Just a few brief thoughts.
It seems to me quite clear, at the risk of incurring judicial wrath, that Justice Bromberg would very much like to find against Andrew Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times.
There have been a few comments and questions from the bench which indicate this. For example, his remark that “It (freedom of speech) is not an unqualified right. Never has been.”
No one had said it was. Certainly Andrew’s team had made no such claim. So why make this comment?
I could be quite wrong. Justice Bromberg may genuinely intend to put aside any feelings or political values he may have or espouse, and make his judgement solely on the basis of relevant legislation and precedent.
But at very least, it is unwise for a justice, during the course of a trial, to make gratuitous remarks which could beconstrued as indicating a bias.
It is simply nonsense to suggest that public discussion of another person’s ethnicity is out of bounds because it is necessarily racial vilification.
Say I was to discover that my maternal grandmother had been a member of the Ngapuhi tribe. One of my adopted sisters is a Ngapuhi woman, and my family had lived in Northland for a long time before coming to Australia, so this is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Say I then decided on this basis that I was a Maori. I would expect some pretty merciless mocking from my mates.
If I decided to return to NZ and to claim benefits or awards on the basis of being a Ngapuhi man, I would expect that this claim would be scrutinised.
I would also expect to be able to show the basis on which my claim was made. I would not feel insulted by requests to do this.
Even I did feel insulted, that would say more about my own conceit than anything else.
There is no right under law not to be offended.
Underlying the complaint in the Bolt case, and, it seems to me in some of Justice Bromberg’s remarks, is the assumption that race is less about race than it is about identity, community and culture. Some of the comments from the complainants go as far as suggesting that anyone who does not hold this new view of race is ipso facto a racist or eugenicist.
There may be instances where it is helpful to take culture and identity into account when race is being determined.
But that is different from saying that culture, identity, community are what matter, and that actual racial background and inheritance do not. A person who is ethnically Han Chinese is still ethnically Chinese even if she was born in Australia and knows nothing of Chinese culture or language.
I would be happy to see some public discussion of this. But it would be extraordinary if people who still thought that race was primarily about race found themselves in trouble with the law because they held and expressed that opinion.
My mother’s grandfather was Norwegian. He was a very old man when I was young. He was born in the late 1800s, and was one of the last generation of merchant seaman to sail in commerical wind-powered ships.
I liked him – he let me have sugar in my tea. But even more I liked the idea that some of my ancestors might have been vikings. I remember seeing The Vikings and The Long Ships at the Kings theatre in Kawakawa. They seem remarkably violent now for a five or six year old boy to have been allowed go and see alone. But times have changed. One shilling and sixpence isn’t going to buy you a movie ticket and an icecream anymore.
So of course I had to be a viking. I had a horned hat, and conducted carefully planned raids on neighbouring fruit trees. I leapt out from behind bushes to terrify local maidens, and threatened passing dragons (cars) from my lair halfway up the bank beside the road.
If I was minded to, I could just as easily have been Welsh, or German. Germans were still a bit unpopular in the early sixties, and the Welsh, well who the heck were they? So I had to be a viking.
Now I’m just me.
My wife had just as interesting a range of choices. Both her parents have scottish ancestry. But she is also part Cherokee. About as much as I am Norwegian.
She is interested in her Cherokee heritage. but she would never claim to be Cherokee, any more than I would claim to be Norwegian. Why would we choose to ‘be’ something that is only a tiny part of our total heritage?
But some people do just that.
Let’s imagine two young people. We’ll call them the Malfoys. They are white in appearance and were raised by a European family in a comfortable home in a modern city. In early adulthood they discovered one of their relatives was aboriginal.
This makes them aboriginal, they claim. A lasting sorrow is that as they were growing up they were deprived of learning their aboriginal culture.
Later the Malfoys become so expert in aboriginal history and culture that they become teachers of it.
They do not appear to notice that growing up as aboriginal in an aboriginal community would have deprived them of learning about the European and perhaps other cultures, which are also part of their heritage. And of the educational opportunities and income which allowed them later to pursue their aboriginality.
The Malfoys might say they did not decide what to be. But in deciding to favour one tiny part of the totality of their heritage over all others, they have chosen to be aboriginal.
And fair enough. Why would I care, any more than they should care if I claimed to be Norwegian?
But if they claim special privilege at public cost because they are aboriginal, then it becomes my concern, and I and other tax payers are entitled to ask why they are favouring this tiny part of their heritage over all else.
