John Della Bosca has admitted to helping write the apology letter that Premier Iemma used to clear the Education Minister's name over a Central Coast nightclub scandal.
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Mark Pagel, professor of evolutionary biology, on race and trust:
Humans, as I have described, evolved to live in small isolated groups and are finely tuned to seek people of common values. Like it or not, common culture (common practices, expectations, and beliefs) correlates, even if imperfectly, with common biological ancestry. This means that markers of race and ethnicity come to be taken as markers of common values.
So does this mean that, deep down, we are all racists? No: we are too clever and self-interested for that. The very social feature that makes us unique—our ability to co-operate with unrelated others—makes us, uniquely among animals, capable of moving beyond the politics of race and ethnicity. Were we as mindless as apes and ants, this would be impossible. Their behaviour is based almost exclusively on common genetic ancestry. Ours is not.
We humans will get along with anyone who wishes to play the co-operative game with us—and that part of our nature will always trump guesswork based on markers of ethnicity or other features. The key is to provide or create stronger signs of trust and common values than are provided by the statistically useful but imprecise markers of ethnicity.
Lambert has a bad week
Oh, dear, Tim Lambert gets fact-checked to his discredit yet again. Collateral damage is John Quiggin, proving that if you believe in man-made catastrophic global warming, you may well not have a firm grip on evidence. But what this rebuttal highlights most is how quick these two gentlemen are to slime.
Five of last year’s top 10 bestsellers in Japan were written on mobile phones.
Calls for independent Iguana-gate inquiry mounting
As police start investigating the Iguana-Gate scandal, Iguana Joe's management claim they felt threatened into an apology to the Education minister and his wife.
Tragic end to three hour siege
There has been a tragic end to a police siege in Sydney's north west, with two people have been found dead following an apparent murder-suicide.
NSW Origin star arrested 'as a prank'
Queensland police are in hot water after a prank involving New South Wales State of Origin star Greg Bird. -this passes for a joke in ALP government eyes. -ed.
Drug bust is 'world's biggest'
THE world's biggest drug bust has uncovered 236 tonnes of hashish weighing as much as 30 buses.
Woman in labour still cops a parking fine
A COUNCIL that issued two parking fines to a woman who was in labour then said it stood by its actions. -she was pregnant, not a member of the ALP - ed.
Mutilation the latest tactic in election terror
MILITIA thugs in Zimbabwe have chopped off the hand and both feet of an opposition official before burning her alive.
Ancient seed could restore biblical trees
From Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem
ISRAELI researchers who grew a sapling from a date seed found at the ancient fortress Masada said today the seed was about 2000 years old and may help restore a species of biblical trees.
Carbon dating confirmed that the seed - named Methuselah after the oldest person in the bible - was the oldest ever brought back to life, Sarah Sallon, a researcher at the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem, reported in the journal Science.
The seed came from the Judean date palm, a species that once flourished in the Jordan River Valley and has been extinct for centuries, Sallon said. It was one of a group discovered at Masada, a winter palace overlooking the Dead Sea built by King Herod in the 1st century BC.
The fortress was used by hundreds of Jewish insurgents in a revolt against Roman rule that erupted in 67 AD.
"It has survived and flourished," Ms Sallon said. Previous attempts to grow plants from ancient seeds failed after a few days.
Since the seed was first germinated a few years ago, Ms Sallon said there had been some doubt whether it was really 2000 years old, like the others found at the site.
"At first we couldn't break off pieces of the seed for carbon dating," Ms Sallon said. "But when we moved the plant to a larger pot, we found fragments of the the seed on the roots, which we were able to carbon date."
This showed the tree is about 2000 years old and preliminary genetic studies suggest it may share about half of its genetic code with modern dates.
Iran hangs teenager over boy's murder
IRAN has hanged a 17-year-old boy in the western city of Sanandaj in defiance of international conventions prohibiting the execution of minors, local media has reported.
Mohammad Hassanzadeh, who was convicted of killing a 10-year-old boy in 2006, was executed in the Sanandaj prison today, the Kargozaran newspaper has reported.
The execution came even though Iran's judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi had advised the local court to "settle the issue through reconciliation" with the victim's family.
"None of our efforts to reach an agreement with the victim's family was successful and therefore the sentence was carried out on Tuesday morning," an unnamed local judicial official was quoted as saying by the paper.
Under Islamic sharia law, the family can spare a murderer from execution by accepting blood money for the victim's life and leaving the convict to serve a prison sentence.
The human rights watchdog Amnesty International has already condemned the execution as "yet another blatant violation by the Iranian authorities of their international obligations."
What jobless stats?
Peter Martin is fuming:
The Bureau of Statistics is axing the (Labour force) survey as part of its drive to find $22 million in savings in order to cope with budget cuts… In addition it will wind back the quality of its all-important monthly Labour Force survey and its monthly retail survey…
The Rudd government came to office promising to make “evidence-based” decisions. Its budget cuts will destroy much of the evidence.
Della Bosca booted
John Della Bosca has been stood down while police investigate the clash of affadavits generated by the confrontation between him and his wife, Belinda Neal, with the staff of the Iguana night club.
The immediate issue singled out by Premier Morris Iemma is that his minister should have told him he’d drafted much of the apology from the nightclub owner.
Flooded with deceit
La Manga as is, and once Greenpeace doctored the facts.
Greenpeace drowns the truth, and now may be made to pay:
A group of real estate developers and property owners in La Manga del Mar Menor - a spit of sandy, low-lying coastal land and Murcia’s premier beach resort - are threatening to take Greenpeace to court over its graphic predictions of what global warming may do to the area, which they say have caused house prices to plummet.
