August 21st 2010

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Australia's future in the balance

EDITORIAL: Our neglected area of policy: the Pacific

FEDERAL ELECTION 2010: Vote Green: a good way to wreck your investments

FEDERAL ELECTION 2010: Green policies 'anti-Christian': Cardinal George Pell

FAMILY POLICIES: Let families decide how they structure their work/life balance

LABOR PARTY: Emily's Laundry? Emily's List whitewashes website

POLITICAL IDEAS: The chilling creed of the radical libertarians

BUSHFIRES ROYAL COMMISSION: Lack of political willpower haunts Victoria

VICTORIA: Babies born alive, but left to die?

NEW ZEALAND: Kiwis wary of China's murky takeover bids

UNITED STATES: One unelected judge nullifies will of majority

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: US election a referendum on Obama's presidency

ASIA: Burma fast becoming China's new Tibet

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Sharia law's relentless advance / Mosque at Ground Zero / Britain slashes defence spending / Fay Weldon rethinks feminism.

BOOK REVIEW: HAWKE: The Prime Minister, by Blanche d'Alpuget

BOOK REVIEW: GEORGE ORWELL: A Life in Letters, selected and annotated by Peter Davison

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Sharia law's relentless advance / Mosque at Ground Zero / Britain slashes defence spending / Fay Weldon rethinks feminism.

News Weekly, August 21, 2010
Sharia law's relentless advance

The spread of sharia law to the entire world is part of jihad. In Canada and Britain, jihad is advancing. ...

Unlike aborigine, Catholic, or Jewish tribunals, Muslim tribunals seek "to impose their cultural values on Western society".

For example, Jewish kosher laws are never imposed upon non-Jewish people; the same cannot be said concerning Islamic halal food. In one British nursing home, the non-Muslim residents were obligated to forgo bacon in their meals in deference to Islamic halal demands.

In 2003 in Aubervilliers, France, the city council was forced to close the municipal swimming pool so that Muslim women could swim in private. And in America and Great Britain, seeing-eye dogs raise the ire of Muslim taxicab drivers who consider dogs "impure".

Extract from Eileen F. Toplansky, "Sharia law in Canada and Britain", American Thinker, August 8, 2010.

The mosque at Ground Zero

[New York] Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just demonstrated that you can become a billionaire in America many times over, while being clueless about the country you live in.

To Bloomberg, if you oppose a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, you are indulging in religious bigotry and do not understand the Constitution. Here is the mayor explaining how the heroes of 9/11 died so that mosques might be built anywhere in New York City.

"On Sept. 11th, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, no one asked, "What god do you pray to? What beliefs do you hold?' We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor those lives by defending those rights, and the freedoms those terrorists attacked."

But the issue here is not religious tolerance. There are a hundred mosques in New York City.

The issue here is the appalling insensitivity, if not calculated insult, of erecting a mosque two blocks from a World Trade Center where 3,000 Americans were massacred by Islamic fanatics whose Muslim religion was integral to their identity and mission.

It is no more religious bigotry to oppose the Ground Zero Mosque than it would have been religious bigotry to oppose building a Shinto shrine in 1950 on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, next to the Arizona.

To Americans, the land on which the twin towers stood is hallowed ground, a burial site made scared by the suffering and deaths of all who perished in the horrifying minutes those towers burned and fell.

Extract from Patrick J. Buchanan, "The mosque at Ground Zero", The American Cause, August 6, 2010.

Britain to slash defence spending

According to the Daily Telegraph, [government] ministers are considering such extreme measures as sacking 7,000 RAF personnel and reducing the Air Force to World War I strength with the loss of nearly 300 aircraft. If they do any such thing, they should have the honesty to change the name back too, so that our mini-air arm would again become the Royal Flying Corps.

There are rumours, too, of a projected 40 per cent cut in the Army's armoured vehicles and the loss of a 5,000-strong brigade. ...

Playing politics and bean-counting with the nation's defence is intolerable. It is a widespread delusion among Conservative voters that the Tories are sound on defence: their past record proves otherwise.

The one budget that should have been ring-fenced from cuts was not the vast NHS bureaucracy, but defence. That means frontline defence, not the bloated bumbledom of red-tape merchants in the Ministry of Defence. That is where the axe should fall. We have 88,000 pen-pushers in the MoD and 92,000 fighting soldiers. MoD civil servants were given bonuses last year totalling £60m; how many frontline squaddies received bonuses?

Extract from Gerald Warner, "Time to relieve the Treasury of command of our Armed Forces and ring-fence defence", The Telegraph (UK) bog, August 10, 2010.

Fay Weldon has second thoughts about feminism

So did we feminists get it wrong, back in the Seventies, when we fought for our liberation? When we suggested that only male oppression stopped us from "having it all"; that we could work, we could earn, we could love, we could have equal dignity.

Well, we fought a noble battle and we got a lot of it right. Just not all.

We don't have to put up with the indignity of being second-class citizens - and that is a great achievement.

But we never paid any attention to what to do with the children. We certainly never imagined handing them over to other lesser-paid women to bring up, making them strangers to us, their mothers.

Yet, that, sadly, is what has happened. We fought against the definition of women as "people who have children". And now the birth rate falls and falls.

We resented the assumption that we weren't so much "people" as mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and widows. We didn't want to be seen as existing only in relationship to a man.

In refusing this definition, we inadvertently bred a race of young men who "won't commit" to women. ...

The trouble is that feminism sang to capitalism's tune. If the women of the West went out to work, and both sexes worked equally punishing hours, male wages could, in real terms, be halved as the workforce was doubled.

So the male wage that once kept a family, mysteriously no longer can. This, too, is something that we did not foresee.

I only hope the next generation will do better. Do I feel apologetic? Yes, I do.

Extract from Fay Weldon, "Emma Thompson's right. And it's children who pay for the 'having it all' lie", Daily Mail (UK), August 5, 2010.

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