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Recognise? What precisely?

KangarooNappingAnimatedByHeatherGillWith all of the talk of changing to constitution to “recognise” Indigenous Australians in the constitution I have been doing my darnedest to find out anything about what the proposed changes to the constitution will actually be saying, some sample of the proposed words would be good but instead all we get are vagueries and platitudes:

OPPOSITION LEADER Bill Shorten has warned against waiting “too long” to change the constitution to acknowledge indigenous Australians — and said any reform should be “substantive” and not tokenistic.

“I believe that the sooner our constitution gives just recognition to our First Australians, the better,” he told The Australian.

OK Bill but what does that mean? will such changes have any practical effects in the lives of any Australian?

“It is a historical wrong that must be made right. But it must be more than a token gesture — it must be substantive change”.

“Bipartisanship is critical for any referendum proposal to succeed. I’m prepared to work with the Prime Minister on this to make sure there is a political consensus on the timing and the content”.

If I’m not mistaken the “historical wrong” Shorten is referring to is the Establishment of the British colonies , firstly in NSW and later elsewhere, well personally I just can’t see such events in the sort of negative light that Shorten shines here.

Coalition indigenous MP, Ken Wyatt, who is leading the process, has been more cautious, saying any vote should only be held when “Australia is ready.”

Mr Wyatt, the chair of the cross party constitution committee, said: “We shouldn’t go too early but we shouldn’t go too late either and run the risk of missing the opportunity.

Err OK Ken but until we see the words no one will have the slightest notion of the virtue of what is proposed now will they?

Mr Wyatt’s committee is currently consulting on the wording to be taken to a referendum.

“The Committee is considering presenting a progress report in December and is not required to present its final report until 30 June 2015,” he said.

So does that mean that we are going to get nearly another year of these endless empty gestures trying to soften up the public for an as yet unenunciated change to the constitution?

Aboriginal Commissioner Mick Gooda has called for the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians to be held next year.

Delivering the annual Nulungu Reconciliation Lecture in Broome, Mr Gooda challenged the Prime Minister to hold a referendum before the next federal election and avoid endless rounds of consultation on the issue.

How typically undemocratic a notion from a minion of the left.

Joint Campaign Director of the Recognise campaign Tim Gartrell praised Mr Gooda’s “excellent contribution to the debate”.

“We’ve always said we shouldn’t wait a day longer than is necessary to make these important changes to the constitution,” he said. “This also means all the preconditions need to be in place. The momentum needed for success is growing every day. There are now more than 215,000 supporters who have joined Recognise.

215,000 supporters is notthat significant when you consider that we are a nation of more than 20Million people, in fact I would suggest that  215,000 supporters is barely even all of the “usual suspects”

Labor’s first indigenous senator -Nova Peris does not back Aboriginal Commissioner Mick Gooda’s call for the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians to be held next year, arguing it is better to take longer than get it wrong.

Senator Peris, who is the deputy chairwoman of the committee looking at options for recognition, said rushing the issue would be devastating.

“It’s imperative we do the work required to ensure this succeeds,” he said. “To risk failure in an attempt to simply rush the procedure would be devastating.”

Source

Well for once I agree with a Labor person about something! That said unless we have a very clear enunciation of just what words are to be added to the constitution and what the possible effect of that change could be then I for one will be campaigning against there being ANY change simply because those advancing the yes case are already being deceptive. You see I am old fashioned enough to think that there should be no laws on our statute books that privileges any individual on the basis of their race or ethnicity, or what they claim is their race or ethnicity. We live in the here and now, in a contemporary Australia whose laws apply equally to all with a blindness to race gender or ethnicity. Its not a perfect blindness to those distinctions but its close enough to sing its praises and we should resist any move that makes the law notice the colour of a man’s skin, the faith in his heart or even if he is a man. So many on all sides of politics espouse notions of equality and I think that if   we the public are being asked to agree with the proposition that some Australians are going to be considered “more equal” than the rest of us that we should just vote NO!

