THE VIEW FROM MY POND

the online presence of Don Keayes

Toast

Pond Life

There’s so much going on about the pond that I’ve decided to combine a few stories into single posts entitled “Pond Life”. Clever, eh?

1.   Those who seek to advance the Green agenda generally want to live their lives as fascists while we’re all supposed to be thrilled with socialism at our end of things. They’re nothing but a bunch of freeloading hypocrites! As though you needed any more evidence than you’ve already seen here and elsewhere, check out this story from the UK’s Daily Mail about New York Mayor Bloomberg:

You couldn’t make it up, but New York Mayor Bloomberg’s latest contribution to a greener environment is to attach a full-sized room air conditioner unit to the side of his SUV.

The low-tech solution to Mr Bloomerg’s famous dislike of the heat in fact causes less pollution than running the vehicle’s own air-condtioning while its engine is idle.

And in full view of confused and amused tourists and passers-by, workers outside City Hall yesterday attached the familiar looking air-conditioning unit to a specially designed out-sized box on the passenger window of the New York Mayor’s car.

Great photos of the reckless waste of taxpayers money are included at the link.

2.   Those who seek to advance their own situation while seeming to be acting in your children’s’ best interest are nothing but low-grade rent seekers. The Centre for Independent Studies has an excellent piece that shows just how far above the law Leftist unionists consider themselves to be:

Last week the NSW Teachers Federation went on strike to protest the state government’s changes to the operation of public schools affecting 750,000 students and their families.

Regardless of the merits of the protest, the issue at stake here is one of legality. The industrial action was deemed illegal by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, but union officials decided to ignore the ruling and strike anyway.

Good points. There is no “universal right to strike” in this country, so

Unions cannot simply strike over any employment or political issue that affect its members. The matter must be within their enterprise agreement and the strike must be during the bargaining phase. Furthermore, the union must gain majority support from its members via a secret ballot, and obtain consent from the Industrial Relations Commission. If the commission rejects the bid for protected action, this ruling must be accepted.

If businesses, governments and labour institutions start ignoring illegal strike action, Australia will slide back to the bad old days when unions took strike action at will, disrupting businesses and inflicting losses in utter disregard for the law.

Correct!

3.   And finally, in case you missed The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP Minister for Trade and Competitiveness’ attempt to sell the Carbon [Dioxide] Tax we were promised would not be introduced I’ve included the link. In contrast, you may wish to see how grown ups approach the responsibility of governing our nation. (The good stuff is from 4:10 onwards)

A boatpeople solution is in plain hindsight

For a rational understanding of the forelock-tugging on the night before parliament rose for its six week break, you could do a lot worse than this excellent piece by Miranda Devine in today’s Telegraph (I’m quoting it in full as it’s a ripper!):

FOR those posturing compassionistas, like GetUp’s Simon Sheikh and The Greens, and even the government, who remain in wilful denial about the fact the Howard government’s border protection policies stopped the boats – and prevented drownings – the numbers are inescapable.

The graphs, above, from The Australian, say it all.

The only solution is to “take the sugar off the table” as former Howard immigration minister Philip Ruddock puts it.

UPDATE: My colleague, 2GB Radio host Ray Hadley, has a few more figures in his column today: “A plea to every Labor politician to stop this nonsense that almost everyone on Nauru came to Australia or New Zealand. Here are the facts: 1637 people were processed under the Pacific Solution; 705, or 43 per cent, were settled in Australia; 491, or 30 per cent, returned to their country of origin and 441, or 27 per cent, were resettled in other nations.”

Green means political, elitist and wrong

Martin Durkin’s bio says he is a documentary film director and TV producer. More than that he is a thinker and student of history and his blog is about as good as anything anywhere.

I’ve just been reading his excellent posts on the Green-elitist Archbishop of Canterbury and the reasons why totalitarian regimes like the Nazis love the Green agenda.

It’s pouring down here on the pond, so how better to spend a day exercising the mind in the comfort of a sheltered spot.

 

A Book of Beards

The people over at werd.com really do have the best stuff on the web.

They write, “Justin James Muir has just self-published A Book Of Beards. The photo book is a collection of 86 crisp, black and white portraits of men with remarkable facial hair. But it’s more than just a beautiful book celebrating weird beards, it’s a non-profit project that benefits the author’s friend, brother and other cancer patients and survivors through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.” Go buy one!

The 26 ethical flaws of AGW propagandists

JoNova has always been the primary source of intelligent discussion on the Anthropogenic Global Warming/Global Warming/Climate Change/Extreme Weather Events nonsense.

There’s really nothing more that can be said about Rupert Wyndham’s excellent prose to Bishop Langrish on the matter than what she wrote this morning. Wonderful stuff!

