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I think John Howard is a little too enthusiastic about Indonesia, where there is still a troubling level of Islamic violence against minority religious groups, and about the so-called Arab Spring.

There is reasonable concern that movements interpreted by the West as movements for democratic reform in Arab nations will only be democratic until Wahhabist governments are installed. Democracy is antithetic to Wahhabist thought since the obligation of Muslims is to work for the implementation of Sharia, while democracy places the opinions of men (and even kaffirs) above Islamic law.

Hence protests like this in Western democracies:

Islam - No to Democracy

Islam - No to Freedom of Speech

Nonetheless, Howard is right both to identify many positive changes in the world over the last ten years, and to assert the need for continuing effort and care.

I am not a US citizen (though my wife is), so I can’t vote in the US presidential election anyway. And I support the death penalty in very limited circumstances.

But I could not vote for Rick Perry, much as his conduct and policies are admirable in other areas, because it seems to me likely that in order to appear tough on crime, he allowed to be executed at least one man he knew, or ought to have known, was innocent.

I remember seeing the film Judgement at Nuremburg when I was a child. Even at about eight years old, I was struck by an exchange between the American judge and one of the German prisoners (former judges under Hitler).

I may be remembering it incorrectly – it was forty-five years ago – but what I remember is the prisoner saying “I never thought it would come to this,” and the judge responding “It came to this the first time you sentenced an innocent man to death.”

If you allow a man you know is likely to be innocent to be put to death, you are not someone who should be leading a state or nation, no matter how strong your economic credentials.

Pastor Martin Niemoller, who spent seven years in Nazi prisons, wrote:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

And now they are coming for the fat kids. Who will be next?

Or at least, a government that does very little, would be a pleasant change. Evidence suggests that the more government does, the worse off people are.

The problem with the Gillard government is not that is has accomplished nothing. The problem is that it has accomplished nothing at such great expense.

Five minutes after I posted the previous article about global warming alarmists losing debates and resorting to insults, an article by professor of psychology Stephan Lewandowksy appeared on the ABC’s Drum website.

It starts off well enough:

Science is self-correcting.

In the long run, occasional errors that slip into the peer-reviewed literature are ironed out.

Errors and mistaken assumptions cannot persist because publication of a peer-reviewed paper is only a first stage of peer review: The subsequent, even more rigorous stage of peer-review occurs after a paper’s publication and involves the scrutiny of scientific work by the entire field.

All good. Scientific papers are subject to peer review before they are published, and their publication leads to further research, discussion, and possibly refutation. This is how knowledge grows, through a kind of Hegelian dialectic. Which is just a fancy way of saying a discussion in which various points of view come to the fore, are discussed, modified, and then replaced with ideas that build on those that came before.

Sadly, Lewandowksky’s article then immediately lapses into the kind of name calling that characterises alarmist debate.

The pretext for his article is the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner as editor of the journal Remote Sensing. Wagner’s  resignation followed the publication, after peer review, of a paper by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell.

Wagner describs his reasons for leaving:

…In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal.

OK. But if the concern is that the arguments are poorly made, or have already been rebutted, or are just plain wrong, why not simply call for responses? In other words, why not address the preceived errors?

Roy Spencer responds:

But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point! We dealt with specifics, numbers, calculations…while our critics only use generalities and talking points. There is no contest, as far as I can see, in this debate. If you have some physics or radiative transfer background, read the evidence we present, the paper we were responding to, and decide for yourself.

If some scientists would like do demonstrate in their own peer-reviewed paper where *anything* we wrote was incorrect, they should submit a paper for publication. Instead, it appears the IPCC gatekeepers have once again put pressure on a journal for daring to publish anything that might hurt the IPCC’s politically immovable position that climate change is almost entirely human-caused. I can see no other explanation for an editor resigning in such a situation.

But that is not good enough for Professor Lewandowsky. The scientists who wrote this heresy, and anyone who thinks like them, must be discredited. Instead of addressing any issues of fact or methodology in the Spencer/Braswell article, he simply resorts to the customary alarmist insults:

Although most so-called climate “sceptics” prudently avoid peer review – preferring the internet as an outlet for their pseudo-science – very occasionally a “sceptic” paper does appear in a peer-reviewed journal.

In a dramatic turn away from what has been the normal method of scientific advance, those who question the currently popular view are not to be considered scientists. They are not even sceptics. They are pseudo-scientists, who are cunning enough to avoid exposing their views to review by other scientists.

