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‘Sunburnt’ was the headline on the front page of Saturday’s Adelaide Advertiser.

In the accompanying article, The Advertiser revealed the shocking news that the costs of government subsidies to people who installed solar panels, both the installation subsidies and the feedback tariff subsidies, would have to be paid by other electricity users, and that this could add $120 per year to the average power bill.

The article notes the justifiable concerns expressed by some welfare groups:

Welfare groups say the scheme, which rewards householders with 44c a kilowatt hour for electricity they feed back into the grid, effectively results in low-income families subsidising bills of the rich.

“We’re not opposed to a solar feed-in tariff. But those people who are missing out are lower-income households, who simply can’t afford to pay for solar panels, even with a subsidy, yet they are having to pay for everybody else’s solar panels,” UnitingCare Wesley spokesman Mark Henley said.

I don’t know why people find this so hard to comprehend. When the government pays subsidies, whether to ‘renewable’ energy companies, child care centres, or metropolitan bus travellers, it is you, the ordinary tax payer, who pays those subsidies.

This is not shocking. It is obvious. The time to think about it, and to make it a headline story, is before the subsidies are implemented.

Writing in American Thinker, Robert Simmons, Jr says Sarah Palin should run for president, and can win if she does.

His argument is that she is a genuine social conservative/economic libertarian – just what is needed to counteract the interventionist bumbling of the Obama administration, that she is honest, intelligent and has strong administrative experience, and that even after the unprecentedly vicious and dishonest attacks on her and her family by the legacy media, she is still probably the USA’s most visible and popular politician.

It is unlikely the other potential Republican candidates, Romney, Pawlenty, Hunstman, for example, could garner such widespread popular appeal. In addition the media have so far given them an easy run. If one of them won the nomination, that would change, and the full fury of the liberal establishment would turn upon them in the months before the election.

But they have already run out of ammunition on Sarah Palin. She has been subjected to that same fury for the last three years and is still looking like a winner.

Although The Age is a left leaning paper, I was a regular reader up until a few years ago.

I am not sure what changed, but it seemed to me that The Age was no longer content with giving people the news and then saying ‘This is what we think about it.’

Instead ‘what we think about it’ was presented as the  news. Alternative opinions, even on the letters page, were not welcomed or considered.

So I stopped buying it. As did other people. Circulation declined notably more rapidly than other metropolitan dailies.

But in the last week, two columns have appeared which offer opinions different from The Age’s customary editorial line.

The first was Paul Sheehan’s article on the SBS crockumentary Go Back to Where You Came From.

In this column Sheehan points out that the SBS uses its customary cut and paste tricks to mislead viewers – see Immigration Nation for several spectacular examples – and notes that real empathy for refugees would lead to policies quite different from those of our present government.

The second was an article by Professor Bob Carter on the fallacies and dangers of climate change alarmism.

Here are some of the facts Bob thinks Australians should be aware of:

Fact 1. A mild warming of about 0.5 degrees Celsius (well within previous natural temperature variations) occurred between 1979 and 1998, and has been followed by slight global cooling over the past 10 years. Ergo, dangerous global warming is not occurring.

Fact 2. Between 2001 and 2010 global average temperature decreased by 0.05 degrees, over the same time that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased by 5 per cent. Ergo, carbon dioxide emissions are not driving dangerous warming.

Fact 3. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is beneficial. In increasing quantity it causes mild though diminishing warming (useful at a time of a quiet sun and likely near-future planetary cooling) and acts as a valuable plant fertiliser. Extra carbon dioxide helps to shrink the Sahara Desert, green the planet and feed the world. Ergo, carbon dioxide is neither a pollutant nor dangerous, but an environmental benefit.

Fact 4. Closing down the whole Australian industrial economy might result in the prevention of about 0.02 degrees of warming. Reducing emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 (the government’s target) will avert an even smaller warming of about 0.002 degrees. Ergo, cutting Australian emissions will make no measurable difference to global climate.

Fact 5. For an assumed tax rate of $25 a tonne of carbon dioxide, the costs passed down to an average family of four will exceed $2000 a year.

