Make a Difference

Day: May 1, 2009

Rudd’s Hypocrisy – China Vs Fiji

Fiji is the new Burma, a ‘virtual dictatorship’ (whatever that means) according to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

But if Rudd is so concerned about dictatorship, freedom of the press and the rule of law, why is he is so jolly chummy with China?

Frank Bainimarama asked today for a three way meeting with Kevin Rudd and NZ PM John Key. Rudd flatly refused to consider a meeting, saying ‘The people of Fiji deserve better.’

So do the people of Australia, but that is hardly the point. What counts is doing whatever can be done to help one the smallest nations in the world maintain a society which is open and free and fair to all its citizens.

Fair to all its citizens is the point at issue. The constitution of Fiji entrenches a racist system in which nearly half of the population are and forever will be second class citizens in their own country. It is a system designed to ensure that indigenous Fijians always have control of executive and legislative power.

The votes of non-indigenous Fijians do not have the same value. No non-indigenous Fijian, regardless of where he or she was born, or how long his or family has resided in Fiji, can ever be president.

It is all very well to talk about the importance of the rule of law. But what do you do when the law is bad?

South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth in 1961 in part because of protests about a system that reduced the rights of a substantial part of its population on the basis of race. Why has a similar system been considered acceptable in Fiji?

The answer is that Frank Bainimarama, and surprisingly, a number of the old ruling elite, including the Mara and Ganilau families, do not consider it acceptable. They believe that the long term stability and prosperity of Fiji, not to mention natural justice for all its people, demands a consitution in which rights of citizens are not determined by race.

Changes to remove the racism from Fiji’s constitution were impossible under former PM Laisenia Qarase. But if a vote was taken now, with the existing constitution still in place, with its different valuing of votes depending on race, Laisenia Qarase would almost certainly be returned to power.

Frank Bainimarama has committed to elections in 2014, saying it will take that long to make the changes needed, both on paper and people’s hearts, for truly fair elections to be possible.

Bainimarama may be mistaken. He may even be mis-stating his motives. But it is too early to make those judgements, and he is right at least about this: the existing system in Fiji is wrong and will take time to change.

In the meantime, he and the people of Fiji deserve do deserve better. They deserve a fair hearing. They deserve a chance to have their say. They deserve support and guidance as they try to undo a racist sytem and replace it with something just and open.

They certainly deserve better than shallow judgments and threats from popularist leaders like Kevin Rudd, who while condemning Bainimarama are happy to cuddle up to China.

‘Lie To Me’ Beats Obama

He he.

I noted a couple of days ago that Fox was sticking to its usual programming instead of screening President Obama’s 100th day press conference.

I’ve been waiting for the ratings results, and here they are, courtesy of JammieWearing Fool:

FOX  Lie to Me 2.4/7 2.1/7 7.88
CW  Top Model 1.8/6 2.1/7 4.00
ABC  Obama 1.6/5 1.4/5 6.12
CBS  Obama 1.5/5 0.9/3 6.01
NBC  Obama 1.6/5 1.1/4 6.68
UNI  Obama 1.3/4 1.3/4 3.224

Beaten by ‘Lie To Me’ and ‘Top Model.’

I think there’s a message in that for all of us.

Climate Change – We Don’t Need No Steenking Debates

Three brief notes.

Lord Monckton was invited by Rep. Joe Barton, the senior Republican on the US Energy & Commerce Committee, to speak alongside Al Gore at a global warming policy meeting in Washington.

Democrat members decided this was not such a good idea, and Monckton’s invitation was rescinded.  Cowards.

Also from Climate Depot:

Al Gore has claimed that climate sceptics are akin to people who believe the moon landings were faked.

Inconvenient truth alert:  Moonwalker and Award-Winning NASA Astronaut/Geologist Jack Schmitt is a global warming skeptic.

“The ‘global warming scare’ is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making. It has no place in the (Geological) Society’s activities,” Schmitt, who flew on the Apollo 17 mission, said in 2008.

 “As a geologist, I love Earth observations. But it is ridiculous to tie this objective to a “consensus” that humans are causing global warming when human experience, geologic data and history, and current cooling can argue otherwise. ‘Consensus,’ as many have said, merely represents the absence of definitive science,” Schmitt explained.

And finally: I think my ‘Profits of Doom’ is the best simple introduction to global warming science.

But Joanne Nova’s Skeptics’ Handbook is entertaining reading, and a very useful guide to debate with Chicken Littles.

The key question to keep asking is, ‘What is the evidence of any correlation between human activity and changes in global climate?’

There isn’t any. Computer games (sorry, climate models) do not count as evidence.

Catherine Zeta-Jones = Susan Boyle?

Catherine Zeta-Jones has asked to play Susan Boyle in a film version of Susan’s life.

I thought this was bizarre at first. But when you see photos of the two women side by side, it might just be possible.

Catherine is an intelligent and competent actor, so she might be a good choice.

Footage of Susan Boyle singing I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables has become the most viewed YouTube clip of all time with more than 100 million hits.

Quite co-incidentally (unless Susan Boyle is a secret capitalist weapon), 100 million is approximately the number of mentally ill people in China.

WHO: ‘All Humanity Under Threat’ From Swine Flu

The World Health Organisation has warned that “all of humanity is under threat” from a potential swine flu pandemic and called for “global solidarity” to combat the virus. The plea came as the WHO raised the swine flu threat awareness level to 5 out of 6, indicating that the world is on the brink of a pandemic.

Ten people have died. Only one outside of Mexico – and he or she was a small child just over the Mexican border. That’s sad for them and their families. But ‘All humanity under threat?’ There’s no evidence so far that this strain of Swine Flu is any more infectious or any more deadly than ordinary flu.

I’m more inclined to think it was WHO funding that was under threat.

There are two major problems with these constant dire warnings about minimal or non-existent threats.

Firstly, funds are diverted from real problems that are genuinely causing harm now, into dealing with imaginary problems that just might maybe cause harm at some time in the future.

Secondly, when the WHO and the IPCC cry wolf in an effort to get more funding and more influence, they discredit themselves and the UN. OK, who cares? But they also discredit science, and that does matter.

Sooner or later there will be a real crisis – one which demands real, rapid action. A strain of Ebola which is capable of airborne transmission, for example. The risk is that when the real crisis does arrive, people will be so jaded by the constant shouts of alarm that they will disregard the calls to take action that really will be needed.

The sky is not falling. Let’s just get on with making a difference in ways that matter now.

Clean water for everyone, and stopping TB and Malaria would be a good place to start. These three things could be done now with less money than is being wasting on the fairy tale of ‘combatting climate change.’


Perhaps ‘Swine Flew’ could be the WHO’s new theme song:

Up on my feet and moving
Got a strange new runner´s high
See me sprouting eagle´s wings
This pig is gonna fly…

(Look, up in the sky!!! It´s a bird?! It´s a plane?! It´s Superman!
No man, it´s not Superman. It´s ONE BAD PIG!)

Swine flew

Sex On The Lawn At Windsor

A couple have been arrested for having sex on the lawn at Windsor Castle. They have been cautioned for ‘outraging public decency.’

The pair, in their early thirties, stripped on a private grass bank at the castle, where Her Majesty was in residence.  And went at it as if they were in their own bedroom.

Most of public present at the time seem to have been amused and entertained rather than outraged. Tourists filmed the couple for twenty minutes, and Royal Protection Squad officers also managed to get a reasonable view from the palace windows.

Apparently there was a bit of encouragement from both tourists and guards.

The really outrageous thing, of course, is that the couple ‘even ignored the Please Keep Off The Grass signs.’

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