Monday, October 29, 2018

Keep Out.

Perhaps America needs some friendly Pacific Islands to 'store' refugees. The news - now that the Kavanaugh bizzo is over and the fake bombs bizzo is over - is of a 'caravan' (odd term when there are no camels in sight) of 'refugees walking through Mexico en route to the USA. It is a bit like the experience of Europe with thousands of odd-bods (mostly young men) walking past or through Italian and Greek villages going to Germany and Britain. Oz made a lucrative deal (listen up the Donald) with Nauru and stopped further traffic of such 'human Trafficker assisted' faux refugees to Oz. 

The political fall-out may last a while of course, but perhaps it is worth it. Instead of 'Sanctuary Cities', perhaps the US could have some Sanctuary Islands. Heck, they could even be purpose built, like the Chinese are doing.
Some of the refugee children still

on Nauru in May. About 50 remain.

You overseas customers may recall that the Socialist Government in Oz at the time (we call them 'Labour') invented the idea of 'detention centres' in far off and largely difficult to access places. 

Islands in the Pacific.  

The Conservative Government subsequently inherited them, which allows all the socialist ratbags  to criticise the conservatives for cruelty, especially against all the 'Cheeeeldren'.  All sorts of horror stories are faked-up for public consumption.

1200 people of all ages drowned during the mass illegal 'asylum'-seeking journey across the seas to Oz. Bringing children on such a journey, guided by human traffickers, is unconscionable

I have heard some in the bars refer to the baby Christ being taken by Joseph and Mary to seek asylum in Egypt long ago. Helping refugees is a 'christian thing to do, we hear. But they did not travel though many countries to seek the best 'benefits', and they went home as soon as possible.

You might also recall that our last Prime Minister, Malcontent Turdball, actually conned the outgoing US President Obama into a committment to take some of those on our detention islands. The Donald was mightily peeved.

We rarely get to hear factual stories, so it was a pleasant surprise to have Renee Viellaris turn up in the Tavern to give a few. 
Facts of the Nauru asylum-seeker debate
ABOUT 50 asylum-seekers on Nauru have turned down resettlement in the United States.
Why on earth would they do that?
The answer is simple.
They want to come to Australia and are encouraged by doctors, advocates and others to turn down anything except Australia.
But this report is not about emotion, but one of fact.
This is not about having a heart or being heartless, but one that dispels myths.
Australians are compassionate, and there is growing community and political momentum to get children off Nauru.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton wants all refugee children removed from Nauru and has been working towards that goal. 
But before a blowtorch is applied to the politics, here are the facts.
● Asylum-seekers on Nauru – and most of them have been found to be refugees – are not detained. They are considered Nauruan residents and can come and go as they please. They are not locked up after dark.
Asylum-seekers such as this father and son are free to roam on Nauru. They are not locked up. 
● Asylum-seeker residents on Nauru have a 20-year visa.
● The Coalition Government has spent a lot of money – tens of millions of dollars – to provide quality medical services. They do this because they do not want the asylum-seekers to come to Australia, because once they come here, they launch legal proceedings to stay .
● There are about 650 asylum-seekers on Nauru and 65 health workers – 
a ratio of about one to 10. 
In some parts of Queensland, including towns with thousands of people, residents have to travel for hours to see a doctor. 
The access to medical treatment is better on Nauru than in some parts of Australia.
● There are two mental health team leaders, 15 mental health nurses, three psychologists, two psychiatrists, three counsellors, one mental health manager, and two torture and trauma counsellors. There is one clinical child psychologist, one clinical team leader, one developmental occupational therapist, and one social worker.
● Intelligence agencies warn that if asylum-seekers get to Australia, people-smugglers will be encouraged to send more human cargo back into dangerous seas.
● There are about 50 children on Nauru. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton wants them all removed from the island, and over the years has reduced their numbers. But, perversely, his success can undo the success of stopping the boats.
This is recent evidence to a Senate Estimates hearing from Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo.
Pezzullo is not some Coalition stooge. He worked for former Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans. He was also deputy chief of staff to then Labor opposition leader Kim Beazley.
He has worked as a public servant for Labor and Coalition governments, and he takes seriously the impartiality that is demanded of his high post. He does not play favourites but ensures he knows his brief.
It is uncomfortable for people to accept this – and some will refuse to accept it is happening – but here is Pezzullo’s recent evidence, noting it is an offence to mislead.
Asked about people on Nauru self-harming, he cited “people ingesting detergent, for instance, in order to cause a sufficient degree of internal symptoms”.
“There has also been the swallowing of taped blades and the like. We invest a lot of resources into ensuring we keep them as well as we can.
“Upon transference to Australia – and there’s something in the order of over 600 people here on temporary transfers – the law states quite clearly that when their period of treatment is concluded, they’re expected to return.  
So what about New Zealand? 
NZ offered to take some of the people off Nauru. 
Pezzullo has warned that sending asylum-seekers to New Zealand without amending the law to prevent them from coming to Australia is a “live risk”.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has privately told the Australian Government 
she doesn’t want to take refugees who are single men.
I have not heard cries yet of "Sexism" or "Misandry".  It seems even Prime Ministers can make discriminatory statements about men. 

