promote her next comedy show and her allybruener.com website, the two said Monday. Bruener, who is in a wheelchair because of the degenerative muscle disorder, said she would approach people after Thomer asked them the question, tell a joke and talk about her next performance. Thomer also would record some of the public’s responses for use on Bruener’s website, showing people saying: “I laughed at the crippled girl.”
For his thought crime, Thomer could get 30 days in the hoosegow.
As for the crippled— I mean, as for the person of handicappedness,
“I don’t think words have power until you react negatively to them,” said Bruener.
They don’t, but our PC rulers do, so watch your tongue. By the way, the word Chinaman is also forbidden now, in case you hadn’t heard. No one seems to know why.
True Christians desert heretical church
As a baptized Presbyterian and a former member of an Australian Presbyterian church, the news below gives me some sadness. How can the clear docrine of the Bible and our forefathers have been so lightly deserted? But a church whose gospel is Leftism and approval of homosexuality belongs in the Devil's camp and those who read their Bible can see that. Start from Romans chapter 1 if you doubt it
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) membership dipped below the 2 million mark in 2011, according to statistics released by the PC(USA) Office of the General Assembly on Thursday.
According to the numbers, during 2011 the denomination experienced a decline of 63,804 members and the loss of 96 congregations due to a mixture of church dissolutions and dismissals.
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly, commented on the loss. "The loss of membership through certificate-of-transfer is the lowest number it has been in at least four years, which is encouraging," said Parsons in a statement. "At least two challenges are before us … The first and primary need is to continue to increase our efforts to live out the Great Commission and share the good news of Jesus Christ. The second is to connect with the growing number of the 'Spiritual But Not Religious.'" [No need for that silly old Bible any more]
The statistics showed a years-old trend continuing. According to the PC(USA) General Assembly Mission Council, in 2000 the denomination had over 2.5 million members. Over the past decade the entire denomination has lost over 20 percent of its membership.
In addition to fewer members, in 2011 the PC(USA) also lost 96 congregations. Of them, 21 of the 96 congregations voted for dismissal from the denomination over theological differences, including the approval of openly gay clergy.
Sorge of the Pittsburgh Presbytery told CP that he believed the trend of departing congregations would likely continue for the foreseeable future.
The Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, a Reformed body recently created as part of the wave of departures from the PC(USA), declined to comment to The Christian Post for this story.
Down with air-conditioning!
Given a stupid premise, you can deduce a lot of stupid conclusions. Example below
The economist Thorstein Veblen once quipped that "invention is the mother of necessity." That was before the age of air-conditioning, but no technology better illustrates Veblen's point. Having developed efficient cooling, we've designed homes, businesses and transportation systems that are completely dependent on it, while the resulting greenhouse emissions create the need for even more air-conditioning.
There's little we can say to the developing world about its pursuit of air-conditioning until we end our own society's dependence on it.
Cooling of America's buildings and vehicles has the annual global-warming impact of almost half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. (Three-fourths of that is attributable to fossil fuels, the rest to refrigerants.) We consume more energy for residential air-conditioning than do all other countries combined, but that's about to change. Home-cooling demand worldwide is projected to increase tenfold before 2050, stimulated by rising incomes and rising temperatures in already-warm regions. Such staggering growth will swamp out efficiency gains, outstrip renewable energy and accelerate warming.
We must break this feedback loop, but what does one say to someone living in one of the tropical nations where much of the increase in cooling demand is expected? Surely not that Americans are addicted to air-conditioning and can’t give it up, but we expect Southeast Asians to get by without air-conditioners because they're used to the heat.
No, there's little we can say until we end our own society's dependence on lavish cooling. Doing that would be a good start, but addressing energy-hungry technologies one at a time won't achieve the greenhouse-gas cuts of as much as 80 percent that science says are necessary to prevent catastrophic warming. Only a per-person ceiling on overall emissions can accomplish that.
A global greenhouse ration would push us into distinguishing between absolute necessities like food or water and manufactured necessities like a houseful of refrigerated air. And making such decisions could help us recover some of the resilience our own culture has lost in the age of air-conditioning.
Appalling: At least two years in jail on a police theory
There is NO evidence that Gerard Baden-Clay murdered his wife but police say he had a motive to do so. And for that he is going to stay in jail for two years or more until the court system gets around to putting him on trial.
So he had mistresses? So do most men at some time in their lives. Even TV evangelists do. Yet 99.9% of men who have affairs do NOT murder their wives. So his affairs prove nothing.
And he was in debt but said he was going to be with one of his girlfriends shortly. That could simply mean he was either going to clear out or declare bankruptcy. Lots of men get into debt without murdering their wives.