So the cost-benefit equation is this: ”Your family pays more than $2000 a year in extra tax in return for a possible cooling of the globe by two one-thousandths of a degree.” Remember, too, that Garnaut’s recommendation is that the tax rate should be increased at 4 per cent a year, which would result in a cost doubling in less than 20 years.

I think the $2000 estimate of costs to the avergae family is too low, and does not take sufficiently into account the flow on from increased energy and transportation prices.

Nonetheless, I suspect that this will be the first time Age readers have been exposed to opnions/facts from an actual scientist questioning the media consensus.

There is a poll at the end of that article which asks readers ‘Do you think tackling climate change should be a priority for Australia?’

At the time of writing the results were: 74% No, 26% Yes.

When that sort of result appears in a poll in The Age, then maybe the tide of public opinion and commonsense is finally pulling the Titanic of the Australian print media back on course.

I am sorry about the slow posting over the last couple of weeks.

The effects of a general downturn in retail sales has been augmented for me by a wet, cold (and therefore unusually slow) season on KI. On top of that, a new guy has set up shop across the road from me offering exactly the same computer services as us. Consequently I am spending more time making less money, which means less time for other things – like this blog.

In addition I have been trying to finish a couple of other writing projects, and am still looking for a publisher or agent for Jennifer Jones and the Corridors of Time.

Nonetheless, I will try to do better!

Incidentally, I passed the 1,000 post mark a few weeks ago.

No big deal, I know, compared with Andrew Bolt or Tim Blair. But hey, I work for a living!

A few days ago Viscount Monckton suggested that those who think like professional climate boogeymen Ross Garnaut are on a short road to fascism.

Cue legacy media frenzy of horror. His comments were bizarre, appalling, distasteful, etc, etc. He should be disinvited from everything and no one should ever be seen near him again.

Yeah, but, yeah, but ….

When a group of well paid politicians, public servants, movie stars and journalists claim that some people should not be heard or published, that they should be imprisoned for their views, that they should be tattooed so that they can be easily identified, that is is fine to abuse them – not just for their views on matters of science and policy but for their physical appearance,  that democracy should be suspended, that it is amusing to show videos of children being blown up at the the press of a button…

Then how does that not sound like they are on a short road to fascism?

I doubted that Sarah Palin was electable as US president, even if she won the Republican nomination.

I have changed my mind.

She could do the job. The democrat/liberal claim she is stupid is based on nothing but fear of a formidable opponent.

Anyone who thinks she lacks intellect or education has not listened to her speak on key issues, or read her articles.

She has experience of life and of opposition and intimidation, and has faced even the most revolting comments about her and her family with grace and generosity.

Just as importantly, she has experience in actually running things – something the present incumbent lacks – and she seems to have an awareness of, and an ability to think clearly about, key world and domestic issues.

What I thought made her unelectable was the sheer magnitude of the campaign against her. She has been so thoroughly vilified in the media that everyone’s opinions of her have been touched to some extent by constant misrepresentations and accusations.

What has changed my mind is Steve Bannon’s film ‘Undefeated.’

It portrays Sarah as a woman of intelligence, integrity and courage, and it shows how these things enabled her to be extraordinarily effective as Governor of Alaska. Her care for ordinary people and determination to do what is right shine through the film.

I hope she will run, but whatever she decides, God bless her and her family.

Lord Turnbull was Permanent Secretary of the UK Department for the Environment from 1994 to 1998, and Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service 2002-05.

He has written a twenty page briefing paper for the Global Warming Policy Foundation. It is called The Really Inconvenient Truth Or “It ain’t necessarily so.” You can download the report in PDF format here.

Lord Turnbull discusses the claims of the IPCC specifically from the point of view of providing a basis for government policy.

He notes that there is general agreement that the world has gotten warmer by about 0.8 degress Celsius over the last 150 years. There is general agreement that there is a ‘greenhouse effect’ and that CO2 contributes to it.

(Not every scientist agrees that this is so. Alan Siddons, for example, claims there is no evidence of any real world greenhouse effect at all, and that it is not even theoretically possible.)

