Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

>UK’s police must need to increase their anti-terrorism statistics

>Modern police forces around the world have targets to achieve across the issues that most concern the public or, more importantly, the want-to-be-seen-to-be-tough politicians.

One of these targets must be dealing with terrorism. How else can one explain why police would prosecute this case?

A British man who said on Twitter that he would blow up an airport if his flight was delayed by snow was convicted on Monday of sending a threatening message and made to pay STG1,000 ($A1,646).

Who did he send the Twitter to? Only those people who follow him, which they chose to do. It’s hardly a public threat.

Paul Chambers, 26, insisted his post on the micro-blogging site was a joke. But a judge at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court in northern England found him guilty of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message over a public telecommunications network.

District Judge Jonathan Bennett said the message “was of a menacing nature in the context of the times in which we live.” He ordered Chambers to pay the fine and court costs.

The message is not a sign of the “menacing nature in the context of the times in which we live”…the judgement is! How pathetic.

Chambers was arrested in January after he posted the message saying he would blow up Robin Hood Airport near the large town of Doncaster “sky high” if his flight, due to leave in a week’s time, was delayed.

Chambers, from Doncaster, said he made the post when the airport was closed by snow and he feared his travel plans would be disrupted.

“It did not cross my mind that Robin Hood would ever look at Twitter or take it seriously because it was innocuous hyperbole,” he said.

An airport employee came across the tweet a few days later, but security staff there decided it was not a credible bomb threat. Nevertheless, they passed the message on to police. Chambers was arrested two days before his flight was due to leave.

How did the airport employee come across the tweet? Kudos to the security staff who used more than two brain cells and worked out it was not a credible threat.

Chambers, who lost his job at a car distribution firm after his arrest, said he was considering an appeal.

This should send a chill down people’s spines. The guy lost his job because of a joke tweet? What sort of place has the UK become?

News of the conviction sent a ripple of outrage across the Twittersphere, with some users retransmitting the message: “This absurd judgement is enough to make me want to blow up Robin Hood airport”

Everyone with access to Twitter should be sending messages like the one above.

I can’t get over how insane this situation is. The bloke lost his job becasue of a joke! That’s unbelievable.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Culture, United Kingdom

>Collapse of standards – Example 54390442

December 3, 2009 9 comments

>Two stories today demonstrate the ongoing collapse of standards in today’s values-free, morally relativistic world.

First, thanks to Tiger Woods:

What’s in a word?

Well, for Internet searchers, many aren’t quite sure.

When Tiger Woods apologized today for “transgressions” after Us Weekly posted a voice mail of the world’s No. 1 golfer talking to an alleged mistress, confused readers flooded Google with searches of the 14-letter word in search for clarity.

Google Trends, which lists in real-time the fastest rising searches on Google, lists “transgressions” as No. 1.

The search engine gave the query its highest ranking: volcanic.

To help you out, I’ve reached over to the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary on my desk for the definition:

• an act, process, or instance of transgressing: as a: infringement or violation of law, command, or duty b: the spread of the sea over land areas and the consequent uncomfortable deposit of sediments on older rocks

(We’re pretty sure he meant the first part.)

What has happened to the standard of education when people don’t know what trangression means?

I’ve mentioned my 20 x 20 question before (ask your teenager what 20 times 20 is; 90% won’t say 400) and this is another example of not teaching the basics.

The next example comes from the world of cricket. Apparently, retired English captain Michael Vaughan has taken up art.

First it was tennis legend Martina Navratilova, and now former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan is using his sporting skills to produce art.

Vaughan, who led England to Ashes glory in 2005, has created a series of paintings by throwing paint-spattered cricket balls at canvasses, in a technique dubbed artballing.

The works — with titles such as “Six!” and “Power Play” — went on display Wednesday night at a gallery in London’s upmarket department store Harrods.

“With my art it’s been good to get away from cricket and switch off those thought processes required to captain at the highest level, the day-in day-out questioning of yourself and the team – the art is quite therapeutic,” he said.

Vaughan, 35, who retired from professional cricket in June, admitted he first became interested in art when teammate Ashley Giles took him to trendy London galleries during rain-delayed Test matches.

“I tell people what I’m doing and they raise an eyebrow and say ‘Oh, really?’. But then they see the finished works and it really takes them aback, which is great,” the former batsman said.

A work entitled “183” commemorates his Ashes Test innings in Sydney in 2003, with a maroon ball spot for every single he scored, a red spot for every two, a pink spot for his fours and a solitary green spot for his only six.

Navratilova held an exhibition at Roland-Garros, home of the French Open Grand Slam tournament, in 2007 of her works produced by hitting balls soaked in paint against canvases, and bouncing them on canvases on the ground.

