Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

PC hypocrisy gone mad

February 12, 2015

The blood hounds out for Abbott are relentless.

As if we didn’t know, it is one thing to be disappointed about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s performance, but another to hypocritically and gleefully go him when he uses the very same word as Paul Keating, Bob Brown, Scott Ludlam, and even John Howard. When these others used it there was of course not a ripple from the fetid media pond.

Abbott hanged for what the gallery forgave Keating and Bob Brown.

Australia Day 2015

January 25, 2015

This is our flag. We love it

oz flag 1901
I need to say I love the Australian flag.

I grew up with this flag as have all Australians since Federation, give or take a few points on the stars.

I grew up as an anglo-saxon with strong connection to the United Kingdom. Indeed, living in France for ten years led me to a profound understanding of what it is to have this connection.

Our language, our institutions, our dress, our architecture, our food, our ABC (aka BBC, ha ha), our media and its newspapers, the ugly thick mugs we drink tea out of around the country in universities, schools, city offices, workshops, farms, mines come from England and our mood and temperament does too. Yes, of course we are wonderfully multicultural too, full of Asians, Africans, and Indians —and I married a Sri Lankan — but I don’t know if you have noticed, so is everywhere else in the world, England included !!

And I love all of that too.

However, I resent the obsession, starting with the Bulletin one hundred years ago through to Jonathan Green and guests this very day from six o’clock this morning on their ABC, banging on about the flag, republicanism, mocking the new year’s honours — no mention of leftist barristers scrambling back to QC status — the monarchy, and somehow wanting to continue their adolescent hissy-fit about Australia needing to grow up and becoming more independent and confident when we already have and already are.

A few years ago, I went out and bought an Australian flag cooking apron in protest against the obnoxious decision by the Waverley council not to fly the Australian flag over the Bondi Pavillion in case it made certain people feel unwelcome.

All I want to say is get over it. Jonathan Green, get over it. The ABC get over it. The ALP, get over it. Be proud of our heritage, be proud of our flag. Perhaps you might all prefer to learn to speak Esperanto.

Have a Happy Australia Day.

Is Europe falling apart?

January 24, 2015
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” The European Union, with 503 million people, has seven per cent of the world’s population, yet spends 50 per cent of global welfare expenditure”.

An extraordinary and very worrying summary of the tensions arising in Europe is put forward clearly and concisely by Paul Sheehan in the SMH.

He gives a compelling list of problems which, when put together, looks very much like a slow motion train crash.

His outline includes: less democracy, more autocracy; Switzerland delinking from the Euro as the European Central Bank starts to print one half to a trillion extra Euro, UKIP and Le Front National parties topping recent elections over all other parties in both the UK and France, seriously unsustainable welfare, an imminent election in Greece, and, as icing on the cake, the little problem of the religion of peace:

 The year that started with a massacre in Paris, followed by deadly combat between Islamists and police in France and Belgium, is going to deliver a rolling salvo of shocks for the great experiment of European unification.

Read on and be worried. Or, it all might just be a bad dream
.

[Thanks to reader Andrew]

Are we really all Charlie?

January 10, 2015

No, no and shamefully no, says Andrew Bolt

Following the horrific events in Paris there has been a massive amount of commentary on the West and its continual appeasement of Islam.

There is much agreement that the Western media, our politicians and the Left commentariat are in a continual state of dhimmitude, starting with the White House which issued a statement that the attacks in Paris on Charlie Hebdo were not Islamic followed by the obligatory “Islam is a religion of peace”.

These events clarify just how political correctness and timidity over the years has got us into this mess. Remarkably, a few months ago, Tony Abbott performed an incomprehensible back-down on his promise to scrap our anti-freedom of speech laws just at a time when our freedoms to express honestly held opinions are most under attack. This muzzling encourages precisely the very extremism that the political elites deplore and against which they all vainly protest.

