Sex change for a 12 year old “adult”

In the light of the Bill Henson saga, where the major argument against his work is that his 12 or 13 year old models and their parents don’t have the wherewithal to approve of their own images in an artistic context, we hear of the Federal Court’s approval of a sex change for a 12 year old.

The court felt it was in the 12 year old’s best interests, and that she was able to make the decision with the family responsibly.

In one of the most blatant shows of the incompetence and hypocrisy that are the hallmarks of ALL ALP governments, Family Minister Jenny Macklin said “I think we have to understand that these issues are extremely complex, so I don’t want to go into the details of it”.

Had the Rudd Government’s response to Bill Henson’s art been thus, then I think it would have been far healthier for all concerned. However for the Rudd Government to condemn Bill Henson and to condone what is, quite frankly, a totally ludicrous and dangerous act as a sex change for a 12 year old, shows how twisted their thinking is.

Art under attack by Rudd the philistine

Superstar Australian artist Bill Henson has been the victim of a vicious and ignorant political / media witch-hunt that has led to the cancellation of his latest show in Sydney, and a rebuke from Kevin Rudd, who called his art “revolting”. This is the same Bill Henson who has been lauded the world over, representing Australia at the “Olympics of art”, the Venice Biennale.

Rudd, typical of most ALP figures (the myth that they are in support of art, but in fact are philistines and slobs), has no clue. Nudity and innocence depicted in art are totally removed from porn. To see an innocent, naked child in art and immediately think “sexual object” says a lot more about Rudd being a weirdo than it does about Bill Henson.

Since when does nudity automatically imply sex? What sort of a strange culture are we living in? What sort of strange value set is Rudd promoting?

Let’s compare some of Henson’s shots with those of other artists, times and eras:

Nirvana - Nevermind
No wonder Kurt killed himself – it was because of the hopeless attitudes of philistines like Kevin Rudd, who would have banned this album from the shelves were it around now.

The Bathers
Rudd would see no artistic merit in this, calling it “pure filth”, no question.

Bill Henson Untitled
Rudd would say: “Revolting”

Maybe Rudd has child sex on his mind right now because this week his former state ALP colleague, Milton Orkopoulos, was done for over 30 child sex and drug charges?

Or maybe he keeps thinking about former ALP Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bob Collins, and is worried about the ALP being seen as the party of child sex offenders?

Fred Stauder – “A hero to small business”

Today marks 20 years since the Supreme Court of Victoria awarded the Dollar Sweets Company damages in the fight against the thugs, bullies and standover men of the Confectionary Workers Union.

Dollar Sweets Fairy Bread

This article outlines the reasons why this case is so important – why it marked a serious turning point in the thankful erosion of union power in Australia.

My advice – get some white bread, spread some Western Star butter, sprinkle some “hundreds and thousands” or “dollars” over the bread and eat away while you read this article. You’ll be glad you did.

Respect, tolerance and liberalism AKA No straights at The Peel

Our friend Andrew Norton has started a fascinating conversation about respect vs tolerance, framed within the context of The Peel refusing to allow straights and women in.

For a liberal, equal respect demands too much and more than is necessary. For passionate religious believers (and liberal ideas of toleration began with the problems they cause) it is very hard to hold other faiths in ‘equal respect’ without calling into question their own beliefs. But all it requires to tolerate them is to hold off from intimidation and violence.

Indeed, the shift from liberal tolerance to leftist acceptance, the logical result of equal concern and respect, takes us back to where we started before the idea of tolerance took hold. Tolerance challenged the idea that everyone must fit in with a common set of norms, and replaced it with the idea that everyone must abstain from certain behaviours.

The practical differences between these two views came out in the reaction to the decision to allow The Peel hotel to exclude women and straight men. The left blogs I read came down against that decision, because they think that everyone should be accepted equally. But tolerance means letting gay men have their own venues without lesbians who frighten them or straight men who won’t be attracted to them.

AFL Players Union vs Liberal Party vs Drug Testing

The papers are leading with news that senior AFL players such as James Hird and Brendan Gale have “hit back” against the Federal Government’s attack on the AFL’s drugs policy. This drugs policy, which will allow players who have taken drugs on more than one occasion to continue playing (three strikes and you’re out), has come under attack from the Federal Government, who believe that the policy is too soft on illegal drugs. So Hird and Co. have come out and attacked the Federal Government.

No surprise Hird would attack a Liberal Government – Hird was raised by Whitlamites in Canberra; James’ own mother dragged the little two year old to the steps of Parliament to protest Whitlam’s sacking, a story recounted by Greg Baum in this piece from The Age.

So what a surprise! Brendan Gale, the potential ALP preselection candidate and James Hird (Whitlamite) come out against the Liberal Government!

But let’s not stop there – not only are these two ALP to the core, so is much of the AFL board:

Bill Kelty
The man the ACTU calls “A key figure in the Union Movement for over 30 Years”

Mike Fitzpatrick
Millionaire, would be ALP Senator for Victoria, private advisor to ALP politicians and Labor Party figures.

Sam Mostyn
Former staffer to Paul Keating, she replaced Anne Keating (Keating’s sister) on the board of the NRMA. Her involvement in the Labor Party takeover of the AFL is best articulated in this piece.

