Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for July 25th, 2007

Bioethics Prof wants reproductive cloning legalized

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-25

Hugh McLachlan‘s 2007-07-21 piece in New Scientist "Let’s legalise cloning" has got me (and no doubt Tonti-Filipini) fuming, so I’ve got to pull apart some of the poor arguments (including structural ones) that are unworthy of a Professor of Bioethics from the UK.

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Posted in Biology and Health, Ethics, Law | 8 Comments »

Universities dumbing down more: LaTrobe

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-25

"The Age" 2007-07-25 piece about LaTrobe cutbacks and move to a US model ("Radical plan for ailing La Trobe") has a couple of bits that are interesting, because they hint at the cause of the problem, and might indicate a strategy of protecting the careers of senior faculty members rather than develop younger staff.

The cause is typical cutbacks of funding by the federal government:

Professor Johnson said about half La Trobe’s academics would not bring in research grants under proposed Federal Government funding changes, and would need to justify their salary with a heavier teaching load.

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Posted in Australia, Education, Politics | Leave a Comment »

OMG! I agree with Bolt again!

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-25

Back from his break, I find I’m agreeing with some of the Bolt’s jottings about how Australians are bored with Howard.

Yes, apart from portraying Rudd as a "Young John Winston", Bolt admits that the executive/AFP/due-process stuffups should have been a big issue rather than a damp squib for Labor!

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Posted in Australia, Civil rights, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Kerplunk: Rights for dollars not real persons

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-25

I’ll usually let outrageous statements by rightie bloggers pass through to the keeper, but Kerplunk’s railings against the UN as anti-business (from its Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption) is too blatant .

He basically implies that money should be absolutely free but we shouldn’t bother about rules for human freedom.  Why doesn’t he come out with the Kerplunk declaration starting "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that each dollar is created equal and it’s freedoms should trump human life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

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Posted in Australia, Civil rights, Economics and Business | Leave a Comment »

Uncle Sam’s Kommissars to gag scientists

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-25

Another Bush Executive Order (13422) came into effect yesterday (2007-07-24) and installs a political officer into federal agencies with veto over anything scientists say and "attempt to insulate itself from congressional accountability", according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Where there was a veto over regulations by the agency director or "Regulatory Policy Officer", both political appointees, the new order also applies to "Guidance Documents"

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Posted in Biology and Health, Environment, Politics, Science and Tech, USA | Leave a Comment »

Visit NZ, not Oz

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-25

Potential Oz Tourists: Visit NZ instead.  If you believe the Oz PM and opposition, there’s a huge terrorist threat here that warrants ditching traditional freedoms, so you’re much less likely to be blown up across the ditch.

Make a list of countries (apart from Australia and Zimbabwe) where the entire legal profession is at war with the government (never a good sign).  NZ isn’t one of them.

Now the Oz government and people don’t care about their own citizens enough to try and get them out of the black hole of Guantanamo for years and years – even though every other western country did it in a couple of months.

Visitors risk worse treatment.  Locked up at the drop of a hat.  Odd as it seems, the government solicitor agrees that even Jesus would be classified as a terrorist for his actions, let alone the accusations that he was treasonous by both the secular rule of his own party and the moderate clerics.

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Posted in Australia, Civil rights, New Zealand, Politics | Leave a Comment »

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