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Fixing Things That Ain’t Broke

With solutions that don’t work.

I hope soon to comment on the Murray Darling proposals (costing billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to ‘preserve’ something that never existed until fifty years ago) and SA’s proposed marine parks (costing some 1,000 jobs and approximately $1 billion in lost income from commercial and charter fishing to ‘protect’ fisheries which are under-utilised and not remotely in danger).

But for now, wind farms: Europe’s Ill Wind, a 25 minute video packed full of information.

If you only see, read or listen to one thing about wind farms, this should be it.

And excuse the sometimes shoddy camera work. Unlike global warming alarmists and alternative energy ridiculists, rational people don’t have access to vast sums of government money for high end production work. The facts are what count. Unless you’re a greenie, of course, but then you probably won’t watch it anyway.

The Value of Life

Amidst the general left wing media outrage (‘small-minded’, ‘ignorant’, ‘bigoted’ are frequently occurring words) at the prosecution of two young people in Queensland who attempted to abort their baby, I came across this review of the film Never Let Me Go.

Never Let Me Go traces the story of three apparently normal young people who discover they are clones produced to provide spare parts.

In the end they accept their own destruction and dismantlement for parts, even thought this means they are not regarded as human, and that they only have value for the convenience they provide for someone else.

They accept this despite the fact that they think, feel, love, because ‘In fact, love doesn’t conquer all, and the clones don’t fight back, because they’ve been infected with the kind of belief that already is poisoning our society: the belief that humans created in a lab are lesser beings who can be sacrificed for the greater good. These young men and women give up their lives for a misguided idea–the idea that for them to be treated as humans, with worth and value of their own, would be to take all of humanity back to a time of “darkness.”

Chilling.

The Island was a well made 2005 Hollywood film on the same theme. ‘We have a product.’

Respect for Women

You can’t be a bloke if you don’t respect women. But ask a group of women if they respect men and you will likely be greeeted with hoots of derisive laughter.

Not true of all women, of course, but true of more than it should be.

Interesting, and not unexpected, then, the instant castigation of footballers and men in general after the latest accusations of sexual assault against some Collingwood players. More work is needed! Players need more sensitivity training! Men are bastards!

I saw one comment by a woman connected with a sexual assault centre to the effect (I couldn’t find it again later) that even if women were throwing themselves at footballers, the footballers needed to behave appropriately.

She didn’t elaborate as to what she thought the appropriate behaviour might be.

But given the currently popular ‘casual shagging does no one any harm and is probably healthy’ opinion of most women’s magazines and popular shows like Sex in the City, it is hard to see why any bloke should not think that the appropriate form of behaviour in any circumstances where a woman is asking for sex is simply to let her have it.

To suggest, as that person did, and as others have, that only men should be responsible for their decisions, and that if a woman later regrets what she has done, the man is the one at fault, is to treat women as lesser beings – more like children than adults.

This is not respectful of women, and it does not encourage respect for women.

Even when both are drunk, and meaningful consent cannot be given, responsibility lies with both, not just with the man, even if he is a footballer.

Of course, life would a lot simpler if people kept sex for marriage. Casual sex devalues both men and women, and makes it easier for persons of both genders to see persons of the other as simply means to an end – their own pleasure. This really means treating a sexual partner as nothing more than a masturbation aid.

Some men do think this way. Anyone who has seen Sex and City, and seen how popular that show is, and how some of its stars are regarded as role models(!) knows that women are capable of thinking this way too.

The harm this way of thinking and acting causes to individual men and women (and their offspring) and to gender relationships and understanding, seems to me to be simply obvious.

Also obvious is the fact that easy availability of contraception, especially the pill, and the easy availability of abortion, has encouraged this ‘if it feels good, do it’ mentality, a disregard of (or deliberate ignoring of) the consequences of sexual activity, and a deepening disregard for the different emotional needs of men and women, and for their value as persons.

Freely available contraception has not enhanced the lives or status of women.

Of course this should have been, and was, clear from the beginning. The Catholic faith said so, and so did sommon sense. Cardinal Pell has recently made these points with his usual no nonsense clarity.

Incidentally, Cardinal Pell points out, and rightly, that the Christian consensus on this matter was first broken by the Anglican Church at the Lambeth Conference in 1930 – the point from which, in my view, the Anglican Communion could no longer claim only to teach and practice the faith once delivered to the saints, and at which it began to come loose from its moorings in Scripture and Tradition in ways that are now disastrously obvious.

