Looking at Australian politics from a libertarian/conservative perspective...
R.G.Menzies above

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Two of my ancestors were convicts so my family has been in Australia for a long time. As well as that, all four of my grandparents were born in the State where I was born and still live: Queensland. And I am even a member of the world's second-most condemned minority: WASPs (the most condemned is of course the Jews -- which may be why I tend to like Jews). So I think I am as Australian as you can get. I certainly feel that way. I like all things that are iconically Australian: meat pies, Vegemite, Henry Lawson etc. I particularly pride myself on my familiarity with the great Australian slanguage. I draw the line at Iced Vo-Vos and betting on the neddies, however. So if I cannot comment insightfully on Australian affairs, who could?


30 November, 2016

Another shriek about bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

This is just a repetition of a story that has been going on for a year or more.  Previous claims of this nature have been shown to be highly exaggereated so a repetition of the claims from the same people as before has no credibility. 

I was born and bred in an area close to the reef and have been hearing cries of alarm about the reef for 50 years.  But somehow the reef still seems to be there.  It has always had episodes of retreat but coral is highly resilient and bounces back quite rapidly.

One thing we can be sure of is that the problems were not caused by anthropogenic global warming.  Why?  Because that theory says that warming is caused by increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  But the latest readings show NO increase in CO2 during 2015 and 2016

There WAS warming up until recently but that was caused by the El Nino weather cycle, not CO2. Once again we had the chronic Warmist problem that CO2 levels and temperatures do not correlate.  Below is a picture of the El Nino effect on global temperatures.  You see it peaked late last year and has been falling ever since.  So if warmth was the cause of the reef problems, the reef should soon start to recover

Two-thirds of the corals in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the reef’s worst-ever bleaching event, according to our latest underwater surveys.

On some reefs in the north, nearly all the corals have died. However the impact of bleaching eases as we move south, and reefs in the central and southern regions (around Cairns and Townsville and southwards) were much less affected, and are now recovering.

In 2015 and 2016, the hottest years on record, we have witnessed at first hand the threat posed by human-caused climate change to the world’s coral reefs.

Heat stress from record high summer temperatures damages the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) that live in the tissues of corals, turning them white.

After they bleach, these stressed corals either slowly regain their zooxanthellae and colour as temperatures cool off, or else they die.

The Great Barrier Reef bleached severely for the first time in 1998, then in 2002, and now again in 2016. This year’s event was more extreme than the two previous mass bleachings.
Surveying the damage

We undertook extensive underwater surveys at the peak of bleaching in March and April, and again at the same sites in October and November. In the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, we recorded an average (median) loss of 67% of coral cover on a large sample of 60 reefs.

The dieback of corals due to bleaching in just 8-9 months is the largest loss ever recorded for the Great Barrier Reef.

To put these losses in context, over the 27 years from 1985 to 2012, scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science measured the gradual loss of 51% of corals on the central and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef.

They reported no change over this extended period in the amount of corals in the remote, northern region. Unfortunately, most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in this northern, most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef.

The bleaching, and subsequent loss of corals, is very patchy. Our map shows clearly that coral death varies enormously from north to south along the 2,300km length of the Reef.

The southern third of the Reef did not experience severe heat stress in February and March. Consequently, only minor bleaching occurred, and we found no significant mortality in the south since then.

In the central section of the Reef, we measured widespread but moderate bleaching, which was comparably severe to the 1998 and 2002 events. On average, only 6% of coral cover was lost in the central region in 2016.

The remaining corals have now regained their vibrant colour. Many central reefs are in good condition, and they continue to recover from Severe Tropical Cyclones Hamish (in 2009) and Yasi (2011).

In the eastern Torres Strait and outermost ribbon reefs in the northernmost part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, we found a large swathe of reefs that escaped the most severe bleaching and mortality, compared to elsewhere in the north. Nonetheless, 26% of the shallow-water corals died.

We suspect that these reefs were partially protected from heat stress by strong currents and upwelling of cooler water across the edge of the continental shelf that slopes steeply into the Coral Sea.

For visitors, these surveys show there are still many reefs throughout the Marine Park that have abundant living coral, particularly in popular tourism locations in the central and southern regions, such as the Whitsundays and Cairns.


The northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, extending 700km from Port Douglas to Papua New Guinea, experienced the most severe bleaching and subsequent loss of corals.

On 25% of the worst affected reefs (the top quartile), losses of corals ranged from 83-99%. When mortality is this high, it affects even tougher species that normally survive bleaching.

However, even in this region, there are some silver linings. Bleaching and mortality decline with depth, and some sites and reefs had much better than average survival. A few corals are still bleached or mottled, particularly in the north, but the vast majority of survivors have regained their colour.

What will happen next?

The reef science and management community will continue to gather data on the bleaching event as it slowly unfolds. The initial stage focused on mapping the footprint of the event, and now we are analysing how many bleached corals died or recovered over the past 8-9 months.

Over the coming months and for the next year or two we expect to see longer-term impacts on northern corals, including higher levels of disease, slower growth rates and lower rates of reproduction. The process of recovery in the north – the replacement of dead corals by new ones – will be slow, at least 10-15 years, as long as local conditions such as water quality remain conducive to recovery.

As global temperatures continue to climb, time will tell how much recovery in the north is possible before a fourth mass bleaching event occurs.


'It's not good enough': Pauline Hanson says there is no definition of 'Aboriginal' people - and claims anyone can give themselves the label if they marry an Indigenous Australian

Pauline Hanson has said there is no definition of an Aboriginal person while calling for changes to race-hate laws.

The One National leader told Andrew Bolt on Sky News on Monday she believes there is no definition, and has been asking for one for years.

'If you marry an Aboriginal you can be classified (as one), or if the community or the elders accept you into that community you can be defined as an Aboriginal,' she said.

'That's not good enough because then if you make a comment about it, well what are you? Are you an Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal?'

'I think that people need to toughen up a bit, we've all become so precious.

'We've stopped freedom of speech - to have a say to have an opinion and I remember when I was a kid sticks and stones may break your bones and that was the old saying.'

Senator Hanson made the remarks while defending calls for changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

The firebrand senator says she had previously raised issues about 'equality' over the years about the definition of 'Aboriginal'.

'I think the whole lot needs to be opened up on this, a big debate on this.'

She believes people have become increasingly precious but it should be up to the public to judge controversial comments, including from her or indigenous leader Noel Pearson.


W.A. Police will be able to ram dangerous drivers off the road using the PIT manoeuvre if Labor is elected

DANGEROUS drivers who lead police on wild high-speed chases should be rammed off the road before they can hurt innocent people, Opposition Leader Mark McGowan claims.

Mr McGowan said that if Labor was elected in March, his Government would support a trial of the what is known as the "PIT manoeuvre" on WA roads to enable police to end chases quickly before they got out of the hand.

The manoeuvre is used widely in America, Canada and Britain where police use their vehicles to force fleeing cars into an uncontrolled spin.

But the manoeuvre is controversial, often resulting in serious injury or death to the fleeing driver.

The WA Police Union has been pushing for the PIT to be used in WA, but the idea does not have the support of the Police hierarchy.

Mr McGowan said strict controls would be introduced around when and where the PIT could be used, but he believed the prospect of causing injury to a dangerous driver was a preferable outcome to an innocent family losing their lives.

"I have seen some of those chases on the television and all you want is that car to get off the road before they kill someone," Mr McGowan said.

"I think extreme cases deserve extreme action and the people putting the public at risk like that... deserve everything they get."


'See you in court': Student rejects Labor MP Terri Butler's apology and vows to continue lawsuit

A stoush between a Queensland law student and Labor frontbencher Terri Butler over claims of a "racist smear" is bound for court after he bluntly rejected her apology as a "sham" and vowed to press ahead with a $150,000 defamation lawsuit.

Ms Butler announced at the weekend she had apologised to 25-year-old Calum Thwaites after repeating on national television allegations levelled against him in a case brought under controversial section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Mr Thwaites was one of three Queensland University of Technology students accused of causing offence in a series of Facebook posts about an Indigenous-only computer lab. Mr Thwaites vehemently denied he used the phrase "ITT niggers" and the case against all three men was thrown out of the Federal Circuit Court this month.

On Q&A, Ms Butler implied the allegations had never been tested and said of Mr Thwaites' denials: "He would say that, wouldn't he?" Mr Thwaites elected to sue for damages of up to $150,000, claiming he had been traduced as a racist, bigot and perjurer.

In her letter of apology, sent on Sunday, Ms Butler wrote: "There should be no suggestion that you were responsible for the Facebook post [or] that you are racist, or bigoted. I offer you my unreserved apology for enabling those meanings to be conveyed."

But in a reply released by his lawyer Tony Morris on Monday, Mr Thwaites outright rejected Ms Butler's apology, telling her that to accept it would turn him into her "unpaid publicist". "You will not be surprised to learn that I have no intention of doing so," he wrote.

Mr Thwaites told Ms Butler that her subsequent comments - including suggesting to Fairfax Media that his lawsuit was "hypocritical" - meant that "your so-called 'apology' cannot be regarded as an 'apology' at all".

He also rejected her invitation to discuss the matter further by phone or in-person, saying he would see her in court. "I am sure that we will have an opportunity to meet at the trial of the defamation action," he said.

Mr Thwaites signed off the letter: "P.S. Happy 39th birthday."

Ms Butler - Labor's spokeswoman on equality and universities - has hired law firm Maurice Blackburn, where she was formerly a principal before entering politics in 2014, and is due to file her defence by December 23.

In his letter to Ms Butler, Mr Thwaites outed himself as a former Labor supporter, saying he had "until now" believed the ALP to be "the good guys" of politics. Since effectively becoming a pin-up boy for reform to section 18c, he had been embraced by Coalition figures including the "unreformed right-wing warhorse" Eric Abetz, he wrote.

Ms Butler said the letters spoke for themselves and had no further comment.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

29 November, 2018

Feminist lack of reality-contact again

Clementine Ford has often appeared in the columns of the Sydney Boring Herald giving aggressively feminist opinions.  Her aggression and anger is normal among Leftists but her feminism adds an additional mental health problem to her profile. She  constantly denies that men and women are different -- except when women are superior, of course. 

But, in denying such a large slice of reality as male/female differences she is, I would argue, a low-level schizophrenic.  Denial of reality is the hallmark of schizophrenia.  There are probably as many sorts of feminism as there are feminists but I would argue that the more extreme ones have a form of mental illness which is dangerous to vulnerable women who listen to them and take them seriously.  It may be worth mentioning that feminist icon Kate Millett was in and out of mental hospitals for much of her life.

And Clemmie has just added more evidence of her poor reality contact.  As Tim Blair notes, with links to her Twitter account: "According to Godwin’s Law record-breaker Clementine Ford, Donald Trump is "installing people who pledge support to Nazism." Also according to Clem, Trump "just made a neo-Nazi his chief strategist", and Trump "is giving jobs to neo-Nazis".

The chief strategist she is presumably referring to is Steve Bannon, a retired U.S. Navy sailor and merchant banker who is a very forceful conservative.  And the American Left and media (but I repeat myself) are in something of a frenzy to discredit him. But they really have nothing to go on except for the scorn he heaps on them. There is an attempt here to use his own words to discredit him but it gets nowhere. It simply reveals that he thinks much the same as Trump and the Trumpians.  Just proving that about him is horror enough to the Left, of course,  but to anyone else what he says is just a newly legitimated expression of opinion. As did Reagan, Trump has bumped the Overton window rightwards and Bannon is now in that window.

But to the Left, everyone who opposes them and their ideas is a "racist" -- and that accusation is constantly flung at Bannon, spiced up a little by the related accusation that he is antisemitic.  But where is the evidence for that?  Once again, there is none, aside from one accusation from an embittered ex-wife.  Read here just one of many refutations of the "racist" claim from people who know him personally, noting, for instance, that Bannon’s longtime personal assistant is an African American woman, and he has extended family members who are Jewish". 

And Bannon has also been an forceful advocate for Israel. As a Jewish American news site put it:  "He headed arguably the most pro-Israel media organization in the world, and oversaw an operation that went out of its way to expose and attack antisemitism at every turn".

That is the man Clemmie calls a Nazi. 

I have not seen her byline on the SMH recently.  Has she become too unbalanced even for the SMH management?  She may have had something of a breakdown.  She embarrassed herself a couple of weeks ago by accusing someone else of a slur that he did not utter but which she did!  Maybe we have heard the last of her in the mainstream media.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett calls Fremantle 'disloyal' for axing Australia Day celebrations

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says he is "extremely disappointed" by the City of Fremantle's decision to axe its Australia Day celebrations.

Fremantle has abandoned its Australia Day festivities in favour of what it describes as a culturally inclusive alternative celebration two days later.

The council voted in January to can its Australia Day fireworks display and replace it with a new event, called One Day.

It said it wanted to celebrate being Australian in a way that included all Australians, and believed moving away from the January 26 date was more in line with Fremantle's values.

Mr Barnett has made it clear he does not support the move.  "I am extremely disappointed in the Mayor and the City of Fremantle for doing that," he said.  "It's disloyal to our country, it's disloyal to our state, and I think it's disloyal to the community of Fremantle.

"There are people from all over the world who live in Fremantle and we come together as one people, one country on Australia Day — no one should undermine that.

"Everyone understands the history and the debate about Australia Day but Australia Day is our national day, most Aboriginal groups accept it and history is put to one side.

"Australia Day is now a day for all Australians — whatever their background, wherever they were born — and I think any group that tries to detract from that does a disservice to our country and to our people, all of our people."

The City of Fremantle has previously said the move has the support of Aboriginal people in the Fremantle area and denies the council is trying to be politically correct.


Pressure grows on David Morrison to be removed as Australian of the Year

Karel Dubsky, the officer wrongly accused of being involved in the Jedi council sex scandal by former Army chief David Morrison, has come out of the shadows to demand his tormentor’s removal as Australian of the Year.

He has authorised Senator Jacqui Lambie to move a motion in the Senate tomorrow to have Morrison replaced with "a person worthy of the title". Lambie will say Morrison "allowed Lt-Col Dubsky and others to be wrongly accused of being a members of a group of sex offenders and/or demeaning of women …

"General Morrison’s behaviour caused exceptional and undue harm to retired Lt-Col Dubsky, his family, and other innocent members of the ADF — and demonstrated behaviour that was the opposite required of the Australian of the Year."

Strengthening Dubsky’s arm is a leaked police report which suggests Morrison was aware of the "Jedi Council" pornography scandal for 10 months before he made the thundering YouTube speech in June, 2013, that brought him worldwide acclaim and a lucrative career as a "diversity" champion.

Dubsky has a private letter from the Army affirming he was never a member of the "Jedi Council".  "But by not correcting the public record my name remains smeared," he says.

He met Defence Minister Marise Payne in Canberra two weeks ago to plead for a public exoneration. But last week he received a formal letter from Defence saying the case was closed and no apology would occur.

To this day, Morrison refuses to comment, or apologise, to the man whose life he ruined.


Former Australian of the Year winners slam the awards and say they have been 'hijacked by activists'

Former winners of Australian of the Year honours have slammed the nominations for 2017, claiming the awards have been 'hijacked' by political activists.

Among the diverse list of nominees this year are 'social innovators', 'healthy living advocates' and a mining magnate described as an 'anti-slavery advocate'.

It's a list that Catherine McGregor, a 2016 Australian of the Year finalist, says proves the current system is 'broken' and is why she 'regrets' ever being a part of the awards, The Australian reports.

The transgender former Army officer was last year named Queensland's Australian of the Year and believes the system needs to be revamped. 'I think it has been hijacked by activists,' she said. 'It is unrepresentative of middle Australia and I regret profoundl­y ever being involved with it.'

Among those nominated for the major honour in 2017 is Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest. While he's most well known around the world for his AUD$5 billion worth, stemming from his Western Australia mining empire, that's not why he's been put up for the award.

Instead, it's his work as a 'philanthropist and anti-slavery advocate' that led to his nomination.

Equally controversial was the selection of Victorian representative Paris Aristotle. Mr Aristotle, an 'anti-torture and refugee rehabilitation advisor', was given the honour despite massive support for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) sufferer Neale Daniher.

A former AFL player and coach turned tireless MND champion, Daniher received a groundswell of support in Victoria for his work to raise awareness for the disease.

However despite his bravery in the face of the disease that is killing him he was overlooked by Victorian judges.

In recent years the award has been handed to scientists, lawyers, sports stars, musicians, educators and people from all walks of life.

