Monday, June 25, 2012

So Can We Draw Mohammed Yet?

The Daily Telegraph has unfortunately filed this story under "Entertainment".
A Muslim convert from Brooklyn was sentenced on Friday to nearly 12 years in prison for posting online threats against the creators of the South Park television show and others he deemed enemies of Islam.
The sentence - largely in line with the term sought by prosecutors - came after Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, offered an apology for his conduct, saying he "contributed to a clash of civilisations" by espousing a violent ideology.
No. A "clash of civilisations" presumes that people who will kill over a cartoon are actually civilised to begin with. They are not. As Daniel Pipes observed, "The problem faced by Western civilization in the wake of Islamist terrorism is not a "clash of civilizations," but, rather, a clash between civilization and barbarism".

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Take That, Bolt Report!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing Green Left TV. During their discussion of "the sorry state of Australia's mainstream media", despite access to whole Arts faculties they couldn't find a cameraman able to put down the bong long enough to hold the camera still. And check out the accent on David Hicks. (Thanks Ian)


The Australian Magazine this weekend reports the tragic yet almost certainly avoidable deaths of newborns whose sandal-wearing parents thought homebirthing was a good idea.
Sarah Kerr sits in a birthing pool in the middle of her lounge room, attended by a trained midwife and surrounded by her family. Everything feels comfortable and right as she delivers baby Ruby, clutching the newborn to her chest as her four sons crowd around, excitedly touching their new little sister as she draws her first breaths. But the young mother is only halfway through her labour. Her second baby - Ruby's twin brother, Tully - is still to be delivered.
Forty-five minutes later, Kerr is lying on the couch in the lounge room in agony, her dream of an uncomplicated birth for her twins shattered. Every minute that ticks away puts Tully at greater risk. The midwife, Lisa Barrett, warns that his heartbeat appears to be dropping, and she calls ahead to the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, advising a midwife to prepare for an emergency caesarean. Deciding it will be quicker to drive from their house in Adelaide's northern suburbs than wait for an ambulance, Kerr's husband Matthew Kavanagh climbs behind the wheel of the family's four-wheel-drive, with Kerr taking the front passenger seat, newborn Ruby strapped into a baby seat behind her and Barrett, blocked by their two-year-old's booster seat, forced into the back row. It is normally a 25-minute drive to the hospital, but on this afternoon they encounter roadworks, forcing them to take a slightly longer route. Only one kilometre from the hospital, Kerr's waters break and she gives birth to Tully in the front seat of the car.

Barrett squats in the front passenger seat administering resuscitation to the newborn as they hurtle towards the hospital, but he doesn't seem to be breathing. Kavanagh pulls up outside emergency, charges through the sliding glass doors and yells out to nurses that "we've got a flat baby". A resuscitation team springs into action on Tully. But his brain is already extensively damaged and he needs to be placed on life support. A long-serving midwife at the hospital is so upset that she has to leave the room, having previously witnessed the results of two earlier home births that went wrong. "Great, this is the third one," she says to herself.

Two days later, the hospital removes the ventilator from the infant so he can be taken home to be with his family. He dies that night, on October 9, 2011, the latest in a string of home-birth deaths across Australia.
The South Australian Director of Public Prosecutions has launched an investigation into Barrett's involvement with the three fatal home births. Her website has vanished.

This is self-described "international homebirth advocate" Lisa Barrett.

Entrusting a potentially fatal medical procedure to a dreadlocked hippy. What could possibly go wrong?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another Guaranteed Bestseller

Antony Loewenstein has released another book. The reviews are in:
The Australian:
Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left (MUP), edited by Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow, contains the predictable far Left claptrap railing against capitalism, praising the Occupy Wall Street movement, calling for more union strikes and industrial "combat", recognising Australia's inherent racism, supporting the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, and of course, attacking the "Murdoch empire".
Sounds like his blog plus a bit of cardboard and a couple of staples.

According to the poster for the launch, It includes "passionate and challenging contriburionts bu a diverse range of writers". Yes, reading anything by Loewenstein is challenging. Who are these diverse writers? "From Larissa Berendhg and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon". Such diversity! Males and females...


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Not Dead. Just Pining...

This is the 5,000th post to this blog. I wanted JF to have the honour, but he's a bit busy at the moment (more on that to follow, one day. Maybe).