Any claim on taxpayer money is a matter of public interest.
Some of those who have accepted prizes, awards and assistance designed to benefit aboriginal people who have suffered prejudice or disadvantage, have an appearance and family background which means they cannot possibly have suffered any such prejudice or disadvantage while growing up.
It is disingenuous to pretend to be insulted by questions about whether awards and assistance given to them is an appropriate use of funds allocated for that purpose.
Bill O’Reilly says that despite lack of clarity about process (eg, no congressional approval, no clear and present danger to the US), America’s involvement in Libya is a good thing:
On the left … Ralph Nader is calling for impeachment. Michael Moore has suggested that Obama give back the Nobel Peace Prize. Congressman Dennis Kucinich wants to cut off funding for any military action against Libya.
On the right, Pat Buchanan banged the isolationist drum: “Why is the United States, all the way across the ocean, got to go in and stop Arabs from killing Arabs? … Why are we in there?”
To prevent a massacre? I believe that’s the reason, Mr. Buchanan.
Congressman Ron Paul was equally blunt: “What are we doing? We are in this crisis, and they decide to spend all this money. It makes no sense at all.”
Here’s my question for Paul: Would you be comfortable, congressman, watching thousands of human beings being slaughtered by a terrorist dictator when you know that your country had the power to prevent it?
In fact, the no-fly zone was up and running in hours, and Gadhafi’s forces have been seriously damaged. Now the rebels have a chance to eventually overthrow the dictator, and mass murder has been avoided at least for the time being.
This is not a complicated issue. If America is indeed a noble country, it should act to save lives when it can. That doesn’t mean getting bogged down in quagmires like Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. But when quick, decisive action can defeat evil, it should be taken.
I believe in the basic nobility of America. I also believe few other nations have the motivation and power to confront evil that this country does. If it’s all about us, if all we think about is our own sacrifice, then American exceptionalism disappears.
All of that is true. The strong have a responsibility to protect the weak. No one would ever want another Rwanda.
But once you begin to take on the job of the world’s policeman, where do you stop?
If we should intervene in Libya, why not Syria, where the situation seems to be just as bad. And if Syria, why not Burma? And if Burma, why not Zimbabwe?
If we have a responsibility to protect those who cannot defend themselves, why has there been no intervention in Sudan, where there has been much greater loss of life, along with uncounted rapes and mutilations, over a much longer period of time? Why no intervention to protect Christians in Iraq, or Nigeria, or Egypt?
I am not sure O’Reilly is right about Libya. A no fly zone, so rebels are protected against air attack while they fight their own battles might be justifiable.
Fighting those battles for them, so that one brutal government can be replaced by another, is not.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything. It does mean we need to think very seriously about what we want to achieve, the cost of achieving it in human life and in relationships with other nations, and the likelihood that our goals can be reached, before we act.
It is not just intentions that count, but outcomes.
After the name calling, the next step of desperate malingerers is to take people who disagree with them to court.
So it should come as no surprise that having been caught fiddling with the facts yet again, Michael Mann is taking legal action against those who have pointed out that his deliberate manipulation of data to gain scentific notice and financial reward amounts to fraud:
Dr. Tim Ball received the second of two libel lawsuits from North Vancouver law firm of Roger D. McConchie on Friday (March 25, 2011). Global warming doomsaying professor Michael Mann files the latest writ.
Mann, the infamous creator of the now discredited ‘hockey stick’ graph was once the darling of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a tax hungry government funded organization that blames mankind for raising global temperatures by 0.7 degrees during the 20th Century. Now he is desperate to hit back at his critics with the help of Big Green’s immense financial resources. Below we examine the shady background of Professor Mann and explain what Ball must do to defeat this latest legal challenge.
The IPCC plucked Mann from total obscurity after his problematic and “rushed” Ph.D was granted. His viva voce examination was in 1996 and he was required to make corrections. Such a two year delay suggests substantial errors and which would normally require a second viva, but this was strangely not recorded. Then, despite having no reputation as a researcher Mann was bizarrely appointed not only as an expert by the IPCC but as Lead Author for the 2001 Third Report.
Several fellow academics, including Dr. Judith Curry smelt something rotten among mendacious Mikey’s tree rings and their fears were confirmed when Canadian statistical experts, Steve McIntyre and Professor Ross McKitrick found a string of ‘errors’ in Mann’s work. All the errors warped the wooden data in favor of the man-made global warming hype.
