Sunday, July 31, 2011

News items and comments

Just Do It Like Beckham

Miranda Devine – Sunday, July 31, 11 (12:11 am)


OK, so, yes, Harper Seven is an unorthodox name for a child – unless you’re a celebrity, in which case it is positively tame. Compared to Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa, that is.

But, Harper Seven is what David and Victoria “Posh” Beckham named their fourth child, a daughter, born July 10, to join their three sons, Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, eight, and Cruz, five.

And good luck to them on such a joyous occasion.

Except that the English soccer star and his pop singer-turned fashion plate wife are not being wished luck by everyone, at all.

Instead, a downright nasty campaign has been waged against their prodigious breeding habits by green groups who claim large families are environmentally irresponsible.

Britain’s eco-nazis are denouncing the Beckhams as “selfish” for having a large family, because every new human on planet earth creates more “carbon” emissions.

Simon Ross, chief executive of Britain’s Optimum Population Trust, for instance, told The Guardian newspaper that “the Beckhams, and others like London mayor Boris Johnson [a father of four], are very bad role models with their large families.”

Huh? What a very strange and misanthropic view of the world.

It’s not just a British peculiarity. Australian families, too, should be limited to just two children, homegrown eco-evangelist Dick Smith declared earlier this year as part of his campaign to curb Australia’s population growth.

Human use of natural resources was “like a plague of locusts,” he said.

Rather than rejoicing at a healthy new life being welcomed into a loving intact family, the new totalitarian green mentality is about controlling every aspect of human existence.

People used to rail against churches poking their unwanted noses into the bedroom. Now it’s the greens, checking up on contraception.

David Beckham’s unfazed response, however, was perfect: “If we’re lucky enough, we hope to have one more”, he told reporters.

That’s the spirit. Let’s all have another baby to annoy the eco-wowsers.

David Beckham with newborn Harper Seven in a photo posted by the family on Twitter.

Christine Nixon’s unfair cop-out

Miranda Devine – Saturday, July 30, 11 (09:47 pm)


SHE can’t get out of it now, of course, but what on earth was Julia Gillard thinking when she agreed to launch Christine Nixon’s new book?

You only have to know one thing about the former Victorian police commissioner, and that is that on the day of the Black Saturday bushfires, in which 173 people died, she had her hair done, met with her biographer and went out to dinner at a gourmet pub with friends.

“I had to eat,” she said.



… is one that I used in this long-ago (from 3 June 2004) post here at the Cafe. It’s from page 135 of Will Durant’s 1939 book The Life of Greece:

The crossroads of trade are the meeting place of ideas, the attrition ground of rival customs and beliefs; diversities beget conflict, comparison, thought; superstitions cancel one another and reason begins.

Opponents of free trade literally are unreasonable. No matter how “progressive” they fancy themselves to be – a fancy fueled by the asinine yet apparently attractive notion that society progresses the more individuals’ wills and actions are bent (with force, if necessary) to conform to the will of the state – opponents of free trade are peddlers of backwoods stupidity grounded as firmly in ignorance and inability to reason as it is in atavistic fears and superstitions still lingering from our tribal past.


Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Preferring to extract conclusions from her personal experience, San Francisco restaurateur Jennifer Piallat explicitly rejects the use of a “barrage of statistics” to analyze the consequences of legislation that mandates paid sick-leave for employees (Letters, July 30). And in Ms. Piallat’s experience, legislation mandating paid sick-leave improves firms’ performances. The anecdote she offers from her own restaurant is that, since the legislation went into effect, employees no longer report to work while sick and, hence, no longer infect fellow employees with their ailments.

I don’t doubt the truth of Ms. Piallat’s account. But it begs the question: why did she not offer paid sick-leave to her employees on her own? If paid sick-leave increases her restaurant’s bottom line by, as she says, improving her staffs’ performance, why did she wait to be forced by politicians to adopt that policy?

Perhaps she just didn’t think of doing so, or perhaps she’s a poor businesswoman. Whatever the reason, Ms. Piallat’s personal experience is hardly justification for substituting the business judgment of people who specialize in winning political office for that of people who specialize in actually running businesses in competitive markets.

Donald J. Boudreaux



Tim Blair – Sunday, July 31, 11 (12:22 pm)

Peter FitzSimons, of all people, rails against Alan Jones:

No kidding, even after knowing Alan Jones for nigh on 30 years, the sheer audacity of his hypocrisy, the chilling chutzpah of it, still takes my breath away. I mean, how can he front up to work day after day and take the positions he does, when so many of us know - even if his audience doesn’t - his complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy?

