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Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

So a preacher in Florida is going to burn a few copies of the Koran. Yawn.

This is supposed to be representative of ‘anti-muslim frenzy’ in America. Yawn.

That phrase came not from Muslims but from liberal church leaders in the US. Yawn.

I am not generally in favour of burning books. It tends to attract the wrong kind of people. But I have burnt a few. Some out of sheer boredom. Some because I was annoyed I had paid a couple of hour’s wages to buy what turned out to be a pile of steaming doggy do.

I have also burnt some for ethical or religious reasons. I habitually buy from book exchanges and local markets the colourful and misleading books churned out by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons. They are usually on the 20c pile where they could be picked up by lonely and gullible housewives, and they make good fire starters.

I also burnt a copy of Silent Spring I found in a flea market. Probably no would have read it anyway, so that one was purely on principle.

The world would be a better place if some books had not been written. The Koran is one.

It is similar to Mein Kampf (Kampf means Jihad, so Herr Hitler, had he been writing in Arabic, would have written Mein Jihad).

Both are tedious and repetitive. Both are driven by a sense of being specially chosen, but of being kept down by lesser others, mostly nasty Jews. Both are happy to suggest that exterminating those vile creatures would make the world a better place. Both propose that some humans are not fully human. Both encourage the idea that individual freedoms must be subsumed to the fasces, the bundle, the mob, the over-arching purpose that drowns out any other human concerns.

Both leave a nasty taste in the mouth.

Is the Koran a book worth reading, let alone worth cherishing? No. Not in the least.

I wouldn’t want the last copy destroyed. It is important for historical reasons. But think about this (linked above):

On the plans to burn the Qu’ran the leaders, including Washington Roman Catholic archbishop emeritus Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Rabbi David Saperstein, head of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Dr Michael Kinnamon of the National Council of Churches said they were “appalled by such disrespect for a sacred text”.

A sacred text? The Koran is as much a sacred text as my underpants. At least my underpants don’t go around telling people to smite the necks of anyone who disagrees with me, or that Christians are the most vile of creatures, or to kill Jews whereever they can be found. My underpants are pretty kindhearted by comparison.

It is sacred to Muslims. And that’s fine. Whatever.

So if the Florida Pastor’s Koran burning goes ahead, what will Muslims do? They have thoughtfully answered that question for us:

It is the duty of Muslims to react,” said Mohammad Mukhtar, a cleric and candidate for the Afghan parliament in the Sept. 18 election. “When their holy book Quran gets burned in public, then there is nothing left. If this happens, I think the first and most important reaction will be that wherever Americans are seen, they will be killed. No matter where they will be in the world they will be killed.”

Oh. Right. Someone in Florida burns a couple of books, and you think the appropriate response, in fact the duty of Muslims everywhere, is to kill Americans wherever you see them.

Back on your meds, boyo. Except this is not a lone voice, a lone mad mullah. This is Islam.

A few more thoughts on this.

Muslims, of course have no problem with burning Bibles, or churches, or Jews, or Christians.

Only Muslims are permitted to live on the Arabian Peninsula. Bibles are confiscated and shredded, and those in whose possession they were found may be given seventy lashes.

And then there’s the fact the Christian families affected by the floods in Pakistan are being openly denied aid, which has almost entirely been given by Christian countries.

The fact that some Mulims are hypocritical violent barbarians would not excuse our acting in the same way.

But burning a few Korans is not acting in the same way.

Burning a few Korans is not the same thing as raping children, hanging gays, stoning or mutilating women, bombing airplanes and hotels, or cutting the throats of people who disagree with you.

One of the problems, and it is potentially a very serious problems for Westerners working in Muslim countries, especially members of the armed forces, is that Muslims living in Muslim countries simply cannot conceive the meaning of real freedom of speech. It is incomprehensible to them that President Obama could not just say ‘Stop that’ and that Pastor Jones and his flock would be made to stop.

That is why people like Hilary Clinton, and assorted liberal politicians and clergy have to keep saying how shocking and unamerican this is. Because otherwise the entire Muslim world will think all Americans are in on this, which would make it a moral obligation to slaughter them. See above.

But that kind of Chamberlainism just doesn’t work. For one thing, Muslim leaders don’t believe it. They think the authorities could stop the Koran burning if they wanted, but they don’t so they must be OK with it. So not only are they anti-Muslim, they are also lying cowards.

But even if the sheikhs and mullahs did believe it, appeasing bullies does not work. It just makes them feel stronger, and demand more.

