Tuesday, April 01, 2014
The life of a Daddy's girl
Melissa Doyle, Television presenter, 44, married
I was born in Artarmon in Sydney's north. My dad, Robert, was raised on a cattle farm in northern NSW. He got about in R. M. Williams boots and moleskin jeans. My mum, Virginia, was a city girl. She was beautiful and elegantly dressed and never left the house without heels.
My parents were different people, and divorced when I was two. From then on, weekdays were spent with Mum and weekends with Dad. Dad would come and pick me up in his red Valiant. Apparently I called it "Daddy Red Car". I have nothing but happy memories from those years, as I had two homes in Sydney and two loving parents. Then, when I was 12, I moved in with Dad. I'm a daddy's girl!
Dad is one of my dearest friends. We are extremely close. He has been this lovely, kind, warm figure in my life. Growing up, he thought it was important to pass on his love of the bush and animals. He took me to cattle shows and taught me how to recognise a quality Angus steer. He also taught me how to pitch a tent and change a tyre.
One of the nicest things he gave me was self-confidence – that I could do whatever I wanted as long as I worked hard. He also instilled in me the notion that nobody is better than anybody else, which I have passed onto my children, Nicholas, 12, and Talia, 10.
Dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2008. My world shattered. He was my big, strong, tough dad and for the first time I saw vulnerability. He moved in with us and I took charge of everything, which was my way of coping. He conquered it, but two years later he was diagnosed with bowel cancer, and so we went through it all again. It was a traumatic couple of years, but if anything, it made our relationship stronger.
When Dad recovered, he fulfilled a childhood promise to take me to Paris. So in 2010 we spent a week in the capital, then hired a car and drove around the French countryside. We drank red wine and toasted his remaining kidney. The memories from that trip I'll treasure forever.
I could never have married a man who didn't get on with Dad, but my husband, John [Dunlop], has always understood Dad's role in my life. Dad lives close by and is always popping in. He is extremely fond of John, and John has become the son he never had.
I first met John when I was 23 and a journalist for WIN TV in Canberra. He was working for Australian Swimming and asked if I'd participate in a celebrity swimming race. We hit it off over the phone and he asked me out. I said no. Then he rang again a few days later and I thought, "What the hell?" We went out for dinner and talked so much the restaurant had to usher us out.
John is just a really nice, decent human being. He is also fantastic looking. I am attracted to him in all sorts of ways. While we were dating, he used to leave love notes. I'd find them on my car windscreen or hidden in my apartment. Early on, he also gave me a lovebird for his "lovebird". After 18 months we got engaged and two years later, in 1995, we got married.
I credit John [who works in sports marketing] with my being able to combine a career and parenthood, as he's my biggest supporter. My work as a Seven News TV journalist has meant travelling to places like Beijing and Athens for the Olympic Games. When I tell John I have to go away, he says, "Fine, I'll manage things at home." My son, Nicholas, is a carbon copy of John, which is kinda cute, but personality-wise he's like me.
Kochie [David Koch] has also been a great support. He was my co-host on Sunrise for 14 years. We couldn't have sat next to each other for all that time if we didn't have a genuine, warm friendship. A woman's magazine wrote that we didn't get along, which really upset me as he is a loyal, kind man.
Both times when I was pregnant and we had to travel, Kochie would insist on carrying my bags. One time, after Talia was born, we were broadcasting from interstate. I needed to express milk and the floor manager was yelling for me to come to the set. I was getting emotional and Kochie yelled back at him, stating I'd be out when I was ready. He always looked out for me.
Blokes have a great perspective on life, which is different to us women. At times we can over-analyse things. I will stress about a situation and drive myself crazy, contemplating it from all these different angles. Then one day John said: "Control the controllable." It's one of the greatest lines I've heard. I like that men are more black and white.
British parents who deliberately starve children of love face jail under new Cinderella Law
Parents who starve their children of love and affection face prosecution under a “Cinderella Law”, The Telegraph can disclose.
Changes to the child neglect laws will make “emotional cruelty” a crime for the first time, alongside physical or sexual abuse.
The Government will introduce the change in the Queen’s Speech in early June to enforce the protection of children’s emotional, social and behavioural well-being.
Parents found guilty under the law change could face up to 10 years in prison, the maximum term in child neglect cases.
