Monday, July 21, 2008

And David Bowie Was The First Man In Space

If one ever had any doubt that the media are morons, consider that Reuters thinks Bruce Springsteen brought down the Berlin Wall:

When Bruce Springsteen spoke out against the Berlin Wall at the biggest concert in East German history in 1988, no one in the crowd of 160,000 had the faintest idea that the symbol of the Cold War would soon be history. But now — 20 years after the American rock star went behind the Iron Curtain — organizers, historians and people who witnessed it say his message came at a critical juncture in German history in the run-up to the Wall’s collapse.
The piece is an idiotic exercise in over-earnest juvenile logic that insults the East Germans who for years struggled to end communist rule of their 'country', often dying in attempts to escape.

While puffing up the meagre contribution of a mere pop star, the writer also attempts to discount the efforts of those in the West who actually did the job of ending the Cold War, most notably US President Ronald Reagan, who worked with British PM Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II to cajole, chide and twist the arms of the Soviets.

The author even tries to paint Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev as the hero of the piece, citing Gorbachev's 'perestroika' as the prime mover towards the fall of the Soviet empire.

Nonsense - it was Reagan who put the pressure on Gorbachev but allowed the Soviet president enough diplomatic room to back down and still save face.

The Reuters piece is historical revisionism of which the Soviet Socialists would have been proud, airbrushing people out of history to present a dangerous distortion of the truth.

Skewering analysis at Newsbusters

-- Nick

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pyjama Party

It's been a long time between sharing cocktails recipes at the Charles' household.

Believe it or not, there are other pleasures than just sipping cocktails:

Between The Sheets
1 oz Bacardi rum
1/2 oz Cognac
3 oz passionfruit juice
1/2 oz lime juice
Combine in shaker with ice. Serve in rocks glass with lime and cherry
-- Nora

A Case Of Deja Vu

Back in the late '90s, one was acquainted with an envirofascist employed by a state body who advocated this:

HOME owners could be forced to turn their houses green before they are allowed to sell them...
This particular person also advocated attending the Nimbin feral festival each year and rolling around in mud. But her wishes are coming to pass in Victoria, with the unsurprising support of a professional body that sees a quid in the offing.

Victorian State Planning Minister Justin Madden is refusing to comment on the proposal and is instead allowing Brian Welch, executive director of the
Master Builders Association, to fire the bullets:

The Master Builders Association wants laws to make it compulsory for owners of all existing homes to meet minimal environmental standards before they are allowed to sell them. The changes will cost each homeowner hundreds of dollars but the MBA says buyers of newly built homes are already being forced to meet five-star standards and they shouldn't be the only ones bearing the burden of helping the environment.

The MBA's proposal includes making it mandatory for homeowners to:

REPLACE single-flush toilets with dual flush-toilets when selling their home.

INSTALL ceiling insulation.

INSTALL low-consumption shower heads.
As in all such cases, there's money to be made by MBA members in this - all three of the nominated tasks are beyond the capability of the average householder.

The MBA would also like inefficient electrical and whitegood products to be phased out.
Of course they would - there's a higher profit margin in the supply of more expensive stoves, cooktops and dishwashers.

Lesson: When someone starts preaching for the environment, ask yourself what's the profit motive.

-- Nick

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

If God Did Not Exist, We Would Have To Invent Him

How cute,'s contrarian blogger Jack Marx wants to ban Jesus.

Okay, lets say society had expunged everything to do with Christendom.

What might that society look like? In some respects not a lot different to secular society today. The pagans are gaining the lions share of publicity (like AGW believers) along with Islam which has spread aggressively to the four corners of the world.

There's widespread slavery across all of the world because there was no William Wilberforce.

There would be no hospitals because they were developed by the Hospitaliers of the Crusades. There are no orphanages, no social welfare.

Many of the finest works of art by the likes of Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Mozart, Handel, Tolkein, Dostoevsky do not exist. Lamentably there is no champagne because there is no Dom Perignon.

The world of science is all the poorer for the non-existence of Christians: the research of Bede the Venerable, Roger Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Blaise Pascal, Charles Babbage, Gregor Mendel, Sir Robert Boyd and Michal Heller.

In Australia, because there are no 'God botherers', you can say goodbye to the Salvation Army, Lifeline, The RFDS, Blue Nurses, World Vision.

How's the world looking now?