Wrong. For example, the CO2 Science website has a report in which the most common alarmist claims are countered with references to over 600 peer reviewed articles, all of which question some aspect of the anthropogenic global warming schema. The 2009 NIPCC Report is even more comprehensive, quoting thousands of peer reviewed articles and concluding that there is no credible evidence of dangerous human influence on global climate.

This is despite the best efforts of people like Phil Jones to ensure strict controls are put in place to stop sceptical papers appearing:

From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

The next step in Lewandowsky’s oh so prediuctable diatribe is to imply that sceptical scientists are corrupt, making the claims they do because they have been lured into pseudo-science by bribes from oil companies. Some scientists’ research has been funded in part by oil companies. Most acknowledge this openly. So what?

As Jo Nova has pointed out, government funding for climate alarmist research is approximately 1000 times oil company and other private funding. On that basis, there should be 1,000 times more questioning about possible alarmist bias for financial gain or job security than for sceptical science.

Lewandowsky finishes with this extraordinarily insulting dismissal of climate researchers who do not share his views:

Ideology, subterfuge, and propaganda. That is all there is to climate denial.

Tell that to leading and internationally recognised scientists like Roy Spencer, Timothy Ball, John Christy, Freeman Dyson, our own Ian Plimer and Bob Carter, and thousands of others.

In the end, what matters is evidence. The key question is ‘Is there any evidence of correlation between human activity and changes in global climate.’

The answer is ‘No.’

Perhaps a more interesting question for a professor of psychology would be why the ‘experts’ (ordinary people seem a bit more resilient despite the best efforts of the legacy media), fall so readily for each successive costly and eventually falsified scare campaign (Y2K, SARS, DDT, the population bomb, etc, etc), and why those same experts so quickly demonise any dissent.

PS. The reason the alarmists are desperate to discredit Roy Spencer is that he is so widely recognised as a leading climate scientist:

Roy W. Spencer received his Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. Before becoming a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.

Dr. Spencer’s research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE. He has never been asked by any oil company to perform any kind of service. Not even Exxon-Mobil.

That is the bio from Dr Spencer’s website. His blog has a useful summary of the issues addressed in the Remore Sensing paper.

Global warming alarmists and atheists seem to have the same problem when it comes to debating those who disagree with them – they lose.

Consequently, they prefer to snipe from the sidelines, refusing to debate, and justifying their refusal with insults.

This video, about proposed debates between Wlliam Lane Craig and UK atheists/humanists, demonstrates this perfectly.

The only reason there is no peace between Israel and Palestinian Arabs is because the Arabs do not want peace.

The three ‘Nos’ from the eight Arab states which met in Khartoum in September 1967 were: No peace with Israel, No recognition of Israel, No negotiation with Israel.

From David Meir-Levi in Frontpage magazine:

There is an eerie déjà vu about an unmistakable and oft-repeated process in the Arab–Israel conflict.  The process started in 1937 and has repeated itself with minor variations many times over the subsequent 74 years. The process is as follows: Arabs go to war with Israel, promising Israel’s destruction and the annihilation of its Jews.  Israel wins the war and offers peace. Arab leaders reject Israel’s peace offer, renew their promises of destruction and annihilation; and after a while they go to war again, and lose again, and Israel again offers peace.  Repeat this process 31 times and you have the history of the Arab-Israel conflict in a nutshell. …

Then came the biggest and best ever opportunity for a state for the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the UN General Assembly  Resolution #181 in 1947 – Camp David 2. From July 11 – 24, 2000 President Clinton presided over the second Camp David  accords. Prime Minister Baraq made what Saudi Crown Prince Bandar bin Sultan called the best offer that Arafat could possibly expect[iv].  This was an historic offer, with Arafat receiving 97% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and 3% of Israeli land, and a Palestinian Authority capitol in East Jerusalem.  All that was required of Arafat was an end to the conflict. He could not do it.

At Camp David, Dennis Ross​ has said, there was no comprehensive final settlement offered. The Israeli and American negotiators put forth ideas regarding borders, Jerusalem, and land transfers. One of those was a Palestinian state comprised of four cantons. Arafat rejected these suggestions, but did not raise a single idea himself. Shlomo Ben-Ami, one of Israel’s negotiators who took copious notes at the closed meeting and kept meticulous diaries of the proceedings, said that Clinton exploded at the Palestinians over their refusal to make a counteroffer. “‘A summit’s purpose,’ Clinton said, ‘is to have discussions that are based on sincere intentions and you, the Palestinians, did not come to this summit with sincere intentions.’ Then he got up and left the room.”