Would she get away with it if she said she didn't want single women?  There are far fewer single women amongst them, that's why. 
“So we try to make that clear to people. We don’t want to create a situation where people think medical transference to Australia is a pathway to residency, because that could incentivise these kinds of perverse behaviours.”
That means the Government does not want people purposely hurting themselves so they can come to Australia and then launch legal action to stay here.
Speak to any Defence Force member about what their lives were like before Operation Sovereign Borders and you’ll understand why so many grapple with life and the costs of their work.
They speak of the horrors of pulling dead kids from the ocean, and parts of their bodies too, including the arms and legs of babies and toddlers.
This is an emotional debate, but one side has been forgotten, and it is because of the success of Operation Sovereign Borders.

The aforementioned PM Turdball represented the electorate of Wentworth, before he left his post.  That is an upmarket suburb of Sydney. The people there have elected a Green-Socialist Independant in his place. They all support bringing the refugees to Oz.

I know exactly where they should be moved to.

Turdball was never a Conservative. He tried to get a slot with Labour but they would not have him.

But of course such people are always keen to virtue-signal. Come to doing something is another matter.

America will have the same problems. Their 'sanctuary' cities are run by such people who are keen to take in refugees just as long as they do not wander through the gated communities of the celebs and nonebs, like say, Katy Perry. 

But if, say, a wall is seen by the Donald as a better solution than an Island, good luck to him. India and Pakistan could give him some practical ideas. They have had one for decades.

Keeping them out in the first instance is the best idea. 

But I still think the Don should consider islands. 

Like Oz did.

Have a drink and a think.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

How Poor Can you Be

There is a constant whine one hears from beyond the Tavern's hedges. A constant demand that the 'Rich' should pay more. This despite the 'top' 2.7% paying 26% of the income tax take, and the next 17% paying 35% between them. That's 60% Those outside the hedge doing the whining pay two thirds of sod all. The middle income folk of Oz pay the rest. But still the whining continues.  Even those in the middle complain. This old Tavern Keeper is counted in the bottom numbers and whilst being as poor as the proverbial churchmouse, I don't complain. I render sod all to Caesar on principle. Apart from the horrendous tax rate on pipe tobacco ! 

Oz is a wealthy nation. According to Wiki, when we look at personal wealth per adult we come 3rd just below Iceland and Switzerland.  The UK comes along in 12th and the good old home of capitalism, the USA a mere 25th. And we have the best beaches too.

But we have a 'Progressive' income tax regime (like many western nations) where the more you earn the more you pay. Not just in real terms of a flat rate but the unreal increasing rate that penalises effort, experience and value.

On average, each Australian has net assets (assets less liabilities) of just over $410,000, an increase of $9000 over 12 months, according to a recent report authored by CommSec's chief economist, Craig James, and senior economist, Ryan Felsman. Over five years, per capita wealth is up by more than $100,000 – or 36 per cent.  Not mine though. It is mostly housing.

But folk still complain.