Cheers Comrades

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Ebola and the carnival of death

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Am I the only one who sees this event here as the beginning of a very nasty carnival of death for west Africa? Because I just can’t shake the conviction that we are going to see a tide of death flowing out of that part of the continent that will make the bubonic plague look like a mild case of the sniffles. It already seems that the official death-toll may well be underestimated and as there is no cure or even an effective treatment beyond hydration and a plaintive plea to what ever deity one holds dear.
You see disease epidemics like this one are virtually unstoppable once they get rolling and this outbreak of Ebola is certainly rolling now.
Frankly if the disease can be contained within the African continent the world will be doing very well but even on that score I have my doubts because we live in the age where anyone can be traveling the world by the perfect disease incubators/infection pods in the shape Jet airliners

Trying hard not to abandon hope here but frankly all I can foresee is a carnival of death that may soon get to the point where there are not enough of the living to inter the dead. I really hope that I am wrong in my dark expectations but I see nothing to convince me otherwise.

Pessimistic mood on this one Comrades

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Marcia Langton,being oppressed or is she is not a very nice person?

Marcia Langton’s objections to the repeal of 18c in today’s Oz where she said:

“As a victim of frequent rac­ism, I have tried to think of racist behaviour that would not be exempted by the proposed repeal bill and cannot think of one,’’ Professor Langton says.

“None of the requirements of good faith, accuracy, genuine, reasonable, public interest are provided for in the exemptions, and I have concluded that the repeal bill, if it were passed, would provide me — and other victims of racism — with no protection at all from low-level racist abuse, or abuse that a ‘reasonable, ordinary Australian’ would not deem to be intimidatory, in the media, in public, on social media, in the workplace, in educational institutions, or other public institutions.”

Professor Langton says the repeal bill would encourage racists to be more emboldened in public and to use subtle forms of intimidation and aggression, “which I know from personal experience can be just as dangerous and distressing as overt forms”.

She says that, amid increasing racial attacks on public transport, the passage of the bill would ­expose victims to further attacks.

“The reluctance of most victims to make formal complaints or to contact police compounds this problem of their vulnerability to increased attacks by those emboldened to behave in even more offensive and aggressive ways on public transport and in public places,” she says.

Professor Langton goes further, arguing that the bill would undermine the success of multiculturalism and reconciliation in the community and lead to more events such as the race riots in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla in 2005.

And she warns: “The youth sui­cides that result from cyber bullying may well increase, and so too would internet bullying among school students.’’

Source

 Thinking back to her last appearance on QandA  where she (and the ABC) had to apologise for her outburst against Andrew Bolt   made me wonder just how a woman so blighted with racism managed to get herself into a safe and secure academic position and how she came to be consulted  so often by governments on matters indigenous. I also can’t help wondering if she might be mistaking reactions to her antagonistic, confrontational and abrasive personal style of public discourse as racism when its her total lack of respect and  generosity to all of her interlocutors that generates and equally terse response to her whenever she discusses the issues with others.  Strangely enough in this country where we have manged to do tolerance and “multiculturalism” pretty well  its antagonistic people like Langton  who try so hard to grandstand about “racism” that are a  problem, at least as significant as those very few individuals who are actually racist, because their whole ego and self image are totally tied up with the notion of ” being oppressed” that they want to magnify and exaggerate the whole issue of ” race” enough to justify their own bigotry .

We have a country that does diversity, equality and tolerance pretty well and long may that be so but we won’t do it any better if people go out of their way to find offense when and where no offense was intended, we can and I hope will, continue to do better to promote inclusion and acceptance of diversity as a nation but the strictures of blame and well nurtured resentment over long past events will not help anyone.

Cheers Comrades

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Conservatism 102

I promised John Lord a critique of his post about my post (conservatism 101)  at the risk of chasing my own tail I will try to answer John’s observations

He asks: What is a conservative?

I would say that Conservatives (LNP) believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty and traditional values. They believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasise empowerment of the individual to solve problems. And they are cautious about change or innovation, typically in politics or religion.