Fitzsy’s got his big red bandana all bunched up because Jones is saying wrong things about the Holy Warming. Remember, however, that it was FitzSimons who apologised to Osama bin Laden following 9/11. You really want to talk about “moral bankruptcy”, mate? Mass killings are on bandana-man’s mind again today:

Imagine for a moment how different the international media coverage might have been this week if, instead of being a white Christian fundamentalist, the murderous Norwegian madman who killed more than 70 mostly young Norwegians had been a Middle Eastern Muslim man.

One difference: if the killer was Middle Eastern and a Muslim, FitzSimons would have said sorry to him.

As it is, while the coverage has sensitively reported the terrible tragedy of what occurred, there has been no talk of ‘’terrorism’’ and no headlines about ‘’Christian fundamentalists declaring war’’, etc. So, what is the difference?

He actually needs this explained to him. Consider just the scale, Peter. One attack versus hundreds. Dozens of deaths relative to thousands. A solitary killer compared to an organised and ideologically coordinated worldwide movement preaching death to the west.

Why, when it is a Christian fundamentalist nutter, do we in the media focus on the fact that he’s a nutter and when it is an Islamic fundamentalist nutter we focus on the fact that he is Islamic?

In fact, a great deal of coverage has focused on Breivik’s religious and political views. FitzSimons cannot possibly have missed this. Then again, so much else fails to reach the FitzSimons brain. That bandana must have an awesome tinfoil liner.



Tim Blair – Sunday, July 31, 11 (11:25 am)

Julia Gillard wins unlikely praise from columnist Jimmy Jones of Tennessee’s Shelbyville Times-Gazette:

This is one politician that is not backing down in the name of political correctness.

Sadly for Jimmy, his praise is based on a speech that Gillard never made. It’s been kicking around the internet in various forms now for nearly a decade.



Tim Blair – Sunday, July 31, 11 (10:47 am)

A hat-trick to Stuart Broad in the Second Test against India at Trent Bridge:

Sadly for Harbhajan Singh, LBW decisions are not open to video review in this series, which essentially amounts to cricket’s world championship. This match is a belter.


Why bother voting Liberal?

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 31, 11 (01:11 pm)

You do wonder sometimes what the point of voting Liberals is:

PREMIER Ted Baillieu looks set to keep Victoria’s charter of human rights, despite some of his MPs saying it is ill-conceived, undemocratic, or a waste of money.

Leaked government documents have given the strongest indication yet that the controversial charter will be retained - possibly with only minor reforms - when the Coalition makes a decision on its fate later this year.

The move is likely to surprise some lawyers, MPs and human rights advocates who feared the charter would be wound back, five years after it was introduced by Labor to ensure human rights are taken into account when laws and policies are made.

While the Coalition often criticised the charter in opposition, a government submission to a parliamentary review has highlighted its benefits. The submission, obtained by The Sunday Age, points out how the charter has been used to improve services, assist the disadvantaged and shape government policies.

Legislation allowing judges a freer hand to impose an more intrusive Leftist agenda that couldn’t survive an open vote in Parliament hardly seems to be a tenet of conservative or even Liberal philosophy.

And look at the weak evidence produced for the alleged good it’s done:

In one case, it was used by the Education Department to reform student dress code policies, so that religious freedom and freedom of expression were better protected.

It had also resulted in prisons establishing better policies to deal with hunger strikes and protect the rights of transgender prisoners

How many of those cases would stand up to real scrutiny?

Now, for balance, where are the examples of a negative influence in this submission?

(Thanks to reader Brook.)


The doorbell

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 31, 11 (12:53 pm)

Powerline has run a competition to find the best way to alert the public about the scale of the US debt. I hope this entry is the winner.

(Via Catallaxy Files, going from strength to strength.)


First undeterred boat arrives under Malaysian deal

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 31, 11 (11:11 am)

That’s 54 of the 800 places under this deal gone in its first week:

A BOATLOAD of asylum seekers has been intercepted northwest of Scott Reef and will be the first to be sent to Malaysia under the federal government’s people swap deal.

HMAS Ararat intercepted the boat north-west of Scott Reef in the Timor Sea this morning, the government said.

There are 54 asylum seekers on board and two crew members.

Malaysia is set to accept 800 asylum seekers in exchange for Australia taking 4000 bona fide refugees over four years after the two governments signed the deal on Monday.


And the climate won’t even notice

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 31, 11 (06:10 am)

Jut one of a million entities that won’t be compensated, and might have to sack to make up the losses:

THE new carbon tax will blow out the Hobart City Council budget by more than $1 million and force up rates, says Alderman Jeff Briscoe.

“Carbon tax will apply to practically everything we buy: electricity for offices and streetlights, fuel for our heavy vehicles, running the tip, everything,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a shock to us because we haven’t budgeted for it. We’re just hoping that if we put enough pressure on the Federal Government, we can get compensated for it because this will affect every council in Australia.”

(Thanks to reader Mick.)


