There is no getting around reality.
Someone decides it is insulting to call people whose intellectual development has been retarded ‘retarded.’ So we are told to call them ‘intellectually handicapped.’
Soon ‘intellectually handicapped’ becomes a form of insult. So we are told to call them ‘slow learners.’
A couple of years later, every time you want to insult your mates you say ‘Looking like a slow learner there Joe!’
So that term naturally becomes unacceptable, and anyone who has ever used it is obviously insensitive and uncaring.
Let’s call them ‘special children’ instead. Let’s have ‘special schools’ for ‘special children.’
Scene in schoolyard: ‘You’re a special child!’ ‘I am not. I’m telling.’
There is no getting around reality.
So when you are no longer supposed to call homosexuals homosexuals because that might be insulting, and instead you are supposed to call them ‘gay,’ what is going to happen to that word?
Any school teacher can tell you that the worst possible insult in the playground is beng called gay. You can say someone is lame, you can insult his mother, or her father. But but if one child calls another child gay, be prepared for trouble.
Whether being gay really is gay, I don’t know. Most homosexuals of my acquaintance don’t demonstrate a a high level of satisfaction with their lives, so I suspect it might be.
But they really are gay, the ones who objected to principal Garry Martin’s replacing the word ‘gay’ in the Kookaburra song with the word ‘fun.’
Firstly, when the song was written ‘gay’ pretty much meant fun. Remember The Gay Divorcee? OK, there aren’t many of them either. Or the Gay Nineties? Not the recent nineties, the ones before?
No? Well, you know what I mean.
Before the word gay, a good word, was hijacked, it meant happy, light-hearted, fun.
Now it just means gay.
Marion Sinclair meant that a kookaburra’s life was carefree, fun. So Principal Garry was being true to the original text. And Kookaburra, fun to sing though it is, is not Shakespeare.
Secondly, this was about children singing. Children singing. Children, at school, singing together.
The word gay is an extreme insult in the playground. So naturally the kids were rolling around the floor laughing when asked to sing about a gay kookaburra.
So why not do the sensible thing and replace the word ‘gay’ with the word ‘fun?’
Garry describes what he was thinking:
“I wasn’t trying to incite or insult gay people, or trying to violate the copyright of Larrikin Music; it was just a decision at the time that I thought would minimise a disruptive atmosphere with grades one and and two.”
But after a controversy in which it has been suggested he is trying to make gay people invisible:
In an interview on the Nine Network, Mr Martin was backtracking on his decision, saying that perhaps he should have discussed the true meaning of the word with the children.
So Garry now thinks he would have been doing the right thing if he discussed homosexuality with year ones and twos?
No, Garry no. You were right the first time.
From Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online:
The truth about Iraq is that, for all the tragedy and the loss, the U.S. military performed a miracle. After nearly seven years, a constitutional government endures in that country.
It is too often forgotten that all 23 of the writs for war passed by the Congress in 2002 — from enforcing the Gulf I resolutions and stopping the destruction of the Kurds and Marsh Arabs, to preventing the Iraqi state promotion of terrorism, ending suicide bounties on the West Bank, and stopping Iraq from invading or attacking neighbors or trying to acquire WMD — were met and satisfied by the U.S. military.
It is also too often forgotten that, as a result, Libya gave up its WMD program; Dr. Khan’s nuclear franchise was shut down; Syria left Lebanon; and American troops in Saudi Arabia, put there as protection against Saddam, were withdrawn. Perhaps a peep about some of that—especially the idea that in an oil-short world, Saddam Hussein might have been more or less free to do what he pleased again in Iraq. (The verdict is out on Iran; playing a genocidal Hussein regime against it was morally bankrupt. Currently, Shiites participating in consensual government could be as destabilizing to Iran in the long run as Iranian terrorists are to Iraq in the short run.)
Furthermore, the destruction of al-Qaeda in Iraq helped to discredit the entire idea of radical Sunni Islamic terrorists, and the loss of thousands of foreign radical Islamists in Iraq had a positive effect on U.S. security — despite the fallacy that we created them out of thin air by being in Iraq.