Grace Collier had some things to say in the Oz bar the other evening. Grace is a regular columnist with the Australian. Her early years were spent in the Labour movement, before she started her own industrial relations consulting business. Grace has written for other publications including the AFR, and contributed with specialist chapters in several books. She was considered as a 'lefty' and often invited to the ABC's Q&A panel where she was vocal and incisive, until she dared to criticise Julia Gillard's cleavage and was henceforth branded a 'right-winger'. 
Australians are wealthy yet complain of unfairness
Australia is a peculiar place to observe right now, and the future isn’t looking terribly motivating, to be honest. Here we sit with the highest median household wealth ($191,453) and the second highest average adult wealth ($411,060) in the world, yet the population as a whole appears grizzling and aggrieved. 
Our operating platform seems to be built on a grand collective delusion where feelings of impoverishment and anxiety are rife and government is expected to solve every problem.
Our public narrative is of common deprivation, unfairness, discrimination and a shameful lack of social justice. “Bullying” is one of our favourite words and the accusation of bullying is tossed around with childish abandon.
We are told that our wages are terribly low and that working people are given a very raw deal. Inequality is reaching alarming levels, and rising, apparently. There are a bunch of greedy rich people who cluster together somewhere under the category of “business”; these scroungers are living off our wealth, which they stole right from under our noses.
If it wasn’t for the rich people taking our money, we would all be so much richer. We regard the wealthy with sneering envy and we must march in the streets to “change the rules”.
Our government of course, has the power to fix everything and this is what it must do, and will, without any blowback. The best way to fix everything and make us feel better is to take more off the rich and hand it around.
With our anticipated change of federal government next year, there will be a swag of new taxes to redistribute wealth, and the implementation of an agenda that purports to rival Gough Whitlam’s.
People seem oblivious to the scale of this planned tax take and its implications. 
There seems to be no comprehension that it might increase the cost of living further 
.....and make getting ahead even harder for those who start out with nothing.
Or perhaps there is awareness of the plans but a dumb belief that the taxes will only ever be paid by someone else, so it doesn’t matter at all.
It seems to me that government is the cause of so many problems, and most of the time we should be calling for less government, not more. Our high cost of living, for example, is caused by excessive taxation and unhelpful government interference.
Three levels of government costs a lot to run, and our working population is probably not big enough to do this without feeling stretched.
Despite our obvious wealth and good fortune, we seem collectively determined to act like victims who need government to help us out with every expense.
Perhaps because we demand it, and perhaps because they want to remain relevant, politicians are always trying to solve the problems we say plague us. The way these problems are solved doesn’t require much thought, there is a tried and true formula here even a complete drongo could follow.
To solve problems in Australia, whether they are real or imagined, we have royal commissions or new taxes, and sometimes both.
Too many people are obese? The answer then must be a tax. Not an income tax on obese people, of course (that would be too effective, if somewhat mean), but a tax on the evil influence (business) that has made the people buy sugary drinks (the bastards).
Too many young people cannot afford to buy houses? Nothing to do with the fact that taxes and duties already take around 40 per cent of the cost of a house, hence making it far too expensive. 
The problem is all the people who are buying homes (the greedy investors). It is a bizarre and simplistic idea, yet it has been accepted without pushback; if one person has 10 houses it means that another person cannot have one.
Our opposition wants to curb negative gearing by restricting the use of it to new houses or apartments, allegedly to help the young enter the market. This is going to make housing more affordable, they say, although this doesn’t mean that prices will drop, and it also doesn’t mean that prices will rise.
So prices will stay the same yet houses will become more affordable and everyone will be happy. Clear as mud?
Young people generally buy apartments or new house-and-land packages on the outskirts of our cities, and when the changes kick in they will be competing for these homes with the entire investment sector. 
Won’t the increased demand for new builds push the price up significantly?
If the price of new builds is artificially elevated by government interference, which occurred as a result of our deluded whining, then this will be a spectacular own goal for the people of this country. 
This policy is the perfect example of government stepping in to fix an imaginary problem that a small section of the community has complained about quite loudly
The fallout is likely to not hurt the rich in the least, and no doubt the pain will be felt by those least able to bear it.
"Hello. We are from the Government and we are here to help you. Just tick the box if you are an Aboriginal. Tick that box there if you are transgender. Disabled and lesbian? Have we got a deal for you. Ah, a Muslim on Centrelink with three wives and 8 kids? Boy have you hit the jackpot. Need an interpreter?"

Drink up folks. There are plenty who have nothing to whine about, just like you, but they have far louder voices, and can find something. 


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Paradise Losing It.

I chose to live in Tasmania. It is a stunningly beautiful place with a smallish population so it is never crowded. For a comparison think of Ireland which is about the same size but we have just half a million people here. spread out so that the hundreds of beautiful beaches rarely have more than a few dozen on them even on the sunniest of days. And there are a lot of sunny days here. Ireland is cold and foggy, wet and frankly fit only for the Irish and Monks. We have Monks here too, but also a lot of quite nice folk and..... some nutters.

We also have 'Laws'.  For instance in Tasmania it is illegal to 'discriminate'. 'They' passed a law. Yes, it is a nutter's Parliament here.