But back to Turnbull. He goes on to point that the alarm over climate change is based on the untested and increasingly unlikely looking assumption that a harmless and possibly beneficial 1 degree increase in global temperature caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would be amplified to between 3 and 6 degrees by various other ‘positive feedbacks,’ mainly a dramatically increased greenhouse effect caused by higher levels of water vapour.

Now in his own words:

The Really Inconvenient Truth is that the propositions of the IPCC do not bear the weight of certainty with which they are expressed. However, the purpose of the paper is not to argue that there is another truth which should become the new consensus, but to point out the doubts that exist about the IPCC viewpoint and serious flaws in its procedures. It is also to question why the UK Government has placed such heavy bets on one particular source of advice.

Even if the IPCC scenarios were correct, the impacts are frequently selective and exaggerated. The economic policy choices being made will not minimize the cost of mitigation. The paper concludes with a call for more humility from scientists, more rational reflection from politicians, and more challenge from our parliamentarians.

There it is: The economic policy choices being made will not minimize the cost of mitigation.

Climate change is inevitable, and difficult to predict.

Responsible government would act so as to minimise the negative effects of climate change.

But the Gillard Labor government is acting in exactly the opposite way. Its policies are designed to slow development and economic growth.

A ‘carbon tax’ is meant to hurt. It is meant to force us (the poorer of us, anyway) to reduce the amount we travel, to reduce our levels of consumption.

This means less tax income for government, less expenditure on infrastructure, less money for companies to put into research and development.

In other words, current policy directions will not enhance, but rather severely reduce our ability to mitigate the effects of future climate change whether warmer or, more likely and more damagingly, colder.

That was Louie the fly, in the famous Mortein ads. But it might as well have been organic food, except then it would need to be ‘Straight from manure pile to you.’

Health authorities were issuing warnings years ago about the increased dangers of ‘organic’ foods. Take this, from the Angelo State University in 2001, for example:

Organic Food May Hold Hidden Dangers

Going organic may be hazardous to your health.

The reason is a strain of the E. coli bacteria may actually contaminate certain vegetables when they are fertilized with organic materials, says Dr. Mandy A. Carr, a research scientist and assistant professor of animal science at Angelo State University.

Typical symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection can include acute cramps, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and, in worst cases, kidney failure, Carr said. Children under 5 and the elderly are most susceptible to the infection.

Recent research, she said, has shown that E. coli O157:H7 causes over 40,000 infections and 250 deaths each year in the United States alone. The organism can incubate in the human intestinal tract for up to four days before symptoms develop. The illness can last up to 10 days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labels E. coli O157:H7 as one of the top four concerns related to the national food supply.

Or this, in 2002, from the Center for Global Food Issues:

Harsh Organic Reality

Organic food is more dangerous than conventionally grown produce because organic farmers use animal manure as the major source of fertilizer for their food crops. …

Organic farmers compound the contamination problem through their reluctance to use antimicrobial preservatives, chemical washes, pasteurization, or even chlorinated water to rid their products of dangerous bacteria.

The new E. coli attacks even the strong. It inflicts permanent damage on internal organs. It even kills healthy adults. The new salmonella is nearly as dangerous.

As these lethal new bacteria spread, organic foods have clearly become the deadliest food choice.

Bloggers have also drawn attention to the problems of contamination of ‘organic’ food. This from Brian Dunning at Skeptoid in 2007:

Some supporters of organic growing claim that the danger of non-organic food lies in the residues of chemical pesticides. This claim is even more ridiculous: Since the organic pesticides and fungicides are less efficient than their modern synthetic counterparts, up to seven times as much of it must be used. Organic pesticides include rotenone, which has been shown to cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and is a natural poison used in hunting by some native tribes; pyrethrum, which is carcinogenic; sabadilla, which is highly toxic to honeybees; and fermented urine, which I don’t want on my food whether it causes any diseases or not.