Kurdistan was, prior to 2003, faced with the continual threat of genocidal attacks by Saddam Hussein; today it is a booming economy.
All that would have been impossible without U.S. intervention.
With a bit of help from Australia and others.
A tribute to those who suffered so horribly during the siege at Beslan.
If you have the stomach for it, and you should, Pam Geller has more detail on what happend at Beslan.
Not all Muslims are evil. Most are decent, kind, generous.
But as long as Mohammed – murderer, torturer, rapist, pedophile – remains a moral exemplar, as long as groups of Muslims rape and torture and murder in the name of the prophet and their faith, and as long as Muslim leaders decline to speak out plainly, unequivocally, publicly, against acts of terrorism, Islam will be regarded with suspicion.
Brandt has signed up with Labor after Bob Brown was promised a carbon tax. Wilkie has signed up with Labor after he was promised a renovated hospital in Hobart.
Tony Abbott now needs to be absolutely clear about three things.
Firstly, the Liberal party will not be buying votes. It will not be making infrastructure or funding promises to independents or anyone else, if those promises come at the expense of other Australians.
Mr Abbott needs to make it clear that funds will allocated in line with policy and need. There will be no sweetheart deals. He will not be pressured into making unreasonable promises to a few, which the many will have to pay for.
Secondly, there can be no unconditional promise to remain in government for the full three years. Such a promise would be unreasonable at any time. It is completely unreasonable at this time.
The Greens and their Labor buddies will control the Senate. It is almost certain they will use that power to block supply or stop or delay crucial legislation. If the Liberal party is able to form government, it will only govern with the consent of the Greens and Labor.
That is not a situation in which a party and its leaders can responsibly promise to stay in government for a fixed term.
Finally, Tony Abbott and the Liberals must now emphasise, over and over again, the fiscal responsibility of the Coalition, the consistently better economic results under a Coalition government.
The Liberals may still lose this election, and if they do, the country will find itself suffocating under a staggering level of economic incompetence.
The next few years will be dire for small business, for the mining and manufacturing sectors, for rural and remote communities – for everyone who actually produces useful, valuable goods and services.
I hope Tony Abbott can still win. That would save us from the worst of the combined malice and ineptitude of a Greens/Labor alliance.
But if not Tony, then at least lose with honour.
Gerardine Botte, an engineer at Ohio University, said in an interview with New Scientist magazine that harnessing the power of urine could mean that an office building of 200-300 people would produce about 2Kw of power.
Seriously. At least it won’t kill any birds.
I know Andrew Bolt (and a thousand other people) have already posted these videos:
But the contrast between the practice of the uncaring right wing despoilers and ravagers of the environment and the gentle earth loving supporters of Obama is just too great too pass without comment.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that the fundamental difference between right and left, or conservative and progressive if you prefer, is a willingness to take responsibility.
Arctic Summer temperatures have been trending down since about 1960, so have temperatures in San Diego, cold snaps are killing all manner of things in South America, Antarctic sea ice is increasing, the southern hemisphere oceans seem to be getting colder, and it’s been flipping cold here in Australia.
I want my global warming now!
News flash: global warming causes carnivores to lose height and body mass. Oh, wait. That was 55 million years ago.
In 2009 Greg Sheridan wrote a brief and thoughtful, if confronting, article about the Rudd government’s misuse of the office of the Governor General.
The article was not primarily about Quentin Bryce’s political views, but about the then Prime Minister’s willingness to use any means, even obviously inappropriate means, to lobby for a seat for Australia on the UN Security Council, something that was widely seen as potentially adding weight to Mr Rudd’s assumed personal UN ambitions.
Even earlier, in 2008, Andrew Bolt had questioned aspects of Quentin Bryce’s speech at her swearing-in, and these words in particular:
I promise to be open, responsive and faithful to the contemporary thinking and working of Australian society.
Which Andrew interpreted to mean:
Contemporary thinking for Bryce will be what the Left agrees it is, whatever the more conservative majority may say in opposition.