Now to you and me and the customers in the Tavern, discrimination is what helps us to avoid drinking foul water and choose instead fine ales and wines. It is a mature, adult, human attribute. A skill if you like. We make Judgements, which so far is not illegal. So far. We do not allow nasty buggers in the bars either. They stand out there beyond the hedge claiming I am discriminating against them.  They do not control their behaviour, that's why. 

Some are morons.

There are a raft of things one cannot discriminate about including 'disability'. This allows total morons, mentally deficients, to stand for parliament and get elected down in the Town. To not vote for them is clear evidence of bigotry. 

Someone who cannot grasp and accept even their own sex gets to determine laws compelling people to not accept their's either. 

And there are others who disguise their own moronic ideas who get elected Speaker by those who make no attempt at disguise at all.
Sane Janet

We 'experiment' here in Tas. It has been noticed, and today we had a notable lady speak about it in the Oz room over a fine drink. Not everyone in Tas is a moron, pbviously. Inside the Tavern is a safe distance from the nutters. Janet Albrechtsen is an opinion columnist with The Australian. She has worked as a solicitor in commercial law, and attained a Doctorate of Juridical Studies from the University of Sydney. Sane lady too.
From a safe distance we’ll watch Tasmania’s gender folly fail

When it comes to Tasmania’s plan to become the first state to erase a baby’s gender from a birth certificate, please doff your cap to our federalist forefathers. They deserve more credit than we often give them. 
The federal system set down in our Constitution means one state can conduct a social experiment while the rest of the country looks on and learns.
The federal structure has the other added bonus of offering a shorter distance between the rulers and the ruled, at least on matters reserved to the states. That won’t save a state from foolish politicians, but as a matter of democratic will we cannot fault the gender-bender politics of Tasmania’s parliament. If most voters cannot agree on who should govern their state, instead opting for a motley crew of politicians more interested in social experiments than economic policy, well then, that’s democracy.
People get the politicians they deserve. And in Tasmania, the Liberal Hodgman government relies on the casting vote of a Speaker elected to the position with Greens and Labor support. 
The original bill is sensibly aimed at ending the need for transgender people to divorce before they can change their gender on official documents. The Greens and Labor then went further, pushing for amendments to remove gender from birth certificates, with Speaker Sue Hickey’s support.
Sue Hickey still thinks she's a queen.

If the bill passes, watch that other magnificent part of democracy: blowback from voters when politicians overstep the mark. And people in mainland states have the luxury of watching this social experiment unfold and the chance to harness sensible arguments so we do not follow Tasmania’s folly.

Where do you start when it comes to talking about sex and gender? I tried delving into the academic world for some clues. 
That was a mistake. 
I discovered a morass of ivory tower posturing, confusion and weird new words meant to uncover some old and apparently persistent evil. Calls to erase sex and gender as a way to topple the white/cis/hetero/patriarchal supremacy and normativity sound better suited to a horror movie than reasoned argument.
I bumped into feminists who think that transgender people who alter their gender reinforce sexist gender roles. And others who say that transgender people challenge oppressive gender norms. I found some academics who think that if you were a man, you experienced male privilege, so it is impossible for you to be a real woman. I found mind-numbing academic references to phallocractic technology and “the transsexually constructed lesbian-feminist”.

I discovered intra-feminist conflicts between women, including lesbians who feel threatened by trans activism. And I was struck by the many, many accusations of transphobia by those who brook no disagreement with their activism and their agenda.
After that entanglement with feminist theories and trans activism, I was still interested in trying to work through Tasmania’s dalliance with sex and gender politics. 
So, I headed closer to the ground. I read hundreds of comments from readers of this newspaper (Australian) that followed the report that Tasmania may expunge gender from birth certificates. Most of the readers expressed tolerance, respect for human dignity, thoughtful ideas, a real distaste for discrimination and a great deal of common sense.

Their sentiments exposed a glaring chasm with the unintelligible tosh and intolerance common to many academics. So allow me to mention what Edmund Burke night call the gritty wisdom of unlettered men and women.

One reader, Pamela, said this is another step to take away identity — and notice it is by those people who routinely sup at the table of identity politics. She said she struggled to understand people who wish to dominate others. “If some wish to omit gender of their child (from a birth certificate), OK, but others should be allowed to do what they wish.” Many many readers echoed Pamela’s belief in freedom of choice for parents of newborns.