And then there are the continuing attempts in Arab media to deny any Jewish connection to Israel at all:

The great and exalted Allah commanded the angel Gabriel to place Muhammad upon the riding beast Al-Buraq, which was a cross between horse and donkey. The night journey was both physical and spiritual….Once he reached the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the angel Gabriel removed Muhammad from upon Al-Buraq’s back, and then he tied the beast to the Al-Buraq rock, which was called the ‘Al-Buraq Wall.’ The Jews changed its name to the ‘Wailing Wall,’ because the Jews are always trying to change Arabic names into Hebrew names….

Mohammud’s night journey supposedly took place about 621 AD. The Al-Aqsa mosque was built on the site of the Jewish Temple in 705AD.

Or this:

The Zionists must acknowledge publicly, in front of the world, that the Jews have no connection to the Palestinian Arab land, upon whose ruins arose the colonialist settler Zionist plan that settles and expels, represented by the Israeli apartheid state.  That which occurred two thousand years ago (i.e. the Jewish/Israeli presence in the land)…represents in the book of history nothing more than invention and falsification and a coarse and crude form of colonialism.

It is as true now as it always was, that if the Arabs put down their guns there would be peace, while if Israel put down its guns, there would be no more Israel.

I don’t usually repost entire articles from other sites, but Geert Wilders speech in Berlin yesterday (Saturday) touches on so many things of importance to Australia – bureaucracy, multi-culturalism, loss of national identity, democracy and hope – that it is worth reading in full.

Via PI News.

 The Threat of Europeanization and the Need to Defend the Nation-State

Thank you for inviting me to Berlin. It is an honour to be here in this beautiful city of Berlin. When I was here last year I emphasized how important Germany is for all of us. We all benefit from a healthy, democratic, self-confident Germany.

(By Geert Wilders)

Much has happened since my last visit. In the Netherlands we were able to achieve many amazing things. We have successfully started to roll back the process of Islamization in the Netherlands.
We have done so in a peaceful way and through the democratic process. Recently, a deranged narcissistic psychopath from Norway committed a horrible crime. In cold blood he murdered nearly eighty innocent fellow citizens. The assassin pretended to be a concerned European. He said that he had committed his atrocity because “It is meaningless to participate in the democratic process.”
But he is wrong! The mass murderer from Oslo murdered and maimed, and he justified his heinous crime by denying – I quote – “that it is remotely possible to change the system democratically.” – end of quote.
But he is wrong! The Oslo murderer falsely claims to be one of us. But he is not one of us. We abhor violence. We are democrats. We believe in peaceful solutions.
The reason why we reject Islam is exactly Islam’s violent nature. We believe in democracy. We fight with the force of our conviction, but we never use violence. Our commitment to truth, human dignity and a just and honourable defence of the West does not allow us to use violence nor to give in to cynicism and despair. We cherish the tradition of Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Jelena Bonner, Lech Walesa and Ronald Reagan. These heroes defeated a totalitarian ideology by the power of their conviction and without firing a single shot. As the ex-Muslim and Islam-critic Ali Sina said in a reaction to the Oslo atrocity: “We don’t raise a sword against darkness; we lit a light.”
So it is. We lit the light of the truth. And the truth will set us free.
The truth is that Islam can be successfully fought with democratic means. We do so in the Netherlands. You can do so, too, in Germany! Let me tell you what we have achieved in the Netherlands since my last visit to Berlin, less than one year ago. It will encourage you. What can be done in the Netherlands can also be done in Germany.
My party, the Party for Freedom, which has 24 seats of the 150 seats in parliament, supports a minority government of Liberals and Christian-Democrats. We do this in return for measures to restrict immigration, roll back crime, counter cultural relativism, and restore our traditional Western freedoms, such as freedom of speech.
The Party for Freedom has been in this position for less than a year, but we are achieving great things.
We have achieved that the Netherlands will soon ban the face-covering Islamic burkas and the niqabs!
We will restrict immigration from non-Western countries by up to 50% in the next four years!
We are going to strip criminals who have a double nationality and who repeatedly commit serious crimes, of their Dutch nationality!