Well I don’t actually see conservatism through any sort of party political prism at all. While its easy to categorise any political position through a pre-existing rubric the simple fact is that for most of us such broad brush classification is at best only half correct  the part emboldened is pretty close to the mark

What is a neo conservative?

Neo conservatism goes back to the 30s however in its modern form it is identified with George W Bush who embraced unbridled capitalism, corporate greed together with literalist Christianity to form a modern neo conservatism. Carl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld and others added global superiority to the mix believing that America in all aspects was above the rest of the world. A further element in this mix is Tea Party Republican politics.

I don’t recall invoking either American politics in general or ‘Non-conservatism” at all in my piece  so I am at a loss to understand why John is mentioning it here. As an Englishman I find American politics incomprehensibly dull. Their religiosity faintly amusing and their thinking often far to lacking in any sort of subtlety or nuance and to be frank my interest in the the tea party agenda is limited to non-existent, as a confirmed tea drinker who enjoys a regular cup of Earl Grey I am horrified that such a fine brew is debased by the nuttier end of US politics.

Iain asks: What is a social progressive?

My view is that Social democrats (Labor) believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. That it is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights thus believing the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Progressive policies generally emphasise the need for the government to solve problems.

Well I can concur with most of that in terms of the aspiration and motivation for progressivism however in my experience the thing that is often lacking in progressives is any sense of pragmatism, they are all too often hot to trot on doing all of that with little concern about ether the bigger picture or the shades and variations in human nature. Take the issue of homelessness as an example. We all see the bedraggled homeless on the streets of our cities and its all well and good for progressives to bemoan this as evidence of the heartless rich raising rents or opposing the building of social housing but the sad truth is that in many cases the homeless are the cause of their own plight and they simply can not be saved from their plight no matter how much money you throw at the problem. They very often have the most serious character flaws  or substance issues that make it impossible for them to make or maintain a place in normal society. Yet we have so many of the well meaning insisting that these broken people can be re housed and re-integrated into  society maybe some can but they would be the exception rather than the rule. We pragmatists look instead to ideas like the “street swags” concept as a more realistic way to address homelessness. Simply put the pragmatic seek to  improve the lot of those who sleep rough by helping them sleep warm and dry but the progressives go for the impossible dream of a home for all.

Iain asks: What are the three top conservative values?

He lists them as. Firstly, personal liberty and autonomy. Secondly, social civility and good manners. Thirdly, there is the importance of family and the biological imperative to make and nurture our children.

I was puzzled as to why he felt that conservatives like him should identify these particular virtues as being “conservative values” as opposed to being universal ones. Is he suggesting that social democrats like me don’t have similar values and practice them?

Sure there is some universality in some of those virtues but they are often far too keen to make things like personal liberty and autonomy secondary to their collectivist ideals (look to the “politically correct” attempts to police thought, words and actions  that might “offend” as an example of this) or the eternal desire to control behaviours that may be considered “unhealthy” like their obsession with tobacco disincentives and ‘fast food” .

This issue of the rights of the individual is another puzzle. Why do conservatives place so much importance on it? I pose one example where I think it falls down. I would argue that there needs to be a drastic reduction in the amount of salt, sugar and fat in processed food if we are to avoid an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

Right on cue John 😉

OK lets unpack this shall we? I too have strong opinions about food in our society as can be expected from someone who has done teh cooking for his family for many decades.  I don’t “rate” most processed food to be honest, preferring instead to prepare and serve meals made from unprocessed ingredients, Its simply the most economic way to feed a family on a modest budget.  The other problem with this sort of thinking is that it seems to be entirely ignorant of the real cause of our food woes which is, in my humble opinion, our cultural obsession with novelty in our cuisine, it feeds the Foodie Porn industry (that spawns innumerable cooking shows and a plethora of cook books. Thus we are distanced from enjoying the seasonality of different ingredients  and we are distanced from what things actually taste like, and we are distanced from the simple elegance of the foods that we eat.  If every meal is expected to be a gourmet feast it becomes an ever escalating quest for sensation rather than being the staff of life.