Many recognised the difference between sex as a biological reality and gender as a social identity that for some will differ from their chromosomal mix. One writer suggested that we keep sex on birth certificates but discard gender.
That was echoed by Sandra, who suggested we “send ‘gender’ back to the grammarians and the ‘gender studies’ departments in the ivory towers”.

Gizelle saw the bright side to expunging gender from birth certificates: 
“this could be the end of the virtue-signalling for female quotas”. 
Dream on. 
More likely the same people who want gender banned are likely “the same people, in a different forum, calling for gender-related targets for business and politicians as well”, said another reader.

Here we go again, said Howard. “A vocal minority not satisfied with their win on same-sex marriage.” 
Barbara agreed, asking: 
why must we strip the majority of people of an important part of their identity to accommodate the agenda of a tiny minority? 
They both have a point.

The plan by the Greens and Labor to erase gender from birth certificate is part of a broader plan to erase gender identity altogether, or at least make it mighty difficult to include mention of gender if you are just a woman or a man.

The proposed amendments will prohibit the registrar of births, deaths and marriages from including information about the gender of a child, unless required by a court or an applicable federal law. A person over 16 may record their gender by statutory declaration. A child under 16 years of age would need a declaration by at least one parent and the child’s own express wish, with a magistrate deciding any disputes.

The public reasons from LGBTI activists for these changes do not match their private agenda. What LGBTI advocate Rodney Croome fails to explain is how it is discriminatory to offer parents a choice to record the sex of their newborn on a birth certificate.
Banning gender on a birth certificate does not encourage tolerance and inclusion, but stripping people of their gender at birth cements a social experiment aimed at encouraging gender fluidity.
MoronO'Conner and her Daughson.

Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said the current laws require that transgender people undergo invasive reproductive surgery if they want to change their birth certificate to reflect their identity.
O'Connor, an 'ex' druggy and looney has a son who thinks he is a girl. Mum agrees of course. He very likely got the idea from her. I don't know. But Mum reckons that if this law isn't passed her son would have to have a hysterectomy to become a legal woman !! 

Yes. She is that moronic.

People voted her into Parliament. Morons. 
If that is the case, have a debate about that rather than using a legal sledgehammer to remove gender from all birth certificates.
Transgender activist Martine Delaney says removing gender from birth certificates won’t harm anyone.

How can she know that? If a man is able to pass himself off as woman using a genderless birth certificate to gain entry to women’s spaces, or ends up in a women’s prison, how can Delaney know there are no risks to women’s safety?

In the debate over sex, gender and the law, women’s groups are increasingly arguing for caution and consideration of all groups, not just a transgender minority.

Delaney’s intervention is a neat reminder of her illiberal approach to open debate about same-sex marriage when she raced off to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner because she was offended by a pamphlet from the Catholic Church that set out its teaching on marriage.
Just in passing, we do not yet have an Anti-Murder Commissioner or an Anti-Pig Nicking Commissioner. Not yet.

Expect the same intolerance with more confected claims of hurt feelings, hate speech and transphobia. That is the experience from Britain where far-reaching changes allow for self-identification, possibly with no time periods or medical advice needed. 
If John wakes up one morning and decides he is Jane, he can self-identify as a woman for legal purposes before the sun sets. None of this is to mock the vast majority of transgender people who endure excruciating mental and physical anguish about their sex and their gender. 
But to suggest there are no dangers in a radical social shift is like believing in pixies.

To shut down those who wish to raise questions, now a routine tactic among some trans activists in Britain, is worse than ignorance. It is intolerance. Writing in The Spectator earlier this year, Judith Green from Woman’s Place UK outlined physical threats, social media harassment and hate-based vilification aimed at her group and any venue where they meet to discuss the consequences of new gender laws on women, children and society as a whole.

Last week, the Speaker of Tasmania’s lower house, who will decide whether gender is erased from birth certificates in that state, said the world is changing. Hickey said we need to be open to considering things that might discriminate or harm someone. 
It works both ways. 
As one reader of this newspaper wrote last week in response, “in the not too distant future I can imagine a world where it will be almost impossible to get through a day without offending someone, or some group”.

Note again the contrast between the live-and-let-live sentiments of many readers of this newspaper and the freedom-loathing agendas of academics, bureaucracies and politicians.

Language police in Victoria ­expect public servants to use gender-neutral pronouns. Language police in the ACT Labor caucus want to remove all references to Mr, Miss, Mrs or Ms in parliament. In some Australian primary and secondary schools, social media activists funded by Facebook are instructing students that gender identity exists on a ­spectrum.