The essence of the case is simply non-existent. It is just a weak theory, not proof of anything. The various "incriminating" internet searches he did also prove nothing. A man in his position had every reason to check a lot of things out. There is no way the case against him can reach the criminal criterion of "beyond reasonable doubt"
HE allegedly called himself Bruce Overland and promised he would come to her a free man by July 1.
But Toni McHugh knew him as Gerard Baden-Clay - her long-time colleague and lover who wanted to free himself from his wife and his life so they could be together.
What she did not know, until police told her, was that Baden-Clay was also allegedly having affairs with two other women, police have claimed in documents tendered in opposition to his bail application yesterday.
According to those same court documents, Baden-Clay had severe financial problems and the string of mistresses.
Peter Davis, SC, for Baden-Clay, described the Crown case as "weak", saying there had been no cause of death ascertained from the post-mortem examination, no evidence as to where she was killed, what date or time she was killed and no evidence to show he had left his home on the night she disappeared.
Justice David Boddice rejected that, saying the circumstantial case had factors that "if accepted by a jury" would make a strong argument.
He denied Baden-Clay's application for bail, saying the Brookfield father of three remained a flight risk.
The moralistic, Malthusian war against fat people
Activists, professors, theologians – everyone is now promoting the depraved idea that human gluttony is plunging the planet into catastrophe
Sometimes, I hear something on a news programme that catches me unaware and makes me think: ‘Surely this is an Ali G spoof?’
It is early Monday morning and a professor from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, holding forth on the danger that human beings’ weight gain presents to the survival of the planet. ‘Having a heavy body is like driving a Range Rover’, he argues, with passion and conviction. Before you can even catch your breath, he is warning of the catastrophic things that will occur when ‘we are all as fat’ as people in America. After lecturing listeners about the need to factor people’s ‘body mass’ into all debates about the environment, he pauses and then reminds us again that fatness is an ‘ecological not just a health concern’.
I look across the breakfast table, and my wife affirms my suspicion that this must indeed be an Ali G moment. But alas, a few minutes later, the twenty-first-century equivalent of a Trollope-like, worldly cleric, the weight-conscious priest Giles Fraser, is on the air to give his ‘thought for the day’. He, too, is morally weighed down by the problem of body mass. His little homily on sustainability is on-message in this Ali G world of ours. When I hear him say that ‘bigger is not always better’, it becomes clear why theology is in trouble. But when he finishes by saying ‘economic growth is like getting fat’, I slowly start to realise that this is more than just a bad joke…
There is something deeply troubling about having a professor, followed by a cleric, casually turning the size of the human body into a marker of moral evil. And they weren’t only talking about the weight of humanity in metaphorical terms. The professor and his London-based team have apparently quantified fatness around the globe. According to their calculations, the weight of the global human population stands at 287million tonnes. Of this mass of human fat, 15million tonnes of it is a result of people being overweight and 3.5 million tonnes is a consequence of full-on obesity. Apparently, American fatties bear greatest responsibility for weighing down the planet: the professor’s team says that although Americans only make up six per cent of the global population, they’re responsible for more than a third of the obesity.
This degraded depiction of human beings is really about morally indicting people for the original sins of eating and breeding. These days we are told that eating too much is as bad as having too many children. So the professor’s report on global gluttony claims that increasing levels of fatness around the world have the same impact on global resources as an extra billion people would. In other words, if people, especially American people, hung out at their local Weight Watchers a bit more, then the planet could be spared the misery and horrors that an extra billion people would bring it.
Sadly, it isn’t only small groups of scaremongers who have a tendency to present people’s eating and breeding habits as the cause of catastrophes to come. The current targeting of people’s allegedly immoral body mass coincides with the Rio+20 conference, the latest UN gathering to discuss sustainability, where the key argument doing the rounds is that human salvation will require a significant restraint of the breeding and consumption behaviour of human beings. This is a very fashionable prejudice these days. Indeed, on the eve of the Rio+20 conference, 105 science academies issued a statement warning that a failure to tackle population growth and overconsumption would have ‘potentially catastrophic implications for human wellbeing’.
‘Less body mass’ and ‘smaller human footprint’ – those are the mottos of today’s morally disoriented scaremongers, whose philosophical and theological outlook continually reduces human life to physical quantities of biological material and carbon footprints. Those who wish to make us feel guilty about our bodies should follow through the logic of their depraved misanthropy, and go whip themselves.
Racial Double Standards
Walter E. Williams
Back in 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said we were "a nation of cowards" on matters of race. Permit me to be brave and run a few assertions by you just to see whether we're on the same page. There should be two standards for civilized conduct: one for whites, which is higher, and another for blacks, which is lower. In other words, in the name of justice and fair play, blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards that whites are and should not be criticized for conduct that we'd deem disgusting and racist if said or done by whites.