However 1994 Australian of the Year Ian Kiernan - the founder of Clean Up Australia Day - is among many who believe those doing their jobs shouldn't be nominated.

'I believe you shouldn’t get the award for just doing your job — you’ve got to go further, doing something significant for your country,' Mr Kiernan said.   


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

28 November, 2016

Pauline Hanson slips into wetsuit for reef trip -- and finds that all is well with the reef

Most of the media have been amusing about this.  They say that she has embarrassed herself by not going to the "right" part of the reef.  But that claim is itself a message that only part of the reef is affected by bleaching.  We can perhaps be thankful to them for getting that message out to a wider audience. 

There are many possible causes of bleaching but the  loons of the Green/Left are sure it is caused by global warming.  And that might pass muster when we note that the bleaching has occurred in the most Northerly (and hence warmer) one-third of the reef.  Problem:  Coral LIKES warmth, which is why the Northern part of the reef normally has the greatest biological diversity.  Normally, the further North you go (i.e. the warmer you get), the greater the diversity.  So the cause of the bleaching is unknown. 

As a fallback position, the Greenies say that the bleaching is caused by agricultural runoff.  Problem: The Northern part of the reef runs along an area of the Cape York Peninsula where there is virtually NO agriculture.  The soils there are too poor for it to be economically feasible.  So no runoff.  "Facts be damned" seems to be the Greenie motto

Pauline Hanson has slipped into a wetsuit and made a splash on the Great Barrier Reef to show the world the natural wonder is worth visiting amid claims it is dying.

The senator, who once cooked fish for a living, went swimming off Great Keppel Island today and expressed concerns about reports on the reef's health.

Ms Hanson says agenda-driven groups are telling "untruths" about the state of the reef that are harming the tourism industry and businesses.  "When we have these agendas that are actually destroying our tourism industry and businesses ... we need to ask the questions and we want answers," she said. "The Greens have no concern about people and jobs that we need here in Queensland, and the escalating costs that we are feeling from the effects of this."

One Nation senators Malcolm Roberts, who has long argued the case that global warming doesn't stack up, and Brian Burston were also on the reef trip.

Mr Roberts said people had stopped coming to the reef because they were being told it was dead and that Australia should not be reporting on its health to the UN agency UNESCO.

Conservationists are concerned climate change is putting severe stress on the reef, which experienced a massive coral bleaching event this year, and some have declared it's dying at an unprecedented rate.

They say Ms Hanson and her senators visited the wrong part of the reef as the southern sections had been least affected by the worst bleaching event in the icon's history.

The World Wildlife Fund said One Nation should have visited Lizard Island where bleaching, caused by high water temperatures, has killed much of the coral.


Federal Government rules out negative gearing changes despite calls from NSW

The Federal Government has ruled out any changes to negative gearing despite calls from the New South Wales Liberal Government to ease housing affordability.

New South Wales Planning Minister Rob Stokes has broken ranks with his federal colleagues, accusing them of falling prey to "a Canberra culture that promotes opposition over consensus".

His comments have been welcomed by the Federal Labor Party but dismissed by senior Government ministers, who warned any changes could have negative impacts.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said land supply was the key influence on housing affordability, rather than negative gearing tax exemptions.

"What we are working to do — and we are working with the state governments now to do — is to zone for more density, more affordable housing," he told 3AW Radio.

"The critical thing to do is to build more dwellings."

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Government needed to consider how negative gearing would impact the entire nation and not Sydney alone.

"What might help in Pittwater may not help in Tasmania. In fact, it could actually have a negative impact because there is no one, single housing market," he said.

The Treasurer said he understood Mr Stokes was focused on Sydney, but he would focus on a comprehensive approach to housing affordability.

"There is no one issue that addresses this and anyone who pretends that really hasn't got across the full set of issues, and I think it is important we walk together," Mr Morrison said.

"Let's not forget that the overwhelming majority — some eight out of 10 people who buy investment properties — are not millionaires or wealthy property investors."

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann rejected Mr Stokes' call and said state governments were responsible for housing supply, not the Federal Government.

"The Commonwealth is always very keen to work with them but the suggestion that somehow increasing the taxes and making rental affordability less affordable is the right way to go … we completely reject," he told Sky News.

Labor backs 'recognition of reality' Labor's Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen welcomed the New South Wales Government's "recognition of reality" and called on the Treasurer to follow its lead.

He called on the Federal Government to "swallow its pride" and accept that negative gearing reforms were necessary to give young Australians hope, to repair the budget and to address housing affordability.

"First home buyers rates are at record lows, investor rates are at record highs," he said. "Right around Australia, young people are looking at the great Australian dream and seeing it slip through their fingers."

Mr Bowen said voters understood the time for negative gearing reforms was "well and truly here". "Today should be the last day that [the Federal Government] continues to refuse to listen to sensible contributions on negative gearing reform, including from their own party."

Focus on equality

In a speech to the Committee for Economic Development, Mr Stokes called on the Federal Government to focus on equality of opportunity for all homebuyers.

He said the NSW Government was willing to have a discussion about tax reform earlier this year and said he was disappointed by the Federal Government's policy position.

"Disappointingly our leadership on this issue fell victim to the Canberra culture that promotes opposition over consensus," he said.

"It's a major concern to me as Planning Minister of the most populous state, but also as a dad to three young children, of increasing reports that without parental support the dream of home ownership is becoming harder and harder to obtain.

"Surely the focus of the tax system should be directed towards the type of housing we need. Why should you get a tax deduction on the ownership of a multi-million-dollar holiday home that does nothing to improve supply where it's needed?"


University of Sydney beats Oxford, Cambridge in new global rankings

The University of Sydney produces graduates that are more employable than those from Cambridge, Oxford and Columbia, according to a new global rankings measure.

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings assessed 300 universities worldwide against five criteria: employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employer/student connections and graduate employment rates.

It surveyed 37,000 employers and mapped the careers of 21,000 individuals worldwide to determine the rankings.

On this basis the University of Sydney placed fourth worldwide, after Stanford and MIT in the US, and Tsinghua University in China.

The University of Melbourne ranked joint eleventh, while ANU and Monash University made the top 50 globally. UNSW does not appear in the list because it chose to opt out.

The success of Australia's universities in the global employability rankings is based in large part on their industry partnership programs, Ben Sowter, head of research at QS said.

"The 2017 instalment of this ranking illustrates that universities with a heavy STEM focus are generally among the most successful in nurturing student employability," he said.

"This ranking indicates that efforts made by Australian universities to establish themselves as industry-friendly knowledge hubs are paying dividends for their students."

QS or Quacquarelli Symonds ran the employability rankings for the first time as a pilot last year. Universities are permitted to opt-out, unlike in other rankings systems.

Tracey McNicol from ANU's Planning and Performance Management division said "for a university to perform well in this ranking they need to not only engage widely with employers but ensure that graduates leave their institutions with the skills and attributes that are relevant to the needs of employers."

The news will be a boost for the University of Sydney which sits behind the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University in the general rankings such as the Times Higher Ed and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Similarly, in the QS global rankings this year, Sydney ranked the 46th best university in the world, behind Melbourne (42nd) and ANU (22nd).

The University of Sydney's Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said it was committed to providing students with opportunities they need to thrive in the workforce.

"Equipping students with the knowledge, skills, values and purpose to serve society at every level and to lead the way in improving people's lives has been our mission since the University was founded in 1850," he said.


Privately-funded (better measured, more accountable) social services

Jeremy Sammut

National Adoption Awareness Week has redrawn attention to the appallingly few adoptions in Australia -- despite the appallingly high number of children in foster care that will never go home safely.

The opponents of adoption continue to claim the real problem with the child protection system is that not enough is done to help parents to stop kids entering care.

They falsely claim that adoption advocates (such as me) believe that early intervention services are a "waste of time" (see this review of my book).

This is nonsense, of course.  The problem is that child protection services bend over backwards to support parents to the point that children suffer prolonged abuse and neglect; hence there are many thousands of damaged children in care with maltreatment-related 'high needs' -- development, emotional, and other problems.

The critics also ignore the lack of evidence to support the 'family preservation' policies they endorse.

Take the 2015 Victorian Auditor General's report that found there was no way of knowing whether increased government spending on family support services  was "effectively meeting the needs of vulnerable groups ... because there are significant limitations in the service performance data and a lack of outcomes monitoring at the system level."

This is a sector-wide problem identified by my (sadly departing) colleague Trisha Jha in her excellent recent report detailing the lack of robust evaluations of early childhood interventions.

But change is slowly occurring in the social services sector, driven by privately-financed funding initiatives. The Benevolent Society's privately-financed Social Benefit Bond is used to fund the Resilient Families programs, which has had some early success in reducing the number of children entering care.

The success appears to be underpinned by a robust, independent evaluation mechanism. This includes the virtually unprecedented use of a matched intervention-group and control-group to generate a gold-standard measure of effectiveness.

Rewarding programs based on their demonstrated outcomes makes providers accountable; it encourages innovation and discovery of what actually works -- a virtuous circle.

We still need thousands more adoptions each year because there simply are some families that can never be fixed whose children will need rescuing.

But better measured, more accountable social services would also help ensure the child protection system protects children properly.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

27 November, 2016

Post-truth was out there, but the electorate ignored it

Did the near-universal opposition to Trump convince people to vote for him? CHRIS KENNY reflects

Donald Trump, say the progressive media commentators, has been elevated on the back of post-truth politics. They couldn’t be more right, or more wrong.

The liberal media, smug about its own world view, sees Trump’s victory as evidence voters ignored the truth it presented. Silly voters; the media is never wrong.

It believes voters fell for Trump’s post-truth over the media’s truth. The self-delusion is staggering.

On our shores, the Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy put it this way: "We’ve been drifting, in increments, in the direction of post-truth, but the election of Trump is a headfirst pitch over the cliff. A person with manifest disdain for facts and evidence now occupies the White House because half the country didn’t care."

As Murphy would have it, the media "did its job" trying to expose a "manifestly unqualified and potentially dangerous" candidate. Murphy discounted the "post-truth partisan hackery of Fox News" because she says it isn’t journalism.

The point that set Fox’s coverage apart from the media Murphy defends is that it got the story right, portraying Trump as a plausible contender. Fox also was, as ever, upfront about its own right-of-centre perspective. Viewers can take it or leave it, but there is no pretence.

The overwhelming majority of left-of-centre journalists and media organisations portray themselves as objective, "independent" or centrist. In doing so, they take their audiences for fools and break the nexus of trust at the first hurdle. Truth, and its absence, is a powerful factor in current discourse. No political group or individual is blameless but the progressive media doesn’t care to examine its own deceptions.

Perhaps the dishonesty of the PC brigade helps to drive voters to people such as Trump, Pauline Hanson and the Brexiteers, despite misgivings. When you are be­ing corralled in a certain direction by a jaundiced and sanctimonious political/media class consensus, why not rebel against it?

Remember, I say this as someone who opposed Trump and argued US voters would be unwise to abstain because they needed to pinch their noses and vote for Hillary Clinton to stop him.

By calling out the cosy establishment of politicians, media and lobbyists, and raising real grievances they ruled off-limits, he was a compelling figure.

There is much more to be analysed about Trump’s win — particularly economic factors and swing state campaigning — but this post-truth aspect is fascinating because we see loud echoes of it in our own politics.

The political/media class, exemplified by our taxpayer-funded media but strongly reflected in most political coverage, skews the news and opinion it produces on major issues. This underestimates the intelligence of the public, who surely resent being patronised.

Journalists and left-of-centre politicians (including Coalition moderates) can get caught up in self-referential circles, affirming their version of reality. Voters crash the party at elections or, if the politicians are lucky, by voicing their concerns beforehand.

Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech, carbon tax and live cattle export ban were illustrative examples, as was the NSW Baird government’s recent greyhound rac­ing ban — they were cheered by the Left and media but recognised as madness by the public.

This week Immigration Minister Peter Dutton spoke harsh truths about the Islamic extremists who have emerged from our Lebanese Muslim community, and the reaction from the green-Left and progressive media was classically post-truth.

The message Bill Shorten accused Dutton of promulgating was the polar opposite of what the minister enunciated. Dutton said the majority of Lebanese Muslims who have "done the right thing by this country" should not be "defined by those people who have done the wrong thing" but the Opposition Leader accused him of the "wholesale labelling of entire communities for the actions of a tiny minority".

Shorten’s critique was fallacious but most media did not pin him. Before long the Guardian Australia was calling Dutton’s comments "incendiary" and Fairfax Media was running "Dutton race row" headlines and calls for his resignation.

As for the well-established facts about Lebanese Muslims arrested in terror operations and broader, extensively analysed problems of welfare dependency, crime and poor integration, the more outraged the media outlets, the less interested they were in such matters. Greens senator Nick McKim captured the zeitgeist. "Undoubtedly the advice he’s got is accurate but just because something is fact doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable or productive to talk about it," he told Sky News.

Do these politicians and journalists presume the public (to use Jack Nicholson’s famous line) can’t handle the truth?

Or do they think the public will join a delusional parlour game of political theatre when serious issues of security, immigration and cohesion are at play? Some partisans will, of course, but the crucial, sensible centre is more interested in reality.

This is the real post-truth environment: mainstream voters seeing through the spin and jaundice of an overwhelmingly green-Left political/media class. Just as they have long been sceptical of arguments from big business because of its obvious self-interest, voters discern a politically correct agenda from the establishment, including the media.

Climate change is an area where these pontificators treat the public like mugs. Anyone with a pulse knows the scientific consensus about carbon dioxide emissions and temperature models; the complexity comes in whether actual events match the models, whether remedial action is worthwhile and comparing the range of possible responses and their likely costs and benefits.

Yet the political/media class pretends Australian action — be it a wind farm or a carbon price — equates to an environmental benefit. Does it think the public is not aware we contribute only 1.3 per cent of global emissions?

When the political/media class continually censors such realities, or eliminates them from discussions, to maintain a simplistic and binary discussion, does it think mainstream voters will never discover that China and India continue to massively increase global emissions?

Do the politicians and journalists presume all members of the public want to join their campaign of climate gestures or do they think we are too silly to comprehend that we are being made to pay higher electricity prices to produce a net environmental dividend of next to zero?

These are the same journalists, activists and politicians who went quiet on border protection when it was in chaos under Labor. ABC news bulletins often neglected to report boat arrivals, the Australian Human Rights Commission sec­retly delayed an inquiry into children in detention and journalists re­peated Labor’s mantra that "push factors" were to blame and boats simply could not be turned back.

After the Coalition turned back boats, stopped the people-smuggling and started emptying and closing the detention centres, the AHRC finally began its detention inquiry and the media went back to shrill reports of boat arrivals and claims of mistreatment from asylum-seekers. Instructively, only after the change of government did the ABC construct a web page to log the arrival of every boat; clearly intended to log the Coalition’s failure, it quickly became redundant.

The media/political class can easily convince itself of its ‘‘truthiness" version of reality, and it can have it reinforced constantly by "independent" and social media, but it can’t fool the public. That is the real message of the post-truth age. And the public has the ultimate say through the ballot box. The more they are preached at, especially with incorrect assertions or incomplete arguments, the more they are likely to rebel.

In this respect, Murphy may have been on the money when, in her piece about the media’s efforts to expose Trump, she said: "Our efforts to make things better could be making things worse."


All power to energy security: Australia could learn from Trump

When US president-elect Donald Trump listed his six top priorities for executive action this week on "day one" of becoming the most powerful man in the world, naturally most attention was grabbed by his very first decision: withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Yet in global terms, and in Australia’s interest, his second priority was just as important.

This was Trump’s pledge to "cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American ­energy including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs".

Energy security was placed above national security.

The jobs of coalminers, the use of low-cost shale deposits for ­energy and the creation of manufacturing jobs were placed ahead of national security, and the withdrawal from the Obama administration’s commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change didn’t even rate a mention.

There is global agitation about the pragmatism of protecting jobs through energy security, providing energy at a low enough price so people can afford to use it and producing energy when ­people need it, as well as an ­imperative to lower carbon emissions. The hidden cost of "intermittency" — the hallmark of wind and solar production — and the danger of blackouts are being recognised.

Australia is fortunate in that, historically, it has had low-cost ­energy, enormous natural res­ources, a pristine environment and the benefit of seeing how policy parameters such as the European emissions trading system and subsidised ­renewable energy programs work in practice.

Trump’s priorities and actions on energy are vital to Australia’s own energy future, economic growth, job creation and climate change actions as precipitous political decisions around the world are distorting energy markets, pushing up costs for ­industry, driving jobs across borders, exporting manufacturing ­opportunities and perversely ­affecting markets and carbon emissions.

