Lette helps herself
Pun-until-you-puke writer Kathy Lette takes self-promotion in a tacky new direction:
Best-selling Australian novelist Kathy Lette has confessed to having affairs with two married men…
Not rights, but claims
Associate professor Helen Irving warns that a bill of rights, now being discussed by the Rudd Government, is an attempt to use judges to impose on voters contentious political decisions best left to them:
(M)any rights are in fact political. They rest on controversial propositions, matters open to reasonable disagreement, issues that should properly be debated in the public arena.
We hear, for example, of the “right to die with dignity”. This is not a natural right, or a settled matter. It is deeply, and essentially, contentious.
Another example: the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities includes a provision giving a person of “a particular cultural … background” the “right, in community with other persons of that background, to enjoy his or her culture”. To determine whether a person has a “particular” background, and whether its enjoyment has been denied, requires detailed knowledge of cultural practices and expectations, both in “particular” and mainstream cultures.
These are sociological and historical issues, not questions for the courts.
Reinventing the black family
Kay Hymowitz says ideological blindness can be devastating:
In 1950, at the height of the Jim Crow era and despite the shattering legacy of slavery, the great majority of black children - an estimated 85 per cent - were born to their two married parents. Just 15 years later legal barriers to equality were falling… Yet 24 per cent of black mothers were then bypassing marriage…
President Lyndon Johnson was deeply shaken by (Assistant secretary of labour Daniel Patrick) Moynihan’s findings… (B)oth believed that fatherlessness undermined the “basic socialising unit”. Johnson declared: “When the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale, the community itself is crippled.”
Unfortunately, those warnings were as prescient as they were reviled. Civil rights leaders, worried about reviving racist myths about black promiscuity, objected to what they viewed as blaming the victim. Feminists were inclined to look on the “strong black women” raising their children without men as a symbol of female autonomy. The Moynihan report and the subject disappeared…
Since then the black family has unravelled in ways that have little parallel in human cultures… Today 70 per cent of black children are born to single mothers.
What has this meant for racial progress? Fifty years after Jim Crow, black households have the lowest median income of any racial or ethnic group. Close to a third of black children are poor, and their chances of moving out of poverty are considerably lower than those of their white peers.
The Left burns Athens
The Left and the anarchists of Greece show their customary love of peace and the respect for the rights of others:
Thousands of youths enraged by the fatal police shooting of a teenager rampaged through cities across Greece on Monday, attacking police stations, firebombing stores and battling with authorities in a third day of massive riots…
Rioters have torched the capital’s massive Christmas tree in central Syntagma Square. Some protesters posed for photos in front of the blaze. Others sang the Greek version of “Oh Christmas Tree.”..
Nearby, thousands of demonstrators gathered for separate protests organized by two left-wing parties.
Memo to poor: be reckless
”Spend, spend, spend” may be good for the economy, but it’s lousy for individuals. Michael Stutchbury:
Kevin Rudd is urging Australians to spend most of the $10.4 billion in government handouts to low-to-middle class families, pensioners and young home buyers.
That makes sense in political terms or as a patriotic call to arms. But financial advisers who told their clients to do the same would risk being struck off.
Bolt Baffled - the party he supports are too bad
On the whole, Kevin Rudd’s staff won’t work for him, his colleagues don’t like him, his top public servants resent him and even the Left-leaning press gallery privately sneers at him. But the public loves him.
Help Mr Bolt find a reason to vote Liberal ..