And now social engineers in Tasmania want to erase gender altogether from birth certificates
no choice, no freedom to differ, just one-size-fits-all genderless babies.
That is for the babies that actually get born. Tasmania's laws encourage women to kill any baby of theirs that is under 9 months old and in the womb if they 'feel' like it. The Laws fine and jail anyone that dares to offer help to those women, who clearly are as desperately in need of help as Hickey, Delanay and O'Connor.
These days, the political divide is less about Right and Left and more about those who believe in greater freedom and those who don’t. History reminds us that human dignity rests on people having more, not less, freedom.
Janet rightly points to the 'experimental' issue in the ability of States to make their own Laws, lunatic as those laws might be. The upside is that other States can follow suit if it suits them. So Tasmania leads. It has led the way in a number of social laws that other States have copied and enhanced. And a downside.

Abortion and the draconian punishment of those who would offer help, started in Tasmania. Victoria, the ACT, NSW and now Queensland have or are to follow too. 

The electors are just as culpable, in my mind. We elect morons. It only takes one or two. Bad apples ruin barrels. Moronic legislators ruin Parliaments.

Drink up. Weep in your glass.

Don't be a moron. It isn't a good idea.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018


No sooner had one splendid Mexican Spanish-singing lady entertain us and depart the Tavern to applause , than we had some Italians turn up seeking fame too. This time they insisted on bringing the Tango flavour to the dance floor. They may have been put up to it by a mob that operates in Hobart that teaches the dance to the local farm-boys and girls. Tasmania is becoming a tad cosmopolitan. 

Not that I am complaining.  Despite my total inability and inclination to dance, I do like those who do it expertly. The only issue I have with the tango is the dancers' insistence on careering through the bars knocking tables out of the way.

The Italian mob? They all seem to have 'day jobs' independently but get together to make music for sultry girls and rather 'mano' boys. They call themselves The Voga Experience

There were four of them as the three main characters were joined by a chap who could be their dad. 

Giulia Baldo  (Singer),  was born in Verona in 1993.
I like the voice. It has all the hallmarks of smokey rooms and bars. She'd fit well in the Tavern.

Yeye Dj (Deejay - Producer), was born in Verona in 1978. He is a well-known Veronese DJ on the scene since 1994. He seems intent on his electronics, very like someone close to home.  

Filadelfo Castro (Guitarist - Producer - Arranger) was born in Como in 1976. He seems to be the serious musician of the troupe. 

He studied classical guitar with Maestro Guido Fichtner and modern guitar attending internships and seminars with internationally renowned musicians: Frank Gambale, Pat Metheney, John Scofield, Steff Burns, Mike Stern, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jim Kelly and many others. He publishes 4 didactic books dedicated to the guitar with the Ricordi Bmg (The scales for modern guitar, Fundamental rhythmic technique, The encyclopedia of Virtuosism 1 and 2.)

They ought not to be confused with Voga Furniture (the reputation of which has taken a bit of a tumble of late) although I am pretty sure I have seen some of this talented musical trio's latest offering used in adverts on the TV.

See if you can guess what could be being advertised in this video.  Or perhaps parts parsed out to stand alone with a 'product'. I think the World Cup, Coffee and Furniture would be a safe bet. Maybe flooring?

To the music !! (er.... this is just one of several versions. I shall leave you to chase down others).

I really liked all of that. Great fun. Great timing. That Tasmanian mob, by the way, should you be in town and want to have a go, is, the Tasmanian Club de Tango Inc. You could look them up:

Meanwhile we need to remember that the Tango is not Italian. It is Argentinian.

Argentine tango is a musical genre and accompanying social dance originating at the end of the 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. It typically has a 2 4 or 4 4 rhythmic time signature, and two or three parts repeating in patterns such as ABAB or ABCAC. 

Its lyrics are marked by nostalgia, sadness, and laments for lost love.

The typical orchestra has several melodic instruments and is given a distinctive air by the small button accordion called the bandoneon. It has continued to grow in popularity and spread internationally, adding modern elements without replacing the older ones. 

It is a feature in films. It is danced in ballrooms, in the streets, in old buildings, in daylight, at night, with super-couth people and the very rough mob. It is very watchable although the dancers themselves may or may not give a hoot who sees them.

Where it is danced in the streets (mainly, I suspect, predominantly in Argentina rather than the Hobart waterfront) crowds will always gather to enjoy. 