Conservatives are against government regulation because they say it takes away the individuals right of choice. In this case without regulation the cost, in the future will be beyond our health services capacity to cope. It’s a case where the individuals rights are outweighed by the common good.

It has to be about balance  and to be honest a light hand on the regulation tiller can be far more effective than trying to proscribe behaviours that some do-gooder or coffee-house moralist considers harmful. Now while  John cites the future cost implications of some of these life style conditions I can’t help thinking that he is ignoring the simple fact that, no matter how virtuous  we are,  as we age we make an ever increasing demands upon the heath system. If its not one thing it will be another and in the end we will have  a zero sum game.

So individual freedom is self-defeating. Safety belts and (discouraging) tobacco smoking are but two other examples of where government can change society for the better. I would have thought that the highest value any ideology has would involve the common good, and that a measure of that value might be related to how it best served the most disadvantaged in the community. Government is best placed to achieve this.

But what is the common good?

Safety in the  design of cars is something that I have personally explored in my car building project.  While I agree that seat belts have been instrumental in improving the survivability of many accidents it is not the only way to do this. In fact in the United  States where there has never been the same compulsion to wear seatbelts and that has led to what is arguably a more effective safety measure which is the explosive deployed air-bag.  So I would argue that you don’t always have to employ compulsion or legal coercion to get the “common good” that you desire.

Civility and good manners go hand in hand although discerning the difference is always important. Why does Iain think it is a value important only to conservatives. Mind you he doesn’t actually say this but he seems to be implying it. And the same applies to family and procreation. I would strongly suggest that procreation is the purpose of life and not necessarily a value in itself.

You are quite right to notice that I did not say that civility and good manners are held to be of value only by those of us who are conservative. clearly these are virtues acknowledged by both sides of the political spectrum. I would note however that there are a few minions of the left who think that manners are an invention of the upper classes to keep those that they see as their social inferiors in their place.  When it comes to procreation I likewise never intended my suggestion of its importance to be considered to be an exclusive conservative virtue.

Iain then asks: Is conservatism the opposite of progressiveness?

With this question Iain addresses the conservatives reluctance for change. I am he says, a very strong advocate for the “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it” school of thought and to my mind progressives are the ultimate example of “built in obsolescence”.

I have never understood this reluctance for change. My view is that conservatives dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that they can make permanent that which makes them feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence. I think I have probably seen more change in my lifetime time that any other period in history.

Like you I have seen lots of change in my lifetime, some good and some well lets just say of questionable virtue and the older that I have got the shorter the time between changing something and changing it again has become. Its this tendency for progressives to back an ever smaller change cycle that has me concerned enough to say: Stop! and really think about what you are proposing. Will it really be better or do you just hope it will be an improvement? It seems to be an article of faith with progressives that change = improvement but I am an agnostic on that equation and I need more than the hopes of utopian dreamers to endorse such things.

Often worthwhile change comes with short-term controversy but the pain is worth it for long-term prosperity.

And by the same token the “short term controversy” proves to be the portent of long-term failure which is well exemplified by the MRRT  designed by Wayne Swan.

And change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making with Its own inevitability. Change is in fact one of the only constants in life. Conservatives often become so trapped in the longevity of sameness that they never see better ways of doing things.

As I pointed out in my original piece I am not against all change, just the notion that you have to keep trying to re-invent the wheel all of the time.

Science has made in my lifetime the most staggering achievements and they are embraced, recognised and benefited by all sections of society and none of it could have come about without constant change. Resisting change can be folly and one of the best examples is the denial of climate science. Take this quote from the Courier Mail 25 Oct:

“Queensland consumers should be worried about rising electricity prices. But they should be more concerned about a government that clings to a century old energy system, is relying on short-term band-aid solutions such as price freezes, and is refusing to adopt or embrace to the new technologies and business models that will deliver the cost-effective solutions of the future”.

Why is that conservatives live in some sort of time warp and resist change until it gets to uncomfortable to stay the same? Or it is forced on them?