I am regularly confronted by insults directed at Jesus and the Christian faith which I find offensive and hurtful.

The calumny heaped on all Catholic clergy for the sins of a tiny minority. The smug and easy challenges of the art world with its piss Christ and dung Mary. South Park’s depictions of an insipid, do nothing Jesus. The puerile and deliberately offensive t shirt which proclaims ‘Jesus sucks.’ The appropriation and misuse of Christian symbols and music in an ad for Daylesford by Visit Victoria.

All of these stupid and empty-headed things are part of our daily lives.

But I am not going to bomb the offices of Visit Victoria, or send anthrax spores to the creators of South Park. Not because I am a good or patient person. I am not not. I can be as intemperate, sullen and hypocritical as anyone.

But I am a Christian. The person I follow as my Lord told me to do good to people who hate me, to pray for those who persecute me. And he exemplified that teaching in his life and death.

So those who insult Jesus or the Church, or abuse the Bible, earn my prayers, my concern, my hope and work for their redemption.

That reaction by Christians is, or should be, perfectly predictable. Christians do, or should do, what Jesus did.

The reaction to those who insult Mohammed or the Koran by those who take the Koran as their guide is predictable in the same way.

Mohammed personally beheaded some 700 Qurayza, and took and raped whom he wanted of their wives. Any oppostiion to his views, no matter how mild, was met with violence.

The violent response of the Muslim world to the burning of 200 copies of the Koran is not a justifiable expression of indignation. It is monstrous, cowardly, and barbaric.

It is also, quite simply, an expression of the enduring character of Islam, because it is an expression of the teaching of the Koran and the example of Mohammed.

It certainly worked for her. Maybe that’s all that counts for her, or all she can see.

The Coalition got more votes and more seats.

When the final result was delivered by two independents whose own electorates vastly preferred a Coalition government, it is hard to see any sense in which the system has worked for the Australian people.

The blighters were just playing games when they checked Tony Crook’s intentions.

What was the point of that? Just to prove that they are the big boys now? No one in the playground is going to push them around, cause it’s their turn to do the pushing?

Based on their performance over the last week, these guys will be holding the country to ransom for as long as this dismal government lasts.

I wasn’t fond of the title ‘The Three Amigos.’

But maybe it is not so inappropriate. In the film of that name, the three amigos were really three complete drongos, pretend cowboys in flashy outfits, who were so dumb they thought ‘infamous’ meant really, really famous.

Maybe our three amigos thought the same thing. Except that now it’s the two amigos, Max Hatter having decided to go it on his own and support the Coalition.

Except that a better title would be ‘tushki.’

It sounds like it should mean ‘little arse,’ and that would be appropriate too, but it doesn’t

In February of Viktor Yanukovych won the Ukrainian presidential election with the smallest possible margin, and the support of probably about a third of Ukrainians.

Following that election, 16 parliamentary delegates deserted their own party, and the people who had voted for them, to enable Yanukovych to form government.

They have become known as the tushki. It is a Russian word, used as an insult. It means ‘roadkill.’

As the German political scientist Andreas Umland noted in late March in the Kyiv Post, “Ukraine is now less democratic than it was. . . . With their change of allegiance the tushki have grossly misrepresented the preferences of the Ukrainian voters.”

Welcome to the new Australia.

Well, it was biased. But we’ve fixed it. It’s all OK now.

That’s according to Director General Mark Thompson.

Well, good. Everyone in England who owns a TV pays for the BBC through taxes and licence fees. So it really should be unbiased, as least as far as that is realistically possible. It should be everyone’s BBC.

Like many English persons, I will be looking forward to genuinely balanced debate on the Beeb on political and environomental issues.

Australia’s ABC is paid for by every Australian. It even tells viewers and listeners they should care about what happens to the ABC, because it’s ‘your ABC.”

But it’s never been my ABC. I never hear my opinions expressed on the ABC, except maybe by a courageous lone voice quickly shouted down by a ‘balanced’ panel.

Clive Hamilton thoughtfully explains why it is not necessary to offer a variety of opinions for consideration.

It is because only one opinion is right – his:

Presenting both sides is biased when one ‘side’ is backed by a large body of peer-reviewed research and the other is not. The ‘other side’ would deserve some reporting if there were a significant minority view that had some legitimate science to sustain its claims, even if that science proves unsustainable. In the case of climate science, there isn’t. …

A number of studies have substantiated what is obvious to anyone with even a casual knowledge of the research on the science of global warming – that is, there is an overwhelming consensus on the main conclusions presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

The trouble is Clive, there is no discussion of whether this amazing consensus actually exists.

