Archive for October 18th, 2005

10-year-old anti-angels

Sometimes I find the attitudes of some children to be quite appalling, and even more disturbing is the non-caring attitude that the parents of such children often display.

For example, the other day while I was taking Nattie for a walk, a bunch of children aged around 9 or 10 were playing in the front yard of their house, as Nattie and I walked past, one of the children for no apparent reason called out “Go Away!”, pulled a funny face and stuck his tongue out at me. A person, who I can safely assume was the mother of at least one of the children, was only a couple metres away from the children and saw the whole event, but did she reprimand the child for such unprovoked anti-social behaviour? No, she did not.

I mostly ignored the event, making a quick glance at the child in question and kept walking the whole time. I was not intruding, I was walking along the footpath, and there was a small garden wall and a row of small bushes between myself and the front yard which the children were playing in, so I am at a loss to explain why I received such words and gestures.

The thing that amazes me about the whole event is that the parents of this anti-social miscreant of a child are reinforcing that the actions of the child are acceptable by not punishing him for it. Is it any wonder that a small proportion of the child population grow into reprehensible teenagers when the people who should be acting as role models and authority figures allow their children to act like little devils.

I can understand that children are children and have little games, but the actions of that child are not acceptable, and they are lucky, considering the area which this occured in, that it was me passing by and not some drugged or drunk idiot who may have seen such actions as a reason to start a fight.

It might sound like I am making a big deal out of nothing, but this kind of behaviour should not be encouraged. I know the type of child that does that, having been a child myself recently, and I have seen far too many of that type of child turn into utterly moronic teenagers, the worst part of which is that the parents of such children often think that they have done nothing wrong or that the behaviour is “normal”. Very few things irk me more than parents who do not assert their authority over their children and then wonder why they can’t talk to them as teenagers, I often find it sadly amusing when “experts” claim that it is normal behaviour and tell the parents that they didn’t do anything wrong. Opinions may differ over how to raise children, but one thing is for sure, parents have a responsibility to assert their authority over their children, and to stamp out the kind of behaviour I have just discussed before it turns into a larger problem.

Samuel

2 comments October 18th, 2005 at 10:04pm

Piers Akerman hits Stanhope’s nails on the head

Apoligies for the very bad attempt at a pun in the title, but it seemed appropriate.

This afternoon my attention was drawn to the comments of Daily Telegraph columnist Piers Akerman. Piers made some very interesting, and in my view correct, observations about the Leaky Stanhope Saga, which I have previously covered.

As I don’t know how long the link to the Daily Telegraph article will last for, I have mirrored Piers’ comments below. I have since emailed Piers with my views on the issue, and some little bits of information which Piers might be interested in when it comes to the rest of the Chief Turnip’s cabinet.

I also found it quite interesting that the John Laws web poll “Are the Howard Government’s proposed anti-terror laws too tough?” attracted the following result.
Yes 21%
No 79%

I’ll admit that the average John Laws listener is probably somewhat right-winged, but considering that the John Laws website is reported to have hundreds of thousands of visitors each day, it is probably a mostly fair representation of a cross section of the community, especially seeing as people are often referred to the polls by email with no knowledge of what discussions have taken place on the show.

Another fiddle by the Nero of Canberra

October 18, 2005
Piers Ackerman

SHOWING once again he is not the best man to have on your side in a firestorm, ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, on whose watch Canberra burnt two summers ago, has abandoned all ethical and security considerations in an attempt to undermine the Federal Government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation.
Having agreed with all other state and territory leaders to respect the confidentiality of the draft anti-terrorism bill while it was under discussion, Mr Stanhope, displaying all the maturity of a wet-behind-the-ears student activist, promptly published the content on his Toy Town government’s website, and, in so doing made himself out to be some sort of hero with the immature Left.

Responsible government requires responsible leadership – even more so with the world locked in combat against the most lethal forms of terrorism.

But not from the knee-jerk populist Mr Stanhope. The lessons taught by New York, Bali, Jakarta, Madrid and London have escaped the notice of this former Beazley political staffer.

If security matters cannot be discussed in confidentiality, there is little chance of ever meeting the terrorist threat.

Mr Stanhope, has, of course, a dismal record when it comes to protecting the malcontented public servants in his fiefdom.

When bushfires threatened the ACT in January, 2003, his administration rejected the concerned inquiries made by the NSW fire authorities and the subsequent firestorm that swept through Canberra’s suburbs destroyed more than 500 houses, killed four people and left others with serious burns.

Scandalously, this self-proclaimed man-of-the-people then attempted to shut down the coronial inquiry just as it began to raise questions which went to the heart of his administration’s failed decision-making process.