In the first instance I don’t get how that quote helps  John’s argument. As it happens Climate change is actually a good example of the sort of futile change for the sake of change that I find so objectionable in “progressive” thought. The science is far form settled and there is a whole industry devoted to addressing this “problem” which cots an awful lot of treasure but gives us very little in return. Just imagine how much that could be done to address real problems in the world if we were not wasting so much effort in measuring bovine flatulence or trying to deduce the paleo-climate from ever more obscure proxies?

Iain also suggests that it is a good thing that our health system has survived but fails to acknowledge that it is always the social progressives that bring about major reform.

Ok I can give credit where its due however since the social value of our Medicare  system is accepted by all it comes down to questions of how we prioritise the spending and to be honest I think that both sides of politics have a hard time with that.

The “if it ain’t broke” comment is often applied to Australian republicanism. The fact is that until we have an Australian as our head of state, the system is broke.

You can assert that if you please but it does not alter the fact that our current system is  functional  stable and respected by the people who really don’t give a toss about the vestigial connections to the British crown. frankly that makes it “not broken” in my book

What I also found disconcerting in Iain’s article was the absence of economics. Surely capitalism is central to conservatism. Conservatives believe In the free market system, competitive capitalism, and that private enterprise creates the greatest opportunity and the highest standard of living for all. They believe that free markets produce more economic growth, more jobs and higher standards of living than those systems burdened by excessive government regulation.

Well for me economics is not a first order issue, while I support and endorse the concept of free enterprise but I am not a big fan of worshipping Mammon or the notion of  an ever growing economy. You see I am a social conservative who believes that the economy exists to serve the people, rather than the people being.

Conversely, Social Democrats believe in the same free market system but one which government regulates. That government must protect its citizens from the greed of big business. Unlike the private sector, the government is motivated by public interest. Government regulation in all areas of the economy is needed to level the playing field and bring about social equity.It well may be that capitalism over time has won the economic argument and is used by most ideologies. However, unbridled unregulated capitalism as favoured by Conservatives has, as recently been evidenced with the global financial crisis, proven to be corrupt. Without regulation it is a failed system.

Well I suppose that must mean that I am a Conservative Social Democrat because I believe that having clear regulations for the way that our economy runs has more merit than having open slather the trick is of course to find the right balance between enough regulation to keep things “fair” and not stifling free enterprise.  So I am more interested in the idea that regulations should evolve rather than be reinvented all of the time.

Capitalism does not allow for an equitable flow of economic resources. With this system a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. Margaret Thatcher’s theory that “There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals making their way. That the poor shall be looked after by the drip down effect of the rich” (Paraphrased) has been proven to be wrong. The rich of the world are becoming more so. In fact beyond imagination.

Well I don’t agree with any of that to be honest, I thought Thatcher was a very strong politician (who won my respect for her retaking the Falklands ) but quite wrong headed in many of her social ideas. and frankly I think that we need to get beyond the Marxist critique of capitalism which certainly is well past its use by  date in this country.

Iain asks: Can one be a secular conservative or atheist conservative? And in doing so makes the following statement: ” . . . at the core of most of the great faiths is a template for a “just society”. It can be argued that some churches do good works for society. However, on the other hand it must be said that historically the great religions have been, and still are the greatest forces for “injustice” the world has ever see. One only has to look at the comparative behaviours of militant Islam, the invasion of Republican politics in the US by literalist evangelicals and the practised evil of the Catholic Church. The simple answer to his question is obvious: Yes. Personally I have come to the conclusion that one of the truly bad effects religion (any religion) has on people is that it teaches that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.

I tend to agree with much of that and as a lifelong atheist I have had endless sport arguing about questions of faith . Where we differ though is that I think that not all people of faith are by their very nature bad, many do the right thing in societal terms even if their reasoning is the stuff of nonsense.