Certainly the Governor General has spoken out on political issues rather more freely than we have been accustomed to, and has consistently spoken from a leftist perspective, on issues such as the 2008 apology for the ‘Stolen Generations’, and on global warming.
This makes a mockery of claims by some of her friends, including Tony Fitzgerald, QC, that Quentin Bryce is so impartial that after havng known her for nearly fifty years, he still has ‘no inkling of her political persuasion.‘
I haven’t know Quentin Bryce for nearly fifty years. I spoke with her for about five minutes at a dinner at Government House in Brisbane a few years ago. She struck me as a graceful, capable and intelligent woman.
But her comments on disputed political matters make it very clear where her sympathies lie. That is a pity, because it brings her ability to act impartially into question.
It is a nonsense, for example, to claim that any concern about possible conflicts of interest is ‘a storm in tea cup.’
Bill Shorten, Quentin Bryce’s son-in-law, is a Labor politician. This has lead to calls for her to recuse herself from any decisions about who should form government after the recent Federal election.
It is not just that Quentin Bryce’s son-in-law is a Labor politician. As others have pointed out, political connections as strong as those of Bill Hayden or Paul Hasluck were not seen as undermining their ability to act appropriately as Governor General.
Quentin Bryce is a sensible woman. Mostly.
I think she would try to make the right decision, without regard to the feelings of her daughter Chloe, or of Chloe’s husband Bill, even though Bill may well be a future Labor leader. Possibly in the near future.
But just as justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done, so for the dignity of the office of Governor General, decisions must not only be made impartially, they must be seen to be made impartially.
Quentin Bryce’s willingness to involve herself in political debate has made that a problem.
That was the front page headline in Saturday’s Adelaide Advertiser: Change or Perish.
Except that when you actually read it, the article was about some Adelaide professor of dictatology telling everyone that because it was so hot and dry and all, and the climate is changing so it will be even hotter and dryer, people in South Australia should be planting drought resistant plants, because otherwise they won’t be able to water them enough to keep them alive, and their daffodils will die.
Yes, change or perish!
Even though we have just come through an unusually cold and wet Winter, the Saturday Advertiser editorial staff obviously thought the heated prognostications of the professor of dictatology were the most important thing to have happened in the last week.
Australian soldiers dying in Afghanistan? Pish!
Fallout from the Federal election. Whatever.
Floods in Pakistan. Bah!
Slaughter in Mogadishu. Where?
And people wonder why printed news publications are in decline…
From Family Security Matters writer Fiona Kobusingye, co-chair of the Congress of Racial Equality Uganda:
I wish I had a shilling for every time someone told me spraying homes with DDT to prevent malaria is like using Africans in evil experiments. I would be a rich woman.
That claim is a blatant falsehood. Even worse, it hides the many ways poor Africans really are being used in environmental experiments that cause increased poverty, disease and death…
Bluntly put, environmentalists are using African parents and children in anti-DDT experiments. Against all the evidence from decades of using only nets and drugs and maybe other insecticides, they want to keep ignoring DDT as a long-lasting spatial insect repellant. They want to keep us doing what has at best worked only partially, on the assumption that maybe it will work better next year – or that a 30% malaria reduction is good enough.
They are playing with our lives. So are the government agencies, health NGOs and others who support their policies. This is wrong and immoral. And it is only one of the ways they use Africans as experimental laboratory animals. They are also denying us access to other modern technologies that can improve and save lives…
600 million people in sub-Sahara Africa live on two million shillings ($900 USD) or less per year. Nearly 700 million never have electric power for lights, refrigeration, schools, shops and clinics – or have it only a few hours per week. Millions die from diseases that would be prevented, if they did not have to burn wood and dung, and had safe water, better healthcare and higher living standards that reliable, affordable electrical power would bring.