It transpired Mann and his secretive clique of climatologists who ‘pal reviewed’ his junk science benefited to the tune of millions of dollars in government research grants.
Dr Tim Ball is a retired scientist, well respected, but with little in the way of financial resources. He is an easy target.
If you are not sure what was done in the ‘Hockey Stick’ data that was so wrong, watch this short video from Berkeley Professor Richard A Muller:
An unborn baby died yesterday after the car the mother was driving struck a guard rail and went into the Barwon River near Geelong:
The woman, who was about 30 weeks’ pregnant, managed to free herself from the car as it sank into the river on Friday evening …
Police are adding the unborn baby’s death to the road toll which now stands at 67, one fewer than for the same time last year.
I am glad that in this instance the child is being recognised as a person.
Similarly in this accident a few days ago in Texas:
A 17-year-old woman and her unborn baby were killed in a pedestrian crash Wednesday night in Horizon City.
Emergency crews took Nelly Pizarro, who was five months pregnant at the time of the crash, to Del Sol Medical Center. The baby died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Nelly Pizarro died Thursday morning.
What I don’t understand is what makes those babies ‘babies,’ and thousands who are aborted ‘foetal tissue.’
There is no difference in the babies. Surely we are not judging whether people are people on the basis of whether they are wanted or not?
And if that is what we are doing, how are we different from the Hutus when they decided the Tutsis were not human? Or Saddam Hussein and the Kurds? Or Hitler and the Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals?
A person’s a person, no matter how small.
Earth Hour is a waning fad. A couple of years ago, when I left security lights on in my shop, people wanted to know why I was not interested in saving the planet.
This year, when I put a note in the window explaining why we would not be keeping Earth Hour, people said they had no idea it was happening.
Some more thoughts on this from Ira Levant:
What’s remarkable about this month’s Japanese calamities is how few people were actually killed. Ten thousand are dead and 17,000 are missing — a tragic loss. But compare that to another earthquake in Japan in 1923 that killed more than 100,000 people.
This month’s quake was more than 10 times as powerful, but a combination of better construction methods and better emergency response saved lives.
Japan’s earthquake was the fifth largest ever recorded, a startling 9.0 on the Richter scale — where each number is 10 times more powerful than the previous number. A 10.0 earthquake has never been recorded.
This is very encouraging — and it’s a testament to human achievement.
Saturday was so-called Earth Hour, a publicity stunt created by the World Wildlife Fund where enthusiasts were supposed to stop using electricity for an hour. Only a rich, luxuriant society would fetishize poverty and want. Japan is still rebuilding; there are still parts of that country where electricity is not back on. They are in a permanent state of Earth Hour deprivation — not as some fashion statement but because of a tragedy. How is that state of despair a morally commendable situation?
It was human development, industry, capitalism, electricity — and in Japan’s case, safe nuclear power — that has made the difference between their more modest death toll and the 230,000 who died in Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami in 2004, or the 220,000 who died last year in Haiti. Haiti’s earthquake was less than 1% as powerful; it was their lack of industrial development that made it so deadly.
Is that really the state of affairs we want to be worshipped on Earth Day? For centuries, guilty, rich, white liberals have professed their admiration for the “noble savage” — an unspoiled man, typically in a pre-industrial civilization, not yet spoiled by our modern ways or troubles.
It’s a fantasy, it’s condescending, it’s political psychotherapy for the idle rich who feel guilty about how easy their own lives are, and who are clearly looking for some spiritual meaning they themselves lack. But in a world where there are enough natural threats to man’s happiness and longevity, fetishizing primitive economies is a suicidal fetish.
Japan will rise again — over the objections of those who would sentence it to a nuclear-free, industry-free, permanent Earth Day.
Andrew Bolt will appear in the Australian Federal Court this week to face complaints made against him and the Herald and Weekly Times under Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
In 1995 provisions were introduced into that act which dealt with expressions of racial hatred. Specifically, those provisions made it illegal for a person (corporate or natural) to:
do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
(a) the act is reasonably likely in all the circumstances to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people, and
(b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or some or all of the people in the group.