Check out the so-called ‘art’…

All that’s missing is a government grant.

When bouncing painted balls against a canvas counts as art then there’s nothing that doesn’t.

In the bottom left (Vaughan’s right) you can see that he signed the ‘art’, as well. Is he beyond embarrassment?

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Culture

>More to drive the cultural left nuts

November 2, 2009 Leave a comment

>I think that ninemsn is doing its best to try and put up a poll question that gets a favourable response for asylum seekers but the Australian public refuses to co-operate.

The other day I posted their poll question “Should the army get asylum seekers off the Oceanic Viking?” which went 3:1 in favour of using the army.

Today’s question is “Should we adopt a softer approach to asylum seekers?”. So they’ve turned the question from being hard – use of the army – to soft.

The previous 3:1 has blown out to 7:1 against the asylum seekers.

This is also at a time when it is being reported that 20 people may have lost their lives when a boat traveling to Australia capsized northwest of the Cocos Islands.

Australians are generous to a fault but we really get riled up when people take the mickey out of us, which these so-called asylum seekers clearly are.

Andrew Bolt has more on their non-real asylum seeker status and how the despicable Greens tell lies in order to further their agenda.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Culture, Politics

>This will drive the cultural left crazy

October 29, 2009 2 comments

>So there’s a bunch of Sri Lankan economic refugees and assorted ex-Tamil Tiger terrorists living on the Oceanic Viking somewhere off of Indonesia in a political tug-of-war between crap knows who but mainly involving Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, trying to look compassionate, tough and statesmanlike all at the same time; a stance that he has failed spectacularly to achieve, which comes as no surprise to those of us who think he has little diplomatic skill and a decidedly nasty streak about him.

So here’s the boat. There’s 78 Sri Lankans camping on it.

Now, here’s the bit that will drive the cultural left crazy.

Outspoken Liberal MP, Wilson Tuckey, suggested that the government may need to call in the army in order to remove the Sri Lankans from the boat and place them in detention in Indonesia.

Cue the usual whinging and carry on from Australia’s left.

Here’s the current status of ninemsn’s poll on the issue – Should the army get the asylum seekers off the Oceanic Viking?

(click to embiggen)

Queue-jumping asylum seekers have very little support from the Australian people. We have a strong sense of fairness and these people are well past what we consider acceptable.

Now, would the cultural left accept the result of the poll?

Surely they would twist it into an example not of Australia’s fairness but of its inherent racism?

No doubt there’ll be much chatter among the chattering class over the injustice of it all.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Culture

>George Carlin – the planet is fine…but the people…?

>Comedian George Carlin was never one to toe the politically correct line, which he demonstrates in spades in this terrific piece in which he takes aim at the type of people who take themselves oh so seriously because they drive a Prius, wash infrequently to save water and, basically, ‘care’ so much about the planet that they curl up into the foetal position and cry themselves to sleep every night because of the horror and devestation of planetary destruction.

The reality is that they simply imagine this to be the case and react to their imagination rather than dealing with the facts.

Either that or they’re with Al Gore, who is trying to convince the world to introduce emissions trading schemes so that he can increase the profits of his carbon offsets company.

Here’s Carlin. There’s some biting stuff in there.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Culture

>Immigrants attacking Indian and Chinese students proves Australia is racist

June 3, 2009 1 comment

>The Indian community in Australia staged a quite large and noisy protest to highlight the fact that many of them, and particularly students, are being targeted in deliberate racist attacks.

Our Prime Minister has been forced to intervene in a diplomatic spat with India over the attacks.

Over the last week I have been watching the media reporting to see whether they’re reporting on who the perpetrators of the attacks are.

Not one report has provided the information that is most salient to the crimes – that they’re being mostly carried out by immigrants to Australia, mainly from Africa.

So what do we have now?

The nitwit leftists who jump on any opportunity to kick Australia and accuse it of being a nation of racists are howling from the rooftops.

In the People’s Republic of Victoria, Rob Hulls has introduced new hate crimes legislation:

HATE crime could soon be an offence in Victoria as the State Government moves to crack down on violent attacks against Indian students, homosexuals and other targeted groups.

Under a plan being pushed by Attorney-General Rob Hulls, judges would have to take into account “hatred for or a prejudice against a particular group of people” as an aggravating factor when sentencing offenders.

Tougher sentences would apply to crimes deemed to be based on victims’ race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Of course, the only problem with such legislation is that the government will never have the courage to charge anyone other than white, male Australians.

