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Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

I have been a fan of Professor Elizabeth Loftus’ work for many years, so I am pleased to see her getting a hearing in the press at last.

From the Australian ABC news site:

When an eyewitness gives evidence in a trial, how much faith should we place in their testimony? At first brush the answer would seem to be, why not trust them? After all, if an impartial witness says with certainly they saw something—why be sceptical?

However, Elizabeth Loftus, a renowned professor of both law and psychology based at the University of California’s Irvine campus, urges caution. Professor Loftus has been at the forefront of complex and controversial debates around the nature of memory for many years, and her research has made her a much sought-after expert witness in both criminal and civil trials. In fact, she has testified in over 250 trials.

Professor Loftus says eyewitness testimony is the major cause of wrongful convictions in the USA. In one project where more than 300 cases of wrongful conviction were established using DNA testing, the major cause of these wrongful convictions was faulty eyewitness testimony.

Read the rest ..

 

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It used to be that inn-keepers could be fined if they were found to be profiting from immoral earnings. Now they can be fined of they don’t.

From the UK Guardian:

Australia’s hotel industry has been rocked by a court ruling that a prostitute was illegally discriminated against by a motel owner who refused to rent her a room to work from.

The judgment has stunned hoteliers, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises.

The woman, identified only as GK, had taken her discrimination case against the Drovers Rest motel in the coal mining town of Moranbah to the Queensland state civil and administrative tribunal after management refused to rent her a room.

The motel’s lawyer, David Edwards, said on Wednesday that the court notified him this week that it had upheld the discrimination claim. Edwards confirmed the woman was seeking damages, reported in The Australian newspaper to be 30,000 Australian dollars (£20,000).

Richard Munro, is chief executive of the Accommodation Association of Australia.

“It’s absolutely illogical,” Munro said. “If a hairdresser decided to set up shop in the motel and started inviting people in to get their hair cut, I think the motel owner would have the right to say, ‘Hang on, that’s a different business operating out of my business.’”

“If a prostitute decided to start working out of a shopping mall, the owners would have something to say about it. There is some protection for the rights of the motel owner here,” he said.

Janelle Fawkes, chief executive of the Scarlet Alliance Australian Sex Workers Association, said the ruling was a major win for the sex work industry throughout Australia.

“Accommodation discrimination is a major issue for sex workers, but it is not by any means the only form of systemic discrimination that sex workers experience,” she said.

They are not ‘sex workers.’ They are prostitutes. Prostitution is demeaning to both men and women, it is damaging to families and to society. One may not wish to judge the motives of any indivdual man or woman who offers sexual services for a price, but prostitution is still wrong.

If Queensland law demands such a ruling because prostitution is legal in Queensland, and it is forbidden to discriminate against a person engaged in a legal business, then the law needs to be changed. No one should be forced to allow prostitution to take place at their home or place of business.

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Amused by Rush Limbaugh’s description of Obama as Barack Kardashian? You shouldn’t be. It is a libel on the Kardashians.

As Marc Hopin points out on American Thinker, the Kardashians are hard working wealth creators who are also socially aware and actively involved in their community:

If I were a Kardashian, the association of my last name with one of the most unsuccessful presidents in American history would mortify me.  I’d be talking to my lawyers trying to figure out a way to get Rush to stop.  Kardashian is not just Kim’s last name; it’s the last name used by her three siblings and her mother.  Working together, they have turned the name into a money-making franchise.  Beginning in 2007 with the first season of the reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, they have successfully parlayed their various talents into multiple financial successes including modeling, movie and TV acting roles, singing, authoring, TV production, clothing design, fragrance creation, jewelry design, and the founding and running of a small chain of boutique clothing stores called D-A-S-H.  In addition, Kardashian designs are sold on QVC and in Sears stores. …

Hard as I try, I can find nothing Kardashian about Obama.  If anything, Barack is the anti-Kardashian.  Kim Kardashian is far from perfect, but she is a hardworking, successful, job-creating capitalist who treats people as individuals, goes and gives to church, supports various meaningful charitable causes, is close with her extended family, doesn’t use drugs or drink alcohol, and has no friends who are admitted terrorists.  Obama doesn’t want to work other than on the campaign trail.  He is a man who leads from behind.  He starts his workday late and ends his workday early, unless there’s a party at the White House or a fundraiser somewhere.  Obama wants to golf, vacation, bike-ride, and read off of a teleprompter from time to time.  If Obama and Kim were on Donald Trump’s The Celebrity Apprentice, I have little doubt which would be the earlier recipient of the infamous “You’re fired!”

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From twitchy.com:

Jane Pitt is the mother of actor Brad Pitt. On Tuesday, the Springfield News-Leader published her letter in support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  

“Any Christian who does not vote or write in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent, Barack Hussein Obama — a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.”