Ian also makes this statement: “Mainly though we conservatives think that making the most of how things are now trumps the empty promises of a “better future” that never seem to arrive”. Surely this is the statement of a patronising Luddite? In recent years I have had bowel cancer and suffered a heart attack. Is he suggesting I should have made the most of how things were instead of the hope of a better future? Which I now have. I can further assure him that from the poverty of my upbringing a better future did arrive. I find that to be one of the most dank and demonstratively negative statements I have ever heard.

I too have my health issues and to be frank I am delighted that you have managed to largely overcome yours  but I was not actually referring to medical technology or how anyone should face the ravages of disease. We all do the best we can on that one. I am talking about other changes in technology or attempts to manipulate the shape of our society. Things like the NBN were in my mind on that point to be honest. As much as I love having my broadband and dream of even faster download speeds I can’t help wondering if it really will be the improvement in our online experience that its proponents claim .

I welcome Iain Hall’s contributions to this blog and I understand he is not speaking for all conservatives. But there is little we would agree on if this is his own understanding of Conservative ideology. Well except for good manners and civility.

I very much appreciate the warmth that you have  shown my contributions to the AMIN  even though we disagree with just about everything after all isn’t the point of good manners and civility to enable “a frank exchange of ideas” without it descending into verbal fisty-cuffs?

Cheers Indeed, Comrade

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Bread and circuses have a long and less than honorable history at entertaining the masses.

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Hmm pardon my cynicism but I can’t help but think that this is just another attempt by Gillard to distract media attention from the poor performance of her government, after all what could be more fine and noble that to chase after kiddie fiddlers? Strangely enough though there is no mention of the rampant sexual abuse that has been revealed in far to many remote indigenous communities or the way that our friends from the left want to look the other way on that…
I seem to recall someone of significance opining that no politician should have an royal commission unless they know precisely where it will go to and what it will achieve. Gillard may well have climbed onto the tiger here in an effort to distract attention from her own dodgy past at Slater and Gordon but who is surprised that she makes this desperate move?
This exercise will be expensive, but I have my doubts about its efficacy and as I said in my previous post it will be a great boon for the legal profession and the victims of abuse are less than likely to end up feeling that much better about their exploitation and subsequent  angst.

Its a circus and it will cost an awful lot of bread, but bread and circuses have a long and  less than honourable history at entertaining the masses.

with a very  big sigh Comrades

“Tony Abbott versus the Universe”, the remix

In the comments of this post Miglo was curious about my reaction to his critique of Tony Abbott’s position on a grab bag of social issues well I wrote out a long comment  answering each point in turn only to have it disappear into the either when I tried to use it as a comment to a re-blog here at the Sandpit  So this is “take two” and hopefully this one will not disappear…

So without further adieu I will go through the points in turn

 

Same-sex marriage: Mr Abbott has said marriage is between a man and a woman not just to fulfil their own personal happiness ”but because we have obligations to the children that come with families”.

I see no reason to fault Abbott on this position as marriage is much more about the children that it is about social affirmation for homosexuality

Homosexuality: Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott has defended comments he made about homosexuality on 60 Minutes, saying gays and lesbians “challenge” the order of things.

Mr Abbott said he felt “threatened” by homosexuality on Sunday night’s program, a comment that has angered the gay and lesbian community and something he tried to back track from during an interview on the ABC last night.

“There is no doubt that it (homosexuality) challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things” Mr Abbott told Lateline.

At the risk of being howled down as a homophobe I tend to think that homosexuality is against the natural order of things and it serves no biological purpose (given the simple fact that such pairings must be sterile) that said I am a realist who thinks that what consenting adults do in private is entirely their own business  and the law and society should not penalise them for their choice of partner(s).

Abortion: Christians aren’t required to right every wrong in the political arena, but they can help change the nation’s culture, suggests Tony Abbott DESPITE the debt that political institutions owe to the West’s Christian heritage, there is the constant claim that Christians in politics are confused about the separation of church and state. There’s also a tendency among Christians in the community to think that Christians in politics have to sell out their principles in order to survive. Christian politicians are often warding off simultaneous accusations that they are zealots or fakes. Indeed, the public caricature of a Christian politician is hypocrite or wuss, in denial about the ruthlessness and expediency necessary to wield power, or too sanctimonious to be effective. Take the challenge of abortion. The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.