But the truth is ever unpopular, especially amongst those whose theme song is  ‘I want to, so dont’ tell me it’s wrong.’

The week’s Weekend Australian Magazine contains a mercifully short article by Susan Maushart called ‘The Bitter Pell.’

I have met Cardinal Pell, and enjoyed several minutes of conversation with him about Anglican – Roman Catholic relations. He is far from bitter. In fact, he struck me as a person of very considerable intellect, who is driven both by a passion for truth, and compassion for those harmed by the lack of it. He certainly was willing to listen respectfully to views which differed from his own.

Susan Maushart, however, gives every impression of harboring deep bitterness against anyone who holds views that do not co-incide with hers.

Her article contains no reasonable arguments at all, just a series of cheap shots about the Chruch and the faith, even including a mention of the inquisition, for heaven’s sake.

The best way to earn respect is to give it. It can be a hard lesson to learn.

Excuses

Sorry about the lack of posts over the last week.

My wife Kathy has been in Western Australia to spend some time with her mother.

This means I need to run the shop by myself. It is hectic with only one person, trying to attend to people in the shop, answer the phone, get films and digital prints processed, repair computers, and give free advice to tourists all at the same time. And then there is cleaning, ordering, banking and other bookwork.

It’s a good thing us blokes are such skilled multi-taskers. But it means not much time for anything else.

It also means long days, because most of the administrative work gets left till after closing, so I get home late. Time for a couple of beers, an hour’s reading, a defrosted dinner, and then bed.

Not even time for World of Warcraft.

Incidentally, it is now confirmed the release date for Cataclysm is December 7th. I should have  copies in the shop a week later, including one copy of the collector’s edition. Yay!

You Are Not ‘Entitled’ To A Job

An expurgated, edited and (slightly) expanded version of a perfect rant from the always interesting Celestial Junk.

Jobs are a byproduct of healthy industry. They are not a goal in and of themselves and they most definitely are not something the government itself should be trying to encourage or create.

Jobs are what happen when someone has too much work to do by himself, so he gets someone to help.

If you want to work, GO AND WORK. Use your savings. Sell your car. Mortgage your house. Use the money to start a business. Find something that you can do and do it and sell the product of your labor to others.

What? You don’t want work for yourself? You want to work for someone else? Fine, but it’s not businessowners’ responsibility to employ people and its not the federal government’s responsibility to somehow force them to.

If you want a job, then AGITATE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EXPAND BUSINESS AND “JOBS” WILL COME. Make it easier for the people who actually do business and jobs will come as a byproduct.

 Then dress sensibly and clean your teeth and speak politely and learn some skills that will make you useful, and you might be able to convince a business owner you have something to offer.

But what the heck? At the same time as complaining nobody wants to employ you, you’re also asking for higher taxes on the very people you need to create your precious JOBS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

WHAT THE #%&* HAS HAPPENED TO THIS COUNTRY? Why does everyone want to be treated like a child? And the federal government ENCOURAGES this laziness, this ‘I’m entitled’ whinging mentality.

I am so freaking tired of this straight out of Marx crap that somehow people are just entitled to share in someone else’s fortune and capital in the name of “jobs.”

GO MAKE YOUR OWN JOB.

Businesses aren’t in the business of making “jobs,” they’re in the business of CREATING VALUE FOR THEIR OWNERS. When you say that a business should be making more JOBS, you are saying that the capital of those business owners should not actually belong to them and belongs to the “workers”. Thanks a lot, Stalin.

And then there are slogans like “People Before Profits” and “Fund Jobs Not Wars”

Has it ever occurred to these people that all of their social services, free payouts, schools, medical care, etc, only happen because people take risks, work hard, and eventually make a profit, which can then be taxed? Or that only one of defence and ‘job creation’ (what a joke) is actually the responsibility of the federal government to fund? (Hint – it’s not “JOBS”.)

… to paraphrase; our entire society depends on a minority of people risking their own capital, employing their own strategies and skills, to create value, that others then feast on.

Osama Bin Laden Worried

And so he should be. But what is he worried about?

Climate change. Of course.

There are two possibilities here.

Either Osama is an ignorant bloodthirsty hypocritical loon, and he really does believe that anthropogenic climate change is a bigger threat to world peace than he is.

OK, it’s certainly possible.