There is also a political neces­sity to continue to get public support for climate change initiatives, although Trump has demonstrated there can be a white-hot anger about ideological climate change policies that don’t recognise the hurt to workers.

In recent weeks in Australia the closure of the Victorian Hazelwood coal-fired power station has been announced with the loss of 750 jobs in the Latrobe Valley, in part because of French government climate change policy; ­export coal prices have soared; coalmines have reopened; and AGL, one of the biggest domestic gas suppliers, has set aside $17 million for a feasibility study for Australia, the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, to import lower-cost LNG from suppliers in the Middle East.

As well, South Australia experi­enced catastrophic power blackouts, Victoria became a net electricity importer, with the ­potential for dire shortages or blackouts at times of extreme ­demand, and the Victorian Labor government introduced a bill this week to extend its existing moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration to 2020.

The Greens, environmental ­activists and the ALP are simultaneously building a public campaign for the transition from coal and gas to a mainly renew­able ­energy future that is putting cutting carbon emissions ahead of ­energy and job security.

It is a challenge for all sides of politics in form and substance.

According to Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Greg Hunt, the Victorian government’s decision to continue to ban onshore natural gas exploration is the final act in laying the foundation for a "manufacturing crisis" with a looming shortfall in natural gas supply ­because Australia is locked into long-term LNG exports, and Victoria and NSW are banning or ­effectively banning gas exploration and production.

"It is absolutely clear there is no shortage of gas resources in the ground but there is a shortage of gas supply to homes and industry," Hunt tells ­Inquirer. "We have to be honest that the effective closure of new supplies will risk jobs, will risk prices and will risk economic activity.

"The sad part, over and above that, is that potentially we choose higher emissions sources of ­energy for electricity."

Whereas Australia is aiming to reform its energy market, upgrade its electricity interchange, boost renewable energy, keep coal and gas as integral parts of energy generation and job creation for decades to come, and meet its international agreements to cut carbon emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, Trump is happy to shed global ­obligations to provide cheap power for the US economy.

He campaigned successfully on creating American jobs and specifically on returning the manufacturing and mining jobs lost in states such as Pennsylvania, which he snatched from Hillary Clinton, sensing the blue-collar fear and reality of job losses because of climate change policies closing mines and raising costs to support renewable energy.

As for Australia, seen as one of the world’s great carbon demons because of its coal production, it does not have the option of dumping carbon polices as Trump ­intends to do, but neither should Australian governments, state and federal, adopt distorting policies that push costs to domestic and ­industry users to levels that are punitive, unsustainable and a threat to a cohesive energy supply and security.

Without commenting on any US administration’s domestic policy, Hunt makes the point: "American manufacturing in ­recent years has become more competitive in significant measure because they have had access to lower-cost gas; it actually brought gas on board. As a matter of economics, if there is more natural gas available in the US, then their manufacturing will be even more competitive."

In the past 10 years in the US, electricity generation from gas has risen from 18.7 per cent to 32.5 per cent while coal has fallen from 49.5 per cent to 33 per cent. Coal and natural gas are now almost equal as the producers of American electricity. During the same period, renew­able electricity energy has grown from 8.8 per cent to 13.8 per cent and nuclear has ­remained steady at 19.4 per cent.

The real lesson for Australia in the US experience of the role of gas, coal and renewables in this energy-climate change mix is not the increased potential economic threat from Trump’s low-cost powered US industrial base but from Europe.

Although Trump’s first priority involved ensuring the US created American jobs by producing steel and "making cars", the threat to Australia’s coal exports — which even Bill Shorten admits must go on for decades — is the framing of public opinion and policy development that puts energy security at risk.

Ideologically driven energy ­decisions in Europe taken years ago provide the example of how Australia should not proceed: ­unrealistic renewable energy targets, unsustainable renewable ­energy subsidies, rising electricity prices, precipitously doing away with fossil fuels, politically driven decisions to close nuclear power plants, the export of jobs and, ironically, the start of the failure of carbon emission reduction policies.

In the past two years Germany’s renowned world leader status on renewable energy has started to be tarnished as political decisions to subsidise renewables and to close nuclear power plants, coalmines and coal-fired power plants have ­resulted in price rises and ­environmental anomalies.

Rising costs for industry’s power have forced companies to relocate, the government has told renewable energy producers they have to manage without subsidies, coal-fired power stations are being commissioned, brown coal — lignite — mines are being opened and brown "dirty" coal is still a large part of baseload electricity generation.

Paradoxically, as Germany tries to become nuclear free, it is buying nuclear-generated electricity from France and the French are importing cheap lignite-powered electricity from Germany. This makes a mockery of carbon emission and nuclear energy ­reductions.

France introduced a carbon tax on coal-fired electricity and cut subsidies to coal — in part affecting the Latrobe Valley — as a climate change policy, but higher costs forced the government to cancel the tax within a few months.

As Europe heads into winter, there are predictions of greater ­demand from Britain and The Netherlands from electricity suppliers, and some of that will be coming from Germany’s "dirty ­secret" of lignite. Germany is being attacked by industry for higher prices creating job losses and by environmentalists for dropping its specific carbon emission reduction targets for 2050.

Australia has the opportunity to bring a sober, pragmatic but ­environmentally responsible ener­gy security to bear in the ­national interest, but at the ­moment the approach is fractured, ideologically driven and not receiving the priority Trump is prepared to give energy security.


Trump’s Aussie mates: Latham, Dean and Cameron launch new show

Mark Latham, Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean, or "Trump’s Aussie Mates", have teamed up for a new panel show on Sky News called Outsiders. It is an answer to the ABC’s Insiders program, the embodiment of an out-of-touch, inner-city Leftist class, according to the trio.

Former Labor Party leader, Latham, former Howard government frontbencher, Cameron, and editor of The Spectator magazine, Rowan Dean, hosted a US election-day function called Trump’s Aussie Mates on ­November 9 in Sydney. High on Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, the three men joined Sky’s Paul Murray Live that night to discuss and celebrate what had just transpired.

"All three of us over the past 12 months were both supportive of Donald Trump and, more importantly, recognised he would win and kept repeating this despite this meaning the opprobrium of every other media commentator basically," Dean told The Australian. "I was told I was reprehensible as a human being for even countenancing a Donald Trump victory on Lateline."

Days after the Paul Murray appearance, an agreement was in place for a new show featuring the trio to air on Sunday mornings at 10am, immediately after Barrie Cassidy’s Insiders on the ABC, with the program to debut on ­December 4.

"It could be close to a record for the fastest conception of a TV network news program," Cameron said. "It required two conversations and one email and it took less than 24 hours."

Latham, known for his Trump-like disdain for political correctness, the establishment and bleeding-heart Lefties, claims ­credit for the idea.

He said Cassidy’s predictions of a Hillary Clinton landslide victory galvanised his belief there was room in the market for a show that gave voice to Australia’s own silent majority.

"It’s like the ‘Opposite day’ ­episode of Seinfeld," Latham said. "If you do the opposite of Barrie Cassidy you’ll get it right."

Latham predicts the program will enjoy unprecedented access to the White House during the Trump presidency.

"When we want to call team Trump, we just called him direct. We don’t need the Shark," he said in reference to a News Corp report that Australian golfer Greg Norman had put Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in touch with the president-elect.

One objective for the program is to gain access to a Human Rights Commission conciliation conference, run by president Gillian Triggs, for a complaint lodged under the controversial section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, Cameron said.

"Our modest goal is to be the highest-rating show on Sky in three weeks," he said.

Latham said he was proud there was "absolutely no balance whatsoever" on the panel. "There’s no gender balance. We’re all white. We don’t believe in things like gender balance," he said.

The hosts declined to divulge their thoughts on Turnbull’s handling of the Trump victory thus far. "You’ll have to watch the show," they said.

So how do they think the Trump presidency will pan out?

Cameron: "Brilliantly. Two terms."

Dean: "It will be a proper presidency."

Latham: "We want Trump to abuse the media and for them to abuse him back and we want more lectures from actors … then a Trump landslide in 2020."


School Indoctrination Just Keeps Getting Worse

First it was the Safe Schools program to indoctrinate our children into the LGBT agenda, then it was Respectful Relationships to teach our children about feminism and male privilege. Now we have a new school program to complete the trifecta of identity and victim politics with the Building Belonging program to enforce racial and cultural diversity. The program has been created by the embattled Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and is aimed at pre-schoolers.

The justification for such a program according to the National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell is apparently early childhood educators have been asked by students about the racial background of another student and half of those questions implied something negative about that race. Rather than an educator just answering these questions and putting it down to the curious nature of children which all parents understand. The AHRC concludes that these questions are asked because children are being racists, probably egged on by their parents. Therefore it requires a government mandated anti-racism program.

This is despite the fact that there are hundreds of multiracial suburbs and schools in our major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne and almost every white child these days has a friend from other race. But determined to paint a negative view of Australia and our children the left have created this program to stop the next generation of racists.

The content of this program includes lessons such as be aware of the difference in appearances of people, not to judge people because of their appearance and to respect diversity and how to respect people’s differences. It would appear from these lessons that the creators are intending to create a sense of difference between students where one might not exist in the first place. Young children might not have really thought about the fact that other students are of different races or cultures, but this program implants the idea of difference in their minds.

Then there is the toolkit for educators and parents, for educators it asks them to teach students to spot alleged racial prejudice and even teaches them to know when their parents are being racist. It also asks them to teach students about the benefits of cultural diversity and learning about other cultures. For parents it encourages them and their children to experience the culture of other races by going to their events and cultural festivals. The creators of the program have also created a list of frequently asked racist questions that children might ask. There is even song which students must sing about the different racial colours in Australia.

The message that these toolkits communicate send is specifically that white students and parents must embrace and experience other cultures as they are perpetuating a racist society. I never knew that multiculturalism must be compulsory, as long as I’m not believing some races are inferior to others it’s none of these educators business what cultural activities I take my child too.

This program is likely to have the opposite effect to what it is intended. The children of today already go to school with children from many different cultures and races therefore it is only natural for them to want to get along and have a good time. But this program has the effect of dividing students into different races and cultures and creating a barrier to student interaction where there shouldn’t be one. By telling mainly white students that the students of colour are radically different people from and you need to be careful when interacting with them could have the effect of creating resentment.

This program is just another facet of the left’s enforcement of identity politics, dividing people into victim groups and creating the concept of privileged classes of people. We are living in arguably the most tolerant times in human history where it is as easy as ever (in the western world at least) to be who you want to be without fear of persecution.

But of course to left everything is racist, sexist, homophobic or bigoted which therefore justifies them trying to remake society in their cultural Marxist image. This is why they have introduced all these programs into schools so they can get children while they are young and indoctrinate them into their worldviews therefore shaping the future direction of society.

Parents need to take a stand and say we will not put up with this, we will not let our children become footsoliders in this culture war you are trying to create. We are not living in some evil white privileged, patriarchal, heteronominative society that justifies you filling our children’s minds with such divisive, confusing and potentially damaging ideas. We know what is best for our children and will not let you use them for your destructive plans to destroy our current society.


Criminologist Paul Wilson jailed over ‘brazen’ child sexual abuse

I can't say I am surprised.  He was always an odd one.  He was a real pretty boy in his younger days and he became quite the narcissist.  He had big pictures of himself in the company of prominent people plastered up all over the walls of his office in the Michie building at UQ

A Queensland criminologist has been jailed for brazen and persistent sexual abuse of a young girl in the 1970s.

Paul Wilson, 75, first assaulted the victim when she was eight at his Brisbane home in Indooroopilly and only stopped when she moved away from the area. Some of the abuse was carried out while other children and an adult were in the house.

Judge Julie Dick sentenced Wilson to 18 months imprisonment suspended after six months. Dick said the offending was persistent, brazen and involved the corruption of a child "of tender years".

"This was a child, somebody else’s child in the neighbourhood who was visiting," she said. "You, being an older man, had some authority and power over her. She has suffered this over a long number of years and the trial itself was traumatic for her."

She accepted the defendant had led an "admirable life" but added: "No one knows what happens behind closed doors."

Wilson was convicted after a retrial at Brisbane supreme court of four counts of indecent treatment of a child between 1973 and 1976.

Prosecutor Phil McCarthy described him as brazen and manipulative, and said he had used his position of standing in the community to corrupt the young girl. The abuse continues to have a significant effect on the victim, who was "very young and sexually naive" at the time, he said.

Defence barrister Peter Davis, QC, said Wilson, awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his contribution to education, had lived a "full, successful, busy and conventional life" as a university professor. He has suffered a "very public fall from grace", he added.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

25 November, 2016

Another Trump/Brexit/Hanson event and the Greens have a fit

NSW has a Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, the name of which is self-explanatory.  They mainly want an easing of gun laws but you can see similarities with Trump and other recent uprisings against political correctness.  They have previously got seats in the NSW Upper House only -- with the help of proportional representation.  Now that they have taken a lower house seat it is therefore quite an upset

The NSW MPs of the Australian Greens have chucked one of the most childish and immature tantrums ever seen in any Australian Parliament, after Orange elected Mr Phillip Donato from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFFP).

The three Greens MPs including Tamara Smith, Jenny Leong and Jamie Parker have announced they do not want to sit with the newly elected MP from the SFFP.  Resorting to behaviour better suited to your local primary school, they have asked that Mr Donato be seated with the Labor MPs.

Ms Leong who has clearly been triggered by this event has spoken out and declared that Mr Donato should sit "with his Labor mates," a swipe at Labor for preferencing the SFFP over the Greens in the by-election. It is clear to see that the Greens are deeply and emotionally scarred by the tragic preferencing deal.

The people have spoken and it is time for the greens to take a big spoonful of cement and harden up.  Our parliaments are not places for the weak hearted.

SOURCE.  More background on Mr Donato here.  He is no rube.

Back to basics phonics test to be rolled out in Australian schools

A five-minute reading check for first-graders that includes made-up words like "beff" and "shup" has dramatically improved early literacy rates in the UK and is set to be adopted in Australia.

The Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has endorsed new research which suggests the UK's Year 1 phonics screening check should be rolled out across Australian classrooms, after pledging to promote a back-to-basics approach to education in the May budget.

The test would provide data on student literacy levels as well as on how effectively teachers are teaching phonics, according to the report's author, Dr Jennifer Buckingham from the Centre for Independent Studies.

The federal government is threatening to make state education funding contingent on state governments implementing measures like the phonics check, after the current funding deal runs out at the end of next year.

But the Teachers Federation said the screening test was "anti-teacher", because it was based on not trusting teachers to do their jobs properly.

The phonics check was greeted with some controversy when it was introduced in the UK in 2012, with some teachers and parents claiming smart kids were failing the test because they were trying to correct the made-up words they saw in front of them, for example by sounding "strom" as "storm".

But in the years since it was launched, the share of children meeting the expected standard lifted from just over half in 2012 to eight in 10 this year.

Dr Buckingham's report, Focus on Phonics, said the UK's experience showed the check should be trialled in Australia.

She said there was doubt over how well systematic phonics is taught in Australian schools and has been critical of the widespread use of Reading Recovery, which the NSW government recently scrapped.

"Surveys of principals suggest there is not a lot of confidence in new teachers' ability to teach reading – which is extraordinary, because if there's one thing a primary school teacher should leave their initial teaching education with, it should be a high level of ability and training to teach reading," she said.

Literacy as measured by the international Progress in Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and NAPLAN from Year 3 upwards suggests that the literacy levels of Australian students are persistently low compared with other English-speaking countries.

The check takes 5-7 minutes per child and can be administered by a teacher. It tests students' ability to sound out 40 words, including made-up words to ensure they are not simply remembering sight words.

"This check is a very simple and quick assessment of what children know at a pretty crucial point in their learning, before the gaps start to open up and becomes hard to remediate," Dr Buckingham said.

She is calling for a pilot program to be run in mid-Year 1.

But Maurie Mulheron from the NSW Teachers Federation said: "Her solution is more testing. And really it's a pernicious kind of thing she's saying, that 'I don't trust that teachers are doing the right thing, I don't trust that they're teaching the syllabus, I don't trust that they're using the literacy strategies they say they are, so I'm going to test the children to prove the teachers aren't doing the right thing'.

"It comes from a mindset that is anti-teacher."

Dennis Yarrington, the president of the Australian Primary Principals Association said "I'm a bit concerned with the assertion that teachers are not teaching phonics well, that's a broad statement," he said.

"The APPA would certainly not support any type of standardised year 1 assessment. We need to be identifying things that work in Australia, and we have a number of assessment tools being used in schools across Australia already. But if a school doesn't have something in place, this could be an option for them to trial."