Here are Jessica and Colin, not very South American sounding, strutting their stuff at a fancy do. The ladies seem to be impressed.

A question came to mind watching that. What did she do with the glass of wine ? Someone taught her sleight of hand?

Anyway who better to teach such a tactile dance to a nice girl, than a blind man who knows his way around (with a bit of help). From the film 'Scent of a Woman',  blind Frank (Al Pacino) teaches the beautiful and charming Donna (Gabrielle Anwar) how to dance the tango.
It is enough to tempt a portly old Knight to leave his armour off, put his Tavern Keeper towel down and get some lessons. (But not from Frank. Donna when she has got it buttoned down).

But don't hold me to it.

I shall have a drink to cool off !!

I'll pour some for you too.


Monday, October 22, 2018

The Civil Decline of America

Civil War was a topic in the Tavern a while back and customers have been watching and waiting, praying and drinking deep. Are we to see such tumultuous events in the next few years in western countries?  

We sit and bask in summer sunshine here in Oz while in the USA the clouds gather and a winter approaches. Seasons are not confined to climate: nations have their seasons too. Just look at the long season of prosperity and progress in Britain several centuries ago. Gone. America too has had a spectacular season for which it can be thankful, but the price is soon to be paid. 

Those of us thousands of miles distant watch, and listened today to a Gentleman speak of the growing incivility that is sweeping through America.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published essays. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. From there he looks out over a Nation that he loves, with some dismay.

His Nation was founded on Principles now increasingly rubbished and a 'Book' which  is demeaned. Fr. Richard Heilman introduced...