Supporters of organics claim that the much larger amounts of chemicals they use is OK because those chemicals are all-natural. But just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it’s safe or healthy — consider the examples of hemlock, mercury, lead, toadstools, box jellyfish neurotoxin, asbestos — not to mention a nearly infinite number of toxic bacteria and viruses (E. coli, salmonella, bubonic plague, smallpox). When you hear any product claim to be healthy because its ingredients are all natural, be skeptical. By no definition can “all natural” mean that a product is healthful.

Consider the logical absurdity proposed by those who claim conventional growers produce less healthful food. To the organically minded, conventional growers are evil greedy corporations interested only in their profit margin. What’s the best way to improve the profit margin? To buy less pesticides and fertilizer. This means they must use far more advanced and efficient products. The idea that pesticides leave dangerous residues is many decades out of date. Food production is among the most regulated and scrutinized of processes, and today’s synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are completely biodegradable. They’re supported by decades of studies that demonstrate their total safety.

In the United States, 2006 brought two major outbreaks of E. coli, both resulting in deaths and numerous illnesses, ultimately traced to organically grown spinach and lettuce. According to the Center for Global Food Issues, organic foods make up about 1% of all the food sold in the United States, but it accounts for 8% of E. coli cases.

And now, surprise, surprise, the latest massive E. Coli outbreak in Europe which has infected over 2,000 people and killed 22, has been traced to an organic sprout farm in Germany.

And no, that’s not jihad in the sense of the inner struggle against sin and weakness. It means the use of violence to achieve the impostion of sharia law and the establishment of a caliphate.

“The Soldier’s Prayer,” written in 1912 by Turkish nationalist poet Ziya Gokalp:

The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks and the faithful our army.

From Andrew G. Bostom at Big Peace:

During August 2007, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) released “Radicalization in the West — The Homegrown Threat.” This insightful 90-page report evaluated the threat that had become apparent since 9/11/2001, analyzing the roots of recent terror plots in the United States, from Lackawanna in upstate New York to Portland, Ore., to Fort Dix, NJ. Based upon these case-study analyses of individuals arrested for jihadist activity, the authors concluded that the “journey” of radicalization that produces homegrown jihadists began in so-called “Salafist” (“fundamentalist” to non-Muslims) mosques characterized by high levels of Sharia—Islamic Law—adherence.

The landmark study just published, “Sharia and Violence in American Mosques” (Kedar M, Yerushalmi D. The Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2011, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 59-72) sought to expand considerably upon the NYPD’s post-hoc, case study approach—systematically gathering objective survey data, with much greater methodological rigor—and address these two a priori questions: I) Is there a robust association between observable measures of religious devotion, coupled to Sharia-adherence in US mosques, and the presence of violence-sanctioning materials at these mosques?; and II) Is there a robust association between the presence of violence-sanctioning materials at a mosque, and the advocacy of jihadism by the mosque’s leadership via recommending the study of these materials, or other manifest behaviors? …

In brief, survey data were collected from a nationally representative, random statistical sample of 100 US mosques, covering 14 states, and the District of Columbia. …

The study’s results provide clear—and ominous—affirmative answers to the a priori questions posed. Sharia-adherence was strongly associated with the presence of jihad-violence sanctioning materials, and the presence of jihad-violence sanctioning materials was in turn robustly associated with advocacy of jihadism by mosque imams—religious leaders. This key summary finding was highlighted by the authors:

…51 percent of mosques had texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari‘a-based political order or advocated violent jihad as a duty that should be of paramount importance to a Muslim; 30 percent had only texts that were moderately supportive of violence like the Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Fiqh as-Sunna; 19 percent had no violent texts at all.

Thus 81% of this statistical sample representative of US mosques were deemed as moderately (30%) to highly (51%) supportive of promulgating jihad violence to impose Shari’a.

Even more disturbing is the fact that only 4.7% of regular Muslim worshippers attend a mosque where no violent jihadist materials are available, because the Sharia/Caliphate/Jihad supporting mosques are better attended.

It would be interesting to see a similar survey of mosques in Australia.

I have often wondered about the economic and environmental value of public transport buses lumbering through city traffic.