Mr Birmingham discussed the UK's phonics screening check with his UK counterpart Nick Gibb in June. He said "the evidence from Dr Buckingham adds further weight to the need for states and territories to support the evidence-based reforms that the Turnbull government wants to use to leverage our record levels of funding to turn around our declining international education performance."

Mr Birmingham said the phonics check would be discussed with states and territories at the COAG Education Council meeting next month.

The NSW government has already committed $340 million to an early intervention literacy strategy, including a plan to make "quality online literacy and numeracy assessments" available to teachers.


Pauline Hanson has had it with being called a racist

SENATOR Pauline Hanson has declared herself a victim of "reverse racism" and claims she has never said anything that is racist.

The surprising speech was made during a Senate session on Thursday morning where members debated a private bill proposed by One Nation and Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm to decimate Australia’s race-hate laws.

Arguing to remove dealing with prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial hatred from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the One National leader denied that she herself was racist, and said she was fed up or being labelled as one.

"Let’s define the word racism — a racist is a person who believes their race to be superior to another," she said.

"Understand the meaning, so when you criticise or you have a point of difference, don’t counteract by saying it’s a racist comment.

"I am fed up with people in this parliament, and even outside this house calling me a racist, yet they cannot define one word that I have ever said in policy or anything that is racist."

Ms Hanson went on to recall a time where she felt she had been victimised because of her race.

"I remember years ago when I was first elected I went to have a meeting with the Aboriginal elders," she said.

"I remember they came out, they called me a pig in mud and white trash ... the media actually printed it, and when I actually spoke to them about it they said ‘what’s wrong with that?’

"Well imagine if I’d reversed the words, but I never did."

Ms Hanson said Australians were fed up with "reverse racism".  "It’s become now in Australia, down to reverse racism, that’s why Australians are fed up with it," she said.

She said the current "point of view" meant that Australians’ freedom of speech had been stifled thanks to discrimination laws protecting certain groups.

"I’m in this chamber, I’m protected. I can say what I like in here, but if I go outside this chamber and say it outside like many Australians, well, you can’t have an opinion. You can’t say anything anymore," she said.

Ms Hanson also used her time in the Senate to cite her involvement with people of different cultural backgrounds. She listed her first husband who "was actually Polish", a woman who once managed her fish and chip shop who was "also a refugee from Laos", and said she had rented properties to an Aboriginal woman and her child.

But while Ms Hanson said she "cherished" her associations with people of different cultures who had "assimilated", she said she had "had it up to here" with having to be tolerant of people with "no intention of ever becoming Australians".

But, she added: "I welcome anyone who has come to this country to join us, assimilate and enjoy our way of life."


Peter Dutton stands by his comments on Lebanese migrants: "Why can’t I talk about the facts?"

IMMIGRATION minister Peter Dutton won’t step back from his comments regarding a small portion of the Lebanese Muslim community.

Australians were "sick" of over the top political correctness, the Minister told media after a Greens Senator said his comments might be factual but they weren’t "productive".

Mr Dutton rejected suggestions his comments were whipping up racism. Instead, he blamed the "tricky elite", Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Greens MPs for making the remarks a big deal to win political points.

"I want to have an honest discussion," he said. "The vast majority of Lebanese Australians are law-abiding, hard working, good decent people who are besmirched by the small element within the community who are doing the wrong thing. "I made that clear."

Earlier, Greens Senator Nick McKim had attacked Mr Dutton for telling politicians in Question Time on Monday 22 out of the last 33 people charged with terrorist-related offences in Australia were from a second and third generational Lebanese-Muslim background.

"Undoubtedly the advice he’s got is accurate but just because something is fact doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable or productive to talk about it," Senator McKim said on Sky News.

"What we’ve got is a deliberate attack from Mr Dutton by quoting these numbers on a particular subsection of the Australian community."

Mr Dutton had been clarifying this comment to a Sky News interview last week: "The reality is Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in the 1970s and we’re seeing that today."

On Thursday, Mr Dutton questioned why he couldn’t talk about facts. "Mr McKim gave the game away today when he said ‘What Dutton has said is factual and reasonable but shouldn’t be spoken about’," he said. "Australians are sick of that. "They want to have an honest discussion."

Mr Dutton said he condemned anyone who made death threats after Labor MP Anne Aly, a counter-terrorism expert and the first Muslim woman in parliament, yesterday said she had received abuse and death threats following his comments.

"The question she should be asking is of Bill Shorten — why did he seek to whip this up into an issue of political advantage," he said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stood by Mr Dutton but has not directly addressed his remarks.


Turnbull finally pulls off the gloves after Shorten crosses race line

Malcolm Turnbull’s long pent-up hostility to Bill Shorten on character grounds — originating with the "Medicare privatisation" election issue — erupted yesterday in relation to Peter Dutton and Barnaby Joyce.

"He has no regard for the truth," Turnbull alleged across the despatch box after a question from Shorten. Turnbull accused Shorten of sustained dishonesty, a sentiment he has nursed since the election. The hostility is rampant on the government frontbench that, Dutton aside, seems unable to lay a glove on Shorten as he goes his merry way.

Turnbull’s fury focused on Shorten’s accusations about Dutton yesterday — over claims Dutton did not make and actually repudiated. Turnbull believes Shorten, not Dutton, is the one "harming the fabric of society" over the Lebanese Muslim row.

"You can’t take it, can you," Turnbull said to Shorten before being interrupted. He attacked "this consistent, dishonest, misrepresentation by the Leader of the Opposition". It seemed Turnbull might abandon the Marquess of Queensberry rules by which he operates and which Shorten has effortlessly exploited.

Turnbull was roused to anger by Shorten’s calculated attack during a debate on counter-terrorism when the ALP leader accused Dutton of "loud, lazy disrespect, wholesale labelling of entire communities for the actions of a tiny minority", saying this would "aid and abet the isolation and resentment that extremists prey upon". It was a lethal charge, referring to Dutton’s comments on Lebanese Muslims that, if true, would mean Dutton was unfit to be Immigration Minister.

Dutton, in fact, referring to the Lebanese Muslim community, had told parliament this week: "I am not going to allow people who are hardworking, who have done the right thing by this country, who have contributed, who have worked hard and who have educated their children, to be ­defined by those people who have done the wrong thing."

Turnbull, in effect, said Shorten was guilty of the charge he was laying against Dutton; that his comments would provoke disharmony. He accused Shorten of "recklessness" and "dishonesty," of "misrepresenting one minister after another" and of being "all reckless to the consequences of what he does other than his own political interest". This goes to the charge the government is building against Shorten: that his recklessness is a risk for the country, a line spearheaded in recent times by Dutton.

The incident came at the end of question time when Shorten asked Turnbull a question, claiming Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce had written to the South Australian government saying the Turnbull government "would abandon" its obligation to deliver 450 gigalitres of water to the Murray-Darling Basin.

Turnbull rejected this as another misrepresentation. In fact, the Joyce letter reflects the provisions of the Act that depends upon agreement among the states. It concludes "the hard conversation has to happen about how we resolve this stalemate".

This brief eruption at the end of question time has a fuse going back to the election. It originates with Shorten’s Medicare claims, resentment of which has burnt into Turnbull’s brain. The only surprise is the eruption did not occur earlier.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

24 November, 2016

Would-be teachers must improve uni scores

When will this bungler learn? Between all the red tape and the disruptive students, teaching is no longer a good job.  So bright people mostly avoid it.  You HAVE TO accept dummies as teachers or you will eventually not have enough teachers for the schools. 

Victorian students who want to train as teachers will need higher university entrance scores after concerns too many young educators aren't up to the mark.

The minimum Victoria state ATAR will be 65 in 2018 and rise to 70 from 2019.

"If you want the best and brightest kids, then you have got to make sure that we've got the best and brightest teachers," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Wednesday.

"For too long I think too many people who are perhaps not ready to be teachers have been getting the scores necessary to get into that course."

The average ATAR of students who began a teaching course in 2016 was about 57, according to Fairfax Media, implying some students got in with even lower scores.

Mr Andrews lifting lift teaching standards will flow through to class rooms. "We've got an oversupply of teachers at the moment, so it's exactly the right time," Mr Andrews said.

But opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling says a high ATAR score alone won't result in smarter teachers. "While ATARs are important, universities use a range of tools to select their teacher candidates, including interviews, portfolios and written applications," Mr Wakeling said.

"Teachers need better support as they enter the classroom and more valuable professional development focused on improving their skills throughout their career."


Australia cuts Clinton Foundation funds

The federal government has not renewed any of its partnerships with the Clinton Foundation.

Labor and coalition governments over the past decade have paid more than $75 million to the anti-poverty foundation set up by the former first family of the United States, but questions have been raised about its accountability.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the coalition joint party room on Tuesday agreements entered into by the Rudd-Gillard government had not been renewed.


Noel Pearson condemns the ABC as a ‘miserable racist’ broadcaster at Paul Keating book launch

THE country’s top indigenous leader Noel Pearson has eviscerated the ABC as a "miserable racist national broadcaster" needing "blacks to lead short lives of grief and tribulation" in order to produce bleeding-heart news reports.

In remarks that stunned an audience of senior Labor figures gathered to launch a new biography of former prime minister Paul Keating, Mr Pearson denounced the ABC for "soft bigotry" in its coverage of indigenous Australians.

Paying warm tribute to Mr Keating’s commitment to reconciliation and his historic Redfern Speech, Mr Pearson said some of his most promising reforms had been "wrecked" by "ignorant ministers and blind bureaucrats" who have been "aided and abetted by the media, not the least the country’s miserable racist national broadcaster".

In language as scathing as some of Mr Keating’s most famous insults, Mr Pearson described the ABC as "a spittoon’s worth of perverse people willing the wretched to fail".

"They need blacks to remain alien from mothers’ bosoms, carceral in legions, leading short lives of grief and tribulation because if it were not so, against whom could they direct their soft bigotry of low expectations, about whom could they report misery and bleeding tragedy," Mr Pearson said.

"Between the Quadrant’s hard bigotry of prejudice from the right and the ABC’s soft bigotry of low expectations on the left, lies this common ground of mutual racism."

Mr Keating, who co-operated with the biography, The Big Picture Leader by The Australian journalist Troy Bramston, warned Australia would never reach its full potential until it had achieved true reconciliation and had cut ties to Great Britain.

"We will never be the place we ought to be without full reconciliation with the First Australians here, and we will never be the place we ought to be while a monarch from another country is the head of state," he said.

Mr Keating also said he always thought Mr Pearson was Australia’s answer to Barack Obama and hoped he would play a greater leadership role in the country’s future.

The ABC hit back at Mr Pearson’s remarks and said it provided more coverage of indigenous issues than any other Australian media outlet.

A spokesman said the ABC had given a platform to Mr Pearson, and other indigenous commentators, to canvass issues of welfare dependency, alcohol abuse and violence against women.

"With its 60 locations across Australia, the ABC covers the everyday experiences of indigenous communities and provides a range of programs to give voices to indigenous Australians and to showcase their achievements.


Real solutions to violence epidemic in Indigenous communities

Sara Hudson

Urgent action is needed to counteract the epidemic of violence in Indigenous communities.  But instead of action, the government and Aboriginal legal services are busying themselves with inquiries and racial discrimination complaints.

Rather than wasting money on yet another inquiry -- where many of the recommendations come to naught - the federal government would be much better off focusing on the social issues that lead to high rates of violence and incarceration.

In some parts of the country, the rate of hospitalisation for domestic violence victims is 86 times higher for Indigenous women than it is for non-Indigenous women.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women have drawn attention to these appalling statistics but their voices have often been ignored.

Shamed by the Chairperson of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council's scathing attack on the government's inaction on this issue, the federal government recently  announced a $25 million package for front line services to prevent violence. But this isn't new money -- just a re-announcement of the $100 million over 12 years for family violence in the 2016-17 federal budget.

Implementing good policy to counteract high levels of Indigenous disadvantage requires much more than just announcing a million dollar budget package.  To this end, we are pleased to support the voices of three outspoken and fearless Aboriginal women, Professor Marcia Langton AM, Councillor Jacinta Price, and lawyer and businesswoman Josephine Cashman at a special event at the National Press Club next Thursday.

The three women will outline some real solutions to the high rates of violence and incarceration in Indigenous communities.

Tellingly, those Indigenous communities with private home ownership and a sustainable economy also have lower crime and incarceration rates. For example, Mapoon in Far North of Queensland has a crime rate half that of the general rate for Queensland, (9293 offences per 100,000 people) and a tenth of all Queensland Indigenous communities.

This suggests that strategies to improve the economic outcomes of Indigenous communities are likely to be much more effective in reducing high rates of family violence than any other measure 'banded' about by government - like waiting with a stretcher at the bottom of a cliff to offer services.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

23 November, 2016

There isn't a 'silent majority' of racists in Australia

By Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner.

Tim's headline above is beyond dispute but he goes downhill from there.  I have written previously about the Scanlon Foundation and its reports and what I have said previously still seems to apply. 

Peter Scanlon was the man behind  stevedoring business Patrick Corporation but he now seems to be mainly in shares and Real Estate.

This year's report has made a big issue over question wording.  They know, I know and all survey researchers know that the wording of a question can greatly influence the answers.  And by dwelling on that fact they apparently hope to obscure the reality that they are themselves great sinners in that regard. 

Just to take a simple example from their survey, one of their questions is: "Marriage equality for same sex couples".  They find that 66% of respondents say they support it.  But the question is ludicrously biased.  It is put in a way that argues for it.  Were the question a straightforward "Homosexual marriage" they would undoubtedly get a very different percentage of approval.  The Labor party certainly thinks so.  That is why they strenuously resist a vote on the question.  They know that a referendum on the question would be lost.

And the Scanlon questions about "refugees" are amusing too. One question asked for agreement with a statement seeking support for  resettling  ‘refugees  who  have  been  assessed  overseas  and  found  to  be  victims  of  persecution  and  in  need  of  help'. A real tear-jerker! Unsurprisingly, two thirds of respondents agreed with that. I would have liked to ask for responses to "Most so-called refugees are really just economic immigrants in search of a country with generous welfare payments".  I might have got two thirds agreement with that too.

So Tim is entitled to believe the Scanlon report but from my viewpoint as an experienced survey researcher it is basically rubbish. To believe their results you would have to show that they are similar to results that have been obtained by other researchers.  And they themselves admit that their results are often very different.  They say that the other researchers have bad research methods but I think it is more a case of Luke 6:42.

So when Tim says "An overwhelming majority of people (83 per cent) believe that multiculturalism is good for the country", we have to ask WHICH cultures do people see as beneficial? Muslim culture?  Probably not. Scanlon doesn't ask that question. They don't want to know.

Having said all that there were nonetheless two points which even Scanlon picked up, two points that other surveys have found:  Environmental issues are bottom of the barrel in importance for Australians and Australians are far more anti-Muslim than they are anti any other religion

Mr Scanlon has set up an organization that campaigns for immigrant acceptance.  Sad that they think they can further that aim by dishonestly pretending to do objective research

These are challenging times for race relations. In the United States, just a fortnight after the election of Donald Trump, there are already numerous reports of hate attacks on the rise. A similar trend was reported earlier this year following the Brexit vote in Britain.

This is what happens when political debates normalise attacks on immigrants and foreigners. This is what happens when populist nationalism trumps the normal rules of liberal democracy.

Australia is not the US. Neither is it Europe. But we are not immune from racial anxiety and xenophobia. There remains a small minority of people in our society who are hostile towards cultural diversity and immigration. These are people who believe that an Australian national identity is under threat from cultural change.

It is important that we deal with such concerns, that we understand why people may feel that way. Yet, as the Scanlon Foundation's Mapping Social Cohesion report shows, we shouldn't overstate such cultural angst. Those who are uncomfortable about multiculturalism do not constitute some "silent majority". The political mainstream mustn't rush to conclude otherwise.

Here are some of the facts, according to the Scanlon Foundation. An overwhelming majority of people (83 per cent) believe that multiculturalism is good for the country. A clear majority of people (59 per cent) believed that current levels of immigration were either "about right' or 'too low".

Such results, consistent with the Scanlon Foundation's findings over the years, are the best indication we have of where Australian public opinion really lies. It is confirmation that Australia remains a successful and harmonious nation of immigration.

Of course, recent commentary has painted a different picture. For example, one Essential Media poll about Muslim immigration has been frequently cited to support the proposition that half of Australians want to ban Muslim immigration.