And let’s not forget Andrew Demetriou of course.

US Deaths in Iraq

Interesting statistics regardless of where you stand on the issue of the
U.S. involvement in Iraq – here’s a sobering statistic:

There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of
operations during the last 22 months and a total of 2,867 deaths.

That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 persons
for the same period. That means that you are about 25% more likely to
be shot and killed in the U.S. Capital than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington and move to Iraq.

I loathe LED / fluorescent lighting

Since the sun was formed in a mass of burning gases in a grand galatical ballet, burning gases or burning elements have provided all of our light. Whether natural light or man made, we’ve had a particular natural wavelength that has defined our illumination. But of course some unimaginative politicans want to take that away and replace it with an artificial glow from a plastic strobe.

Quite frankly, Malcolm Turnbull can get stuffed! If I want to buy a traditional, warm, lightbulb, I should be able to buy one! But Malcolm and co want to BAN THE BULB?

What is the world coming to? Australia is now going to be bathed in artificial, flickering, hard on the eye, flourescent/LED bulbs. This is something I would have expected from the ALP, not the bloody LIBERAL Party. When Latham decided he was going to ban plastic bags, John Howard called him “Mandatory Mark”. What’s the difference?

If I were to decide to sell traditional light bulbs, I would be a criminal on par with someone who sells weed? WTF?

Apart from the obvious – that it is a slap in the face of personal freedom, what about the increase in headaches, in sore eyes, in people being effected by flourescence? And aesthetically, please don’t tell me “nu-breed” lights look anywhere near as nice as traditional “burning filament” lights?

This environmental push is bullshit. All in the name of the next Killer Bees/Yellow Peril/SARS/Y2K Bug, we have to compromise our personal freedoms. What a joke.

Dubai or Not Dubai

The Economist has published an interesting report on the growing pains, opportunities and stories of an emerging global city – Dubai. It raises an interesting point about freedoms in the City-State.

Even Skype, the free internet-phone service, is banned in order to protect the local telecoms provider. It remains to be seen whether such restrictions will continue as the UAE inches toward democracy

Such restrictions are a key barometer of the future successes of such a city. If the Government believes that press and communications freedoms should be restricted for the “greater good”, then they are promoting a genuine false economy. They should take a leaf out of Hong Kong’s book, where particularly under Sir John Cowperthwaite they might not have had a legislative freedom but they had truly the greatest economic and social freedoms in the world – and how they prospered.

Tony Abbott Gives Up the Coke

Tony Abbott, known by some as the “Mad Monk” of Federal Parliament, has advocated the removal of soft drinks from household fridges, and a “McDonalds-style” campaign by the company (and possibly through Government funding) to promote healthy lifestyles.

What has gotten into that man’s head?

People should be free to drink whatever the hell they like – whether it be Coke, battery acid or a quiet shandy. Insofar as it cause a health problem, it’s not Coke that is the problem but people’s sedentary lifestyles. “Feed me, clothe me, entertain me in the shortest and most convenient possible way”. That people are increasingly fat isn’t the result of Coke consumption, but the result of increasingly lazy and inactive lifestyles mixed with a large percentage of their diet being high sugar, low quality foods.

Coke has been around for over 100 years, a magnificent product drunk the world over. That diabetes is an increasing health issue isn’t the fault or cause of this company’s products, but the lack of understanding of nutrition in the general populace.

What is Tony thinking? A demand management program funded by the supply side?

On one had he has a point: McDonalds has done EXTREMELY well to reposition themselves as a provider of “healthy choices”. A few years ago, there was some strong debate over whether Macca’s and other fast food companies should be banned from advertising during children’s TV and other times. Macca’s then decided: “what is fast food”? Is Macca’s “fast food” or is a Big Mac “fast food”? So they increased their sales of fresh fruit, vegetables, rolls, wraps, salads and cereals. Now they are the biggst supplier of salad in Australia. If anyone were to advocate banning McDonald’s advertising, it would result in some very tricky, very difficult theorising, let alone a mess of legislation.

Coca-Cola have gone down a similar path. They have purchased SPC, the famous Victorian Fruit company, and made a play at Berri a few years ago. They were also running their financial calculators over National Foods, maker of Pura Milk, Yoplait and Big M before it was taken over by San Miguel. They obviosuly understand the nature of diversification for business’ sake and also to diversify away from being a “sugar” company.

So where does this leave Abbott? Seemingly, trying to promote Coke. In a weird, touchy-feely, nice guy, “an apple a day will keep tertiary health costs down per day” sort of way. Abbott should be encouraging preventative, healthy lifestyles through a words and deeds, not legislation. With this sort of thinking, I’m not sure he’s actually on the right side of Parliament.

Coke should be doing one thing only. Making, promoting and selling it’s products as best it can, with the highest possible margins for the good of it’s shareholders. If they feel they should encourage helathy lifestyles as a PR, CSR style “nice guy” push, then fine. If Coke makes great profits, then the Government gets tax revenues, shareholders and consumers are happy, and Abbott should go jump – it’s good excercise.