I have lived in rural areas most of my life, and it has always annoyed me that I have to pay for those busses through my taxes when I never use them, and when I pay more for petrol, earn less, and have to travel further to work than the people I am subsidising.

So I was interested to read Ezra Levant’s article The bus stops here: The truth about public transit in the Edmonton Sun a few days ago.

Here are a few paragraphs:

Let’s start off with the obvious: Buses are extremely expensive. They take billions of dollars each year from all levels of government. And yet despite these massive subsidies, bus fares continue to skyrocket.

But everyone knows government transit is a huge waste of money. That’s a given. But buses are supposed to be environmentally superior to cars. That’s the whole excuse for them.

It’s a lie.

For a couple of hours each day, buses are full — so they’re efficient. But outside of rush hour, buses are mainly empty. But they still burn nearly as much gas and still cost the same to run and maintain as if they were full.

Using data from the Washington-based CATO Institute, investigative reporter Kevin Libin found that when you compare the amount of energy burned and pollution emitted per person, per mile, buses are bigger polluters than cars are.

City buses burn 27% more energy per passenger mile than cars do. Of course — because most of the day, those huge tanks are barreling down the road with just a few people in them, sometimes just the driver. And city buses emit 31% more CO2 than cars do.

If you want to reduce pollution, drive your car. Don’t take a bus….

Same thing with bike lanes, including in wacko cities such as Toronto and Vancouver where actual car lanes on the street have been blocked off for bikes only. So in rush hour, thousands of cars sit idling in traffic jams — wasting time and wasting fuel. The odd bike goes by — but thousands of drivers are punished.

Buses are more expensive, use more fuel, and pollute more per passenger mile than cars. And because they slow traffic, bike lanes cause more, not less, pollution.

Canada does not have a monopoly on dopey big spending policies which achieve the opposite of what they intend. And we’re not short of wacko cities in Australia either.

The ABC reports a ‘catholic’ doctor working at Newcastle’s Calvary Mater Hospital has had his Catholic faith shaken by the hospital’s refusal to provide written advice on artificial contraception to patients participating in a cancer drug trial.

Really? A Catholic doctor’s faith is shaken because the Catholic hospital he works at acts in accordance with Catholic teaching?

Catholic hospitals are leaders in cancer research. All such research involves risks. In this case, there is a possibility the drug could cause birth defects.

The hospital provides everyone considering participating in the trial with a statement of the risks involved, including a section on reproductive risks.

It would be sensible to avoid conceiving a child while taking the drug.

Advice about natural methods of contraception is also available at the hospital.

Essentially, this means keeping track of the woman’s cycles, and avoiding intercourse for a maximum of ten days around the time of ovulation. This is as effective as the pill in preventing conception. Because no drugs are involved, there are no side effects, nor any possibility that artificial hormones will interfere with the cancer therapy.

If you can’t refrain from intercourse for ten days at a time for a few months while participating in a drug trial, there is something wrong with you.

When Kathy had uterine cancer, she underwent surgery then a course of radiotherapy. We were not able to make love for six months. It was frustrating at times. It also gave us a chance to grow together in other ways, and to appreciate the gift of sex even more.

If that path is not for you, there are plenty of places which will offer all the advice you need.

But why would anyone, including a doctor, think they had the right to get such advice from a Catholic hospital?

Well, no, actually. But, hey Bill McKibben et al, don’t let mere facts stop you.

Bill McKibben was one of the first (they are pretty quick, but he was the quickest) of the global warming alarmists to claim the Joplin disaster was OUR FAULT. Because of CO2 and stuff.

In reality that is a complete crock of doodoom, as Dr Roy Spencer points out.

There has been a decrease in the average number and intensity of tornadoes as the world has warmed. Tornadoes are stronger and more frequent in cooler years.

The warming trend began to reverse ten years ago. The current year is cooler. So it is not surprising that tornadoes are beginning to become worse.

But if blaming global warming makes you happy, well I guess reality is not for you.

However, you might still enjoy reading through The Times article from 1974 ‘Another Ice Age?’

Yep, looks like everyone is pretty much agreed, the science is settled, we’re headed for global cooling. And one of the signs is more frequent and more intense tornadoes.