Gerard Henderson is lucid as always on the successful aim of the terrorists:

The jihadists in our midst do not want to provoke us. Rather, they want to silence us — from winding back freedom of expression to changing foreign policy with respect to the Middle East and on to the eventual establishment of Sharia law …

Just as fear spreads, Henderson also calls out the stupidity of journalists who are more worried about the growth of right wing parties in Europe rather than the Muslim extremists with the Kalashnikovs who actually brutally kill citizens.

… on ABC radio’s The World Today, Australian-born journalist Annette Young, described a possible growth in support for the National Front, and its leader Marine Le Pen, as the “big worry” following the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

UK commentator David Aaronovitch raises a very clear point on the role criticism plays in the context of tolerance for religion:

The same tolerance that allows Muslims or Methodists freedom to practise and espouse their religion,” he wrote, “is the same tolerance that allows their religion to be depicted, criticised or even ridiculed. Take away one part of the deal and the other part falls too. You don’t like it, go somewhere else.”

AYAAN HIRSI ALI  tells the ABC on ABC television what it is failing to do:

You are still continuing to self-censor because you have not published or republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. You have not honoured Charlie Hebdo the way they need to be honoured, which is they took a risk, they took a risk to stand up for the core values of Western civilisation. And you, the media, are letting them down. You have drawn and published caricatures of the terrorists, but you have not published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Brendan O’Neill spells out what freedom of speech entails and how it has been captured by the politically correct:

Tragically, many in the West, including those who call themselves liberal, had forgotten the importance of free speech, and the benefits of blasphemy itself, long before this week’s horrific assault.

Across Europe over the past 30 years offensiveness has been turned into a crime. In every European country, hate-speech laws have been introduced to control and punish the expression of certain beliefs.

…It’s just that where politicians think offensiveness is only an imprisonable offence, theCharlie Hebdo killers think it deserves capital punishment.

So the barbarism in Paris has not taken place in a vacuum. It occurred on a continent where anti-offensiveness is written into law and stamped into many campaigners’ hearts, and where liberals all too often side with the offence-takers over the offence-givers, the speakers or writers who have uttered the unutterable.

Incandescent with rage and frustration is MARK STEYN about useful idiots like President Hollande — and like President Obama and British PM Cameron — who claimed against all the evidence that “those who committed these terrorist acts have nothing to do with the Muslim religion”.

Yeah, right. I would use my standard line on these occasions – “Allahu Akbar” is Arabic for “Nothing to see here” – but it’s not quite as funny when the streets are full of cowards, phonies and opportunists waving candles and pencils and chanting “Je suis Charlie.” Because if you really were Charlie, if you really were one of the 17 Frenchmen and women slaughtered in the name of Allah in little more than 48 hours, you’d utterly despise a man who could stand up in public and utter those words …

They tested the foe again this week: They assassinated the senior editorial team of the only publication not willing to sign on to the official “No Islam to see here” line. And they were rewarded for their slaughter with the président de la république standing up in public insisting there’s “No Islam to see here.

And here to finish is an outstanding piece by Andrew Bolt that covers all the various points raised above and more. Unless something turns around, it would appear that things will only get worse:

The West’s political leaders have already told Muslim leaders they agree that mocking Islam is a sin, and have even passed laws — in France, too — making it unlawful.

They have attacked the very few journalists and politicians who dared warn against the Islamist threat.

Anything for peace, even if it means submission.

And for all the protests this past week, submission is what you must expect.

 UPDATE

Yet another wonderful piece by Henry Ergas in today’s Australian:

The reality is that there is a problem with Islam. To say that is not to deny Islam’s immense diversity, impugn the millions of Muslims who abhor the horrors being wreaked in their name, or dispute the enduring value of religious faith in a secular age.

But it is undeniable that Islam’s distinctive features make it especially vulnerable to being used to incite religiously motivated ­violence.