On Marriage

Alison McMeekin has a very important story in today’s Telegraph. She reports that according to federal Labor MP Graham Perrett, it was lawyers and legislators–not God–who wrote the Marriage Act, and so it should be changed to reflect “the views and values of Australians today:”

“It is now time to enact this legislation and raise future generations of children who won’t believe that once upon a time same sex couples in Australia could not marry. The love between same sex couples is no different to that of opposite sex couples and deserves no less the public recognition, the celebration and symbolism which the wonderful institution of marriage bestows on all committed relationships.”

Oh, give me a break! Of course God didn’t write the Marriage Act. But he did design the concept of marriage to be the best way of building cohesive societies and raising well-balanced children! For thousands of years mankind has understood this and maintained a special place for the institution of marriage as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” Apparently Mr Perrett considers himself much smarter than the best thinkers of the ages, who have always held that marriage need not be redefined from time-to-time to satisfy a morally degenerate elite.

“[It is] unjust that two people who love each other are unable to marry each other because of their sexual orientation” Mr Perrett told parliament.

Why exactly is it unjust? I doubt Mr Perrett or his two homosexual brothers actually read God’s Word in their Roman Catholic youth. Had they done so they would understand that the concept of justice flows not from the magnanimity of fickle lawmakers but from the desire to see the Creator’s perfect character reflected in the dealings of imperfect man. There is an objective truth involved here, which cannot be changed on a whim. Perhaps “unjust” in this case should more properly be rendered “no fair” in the whiney inflection of my six year-old’s full-flighted petulance. And just as my daughter’s case can be shot down with a rational question or two I ask Mr Perrett and his supporters, is it ‘unjust’ that ten people “who love each other are unable to marry each other because of their number“? Or that “a man and a dog who love each other are unable to marry each other because of their species?” Surely this kind of ‘justice’ means that the “final vestige of discrimination” is not the gender issue at all, but rather the number of people involved, the species, or the reciprocated love of inanimate objects … if that’s what lights your fire.

If marriage is no longer to be about the basic family unit and the raising of children then it is about nothing at all. And that’s why Mr Perrett and others like him are wrong. God didn’t write the Marriage Act but he did ordain what marriage was to be. And there’s a very strong body of opinion around this pond that says a Creator and Designer trumps a mere legislator of administrative processes every time.

I don’t really care if Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie think there’s “no excuse” for continuing to discriminate against a group of people “simply because of who they love.” The greater injustice is to discriminate against the 98 percent of the population who are heterosexual and who, forsaking all others, pledge their fidelity to a single person of the opposite sex for life, who raise children in a household with both a father and a mother, and who are committed to their children and each other in a way which by definition cannot exist outside of marriage.

Has NATO finally run out of oomph?

Question: What does the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)/Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN) have in common with Australia?

Answer: We’re in the Southern Hemisphere and not the northern one, so that couldn’t be it. We’re a continent located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans (almost directly opposite the Atlantic Ocean), so that couldn’t be it. NATO was established in 1949 to ensure the collective security of what are now the Eurozone countries by the US, and we’re not one of those so that can’t be it.

Oh yeah, hang on. Despite Prime Minister Gillard’s best ‘Democratic Socialist’ efforts we haven’t yet run out of money like the US and EU. Perhaps that’s why we can still afford to send troops to fight their wars (the former Yugoslavia, Azerbaijan, fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan just to name a few) while their member states either can’t or won’t. Or maybe we’ve all just been mesmerised by their devilishly clever logo.

How the media trades free speech for influence

Australian cartoonist, political commentator and quintessential pot-stirrer Larry Pickering writes what no media outlet in this country will … that our pollies are all corrupt of questionable character and the media is fine with that:

Thomson is involved in rorting $500,000 from the HSU. Gillard is involved in rorting $1 million from the AWU. To date, no attempt has been made by either union to recover one cent.

As a backbencher, Thomson had no clout with media. As Prime Minister, Gillard used her clout to kill the story… and this is how she did it:

Bruce Wilson was an AWU heavy and Gillard’s boyfriend at the time. He had been threatening developers in a thinly disguised, mob-style protection racket: Industrial peace for payment … up to $50,000 at a time. The payments went straight to accounts Gillard had arranged while she was still working for the Left wing law firm, Slater & Gordon. Gillard was into the scam up to her elbows and, as she was [having a sexual relationship with] Wilson at the time, pillow talk wasn’t confined to her other sexual exploits including married father and current Trade Minister Craig Emerson, and now Gold Coast spiv Tim Mathieson who departed the Coast leaving multiple unpaid debts. Her part in the scam was rewarded with $50,000 of renovations to her house and a $25,000 account at a top fashion house (although one could be forgiven for thinking she never used it).