There are some exemptions. The racial vilification page on the website of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission explains these exemptions as follows:
To protect freedom of expression, the legislation sets out certain circumstances in which the prohibition will not apply, providing the person has acted reasonably and in good faith. First, if the communication is part of an artistic work it is not unlawful. Also excepted are academic and scientific works and debates or comments on matters of public interest. This permits a range of public policy issues to be debated such as multiculturalism, native title and so on. The media are given considerable scope in a third exception which permits fair and accurate reporting on any matter of public interest. This last exception enables the media to report on public issues, such as racial incitement or racially offensive conduct. It also allows editorial opinions and the like, providing they are published without malice.
As in much legislation, this is an attempt to balance different rights which may be in conflict. In this case, the right of citizens to engage in robust discussion without fear, against the right of persons to be protected against statements likely to provoke hatred against them on the basis of their race.
Now to the specifics.
In two columns published on his blog and in the Herald Sun on April 15th 2009, and August 21st 2009, Andrew Bolt drew the public’s attention to a number of persons who had claimed benefits intended to assist indigenous Australians, but whose basis for claiming to be aboriginal was not clear. Most of those identified looked as white any full-blooded dutchman, and some had little or no identifiable aboriginal descent or heritage.
Andrew made it clear in his columns that part of his concern was that if awards intended to assist underprivileged aboriginal persons were being given to educated middle-class white people, then the persons who should have been helped by those awards were not being helped at all:
… when a privileged white Aborigine then snaffles that extra, odds are that an underprivileged black Aborigine misses out on the very things we hoped would help them most.
Take Mellor’s art prize. This white university lecturer, with his nice Canberra studio, has by winning pushed aside real draw-in-the-dirt Aboriginal artists such as Dorothy Napangardi, Mitjili Napanangka Gibson and Walangkura Napanangka, who’d also entered and could really have used that cash and recognition.
DOES this make sense? What’s an Aboriginal art prize for, if a man as white and cosseted as Mellor can win it, and with a work that shows no real Aboriginal techniques or traditions?
What’s a black Aboriginal artist from the bush to think, seeing yet another white man lope back to the city with the goodies?
That hardly seems calculated to to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people … because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person.
Those claiming to have been offended, insulted, humiliated and intimidated are represented by Joel Zyngier from the legal firm Holding Redlich. Zyngier told The Age on Sptemeber 18 2010 that:
‘‘We see it as clarifying the issue of identity — who gets to say who is and who is not Aboriginal. Essentially, the articles by Bolt have challenged people’s identity. He’s basically arguing that the people he identified are white people pretending they’re black so they can access public benefits.’’
The argument, then, is that any discussion of who is aboriginal and who is not, except by aboriginals themselves, amounts to racial vilification. In other words, that the only persons who have the right to determine who is aboriginal and who is not, are aboriginal people and aboriginal communities. Any discussion of this by other persons is foreseeably likely to cause offence, insult or humilation, etc.
Others have pointed out that questions of aboriginal identity and entitlement have been raised before, frequently by aboriginal people.
For example, in Quadrant September 2010, Keith Windschuttle noted that:
In 2001, after the Commonwealth government announced it would tighten eligibility for the right to vote in elections for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, the head of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Michael Mansell, declared there were “more phoney than real Aborigines in Tasmania, and more than half the voters in the 1996 ATSIC election were not Aboriginal”. According to the Canberra Times, Mansell added:
“With the coming of ATSIC, we got stuck with people trying to rort the system. Saying you’re Aboriginal is the password into ATSIC and its money. It’s happening all over Australia, though Tasmania has had one of the sharpest increases.”
This is discussion of aboriginal identity by aboriginal people, or at least, by people claiming to be aboriginal, so no one should feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated.
But let’s say that those excluded by Mr Mansell’s criteria do feel offended and humiliated. Let’s further say that they produce evidence of their aboriginality, and ask the court to overturn the decision made by Mr Mansell and his group.
This will necessarily involve the court, a whitefella organisation, in consideration of who is aboriginal and who is not.
This is a circumstance in which it would be both appropriate and necessary for non-aboriginal people to consider what constitutes aboriginality.
Are there other circmstances in which such discussion might be reasonable?
To avoid any appearance of focussing on aboriginals, imagine that the Federal government has determined that red-headed dwarves are under-represented in Australia’s sports teams, political parties, art galleries and boardrooms. It is clear that they are frequently subject to humiliating insults – rusty, ginger, shorty, runt, etc – and that they face considerable obstacles in gaining employment and recognition.