Those features include the glorification of battle, with Mohammed mounting 65 expeditions against unbelievers in his decade-long rule in Medina, and personally commanding nearly half of them; the duty to wage jihad and “terrify the enemies of God”, fighting unbelievers until “the religion is God’s entirely”; the aspiration to impose Sharia law and restore the caliphate, an Islamic concept without parallel in the other Abrahamic religions; and the cult of martyrdom, with Mohammed himself being quoted as longing to be killed in jihad only to be resurrected and then killed fighting again.

Christian murders top 100,000 a year

December 30, 2014

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you  — 1 John 3:13 

 No doubt the ALP and the Greens will protest loudly regarding the persecutions of Christians. In Australia we worry ourselves to death about the ‘bad’ feelings we have towards the antics of some of our Muslims and other minorities in this country, terrified of backlashes against them, despising ourselves for our wretched racism and intolerant ‘White Man’ superiority, but somehow fail to notice what is happening elsewhere in the non-White world.

According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular group with members in 38 states worldwide, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination today are directed at Christians.

The US Center for the Study of Global Christianity has estimated that 100,000 Christians die every year because of their faith.

The Washington-based, non-partisan Pew Research Center has said that Christians today face some form of discrimination in 139 countries – almost three-quarters of the world’s nations.

There are Christians in jail for blasphemy in Pakistan.

Churches are being burned and worshippers slaughtered in Nigeria and Egypt, which has seen its worst anti-Christian activity in recent years.

The most violent anti-Christian pogrom of the early 21st century saw upwards of 500 Christians hacked to death in 2008 by machete-wielding Hindus at Orissa in India.

In Burma, Christians are routinely imprisoned and tortured.

Persecution of Christians in China is said to be on the increase.

In North Korea a quarter of Christians live in forced labour camps for refusing to join the cult of the state’s founder Kim Il-sung.

UPDATE

I hesitated in titling the above blog with a quote from the Koran — about it being tolerant and all that. But, then appeared a few days later this powerful piece from Quadrant-Online, Allah-cadabra! Islam’s Hate Vanishes by the excellent Peter Smith.

The article quotes Alexis de Tocqueville, who had studied the Koran a hundred years ago, and concluded:

“I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad,” he wrote.

With the systematic killing of Christians as enumerated above and which passes today almost unnoticed by Western dhimmis, it is a very perspicatious observation by Monsieur de Tocqueville.

American success is a result of experiment not design

December 30, 2014

A free society is one that is willing to place millions of small bets on persons unknown and things unseen.

A fascinating end of year reflection on the sometimes forgotten creative power of American individualism and freedom comes from Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal. Essentially based on private property rights, Stephens asks what we might consider to the be the most influential innovations in the early 21st century, the equivalents of the Model T Fords, the Wright brothers and Penicillin in the last century?

On the top of his list is fracking. It has made America the world’s leading oil and gas producer, turned the energy markets upside down and paradoxically, reduced the US’s greenhouse gas emmissions to below 1995 levels. And for good measure, it has undermined the success of renewables. .

Fracking happened in the U.S. because Americans, almost uniquely in the world, have property rights to the minerals under their yards. And because the federal government wasn’t really paying attention. And because federalism allows states to do their own thing. And because against-the-grain entrepreneurs like George Mitchell and Harold Hamm couldn’t be made to bow to the consensus of experts. And because our deep capital markets were willing to bet against those experts.

This is a paean to free markets, individualism and anarchic creativity.

Innovation depends less on developing specific ideas than it does on creating broad spaces. Autocracies can always cultivate their chess champions, piano prodigies and nuclear engineers; they can always mobilize their top 1% to accomplish some task. The autocrats’ quandary is what to do with the remaining 99%. They have no real answer, other than to administer, dictate and repress.
A free society that is willing to place millions of small bets on persons unknown and things unseen doesn’t have this problem. Flexibility, not hardness, is its true test of strength. Success is a result of experiment not design. Failure is tolerable to the extent that adaptation is possible.

This is the American secret …We are larger than our leaders. We are better than our politics. We are wiser than our culture. We are smarter than our ideas.