And then there’s this:

Religious leaders to converge on Canberra for action on climate change

Oh goody.

Bishop George Browning, formerly Anglican Bishop of Canberra/Goulburn, had this to say:

Our generation has been given humanity’s last chance to avert a climate emergency. Our grandchildren will just have to bear with the results of what we decide to do now. The naysayers are holding Australia back from taking responsible action with their fear-mongering and misinformation. Not only can we act, we must act.

Actually George, you’ve got it the wrong way around. It is the misinformed fear-mongers who are demanding that we take irresponsible action.

No wonder nobody goes to the Anglican church any more. It seems to have nothing to say except for desperate attempts to be relevant by chasing every trendy issue. The end result, of course, is that everyone recognises it is completely irrelevant. To everything.

How hard can it be?

  • There is no evidence, ever, anywhere, that CO2 has ever been a driver of climate change.
  • Changes in temperature over the last century have been relatively mild by geological standards, and well within the range of normal change.
  • The world has been getting cooler for the last ten years.
  • There is no correlation between human production of CO2 and changes in global climate.

How about, George et al, holding off trying so hard to be cool, and actually saying something really relevant. Like ‘Jesus loves you.’

Just a suggestion.

The Australian Greens have accused polluters of an “ugly attack” on Hollywood star Cate Blanchett, who has come out in a new television advertising campaign in support of a carbon tax.

Yes, but if CO2 is a pollutant, then everyone still breathing is a polluter, right?

A tax on CO2 will have a serious effect on the ability of average householders to pay for fuel, electricity and ordinary household items. The whole point of a CO2 tax is to make it impossible for ordinary people to go on using the resources they use now. In other words, the point is to make people poorer.

But Cate’s response to these concerns is not just ‘Let them eat cake,’ but ‘No problem, let a few starve or freeze. Can someone bring me my second cappuchino. And where is the limo to take me to my private jet?’

And for heaven’s sake, why can’t the people who want a tax talk clearly about what it is they want?

They don’t want a ‘carbon tax.’ They want a tax on human production of CO2. Calling CO2 ‘carbon pollution’ makes as much sense as calling water ‘oxygen pollution.’

When Cate Blanchett lives in a two bedroom cottage like I do, uses only rain water like I do, car pools like I do, uses less than 6000 kWh of electricity per year as I do, then I will listen to what she has to say on the subject of reducing our resource usage.

Until then, she can keep her preaching to herself.

I watched the SA ABC’s Stateline programme on Friday night. There was a segment about KI Sealink and some of Kangaroo Island’s accommodation services.

The accommodation providers said it was unfair that they weren’t benefitting from a Sealink partnership programme they hadn’t joined and didn’t want to pay for.

They had complained to Sealink, then to the ACCC. The ACCC found their complaint was without foundation, so they enlisted a self-promoting politician and academic, and complained to the media.

I didn’t know whether to be amused or appalled.

Sealink is a commercial venture. Its future reliability depends on its continuing to make a profit.

Without strong profits it could not employ the staff it does on Kangaroo Island and elsewhere. It could not maintain and service its vessels and other infrastructure. It could not make provision to purchase replacement vessels and buildings when necessary. It could not pay $10,000 per week in wharfage fees (essentially a state government toll on the only road in and out of our community, the only community in the state that has to pay such an impost), and it could not pay taxes which contribute to roads, hospitals and schools.

Sealink is under no obligation to offer lower fares to residents, or any reduced fares at all, even as part of a campaign to bring more visitors to the island.

When it does offer below cost fares, that loss needs to be recovered from somewhere else.

One way to do this is to invite accommodation services to partner with it. Those who choose to be partners share in meeting the cost of the reduced fares. In return, they get more prominent publicity, and priority in accommodation bookings made through Sealink.

There is nothing remotely anti-competitive about this. It is not, for example, like service providers agreeing to fix prices.

But some providers who have chosen not to participate are complaining it is unfair.