You say, "Williams, what in the world are you talking about?" Mitt Romney hasn't revealed all of his fall campaign strategy yet, but what if he launched a "White Americans for Romney" movement in an effort to get out the white vote? If the Romney campaign did that, there'd be a media-led outcry across the land, with charges ranging from racial insensitivity to outright racism. When President Barack Obama announced his 2012 launch of "African Americans for Obama", the silence was deafening. Should the same standards be applied to Obama as would be applied to Romney? The answer turns out to be no, because Obama is not held to the same standards as Romney.
Liberals won't actually come out and say that criticism of Obama is in and of itself racist, but they come pretty close. Former President Jimmy Carter said that criticism of Obama shows that there is an "inherent feeling" in America that a black man should not be president. Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball," said that critics of Obama are crackers. Morgan Freeman said that the campaign to see that Obama serves one term is a "racist thing." Former Obama czar Van Jones said that Romney's campaign sign "Obama Isn't Working" implies Obama is a "lazy, incompetent affirmative action baby."
Racial double standards also apply to how crime is reported. I'm betting that if mobs of white youths were going about severely beating and robbing blacks at random and preying on black businesses, it would be major news. News anchors might open, "Tonight we report on the most recent wave of racist whites organizing unprovoked attacks on innocent black people and their businesses." If white thugs were actually doing that, politicians would be demanding answers. Such random attacks do happen, but it's blacks preying on whites.
On St. Patrick's Day in Baltimore, a 19-year-old white man was viciously attacked by a mob of black thugs. He broke loose, but a second mob of black thugs attacked him, taking all of his belongings. Baltimore County Delegate Pat McDonough demanded the governor send in the Maryland State Police to control "roving mobs of black youths" at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and other activists demanded that McDonough apologize for talking about "black youth mobs."
Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by black thugs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls and at other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and other cities. Most of the time, the race of the attackers, euphemistically called flash mobs, is not reported, even though media leftists and their allies are experts in reporting racial disparities in prison sentencing and the alleged injustice of the criminal justice system.
Racial double standards are not restricted to the political arena and crime reporting; we see it on college campuses and in the workplace. Black people ought to be offended by the idea that we are held accountable to lower standards of conduct and achievement. White people ought to be ashamed for permitting and fostering racial double standards that have effects that are in some ways worse than the cruel racism of yesteryear.
A British woman who thinks that clothes make the man
I don't think this woman is wise. As I am nearing 70, I too am a serious sartorial offender, despite spasms of fashionability in my earlier days. Anne heroically puts up with my largely absent dress sense but her patience does occasionally earn rewards. I bought a new suit (charcoal grey with a faint chalk stripe) to take her to Die Wiener Philharmoniker when it came to Brisbane. And she has other occasional triumphs. Patience and forbearance is needed with us old guys!
Baggy corduroys with worn patches; faded short-sleeve shirts; dingy, threadbare jumpers and exploding trainers. Glance at most older men in the High Street and this is what you will see.
And could these decrepit garments not only make them look past it, but be the real reason why older men fail so spectacularly when it comes to forming new relationships with their female peers?
A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece in the Mail pondering why older men are such emotional cripples — born out of eight years searching for a man after the death of my partner.
Among the many letters in response were a few from older men themselves which particularly piqued my interest. They claimed that the real divide between older men and women is not their emotions, but their attitude to clothing. While older men are comfortable in their decades-old outfits, women, forever fickle and changeable, always have to be buying something new.
And this difference of opinion causes a distance between the sexes. It might sound flippant, but I think these men have a point. My respondents intended this as a criticism of women, of course — yet it says something not too savoury about older men as well and the pitiful way they will go on wearing the same ancient clothes year after year.
For while men view women’s obsession with fashion as vapid, women see men’s sartorial reticence as, at best bad manners and, at worst, unattractive. My ex-husband Neville Hodgkinson, 68, is a case in point. He was once so smartly turned out. Now it’s a very different story.
At a family funeral three years ago, he arrived wearing a suit that looked both strangely familiar and weirdly old-fashioned. Dark blue, boxy and double-breasted, it was too tight and slightly spivvy-looking.
‘How long have you had that?’ I frowned. ‘Don’t you remember, you helped me choose it,’ he said.
We had been divorced for more than 25 years at that point. And his excuse for still wearing it? ‘Well, it was ahead of its time when we bought it,’ he said. It turns out that since our separation, Neville never buys any new clothes if he can possibly help it. Our two sons, Tom, 44, and Will, 42, have tried to shock and bully him into getting himself up-to-date, but to no avail. They now say he is ‘beyond redemption’.