Congress printed a Bible for America and said:
"The United States in Congress assembled ... recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States ... a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools." - United States Congress 1782
Congress passed this resolution:
"The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools." - United States Congress 1782
By Law the United States Congress adds to US coinage:
"In God We Trust" - United States Congress 1864
Some think it was a book already demeaned, derived at it was with parts missing and other parts altered. But let us look to the Spirit and hear what John had to say.
The American Descent Into Uncivil War
When we say Americans are divided and polarized, it can conjure up the image of cloth stretched to the point of ripping.
However, this image does not represent everything we are experiencing as a society. Indeed, the social fabric is already torn.
The united America we once knew no longer exists. 
Instead, larger or smaller remnants are trying to survive inside a collapsing framework. Each clings to its rendition of the American dream and claims to be its authentic representative. 
The consensus that acted as the glue holding America together is gone. In its stead, strident clashes between the factions are the thunderous rumblings of worse things just over the horizon. The growing liberal hatred for America’s Christian roots and morals means that we are ...
no longer one nation under God.
The confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, now thankfully behind us, laid bare this moral divide now cleaving the nation. They highlighted the profound chasm that divides us, preparing for what some writers no longer hesitate to call a new civil war.
Conditions for a New Civil War
Civil wars happen when there is a profound philosophical incompatibility inside a nation. Violence and war are the secondary effects of this cause and the later phases of its development.
We are now at a stage where we can no longer discern a political unity or even organized disunity. We cannot even agree to disagree. We can discern two general groupings of messy fragments that congeal and dissolve around political and cultural issues. It is far from any neat geographic or political divisions normally associated with civil wars.
What is at stake is fundamental. Nations are formed around unifying principles to which citizens must give their assent, at least implicitly. 
America’s unifying principles no longer unify.
The principles that defined our socio-political system are those of the classical liberal order. It includes the rule of law, representative government, the defense of private property, and guaranteed individual freedoms.
If not kept in check, this liberal order also tends to destroy moral limits and needed social structures. If restrained and ordered, it can be a practical yet secular framework that allows a nation to prosper
Our particular brand of liberalism borrowed heavily from the Christian institutions and virtues with which it clashes. 
Liberalism, for example, exalts the individual yet needs the Christian family to form character. 
Liberalism promotes extreme freedom yet counts upon Christian morals to bridle the disordered passions. 
Liberalism glories in its bland secularism but cannot survive without religion, which gives life meaning and purpose.
Thus, the present liberal order has worn down these sustaining Christian institutions. Without them, the classical liberal order will necessarily die of its internal contradictions. Many astute political observers recognize this while others still entertain hopes of reviving this order
Blaming the left for the great incompatibility dividing the nation is easy. Liberals are often the change agents bringing chaos and unbalance to society. Their relativistic (and now nihilistic) narrative lends itself to distorting reality or self-identifying as whatever. Their rage against conservatives is much more strident and rabid than that of the right against them.
However, the incompatibility might be better explained as different interpretations of the same classical liberal thought. Those in one fragment wish to conserve a liberalism still under the influence of past Christian models and mores. Their opponents seek to take the liberal concept of freedom to ever more extreme manifestations of unrestraint and license. 
Both ends of the spectrum once shared the same liberal idea. Today, they subscribe to disparate understandings of it.
Perhaps the only thing upon which the two factions can agree is that ... 
the present state of things is unsustainable. 
Like spouses in a crumbling marriage, they eschew their marriage obligations, feud over differences instead of patching them up, and plunge into the abyss of divorce.  
Both sides want an America in their image and likeness, but neither has the means to make this happen. 
Conservatives lack sufficient authenticity and vigor in the Christian institutions that might regenerate order. 
Progressives have evanesced to the point that they lack dynamism and fresh ideas.
The resulting stalemate is giving rise to the philosophical incompatibility that prepares not for civil debate but civil war.
This incompatibility stems from the fact that liberalism has always lived in the shadow of the tension between freedom and equality. It never resolved the contradiction of this tension but merely put it off. Distractions like the Cold War, progress, and economic development absorbed the nation’s attention.
But now, this contradiction has moved into the forefront since there is little Christian restraint left to keep liberalism within the bounds of sanity. 
Freedom has become license. 
Reality is denied. 
You can self-identify as you wish. You can do anything you consent to experience. You can affirm and demand any rights you imagine to exist. 
Equality has come to mean the most absurd suppression of all inequalities, real, imagined, or politically incorrect. 
Worse, the full coercive power of government is brought to bear, imposing these fantasies upon unwilling citizens.
Liberalism gone awry is setting the terms of the debate. America’s incompatibility and troubles stem from liberalism’s false notions of absolute freedom and equality. If these false premises are not rejected, then anything can be expected, as we are now seeing.
Return to Order
We need truth and reality as the correct premises for the debate. Effecting this does not involve anything new. 
Instead, it is simply a return to the wellspring from which our Christian civilization sprung.
To this old Tavern Keeper, it means to the Christian civilisation that America started by rejecting. Catholicism. Protestantisn ruled America until it could no longer lay any claim to Authenticity. Selling the Word from a wagon with a bottle of Dr Good, did not lead to religious coherence, despite the efforts of Congress. Unfortunately Catholicism is in a state of civil war itself. 
It is nothing else than the natural human desire for all that is good, true, and beautiful. And it necessarily leads to God.
Inside this vision, we will always find everything needed to re-establish order. We must return to the true and classical definition of liberty as man’s freedom to pursue what is good, embracing that self-restraint of our unbridled passions that frees us to act in accordance with what is right. 
We must reaffirm the need for just, proportional, and harmonious inequalities that arise from virtue, talent, strength, character, and tradition. 
They are the bedrock for true progress and individual development. Such an order presupposes a respect for God and His law.
We must return to order, which Russell Kirk so aptly called “the first need of man.” Outside of order, there is no common ground upon which to govern the nation. Instead, it will lead to what some are calling a savage “tribalism.”
The 'first need of man' is not 'Liberty', nor 'Freedom'. These are gifts from the first need - God. Unfortunately it is written into the Constitution that men should pursue Freedom at all costs, even to the dismissal of  identifying the Primary Need.

The noises coming from America are strident and disharmonious.  They are loud. They are extreme, and not just from one side. But the 'middle' is too quiet. It sits, like we on the outside, watching. It is the 'Silent Majority'. They do not riot in the streets. They do not throw molotov cocktails.  

It is a Peaceful Majority. 

That peaceful majority have rarely ever been taken seriously. And why should it be?
" The Peaceful Majority were irrelevant ". 

It is a ringing cry.  Is it true? It seems so when we talk in practical, political terms. But that peaceful majority CAN pray. As Fr. Heilman tries to encourage. The problem is that they don't, as most are atheistic, self-focused, some just getting on with their daily lives. They try not to look. That is what makes them irrelevant.  

They can vote out the murderous: but they don't. They elect charlatans and crooks and people who find ways to murder in different ways. Like aborting 60 million American babies or four million Oz babies. That's what makes them irrelevant.

The American 'middle' must find a way to become relevant.

Perhaps returning to the central core of the One Faith would be a start.

We watch. We here know that America is not alone. We have very much the same problem in Oz. So we do not crow. We do not jeer.

We pray.

We drink deep.

What do you do?