October 11th 2008

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Australia's debt party is well and truly over

EDITORIAL: US financial meltdown worsens ...

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Why Congress has been wary about Wall Street bailout

EDUCATION: Radical left-wing agenda in store for our schools

DEFENCE: ADF now stretched to the uttermost

ASIA-PACIFIC: China's power projection in Fiji

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Concerns over Chinese investment in WA mining

OPINION: Taiwan's olive-branch to Beijing

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: Small farms offer solution to world food shortages

BIOFUELS: Ethanol home-brew kit on sale

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: WA Nationals opt for partnership, not coalition

VICTORIA: Abortion bill cannot enforce gestational limits

ABORTION: Painfully taking the life of the most defenceless

OPINION: Scientism as the new fundamentalism

AS THE WORLD TURNS: British postage stamp honours Hitler admirer / Old and sick have a duty to die / Economics divorced from morality / The everyone-on-your-own society / Decline of male breadwinners

LETTERS: Evidence for global cooling disputed (letter)

BOOKS: ORIGINAL SIN: A Cultural History, by Alan Jacobs


Books promotion page

British postage stamp honours Hitler admirer / Old and sick have a duty to die / Economics divorced from morality / The everyone-on-your-own society / Decline of male breadwinners

News Weekly, October 11, 2008
British postage stamp honours Hitler admirer
Britain's Marie Stopes
postage stamp.

"Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these (poems) that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?" These gushing words from an ardent fan were written in August 1939, just a month before this country went to war with Nazi Germany, by Marie Stopes, the "woman of distinction" who will ornament British 50p stamps from October.

Sending the Fuehrer a book of her sentimental poems was an appropriate gesture. This keen advocate of eugenics and subverter of family life had a long career of activity in the politics of human reproduction.

In 1919 she urged the National Birth Rate Commission to support mandatory sterilisation of parents who were diseased, prone to drunkenness or of bad character.

In 1935 she was present at the International Congress for Population Science in Berlin, held under the auspices of the Third Reich.

On her death she bequeathed her clinic and much of her fortune to the Eugenics Society. Today, Marie Stopes International has nearly 500 centres in 38 countries, performing more than half a million sterilisations a year, and is a major abortion provider...

Eugenic abortion accounts for an increasing proportion of the 7 million "terminations" in Britain since 1967.

- from Gerald Warner, "Marie Stopes is forgiven racism and eugenics because she was anti-life", The Telegraph (UK), August 28, 2008.
URL: blogs.telegraph.co.uk/gerald_warner/blog/2008/08/28/marie_stopes_is_forgiven_racism_and_eugenics_because_she_was_antilife

Old and sick have a duty to die

Elderly people with dementia are "wasting" the lives of those who have to care for them, one of Britain's most influential experts on medical ethics said yesterday.

Baroness Warnock said that for the old and sick who are contemplating dying, "there is nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so".

Her remarks in an interview with a church journal were the first public suggestion from any expert with close links to Whitehall that euthanasia should not only be legal but that elderly people should be pressed towards death.

Lady Warnock said: "If you are demented, you are wasting people's lives, your family's lives, and you are wasting the resources of the National Health Service."

Lady Warnock, 84, was the head of the committee which during the 1980s opened the way for legal research on human embryos.

- from Steve Doughty, "Old people with dementia have a duty to die", Daily Mail (UK), September 20, 2008.
URL: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1058404

Economics divorced from morality

This week, the Left has decided it has been proved right. Markets are mad, it is proclaiming. Capitalism is greedy, heartless and stupid. Government is the answer.

Faced with this catastrophe, do conservative-minded people have an answer? They do. But it is not a technical economic one. The answer lies on the ground on which the Left thinks it is strongest - morality.

What is revealed in the crisis of the banks is the corruption of the market, not its natural expression. The sub-prime debacle was caused by those selling the debt on. They conspired to avoid the transparency on which markets depend. They parcelled up the bad bits with the good, making the wrapping so intricate that no one would notice. Credit rating agencies, paid for by the companies they rate, stuck AAAs on low quality.

At the epicentre was Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Fed from the crash of 1987 until 2006.

He decided that the only inflation he needed to control was consumer prices, not asset prices. Whenever he met a bubble, he put more air into it. He kept interest rates so low that people forgot about risk.

- from Charles Moore, "The forgotten men of the financial crisis", The Telegraph (UK), September 27, 2008.
URL: www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=A1YourView&xml=/opinion/2008/09/27/do2702.xml

The everyone-on-your-own society

For decades now the mantra of personal responsibility has kept a lock on our imaginations. And our political dialogue.

I saw it back in the 1990s, when we ended welfare for better and for worse with something called the Personal Responsibility Act...

In the economy even more than the culture, personal responsibility has been a best-seller. We were told by conservatives and free-market holy rollers that markets were smart and governments were dumb, that the government was the problem not the solution.

So when credit cards come through the mail, college freshmen are expected to just say no. When poor people were wooed and seduced by subprime mortgages, they are the ones dubbed irresponsible.

Over time, the same rhetoric justified a huge shift in economic risks of the average citizen. In the name of the ownership society ... health insurance costs moved from employer to employee. All of these risks were covered like a bad bet by the idea that people could take better care of themselves. The ownership society turned into the everyone-on-your-own society.

- from Ellen Goodman, "The tattered ideology of personal responsibility", Ellen Goodman Newsletter, September 25, 2008.
URL: www.arcamax.com/news/ellengoodman/s-416477-513116

Decline of male breadwinners

Men are being left behind by university-educated women who cannot find a partner with the academic achievements and career prospects to match their expectations.

As a result, David Willetts, the British Conservative Party's work and pensions spokesman said, an increasing number of young men were entering adult life without the opportunity to settle down and act as the main breadwinner for a family of their own.

He said: "For the first time, in a historic experiment in our society, we have more women than men emerging from university. The majority of young people not in education, employment or training are men.

"... But the fact is that even if men want to be the breadwinner, they are no longer being given the opportunity of being the breadwinner... and the evidence is that that is bad for families.

"Of course the family is an emotional and personal thing, but it is also an economic institution and what we are describing is the collapse of the economic circumstances that hold families together."

Mr Willetts said that research showed that the most important factor in the increase in the number of single-parent families over the last 30 years was unemployment in men.

- from Rosa Prince, "Tory party conference: Bridget Jones generation blamed", The Telegraph (UK), September 28, 2008.
URL: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/3097489/Tory-party-conference-Bridget-Jones-generation-blamed.html

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