The Chinese never miss the chance to put the boot in and take advantage of a situation:

THE future of the $15.5 billion overseas student industry is under threat after the Chinese Government went public with concerns about violence against its students in Australia.

Battling to contain the damage arising from attacks on Indian students, university vice-chancellors fear Australia’s third-largest export industry may face sanctions from the Chinese and Indian governments.

Chinese embassy counsellor Liu Jin yesterday said his Government was intervening to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals.

“There are over 130,000 Chinese students in Australia,” he said. “They have, on the whole, had a good study and living environment in Australia, but attacks on Chinese students also occurred in recent years.

“The Chinese embassy and consulates in Australia attach high importance to the safety of Chinese students … It is hoped that the Australian Government will provide better protection to international students from China and other countries and ensure their legitimate rights in Australia.”

At least we have a Prime Minister who can tell the Chinese to pull in their heads in their own language. Not that he has the balls for that.

Not letting an opportunity to get her noggin into the media again, Australian minor Bollywood starlet, Tania Zaetta, has ‘begged’ Bollywood to stop a boycott against Australia.

Aussie Bollywood star Tanya Zaetta has pleaded with the Indian film industry not to boycott Australia over the spate of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne.

The actress, who appeared in the Melbourne-produced Bollywood movie Salaam Namaste, said she was “horrified” to hear of the race violence but added that any boycott would do more harm than good.

“I understand completely Indians being upset over the recent racial attacks, I’m appalled by them myself,” Zaetta told ninemsn.

“It makes me ashamed to be Australian when you hear about attacks on people of other cultures.

“But I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down. Bollywood boycotting Australia will only drive the two countries further apart.”

Zaetta is ‘ashamed to be Australian’ due to attacks that are mostly carried out by a country whose intake of immigrants exceeds any other in the world on a per capita basis.

Why can’t the truth be told?

Australia is among the least racist nations on earth. Not that you’d know that from reading the media.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Culture

>Motoring developments in US and India make a stark contrast

April 8, 2009 3 comments

>Here’s something to think about…in the developed world we’re oohing and aahing about the really cool GM/Segway P.U.M.A on the not unreasonable grounds that it is a really, really neat piece of kit…

The GM/Segway P.U.M.A.

…while in the emerging market of India everyone is captivated by the release of India’s “Model T”, the Tata Nano, and with good reason – it looks like a fair thing.

The Tata Nano

I like the comment in the first video about there being no other country in which the Nano could have been built.

All the world thinks that China will be the next big thing but I reckon it’s India that will be the long term winner due to its greater innovation and Westernised institutions left over from the British Empire.

(Nothing Follows)
Categories: Culture, Economics

>Message from the left. Shut up.

April 7, 2009 1 comment

>Andrew Klavan kicks a goal with this brilliant analysis of today’s left wing policies.

Seems like the left has simply taken Joe Dolce’s idea and put it into effect.

And seriously, can you understand how this tune was #1 all over the world?

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Culture, Politics

>UK – Gay voters now more likely to vote Tory than Labour

April 4, 2009 2 comments

>This is a pretty interesting article from UK LGBT magazine Pink News on the growing support for the Tories over Labour.

If gays are starting to understand that it’s the conservative side of politics who are the real champions of equality and freedom then how far behind can other left-leaning demographic groups be?

Gay and lesbian voters are now more likely to vote Tory rather than Labour, a poll has suggested.

The survey of 1,800 gay men and women found 30 per cent said they intend to vote

Conservative at the next general election.

It was conducted by the Gaydar consumer panel for the Outright Consortium last month.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats each took 18 per cent of the vote, while 17 per cent said they will not vote and nine per cent were undecided.

At the last general election in 2005, 33 per cent voted Labour compared to 21 per cent who voted Conservative.

Unsurprisingly, 73 per cent said the next election will be fought on the state of the economy. Ten per cent said unemployment would be a key issue and five per cent cited immigration.

Fifty-nine per cent of respondents felt Gordon Brown was not doing a good job as prime minister.

In terms of finance, 24 per cent of those questioned were most worried about losing their job in the recession, compared with 20 per cent who were concerned about paying their mortgages.

However, 22 per cent said they were not worried at all.

Although 71 per cent blamed the banks for the recession, 72 per cent said they were not planning to change financial services providers in the near future.

Just over half (51 per cent) said the recession had impacted on their spending, with 35 per cent admitting to making the biggest cutbacks in their social lives.

Here are some interesting responses from among the comments to the article:

  • I’m gay and I vote Tory- so a few respondants have met their first one! We vote Tory because we like being treated as equals- no extra nanny state ‘help’ for us…we also like to walk neighbourhoods without being beaten up- breaking news- we feel safer in Tory neighbourhoods like Surrey than on Council Estates in Hull. Conservatives live and let live…more than can be said than in many Labour voting areas.