Such commentary has tended to ignore other evidence indicating far more robust support for a non-discriminatory immigration policy. In a previous survey, the Scanlon Foundation in fact found that three-quarters of the population supported immigration being conducted on non-discriminatory lines. This year, the Scanlon Foundation found that with respect to Australia taking in refugees from Syria, 69 per cent indicated that "there should be equal consideration to all religious and ethnic groups".

The lesson is this. Political debate must avoid jumping to conclusions based on single opinion polls – especially when polls need to be interpreted with care. The best polls are those that can show trends over time. On matters of social cohesion, the Scanlon Foundation's findings have been robust and reliable.

Which is why there are some findings in this year's survey that should give us pause. There has been an increase in the reported experience of discrimination, which rose from 15 per cent of respondents in 2015 to 20 per cent in 2016. This is the highest proportion recorded since the Scanlon Foundation surveys began in 2007. Those of a non-English speaking background reported the highest experience of discrimination (27 per cent).

There can be no complacency on prejudice and discrimination. It remains fundamentally important that our society sends an emphatic signal that racism is unacceptable.


Bob Katter calls for crocodile culls

Greenie theory versus local realities.  There are tens of thousands if not a hundred thousand crocs in Queensland waters.  Reducing that population in inhabited areas is not going to endanger it

North Queensland MP Bob Katter has slammed Terri Irwin's call for Queensland MPs to rule out crocodile culls, saying those living up north are being "ripped to pieces".

Ms Irwin, of Australia Zoo at the Sunshine Coast, condemned two Liberal National MPs who expressed their support for a conversation about culling on Sunday and said it would be a "disaster for both human safety and crocodile ecology".

"Crocodiles are an apex predator and crucial to the ecosystem, keeping waterways and wetlands healthy," she said. "Crocodiles eradicate the weak, sick and injured wildlife, leaving only the healthy to prosper.

"Crocodile culling is an incredibly inhumane practice, often leaving crocodiles with debilitating injuries.

"Science does not support culling crocodiles and it would be a disaster for both human safety and crocodile ecology."

The member for Kennedy said Mrs Irwin's call for people to co-exist with crocodiles who was out of touch with the "world of reality".

"Let me be very specific, between Cairns and Townsville, the Paradise Coast, the rainfall is 100 inches or more, a crocodile habitat is in or near a waterway," he said.

"It would be hard to be on any piece of ground on the Paradise Coast and be more than a few hundred metres or so from a waterway.

"So is she suggesting humans should move out?"

Mr Katter then went on to explain that the environment was "out of whack".

"Tropical Nth Qld (sic) was the territory of my brother, cousins, the First Australians," he said.

"There was equilibrium in nature. If you are a respected naturalist you would know that this was the territory of man, not the territory of crocodiles.

"The catch of 60 croc eggs would keep a First Australian family going for a while, and similarly with dingoes, the goannas and gropers. "Now we have an unnatural environment.

"I don't care if she's St Gabriel's mother, we're being eaten and ripped to pieces."

The debate about crocodile management kicked off earlier in the year when NSW woman Cindy Waldron, 46, was taken by a croc at Thornton Beach, north of Cairns.

Mr Katter reignited his calls for crocodile culling after the incident and suggested crocodile shooting safaris to tackle population numbers, despite a lack of evidence indicating the population was out of control.

Dr Laurence Taplin, who is assisting the state government with its $5.8 million crocodile monitoring program, said there had not been any systematic crocodile surveys conducted in Queensland for more than a decade and suggested any debate relating to population numbers was anecdotal.

"The current debate echoes similar controversies in the late 1980s and the science we did back then showed clearly there was a great gulf between anecdotal claims of exploding crocodile populations around Queensland and the reality on the ground," he said.

Nearly 50 crocodiles have been removed from the Cairns region so far this year.


Election-trigger union bill finally passes in late-night senate debate

THE Turnbull Government has had a win after the Registered Organisations Bill, one of two industrial relations bills that triggered a double dissolution election earlier this year, finally passed in a late-night debate.

Senators were locked in debate until after 2am on Tuesday morning to pass the legislation.

The government secured the support of crossbencher Derryn Hinch, the Nick Xenophon Team, and One Nation.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash called it a "massive win".

"I’m delighted that this has been a massive win for the two million Australians who are members of registered organisations," Senator Cash told ABC radio.

The Senate had been forced to sit indefinitely on Monday night until the legislation was voted on.
Senator Derryn Hinch and Senator Nick Xenophon voted in favour of the Registered Organisations Bill. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Senators Xenophon and Hinch insisted they’d secured what could be the best whistleblower protections in the world in exchange for their support for the bill to establish a Registered Organisations Commission to oversee unions and their officials.

They secured amendments to protect and compensate union whistleblowers while also obtaining an undertaking from the government to extend the same protections — or stronger ones — to whistleblowers in the corporate and public sectors.

A parliamentary inquiry will examine the whistleblower protections in the legislation and if it recommends a stronger regime for corporate and public sector whistleblowers, the government will establish an expert advisory panel to draft legislation to implement those reforms.

The legislation needs to be introduced by December 2017 and dealt with no later than June 30, 2018, according to the undertaking.

The pair also secured amendments to ensure the independence of auditors, including tougher penalties for noncompliance.

"These amendments if passed will see Australia go from some of the worst whistleblower protection laws in the world to arguably the best," Senator Xenophon said.

Senator Hinch insisted he was pro-worker and anti-corruption, arguing it was time for a fulltime independent regulator for a sector wracked with scandal.

He didn’t want to see a repeat of the scandals in the Health Services Union where officials like former Labor MP Craig Thomson misused funds.

"I was actually lying in a hospital bed and watching members of his old union ... doing menial tasks for about I guess $15 an hour," Senator Hinch said.

"I watched a middle-aged European woman with a mop cleaning up after a burst colostomy bag and I thought at the time her union fees for the year would probably be around the $500 Thomson spent on one prostitute in one assignation."

Senior Labor figure Doug Cameron lashed out, accusing Senator Xenophon of dropping the ball by not demanding the government immediately extend whistleblower protections to the corporate and public sectors.

"The whistleblowers in the banks can wait until some time after 2017 if you ever get a result out of this mob," he said. "What have you got? You’ve got a committee, you’ve got an expert panel, you’ve got some legislation in 2017 that nobody knows what it is.

"If you were fair dinkum, you would’ve fixed this tonight and corporations would’ve been facing the same stringency as the Australian trade union movement."

Senator Xenophon insisted the reforms went further than anything the previous Labor government achieved during six years in office.


Australian Leftist politician says paternalistic things to a conservative woman politician

Cameron is a former Scottish unionist, and there are no more bitter haters than they

The Left of the Labor Party claim they have the moral authority on most issues, but particularly women’s issues, including sexism, women’s rights and equal opportunity in the workplace.

Think of Labor’s feminist warriors, including Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek and senior frontbencher Penny Wong. Some women look up to these politicians to call out wrongs perpetrated against women.

Neither are shrinking violets and both of them are from the Left.

But where was the outrage last night - and indeed today - about what their fellow Left factional warrior Doug Cameron said to Employment Minister Michaelia Cash while the Senate was debating the Registered Organisation Commission Bill.

"Senator Cormann, I know you have to be there to hold the Minister’s hand," Senator Cameron said.

"So maybe just hold the Minister’s hand and stop interjecting, would be a good start. That would be a good start."

"The Minister can’t handle the Bill on her own … She needs Senator Cormann there to chaperone her through this Bill. I’ve never see this before with a senior minister in the Government."

Basically, Senator Cameron accused Senator Cash of needing a man beside her to do a job properly.

Can you imagine the outrage if Immigration Minister Peter Dutton or Treasurer Scott Morrison said this? The feminazis would be lining up to attack such a ridiculous comment.

But where are they today? No where.

I know politics is robust and requires a thick skin but if we want women to be treated fairly and with respect than this rubbish needs to be called out. Senator Cameron, you should be ashamed of yourself.

But more than that, the shame sits more heavily on the women in the Chamber who said nothing while he spewed his ridiculous comments.


Aboriginal-run services can work but need to prove their worth, Indigenous leaders say

Sort of sad that the Aborigines themselves had to put this up.  What have the bureaucrats been doing?

A lack of evaluation of Indigenous-run programs aimed at overcoming disadvantage is placing serious limits on positive outcomes, Aboriginal leaders have warned.

The comments come after a report by the Productivity Commission found Indigenous Australians are becoming more disadvantaged, citing alarming increases in imprisonment rates, mental health problems and rates of self-harm.

The report also said of the $30 billion budget allocated to overcoming these disadvantages, just 34 of the 1,000 federally funded programs had been properly evaluated.

Northern Territory Aboriginal health service Danila Dilba has engaged a private economics consultancy firm to carry out a cost/benefit analysis of its key primary health care services, CEO Olga Havnen said.

"For every $1 invested we're delivering a $4.18 return," she said. "We wanted to be able to show that the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector actually delivers good services and good outcomes, and they are cost-effective."

But the report also showed Danila Dilba's outcomes were not the norm.

Indigenous leaders said the lack of economic evaluation left billions of dollars being spent in areas that may not have been proven effective.

"As a taxpayer you should be concerned that programs for which there is no evidence are being funded," anthropologist Marcia Langton told the National Press Club.

The head of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine, said measurable data offered guidance for funding targets.

"It should be clear that you don't get funding forever just for the sake of funding, you actually have to get clear outcomes, and outcomes that are successful," he said.

There should be a real evaluation program in place if the federal government is "handing out taxpayers' money".

"We've got to totally revamp the way the evaluations are done and make them real so we get measurable data — and we can do that tomorrow morning," Mr Mundine said.

A spokesperson for Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion admitted there was a need for more evidence to demonstrate which programs were working.

"Minister Scullion acknowledged that in the areas of incarceration, domestic violence, mental health and substance misuse, increased effort was required to improve outcomes — and better evidence was needed to drive this progress," the spokesman said in a statement.

Public sector governance expert Steven Bartos said allocating funds without evidence created a false economy.

"When you don't know anything about any of the programs then you're just relying on gut feelings, and that's not good enough," he said. "The measurement of outcomes, the framework for doing that, has to come from Indigenous communities themselves."

Ms Havnen said she had spent years pushing for evidence-based programs and governments needed to focus on Indigenous-run organisations that proved they could deliver.

"We think it's also been really important to try to dispel the public perception that somehow spending more money in Aboriginal health isn't a worthwhile or a viable thing to do," she said.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

22 November, 2016

Australia's Senator Roberts was right about "adjusted" temperature data in Greenland

Shifty Peter, official Greenie writer for the Fairfax press, has written below that Senator Roberts got it wrong in claiming that NASA/GISS concealed high temperatures in Iceland during the late 30's and early 40s.

But what is the proof Roberts got it wrong?  There is none.  All that has happened is that the head of NASA/GISS has asserted that the adjustments were reasonable and reflrected reality.  But he would say that, wouldn't he?  Is he going to admit to being a fraud? Given the chronic mendacity of the Green/Left, his word means nothing.

But the NASA head is given some support from the head of historic Icelandic meteorolgy, Trausti Jónsson.

Problem: A few years ago the same Trausti Jónsson energetically condemned the NASA/GISS adjustments.  Given the pressures put on climate scientists by the Warmist establishment, it seems clear that Trausti Jónsson has now been bullied into supporting the NASA/GISS fraud.

Additionally, news reports from the late '30s reported ferocious heating in the Arctic.  No wonder Warmists "adjusted" it to non-existence.

All of which tends to show that Senator Roberts was right and we are up against crooked scientists when we deal with Warmists

A senior NASA official has taken the extraordinary step of personally rejecting the claims of One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts that the agency had falsified key data to exaggerate warming in the Arctic.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Senator Roberts he was "mistaken" in his assertion that the US agency had "removed" Arctic data to mask warming in the 1940s.

"You appear to hold a number of misconceptions which I am happy to clarify at this time," Dr Schmidt told Senator Roberts in letters and emails obtained by Fairfax Media. "The claim that GISS has 'removed the 1940s warmth' in the Arctic is not correct."

In his letter to NASA dated November 14, Senator Roberts explained his interest in the agency's temperature calculations, saying they had "influenced" the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's warnings on global warming that in turn had informed Australian government policy.

Iceland weighs in

"In Australia, we have considerable concern about temperature adjustments made by NASA over many years," Senator Roberts wrote, including charts from Icelandic stations at Vestmannaeyjar and Teigarhorn.

"In dropping the temperatures for the early period, the [Arctic] warmth for the 1930s and 1940s appears to have been removed," he said. "What is your specific reason for doing this?"

In an email, Truasti Jonsoon, senior meteorologist with a specialty in historical climatology at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told Senator Roberts that the temperature "adjustments" are "quite sound".

"During this early period there was a large daytime bias in the temperature data from Iceland as presented in this publication," which accounted for much of the "discrepancy" at Teigarhorn and less so at Vestmannaeyjar, Mr Jonsoon said.

For the latter station, it was relocated in October 1921 to a higher elevation. "Comparative measurements at both sites have shown that the later location is about 0.7 degrees Celsius colder than the former – this relocation has to be 'adjusted' for," he said.

"I assure you that these adjustments are absolutely necessary and well founded although the finer details of the resulting series shown in your letter differ slightly from my own version," he told Senator Roberts.


Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan calls 'bulls**t' on Stolen Generation concerns

Good that someone cares about the kids.  The social workers have given up

LEAVING Aboriginal children in dysfunctional families because of concerns about repeating the stolen generations is "bulls..t", Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has said.

Mr O’Callaghan, who was speaking on Radio 6PR this morning about the campaign by The West Australian to address the issue of problem families, said more children needed to be removed.

"Every time I’ve come out in the paper over the past few years and said we should lower the threshold, some of the most prominent people around Perth jump up and say that you’re advocating another stolen generation," he said.

"These kids are already having their lives stolen. "Any chance they’ve got of being normal community members is being stolen already.

"I don’t buy this bulls..t about stolen generation  by dropping the threshold and saving these kids from these sorts of situations you describe."

Mr O’Callaghan said sometimes children might only need to be removed temporarily while social workers and others helped the families addressed their issues.

"I’ve been arguing for some time that the threshold should be lowered for kids to be taken away and put into some kind of out-of-home care," he said.

"Only the most extreme cases happen now but there is another level down where there are kids at risk and if you talk to child protection workers, which I do, they will tell you there’s a whole bundle of kids out there who should not be at home and they don’t have a capacity to move them out of home.

"Now, whether people like to hear that or not, I don’t care, but that is the truth of it.

"The capacity is limited and the community are going to have to help with this if we’re going to resolve the situation."


Anti-bullying advocate Roz Ward bullies Trump supporter

She's a far-Leftist. "Anti-Bullying" is just a convenient cover for her.  The Left is inherently violent

Victoria’s controversial Safe Schools founder Roz Ward has been photographed harassing a bystander while marching in a Melbourne rally protesting against the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Images obtained by The Australian show the high-profile LGBTI rights and anti-bullying campaigner trying to remove a cap from a man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with "Trump 2016".

Ms Ward, who is carrying ­several copies of the Marxist newspaper Red Flag, is seen smirking while the distressed man tries to pull away and shield himself from her.

The incident, which took part at an otherwise peaceful protest organised by the Monash Student Association on November 12, comes after Ms Ward recently spoke out about "concerted ­attacks" on the Safe Schools prog­ram and her character.

It is also likely to reignite controversy over the program, which has divided parents, community groups and politicians due to its heavy emphasis on gender theory and promotion of the idea that gender and sexuality are "fluid" and "non-binary".

Billed as a program aiming to stamp out homophobic bullying in schools, it is now fully funded by the Victorian Labor government after Premier Daniel Andrews ­declined to instigate several changes ordered by the federal government following an independent review.

According to a freelance photographer covering the event, Kenji Wardenclyffe, the incident occurred on the corner of Swanson Street and Flinders Lane while protesters were marching in the city’s centre.

"A lone pro-Trump supporter stood on the side of the road," Wardenclyffe said. "I took a few photos, walked off, then noticed there was a commotion so I ran ­towards it and caught this; (Ms Ward)] trying to take his hat.

"I couldn’t see much more since after this there were a whole bunch of photographers in front of me."

Ms Ward declined to comment on the incident yesterday, as did her employer, La Trobe Univer­sity, which manages the Safe Schools program in the state.

Ms Ward almost lost her job in June after she describing the Australian flag as racist on Facebook. She was suspended by the university but reinstated 24 hours later amid legal threats from the union.

Ms Ward was recently honoured at the GLOBE Community Awards — billed as Victoria’s "Queer Oscars" — taking out the People’s Choice Award.