Abortion is the classic example of competing moral imperatives and the simple fact is that those competing imperatives each have different levels of validity depending upon the stage of gestation. Thus very early on its easier to argue that a women’s bodily integrity and autonomy should give her unfettered rights to terminate an unborn child the longer that the gestation endures the greater the argument for the protection of the unborn from arbitrary execution becomes. Anyone who does not realise this is essentially a sociopath who is ruled by a dark and vicious feminist ideology.

Boat people: Tony Abbott yesterday claimed boatpeople were acting in an un-Christian manner.

Given the fact atht most of these mendicants are not in fact Christian then what is contentious about this observation

Euthanasia: Legalising euthanasia in Australia would put elderly people at risk of being “bumped off”, federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has warned, after an Australian man travelled to Switzerland to legally end his life.

Killing oneself is not rocket science and  you really don’t need much more than simple things that are common around the house, nor is suicide actually a crime. But there are lots of downsides to making it easy for doctors to assist. In extreme circumstances if there is a legal cost to “helping” some one end their lives then it is a small sacrifice that should be paid to prevent malicious pressure on the unwell.

The needy: “We can’t abolish poverty because poverty in part is a function of individual behaviour”.

Contrary to leftist ideology the reality is precisely as Tony Abbott observes here some people just can not be saved from themselves no matter how much money you throw at their problems.

Women’s rights: Tony Abbott warns women against sex before marriage. And how about this brain fart: “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”.

Is promiscuity really such a good thing for anyone in society? The left seem to believe that sexual intercourse is  something akin to a contact sport that is little different to any other amateur sport. However this ignores its true purpose which is to propagate the species and to provide the glue that cement the pair bonds that are foundational to raising subsequent generations. As for the difference in aptitudes of men and women in different roles and professions only a fool denies that there are differences but the other side of that coin is to have a society that allows and appreciates those who want to step outside the usual gender expectations.

Recognition of Indigenous culture: ‘Western civilisation came to this country in 1788 and I’m proud of that . . . Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage’.

Compare and contrast the sort of colonial experience that this country benefits from with the sort of colonial experience under different European colonial regimes and its clear that we would be a lesser nation under the French, the Dutch, Spanish or the Portuguese. So Abbott is spot on here.

Climate change: As a climate denier, Tony Abbott is most famous for his statement that climate science is “absolute crap“. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – he actually has a long history of denying climate change science. “The fact that we have had if anything cooling global temperatures over the last decade, not withstanding continued dramatic increases of carbon dioxide emissions, suggests the role of CO2 is not nearly as clear as the climate catastrophists suggest.”

Does it matter what the man personally believes about the AGW proposition? I think not when it comes down to it. However if his scepticism about the millenarian cult of “climate change” leads this country to a more nuanced policy setting that eschews useless lip-service to AGW  as a front for social engineering then the nation can only benefit. If AGW theory is correct which is the greater sin? To agree with the liturgy and preform pious acts of contrition that have no effect on the problem (like Gillard’s Carbon tax ) and cost our economy a Motza Or to disagree with the theory but to act in a prudent manner to improve  the environment?

Technology: “There is no way on God’s earth that we need to be spending $50 billion plus of borrowed money on what is going to turn out to be a telecommunications white elephant – school halls on steroids.”

We would all love to have a Lamborghini or a Rolls Royce in the garage but when it comes down to it most of us would be happy with a Nissan or a Ford. lets consider just what people actually want out of the Internet rather than getting carried away by the dreams of the technophiles and the latte sippers

Foreign investment: Tony Abbott made headlines recently when during a visit to China, he declared that “it would rarely be in Australia’s national interest to allow a foreign government or its agencies to control an Australian business”.

In other words: foreign direct investment by such entities would not be welcome.

How is it a bad thing to be concerned that a totalitarian state owned corporations may not have Australian’s interests at heart when they try to buy the farm here?