Or he is an intelligent bloodthirsty hypocritical loon, who knows that spending billions on trying to change something that cannot be changed will weaken Western economies and distract Western governments from the real threat. Him and his borg buddies.

And as for this: “What we are facing… calls for generous souls and brave men to take serious and prompt action to provide relief for their Muslim brothers in Pakistan.”

It seems to have escaped his notice that it was Western governments who protected Muslims during the war in the Balkans, Western governments who saved Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, Western governments who came to the aid of Indonesia after the tsunami, Western governments who provide most of the support and aid for the Palestinian Authority, Western governments who are working, at a cost of billions of dollars and the lives of their own young men and women, to build safe and stable societies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Western governments who are providing most of the aid to flood affected regions of Pakistan.

Government Schools – More Than Passively Bad

An interesting article from Kelsey Grammer’s Rightnetwork from a home schooling journalist.

Just a sample:

Academically, we couldn’t help but observe that  our fourteen-year-old son was made to watch My Big Fat, Greek Wedding in English class because they’re supposed to be studying Homer — and Homer’s Greek, you know; or notice that he’s seen Al Gore’s carbon footprint infomercial four times already, once each in four different classes; discover that none of the teachers or administrators can spell or operate a sentence, never mind the students, but they’ve seen Supersize Me twice already; or see that all his textless textbooks looked like a cross between a comic book and a collage. Such things indicated that nothing serious was ever going to happen in school. As far as behavior goes, we’ve had enough experience with both sons now to know that males of the species are simply not welcome in public school. That was Samuel Burgos’ real crime. He acted like a little boy, and that’s not allowed.  His parents should embrace it, and never send him back. That’s what we’ve done, and we couldn’t be happier.

Resistance Is Footle

Are the Islamists and Greens more like the borg, from Star Trek, or the Necromongers, from the sadly under-rated Chronicles of Riddick?

The Borg - You Will Be Assimilated
Necromongers - Convert or Die

OK. Don’t get the idea I have spent hours on this. But ..

The Islamists are more like the borg. They are not interested in everyone. Some people are beneath consideration and might as well be dogs or pigs. The borg create nothing, but take the culture and technology of others and and use and claim it as their own. They have an ideal of perfection, and destroy without mercy or remorse anything that does not contribute to the achievement of that ideal.

The problem is that the ideal, when realised, is  a kind of living death that only sustains itself through the objectification and demonisation of others.

The necromongers are similar. But they don’t assimilate technology or culture. Their one purpose is to sweep across the universe on their way to a new, pure ‘verse, where there are no disagreements. There are no disagreements because anyone who might have disagreed with them has been converted or killed. Those who are not necromongers are contempuously described as ‘breeders’. Necromongers have no use for children. Their leader is two faced. Or three or four faced really.

So the necromongers are more like the greenies.

But in both cases the message is the same: Join us or die. Resistance is futile. No pressure. Your choice.

Everyone has heard by now of the appalling video produced by the 10:10 climate campaign. It was meant to be amusing, apparently. And to teach a message.

But the only people who could possibly find it amusing are psychopaths, and the only message that could possibly be drawn is that greenies are either complete zomboids, or raving eco jihadis.

Whoever produced this parody version has drawn the same conclusion:

And if you think that is unfair, get into the groove with this cool idea from Franny Armstrong, 10:10 founder:

“Doing nothing about climate change is still a fairly common affliction, even in this day and age. What to do with those people, who are together threatening everybody’s existence on this planet? Clearly we don’t really think they should be blown up, that’s just a joke for the mini-movie, but maybe a little amputating would be a good place to start?”

Still not funny, Franny.

Approved Narrative Unwinds

Student Tyler Clementi committed sucide after being videoed having gay sex.

He was the fourth gay teen suicide in the US this month. The national LGBT community is reeling.

The bullying must stop! Gays must be given equal rights now!

That’s the approved narrative.

But actual events do not support that interpretation of Tyler Clementi’s death. He was aware he had been taped, and didn’t seem that bothered by it. Remarkably unbothered, in fact, compared with how I would feel if someone had surreptitiously made a sex tape featuring me.

The gay lobby is using this young man’s suicide to gain political advantage, as they did with the death of Matthew Shepard.

The approved narrative was that Matthew was murdered simply because he was gay.

The reality is that his death had nothing to do with his sexual orientation. He was killed by two drug addicts, one of whom was known to him (Shepard was also a heavy drug user) in a robbery that went wrong.