She told The Saturday Paper that the award was both respite and recognition at a time when she had felt "under siege".

"I’m happy to be the kind of shield for Safe Schools Coalition if somebody has to be," Ms Ward said. "And I don’t think that me resigning would change any of the opposition."


The religion of peace at work again

The estranged wife of the brother of slain crime figure Hamad Assaad has been arrested after she allegedly injured a journalist in a confrontation outside Bankstown court house on Friday.

The woman, 31, allegedly lashed out at Sky News reporter Amy Greenbank, after Tarek Assaad was refused bail on charges of possessing a prohibited weapon, ammunition and drugs.

She has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and will appear in court in December after being granted conditional bail.

Greenbank was among a group of journalists who approached the woman outside the court house and attempted to question her shortly after Mr Assaad was refused bail.

Sky News Sky News journalist Amy Greenbank approached the woman outside court on Friday. Footage shows the woman saying: "Youse better move out of my way before I charge youse".

Greenbank was filming at the time and told Sky News that her camera was hit "so hard that it flung back in my face and that's when it cut under my eyebrow".

The wound left her with blood over her face, but Greenbank later said she was fine.

"It looked worse than it was. I'm fine, but it was a bit of a shock," she said.

Mr Assaad, 30, had been arrested the previous night when Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad officers raided his home on Sturt Street in Georges Hall. The officers allegedly found a loaded Glock handgun in a television cabinet and almost 30 rounds of ammunition.

Sky News reporter Amy Greenbank was left bleeding after the incident outside court. © Supplied Sky News reporter Amy Greenbank was left bleeding after the incident outside court. Hamad Assadd, 29, was shot dead outside his house on the same street in Georges Hall on October 25, after he emerged as a suspect in the shooting of standover man Wally Ahmad at a Bankstown shopping centre in April.

In court on Friday,  Mr Assaad, a wholesale tyre sales manager, denied knowledge and possession of the loaded Glock, his lawyer told the court.

He offered to put up a $115,000 surety and adhere to a night curfew to get bail, but Magistrate Elaine Truscott said she did not believe the father-of-two knew nothing about the gun and ammunition.

Given the ammunition in the car, it appeared Mr Assaad might have been "intending to imminently use it," she said. Mr Assaad was refused bail and the case was adjourned until January.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

21 November, 2016

More dribble from the Australian Left

The author below, John Hewson, is known as the man who lost an "unlosable" election (in 1993).  He stood then as a conservative party leader but over the last 23 years has drifted steadily Leftwards. His views now would be similar to those of Hillary Clinton, who also lost an "unlosable" election.  He deplores Trump, of course.

The idea that Australians have a inferiority complex is an old slur supported by no representative psychological research that I know of. In my own research I found general population averages on a standard neuroticism measure to show no differences as between England, Australia and India.  An inferiority complex would be associated with high levels of anxiety.  So Hewson is just spouting a lot of conventional nonsense with no care about evidence.

The claim mainly seems to be supported by the fact that Australians adopt a lot of ideas from overseas.  But Australia has a population of only 24 million so it is absurd to expect that Australians would have all the good ideas in a world of 6 billion people. If anything, it shows that Australians are an open-minded people with no fears of the new. 

And they don't need the example of Trump to make their decisions.  There was a major anti-immigrant upset in the Australian Senate in July, long before the Trump triumph.  In that upset, an anti-immigration party entered the Australian parliament for the first time

Why is it that so much of our lives is dominated by America, from fast food to the immediate release of the latest TV program, to the latest Kardashian excess? It seems that we have a massive national insecurity and sense of inferiority – if it is "good" for America, it must be "good" for Australia. The 51st state?

In politics we have seen the worst of it lately as some of our political leaders have sought to draw on, and emulate, elements of the Donald Trump victory. Pauline Hanson and some marginal Liberals and Nationals gloated, while Bill Shorten sought to capitalise on the anti-immigration sentiment, claiming to "protect Australian workers and their jobs". We must avoid the "Trumpification of Australian politics".

The most disturbing feature, among many, of Trump's anti-establishment strategy is the nationalistic, isolationist, anti-immigration position and proposals.

The US has a significant problem with "undocumented immigrants", reportedly now some 11 million of them, that is easy to exploit in a political argument about jobs and "white" wages, even though these people have mostly done the "dirty, menial" jobs and contributed to the "wage restraint" that has allowed the US to quickly recapture its competitiveness with "cheap Chinese and other imports".

It is also easy to promote xenophobia, especially against Muslims and against a threat of terror.

Unfortunately, this anti-immigration "movement" was also the dominant reason for Britain's Brexit vote and is now sweeping much of Europe, driven by the mass migration from Syria, Iraq and North Africa that in the end could tear down the dream of a united Europe.

It is perhaps most conspicuous and effective in Germany, where the anti-immigration vote has been significant and determining in recent regional elections and will probably ensure the demise of Angela Merkel. Just pause to contemplate a Germany controlled by the "hard-line right conservatives" and the likely consequences for Germany, Europe and the Euro.

We should want none of this here in Australia. Without in any way seeking to play down the significance and richness of our Indigenous origins, heritage and remaining challenges, we are an immigrant nation, where immigration has been fundamental to our economic and social development and wellbeing.

I suggest our greatest post-WWII achievement is that we have built a very tolerant and effective multiracial, multireligious, multicultural society, in many respects the envy of the world. It is to be appreciated, protected and further developed – it remains a work in progress, which calls for a clear acceptance of our national interests, to be delivered collaboratively with understanding, sensitivity and commitment.

It is a process in which we all have a role to play, but it needs to be led from the top, by our political and community leaders.

In this context, the rhetoric of Shorten's attack this week on 457 visas, essentially claiming that these immigrants are taking our jobs when we have some 700,000 unemployed and as many as 1 million underemployed, was most divisive and irresponsible, especially with the echoes of Trump.

It was also hypocritical when these visas reached their peak under Shorten as employment minister, even recognising the circumstances of a mining boom. And it was inconsistent with his proposals for a lower "backpacker tax" on foreign youth workers than would be applied to Australian youth workers. All up just more cheap, short-term, opportunistic politics.

While it is also true that if we were drafting section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act today we may have used different words, this is not the time to be having that debate, or to be making changes, as it gives another platform for xenophobia, "hatespeak", bigotry and the like. It is not a first order issue right now, and risks considerable downside.

There has been much said this week about "listening", especially in the aftermath of the Nationals' demise in the Orange byelection. Yes, much of the success of the Trump anti-establishment message is because a succession of establishment presidents, and their administrations, ignored the electorate's mounting concerns as the "system" of government failed to respond, while often favouring a few vested interests.

Here, too, the system is seen to be failing many, especially as inequality grows. Yet our leaders also have a responsibility to lead in matters of genuine national interest, as hard as it may be at times to educate and advocate against populist sentiments. There are also important intergenerational and moral dimensions to this challenge.

If this nationalistic, anti-immigration movement is allowed to spread, it will risk global fragmentation, reversing much of the global development we have all shared in, while stranding some 65 million people who are now displaced globally.


ABC radio program crows over public-purse pay deal

A soft life when the taxpayer is paying

The ABC has mocked private-­sector workers in a radio program and tried to cover up the incident by doctoring a recording of the comments on the public broadcaster’s website.

A report on current-affairs program The World Today on slow wages growth no longer includes dismissive remarks and laughter about private-sector pay by ABC reporter David Taylor and host Eleanor Hall.

The Australian has obtained a clip of an exchange between ­Taylor and Hall that ABC Radio editors attempted to hide from public view.

In a discussion about official data that shows Australian wages growth has hit a record low, ­Taylor comments: "Wages growth is still above the cost of living, but it’s not going anywhere."

Hall asks whether the latest statistics from the Australian ­Bureau of Statistics are "across the board, or are some wage earners doing better than others?"

Adopting sarcastic tones ­Taylor replies: "Some wages are in fact ... if you’re in the public sector like we are, we’re better off than the private sector … that’s why we’re at the ABC."

Hall responds by laughing.

The segment, which aired on Wednesday, comes just weeks after the Turnbull government ­accused the ABC of breaching public-sector policy over a pay deal with staff. A note on The World Today’s website tells listeners without explanation: "Please note that the audio attached to this story has been edited from the original version that aired."

Asked to explain why it has been altered, a spokesman for the ABC attributed this to broadcasting arrangements in different states for a show that is broadcast on Radio National and local networks.

"The original version ran live in some eastern states," he said.  "The edit was made for versions in other Australian time zones, a common decision in live radio. The final broadcast version was posted online with an editor’s note."

However, it is understood ABC Radio editors immediately recognised the comments were inappropriate and intervened to remove them.

The wage price index rose 0.4 per cent in the last quarter, ­seasonally adjusted at 1.9 per cent over the past year.

This growth figure is half that of four years ago, indicating many Australians have not had a pay ­increase for years, and some have had pay cuts.

The ABC’s agreement with its almost 5000 staff delivers cash and domestic violence leave on top of annual wage rises.

It includes a one-off $500 payment in addition to annual 2 per cent pay rises, back pay, seven days of domestic violence leave and an increase in maternity and spousal leave.

News of the incident comes as government MPs called on ABC managing director Michelle ­Guthrie this week to explain why some of the ABC’s journalists took to social media to react stridently against president-elect Donald Trump in the lead-up to his ­victory.


Hillary’s crybabies need to grow up

Miranda Devine

It’s astonishing that we’re in the second week of anti-Trump protests, with the sore losers showing they have learned nothing from their humbling.   

Their placards read Love Trumps Hate but it’s the other way around for them. Refusing to accept the verdict of the ­people unless it goes their way, they beat up suspected Trump voters, torch cars, break windows and injure police officers.

The impression is of a profound sense of entitlement.

They demand "dump Trump" because they are so certain of their moral superiority. They think if they splash around lazy insults, "racist, sexist, Islamophobe, homophobe", they’ve won the argument.

They describe a vote for Trump as a "hate crime". Yet they ignore actual hate crimes, like the bashing of a 15-year-old boy wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat in Maryland, or a 24-year-old on the subway in New York wearing the red Trump cap, or a 50-year-old man in Chicago suspected of being a Trump supporter ­because he was white.

Imagine if it were a Clinton voter who had copped beatings; it would be reported as the end of civilisation and evidence of the utter depravity of Trump voters.

If you needed proof for why Trump won the election, look no further than the hypocrisy of the left’s crybabies and sore losers, even now imagining they can bully their way into refusing Trump the job he won fair and square.

And where is President Obama, as his cities erupt? In Germany, with Angela Merkel, refusing to call for peace: "I would not advise people who feel strongly (about) the campaign. I wouldn’t advise them to be silent."

Why hasn’t Clinton called off her goons? Why isn’t she urging that "peaceful transition of power" she was so big on when she thought she had the election in the bag?

She’s been at home, feeling sorry for herself. When she finally emerged for her first public function since the election on Friday, she was hailed as a feminist hero for not wearing makeup or brushing her hair. It was a deliberate statement, but what did it mean, other than to enhance the self-pity in which she is wallowing?

"There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do is just curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again", she said, crying out for sympathy, but not ­respect.

Thus the anti-Trump protesters are being encouraged by their establishment elders, who ought to be setting a good example but instead have resolved their loss by turbocharging their contempt for the "deplorables".

"Trump won because voters are ignorant, literally," wrote Jason Brennan in Foreign Policy magazine.

But when anyone bothered to ask real Trump voters why they did it, as the Washington Post did last week, the answers defy the stereotypes.

"I am a gay millennial woman and I voted for Trump because I oppose the political correctness movement which has become a fascist ideology of silence and ­ignorance," Samantha Styler, 21, of Arizona, wrote.

Deniz Dolun, 22, of Florida: "My entire family — five Muslim immigrants from Turkey — voted for Trump because of the Democratic Party’s pandering to Islamism. As people who have actually experienced Islamism in its purest form... we supported the candidate who promised to help us fight that issue."

Christopher Todd, 53, of Florida: "I voted for Trump on the calculated bet that he would nominate conservative Supreme Court justices. If people want to permit gay marriage or abortion for any reason, then make both legal through the legislature, not via an unelected oligarchy rewriting the Constitution."

Lori Myers, 51, of Texas, wrote: "I voted for Trump ­because the media was so ­incredibly biased. They were ­unhinged in their obvious role as the Clinton campaign propaganda machine."

In Australia, everyone from Bill Shorten to Pauline Hanson has tried to shoehorn the Trump narrative into their own ambition.

Tony Abbott and his boosters are trying to channel Trump’s populism into a comeback. But Abbott is part of the problem that Trumpism is reacting against: conservative politicians who wimp out once they win power.

Abbott could have been the civilised, conservative Trump of the Antipodes, but the minute he got into office he stopped being Abbott.

He surrounded himself with "moderates", and bent over to the left on everything from 18C to Safe Schools to higher taxes, fouling the nest for budget repair and ultimately losing his job.

Seeing Trump’s success at punching through, you get the impression Abbott wishes now he had been bolder, but it is too late.

His most telling error was to exile Senator Cory Bernardi for his outspoken defence of traditional marriage. Bernardi’s career suffered because he never jettisoned his values to appease the left, but his reputation was only enhanced. In exile, he has become a formidable conservative warrior, building a network of 50,000 supporters in his Australian Conservatives movement. On secondment to the UN in New York for three months, he was almost unique in the Australian political establishment in cheering a Trump victory. His 2014 manifesto, "The Conservative Revolution" foreshadowed Trump and Hanson.

If Malcolm Turnbull ­really wanted to succeed as PM, and preside over a broad church Liberal Party, he would bring Bernardi in from the cold. Bernardi could save the government from itself.


Another Muslim pest hurts a lot of people

A MAN who set fire to himself at a Commonwealth bank may have been reacting to his welfare payment being rejected, a community source said.

The 21-year-old Springvale man believed to have set fire to himself in the Commonwealth bank in Springvale is thought to be an asylum seeker from Myanmar and considers himself a part of the Rohingya community.

A Rohingya Community leader said the man had lived in the area since about 2013.

The Rohingyans are a Muslim minority in Myanmar, who have faced persecution there.

Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation president Habib Habib said he believed the man was expecting a welfare payment this week that did not come through.

The man’s mental health had deteriorated since he had been within the community, Mr Habib said. He said he had not shown signs of mental illness while he was detained on Christmas Island but had become disillusioned about the asylum seeker process.

Mr Habib said due to restrictions on his Visa he was not able to work and his refugee claim was proceeding slowly.

The man did not have family in Australia and lived with other Asylum seekers in temporary accommodation.

Mr Habib said he was from lower Myanmar and identified as Rohingyan. He said the man also spoke the language.

Witnesses say a fireball trapped staff and customers inside the Springvale branch after the man lit matches to petrol he had poured on the floor near the entrance.

He was last night under police guard in hospital and believed to be one of two fireball victims clinging to life.

Of the six people with serious burns taken to The Alfred yesterday - this morning one remains in a critical condition, one patient is "critical but stable" and four patients are now in a stable condition.

The hospital will release another update on the patients’ conditions at 4pm today.

The horrifying incident left several people, including toddlers and elderly customers, badly hurt.

Witnesses say the man who started the blaze had picked up a plastic drum outside a shop minutes earlier.

He then visited a nearby Caltex service station, poured fuel into it and returned to the bank just after 11.30am.

He poured out petrol, lit a match and the fireball erupted. Those inside could not see for thick smoke and flames.

The Herald Sun has been told the man was a native of Myanmar who had spent time in detention on Christmas ­Island. He was later allowed into Australia on a bridging visa, but police are as yet unsure about his motive.


After TPP, Australia Looks To China On Trade

Trade winds are quickly shifting, as Australia moves to embrace China’s alternatives to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Financial Times reports:

Australia is throwing its weight behind China’s efforts to pursue new trade deals in the Asia-Pacific region amid a growing acknowledgement the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is dead in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory.

Steven Ciobo, Australia’s trade minister, told the Financial Times that Canberra would work to conclude new agreement among 16 Asian and Pacific countries that excludes the US.
He said Australia would also support a separate proposal, the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, which Beijing hopes to advance at this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Peru.

"Any move that reduces barriers to trade and helps us facilitate trade, facilitate exports and drive economic growth and employment is a step in the right direction," Mr Ciobo said Wednesday. 