Divorce: Liberal Party frontbencher Tony Abbott wants laws toughened up to make divorce harder. The opposition families and Aboriginal affairs spokesman has called for a return to the fault-based system of divorce discarded in 1975, which was replaced by a “no-fault” system. Mr Abbott’s plan, outlined in his soon-to-be released book Battlelines, would see a grounds for divorce reintroduced, including adultery, cruelty, habitual drunkenness and imprisonment.
It would be similar to the defunct Matrimonial Causes Act.

There is a great  deal to recommend in our “no fault” divorce system but its not perfect and there are times when a judgement of fault would aid justice in adjudicating some of the issues associated with the dissolution of a marriage, its property and children that make divorce tough and the experience of our system shows it could do with some review and reconsideration at the very least.

So there you go Migs I have gone through your points and shown that none of them are the black marks that you seem to think they are, all are quite reasonable positions to take and most reasonable people will be able to see that.

Cheers Comrades

‘They could have at least shot the tyres, not shoot at little kids’ well maybe not

"In a bid to halt the car, police opened fire, hitting the 14-year-old male driver in the chest and arm, and a passenger, Troy Taylor, 18, in the neck." Photo: Jacky Ghossein

When I heard about the shooting of two young indigenous “children”  while they were in  a stolen car  I could not help wondering just how much time the police officers involved had spent on the firing range, two shot and no fatalities? They need more practice!

Ok maybe I should not be so flippant but what can the indigenous elders and community leaders expect when  the police are faced with  life threatening behaviour that saw the car driven at a pedestrian?

Surely this is an incident where (potentially) lethal force was both necessary and justified no matter who the perps were. Sadly real life is not like the movies where a car can be stopped dead by shooting its tyres out as one person has suggested in the SMH report. 

Isn’t it funny though that all of our friends from the left will claim or imply that the reason for so many indigenous people coming into contact with the law and  subsequently sojourning in one of Her Majesty’s fine hotels is a result of racism and prejudice rather than the fact that so many of the community seem to  have a total disregard for the laws that govern us all.

  Cheers Comrades

 

 

Bad idea to change the constitution if that change is ultimately divisive

Joy … a Wiradjuri woman, Denise Markham, is comforted by the Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, and Julia Gillard after the report was handed down. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Read more: click for a typical Fairfax opinion on this report

There is something almost Orwellian in the recommendation from the expert committee that is suggesting a change change  to “recognise” indigenous people in the constitution and to be honest it seems to me to be a great big can of worms that will divide more than it unites the people of this country.

Just look at the main proposals as described in today’s Oz:

click for source (not paywalled)

Just look at what is being proposed in section 116A and think about it for a minute that is almost a perfect example of doublethink, If you want to eliminate discrimination then you have to ensure that all Australians are treated precisely the same under the law yet this proposal would allow anyone who claims to be indigenous to enjoy privileges and “affirmative” programs   that would be denied to those who do not identify as indigenous, something that is already contentious in our society.

Then there is the matter of “recognition of languages”. long time readers of this blog may recall the debates that I have had about the teaching of and attempts to preserve the dying indigenous languages and I can’t help[ thinking that making the preservation of these fading tongues a constitutional requirement will just condemn subsequent generations of children growing up in the most remote and isolated communities in the country to a life sentence of isolation and exclusion from the mainstream society because with out total competency in English as the primary focus of schooling what chance do those children have of making a future in this country?

  Frankly I tend to agree with Warren Mundine that the committee has exceeded its remit here and that this whole thing will be an absolute disaster if the Greens were to have their dream fulfilled. My view is that we are all Australians and that despite the history of this nation we have to have a constitution that treats all present  Australians equally and anything that entrenches “affirmative action” into the constitution is bound to do more harm that good.

Finally I just can’t be sanguine about the idea of any change to the constitution  generating lots of work for the minions of the legal profession in the shape of high court challenges. There are enough legal cases brought by indigenous activists as it is without giving them the means to pursue even more expensive court action that does nothing for the country overall except blow out the budget.

Cheers Comrades

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