The change will update existing laws in England and Wales which only allow an adult responsible for a child to be prosecuted if they have deliberately assaulted, abandoned or exposed a child to suffering or injury to their health.
The new offence would make it a crime to do anything that deliberately harmed a child’s “physical intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development”.
This could include deliberately ignoring a child, or not showing them any love, over prolonged periods, damaging a child’s emotional development.
Other new offences could include forcing a child to witness domestic violence, making a child a scape goat or forcing degrading punishments upon them.
As many as 1.5 million British children are believed to suffer from neglect. The legal changes will allow police to intervene earlier and build a criminal case before children are physically or sexually abused.
Currently civil intervention by social workers is only possible when abuse is classed as emotional neglect.
Robert Buckland, a Conservative MP and part-time judge who has been campaigning on the issue, said “the time for change is long overdue”.
Writing in tomorrow's Daily Telegraph he says: “Not too many years after the Brothers Grimm popularised the story of Cinderella, the offence of child neglect was introduced.
“Our criminal law has never reflected the full range of emotional suffering experienced by children who are abused by their parents or carers. The sad truth is that, until now, the Wicked Stepmother would have got away scot-free.”
The Children and Young Persons Act is more than 80 years old, with sections dating back to 1868.
A campaign to amend it to allow for damage to children’s emotional needs was started in April 2012 by the charity Action for Children.
The Government repeatedly stated that there was no need to change the law, despite attempts to amend it by MPs and peers last year.
Baroness Butler Sloss failed in the House of Lords, while the respected Labour MP Paul Goggins, who died in January, started his campaign to amend the law in February 2013.
Mark Williams, a Liberal Democrat MP, then launched his own attempt in a private member’s bill.
Ministers were initially cool to the idea but gradually came round. The first evidence of this came last Autumn when Damian Green, a justice minister, launched a consultation to gather evidence to support the change.
Mr Buckland added: “We need a clear, concise and workable definition of child maltreatment — an alternative code that reflects the range of harm of done to children and which provides appropriate legal mechanisms to tackle some of the worst cases.
“Emotional neglect must be outlawed, the term 'wilful’ should be replaced and the criminal law should be brought into line with its civil counterpart.”
A spokesman for the charity Action for Children said the change was a “monumental step” towards protecting the young.
It said that between 200 and 300 children were abused through neglect but their abusers were not brought before the courts.
Sir Tony Hawkhead, the charity’s chief executive, said the law would be a major improvement for thousands of children who suffered from emotional abuse and countless others whose desperate situations had yet to come to light.
“I’ve met children who have been scapegoated in their families, constantly humiliated and made to feel unloved,” he said. “The impact is devastating and can lead to lifelong mental health problems and, in some cases, suicide.
We are one of the last countries in the West to recognise all forms of child abuse as a crime. Years of campaigning have been rewarded. The Government has listened.”
The decision to press ahead comes after Conservative ministers dropped their opposition to the changes.
In October, Damian Green ordered “targeted consultation” into the law change after insisting that there was no need for action.
The current law on “wilful neglect” is governed by the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.
Baroness Butler-Sloss, a former senior judge, tried to amend the legislation in the Lords by attaching a clause to the Crime and Courts Bill in 2013.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The Government believes protecting children from harm is fundamental and that child cruelty is an abhorrent crime which should be punished.
“Every child should be able to grow up in a safe environment. We are considering ways the law can support this.”
The Communist States of America
A preferred ploy of left-wing change agents is to ridicule critics when they point out the undeniable parallels between the goals of today’s “progressive” movement, to include the Democratic Party in general, and the goals of the early, and very much still alive, communist movement.
If, for instance, one mentions the historical fact that nearly every adult who, at any time, was in any position of influence over a young, soon-to-be-radicalized Barry Soetoro was an avowed communist, to include his own parents, then one is immediately mocked and dismissed as a neo-McCarthyite hack pining for the bygone days of the Red Scare. This is an evasive, ad hominem strategy employed by those who are caught, for lack of a better word, red-handed.
To all this I say, if the jackboot fits, wear it. If it quacks like a commie and goose-steps like a commie, then a commie it is.
There are multiple layers within “progressivism’s” pseudo-utopian, truly dystopian Marxist philosophy. The left’s lust for redistributionist statism is well-known. Less understood, however, is the “progressive” rush toward cultural Marxism.