When later challenged about the ACT Government’s failure to recognise the gravity of the bushfire threat, he said famously: “I’m not a firefighter; I don’t have that experience.”

No, indeed. Nor is there any evidence that he is an expert on terrorism but he did say after being briefed by the heads of the security apparatus on the new anti-terror laws: “Faced with blunt advice from the head of ASIO, from the head of the Office of National Assessments and from the head of the Australian Federal Police that we do indeed face grave circumstances in Australia, it really isn’t possible for any head of government to turn away and to take some other advice or to make some personal judgment on how serious the situation is. The situation is serious.”

The meeting with the security chiefs, he said, “provided, I believe, a strong justification for a range of new laws”.

That was last month. Three weeks later, the populist politician has changed his tune dramatically, telling a meeting of Muslim leaders in Canberra last Friday: “Today I invite Canberra’s Muslims to see for themselves the draft legislation the Prime Minister has presented to the states and territories for their consideration.

“I do not wish to deceive you. The laws to which I have agreed are unpalatable laws. They are laws I never anticipated I would be called upon to consider.

“I believe it is wrong and counterproductive for us to keep insisting that this behaviour has no causal links to our invasion of Iraq. I also believe that the anxiety and dislocation felt by Muslims can no longer be seen in isolation from the West’s behaviour in relation to Palestine.”

Where Mr Stanhope’s newfound knowledge of terrorism comes from is a mystery.

Perhaps he is being briefed by Michael Costello, who also worked on Mr Beazley’s staff and is now the $400,000-a-year head of the ACT’s water and electricity utility.

Fanatical Islamist terrorists began targeting infidels or poor observers of the tenets of Islam long before the Iraqi conflict and without any reference to Middle Eastern political structure.

Previously, Mr Stanhope restrained his half-baked political activism to providing support for a juvenile staffer who stealthily crept around Canberra shopping areas in the dead of night creating stultifyingly stupid graffiti. Now he has brought his naive approach to bear on more serious affairs.

The contrast between the stupefying response of this arch poseur to the current global crisis and that of the 10 million or so brave Iraqis who defied suicidal murderers to register their acceptance of Iraq’s new constitution last weekend is absolutely breathtaking.

Their enthusiasm in the face of dreadful threats matched that of the millions of Africans a decade ago who queued for hours to vote for freedom from apartheid in South Africa after years of oppression.

Like the South Africans, Iraqis believe they can stand up to those who want to steal the keys of liberty and democracy.

How, given his absurd utterances, would Mr Stanhope and his fellow doomsayers expect Australia to respond to the threat of international terrorism against those he represents? With the same facile response he mustered before the bushfires two years ago or with more steel?

His unprincipled abrogation of his agreement to participate in confidential talks on a series of unexceptional proposals to deal with terrorism certainly does not inspire confidence in his understanding of the gravity of the situation the world now faces.

Nor do his views on Iraq and the Middle East indicate anything beyond arrant populism.

He has committed a serious breach of trust and it would be perfectly understandable should colleagues in the state and federal governments exclude him from future confidential talks and briefings.

Courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au

Samuel

11 comments October 18th, 2005 at 08:59pm

Another Dream By Samuel

As regular readers would know, I am capable of having very strange dreams, and I had another one last night.

This dream takes place on Sydney Harbour at John Kerr’s Christmas Function. It is a lovely clear sunny warm day and everyone at the function is enjoying their lunch when all of a sudden the crew of the boat decide that it is time for the cleaning competition. We are all handed cleaning cloths and sprays and mops and brooms and various other cleaning implements, and the captain of the boat starts talking like a pirate “Aarrgh, he or she who cleans ye boat the best wins a bottle of flowers…aargh.”

So everybody starts cleaning various parts of the boat, and it starts to look very shiny, the bottle of flowers is sitting on top of the flagpole, and the captain goes up to the top to retrieve it, and comes back down and hands it to Georgie, one of John’s many lovely callers. After that we all go back to lunch.

I think I might have to ring John Kerr tonight to tell him about this dream.

Samuel

1 comment October 18th, 2005 at 02:41pm

Video of Millionaire

As previously reported, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire made a millionaire, and I now have video online of the event.

I have two version online for compatibility reasons.
MP4 (MPEG Layer 4) This version is more compatible with lots of media software, although Windows Media Player doesn’t seem to like it, it is also higher quality.
WMV (Windows Video) Lower quality, but Windows Media Player supports it.

I strongly suggest that if you are running Windows, download Quicktime which supports MP4 without issues. It also integrates with Mozilla Firefox quite nicely. None the less, choose which file pleases you more and download it, if it doesn’t work the other one almost certainly will.

Samuel

2 comments October 18th, 2005 at 03:05am


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