A number of measures are introduced to remedy this situation. Special benefits are offered including access to education, prizes and scholarships.
After a while, members of the public notice that some of those claiming benefits seem to be of average, even more than average height. Some even have brown hair. It is hard to imagine that these broad-shouldered six footers with chestnut curls have suffered a great deal because of their red headed dwarfiness.
But when questions are asked about this, the questioners are met with outrage, and even threats of lawsuits. It is, they are told, the exclusive province of the red headed dwarf community to determine who are its members, and who are not. Any such questions raised by others are offensive and humiliating, and dwarfist.
That might be true if the question of who was in and who was out related to events and benefits solely provided and organised by the red headed dwarf community. But it does not.
It becomes a question of public interest because public money is involved. The public has set aside money to assist members of a group which appears to be under-privileged.
Money has been taken from tax-payers and allocated for that purpose. This money could have been used elsewhere, for roads, water supply, medical equipment, etc.
The public is entitled to be reasonably confident that the persons to whom their money is given are genuinely members of the group intended to be assisted.
This is not dwarfist. Nor is it racist. Persons claiming public money on the basis of membership of a particular group should expect the public to take an interest in whether they really do belong to that group.
Andrew Bolt is entitled to ask such questions. It is in the public interest that they be asked, whether by him or others.
This does not mean he is right in every instance.
I have an aquaintance, a friend of a friend, who was the daughter of a white man and an aboriginal woman. She grew up in a remote camp, speaking only pidgin, and subject to years of sexual and physical abuse.
She escaped when she was fifteen and went to work in a pub. She learned to speak standard english. She taught herself to read and write, and eventually went to university. She is a strong, couargeous, intelligent woman. She has red hair and light coloured skin. She lives in the city.
But she identifies, because of her mother and her childhood, as aboriginal.
If anyone deserves recognition and acknowledgement it is she. But she has never accepted any special benefits, prizes or scholarships.
I suspect she would regard reliance on those things, and the sense of entitlement that they encourage, as being as much a poison, a cause of paralysis and lack of progess for indigenous people, as Jarndyce and Jarndyce was for Richard Carstone in Dicken’s Bleak House.
I also suspect (and will ask her one day) that if she had accepted some special award for aboriginals, and been among those listed in Mr Bolt’s columns, she would have rung him and talked to him, rather than ringing her lawyer.
Based on an article by Dr Ross McKitrick in the Vancouver Sun.
Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every social, technological and medical advance in the 20th century has depended on inexpensive and reliable electricity.
Giving women the freedom to work outside the home was partly a by-product of the availability of electrical appliances that freed up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing.
The development and provision of modern health care would have been impossible without cheap, reliable electricity.
Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the need to cook over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke and parasite related lung diseases.
Anyone who cares about the environment and about people and wants to see conditions in the developing world improve should celebrate access to cheap electricity from fossil fuel based power generating stations.
The mentality of Earth Hour is the demonisation of electricity, upon which all of the great technological and social advances of the last century have depended, including advances in food production and medicine.
That mentality would deny to people in developing nations, people who are desperately poor, the advantages we have as result of that cheap reliable electricity. It would keep them in huts, with no clean water, burning wood and dung for heat and cooking. It would keep them at life spans half of ours, and with child mortality rates up to ten times higher.
Earth Hour celebrates poverty and backwardness. It is ignorant and cruel.
Leave the lights on, and let’s work to bring light, water, medicine and industry to those who need them most.
CANBERRA – the big one!
Location: Parliament House
Facebook: Click here
1) If you are driving, please do not expect to be able to park at – or anywhere near – Australian Parliament House – there are too many people coming for that! Find alternative parking and get there a long time in advance!
2) The paid activists from the multi-million dollar GetUp! will be there and trying to create trouble – be polite, do not engage, and show the media that we are real, ordinary Australians – not radical extremists like they are!