The Party for Freedom is bringing a message of hope to the Netherlands.
The new policies will place more demands on immigrants.
Integration will not be tailored to different groups anymore.
There will be a tougher approach to immigrants who disobey the law.
Those who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress, will see their access to welfare payments diminished.

We have also achieved that anti-Israeli activities will no longer be funded with Dutch taxes.
So-called humanitarian aid organizations that directly or indirectly support anti-Israel boycotts, divestments and sanctions and that deny Israel’s right to exist will no longer get government funding.

The Dutch government will boycott the United Nation’s Durban III meeting against racial discrimination because it has been transformed into a tribunal for accusations against Israel.
The government will strengthen our political and economic relations with Israel. Investment rather than divestment will be our policies towards Israel.

We stand with Israel. We love Israel. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel is part of our civilization.

My friends, what the Party for Freedom has achieved, shows that it can be done. To borrow a phrase from President Obama: Yes, we can! We can stop the islamization of our societies. The Dutch example shows that we can win. David can defeat Goliath!

Last July, the Dutch government even did something which not a single nation has dared to do before. It spoke out firmly against the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The OIC is an international organization of 57 Islamic countries, most of them barbaric tyrannies. This OIC constitutes the largest voting bloc in the United Nation. It had criticised the fact that Dutch judges had acquitted me of all charges of group insult and incitement to hatred and discrimination. But the Dutch government made it clear to the OIC that freedom of speech will not be muzzled in the Netherlands. It told the OIC very bluntly: “The Dutch government dissociates itself fully from the request to silence a politician.” – end of quote.
We will never submit to the Islamic OIC bullies!

As you probably know, for almost two years I went through the ordeal of being a suspect in a criminal case. I was dragged to court in Amsterdam on the accusation of hate speech crimes. Last June, this legal charade ended with a full acquittal.

The Dutch people learned through my acquittal that political debate has not been stifled in their country. My acquittal was a victory for freedom of speech. The Dutch people also learned that they are allowed to speak critically about Islam. They learned that resistance against Islamization is not a crime. They learned that there is hope and that liberation is near.

My acquittal marks the turning of the tide. Not only in the Netherlands, but in the whole of Europe. It is the first breach of the dyke. We have started the roll-back operation. We have sent a message to the ideologues of Islam: Don’t tread on us!

My acquittal has a significance which far surpasses the Netherlands. It has a meaning for the whole of Europe and the free world. My acquittal marks the end of an evolution whereby our civil liberties in Europe are constantly being restricted in order not to offend Islam and anger Islamic fanatics.

My acquittal legitimizes criticism of Islam. It does so also in Germany and everywhere else.

Indeed, why should you Germans not enjoy the same rights as the Dutch! If peaceful and democratic resistance to Islamization is not a crime in the Netherlands, it should not be a crime in Germany either.

So, here is my message to you: Continue your fight for freedom and freedom of speech!
Do not let your politicians and judges grant you fewer rights than the Dutch!

Do not let yourselves be intimidated by Islamic or leftist opponents who shriek and yell. Do not let yourselves be intimidated by media who claim that a murderer who has lost his belief in the democratic process has anyhow been influenced by us.

My friends, when I visited you last year, even in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined that we would have been able to influence government policies in the way we have done.
That is why I tell you: Never give in to the bullies! Never give up hope. Never despair! You can still turn the tide! One can always turn the tide!

It is true: Germany has been less fortunate than the Netherlands.

When I was here last year, Tilo Sarrazin had just published his book “Deutschland schafft sich ab.” Sarrazin’s book was a bestseller. It hit a nerve. It sold over one-and-a-half million copies. This shows that German society is ripe for change. But politically Sarrazin’s book has changed nothing yet. On the contrary, the German political elite raised the speed of Islamization in Germany. Bundespresident Wulff said “Islam is a part of Germany.” Chancellor Merkel said that multiculturalism is an absolute failure, but she continues to defend Turkey’s entry into the EU. The spread of Islam continues unabated in the German class rooms, on Germany’s streets, through the construction of new mosques, etcetera, etcetera.