This is a bit like complaining it is unfair that people who pay for advertising in The Islander get more customers than people who don’t. Fairfax has plenty of money. They should offer free advertising space to people who don’t want to pay, so those people are not disadvantaged.

That would be ridiculous. It is no less ridiculous for people who have chosen not to participate in a partnership programme to complain it is unfair when they get fewer bookings than people who have.

It is a simple commercial decision. If you think your business would be more profitable paying the partnership fee and commissions, then join. If you don’t, don’t join.

But whatever you decide, don’t whine about it.

Organisers of the Slutwalk rally declare: Sluts are sex workers. Sluts are virgins. Sluts are mothers with their teenage daughters. Sluts wear beanies, fishnet stockings, G-string leotards, polar fleece and jeans.

Really?

Are these women (and a few try hard blokes) completely and utterly crazy?

Slutwalk Rally - Clothes Send a Message

Of course rape is wrong. Of course ‘No’ means no. Of course women have the right to be safe wherever they are, whatever they choose to wear.

But hang on a second. What does a ‘right to be safe wherever they are, whatever they choose to wear’ actually mean?

Men don’t have any such right. Or maybe they do in theory.

But men, generally, understand that what they wear sends signals about who they are, what they might be up for, and what value they place on themselves. And generally, they stay out of places that might be unsafe. Even if they have a right, in theory, to go where they want, wearing what they want.

”My rape was not my fault!” Cody Smith told the crowd. A woman who has transitioned to being a man, he choked back tears as he described his guilt.

”I spent so many years blaming myself for my state of intoxication … for what I was wearing … for not being strong enough to keep the rapist off me.”

So you were alone with a man you did not know, dressed like a slut (their word, not mine) and crocked out of your brain, and what happened to you was not your fault.

I agree. It wasn’t your fault. If you said no in a way that your attacker could understand, then it was rape, and your attacker was criminally wrong.

But the reality is that we don’t just communicate using words. The clothes you wear, the make-up you use, how drunk you are, the way you walk, the way you talk, the places you go, all send signals.

This is true of men too of course. Women rightly use such cues to make decisions about the character and reliablity of the men they choose to be with.

This means both men and women should be aware of, and take responsibility for, the messages they send.

Right or wrong, like it or not, sometimes non-verbal cues outweigh what a person says in words. And if you make a series of decisions to dress in a certain way, drink more than you should, behave like a tart, pash on with a stranger, then don’t be surprised when a person whose physical responses you have elicited becomes confused about the messages you are sending.

Women should be safe. That is their right. If they want to be taken seriously and treated as equals and adults, they should also be responsible.

And yes, even when women won’t take responsibility, men should. Rape is always wrong.

Update.

I have stopped comments on this post. I have let most of those already made stand.

Really, people. I would have thought it obvious if I allow comments which swear at me or wish me dead, that I don’t agree with or endorse every comment made. So it makes little to zero sense to insult me further for the opinions of people who comment.

Secondly, as I thought I had made clear in my original post more than once, rape is an abhorrent crime. It is never acceptable or excusable. It is never right to blame the victim.

It is surely, however, given that there are rapists out there, reasonable to ask how women can be safer.

Asking how women can be safer is not the same thing as blaming them for being raped. Why would anyone make that assumption?

One of the things that concerned me about the Slutwalk is that it suggests that women are to be identified as sexual objects.

If you advertise yourself as sexually available in dress or speech, some people will assume you really are sexually available. Even if you say you are not, at very least you are sending mixed messages.

People should accept your no. Anyone who doesn’t is a pig and criminal. But the reality is, some people will either misread the messages, or choose to ignore what they don’t want to hear.

That is not your fault. It is theirs. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to avoid being in that situation and to make yourself safer.

Being aware of your dress and actions and what they communicate, and taking steps to make yourself safer is simply part of being a responsible adult.

It may not be fair. But lots of things are not fair. We all have to live in the word as it is, not how we think it should be.

That seems obvious to me, and like one of the commenters, I am baffled about why saying so has caused so much anger.

You may disagree. I am happy to hear why. But telling me I should die a slow painful death, or swearing at me or calling me names is not going to convince me you are right.

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