3)Finally, check out the skies at 12pm for the Menzies House/CANdo skywriter! (weather permitting)
Date: 23 March
Location: Federation Square, Cnr of Swanston & Flinders Sts, Melbourne
Guest Speakers: Bernie Finn, MLC Western Metropolitan Region, Les Twentyman, Spokesperson for the of the 20th Man Foundation, and tireless community worker , Alan Moran Director Deregulation Unit Institute of Public Affairs, Des Moore former Deputy Secretary to Treasury, and currently Director Institute for Private Enterprise
Facebook: Click here
Date: 23 March
Location: King George Square
Contact: Tim Wells: 0435 146 119, firstname.lastname@example.org
Can’t make it? Don’t worry – there’ll be another – even bigger – Brisbane rally on May 7! 🙂
Date: 23 March
Location: Parliament House
Date: 23 March
Location: Parliament House, Harvest Terace, Perth
Guest Speakers: Joanne Nova, leading climate scientist Dr. David Evans, and author Michael Kile
Contact: Janet Thompson 0417 815 595, email@example.com
Register on Facebook: Click here
Muslim extremist Yahya Ibrahim has made many useful suggestions about effective methods of killing Jews and Americans, including the use of chemical weapons, the conversion of SUVs by adding blades to their wheels so they can mow down pedestrians, and random shootings in crowded cafes.
Mr Ibrahim objects to being called an extremist. He is, he says, a moderate teacher committed to religious tolerance. And he will behead any kuffirs who say otherwise. Or sue them, at least.
Mr Ibrahim is suing the Sunday Telegraph over an article which suggested he might have discriminatory or anti-semitic views, and that he might share such views with students in the UK.
Mr Ibrahim is hurt and confused by the claim that calling Jews pigs and monkeys and suggesting ways to kill them and other infidels is discriminatory.
Incidentally, Mr Ibrahim works at Australia’s largest Muslim school.
Meanwhile, Melanie Philips is in trouble for calling the arab savages who murdered the Fogel family ‘arab savages,’ along with the people who handed out sweets and danced in the street when they heard that a group of triumphant islamic warriors had managed to cut a baby’s throat and murder her parents and siblings in their sleep.
Clearly Melanie is wrong, wrong, wrong.
The people who did this thing worked for Mossad, and so did all the people in the street. Or if they were arabs, they only meant to borrow the Fogel’s stamp collection and things got out of hand. And anyway, those Jews shouldn’t have been there in the first place. In their house. In a Jewish village. And the people in the street were handing out sweets and dancing because the weather was so nice. And also, it’s judgemental to call someone a savage. His feelings might be hurt.
Nope. Sorry. They’re savages. Slime. Filth. And that’s probably an insult to other savages, slime and filth.
And finally, Israel Apartheid Week, (aka Hate Israel Week), is off to a flying start in the UK.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where men and women are equal under the law, where people of any faith can worship without fear of persecution, where gays and lesbians need not be in fear of being mutilated and murdered, where people of every faith and race have equal rights to property and to vote and to assemble.
In Palestinian controlled Bethlehem, by contrast, where the Christian population has fallen from about 60% in 1990 to about 15% now:
There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion,” he said. PA officials are directly responsible for many of the attacks, and some Muslims who have converted to Christianity have been murdered.
Naturally, ignorant nitwits around the world are complaining about – Israel.
On the ABC’s Landline in 2007:
SALLY SARA: What will it mean for Australian farmers if the predictions of climate change are correct and little is done to stop it? What will that mean for a farmer?
PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We’re already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.
Now, floods everywhere:
Heavy rains hit central and southern parts of the Philippines last week, triggering floods and landslides which killed at least nine people and affected up to 150,000 others. In Tacloban, Leyte, a staggering 397mm of rain fell in the 24 hours to midnight last Thursday. The deluge submerged the city and sparked a landslide which killed a family of seven. This prompted the government to declare a state of emergency. Crops were flooded and dozens of homes were destroyed.
Parts of Australia were also hit by floods. In northern Queensland, onshore flow and the atmospheric instability combined to produce heavy downpours, with 238.6mm of rain falling at Rollingstone in 24 hours last Wednesday. In western Australia’s Kimberly region, severe floods destroyed 45 homes and forced 217 people to evacuate. The Fitzroy River rose to a record level at Fitzroy Crossing on Wednesday, topping that of 2002.
Also in NSW, where the town of Bega has been evacuated. And even here on Kangaroo Island, where unseasonably cool and wet conditions continue.
Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent, the forty day period of fasting which ends at Easter. Christians remember Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the desert prior to his baptism and public ministry.
The purpose of the Lenten fasting and self denial (which need not be in relation to food) is to remind us of our reliance on God, and to take some less important or distracting things out of our lives, in order to make more room for prayer, service, study, and other things which really matter.