A few responses from the love-o-sphere (with apologies for language):

The gay community demonstrates its commitment to tolerance and inclusion

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Yesterday a young woman told me she had recently lost a baby. I was immediately sympathetic. She told me it had been 21 weeks, and that she and her partner had a little memorial service for her (the baby was a girl). They had some music, released some doves and balloons, and sent her off with love and prayers.

All very nice, except that she went on to say that she had no choice but to terminate the pregnancy because the baby had Down’s Syndrome.

This is the second time in six months I have heard a similar story. “I lost a baby.” “I had to terminate it because… ”

If you decide a particular baby is going to be too inconvenient for you, the law gives you the right to kill it. You don’t “have to.”

If you do decide to kill your baby, please don’t tell me you “lost a baby” and expect me to feel sorry for you.

That is the moral equivalent of a man murdering his wife and expecting sympathy because he has no one to cook his dinner.

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The Sydney Morning Herald breathlessly reports that members of Federal Parliament who are supporters of gay marriage have been receiving hate mail.

Greens MP Adam Brandt claimed some of the mail he had received was vitriolic and said “The attacks and homophobia we have all experienced on Twitter, Facebook and the street will not deter us from standing up for what is right.”

Cor! Poor beggars. Let’s see some of this hate mail then.

The SMH gives two examples.

One letter said “A small minority of heterosexuals fail their biological reality and as a consequence of dysfunctional experiences, developmental and emotional immaturity become addicted to homosexual practices. ‘Unhealthy addictions need healthy solutions and redefining marriage will not heal biological self-deception and self-delusional fantasies.”

“Another letter said MPs were trying to indoctrinate children ”with compulsory homosexual propaganda in violation of parental rights.”

Umm… Nothing too hateful in either of those really. Mr Brandt may disagree with the views expressed, but that does not make them homophobic or hateful.

As for the comment about homosexual propaganda being forced on children in public schools, has Mr Brandt seen SA’s SHINE curriculum? Children have to participate, and it explicitly portrays homosexual and lesbian relationships as acceptable, healthy and normal.

The SMH has fallen for another Greens/Labor left attempt to portray anyone who questions the normalisation of homosexual behaviour as dim-witted and hateful .

If the case for gay marriage is so strong, let’s hear some real arguments instead of this constant and desperate demonising of anyone who disagrees.

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Lady Gaga has cancelled her scheduled concert in Indonesia after threats and protests.

All very courageously provocative when it comes to offending the Salvation Army or the local Methodist ladies guild. They are not likely to chop your head off or burn your house down.

Not so courageous about being ‘transgressive’ in a place where courage might really be needed.

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That’s the thing with the diversity loving crowd. They only love diversity when you agree with everything they say.

Former tennis champion and now pastor Margaret Court organised a rally in Perth last night. Church members and the public were invited to learn more about and pray for the preservation of the meaning of marriage; a life long commitment between a man and a woman.

But no expression of this belief is permitted. Every such expression must be declared to be homophobic, bigoted and hateful.

A couple of dozen gay rights protestors (as opposed to the hundreds at the Court/Family Association Rally) forced their way into Court’s church to demand their rights.

Gay Bigots Protest Free Speech

One activist declared that marriage is a celebration of love, and therefore should be open to any two people in love. But that is not what marriage is. Marriage is a life-long commitment between a man and a woman for the purposes of procreation, support of any children, and companionship and care for each other, made in love, with the intention to respect and honour each other for life.

Of course the word marriage could be re-defined. But once it is re-defined, say, as a ‘celebration of love’, what is to stop one man and four women being married, or a woman and her dolphin, or any community of any number of people and animals, no matter how related? Why not have families – parents and children - able to marry? There doesn’t have to be anything sexual in the relationship, after all. It is simply a celebration of love. So why not celebrate your love publicly?

Why not indeed? But a celebration of love is not a marriage. If marriage were to be redefined in this vague way, another word would have to be found for what we now call marriage. All of the above mentioned possibilities are qualitatively different from a life-long, open to children, loving commitment between a man and a woman. And then the protests would start anew, because the gay lobby, the poly-amorous, the bestial, would all want the right to have their relationships called the same thing.

Gay lobbyists declare they have majority support for redefining marriage in the way they want (somewhere between 55 and 60 percent of all Australians, they claim). Such provisions have sometimes been read into the law by activist judges in the US. But whenever they have gone to a referendum, such measures have been soundly defeated.

Gay marriage is never going to be normal. Get over it.

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Our State member Michael Pengilly is in the news again, having suggested in Parliament yesterday that Minister for Transport Chloe Fox should be put down.

Chloe Fox is an airhead. Her only experience in the transport industry is watching school crossings. Making her Minster for Transport makes as much sense as making Noddy Minister for Health.

