17 May 2007

Shira's 50 Most Influencial People

Okay, so I'm knocking the number down to fifty. To be honest, I just don't have the time to put it together. I've got about 25-30 on a scrap piece of paper.

I'm thinking of adding Mandy Moore (actress) to the list - she's clearly stated that she's only going to be in movies that have positive messages associated with it. I've never seen any of her movies, does anyone have any thoughts about that?

Also, thinking of adding Laura Ingraham, talk-radio hostess. Why Laura and not Rush or Sean? I'm thinking Laura since she doesn't only focus on politics. She also looks at "cultural" issues that effect America. With her "power to the people" push - people feel that they have a chance to make a difference. And her listeners really are making a difference.

15 May 2007

PM of Australia John Howard makes the Shira's 100

I'm adding Prime Minister John Howard to the Shira's 100 List of Influencial People. Not for his stance on gun control, but for his stance on the Islamic influence in his country and for his support of the Iraq War.

This is taken from an interview with Prime Minister Howard regarding a statement made by his Treasurer Peter Costello about Australian values, multiculturalism and Islam. This is only part of the interview. It's worth a read.


In our Sydney studio is the Prime Minister. Mr Howard good morning.


Good morning.


Well the Islamic Friendship Association and others are very critical of the Treasurer, calling for you to censure him. Will you?




Why not?


Because what he said was fundamentally accurate.


Could he have worded it better?


Oh no. I mean everybody has their own way of expressing things and I'm not critical of the language he used in any way and the thrust of what he said, I think you'll appreciate, is very similar to remarks that I have made over a long period of time. Everyone knows that I don't use the word multiculturalism very much and the reason I don't use it very much is that is has been used in a very zealous, to use Peter's expression, mushy fashion by some over the years. To many people multiculturalism simply means that we are tolerant to people of different cultural backgrounds, now if that's all it means, then it's a fine concept. We are tolerant to people of different backgrounds but over the years at its zenith, the more zealous multiculturalism basically said that this country should be a federation of cultures. You can't have a nation with a federation of cultures. You can have a nation where a whole variety of cultures constantly influence and mould and change and blend in with the mainstream culture, but a nation that doesn't have a core culture and the core culture of this nation is very clear; we are an outshoot of western civilisation. Because we speak the English language our cultural identity is very heavily Anglo-Saxon. It doesn't mean that it isn't distinctively Australian, but you have to recognise that there is a core set of values in this country.


What are they? What are the core values? I mean I don't want Peter Costello deciding what my values should be.


No, but as the Prime Minister or as the Treasurer we are expected to have views. You asked me what are they. I'm not trying to impose values on anybody.


No but isn't Mr Costello saying if you don't stick by our values get out? Now who decides what the values are?


Well I think what Peter was basically saying is that if people don't like what this country is then they shouldn't come here. I think that's what he's really saying and I think that is an unexceptionable position to take. Now he's been attacked I think quite wrongly. He's not trying to stir up hostility to Islamic people any more than I was when I made some comments, incidentally three days before the Cronulla riots, I made some comments to the effect that there was a section of the Islamic community, because of its extreme views and it's rejection of the fundamentals of our society it posed a problem. And I also expressed concern about the attitude of some, I stress some, in the Islamic community towards women. Now I thought both of those statements were perfectly unexceptionable; they don't connote a disdain for all Muslims in Australia. We have what 300, 400,000 Islamic people in Australia, the overwhelming majority of them are as committed to this country as you are and I am and Peter Costello is. But that doesn't mean you can't identify areas of concern and I think the reaction of some in the Islamic community every time anything is said to the effect that ‘oh we're stirring up hostility' is quite unreasonable.

09 May 2007

Shira's 100 List of People who Shape our World

I was just taking a gander at Time Magazine's The People Who Shape Our World. The subtitle that supposedly explains what they were thinking goes: Here's our list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world. Then it breaks down these people into five catagories.

Artists and Entertainers

Scientists and Thinkers

Leaders and Revolutionaries

Builders and Titans

Heroes and Pioneers

I was really amazed by who was included and who was left out. So I'm working on my own list. If there are any suggestions - please feel free to post.