It seems he is typical of the older man who will cling onto clothes bought decades ago, rather than face the ultimate horror of going into a shop and choosing new ones. When I pressed him for his reasons, he said: ‘I hate shopping for clothes almost more than anything else in the world, and it’s nothing to do with money. There has to be an absolute necessity to buy something new before I will even enter a clothes shop.’
Very many of my male friends share Neville’s view. The other day, one of them, also in his late 60s, turned up at my house in a 30-year-old mac that made him look like something out of an episode of Seventies detective series Columbo. When I suggested he might get a new one, he said: ‘But why? This one is still in perfect condition. What’s wrong with it?’
He, too, said that his only suit was one bought in the Eighties. ‘But it is an Ermenegildo Zegna,’ he added proudly, as if that made it all right.
So many men do not seem to realize that even the sharpest Italian suit will eventually go out of fashion. To them, fashion stands still, and it’s a major reason why women — who stay up-to-date with trends — find it so difficult to connect with older men. If they persist in wearing shabby old-fashioned clothes, what does it say about their minds?
For me, and most of my women friends, outdated clothes indicate outdated attitudes and a reluctance to take on board new ideas. All of which is terribly off-putting. Even older celebrities are not immune from looking shabby and scruffy when they are off-duty.
I once met Chris Tarrant, the supersmart host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, at a party... In short, he looked like a tramp
I once met Chris Tarrant, the supersmart host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, at a party. He was in ancient torn jeans, those all-too-familiar dirty exploded trainers and dingy, once-white T-shirt. In short, he looked like a tramp, and we all know he could afford several shops full of new jeans. But he, like so many older men, apparently prefers to hang on to his existing ones.
Yet while today’s older men seem to be getting shabbier and more ill-dressed than ever before, the very opposite is happening with older women, whose fashion sense seems to improve with each decade. One woman friend was informed by her 30-something daughter that she had just reached her fashion peak — aged 67.
A new book of photos, Advanced Style, pictures women in their 80s and 90s looking fantastic and proving that there is no age limit when it comes to flair and style. The author of the book, Ari Seth Cohen, now says he has so many images on his website of women aged 80 and over looking wonderful, he hasn’t room for any more.
There is even a successful fashion label, The Old Ladies’ Rebellion, aimed specifically at the 70-plus woman who wants to look ‘a bit rock ’n’ roll’. Nobody could possibly produce a book of octogenarian men looking fantastic or launch a fashion label aimed at this age group.
In fact, I can think of only one very old man who is well-dressed: the 91-year-old Duke of Edinburgh. He emerged from hospital recently looking totally appropriate in smart-but-casual tweed jacket with jaunty hanky in the pocket, plus shirt and tie.
Any other nonagenarian coming out of hospital would be in a nasty anorak and old sweatshirt. So is there something about Phil being Greek [He is actually German -- a Battenberg] that allows him to look dapper into extreme old age?
Whatever the reason, there is no denying the slump of disappointment when you go on a date with a man wearing an outfit older than your children.
Two thirds wrong but still 100% right?
Some typically Warmist reasoning below when they discover that their estimates of rainforest emissions have been vastly over-representated in their "models"
The carbon emissions from cutting down tropical forests may be about one third of the level previously estimated, according to an article in the journal Science.
A team of nine scientists used satellite-imagery data to better measure the effects of global deforestation between 2000 and 2005, said Nancy Harris, lead author of the article. Brazil and Indonesia produced 55 percent of the total emissions, according to the article published today.
“Deforestation is still a very large and significant problem,” Harris, a carbon and land-use specialist at Little Rock, Arkansas-based environmental group Winrock International, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Just because our numbers are lower does not necessarily mean that deforestation is not as bad.”
Cutting down tropical forests accounted for 10 percent of man-made carbon emissions, according to the results tabulated by the team, which included research from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Policy makers, farmers, forestry experts and scientists all will need to work together to reduce worldwide carbon emissions “and the forest plays a critical role in that,” Harris said.
“Regardless of what scale these policy strategies happen at -- project scale, national scale, state levels -- we now have the ability to monitor what happens, so we can evaluate whether policies are actually making a difference,” Harris said.
A plaintive wail from the Left
His fury is palpable but he has a point. Australia IS one of the world's most conservative countries: Second only to Switzerland, maybe. He must be tearing his hair out at the torrent of conservative reforms underway in my home state of Qld.