Your situation has worsened because you do not have a party – yet – with enough electoral support to influence German politics for the better. Germany needs a rightwing party that is not tainted by ties to neo-Nazis and by anti-Semitism, that is decent and respectable, but also firm.
René Stadtkewitz is working very hard to make Die Freiheit as successful as the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands. René, we are here to help you! Because Germany deserves better than what it gets today!
My friends, your country is the political backbone of Europe.
Germany is the most populous country in Europe. Germany is the economic motor of Europe. If Germany is sick, we are all sick.
Last year, I urged you: Stop being ashamed of Germany. It is unfair to reduce German patriotism to national-socialism, just as it is unfair to reduce Russia to Stalinism. Be proud of your country. Only if the Germans have pride in Germany, they will be prepared to stand for Germany and to defend Germany. And you must stand for Germany, just as the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands stands for the Netherlands. We must all stand for the survival of our nation-states because our nation-station states embody the democratic liberties which we enjoy.
Without the nation-state there can be no real national political freedom. That is why we must be good patriots. Patriotism is often branded as fascism. But patriotism is no fascism. On the contrary. Every democrat and defender of freedom must by definition be a patriot. A soul needs a body. The spirit of political liberty cannot flourish outside the body of the nation-state. The nation-state is the political body in which we live. That is why we must preserve and cherish the nation-state. So that we can pass on the liberty and the democracy which we enjoy to our children.
Without a nation-state, without self-governance, without self-determination there can be no security for a people nor preservation of its identity. This was the insight which led the Zionists to re-establish the state of Israel. Theodore Herzl said that there had to be a Jewish state because – I quote – “what we want is a new blossoming of the Jewish spirit.”
Dear friends, we urgently need a new blossoming of the German spirit. For decades, the Germans have been ashamed of themselves. They preferred to be Europeans rather than Germans. And they have paid a heavy price for it. We have all paid a heavy price for it.
Europe is not a nation; it is a cluster of nations. The strength of Europe is its diversity. We are one family but we live in different bodies. Our cultures are branches of a common Judeo-Christian and humanist culture, but we have different national cultural identities. That is how it should be.
Uniformity is a characteristic of Islam, but not of Europe. Islam eradicated the national identities of the peoples it conquered. The Coptic identity of Egypt, the Indian identity of Pakistan, the Assyrian identity of Iraq, the Persian identity of Iran, they were all wiped away, cracked down upon, or discriminated against until this very day. Islam wants all nations replaced by the so-called Ummah, the common identity of the Nation of Islam to which all have to be subservient and into which all national identities have to vanish.
Islam tried to conquer Europe, but never succeeded so far. That is why we Europeans were able to develop our different identities as nation-states. If we want to hold on to these we must stand together against the forces which threaten our identities. Today we are confronted by two dangerous forces: Islamization and Europeanization.
When I was here last year, I spoke a length about the threat of Islam. Today, I want to draw your attention to the threat of Europeanization. By Europeanization I mean the ideology which posits that our sovereign nation-states have to submerge in a pan-European superstate.
The European Union’s Founding Fathers held that in order to avoid a future war in Europe, Europe’s nations, and especially Germany, had to be encapsulated in what the Rome Treaty called “an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.” Robert Schuman said that the EU’s aim was – I quote – “to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.” – end of quote.
The Eurocrats think that nation states in general – and especially Germany, Europe’s largest nation-state – are the problem. They are wrong. The real cause of the Second World War had not been the German nation state – it had been Nazi totalitarianism.
There is nothing wrong with Germany. The cause of the war was the Nazi ideology. The remedy against totalitarianism is not building a superstate. The remedy is introducing more direct forms of democracy at the lowest possible levels. Instead of depriving Germany and other nation-states of their sovereignty, the post-war leaders should have introduced a Swiss-like system in our countries. Small units should have a large degree of local sovereignty. The individual citizen should be given a direct democratic say over his own fate and that of his community.
Instead, the peoples of Europe were robbed of their sovereignty, which was transferred to far-away Brussels. Decisions are now being taken behind closed doors by unelected bureaucrats. This is not the kind of government we want!
We want less bureaucracy! We want more democracy!
We want less Europe! We want to hold on to our sovereignty. We want home rule! We want to remain independent and free! We want to be the masters in our own house!
In December 1991, the Maastricht Treaty called for a single European currency. The Dutch guilder and the D-mark were sacrificed on the altar of European unification. Helmut Kohl sold this project to the German people as – I quote – “a matter of war or peace.” – end of quote. The euro was presented as “an angel of peace” which the Germans had to sponsor by giving up the mark. During the past six decades German politicians have told the Germans that the nation state, and especially Germany, was so dangerous that it had to be emasculated. The Germans had to become Europeans instead of Germans. To achieve this political project, national and monetary sovereignty was relinquished. Economic and national interests were sacrificed on the political altar of so-called Europeanization.
All the countries which joined the euro lost the power to adjust their currency to their own economic needs. They have all suffered as a consequence. The currency of some countries is undervalued, the currency of others is overvalued; they all have to share in carrying the burden of other countries, even if the latter are suffering from self-inflicted policies, corruption or fraud. The European monetary system has allowed some countries to get a free ride at the expense of others, while those who cheat are in a position to blackmail those who have to foot the bill. This charade has to stop!