Serene stupidity rules in Canada
Canada is insane. The human rights industry, still trying to strip Mark Steyn of the right to free speech, includes Canadian Human Rights Commission lawyer Giacomo Vigna, whose feelings are astonishingly tender. Ezra Levant produces the transcript of Vigna’s last case, which was called off for the day after this submission:
MR. VIGNA: Sorry. Mr. Chair, I don’t have the flu but I don’t feel in a serene state of mind to proceed with the file today…===
THE CHAIRPERSON: But the witness is here?
MR. VIGNA: The witness is here. It’s not the question of the witness. The witness is here. I thought until this morning that I would proceed, but I really don’t feel primarily mentally able to proceed, and physically too.
Bugger whales. Save Zimbabweans
Another day in the hell that’s Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, far worse is being meted out to black opponents of Mugabe’s evil regime:
Dadirai Chipiro, wife of Patson Chipiro who heads the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district, had a hand cut off as well as both of her feet before a petrol bomb was thrown through her window.And also:
The three men who pulled up outside her house were looking for her husband, who was in Harare, and left before coming back an hour later to kill her…
Pamela Pasvani, the 21-year-old pregnant wife of a local councillor in Harare was killed in a similar attack, which also claimed the life of the councillor six-year-old son.
The deputy leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition party was facing possible death penalty, after police arrested and accused him of treason within minutes of stepping from a plane at Harare airport.The insanely brave Morgan Tsvangirai is in danger again, as well:
Police in Zimbabwe yesterday arrested the secretary general of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, and detained its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, as he campaigned for the June 27 presidential run-off.What is the world doing to stop this? -Rudd is doing nothing, when Howard would have moved many to action. - ed.
Court takes over war
Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to give alleged terrorists captured abroad access to US civilian courts:
Today, for the first time in our Nation’s history, the Court confers a constitutional right to habeas corpus on alien enemies detained abroad by our military forces in the course of an ongoing war.... (M)ost tragically, it sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving to a civilian court, under whatever standards this Court devises in the future, that evidence supports the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner. The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today... It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.
Queensland eats its own
Brisbane’s Courier Mail turns on its favorite Prime Minister, the local lad, with a front-page attack under the headline, “Well, you’ve been dudded”
A sorry apology
After staff at Iguana Joe’s in Gosford alleged that the MPs threatened and abused them last Friday night, the club’s management agreed to write an apology, parts of which Mr Della Bosca faxed to them to be included.
This is the apology, at least partly written by Della Bosca himself, which Premier Morris Iemma relied upon to excuse his minister. But the whole farce - involving competing statutory declarations from Della Bosca and his wife on one side, and the Iguana staff on the other - could hit a hard wall very soon:
The revelations came as police launched an investigation into the signing of contradictory statutory declarations about the altercations.
Gillard’s blow for women
HOW hey-ho to see Julia Irwin reach for the last defence of the feminist scoundrel.
It was sexist, the far-Left Labor MP squealed, for the Prime Minister to reprimand fellow MP Belinda Neal and order her to get counselling.
“Why is it that women are singled out by reporting of these instances, why not the men?” Irwin declared.
“Why the Cheryl Kernot, the Kelly Hoare and now Belinda Neal, why not the men?”
Ah, that familiar banshee whine of feminist martyrdom. Yes, why aren’t women politicians treated as kindly as we treat John “lying rodent” Howard, perhaps, or Kevin “all spin” Rudd, or “mad” Mark Latham, now laughed out of politics? And remember how gentle everyone was with Jeff Kennett?
But it’s not just this poor-us pleading that makes Rip van Irwin seem so dated. Worse is that she missed the thoroughly modern fact that it was not Rudd but a woman who instigated the slapping down of Nasty Neal—Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard, taking charge.
Green slayer is after your children
THERE is something sick at the ABC when its staff can run a website that wishes their boss Mark Scott dead.
To be precise, the ABC’s website says Scott should have died as a child. His wife and children, too.
The same ABC site, Planet Slayer, says I must die as well, and suggests my children do so from next year.
It probably wishes your children were dead, too, and has given them a calculator to figure if they should kill themselves now, or soon. True.
Oh, what a nasty feeling
ALWAYS happy to donate to a worthy cause - widows, orphans, lepers. But to give $70 million to the emperors of Toyota?
If ew can rite this, thank an edukashin burocrat
We’re all astonished, right?
A TEACHERS’ guide to grammar circulated by the English Teachers Association of Queensland is riddled with basic errors, leading an internationally respected linguistics professor to describe it as ”the worst published material on English grammar” he has seen.
A series of articles on grammar published in the ETAQ’s journal intended as a teaching resource is striking for its confusion of the parts of speech, incorrectly labelling nouns as adjectives, verbs as adverbs and phrases as verbs…
Twenty times the action
Having watched some of the latest listless Test series in the crowd-less West Indies, Gilchrist’s claims don’t surprise me at all:
A DAY after Texan billionaire Allen Stanford made the amazing claim that Twenty20 cricket could replace soccer as the world’s leading team sport, Adam Gilchrist said the explosive new game may soon swamp Test cricket.
And Ricky Ponting fears that the Indian Premier League could become so lucrative the next generation of stars will see it as the pinnacle of the game ahead of playing for their country.
Recently returned from the IPL, Gilchrist compared it to the Sydney Olympics, only bigger.