-- Nora

UPDATE: One might have left the subject above alone, however Jack Marx writes an extracurricular column on Friday to rather ham-fistedly explain that he likes Christians - just not Christ and one of Jack's acolytes writes in comments on this post.

Ya see, Jack likes all the good stuff that Christians do - like the charity and stuff - but he doesn't like the reason why they do it.

He'd rather religious people and Christians in particular keep their trap shut and not disturb his self-indulgent and self-righteous cocoon, so you can see why the joyous public celebration World Youth Day offends him no end.

Jack, having to grudgingly acknowledge the benefit Christians have brought to society, tries a different tack and fares no better.

He picks up on the Michael Newton/Christopher Hitchens/Richard Dawkins meme - the Bible is horrible because it's full of violence. Well, yes, unredeemed human history has been ever thus.

As Sam Shamoun, the Christian apologist points out: "First, the wars and violence found within the OT are descriptive, not prescriptive. They are describing events as they occurred, commandments God had given a specific people for a specific purpose."

In other words, they're historical not instructive.

Jack fires up his Google and goes hunting, picking the oft cited command to kill the Amalekites decribed in the book of Joshua.

The mindless slaughter continues verse after verse, chapter after chapter, book after revolting book, with God’s blessing when not his help.

For me, the only historical text that comes close to it for sheer murderous outrage is William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a book we read today as something of a warning, a parable on how humanity must always be on guard against organised fanaticism.
Well, I'm glad Jack brought up the Third Reich because there is a parallel, but one he is obviously unaware.

The problem with cherrypicking is you tend to miss some of the facts.

The Amalekites were savage, violent and opportunistic. Like others during that time, they engaged in child sacrifice. They also attacked Israel first.

It is the equivalent to hating the Allies for bombing Dresden and marching through Germany without acknowledging that Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland or loathing the United States for dropping the bomb on Nagasake and Hiroshima without acknowledging that the Imperial forces bombed Pearl Harbour.

To describe the act of the Israelites (and by extension the command by God) as immoral, hateful, irrational and genocidal is as emotive as it is inaccurate.

Jack, having done this intellectually dishonest exercise about the Old Testament, turns his attention to Jesus:

Of course, Jesus Christ was a “new improved” God, the Christian New Testament considerably more mellow than its prequel. Christ was no warlord – he spoke of love and turning the other cheek. Nevertheless, he walked in the name of his father, the occasional fit of punchy conceit loitering in his blood

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:34-37).
Subtlety is not Jack's strong suit, so it's no surprise that he fails to understand the meaning of this passage. But ask anyone who has left Islam for Christianity, whether Jesus' words hold truth.

Indeed, what if one of Jack's children turned around one day to say they had become a Christian? What would venom-filled invective would dear ole dad spew?

Whether I believe in God or not I won’t say, but I will say that I despise him. I call him “Super***t”
Ah yes, that would be right.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Burn The Monster! Burn The Monster!

It's official - Dennis Ferguson is a 'monster' and the mob whipped up by the media and others is getting nasty:

The news came as protesters yesterday stepped up their attacks on the child sex monster and those trying to help him. Volunteers for the church-based Prison Fellowship Australia were harassed as they left the property where Ferguson is being housed. In one case, a volunteer was almost driven off the road.

Chaplains working for the group also have been advised against visiting prisoners in jail because of the level of anger among other convicts surrounding the release of Ferguson and his relocation to the government-owned rural property. In other disturbing displays of anger, two molotov cocktails were thrown at Ferguson's hide-out, one of which ignited, causing minor damage to the house. No one was hurt.
Child protection campaigner Hetty Johnston is one of the others but she seems increasingly like the child who, playing with matches, has set fire to the bed and is desperately trying to beat down the flames before mum and dad find out:

Ms Johnston said that after alleged sightings of Ferguson in public she was fearful people who vaguely resembled Ferguson could be "beaten up".
Monsters exist only in children's imaginations. To dub Ferguson a monster is to give him a status he doesn't deserve.

Ferguson is simply a man suffering a mental sickness our society chooses to deal with as criminal behaviour. If the mob wants him and others like him treated differently, they should lobby their MPs, not harrass and commit violence.

As for the media, it's amusing that they (and Johnston) are calling for a Megan's Law but their hysterical rabble-rousing may have nixed such a move by exposing themselves and the population as too immature to handle such responsibility.