The European monetary system is deeply flawed. It is also immoral. As Theodore Herzl said “The character of a people may be ruined by charity.” This applies for those at the receiving end of charity, but also for those who donate it. The so-called pan-European solidarity is literally ruining us! Germany has paid enough for Europe already!
The same applies for the Netherlands. Our citizens do not have to pay the debts of others!
My friends, your party Die Freiheit embodies the best hope for Germany. Because your party is the only party in Germany which has the courage to state loud and clear that countries which cannot pay their debts should leave the euro. I fully agree.
My friends, time is running out. We have to act for the sake of democracy and the future prosperity of our children. The former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky warns that rather than preventing war, the European project makes conflicts more likely. He draws a parallel between the EU and the former Soviet Union which also suppressed feelings of national unity. When economy reality defeated the Soviets’ political project, the suppressed feelings of national identity bounced back with a vengeance and destroyed the Union. Bukovksy fears that if we do not stop the European moloch from expanding the same thing might happen in Europe.
The European leaders state that the only way to solve the current crisis is more European governance. They advocate more powers for Brussels. They are wrong. More Europe only makes matters worse. We have to oppose their attempt of further centralization.
We do not want more Europe! The EU lacks democracy, accountability and transparency. That is why we reject it. We want less Europe! Let us hope that next Wednesday the German Constitutional Court protects national sovereignty.
As a national legislator in the Netherlands I experience day by day how little we still have to say about our own fate. We are expected to rubberstamp laws which have been made by the EU Council of Ministers. The 27 EU commissioners convene behind closed doors with their colleagues. They negotiate in secret and then emerge to announce their agreement and present it. That is how the system works.
Recently, your Chancellor, Frau Merkel, went to Paris. Together with President Sarkozy she announced plans for an economic government of the eurozone.
We oppose this. We want the national parliaments to decide about our economic policies. We do not want to spend our taxpayers’ money on eurozone countries, such as Greece. Let those who have cheated us, who have mismanaged their economy or who have foolishly lived beyond their means, take care of themselves.
Moreover, the EU treaties forbid bailouts.
The Party for Freedom opposes every bail out. The Dutch minority government will never be able to count on our support in this regard. Today its wrongheaded euro policies are supported by the europhile leftist parties. I repeat: We will never support the Dutch government’s approval of the bailouts, not even if the government would lose the support of the left.
We have voted, and we will vote, against every plan to bail out other countries. Sovereign countries have to take care of their own needs. That is what sovereignty is about: freedom and the ability to take care of oneself.
Our peoples resent the fact that they have to pay for others. Our peoples resent the permanent alienation of power from their nation-states. They care about their nation because they care about democracy and freedom and the wellbeing of their children. They see their democratic rights and their age-old liberties symbolized in their national flag.
But there is more. National identity also ties an individual to an inheritance, a tradition, a loyalty, and a culture. National identity is also an inclusive identity: It considers everyone to be equal, whatever his religion or race, who is willing to assimilate into a nation by sharing the fate and future of a people.
My friends, we need to give political power back to the nation-state, in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom, in the name of human dignity. By defending the nation-states we defend our own identity. By defending our identity we defend our liberties. By defending our liberty we defend our dignity.
I urge you: Stand up for the nation-state. Be proud of your country!
In his Farewell Address as American President, Ronald Reagan said that the thing he was most proud of in his presidency was – I quote – “the resurgence of national pride that I called, ‘The New Patriotism.’” – end of quote.
Europe needs new patriotisms. Europe needs dozens of new patriotisms. We need True Finns, and True Danes, True Frenchmen, and True Irishmen, True Dutchmen, and, my friends, we need True Germans!
Reagan said that we had to teach our children what our country is, what it stands for and what it represents in the long history of the world. He said that Americans need – I quote – “a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions.”
Reagan’s words apply to us, Europeans, too. We need a resurgence of national pride, a love of country and institutions. Our national parliaments are our democratic institutions. We must defend them.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I have said enough. It is time to act. We must make haste. Time is running out for Germany, for the Netherlands, for all the other great nations of Europe. As Ronald Reagan said: “We need to act today, to preserve tomorrow”.
Here is a short summary of five things which we need to do in order to preserve our freedoms.
First, we must defend freedom of speech. It is the most important of our liberties. Second, we must end cultural relativism. Our Western culture is far superior to other cultures. Third, we must stop Islamization. More Islam means less freedom. There is enough Islam in Europe already. Immigrants must assimilate and adapt to our values. Fourth, we must restore the right to decide about our own money. We should not pay the debts of others. The survival of the euro should not be used as an excuse to reward countries which have shown that they were not worth to belong to the eurozone. Fifth, we must restore the supremacy and sovereignty of the nation-state. Our nations are the legacy which our fathers bestowed on us and which we want to bestow on our children. We are the free men and women of the West. We are the true men and women of the West. We do not stand for a superstate. We stand for our own country.
You stand for Germany. I stand for the Netherlands. Others stand for Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, and all these other beautiful freedom-loving nations of Europe. Together we represent the nations of Europe. Together we stand.
We will stand firm. We will survive. We will defend our freedoms. We will remain free.
Thank you very much.