And of course, Clive, it doesn’t. At least 31,000 scientists in the US alone agree with me. And several in Australia.

And now, Clive, even former IPCC insiders are admitting the ‘consensus’ was a complete fabrication. It wasn’t a worldwide consensus. It wasn’t even the claimed 2500 experts. It was just a couple of dozen scientists whose income depended on generating alarm.

Or, Clive, if you really think there is no peer reviewed research questioning the basis of global warming alarmism, you could start with this list of 800 peer reviewed papers.

So let’s begin to make it everyone’s ABC, Clive, by being honest about disagreements in matters of politics and environmental science.

Or is that too much to ask?

Or, to be more accurate, one Australian export, Sheikh Feiz Muhammad.

Feiz Muhammad, a former Sydney boxer, now Muslim teacher, has called for the execution by beheading of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. And for that matter, anyone who insults Islam. Or the prophet. Or that funny tea cosy he’s wearing on his head.

You can hear the lecture, in perfect Australian, on the website of Dutch newpsaper De Telegraaf.

So no, dear Australian ABC news, De Telegraaf is not reporting it has a recording, or claiming it has a recording of Shiekh Feiz. It has a recording. And you can listen to it.

News. Accurate reporting. Remember that?

Of course Wilders is a racist, a firebrand, making a fuss about nothing, and makes a living out of stirring up trouble. Anywhere there is trouble involving Muslims, it is someone else’s fault. If he just kept his mouth shut, he wouldn’t have anything to worry about.

After all the Sheikh says on his own website, for all to see, that Islam in its true form is only a religion of Peace and not violence.

So how could he call for anyone to be beheaded? It doesn’t even make sense.

Well, there was the whole Undercover Mosque thing. But that wasn’t fair. The imans didn’t know those people were there.

So to recap: Geert Wilders says Islam is violent and irrational. Representative of Islam says it isn’t, and anyone who disagrees should be killed.

Right.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah, the party of Allah, has placed 15,000 rockets on the border of Israel.

Israel’s ambassor to the US, Michael Oren:

.. said the rockets also have bigger payloads and are “far more accurate” than those fired four years ago.

“In 2006, many of their missiles were basically out in the open, in silos and the Israeli air force was able to neutralize a great number of them,” Oren said.

“Today those same missiles have been placed under hospitals, and homes and schools because Hezbollah knows full well if we try to defend ourselves against them, we will be branded once again as war criminals,” he added.

And back at the ranch…

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah, says the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are pointless because there will never be any peace while Israel exists, and are even more pointless because the filthy Zionist entity will soon be wiped off the map anyway.

Pentecostal loonies in Nigeria: ‘Child witches cause poverty, kill them!’

Helpful advice for Nigerians from Plannned Parenthood loonies in North America: ‘Children cause poverty, kill them!’

Green loonies agree, and offer practical help.

Nope. No connection there.

There is no getting around reality.

Someone decides it is insulting to call people whose intellectual development has been retarded ‘retarded.’ So we are told to call them ‘intellectually handicapped.’

Soon ‘intellectually handicapped’ becomes a form of insult. So we are told to call them ‘slow learners.’

A couple of years later, every time you want  to insult your mates you say ‘Looking like a slow learner there Joe!’

So that term naturally becomes unacceptable, and anyone who has ever used it is obviously insensitive and uncaring.

Let’s call them ‘special children’ instead. Let’s have ‘special schools’ for ‘special children.’

Scene in schoolyard: ‘You’re a special child!’ ‘I am not. I’m telling.’

There is no getting around reality.

So when you are no longer supposed to call homosexuals homosexuals because that might be insulting, and instead you are supposed to call them ‘gay,’ what is going to happen to that word?

Any school teacher can tell you that the worst possible insult in the playground is beng called gay. You can say someone is lame, you can insult his mother, or her father. But but if one child calls another child gay, be prepared for trouble.

Whether being gay really is gay, I don’t know. Most homosexuals of my acquaintance don’t demonstrate a a high level of satisfaction with their lives, so I suspect it might be.

But they really are gay, the ones who objected to principal Garry Martin’s replacing the word ‘gay’ in the Kookaburra song with the word ‘fun.’

Firstly, when the song was written ‘gay’ pretty much meant fun. Remember The Gay Divorcee? OK, there aren’t many of them either. Or the Gay Nineties? Not the recent nineties, the ones before?

No? Well, you know what I mean.