  • Too right it’s for real. And there’s plenty of us who “admit” to voting Tory, more all the time in fact. Gay people as a group ought to find Conservative ideas about liberty and individualism more attractive than the collectivist alternatives.

  • I’m happy to ‘admit’ it too. One of the reasons you are seeing the overt change in position on gay issues is that there are so many gay poeple in the Tory party these days. Equality legisation came from Europe not from Labour and whoever was in power would have had to introduce it – that argument is long dead as far as I’m concerned. I am however concerned that what Labour has done economically to this country will haunt us for generations, gay or straight, and I find it incredible that so many gay people who seem to use this site have failed to educate themselves on the politics that affect their lives so greatly. How much corruption needs to be exposed before people realise that New Labour was merely a vehicle for Tony Blair’s ambitions and that Gordon Brown is just the patsy that was handed the smoking gun when Blair had set the country into a terminal downward spin?
  • “I’ve never met a gay person that votes Tory” – Ah bless – what a funny little world Stuart and his red-rinse old dears inhabit! Its a generational thing Stuart – us younger gay men (younger in body and/or in mind) who look forward with optimism and will be voting in a new Tory government in our 1000s next year have no interest in harking back to all that class-war, gays-as-victims, blah blah politics of the last century and the 1980s – who is interested in the 1980s? Life, the world and politics has moved on – blue is the new red. The 21st Century Conservatives are very much in tune with the 21st Century gay man and woman – look at any london borough council or the Mayor’s office or local conservative party office and you will find scores of conservative gay politicians, advisors and organisers. So don’t look back and be a bitter old has-been, look forward and join the in-crowd, vote Conservative!

(Nothing Follows)

>Baby boomer parents can’t let their children grow up and face reality

March 25, 2009 4 comments

>I see hundreds of resumes per year and interview a stack of people.

What I see in the Gen-X and Gen-Y crowd is enough to make your head spin. They can’t write above the level of a 12 year old or do basic mathematics and have no concept of history other than those events that run down Western civilisation.

But, boy, do they have a terrific opinion of themselves and their abilities.

All of which leads to a level of narcissism and lack of self awareness probably unparalleled in the history of history.

I blame the parents and so does Victor Rozek:

File this one under “just when you thought you’d seen everything.” As the millennial generation comes of age, the 76 million children spawned by industrious baby boomers are entering the workforce. But unlike past generations, they are not coming to the workplace alone. They are bringing their mommies and daddies.

Reliable sources report that corporate mangers and HR departments are being monumentally annoyed by Boomers who accompany their children to job interviews, review their job offers, intervene on their behalf in salary negotiations, and badger the boss when their nestling fails to be promoted. And they can be irritatingly insistent.

Danielle Sacks, writing for Fast Company, reports that “Last year, when a 24-year-old salesman at a car dealership didn’t get his yearly bonus because of poor performance, both of his parents showed up at the company’s regional headquarters and sat outside the CEO’s office, refusing to leave until they got a meeting.” Saner minds prevailed, and they didn’t get a meeting with the CEO. What they got instead was a meeting with security which, quite appropriately, escorted them out of the building.

Much has been written about narcissistic boomers raising spoiled, self-indulgent children. And why not? More than any other generation, boomers rode the crest of the American experience. They flourished during a time when middle class jobs were plentiful and well paid. Healthcare, education, and housing were affordable. Sun tans were healthy, energy was cheap, credit was abundant, ecological systems were not noticeably collapsing, and everyone thought the party would go on forever. Being the model of self-indulgence themselves, the boomers assuaged their guilt by showering their nippers with toys. Cars, clothes, computers, flat screens, iPods, cell phones, Wiis; the millennials got whatever they wanted (whether they worked for it or not), all the while being told how wonderful they were.

For millennials, the taste of failure was unfamiliar. Coincidentally, school standards fell, allowing kids to graduate with grades they did not earn, while parents were quick to challenge any teacher who dared reprimand or flunk their progeny. High school transcripts were considered so unreliable that many universities began distrusting reports of glowing grades. As a result, when these kids enter the workforce, they are “simply stunned when they get any kind of negative feedback.” So says Cindy Pruitt, a professional development and recruiting manager. Sacks writes that one of Pruitt’s summer hires broke down in her office after being told his structure on a memo was “a little too loose.” Now, for most of us having “loose memo structure” is not career threatening but, said Pruitt, “I practically had to walk him off the ledge.” An act of kindness to be sure, because she probably wanted to push him off the ledge.