Julia Gillard has lost the last milligram of respect I had for her.

Her smarmy and disingenuous comments about Mary Jo Fisher – an attempt to distract media and public attention from Craig Thomson – reveal Gillard to be the perfect example of a slimy, self-serving politician.

“The only person in this parliament who is charged with a criminal offence is a Liberal senator, charged with an offence against property, an offence against the person, charged with theft and assault,” Ms Gillard said yesterday.

“It would be completely inappropriate for me to volunteer a view as to whether the Liberal senator charged with theft and assault is guilty of those charges.”

So why mention them?

Just to be clear, Senator Fisher is charged with stealing $92.92 worth of groceries from a South Australian supermarket, and assaulting the security guard who stopped her.

Senator Fisher suffers from well-controlled depression. At the time of the alleged offences she was in the midst of a change of medication. By all accounts, there was no attempt to hide any merchandise. She simply had a mental blank and began to walk out of the supermarket, then panicked when grabbed by a man she did not immediately realise was a security officer.

Neither the supermarket nor the security guard wished to press charges.

Even if Senator Fisher was attempting to steal the groceries, this is a once-off offence. There is no pattern of behaviour here which would allow one to make any judgements about her character.

Craig Thomson, on the other hand, is alleged to have stolen a large amount of money from his employers over a period of  years, some of that money going to pay for prostitutes. That is a pattern of behaviour which enables judgements to be made about Thomson’s character.

For Julia Gillard to suggest there is some sort of parity between what is alleged about Senator Fisher and what is alleged about Craig Thomson, in order to deflect attention from Thomson and give the impression he, and she, are being treated unfairly, is cynical and dishonest.

There is a pattern of behaviour evident from Gillard and the Labor party. Draw your own conclusions about what that pattern says about their character.

Any doctor or family members considering turning off a ventilator or withholding food and water from someone who is ‘brain dead,’ or to use the currently preferred term, in a persistent vegetative state, should read the article Reborn by Steve Boggan in the UK Guardian first.

We have always been told there is no recovery from persistent vegetative state – doctors can only make a sufferer’s last days as painless as possible. But is that really the truth? Across three continents, severely brain-damaged patients are awake and talking after taking … a sleeping pill. And no one is more baffled than the GP who made the breakthrough.

For three years, Riaan Bolton has lain motionless, his eyes open but unseeing. After a devastating car crash doctors said he would never again see or speak or hear. Now his mother, Johanna, dissolves a pill in a little water on a teaspoon and forces it gently into his mouth. Within half an hour, as if a switch has been flicked in his brain, Riaan looks around his home in the South African town of Kimberley and says, “Hello.” Shortly after his accident, Johanna had turned down the option of letting him die.
Three hundred miles away, Louis Viljoen, a young man who had once been cruelly described by a doctor as “a cabbage”, greets me with a mischievous smile and a streetwise four-move handshake. Until he took the pill, he too was supposed to be in what doctors call a persistent vegetative state.