The story broke and Gillard went into frenzied damage control. When the dust settled, Gillard was still PM but ground-breaking journalists were sacked, News Ltd CEO, John Hartigan, resigned. Both Fairfax and News Ltd immediately spiked the story and pulled broadcasts, Andrew Bolt threatened to resign, Laurie Oakes was told, “Don’t even think about it!” Blogs disappeared in a cloud of dust. Radio jocks were instructed to drop it.

ABC and ‘The Australian’ journalist, Glenn Milne, had spent months carefully documenting Gillard’s devastating involvement. His story had been legalled and it ran in ‘The Australian’ on Monday, August 1st 2011. It was immediately pulled after one phone call from Gillard. Slavish supporter of Gillard, the ABC, promptly sacked Milne.

Gillard continued a barrage of phone calls to the then CEO of News Ltd, John Hartigan and there was a meeting arranged at the offices of News Ltd. What exactly was said at that meeting may never be known but it certainly didn’t resemble what Gillard said it was about.

The Leveson Hacking Inquiry was threatening to engulf Australia’s media and Gillard saw her opportunity. She used Bob Brown as a verbal battering ram to threaten Fairfax and Murdoch with an “inquiry”. Gillard herself publicly entered the fray with her now famous utterance: “There are questions that need to be answered.” That statement was carefully crafted to put the fear of God into the media. After much questioning she has refused to say what those questions might be.

A Leveson-style inquiry here would mutilate the very core of Australia’s media and their executives as it has, and is still doing, in the UK. Fairfax and Murdoch executives, to put it bluntly, were [soiling their pants]. Their indecent grappling for a piece of an ever-decreasing circulation market-share would have opened an ugly can of worms. A can I will let sit for another time.

So, this squalid deal was done but the sordid tale still bubbles below the surface. It reaches to the very heart of the Labor movement. We are witnessing only the tip of unions’ mob-like protection rackets and their corrupt manipulation of our Parliaments. This shameful story will eventually be told in full colour. It will be a long and agonising read. But, in the interim, today’s fetid political power holds sway.

“Democratic Socialists” such as the trade union movement and the Australian Labor Party have never been interested in the working man’s lot; just like every other socialist group they’re merely using the means at hand to amass personal power and wealth. Don’t believe me? Then check out this interesting article from the Socialist Alliance … yes, that’s the very same organisation for which our Prime Minister wrote policy papers like this one.

HT: (For the backstory to some of these goings-on check out Andy Semple’s courageous attempt to keep the story alive.)

A wall is a wall

If you’re a tadpole of the TV age you’ll have some excellent images lodged in your mind as I do. One of the most vivid is Ronald Reagan’s dramatic call, “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” In my mind’s eye I can see the Brandenburg Gate behind him, and from that image begin to flow amazing scenes from just two years later of ordinary people – East and West Germans alike – hacking away at the monolithic Berlin Wall with anything to hand.

President Reagan’s speech was made on 12 June 1987 and has since come to be known as the “Tear Down This Wall” speech. One of the downsides to watching speeches on television rather than listening to them on bakelite radiograms is that we tend only to remember those ‘soundbites’ that are accompanied by images. Thus, almost nobody remembers the far more important part of that speech; the undergirding question of why the wall would eventually have to be brought down by somebody at some time. It was the issue of freedom:

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere–that sphere that towers over all Berlin–the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: “This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.” Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

Making speeches is largely out of favour in our modern world. Politicians are only interested in getting a ‘talking point’ to air for the nightly news cycle and virtually nobody has the inclination to sit quietly for an hour to absorb, consider, and later ruminate over such profound issues as these. I wonder if this is why so many people in the West barrak for a side (Coalition vs Labor, Republicans vs Democrats etc) to gain and hold power, comforted as they are by illusory statements of intention rather than the hard consequences of enacted policies in real peoples’ daily lives.

The Berlin Wall may now be down, but in its place is the stupefying banality of the modern media. Where once families sat about the dinner table and examined deep issues of faith and character in the context of current affairs, now the only things being grappled with are the remote and the dinner tray. Since President Reagan made his speech two generations have been intentionally divorced from the Judeo-Christian values of personal liberty and objective truth. Theirs is now a world of the secular, the relativist and the self-serving manipulator. Their young minds, once filled with unbounded potential, now drearily serve out their time on earth in the gulag of gossip magazines and TMZ. They are enslaved and they neither know it nor care.

I don’t like secularism, atheism, socialism or any other form of totalitarianism. I like freedom of thought and action, artistic expression that lifts the soul, acceptance of personal responsibility for one’s own life and the pursuit of intelectual growth … just as our Creator intended. Concrete or idealogical, I guess I just don’t like prison walls of any type.

President Reagan’s speech–and many others–may be found here.