Before the word gay, a good word, was hijacked, it meant happy, light-hearted, fun.

Now it just means gay.

Marion Sinclair meant that a kookaburra’s life was carefree, fun. So Principal Garry was being true to the original text. And Kookaburra, fun to sing though it is, is not Shakespeare.

Secondly, this was about children singing. Children singing. Children, at school, singing together.

The word gay is an extreme insult in the playground. So naturally the kids were rolling around the floor laughing when asked to sing about a gay kookaburra.

So why not do the sensible thing and replace the word ‘gay’ with the word ‘fun?’

Garry describes what he was thinking:

“I wasn’t trying to incite or insult gay people, or trying to violate the copyright of Larrikin Music; it was just a decision at the time that I thought would minimise a disruptive atmosphere with grades one and and two.”

But after a controversy in which it has been suggested he is trying to make gay people invisible:

In an interview on the Nine Network, Mr Martin was backtracking on his decision, saying that perhaps he should have discussed the true meaning of the word with the children.

So Garry now thinks he would have been doing the right thing if he discussed homosexuality with year ones and twos?

Well, that’s what the brownshorts wanted.

No, Garry no. You were right the first time.

From Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online:

The truth about Iraq is that, for all the tragedy and the loss, the U.S. military performed a miracle. After nearly seven years, a constitutional government endures in that country.

It is too often forgotten that all 23 of the writs for war passed by the Congress in 2002 — from enforcing the Gulf I resolutions and stopping the destruction of the Kurds and Marsh Arabs, to preventing the Iraqi state promotion of terrorism, ending suicide bounties on the West Bank, and stopping Iraq from invading or attacking neighbors or trying to acquire WMD — were met and satisfied by the U.S. military.

It is also too often forgotten that, as a result, Libya gave up its WMD program; Dr. Khan’s nuclear franchise was shut down; Syria left Lebanon; and American troops in Saudi Arabia, put there as protection against Saddam, were withdrawn. Perhaps a peep about some of that—especially the idea that in an oil-short world, Saddam Hussein might have been more or less free to do what he pleased again in Iraq. (The verdict is out on Iran; playing a genocidal Hussein regime against it was morally bankrupt. Currently, Shiites participating in consensual government could be as destabilizing to Iran in the long run as Iranian terrorists are to Iraq in the short run.)

Furthermore, the destruction of al-Qaeda in Iraq helped to discredit the entire idea of radical Sunni Islamic terrorists, and the loss of thousands of foreign radical Islamists in Iraq had a positive effect on U.S. security — despite the fallacy that we created them out of thin air by being in Iraq.

Kurdistan was, prior to 2003, faced with the continual threat of genocidal attacks by Saddam Hussein; today it is a booming economy.

All that would have been impossible without U.S. intervention.

With a bit of help from Australia and others.

A tribute to those who suffered so horribly during the siege at Beslan.

If you have the stomach for it, and you should, Pam Geller has more detail on what happend at Beslan.

Not all Muslims are evil. Most are decent, kind, generous.

But as long as Mohammed – murderer, torturer, rapist, pedophile – remains a moral exemplar, as long as groups of Muslims rape and torture and murder in the name of the prophet and their faith, and as long as Muslim leaders decline to speak out plainly, unequivocally, publicly, against acts of terrorism, Islam will be regarded with suspicion.

Brandt has signed up with Labor after Bob Brown was promised a carbon tax. Wilkie has signed up with Labor after he was promised a renovated hospital in Hobart.

Tony Abbott now needs to be absolutely clear about three things.

Firstly, the Liberal party will not be buying votes. It will not be making infrastructure or funding promises to independents or anyone else, if those promises come at the expense of other Australians.

Mr Abbott needs to make it clear that funds will allocated in line with policy and need. There will be no sweetheart deals. He will not be pressured into making unreasonable promises to a few, which the many will have to pay for.

Secondly, there can be no unconditional promise to remain in government for the full three years. Such a promise would be unreasonable at any time. It is completely unreasonable at this time.

The Greens and their Labor buddies will control the Senate. It is almost certain they will use that power to block supply or stop or delay crucial legislation. If the Liberal party is able to form government, it will only govern with the consent of the Greens and Labor.

That is not a situation in which a party and its leaders can responsibly promise to stay in government for a fixed term.

Finally, Tony Abbott and the Liberals must now emphasise, over and over again, the fiscal responsibility of the Coalition, the consistently better economic results under a Coalition government.

The Liberals may still lose this election, and if they do, the country will find itself suffocating under a staggering level of economic incompetence.

