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Essential Reading

'One-way multiculturalism'

steyn2Columnist Mark Steyn, who posted the thoughts below on his blog, also found time yesterday to speak with Alan Jones:

"...apropos Muslim 'reverts' who want to engage in what the Premier of Quebec calls 'spontaneous acts of extremism', I'm tired of being told that we have to change to accommodate them. They are the ones who have to change, or have change forced upon them.

"And, rather than confiscating passports and preventing these guys from leaving to fight for ISIS, I think we should wait till they get there to cancel their passports: If they prefer to be citizens of Headhackistan, so be it. But, if they attempt to return to Canada (or America, Britain, Australia, Europe), they should be charged with treason."

Follow the link below to hear the full interview

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It depends whose ox is gored

holmes goes ape

Early in 2013, the extraordinary salaries of prominent ABC personalities came to light and Jonathan Holmes wasn't happy. Soon to step down as the long-serving Widow Twankey in the pantomime of partisan pretense that is the national broadcaster's Media Watch, Holmes had 187,380 reasons to wish his remuneration had remained private, not least the embarrassment of learning that colleagues even less productive than he were pocketing even more improbable sums.

But vanity had nothing to do with it, going by Holmes' comment to Crikey!:

"If the courts decide this is public information then it will be released and there’s nothing we can do about it, but I’d prefer it to be kept private as I’m sure 98% of Australians would. We will accept it with as good grace as we can and we’ll see what News Limited make of it. My prediction is they’ll make it seem we’re absurdly overpaid and that would make it a less attractive place to work."

Notice the nobility of Holmes' spirit -- or is it mere self-serving logic? Letting taxpayers know the ABC pays fantastic, over-market rates is going to stop people applying for jobs. Really? Having drawn his sustenance solely and for so long from the public purse, Holmes must have felt no need to grasp the most fundamental principle of the labour market: good pay attracts many applicants. Then again, why expect coherence from a man who believes 18 years of flat-lining global temperatures are irrefutable proof of runaway global warming?

That was then. Today, Holmes has cause to take a diametrically different view of privacy. Writing in the Fairfax Press (where else?), the retiree defends the New Matilda's pillaging of Professor Barry Spurr's private emails and subsequent publication:

"It seems to me a lay-down case of a breach of privacy justified by the public interest."

In the same column, after a wan attempt to draw what he evidently believes to be a telling comparison between the violation of Spurr's privacy and Climategate's exposure of warmist venality and academic malpractice, Holmes also says:

"See? It all depends where you're coming from."

Yes, Jonathan, it does indeed.

UPDATE: Via Twitter, Holmes swears the above item is "BS" and simpers about "context". He was talking to Crikey! about the ABC's attitude, not his own, he swears from the lofty heights of a sophist's stilts

holmes tweet2

Well, here are his quotes in their original, er, context. That's a big mob of first-person singular pronouns and opinion for someone who now swears he was simply putting the ABC's corporate perspective.

But don't expect to see Crikey! taken to task. When The Age (circulation: 113,000) folds, what other outlet but Crikey! will be left to showcase selective, self-serving piffle? No point in burning bridges.

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A jihadi's pedigree

The lineage of the Islamist killed while attempting to shoot-up Canada's parliament  represents at least two of multiculturalism's twisted strands:

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board.

That's according to the Globe & Mail, whose headline takes understatement to new heights.



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Fairfax book value

full disclosureWhat a particular coy tagline at the foot of the Opinion piece in today's SMH by Jennifer Dougherty, who sings the praises of "young adult fiction" and the authors whose books variously explore "privilege and gender", the joys of bisexuality for amorously ambidextrous adolescents and "coming out" as gay for those who kick only with one foot. Poor old Biggles, one gathers, might reclaim some bookstore shelf space if, and only if, he were to address his concern about weight problems by forging a deep and loving relationship with his tail gunner.

Which titles get added to school reading lists and why is not, however, the intriguing aspect of Dougherty's gush about the books teenagers are encouraged to absorb. Far more intriguing is that tag line, which describes the column's author only as "a book editor with a major independent publishing house."

Indeed she is, the major publishing house being Allen & Unwin, where Dougherty is the "children's and YA editor."

And golly gosh, what a coincidence that is! Of the seven titles hailed as masterworks, she just happens to publish five of them.

Good for Dougherty and good for Allen & Unwin, who get the sort of publicity and promotion that money just can't buy.

But pity Fairfax shareholders (even more than usual) , who have foregone the revenue they might have received from a paid ad.

And pity, too, the unfortunate Fairfax functionary who must now square the circle of the tag line's curious lack of candour with the SMH Code of Ethics, especially the last bit about disclosing "all relevant circumstances under which a story has been written or edited or any other conflicts."

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Colebatch short-listed

colebatch coverHal Colebatch’s book, Australia’s Secret War published by Quadrant Books, has been short-listed for the Australian History Prize in the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. One of this country’s biggest-selling books in the past year, it has been reprinted five times and has now sold almost 10,000 copies.

The book tells the shocking, true, but until now largely suppressed and hidden story of the war waged from 1939 to 1945 by a number of key Australian trade unions against their own society and against the men and women of their own country’s fighting forces at the time of its gravest peril.

Between 1939 and 1945 virtually every major Australian warship, including at different times its entire force of cruisers, was targeted by strikes, go-slows and sabo­tage. Australian soldiers operating in New Guinea and the Pacific Islands went without food, radio equipment and munitions, and Aus­tralian warships sailed to and from combat zones without ammunition, because of strikes at home. Planned rescue missions for Australian prisoners-of-war in Borneo were abandoned because wharf strikes left rescuers without heavy weapons. Officers had to restrain Australian and American troops from killing striking trade unionists.

Hal Colebatch began working on this project in the mid-1990s. His conclusions are based on a broad range of sources, from letters and first-person interviews he conducted with ex-servicemen, to official and unofficial documents from the archives of World War II.

Buy it here online and it ships immediately: http://quadrant.org.au/shop/

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The family way

steynMark Steyn on the culture wars and the left's greatest triumph:

"The most consequential act of state ownership in the 20th century western world was not the nationalization of airlines or the nationalization of railways or the nationalization of health care, but the nationalization of the family.

I owe that phrase to Professor R Vaidyanathan at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. He’s a bit of a chippy post-imperialist, and he’s nobody’s idea of a right-winger, but he’s absolutely right about this.

It’s the defining fact about the decline of the West: Once upon a time, in Canada, Britain, Europe and beyond, ambitious leftists nationalized industries — steel, coal, planes, cars, banks — but it was such a self-evident disaster that it’s been more or less abandoned, at least by those who wish to remain electorally viable.

On the other hand, the nationalization of the family proceeds apace"

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