For the record, I believe Ferguson should be locked up permanently but in a mental institution as an incurable recidivist exhibiting a mental disorder rather than in a prison as a criminal.

-- Nick

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Too Fat, Too Thin, Not Ethnic Enough

Cognitive dissonance:

...Doukas is credited with creating some of the key "looks" of the past two decades - the glamorous supermodels of the 1980s and early nineties - and the superwaif, led by Kate Moss, that followed...
The story goes on to talk of Doukas' disappointment that ethnic models are not enough in vogue. Then further on in the same story, unnoted for its irony:

Diminishing waistlines is another worry for Doukas, who is thankful that 90 per cent of her girls stick to editorial work instead of the catwalk, where the pressures of shrinking down to a size zero are most intense. But she admits that the stringent demands of the catwalk make her heart sink, and the poster for Beat, the eating disorder charity, which is discreetly tacked to the back of Storm’s bathroom door, hints at this darker side of the industry.
A dark side of the industry superwaif inventor Doukas created, yet nowhere in the report are the dots connected.

Perhaps reporter Roya Nikkhah is concerned she might stop receiving invites to Doukas' events.

-- Nick

Update: More of the same:

Queensland Hotels Association chief executive officer Justin O'Connor said licensed venues were merely responding to the deteriorating behaviour of patrons. "Twenty years ago, a group of people would police itself to limit anti-social activity which impacts on other people," Mr O'Connor said. "Today, there is a reduced tendency to do this (and) in some cases, particularly amongst young men, there is a tendency to show off and act the fool, sometimes resulting in or triggering confrontation."
The QHA is partly to blame for 'the deteriorating behaviour of patrons', its members wanting nearly 24 hour boozing:

The Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) says it has been caught out by some of the details of the State Government's review of the Liquor Act. The overhaul signals the end of early-morning drinking and gambling, with a return to 10am opening... QHA president Tom McGuire says he is disappointed with the decision not to allow pubs to continue to open at 7am.
Here's a suggestion with regard to controlling poor behaviour by grogged-up patrons - a return to 10pm closing as well.

Media Refuses To Prescribe The Truth

A 1662.5 per cent rise in adverse reactions to vaccinations with 1013 reports concerning a particular drug yet the Sydney Sunday Telegraph mentions nowhere in its story that at least eight deaths are associated with the vaccine in the US, along with thousands more serious adverse reactions including paraplegia and blindness.

Why not? Because the vaccine is Australian and its inventor, Professor Ian Frazer, was made Australian of the Year and lauded by an ignorant media that is now reluctant to reveal the truth. Journalists across the country sang the praises of Frazer and joined his call for the vaccination against sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus to be made compulsory for children.

NSW Health's director of communicable diseases, Dr Jeremy McAnulty, says:

"(We) want to check what happens in the real world. All vaccines have some usually very minor side-effects but we are keen to see if some major ones emerge."
Are these major enough?:

"Information has been received … concerning a 17 year old female who in June 2007 … was vaccinated with a first dose of Gardasil … During the evening of the same day, the patient was found unconscious (lifeless) by the mother. Resuscitation was performed by the emergency physician but was unsuccessful. The patient subsequently died."

"Information has been received … concerning a 12 year old female with a history of aortic and mitral valve insufficiency … who on 01-MAR-2007 was vaccinated IM into the left arm with a first does of Gardasil … On 01-MAR-2007 the patient presented to the ED with ventricular tachycardia and died."

"Initial and follow-up information has been received from a physician concerning an 'otherwise healthy' 13 year old female who was vaccinated with her first and second doses of Gardasil. Subsequently, the patient experienced … paralysis from the chest down, lesions of the optic nerve…At the time of the report, the patient had not recovered."
Apparently not serious enough:

Dr McAnulty stressed the benefits of the vaccine in preventing human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer, were overwhelming.

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the Government planned to continue the cervical cancer immunisation program.
Meanwhile, in Australia:

Dr Rachel David, director of public affairs at pharmaceutical company CSL, insisted its vaccination was safe but said the company was also monitoring any adverse reactions.
... while in the US:

(drug company) Merck was lobbying state lawmakers to require the vaccination, but gave that up after its activities were unveiled.
Also in the US:

"Of the 77 women who received the vaccine while pregnant, 33 experienced side effects ranging from spontaneous abortion to fetal abnormities.
Fetal abnormities?

Thalidomide, anyone?

-- Nick