But environmentalists constantly block coal, gas and hydro-electric power plants. They want us to live in experimental societies where people get whatever limited electrical power can be generated day to day with wind turbines or solar panels. They pressured the World Bank to reject loan applications for power plants in Ghana and South Africa, and support President Obama when he says Africans should focus on wind, solar and bio-fuel power, instead of fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, they live in wealthy countries, with all the electrical power they need. With the health, opportunity and prosperity electrical power brings. With freedom and mobility that cars and fossil fuels bring. With blessings most Africans can only dream of.
There’s more, and it’s all worth reading.
Astronomers have discovered a planetary system containing at least five planets that orbit a star called HD 10180, which is much like our own Sun.
The star is 127 light years away, in the southern constellation of Hydrus.
The researchers used the European Southern Observatory (Eso) to monitor light emitted from the system and identify and characterise the planets.
They say this is the “richest” system of exoplanets – planets outside our own Solar System – ever found.
This is worrying.
Reason magazine reports an investigation of South Carolina’s state forensic science lab has found that:
.. though the crime lab’s results were presented to juries with the authoritativeness of science, laboratory procedures were geared toward just one outcome: putting as many people in prison as possible..
The report found that SBI agents withheld exculpatory evidence or distorted evidence in more than 230 cases over a 16-year period. Three of those cases resulted in execution. There was widespread lying, corruption, and pressure from prosecutors and other law enforcement officials on crime lab analysts to produce results that would help secure convictions.
The article raises questions about whether it is even possible for state crimes labs which work with prosecutors to be impartial.
I was reminded as I read that article of an aquaintance of mine, Henry Keogh. Henry was found guilty of the murder of his fiance, and in 1996 was sentenced to 26 years in goal . I have spoken with Henry in goal a number of times.
His conviction was based almost entirely on the evidence of now discredited chief forensic pathologist Colin Manock.
Despite this, he is now in his fifteenth year in goal for a crime it can no longer even remotely be claimed ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ he committed .
Incidentally, Henry Keogh is also quite an accomplished artist:
This story is a couple of days old now, but it has been hectic at work, and I have not had time to post anything the last few days. Or to play World of Warcraft either, which really shows just how busy it was!
The Toronto Sun reports that 71% of Tamils who were granted refugee status in Canada, on the basis they faced life-threatening persecution, have returned home for a holiday since.
That would be like Jews who fled Nazi Germany deciding to go back to Berlin to hear the opera. Sorry, it just doesn’t add up.
The Tamils are playing us for fools. They’re not genuine refugees. Genuine refugees don’t go back to a country that’s persecuting them.
I guess the situation would be similar in Australia.
We have an obligation to help those less fortunate than ourselves. And we must be generous in offering shelter to those who are persecuted.
But opening our borders to anyone who turns up means that monetary and human resources are taken from people who are in real need or danger, and who don’t have the money or connections to bypass the channels that protect them and us from fake claims and unnecessary costs.
Letting in people who claim to be refugees but who then head back to their country of origin for a holiday means real refugees are left in danger or languishing in camps.
It is not lack of compassion that demands border protection – just the opposite.
From anti-jihad site the Religion of Peace:
Ramadan 2010 Scorecard
|Day 14||In the name of
|In the name of
And this picture:
Does anyone still not think there is a problem here?
And just to make what should not need to be stated absolutely clear, I don’t have a problem with muslims. I have two I count as friends – a Turkish man and an Indonesian woman.
She is more serious about her faith than he. She fasts, prays, keeps Ramadan, does not eat pork or lobster. But when I asked her to name a few things in the Koran she found especially inspiring, she could not answer. Eventually she admitted she had never read it.
Neither of my two muslim friends, it seems to me, have any real idea what their religion teaches.
A problem with muslims? No. A problem with Islam? Yes.
And for those who insist there is no moral difference between Islam and Christianity, because of, say, the Spanish Inquisition, it might be worth remembering the number of people killed every year in the name of Allah is greater than the number of people killed after being handed over to secular authorities by the Spanish Inquisition in its entire 350 year history.
That count of jihad murders does not include the deaths that would have occurred had numerous other plots and attacks succeeded.
Even if Christianity had been as bad a thousand years ago as Islam is now (and it wasn’t) why on earth would that be a reason not to take the present threat seriously?