Diplomats to the welfare state

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 31, 11 (05:52 am)

Representing their country beautifully:

A CRIMINAL investigation is under way into allegations that staff at the Lebanese consul-general’s office in Sydney have been paid wages in cash while illegally pocketing Centrelink payments.

The revelations come just days after the consul-general, Robert Naoum, returned to Sydney agreeing to pay off his unrelated debts in return for an arrest warrant being withdrawn. Now federal police have been called in to examine claims that his office has been defrauding the Commonwealth.

It is alleged some staff, among more than a dozen at the Edgecliff office, collected welfare and, in at least one case, a dole payment. At the same time, the consul-general’s office had not been paying tax, superannuation or workers’ compensation for its locally engaged staff.

Some staff allegedly made a profit by selling cigarettes and alcohol bought within the diplomatic tax-free quota… But Mr Naoum told The Sun-Herald yesterday the allegations were just “propaganda against us”.

However, his spokesman agreed the office did not give staff statements of earnings; nor did it deduct any tax on behalf of employees. It was up to the employees to declare it, he said.

Be aware that these are only allegations. And cultural factors may also be significant.


We have ways to make you green

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 31, 11 (05:48 am)

The green authoritarians reach deeper and deeper into the private lives of the citizens to comple changes of behaviour:

EMBATTLED NSW homeowners could be slugged more than $800 to give their houses a compulsory “green rating” before they are sold or leased, under a new federal government scheme.

Mandatory “green ratings” for apartments and houses similar to those on new washing machines and fridges are to be introduced in the initiative to encourage more energy efficient homes.

The ratings are part of the requirement for each state to introduce legislation requiring homeowners to disclose their home’s energy, greenhouse and water efficiency when they advertise it for sale or lease.

A national report has posed four different options for energy audits which in NSW would range in price from about $200 to $820.

The cost of the power should be disincentve enough.

(Thanks to readers CA and the Great Waisuli.)


Islamists now recruiting our young Turks

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 31, 11 (05:37 am)

When Turks here must send their children to Turkey to escape Islamist hardliners…

MANY Turkish-Australians were stunned to hear that one of their own was allegedly involved in an attack on a Muslim convert.

Tolga Cifci, 20, was one of three men charged this month over the attack on Christian Martinez, who was allegedly lashed 40 times with an electric cable as a religious punishment under sharia for drinking alcohol.

The Sun-Herald understands that Mr Cifci’s father, a successful local businessman, became concerned last year when his son fell under the influence of hardliners who had recently arrived in the area…

Auburn is the heartland of Sydney’s Turkish community. But in the past 18 months at least three new Muslim groups, including the Auburn Islamic Centre, have set up operations in the suburb, a documentary-maker and peace activist, Kuranda Seyit, said.

Mr Seyit, the director of the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations, said one of them, loosely supervised by the controversial Sheikh Feiz Mohammad at the Bukhari House Islamic Book Store, had been trying to recruit emotionally vulnerable young men of Turkish heritage.

A plan by another, the Islamic Dawah Centre of Australia, to build a large mosque on a $1.8 million, 3882-square-metre plot on Chisholm Road, is considered the latest example of the push into the area..... Some anxious parents have begun sending their children to Turkey for long periods to steer them away from Salafi influences, one leading figure said on condition of anonymity…

Sheikh Feiz has caused controversy by referring to Jews as pigs and saying children should be encouraged to take up jihad. He has apologised for the former comment and said the latter was misunderstood.

(Thanks to reader Stanley.)


Please, GetUp, complain to the police about me, too

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 31, 11 (12:03 am)

I’ve already said how threatened our free speech is by the official thought police and the greenshirts who use them:

THE Australian Communications and Media Authority is investigating a complaint about alleged inaccuracies in statements on climate change by broadcaster Alan Jones.

GetUp! had made a complaint, which it believed was not being pursued by the broadcasting regulator, but Fairfax Media has learned ACMA is investigating the GetUp! complaint, and some others, concerning Mr Jones…

GetUp! has also alleged Mr Jones contravenes another section of the code of conduct which requires broadcasters to give ‘’reasonable opportunities’’ to ‘’significant viewpoints’’ on ‘’controversial issues of public importance’’.

But now I am asking GetUp! to please complain to ACMA about me, too.

You see, I’d also love to have alternative “significant viewpoints” on ‘’controversial issues of public importance’’ on my own radio and TV shows, too, but guess what? Labor ministers and Greens MPs all refuse to come on to discuss their absurd global warming policies, which means it’s simply impossible for me to offer a balanced debate. Even GetUp! boss Simon Sheikh pulled out of an interview with me, rather than discuss his deeply deceptive ad starring Cate Blanchett.

So these warmists are putting me in breach of ACMA’s requirements and I want GetUp to complain. I want it to insist that ACMA force Labor and Greens politicians onto my show to put their points of view.

I agree with GetUp: let’s have a debate!

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