According to beleaguered managers, millennials are only comfortable receiving positive feedback. They want it early and they want it often, and when it is lacking, watch out for Mom. After a 22-year-old was denied a promotion, “his mother called the human resources department the next day.” In fact she called 17 times and left increasingly shrill messages: “You’re purposely ignoring us” or “you fudged the evaluation” and then “you have it in for my son.” If the company didn’t have it in for her son before, they certainly did after.

Hard to know when it all started. Maybe with Nathaniel Branden, the groundbreaking psychologist who began the Self-Esteem movement in the 1970s which, like many worthy ideas, was soon twisted by lesser minds beyond all recognition. Chalk it up to unintended consequences. Brandon wrote extensively about the value of self-esteem in human development. Self-esteem, he argued, was essential to psychological well being, achievement, and healthy relationships. It necessitated six practices: self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living consciously, living purposefully, and living in integrity. Note that these “practices” require that an individual make moment-by-moment choices and has a profound commitment to a disciplined course of action. Thus, self-esteem can be nurtured, but cannot be provided by outside sources such as parents or teachers.

But somewhere along the line, a great many parents and educators came to believe that the best way to nurture self-esteem was to ensure that children not be allowed to fail. And since failure is a frequent by-product of competition, competitive situations were defanged so that losers could feel good about themselves. In little league sports, for example, everybody got to play and, win or lose, everyone was awarded a trophy. From a young age, kids were taught that performance and reward were not linked. Not coincidentally, it was about the same time that fathers started haranguing coaches about playing time for their “stars.”

In school, kids grew up being complimented for everything including putting their shoes on the correct foot. When they got into trouble, parents interceded, and teachers who dared discipline kids got into hot water. By the time millennials went off to college, the explosion of personal communication technology made it easy for parents to keep in touch with their kids no matter where they were. Just when young people should have been establishing their independence, they found it difficult to break away from parental influence and easy to rely on it. Sue Shellenbarger, writing for the Wall Street Journal online, reports that “a study at Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, set for release at an August meeting of the American Psychological Association, found college freshmen are in contact with their parents more than 10 times a week.” That this is a topic for psychologists should serve as a cautionary tale.

Hiring companies are just the latest targets of boomer angst. Shellenbarger recounts the dismay of a recruiter. “It’s unbelievable to me that a parent of a 22-year-old is calling on their behalf,” says Allison Keeton, director of college relations for St. Paul Travelers. After taking many calls from parents “telling us how great their children are, how great they’d be for a specific job,” she’s started calling this generation “the kamikaze parents–the ones that already mowed down the guidance and admissions offices” and now are moving into the workplace.

For their part, corporations find themselves coping with four dissimilar generations of employees. They are looking for ways to help them understand each other, while adjusting traditional practices to accommodate an increasingly needy workforce. This being America, they turned to inter-generational consultants in the hope of finding feel-good solutions. Why the other three generations have to be subjected to forced encounter groups is not clear. Maybe corporations could save themselves some money by simply giving the problem kids a time out. Better yet, send the parents to bed without their martinis.

The whys of parental intervention are as complex as individual families, but there are a number of theories. Perhaps boomers simply forged strong and lasting relationships with their children. Perhaps their offspring are hapless and unable to stand up for themselves. But the theory I like best (since I know a number of boomers with dependent adult children) is voiced by Shellenbarger. “Parents may fear kids will never leave the nest and want to give them a push.” Statistics support the fact that more adult children are staying home longer. The Census Bureau says “11 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 still live with their parents, up from 8.7 percent in 1980.” And with the economy in the tank, more kids will find home-cooked meals and laundry service a pleasant alternative to homelessness.

Ultimately, whether the children of boomers are so unprepared for life that they need their parents to run interference for them; or their parents simply want to ensure their kids get the best possible break, misses the point. As a friend of mine who facilitated personal growth workshops for young adults was fond of saying: “Adults don’t have Mommies and Daddies; they have ex-Mommies and ex-Daddies.” Perhaps the best we can say is that although all millennials may not have had a happy childhood, a number of them appear to be having a long one.

The notion of an extended period of almost-adulthood during which grownup responsibilities are postponed is a relatively modern invention. Things weren’t always thus. In 1793, William Parker joined the British Navy at age 11. A year later, he had his first taste of war. By age 20, he was captain of his own ship.
As far as we know, the Admiralty wasn’t pressured by his parents to give him the promotion.

How are these people going to cope with the massive downturn in economic good fortune that the world now faces, which will be made all the worse by unwise, immoral spending programs being undertaken by the world’s major economies?

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Culture