There seems to be an instant assumption by Ellen DeGeneres and other ‘being gay is my career’ minor celebrities that the murder or suicide of any person who has ever had gay sex, or ever spoken about gay sex, must have happened because they were gay.

That is not only nonsense, it is insulting. Homosexual people live lives as varied as anyone else.

Their lives are no less likely than those of any other citizen to intersect with people who are cruel or dangerous. More likely in the case of Matthew Shepard, who was both indiscriminately sexually active, and a drug abuser.

To claim these deaths for political purposes disregards other aspects of the lives of the victims. It makes them one dimensional, cardboard cutouts suitable for placards, not real people.

It is cynical and exploitative.

Those Sunnies Are Expensive

The UK’s Daily Mail reports toady that Bono’s ONE foundation received donations of 9.6 million pounds in 2008.

Only 118,000 pounds (just over 1%) was given to people in need.

5.1 million pounds was paid in salaries. The rest was spent on ‘raising awareness.’ And sunglasses.

To be fair, the ONE foundation has always advertised itself (which it does very well) as an advocacy organisation.

For example, one of the things it advocates for is increased government commitment to development assistance for developing nations.

You know, the kind of development assistance that developing nation economists have been saying for years should be stopped, because it hinders real local and national economic development, and slows the climb out of poverty.

Anglican Diocese of The Murray

News last night that my friend of more than thirty years, the Right Reverend Ross Davies, has resigned as Bishop of The Murray.

Over the last year, a Special Tribunal of the Anglican Church has been meeting to consider charges brought against Bishop Davies by the Archbishop of Adelaide and the Bishop of Willochra.

These charges included disgraceful conduct, wilful violation of church ordinances and wilful and habitual disregard of his consecration vows.

The Tribunal was to hand down its findings today.

It is not clear whether the Tribunal will still make its findings public. That the Bishop has accepted a payout of $150,000, whereas up till now he had been insisting he would not leave unless given close to $1 million, suggests that a deal may have been done – ‘Leave now, and leave with some diginity, or …’

There seems little doubt that the charges would have been upheld. This would have given The Murray’s Diocesan Council grounds to reaffirm its earlier vote of no confidence, and a firm basis for his dismissal.

I am still concerned for Ross’ well-being. He must be dreadfully confused and unhappy. He seems unable to see or believe that he could have changed the outcome by changing the way he behaved.

Even at the beginning of this year, if he had genuinely apologised for (and not the previous ‘I’m sorry if anyone is upset’ kind of apology) the bullying and manipulation, lies, vindictiveness and financial mismanagement, and promised to try to undo the harm he had done, and genuinely tried to do so, he could have stayed in office with the good will of both people and clergy.

There has always been a great deal of respect for the office of Bishop, and a great deal of caution and compassion in the way some very difficult issues have been handled. Credit to Archbishop Jeffrey and Bishop Garry for their attempts to juggle care for Bishop Davies, justice for the Diocese of The Murray, and proper and open processes.

I have been grateful too, as have others, for the enormous amount of work the Voice of the Laity has done, for the fair-mindedness it has shown all the way through, and for its steadfastness in the face of constant and often unpleasant opposition.

This outcome is not something to celebrate, yet many people, and faithful lay people in particular, have worked hard to find a way for Bishop Davies and the Diocese to move forward. That will now be possible.

Update:

No deal was made. The Bishop has demanded that the Tribunal drop the charges against him. His resignation seems to have been an attempt to forestall the tribunal’s making, or making public, any findings against him.

His argument seems to be that since he has resigned, and purports to have relinquished his holy orders (something he cannot do, as he knows), the Tribunal now has no jurisdiction over him, and cannot properly investigate any claims against him, nor make any findings on the basis of those claims.

He is wrong.

The claims relate to Ross Davies’ behaviour when he was Bishop of The Murray. The Tribunal has not only the right, but the responsibility, to investigate those charges, and if the evidence warrants doing so, to make appropriate findings and recommendations.

Update 2

The Tribunal has found eight of the nine charges against Bishop Davies proven, and recommended he be removed from office.

Disgraceful conduct in this context means behaviour which, if known, would bring the Church into disrepute.

The tribunal found he bullied and threatened parishioners and regularly attended services for other denominations.

‘Regularly attended services for other denominations’ sounds trivial.

But it was more that he regularly attended other churches in Adelaide when churches in his own rural diocese had no priest, and it was part of his duty as Bishop to provide them with ministry.