Cultural Marxism entails, among other things, that secularist aspect of left-wing statist ideology that seeks, within society, to supplant traditional values, norms and mores with postmodern moral relativism. Cultural Marxists endeavor to scrub America of her Judeo-Christian, constitutional-republican founding principles, and take, instead, a secular-statist Sharpie to our beloved U.S. Constitution.
Historian and U.S. military affairs expert William S. Lind describes cultural Marxism as “a branch of western Marxism, different from the Marxism-Leninism of the old Soviet Union. It is commonly known as ‘multiculturalism’ or, less formally, Political Correctness. From its beginning, the promoters of cultural Marxism have known they could be more effective if they concealed the Marxist nature of their work, hence the use of terms such as ‘multiculturalism.’”
Pastor, attorney and Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively is globally admired by liberty-loving traditionalists. Conversely, he’s universally reviled by cultural Marxists. He drills down a bit deeper: “Cultural Marxism is a variation of the Marxist strategy to build a utopian socialist order on the ashes of Christian civilization, but through subversion of the moral culture, especially the elimination of the natural family, rather than solely through destruction of capitalism.”
True though this may be, the ideological seeds of contemporary cultural Marxism nonetheless sprout from deep within the dead soil of historical communism. It is not economic redistributionism alone through which “progressives” seek to both “fundamentally transform America” and otherwise conquer the world, but, rather, and perhaps primarily, it is also through victory over the pejoratively tagged “social issues” (i.e., the sanctity of marriage, natural human sexuality and morality, ending the abortion holocaust, religious liberty, the Second Amendment and the like).
This is neither speculative nor hyperbolic. Both the historical record and the U.S. Congressional Record bear out this sinister reality. Regrettably, today’s “low-information voters” as Rush Limbaugh calls them – to include the useful idiots within the GOP’s “moderate” and libertarian wings – are simply too lazy, shortsighted or both to learn the facts.
“Surrender on the ‘social issues’!” demands the GOP’s cultural Marxist-enabling kamikazes.
In 1963, U.S. Rep. A.S. Herlong Jr., D-Fla., read into the Congressional Record a list of “Current Communist Goals” as enumerated by Dr. Cleon Skousen in “The Naked Communist,” penned in 1958. I encourage you to read the whole list, but for now let’s focus on those goals that most closely align with the seditious agenda of America’s “progressive” movement. It’s actually most of them. Though Herlong was a Democrat, the list reads like today’s Democratic Party Platform.
How far has fallen the party of the jackass:
Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist [or, today, Islamic] affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist [or Islamic] domination.
Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces.
Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
Do away with all loyalty oaths.
Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.
Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum.
Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.
Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. (An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”)
Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.
Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”
Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principal of “separation of church and state.”
Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”
Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.”
Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture – education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].
Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.
Internationalize the Panama Canal.
Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.
If achieving these specific communist goals was the final “progressive” step toward the larger goal of securing communist governance in America, then, tragically, “progressives” have realized that larger goal.
Look around. We are no longer the United States of America. We have become The Communist States of America.
Which means, for those who love liberty, revolution is once again at hand.
Charming: Pelosi Calls Pro-Lifers "Dumb" While Accepting Planned Parenthood Award
On Thursday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was awarded Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger award at the organization’s annual gala. Sanger was a radical eugenicist, yet Pelosi gladly accepted the award that bears her name.
But, Pelosi didn’t just take her trophy and sit down. She also used the opportunity to mock pro-lifers, calling them “oblivious” and “dumb:”
"When you see how closed their minds are or oblivious or whatever it is — dumb — then you know what the fight is about," Pelosi said. "Whatever happens with the court...we must remember these battles will not be the end of the fight."
With these comments, Pelosi is following in the intolerant footsteps of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who charged that pro-lifers and "extreme" conservatives “have no place” in the state. Unfortunately for Cuomo and Pelosi, those “dumb” pro-lifers have just achieved another victory.
As Planned Parenthood was putting the final touches on its banquet, a federal appeals court upheld the abortion law in Texas which bans the procedure after 20 weeks – the point at which unborn babies can feel pain.
But, I’m guessing that wasn’t on Planned Parenthood’s agenda. They were too busy celebrating injustice.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.