Across the Atlantic in the United States, George Melendez, who is also brain-damaged, has lain twitching and moaning as if in agony for years, causing his parents unbearable grief. He, too, is given this little tablet and again, it’s as if a light comes on. His father asks him if he is, indeed, in pain. “No,” George smiles, and his family burst into tears …

Although these awakenings are the most dramatic aspect of the zolpidem phenomenon, Percy Lomax, the chief executive of ReGen Therapeutics, the British company funding the South African trials, believes Nel’s work with less brain-damaged patients could be the most significant. Many stroke victims, patients with head injuries and those whose brains have been deprived of oxygen, such as near-drowning cases, have reported significant improvement in speech, motor functions and concentration after taking the drug.

No one should ever be written off. No one’s life should be ended because he or she is too much trouble, an inconvenience, or has no ‘quality of life’ which is what people say when ‘too much trouble’ is what they mean but they don’t want to sound selfish.

You can’t blame Telstra for wanting to make money. If they offer a paid directory assistance number and people choose to call it, that increases returns to shareholders. Nothing wrong with that.

But Telstra does have a free directory service.

Telstra’s free directory assistance number is 1223.

I lived in Western Australia, the “Wildflower State,” for a few years, but never really appreciated how beautiful these flowers are.

We are in Geraldton to visit Kathy’s mum, who has been in hospital. She is out now, and we were able to take her out to the Coalseam Conservation Park 100kms East of Geraldton.

I took some photos with Kathy’s Canon A1200, a cheap camera with a very good macro mode. I have uploaded a few of them to my Flickr account.

This is one:

West Australian Wildflowers

It was Kathy’s 50th birthday on Saturday, and I took her to Melbourne to see Love Never Dies, the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. There were no deep social messages. It was simply entertainment, and very well done. The music was performed by a very competent small orchestra, the set design and costuming were colourful and interesting, the story worked, the characters were engaging. I was glad to see it.

That was at the Regent Theatre. As we walked back to our hotel near the Queen Victoria Market I pulled down every ‘Boycott Brenner’s’ poster I saw, and threw them in the bin. There were a lot. Only once did anyone ask me what I was doing. I said the posters were Nazism – telling lies to get people to hate Jews.

If people had torn down the swastikas when they first appeared, and refused to accept the scape-goating of the Jews, the Second World War and the Holocaust might never have happened. There are some things that must not be tolerated, cannot be tolerated, in any society that wants to believe itself civilised.

The next day we went to the Tutankhamen exhibition at the museum. The most interesting part for me was the DNA research into Tutankhamen’s ancestry. I had not known that Tutankhamen was Akhenaten’s son. Some of the items recovered from the tomb were in remarkable condition – colours still bright after 3,000 years.

I heard a young man behind me ask why there wasn’t anything about Cleopatra. His girlfriend told him that there wouldn’t be, cause she was like, his aunt or something.

That night we went to the Melbourne Central shopping centre and had a superb meal of sushi and sashimi at Tomodachi. We also went to see Cowboys and Aliens. Again, no great social message, no environmental or political agenda, just pure entertainment. It was fun. Daniel Craig was especially good – cool and tough, much like his version of James Bond. The only minor disappointment was that the film was one scene too long. The final scene in town added nothing, and detracted from the brilliant poignancy of the preceding scene with Lonergan, the cabin and hummingbird. That one mistake took it from a B+ to a good C.

A (slightly edited) letter by Carrie Geshus in the May 1st issue of reason magazine:

Extreme paternalism, over-protectiveness, giving in to a loved one’s every desire are simply shortcuts and not expressions of real love. It is much easier to give little Johnny a trophy after he loses a baseball tournament than it is to watch him sulk and cry for an afternoon. But allowing him to learn that many of life’s endeavours naturally come with failure will impart a lesson that strengthens him for a lifetime, while the sorrows of specific failures are long forgotten. Falsely bolstering self-esteem with endless coddling does nothing but create individuals who stare across the threshold of adulthood, terrified and without a clue how to stand on their own. I would hardly call that love.

Children need the chance to learn that failure is not the end of the world, that failure does not mean that they are a failure, that failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. Current parenting and educational practices which ensure that no one ever fails, while comfortable for parents and teachers, set children up for such abject misery in the long run that they amount to child abuse.

Everyone can relax. The whole Craig Thomson thing, it was all just a misunderstanding.

He thought the union said it was buy-sexual friendly.