A sad day, but a new beginning for the Diocese of the Murray.

A last update to this story. This is a link to the findings of the Special Tribunal. This document is in the public domain.

I am glad that there has been official recognition of the emotional abuse suffered by lay people and clergy over the last ten years. That recognition and validation is an important step in their healing, and a public demonstration of the church’s commitment to justice even in the most difficult circumstances.

However, I am sorry that every member of the Tribunal was from the liberal wing of the church.

The document linked above makes it clear that theological matters did not enter their considerations at all.

But perception matters, and the perception of fairness matters. Whatever the reasons, the fact is that the only two conservative anglo-catholic bishops in Australia have been forced out of office this year.

Given the view in some quarters that there is widespread persecution of traditionalist anglo-catholics in the Anglican Church of Australia, it was foolish not to take every possible step to ensure that the proceedings which led to those outcomes were above criticism.

Having said that, it is entirely possible that the Archbishop and the Primate did seek a credible, experienced conservative to sit on the Tribunal, and were unable to find one willing to do so.

I am sure Ross will now seek to be received into the Roman Catholic Church.

I hope they will find a ministry for him. He is a gifted teacher and administrator. It would a great pity if those abilties were lost.

What Religious Wars?

A superb short article by Anthony Esolen at Touchstone Magazine’s Mere Comments blog:

It is a commonplace among our ruling class that religion is irrational and inherently divisive, fostering hatred of one group for another.  On the rationality of religious faith, Christian philosophers and theologians have long spoken, and I am not going to repeat their arguments here.  It is the supposed tendency to divide and to foster hatred that puzzles me.

Let us leave Islam out of consideration, and the largely defensive wars waged by Europeans against Islamic aggression.  Where are the religious wars in human history?  Name them.  Not Greece against Persia, not Athens against Sparta, not Rome against Carthage, not the Germanic invaders against Rome.  Where are all the religious wars?  In the Middle Ages, the Church, in lay movements such as the Truce of God and the Peace of God, served to restrain the violence of the ruling class.  Yes, medieval city warred against city, but the warfare was not religious, nor was it inspired by religion when in the late Renaissance, Catholic France under Richelieu cast her lot with the Protestant Scandinavians against their common foe, the Hapsburg empire.  That Thirty Years’ War is the best candidate for a truly religious European war, and it is no doubt the one remembered most keenly by the philosophes of the eighteenth century.  But England continued to war against France, not over religion but over control of various colonies.  Name, one after another, every war waged by England, France, Spain, Germany, or Italy from the Thirty Years’ War until the present, and you will find much bloodshed, but not because of religious hatred.

I look at the last hundred years, and see hatred wherever a European people has turned away from its Christian heritage, to exalt some idol in the place of God.  Look at Albania, that miserable nation.  Look at the gulags in the Soviet Union, or the forcible elimination of Confucian piety under Mao’s cultural revolution.  How many millions of people died of starvation in the Ukraine under Stalin, while the ruling class in America, represented by the liar Walter Duranty, looked demurely away?  How many people of both parties in America, people of the ruling class again, whose religious faith was rather in “progress” than in Jesus Christ, looked benignly upon the rise of the nationalist Hitler, and praised his clear grasp upon the problems of population and eugenics?  How many people of that same ruling class still give Mao a free pass, or forgive the dictator Castro for his excesses now and then?  Spanish Catholics are loathed for having favored the nationalist Franco rather than the communists in the Spanish civil war — and what were they supposed to do, when the communists were murdering priests and nuns, as they had done shortly before, in Mexico?

There’s more …

Australia’s Leading Expert In Irrelevance

Former Australian Prime  Minister and big job at the UN hopeful Kevin Rudd gave a few tips today to the UN General Assembly on how to increase its level of irrelevance.

Speaking to a session to which almost one third of delegates turned up, Mr Rudd warned that:

“If we fail to make the UN work, to make its institutions relevant to the great challenges we all now face, the uncomfortable fact is that the UN will become a hollow shell.”

Oh Kevin, say it ain’t so….

Fortunately, having a deep awareness of what the great challenges are, Kevin was able to point the UN in the right direction:

“The unconstrained carbon emissions of one state impact on the long-term survival of all states.”

“Climate change is no respecter of national or geographic boundaries.”

“The most immediate and pressing threat to the physical security of Australia’s wider region lies in the scourge of natural disasters.”

Just put Kevin in charge, and you’ll see what heights of irrelevance are really possible.