The ABC on how to destroy our wealth

June 16, 2011

How the ABC slaughters our Australian industries

An interesting letter has been circulating about the ABC Four Corners programme on our live beef export trade to Indonesia. Not content with the normal political bias, Four Corners did a disgracefully biased demolition job that, with the ensuing Gillard government’s mindless and destructive decision to stop all exports, will create an enormous amount of damage to the beef industry in both Australian and Indonesia. But these ABC employees have no regard for consequences.

I am writing to you after the Monday program to say that although I abhor the treatment of the animals shown in the video, your one sided approach to the subject and the possible effect of that of a ban on live exports is too big a price to pay for a report based on the evidence of an organization that’s charter is to shut us down. I have the following points to make. I would like to have the same time as those who denigrated my life to show you the other side of our industry. To show you what is really going on. In Australia there used to be thing about “A fair Go”. You have gone with images provided by one person followed up by your investigative journalist who spent a week in Indonesia. Your report makes out that close to 100% of Australian cattle are treated as was shown on TV.

Another feather in the hapless ABC’s hat. The worst is that I am sure the Four Corners’ producers are thrilled at their destructive power.

Barrie Cassidy does not understand balance

February 20, 2011

Not quite crocodile tears … but nearly

Barrie Cassidy still does not understand what bias is. He complained last week in a letter to The Australian of being treated dishonestly, misleadingly and unfairly.

That he criticised the ALP at least as much as the Liberals is a common argument in the ABC. They hit the Liberals and they hit Labor. They hit the Liberals from the left and that is understood. But almost always, they hit the ALP from … err, the left of the ALP. And this is the game Barrie plays. This has been the game the ABC has been playing since Hawke took Australia to the first Gulf War.

Another instance is green policies. The ALP is never green enough for the ABC, just as refugee policies are never compassionate enough. Barrie was all for compassion for the nine year old boy in Sydney, but that compassion would never extend to questioning why the nine year old boy’s parents died in the first place, or how many millions of other potential refugees, who waste away in the vilest conditions in refugee camps throughout the world, will never get the chance to come to Australia … because of smuggled boat people. When, for instance, will the ABC commentators start insisting on questioning the Gillard government’s inability to stop the boats,  and the drownings?

A letter in reply to Cassidy’s dummy spit suggested that “when Barrie dares to have three conservatives on the same day to discuss politics, maybe then his feigned hurt at being called biased can be taken more seriously.”

That would be an interesting excercise, but more importantly, the ABC does not even understand what the important issues are, and so never really asks the right questions. Take for instance this morning on Insiders. They discussed multiculturalism, but as Andrew Bolt correctly points out, the media does not even understand the debate it is trying to stop, and refuses in effect to discuss the malaise and disquiet growing within Australia, or indeed why Chris Bowen is suddenly talking up multiculturalism.

However, with more genuinely representative journalists — by this I mean those that represent mainstream views — Barrie might just be confronted a little more with what it means to be balanced.

Penny Sackett resigns

February 18, 2011

“A breath of fresh”, yes, but “courage” Senator Milne?

Penny Sackett, astronomer and climate change activist — aka Australia’s Chief Scientist — resigned yesterday after only half way through her five-year appointment, citing personal and professional reasons.

As we know, Professor Sackett, was a very outspoken proponent for the need to act on climate change, but like so many in this area, somewhat light on facts. Gilding the lilly, as one does with departures, gloden handshakes and at funerals, Julia Gillard said that she,

has offered objective, clear and constructive advice during her 2 1/2 years at the helm of this important office.

Kim Carr, who apparently doesn’t like her, talked of her “substantial contribution” to scientific debate.

The reward for the most fatuous comment comes from Senator Christine Milne. She applauded Professor Sackett for being a “breath of fresh air” and courageous.

Her courage in responding to and advocating about the climate challenge has been noted and appreciated by many Australians.