Hundreds of churches around the world are keeping this Lent as 40 Days for Life, a focused pro-life effort that consists of three key areas of participation:
•40 days of prayer and fasting
•40 days of peaceful vigil
•40 days of community outreach
So on that subject I note with sorrow that in New York city in 2008, there were 82,475 induced abortions. This figure is only for surgical procedures, and does not include use of the ‘morning after’ pill, or any of the unknown number of non-recorded abortions.
The total number of deaths in all age groups from all other causes was 55,391.
82,475 abortions. 55,391 deaths from all other causes.
A black baby is three times more likely to be aborted than a white baby.
Every culture has its moral black spots. we look back at the Nazis with horror. Not just at the comparatively few who were actively involved in the wholesale murder of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and other ‘undesireables,’ but at the vastly greater number who knew what was happening and did nothing.
Western society’s argument in relation to abortion is that an unborn child is not really human. The Nazis thought the same about Jews and Gypsies.
Future generations will look back at us with the same bewildered horror.
As soon as I saw the previews for new Australian film ‘A Heartbeat Away’ I knew, and said, that it would bomb.
For the last several years, Australia has turned out movies which are preachy, boring, shallow, badly acted, have poor production values, or some ghastly combination of these faults.
Just who did script writers and producers think would want to see ‘A Heartbeat Away?’
This is a film about an irritating know all teenager taking over a brass band while the local community struggles against the machinations of an ‘Oh my God, please not again’ cardboard cutout of an evil property developer.
People who are interested in brass bands and band music are people of my generation or older. Did the film makers really think we would pay to go and see a movie that makes us look like a bunch of sheep – lacking commitment, whining, unable to organise ourselves?
Or were they aiming for the smart-ass teenager market? But smart-ass teenagers are not interested in brass bands.
If the film’s makers thought about this at all, the only group of people they could possibly have had in mind as likely viewers were people who go to the movies without having checked what is screening, and think to themselves ‘Well, there’s nothing else on, let’s see that.’
And once again, our money was used to make this. Thanks.
This is an old tractor that used to be used for harvesting oysters from one of the oyster leases on Min oil beach. I have been wanting to get a picture of it for a while, but it is usually mostly submerged. Very low tides today, so a perfect opportunity, even though it was raining. Taken with my Sigma DP1s (Foveon sensor). Some fairly mild colour and contrast post processing.
My wife Kathy and dog Hannibal walking along Min Oil beach towards Redbanks on a cloudy day.
A few days after the savage murder of the Fogel family, in which a baby had her throat cut and was nearly decapitated, and four others were stabbed to death as they slept, relatives were sitting in mourning in a nearby town.
Just as IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in Neve Tzuf to offer his condolences, a Palestinian cab raced towards the community’s entrance. In it, soldiers and paramedics discovered a Palestinian woman in her 20s in advanced stages of labor and facing a life-threatening situation: The umbilical cord was wrapped around the young baby girl’s neck, endangering both her and her mother.
The quick action of settler paramedics and IDF troops deployed in the area saved the mother’s and baby’s life, prompting great excitement and emotions at the site where residents are still mourning the brutal death of five local family members. …
Meanwhile, ambulance driver Orly Shlomo raced to the scene. “We joined the military paramedic and helped him cut off the umbilical cord…without the medical treatment, the fetus and woman faced genuine life danger,” she told Ynet.
“It was touching, but I couldn’t help but think that a few meters from there, people were sitting Shiva for another baby, who was murdered,” she said. “I was touched to see the face of the new baby, but I also thought about the face of the murdered baby.”
Gadi Amitun, who heads the Magen David Adom team at Neve Tzuf, said this was not the first time settlers assist Palestinians in distress.
“They know we have a skilled medical team here, and in any case of accident or injury they arrive and we help them,” he said.
The paramedic noted that on the day of the Fogel massacre, settlers saw fireworks and celebrations in nearby Palestinian communities, but added that the local medical team is committed to assisting anyone in need.
Meanwhile, yesterday, on the Sabbath, more than fifty mortars were fired from Gaza into Southern Israel.
Hayim Yellin, head of the Eshkol region where the mortars exploded, said they were the same type as those intercepted last week on a cargo ship loaded with weapons Israel said were sent by Iran to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he will file a complaint at the U.N. after Saturday’s unusually large barrage of rockets. In a statement, Lieberman said the Palestinians “primary goal is destroying Israel.”