Where to start; when did the right get a big leg-up in Australia? Whatever point is picked will be somewhat arbitrary and therefore contestable, but with my age and colours firmly nailed to the mast I will go for 1964-65.
On November 10, 1964, the prime minister, Robert Menzies, introduced conscription for possible service in Indonesia or Malaya. The necessary amendments to the Defence Act were made on April 6, 1965 and he committed Australian troops, including National Servicemen, for service in Vietnam the next day. That was the apex of a right-wing Liberal government, which Menzies led from 1949 to 1966.
The legacy he bequeathed it, in the form of Australia-wide protest at conscription and participation in Vietnam, led to the rise of the Labor Party and the election of Gough Whitlam's government in December 1972. But it fell apart for Gough with the likes of Cairns and Morosi, Connor and Khemlani and Murphy and Morosi and ASIO. It was all too much for Malcolm Fraser who got Kerr to sack Gough. But Fraser was an enigma, he demonstrated a commitment to getting rid of apartheid, compassion for refugees and concern with the welfare of Aborigines.
Hawke, elected prime minister in 1983, together with Keating as an adviser and treasurer, determined they would not go down the path of Whitlam and courted the big end of town. They introduced enterprise bargaining, which did much to undermine the power of the unions, and sold the Commonwealth Bank and Qantas. They moved the Labor Party to the right of centre and Keating as prime minister introduced mandatory detention for refugees, although he kept a small flame flickering on the left for the dignity and rights of Aboriginal Australians. Both Hawke and Keating embraced a jingoistic nationalism, centred on Kokoda and Gallipoli.
Howard redefined the right in Australian politics. He strengthened it. He extended and built upon the jingoism and nationalism of Hawke and Keating, he incarcerated and vilified refugees for political gain; he went to war in Iraq on the basis of false information supplied to the Australian people. He went to war in Afghanistan for the sake of the US alliance but without the sanction of the UN. He gave the ADF a blank cheque book and promoted the notion of entitlement, for senior officers and for himself, living off the best at Kirribilli House, Sydney. The Lodge was made into a bachelor pad. He demonised and turned the lives of powerless Aborigines upside down with an intervention designed to win an election. He set the tone and scene for the conduct of Australian politics today.
Rudd won the election from Howard by shadowing his every move; a tactic which gave left-wing agendas very little oxygen; but as we were to find out, issues of the left had little appeal for Rudd. He had stronger right-wing credentials than Hawke and Keating, which seemed to appeal to them. Rudd kept in place Howard's basic agenda, which was a big loss for the Labor Party and its shrinking support base. The Greens showed through as a political party with a strong sense of environmental and social justice. The battered mantle of left-wing politics passed from a masquerading Labor Party to them. There are not enough of them in Parliament to balance the right wing of Labor, the Liberals, Nationals and erstwhile independents, who soon may not be, if Richard Torbay is anything to go by.
Julia Gillard says she comes from the left, but in fact she comes from the right, where she seems comfortable. Refugees and Aborigines will not erect statues to her. Neither will the rest of the Australian population. She has managed to convince or please no one, least of all herself. She is an honorary and honourable member of the right.
To some extent the Fairfax press provided some balance to the forces of the right. It was hardly left wing, but it did understand social justice, which is an alien concept to the Murdoch media. Out of the desert prophets come and other ancient forms of life. Gina, larger than life, is bearing down upon the eastern seaboard like a scorching summer storm. The dust is rising and we are attempting to seal the windows and doors, but I fear she will still make a mess of our homes.
Gina will get what she wants. She doesn't care who she alienates, just ask her children. And what she wants is to run Australia for her own benefit. Abbott is to be her prime minister and he will fall neatly into line because they recite off the same sheet. The opposition will be scattered to the far reaches of her realm. Bolt will be elevated out of the blue to run a fearsome Fairfax, uncompromising in its ideological, messianic incantations of free-market principles, where the weak, the halt and the lame are to be led away, put away, from the gaze of overseas investors.
Plimer will be her high priest, Pell an avid disciple and Cowin will count the cost, if any. And from the middle of 2013, Australia will be a hair's breadth from being a right-wing, one-party state. Only the Senate will stand in the way - our only barrier to the Mongols. No checks, no balances and a future prime minister who believes the AFP and ASIO should be given even greater power. Bolt rails against the left, but there is no left, not in the union movement, academia or the ABC; with his tirades against the left Bolt looks slightly - no, considerably - unbalanced and a bully. The left in Australia is an endangered species. Its habitat is scattered and its birth rate falling.
The right already has everything it wants, but its appetite is insatiable, and where do you go on this island girt by sea, when you are chased or threatened, stuck to face your fate, unless you can catch a plane or a boat.
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