But there she is, Chloe Fox, Minister for Transport. One of two things must be true. The state Labor Party is simply contemptuous of the people of South Australia, or their ranks are so lacking in talent that they have no choice but to put a teeny-bopper in one the state’s most responsible executive positions.

Michael Pengilly is right to say that Chloe is out of her depth. She’d be out of her depth in a wading pool.

If an animal was as completely confused, lost and miserable as Chloe, you might come to the conclusion that it should be put down.

No one would even have noticed if Michael had made this remark about other (male) Labor ministers like Robert Rau or Paul Caica. No problem at all.

But Chloe is a girl. Sexist, isn’t it?

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Andrew Bolt’s blog changed format today, making it harder to read. It also now requires registration to access, although registration is free and gives you the entire Herald Sun site. It will only be free for two months, however, after which it will cost $2.95 per week.

I never read anything in the Herald Sun except Andrew’s blog, and have no particular wish to do so. $150 per year to read a blog? I think, when that time comes, that I will no longer be amongst Andrew’s visitors.

Today Andrew wrote that Bob Katter had disgraced himself with a TV ad pointing out that a vote for Newman’s Queensland Liberals could be a vote for the legalisation of gay marriage.

Nonsense.

Bolt claims the ad is irrelevant. It is not. Queensland Labor introduced legislation permitting ‘civil unions’ between same sex couples. The Liberals do not support such unions and have talked about repealing the legislation. Campbell Newman has said he supports gay marraige.

It is entirely reasonable to create and broadcast a political ad pointing out this inconsistency.

The real question is, is the ad offensive or homophobic?

Belief that homosexual acts are wrong and harmful, and that equating homosexual relationships to marriage between a man and woman is dishonest and will undermine society may be wrong, but it is not homophobic. Simply disagreeing with the homosexual lobby does not make you a homophobe.

Bolt regularly demands that people who disagree with him argue on the facts and don’t simply call him names. He is right to do so. The same courtesy should be applied to those who have concerns about what they see as a dangerous homosexualist agenda.

If they are wrong, explain why. Don’t just shout ‘homophobe’ and think you have made a point.

The ad points up a difference between Katter’s party on one side, and the increasingly indistinguishable Labor and LNP on the other. That is what election ads are meant to do.

Bolt also complains about the images used. But these are very similar to images used by the homosexual lobby – along with slogans like “They are in love, why shouldn’t they be allowed to marry?” or “How can love be a crime?” If it is acceptable for the homosexual lobby to use such images to normalise homosexual relationships, why is it unacceptable for Katter to use them to raise concerns about that normalisation?

As for Andrew’s claim that video of Newman folding a skirt is meant to suggest he is a closet gay, the only possible response is ‘hogwash.’ That video was taken at the same time and in the same place as the other short segment where Newman says he supports gay marriage. At very most, it might highlight a contrast between Newman’s claim to be a decent, ordinary bloke, concerned about ordinary families, understanding ordinary workers (like laundry workers), and supportive of family values, and his support for what many of those same ordinary Australians see as a dangerous undermining of famliy and society.

You may disagree. But yelling ‘homophobe’ at Bob Katter, or the many Queenslanders who think he is right, is not going to convince him or them.

PS I was wrong about needing to register and pay to read Andrew Bolt’s blog. It was not entirely my fault – the blog entry I was talking about had the headline ‘Why we are asking you to register’ and did not make it clear that readers would only need to register to access Andrew’s columns and other Herald Sun print content, not to the rest of the blog. But since the columns normally make up about half the word count of the blog, this is still a blow to readers who have no interest in other Herald Sun print content. I suspect many, like me, will have trouble justifying spending $150 per year on opinion content which was formerly funded through advertising.

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I have said this before, but campaign promises in Queensland and arguments in US about health insurance coverage make the point worth repeating.

When people say something should be free, what they are really saying is ‘Someone else should pay for it.’

When politicians say something will be free, they are really saying ‘We will make you pay for other people’s ….’

For example, Anna Bligh, soon to be ex premier of Queensland, has promised free swimming lessons for toddlers.

What she is really saying to the people of Queensland is ‘We will make you pay for swimming lessons for other people’s kids.’

When Obama says contraception should be free, he is really saying is ‘We will make you pay for other people’s condoms.’

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Unlike the occupy mobsters, these ladies have a point, it is a point worth making, they don’t leave a mess for anyone else to clean up, and no one got raped or murdered.

Femen 5, Occupiers 0.

FEMEN, a Ukrainian feminist group, is up in arms about the win of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party in the Dec. 4 elections.

To show their disapproval, FEMEN protesters stripped down in front of The Cathedral Of Christ The Savior in Moscow on Friday, holding signs that said, “God Get Rid Of The Czar.’

The women were detained by security guards and taken into police custody, Reuters reports. The women were released shortly after being detained.

Quicker and tidier than the occupy mob, and they have a point!

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