In such a prestigious post, with so many billions flowing from governments world wide and so many institutions pushing the climate change agenda, and of course not forgetting the trips overseas and the compliant media circus, it is hard to see where courage comes in.

The National Curriculum: A Critique

February 16, 2011

How to deprive our children of their heritage

A timely and invaluable monograph, The National Curriculum: A critique, has just been released by the Institute of Public Affairs in the context of their ongoing Foundations of Western Civilization Program. As Chris Berg, the editor, says in his introduction,

The release of the federal government’s national curriculum gives us an opportunity to take stock of how Australia sees itself, its role in the world, and its position in the grand sweep of history – in other words, how it imagines itself not just as a nation, but as part of a civilisation.

Alas, the way Australia sees itself, according the analysis of the writers in this book, is pretty dismal. It would appear that almost all the conventional and traditional understanding that most of us have for the origins of the uniqueness of Western Civilisation and the qualities that Australia has inherited and shares with other western societies, is almost completely absent. Worse, this understanding and these qualities appear to be wilfully and deliberately ignored in this shiny new curriculum. Antonio Gramsci in his grave would be thrilled beyond belief. Conservatives should be horrified.

The book is organized as a set of six essays on particular areas of the syllabus by six writers.

Greg Melleuish takes a swipe at the history syllabus and concludes that it is a mishmash of disconnected study areas with no “organizing principle”, leaving the subject areas open to arbitrariness and prejudice. In this way, year nine students can choose in depth studies of the Ottoman Empire followed by Polynesian expansion, followed by a study of Spanish conquest. This leads, as Melleuish puts it, to human history of the past ten thousand years reaching its climax with AC/DC and Kylie Minogue.

Richard Allsop takes a closer look at Australian History, announcing the sad news that in less than 30 years Victorian students taking Year 12 history has declined from 42 percent to 5 percent. It seems students like facts. This syllabus wants to focus on “method rather than substance, on developing skills rather than imparting knowledge”. Australian exceptionalism is ignored, or avoided –– forget that Australia was, before Federation, one of the richest countries on Earth.

Augusto Zimmermann takes to task the way the syllabus ignores concepts like the separation of powers or the Westminster system, and only passingly touches on the Magna Carta, the 1688 Glorious Revolution or the American Revolution. Unsurprisingly, the curriculum will thus give students the impression that freedom and human rights only began with the United Nations.

Barry Spurr shows how English has been corralled into po-mo gibberish. Spurr finds the mandated imperatives in the new English curriculum as “platitudinous, philosophically vacuous-unsubstantiated feel-good rhapsody”. He astutely observes that the academic study of English language and literature –– the discipline of English –– has been “transmuted into an agent of social change”. Discipline in the study of language is absent. Further, Spurr sees the gutting of the greatest poets as “cultural philistinism, indeed barbarism on a grand scale.”

David Daintree tackles the issue of our Christian heritage and the importance of the Bible as a reference point to our cultural literacy. The most perverse aspect of this new syllabus is that over the 2000 years of European history, Christianity and its contribution is not specifically mentioned; as Daintree observes, there is “deliberate, pointed, tendentious and outrageous silence”.

To finish off, Julie Novak gives us an analysis of the failure of the new curriculum to explain Australia’s prosperity by excluding any explanation that involves free markets, enterprise or the capitalistic system. It reminds this reviewer that this tendency has already happened with disastrous results in France and Germany. Novak finds the new curriculum does not recognise the role economics plays in our historical development and when mentioned is largely negative. She concludes that students will not be able to understand our economic achievements of the past, nor those of the present, and will be “unable to capitalise on the exciting economic opportunities that lie ahead”.

This book is important. Its aim is to look at the national curriculum and to see how much it explains the foundations of Western Civilisation to our children. Clearly, it fails. If it is not stopped or changed, we will fail our children utterly in developing their understanding of themselves and their society.

This review first appeared at  Quadrant Online

Buy The National Curriculum: A Critique here…



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