The next few years will be dire for small business, for the mining and manufacturing sectors, for rural and remote communities – for everyone who actually produces useful, valuable goods and services.

I hope Tony Abbott can still win. That would save us from the worst of the combined malice and ineptitude of a Greens/Labor alliance.

But if not Tony, then at least lose with honour.

Pee power…

Gerardine Botte, an engineer at Ohio University, said in an interview with New Scientist magazine that harnessing the power of urine could mean that an office building of 200-300 people would produce about 2Kw of power.

Seriously. At least it won’t kill any birds.

I know Andrew Bolt (and a thousand other people) have already posted these videos:

But the contrast between the practice of the uncaring right wing despoilers and ravagers of the environment and the gentle earth loving supporters of Obama is just too great too pass without comment.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that the fundamental difference between right and left, or conservative and progressive if you prefer, is a willingness to take responsibility.

Arctic Summer temperatures have been trending down since about 1960, so have temperatures in San Diego, cold snaps are killing all manner of things in South America, Antarctic sea ice is increasing, the southern hemisphere oceans seem to be getting colder, and it’s been flipping cold here in Australia.

I want my global warming now!

News flash: global warming causes carnivores to lose height and body mass. Oh, wait. That was 55 million years ago.

In 2009 Greg Sheridan wrote a brief and thoughtful, if confronting, article about the Rudd government’s misuse of the office of the Governor General.

The article was not primarily about Quentin Bryce’s political views, but about the then Prime Minister’s willingness to use any means, even obviously inappropriate means, to lobby for a seat for Australia on the UN Security Council, something that was widely seen as potentially adding weight to Mr Rudd’s assumed personal UN ambitions.

Even earlier, in 2008, Andrew Bolt had questioned aspects of Quentin Bryce’s speech at her swearing-in, and these words in particular:

I promise to be open, responsive and faithful to the contemporary thinking and working of Australian society.

Which Andrew interpreted to mean:

Contemporary thinking for Bryce will be what the Left agrees it is, whatever the more conservative majority may say in opposition.

Certainly the Governor General has spoken out on political issues rather more freely than we have been accustomed to, and has consistently spoken from a leftist perspective, on issues such as the 2008 apology for the ‘Stolen Generations’, and on global warming.

This makes a mockery of claims by some of her friends, including Tony Fitzgerald, QC, that Quentin Bryce is so impartial that after havng known her for nearly fifty years, he still has ‘no inkling of her political persuasion.

I haven’t know Quentin Bryce for nearly fifty years. I spoke with her for about five minutes at a dinner at Government House in Brisbane a few years ago. She struck me as a graceful, capable and intelligent woman.

But her comments on disputed political matters make it very clear where her sympathies lie. That is a pity, because it brings her ability to act impartially into question.

It is a nonsense, for example, to claim that any concern about possible conflicts of interest is ‘a storm in tea cup.’

Bill Shorten, Quentin Bryce’s son-in-law, is a Labor politician. This has lead to calls for her to recuse herself from any decisions about who should form government after the recent Federal election.

It is not just that Quentin Bryce’s son-in-law is a Labor politician. As others have pointed out, political connections as strong as those of Bill Hayden or Paul Hasluck were not seen as undermining their ability to act appropriately as Governor General.

Quentin Bryce is a sensible woman. Mostly.

I think she would try to make the right decision, without regard to the feelings of her daughter Chloe, or of Chloe’s husband Bill, even though Bill may well be a future Labor leader. Possibly in the near future.

But just as justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done, so for the dignity of the office of Governor General, decisions must not only be made impartially, they must be seen to be made impartially.

Quentin Bryce’s willingness to involve herself in political debate has made that a problem.

That was the front page headline in Saturday’s Adelaide Advertiser: Change or Perish.

Very dramatic.

Except that when you actually read it, the article was about some Adelaide professor of dictatology telling everyone that because it was so hot and dry and all, and the climate is changing so it will be even hotter and dryer, people in South Australia should be planting drought resistant plants, because otherwise they won’t be able to water them enough to keep them alive, and their daffodils will die.

Yes, change or perish!

Even though we have just come through an unusually cold and wet Winter, the Saturday Advertiser editorial staff obviously thought the heated prognostications of the professor of dictatology were the most important thing to have happened in the last week.

Australian soldiers dying in Afghanistan? Pish!

Fallout from the Federal election. Whatever.

Floods in Pakistan. Bah!

Slaughter in Mogadishu. Where?

And people wonder why printed news publications are in decline…