As we noted this past week, the election of Donald Trump and the imminent demise of TPP have given China an opening to pitch its own trade deals. Australia is the first major U.S. ally to peel off and publicly announce its intention to sign on to China’s deals. Others may soon follow suit, as China makes a renewed push to finalize the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which has been under discussion for over a decade, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which China has been developing since 2012.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

20 November, 2016

Salvation Army in Victoria Supports "Safe Schools" Initiative

The program is ostensibly an anti-bullying program but its far-Left authors expanded it way beyond that. It actually promotes homosexuality. From Karl Marx on, the far-Left have hated the family and this is yet another attack on it.  Some of its features:

* Teaches girls to bind their chests so their breasts won't develop

* Encourages student cross-dressing

* Teaches kids gay and lesbian sexual techniques

* Encourages kids to use either boys’ or girls’ toilets

* Integrates gender theory and sexual themes across all subjects

I have on various occasions in the past donated to the Sallies.  Because of their welfare work in wartime, military men tend to have a soft spot for the Sallies and I certainly have always thought well of them. 

Anne, the lady in my life, used to sing with the Sallies on street corners when they still did that and I have always regarded that history as a great credit to her.

Time does however tend to corrupt organizations that started out as idealistic and it seems that the Sallies have drunk the Leftist Kool-Aid now.  They are not who they were.  They now support a program that valorizes homosexuality and devalues the traditional family. 

Morgan Cox writes: "I just phoned the Salvation Army. They confirmed that they reviewed the "safe" schools program (the full unedited Victoria state version) and fully support it. I highlighted to them some of the reasons why as parents we hold grave concerns about the program. I was told that they feel sorry for me and my view. They think its a great program"

Until recently their front page said:  "However, same-sex relationships which are genitally expressed are unacceptable according to the teaching of Scripture. Attempts to establish or promote such relationships as viable alternatives to heterosexually-based family life do not conform to God’s will for society." 

The have always of course ministered to sexual deviants as being persons in need, but they have never until recently approved of homosexual practices. Like the Anglicans, they have now let go of Bible teaching and adopted a secular do-gooder philosophy. It will not end well.  They will fade away as the Anglicans are fading away.

They will never again get a donation from me and I hope that others concerned for healthy families will follow suit.  Politically, what they have done is asinine.  Conservatives are the big charitable givers and they will now choke a lot of that off

Below is the Salvation Army press release.

The Salvation Army supports the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria in its initiative designed to reduce homophobic and transphobic behaviour and create safe learning environments for all students. The Salvation Army is concerned by the very high level of bullying, higher levels mental health issues and the highest rates of suicidality of any group in Australia for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people. The Salvation Army’s Victoria State Council (VSC) has been aware of the negative claims about the Safe Schools program and its related materials but believes these to be unfounded.

Chair of VSC, Major Dr Geoff Webb says "Our social policy unit has reviewed the official teaching resources provided by the Safe Schools Coalition and the four official guidelines. It has also studied the independent review commissioned by the Australian government, together with other materials. None of the negative claims made about the program accurately reflect anything in the official materials reviewed.

"Provided schools adhere to official teaching resources and the official guidelines, there should be no issues with Safe Schools. We support the provision of safe learning environments for all students," Webb says.

Dr Webb notes that a Federal Government independent review found that the four official guides are consistent with the aims of the program and are appropriate for use in schools. "Our findings are consistent with the government’s review," Webb says, "and the resource All of Us is consistent with the aims of the program, is suitable, robust, age-appropriate, educationally sound and aligned with the Australian Curriculum."

The Salvation Army in Victoria has welcomed the Andrews Government commitment of additional funding to ensure that every Victorian secondary school is involved in the Safe Schools programme by the end of 2018.


Coding Will Be Mandatory In Queensland Schools From Next Year

This is of a piece with the bright idea that every kid should be given a school laptop computer.  It achieved nothing.  As a former programmer of statistical analyses, I can tell you that only about 2% of the population have the IQ to be a real coder.  Perhaps 5% will be able to do some sort of simple work, but, either way, this will waste the time of most students. If you have the requisite ability, you don't need to be taught it at school.  I learnt FORTRAN coding in just 4 mornings of teaching.

In every classroom from prep to Year 10, children in schools will learn coding skills and get hands-on with robotics in Queensland as the state becomes the first in Australia to mandate in-depth computer programming training.

The ABC reports that Queensland will join Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia and England in bringing computer coding into the state's primary school curriculum. Parents won't be able to opt their children out of the classes if they disagree with the amount of screen time their kids are getting, either -- this is a full-force effort from Queensland's education system to educate kids in the skills needed to live and work online.

The classes that Queensland schoolkids take won't necessarily be aimed at getting them jobs in coding or software development, though; students will instead get a general knowledge of digital literacy that they'll use in every aspect of their learning from English to maths. iPads won't be completely replacing pens and paper, either. Coding and programming will be an integral part of the jobs that these kids eventually move into in the future.


Leftist bureaucrats oppose competition in the provision of health insurance

They hilariously claim that a monopoly would keep costs down.  Leftists are incapable of learning.  It sounds like they can't even read economics textbooks

In a Guardian Australia investigation into the industry this week, health policy analysts and economists called for the private health insurance system to be abolished and replaced by a single insurer.

Graeme Samuel, a former adviser to the federal government’s private health insurance review, Jennifer Doggett, a fellow with the Centre for Policy Development, and health policy analyst Ian McAuley described private health insurance as outdated and in need of serious reform.

The federal health minister Sussan Ley is in the midst of a comprehensive review of the system, and has acknowledged consumers should be getting better value for money from their policies.

But the chief executive of Private Healthcare Australia, Dr Rachel David, criticised the experts’ comments, which she described as "one-sided" and "at odds with the majority of the population who value the fact Australia has one of the highest quality and most affordable health systems in the world". Private Healthcare Australia is the peak body for the industry, representing 19 health funds.

"This one-sided story only creates further misunderstanding about the private health sector in Australia and anxiety among those who value their private health insurance, which is, among other things, the major funder of non-emergency surgery and inpatient mental health in Australia, and funds more dental health than the federal government," David said.

"The Centre for Policy Development wrongly claims the rebate [the subsidy paid by government to the private health industry] is between $7bn to $9bn when in fact a review of the Australian Taxation Offices’s taxation statistics for 2013-14 shows that the actual net rebate paid by government that year was $3.7bn."

This figure has been disputed by Doggett and John Menadue, who was head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet under both Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam.

They argue the tax office’s costing of the private health insurance taxpayer subsidy at $6.3bn in 2015-16 did not take into account revenue forgone through the exemption of high income earners from the Medicare levy surcharge. Accounting for this, the rebate cost taxpayers closer to $11bn annually, they say.

But David said that those "ideologically opposed to the private sector will always cite the need to redirect the private health insurance rebate to public healthcare and grossly exaggerate the amount of rebate paid to consumers".

"Abolishing the rebate will have an immediate negative impact on public hospitals and set the health budget back decades," she said.

"More than 13.5m Australians have some form of private health insurance and almost half of them have an annual disposable income of less than $50,000. They value their private health insurance and right to choose where and when they have medical care, as well as a fully-trained health professional to be responsible for their care."

But individual private insurance companies acknowledged that consumers were frustrated. A spokesman for Bupa said the organisation understood that rising health insurance premiums were affecting many people.

The fund was looking at a number of ways to keep member costs as affordable as possible and deliver better value, he said.

"While we believe that in many ways Australia has a world-class health system, there are several areas of waste and inefficiency which flow through to consumers and ultimately increase the cost of insurance premiums," the spokesman said.

"We welcome the federal government’s announcement that it will reduce prostheses list pricing to improve affordability for Australia’s 13 million private health insurance customers from 2017 and beyond."

But more could be done to improve the health system by encouraging improvements in quality, cost-effective care and appropriate service, he said.

"This includes giving people more choice of receiving care in the home, delivering more coordinated, holistic care and reducing duplication of tests and avoidable readmissions and procedures."

Medibank’s chief customer officer, David Koczkar, acknowledged consumers wanted better value from their health insurance.

"We’re listening," he said. "So far this year, more than one million of our customers have seen increased value through new and extended benefits within their policies.

"In preparing our premium proposal for next year, we have kept our customers front of mind, particularly how we can provide affordable and better value private health insurance in an environment of rising health needs and costs.

"Medibank is committed to returning every dollar of the recently-announced prostheses list savings to our customers."

The managing director of HCF, Shaun Larkin, said private health insurance could be confusing and that the company believed in transparency. HCF had improved the information provided to the public to assist them in making informed decisions about their private health insurance, he said.

"Private health insurance gives people peace of mind in case something happens that requires hospitalisation, allowing them to choose your own hospital and doctor without lengthy waiting periods," he said.


A moderate response to a stream of abuse upsets the abuser

A Leftist female with an Arabic first name abuses an anti-immmigration Senator and is enraged when he responds with great brevity.  He sent no abuse back but that was not good enough, apparently.  The sense of entitlement on the Left is gargantuan

This afternoon she sent the Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Senator an email "imploring him to block the lifetime ban on refugees bill", and within three minutes she had a response.

Just two words:

"Go away."

"I was so shocked", the 25-year-old told Mamamia after receiving the reply.

"I couldn’t believe a grown man and public servant, who is being paid with my tax dollar to represent my best interests in parliament, would have the audacity to treat a citizen with such disregard and so childishly. A man who has been elected by the people, telling the people to 'go away' is the exact opposite of democracy."

"Seeking asylum is a basic human right, and this proposed bill is a deliberately cruel and unusual measure added to already cruel and obscene policies enforced by the Australian government," she said.

It should be noted that Nour's email to the Senator contained some strong words. She wrote, "I understand that you are a One Nation Party senator, which obviously means you are a racist, close minded, outdated neanderthal but I’m hoping that somewhere in your hateful, horrible heart there is a tiny smidgen of goodness that is willing to do the right thing and BLOCK the Life Time Ban On Refugees Bill – as is your duty."


Peter Dutton attacks Malcolm Fraser's refugee legacy

In case it is not clear below, Dutton was referring principally to the large number of Lebanese Muslims admitted under Fraser

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has attacked the  refugee policies of former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser, saying they are partly to blame for Australia's struggle with foreign fighters travelling to international conflict zones.

Responding to criticism from right-wing commentator Andrew Bolt, Mr Dutton said on Thursday many foreign fighters travelling to conflict zones in the Middle East were the children or grandchildren of migrants who settled in Australia during the Fraser government in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Immigration Minister has put the blame for the grandchildren of Australian migrants travelling to fight in overseas conflict zones on former Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser's immigration policies.

"The reality is Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in the 1970s and we're seeing that today," he told Sky News. "We need to be honest in having that discussion. There was a mistake made."

Mr Dutton said Australia should learn the lessons of past migration programs as it settles new arrivals in the community today.

During the Fraser government, as many as 200,000 migrants arrived in Australia from Asia, as part of policies focused on multiculturalism and resettlement.

More than 16,000 Lebanese migrants arrived in Australia following Lebanon's 1976 civil war, prompting warnings from immigration authorities about the risk of temporary changes to eligibility standards for new arrivals.

Cabinet records released in 2007 showed officials believed many of the Lebanese refugees lacked qualities considered important to integration in Australia, while some were viewed as unskilled, illiterate and of poor character.

The Fraser government also resettled about 50,000 Vietnamese refugees and boat people in Australia.

Before his death in 2015, Mr Fraser defended his government's policies and rejected links between refugee arrivals and racial tensions in contemporary Australia. 

Mr Dutton linked recent gang activity in Victoria involving young people from newly arrived African communities, including former Sudanese refugees, with "weak" law and order policies from state Labor governments.

"If it can be demonstrated that we have a significant proportion of a particular community - we're talking about the Sudanese community in this instance - then we need to work out what's gone wrong," he said.

"We do review the program each year, and if we feel there are problems with particular cohorts, particular nationalities, particular people who might not be integrating well and not contributing well, then there are many other worthy recipients who seek to come to a country like ours and make an opportunity their own."

The federal government is working with state police forces to try to identify people of poor character and will seek to cancel visas if necessary, Mr Dutton said.

The comments came as a newly established parliamentary inquiry prepares to consider resettlement outcomes for migrants to Australia, including community services, the importance of English language skills and whether existing migration processes adequately assess resettlement prospects.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

18 November, 2016

Gillian Triggs to go as human rights chief, Turnbull confirms

Gillian Triggs will not continue as president of the Australian Human Rights Commission after her term expires next year, Malcolm Turnbull has said.

The statement has been interpreted to mean the government is refusing to reappoint her to the position, but Guardian Australia understands she has told the government on several occasions she will not seek to be reappointed when her term expires.

On 2GB radio today the broadcaster Ben Fordham asked the prime minister about the future of the commission’s president. The host argued that the commission had mishandled the Queensland Univeristy of Technology racial discrimination case and noted that she had given incorrect evidence to a Senate committee about her comments in an interview.

Turnbull replied that Triggs "holds an independent statutory office" and "wasn’t appointed by me or by the Coalition".

"Her term runs out in the middle of next year but it’s not productive for me to get in a slanging match with her.

"Obviously she’s got to defend and justify her own conduct … but there clearly will be a new president after her term expires in the middle of next year."

Asked to confirm that Triggs’ appointment would not be renewed, Turnbull said: "There will be a new president, that’s right."

He said people "cannot expect to have their terms renewed", although the government could do so. "In this case, there will be a new president of the Human Rights Commission."

The conservative senator Eric Abetz welcomed his words, saying the Australian people were fed up with "the repeated incompetence displayed by Professor Triggs". He cited the QUT and Senate committee testimony controversies.

Abetz said Australians felt "let down" by the commission "masquerading as a self-appointed PC-police unit".

Turnbull said section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act was an important issue because it affected free speech. He described the treatment of the three students sued in the QUT case as "indefensible". The controversial case was rejected by the federal court after three years.

The government had initiated an inquiry into section 18C, he said, because there were "a range of views" on it. "I’m not ignoring the issue, far from it."

In October Triggs was grilled in a Senate estimates committee about an interview she gave The Saturday Paper in April in which she reportedly said politicians were "usually seriously ill informed" and had "lost any sense of the rule of law".

Triggs told the committee her comments were "taken out of context" and some quotes were inaccurate. She suggested that one quote that she could have "destroyed" the committee questioning her about the commission’s Forgotten Children report was "put in by a subeditor".

But when the editor of The Saturday Paper, Erik Jensen, revealed a tape of the interview existed, Triggs clarified her evidence and accepted it was an "accurate excerpt from a longer ­interview".

Triggs said she had answered questions regarding the article in good faith and based on her best recollection.

Coalition parliamentarians including Peter Dutton, Cory Bernardi, Ian Macdonald and Michael Sukkar criticised Triggs, claiming she had misled the Senate


Donald Trump's gift to Australia worth billions in the long run

As we sit in the foggy aftermath of one of history's most extraordinary elections one thing is clear enough – Australia just received an enormous shot of financial adrenalin. We are accidental collateral winners from the Republican victory in the US. Call it the Trump gift and it's worth billions.

Trump's policy centrepiece to spend $1 trillion to rebuild America's infrastructure signals a massive increase in demand for commodities like iron ore and coal, which Australia produces. And since declaring he was set to "fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals", the prices of these commodities have taken off like a rocket.

The price of Iron ore – our biggest export – has soared to almost US$75 a tonne which is almost double where it was at the start of the year. In the past few days since the days it has gained more than 8 per cent.

According to Australian government's budget papers, the effect in 2017/18 of a change in the iron ore price alone is huge, with every $US10 a tonne change impacting tax receipts by $3.9 billion and nominal GDP by $13.4 billion.

In the latest budget the Turnbull government had factored in a price of $US55 a tonne up from the previous forecast of $US39.

If these price levels are sustained it will a positive king-hit to the budget deficit.

Not in its wildest dreams would it had expected the current price levels.

Coal which had already risen steeply this year also got a fresh tail-wind and is up again strongly with the contract price more than doubling this year and the spot price moving into the stratosphere.

Until last week many of the best commodities experts were tipping the price of iron ore and coal would move down by the end of this calendar year and stay there in 2017.

The unexpected Trump victory has turned the expectations for commodities prices upside-down.

Even though Australia doesn't supply the US with coal and iron ore, the fact that the global demand for these commodities will rise thanks to Trump's big infrastructure plans, means the global prices will rise.

Just how much demand will grow is unclear at this stage so its expectations and sentiment in the futures markets that are responsible for the prices soaring. Further turbocharging the expectation of increased demand is the fact that China is also undertaking an infrastructure building program, One Belt, One Road, to boost its own economy.

The commodities bulls are predicting the two countries are now set to start of the mother of all infrastructure building competitions.

And in the space of only a few days since the US election the fear of a massive trade war between the two largest economies in the world appears to have eased significantly.

Realistically Trump's ability to turn back the clock on global trade would be limited if it resulted in huge price hikes for US consumers on goods that they have become accustomed to getting cheaply from China.

And even if Trump places imposed tariffs on goods imported from China, the response from the Middle Kingdom could be to further stimulate its own economy.

From an economic perspective there are some negatives for Australia not the least of which is having to ditch the Trans-Pacific Partnership which over time could have delivered new markets to our beef, wheat and dairy producers.

But these will be easily outweighed by the benefits of improvements in mineral commodity prices.

And for investors in Australian commodity companies the past few days has been a bonanza.

Fortescue Metals has risen from $5.22 to $6.17 over the past few days. BHP Billiton shareholders have seen the stock spike from $22 to around $25 and Rio Tinto is similarly strong.


Do toddlers really need to learn about racism?

This is no longer a rhetorical question but a critical issue every parent of a young child in Australia now has to consider.  Even if that child is just three years old.

How long will it take ­before we witness the end of the innocence in our race to the bottom?

This week we have slipped further down the cliff with a baffling new Australian Human Rights Commission program. Building Belonging is the ­result, we’re told, of surveyed early childhood educators who said they had been asked challenging questions about culture. Things such as: "Why are there black people?"

Pipe cleaner sculpture and jigsaws are passé. Lessons in racial prejudice and what you, yes, you the preschooler, are going to do about it are now on the agenda.

An obsession with force-feeding our youngest, malleable generation with unpalatable "facts" about diversity has sparked one of our most ridiculous school programs to date.

And that’s saying something given the utter bewilderment many of us mums and dads still feel about the maligned Safe Schools program, which focuses on gender blending and patronising traditional family values.

In that scenario bad mum had to be whipped into shape about gender ideology. And it doesn’t take Einstein parenting to work out that kids at age three don’t identify with racism, so why introduce it as a concept?

But in order to foster "cultural competency", there will be songs to spotlight racial harmony/intolerance with verses about brown and blue-eyed kids who "both like to tuck into yummy stir-fry", according to reports.

The rationale is that if not addressed/brainwashed out of tiny little minds, these inquiries will fester into full-blown racism or a mild case of a prejudice — at a minimum.

According to reports, there will be rainbows, fruit, tablemats and an e-book All My Friends and Me plus a lesson encouraging kids to befriend someone from another racial background.

What are with "acceptance" drills on culture when parents are sending their kids to preschool in the naive understanding that this will someone prepare them for reading, writing and maths lessons at "big school".

One of the most marvellous things about children is their unsullied but expansive imaginations, refreshingly ­bereft of the PC dribble many adults seem content to endlessly sup. If a kid wants to play with another kid, they’ll play. If they want to share that story about ants crawling into the Lego box, then they tell another child and watch ­delightedly as their friend collapses in giggles.

There’s no crippling checklist with an imaginary quota of gay, black, Muslim or Asian pals to tick off in an effort to be oh-so-2016 and inclusive.

When I heard about Building Belonging, my gut said: "Not again."  I am not condoning racism but I find the frenzy to socially engineer our kids abhorrent. If you make them focus on differences then that will ­become their instinct. Our prejudices then ­become theirs.

What is wrong with allowing them to make their own discoveries, however uncomfortable and obviously within reason, so they evolve into balanced humans who can think for themselves. Isn’t that what we want for our children?

The alternative is a split-second but corrosive hesitation that will embed in their personalities as they begin to question why they look and sound different to Sarah or Sayeed.

Overemphasising differences is no better than avoiding the topic.

And that’s when you find yourself speechless after saying "Let’s get some Chinese food for dinner" and some smart alec neighbour’s kid in the back seat pipes up with: "That’s racist!"

As a parent I want evaporating teacher time to focus on literacy and numeracy rather than How To Spot a Bigot in 10 words or Less.

Leave us mums and dads to tackle these issues — racism, transgender and homosexuality — with our child ourselves when they are old enough to ask.

This week a friend of mine told me about an encounter she had with the mother of her preschooler’s friend who had come for a play date. Her Jedi fan son was showing his little visitor his two pet green tree frogs. In deference to his favourite movie, one was called Yoda, a huge brilliant green specimen, and the other Mace Windu.

When the mother came to pick up her son, he dragged her over to the frog tank and said: "Look mum, frogs. Can I get some? They’re called Yoda and Mace Windu."

The mother turned to my friend’s son and asked how he had come up with the names. "Well," said the little boy, age 3.5. "Yoda has green skin and Mace Windu is brown." No sarcasm, no sinister ­racism here.

The mother turned on my friend and told her how inappropriate it was to encourage such labelling behaviour.

‘‘He calls it as he sees it," my nonplussed friend said in response. There have been no reciprocal invites for a play date.

If we want to interfere in every nook and cranny of children’s pint-sized psyches to make sure they are going to turn out OK, then maybe it’s time to turn our thoughts to creating the perfect human and cloning them.

And wouldn’t that make for an ­adventurous and bold new world. The alternative is to just ­settle the blades of our helicopters and leave our kids to be kids.


Labor at odds over US alliance

The bipartisan consensus towards Australia’s 65-year alliance with America is at risk of fracturing after a political row erupted over the strategic response to Mr Trump’s victory in the polarising US presidential race.

Malcolm Turnbull accused Labor yesterday of using Mr Trump’s win to try to weaken ties with the US and pave the way for an exit from the ANZUS alliance after opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong made the case for a switch in prior­ities from the US to Asia.

The Prime Minister seized on the repositioning to argue that Labor was threatening relations with Australia’s "strongest, most important, most trusted, enduring ally" and placing national security at risk.

In an appeal to Australian strat­egic interests and values, Senator Wong argued in an opinion piece in Fairfax newspapers that Mr Trump’s campaign rhetoric ran counter to the views of most Australians and embraced positions that did not align with our interests in the Asia-Pacific.

She pushed for a considered recalibration of Australia’s approac­h to the alliance, framing the US election result as a historic "change point" that had the poten­tial to fashion a "very different world and a very different US".

But Mr Turnbull said yesterday that the call for a rethink reflected an enduring scepticism towards the alliance. He said the Labor Left had broken from the Right and was using Mr Trump’s election as an "excuse to move away from the United States".

"What Penny Wong is doing is sending the message from the Left of the Labor Party, which has ­always been uncomfortable with the US alliance," Mr Turnbull said in Canberra. "The Labor Party is divided on that point.

"You have Penny Wong going in one direction, wanting to move away from our strongest, most ­important, most trusted, most ­enduring ally, wanting to move away — put our nation’s security at risk — and then, on the other hand, you have the Right of the party trying to crab-walk back to where she’s gone."

Former Labor leader Mark Latham, who once described ­Coalition MPs as a "conga line of suckholes" for their support of the Iraq war, was last night scathingly critical of Senator Wong’s position. "The truth of Penny Wong’s position is she’s arrived at the right destination but through the wrong process because ... she’s ­actually citing a major shift in foreign policy direction without any foreign policy detail," he said on Sky TV. "This hasn’t been done on the basis of the Americans got it wrong in Vietnam, the Americans got it wrong in Iraq, the Americans have had it wrong in the South China Sea; it’s none of those things.

Penny Wong’s objection to the US is Donald Trump and the objection relates to identity politics. They’ve demonised Trump, in many cases on faulty ground, to say that he is against the Latinos and blacks and everyone under the sun ... And Wong has foolishly ­fallen for this and has made, shamefully, a foreign policy decision on the basis of identity politics and political correctness. The ­process is a shocking reflection on the modern Labor Party."

The political brawl over the ­future of the alliance follows the striking of a key deal by the Turnbull government with the out­going Obama administration to settle up to 1600 asylum-seekers being held on Nauru on Manus. It also comes on the back of strong criticism by Mr Trump about the value of maintaining alliance ­relationships with key partners in the Asia-Pacific, such as Japan.

Senator Wong rejected claims she was pushing for a watering-down of the US alliance, saying the ANZUS treaty — signed in September 1951 — continued to have bipartisan political support and remained a "critical aspect" of Australia’s foreign and security policy.

She told ABC radio yesterday Mr Trump’s foreign policy repres­ented a marked departure from that of President Barack Obama, noting that he had raised the prospect of a trade war with China, questioned the value of the US ­alliance system and taken a different ­approach to international ­action on climate change.

"I think it’s a sensible thing to have a discussion about how we ­respond to that and how we deal with that within the context of the alliance," she told ABC radio. "I … think it’s important for us to have a sensible and adult conversation here about how we continue to ­assert Australian interests in the context of an alliance framework."

The charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Canberra, James Carouso, said it remained in America’s ­interest to "lead, to be a Pacific power and to work toward greater regional integration".

"The ANZUS treaty has been in place for 65 years, during which it has provided for our mutual defence, anchored regional stability, and fuelled economic growth," he said. "It is also in the US interest to support the principled, rules-based, international order. Both president-elect Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have reaffirmed the US-Australia alliance."

But Senator Wong won the backing of former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr, who said the ­alliance needed to shift in Australian calculations because of changes in US policy flagged by Mr Trump. Mr Carr, who heads the Australia China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney, warned that the US was moving away from multilateralism and risking the prospect of an arms race in the Asia-Pacific.

"It’s not a choice for Australia, the decision has been made for us," Mr Carr told The Australian."Our American ally is committed to a trade war with China; to weakening alliance systems; to unravelling nuclear non-proliferation and downgrading multilateralism.

"None of these is in Australia’s national interest. We haven’t changed. But America has changed and embraced positions opposed to Australian values and Australia’s national interest."

Professor of strategic studies at the Australian National Univer­sity and a former deputy secretary of defence Hugh White said the ­government could not continue to base its "entire foreign and defence policy" on the assumption America would continue to "play the same role in Asia".

Bill Shorten said the alliance would continue to be supported by Labor regardless of who was US president. "We have shared values with the United States, but we are not exactly the same as the United States. So when people talk about the ­future of the American alli­ance, I am optimistic about it, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t also be engaging in Asia," he said.

Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating has also backed a ­recalibration, urging Australia to "cut the tag" with American ­foreign policies.

Opposition defence spokesman Richard Marles said Senator Wong had not drawn the future of the alliance into question. "Our ­alliance … continues to be the central feature of our defence strategy. It continues to be the central feature of our foreign policy," he said.

Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said it was best to take a cautious ­approach

"We’ve got a US that seems to be getting closer to Russia ... is that official policy or is that something that president Trump has just said in interviews?"


Search for truth on hospital death — no one deserves to die the way Stephen Herczeg did

Coverup coming?

THE full details of the circumstances leading up to the death of Stephen Herczeg in The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on September 19 remain unclear.

But one thing is certain — no one deserves to die the way he did.

The cause of the former Socceroo’s death is the subject of an ongoing inquiry before the Coroner’s Court.

The court heard last week that Mr Herczeg died as a result of his catheter bag being mistakenly connected to oxygen, which pumped 15 litres of air a minute into the 72 year old.

That led to respiratory failure caused by a ruptured bladder and collapsed lungs.

Exactly how Mr Herczeg’s catheter bag was connected to the oxygen supply is unknown at this stage.

And the answer to that question is hampered by evidence that police did not fingerprint the bag following his death.

On Wednesday, Premier Jay Weatherill took the unusual move of weighing into a sitting coronial inquest.

He told reporters it was "shameful" that speculation was "pointing the finger" at nurses before Coroner Mark Johns handed down his findings.

He then mentioned a police report "which is speculating that the death was caused by the actions of the patient" — a suggestion strongly rejected by Mr Herczeg’s family.

After deflecting attention on to Mr Herczeg — a man who is sadly not here to defend himself — Mr Weatherill said everyone needed to wait for Mr Johns’ finding before jumping to conclusions.

It’s a shame Mr Weatherill didn’t follow his own advice before casting doubt on the actions of a man who died in agony in a State Government hospital.

Now is not the time for Mr Weatherill to leap into damage control.

Instead he, along with Health Minister Jack Snelling, should be quietly focused on the evidence being presented to the Coroner’s Court.

Then, once the inquiry is complete, the government’s job will be to respond to Mr Johns’ findings and address any recommendations.

In the meantime, Mr Weatherill would do well to display a little more consideration for Mr Herczeg’s family, who, like the rest of us, are waiting for the truth to come out.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

17 November, 2016

Feminists need to get out of their mental bubble and stop blaming "privilege" for everything

Janet Albrechtsen

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democrat heiress, should now be president-elect Clinton. Women were going to rally to put the first woman in the White House. In the feminist dream and the determinist world of identity politics, the only possible event that could follow the election of the US’s first black president was the election of its first female president.

We are now witnessing what happens when reality explodes this take-it-in-turns determinist dream. Clinton was bound to blame something other than her own failings. That’s the calling card of left-liberal feminism. Of course, Barack Obama would blame the tight race on sexism. Identity politics demands that its adherents recast different views into an ism or a phobia — sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and so on. Clinton said it best when she described Donald Trump supporters as deplorables: "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it".

The post-election histrionics from so many women reveal why the so-called sisterhood has no claim over what women think, how they live and who they choose in the sanctity of the polling booth. After the US election, Mamamia’s Mia Freedman said she had "shut down". Trying to process her ­"tumultuous, distressing, depressing feelings" she listed 11 things she learned after Trump’s win. Had Freeman stopped after No 1 — learning that she lives in a bubble of social media where like-minded people blissfully reinforce their own views — Freeman’s flash of self-awareness might have been noteworthy.

Sadly, her remaining list goes like this: facts no longer matter, white people are furious their power is being taken away, Trump appealed to the lowest common denominator and children are scared. This miasma of emotion simply confirms Freedman’s bubble where Clinton’s win was never questioned.

If women want to be treated seriously, they need to choose reason over emotion. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t, with any credibility, attack Trump for saying that Fox’s Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever", then give yourself over to pure, unadulterated emotion.

Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy used the-facts-no-longer-matter theory to explain Pauline Hanson’s success at the last federal election and she regurgitated it last week to explain Trump’s win. According to Murphy’s post-fact analysis, people aren’t just stupid, they are deliberately stupid. "The journalism I consumed was gutsy, intelligent, richly reported, insightful, sceptical and self-aware," wrote Murphy last week as she explained why the left-liberal media didn’t do a terrible job reporting Trump’s rise.

For all of that apparent consumption of intelligent news, Murphy’s analysis that Trumpland is a place where truth doesn’t matter is wrong and patronising. Nowhere in Murphy’s analysis is there any acknowledgment that millions of US voters, forgotten by the Washington insider class, turned to Trump out of this deep sense of frustration and discontent. Nowhere is there any curiosity about Trump, the outsider, as the powerful change candidate up against Clinton’s status quo politics.

Freedman and Murphy aren’t alone in choosing the superficial over soul-searching. Gillian Triggs remonstrates about it being a dreadful year for women. She has this is common with Clinton: the actions of both women have been their own undoing. Jamila Rizvi prefers to speak over and interrupt rather than listen to Steve Price explain Trump’s win on Network Ten’s The Project.

Those card-carrying feminists who display such a dearth of intellectual curiosity, and honesty, expose the sisterhood as an increasingly sanctimonious, clueless and diminishing clique.

Rebecca Sheehan, a lecturer at the University of Sydney’s United States Study Centre and an expert in feminist, gender and cultural politics, said that white people, with their "part of a college education or less", voted for Trump because they were "clinging on to privilege".

Sheehan’s anti-fact, derisory white-lash analysis fails to account for the two white candidates in the 2016 election and that millions of Americans voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. What irks gender experts is that you don’t need a college education — part or whole — to understand that girl power didn’t rally to make Clinton commander-in-chief. Neither did Latinos, blacks or millennials. On election day, Clinton was predicted to grab the white college-educated female vote by 27 points. It fizzed to six points. Clinton’s share of the overall female vote — 54 per cent to Trump’s 42 per cent — was behind Obama in 2008 and only one point ahead of Obama in 2012.

Inadvertently, Sheehan’s comments explain Trump’s win by expressing the high-horse disdain, the ignorance and determined ­divisiveness of feminists.

It’s not a privilege to watch your dignity dissolve when you lose your job or see your weekly wage stagnate for two decades.

It’s not a privilege to be forgotten by an insular political class.

It’s not a privilege to watch Clinton enrich her private coffers through her public office.

It’s not a privilege to watch a woman who held the office of secretary of state to imagine a different set of rules apply to you, deleting 33,000 emails after congress subpoenaed her to produce them.

It’s not a privilege to watch Hollywood stars line up for Clinton, perpetuating the insider-outsider divide.

There’s nothing privileged about a once proud culture of Western enlightenment being crushed by a pervasive leftist culture that infantilises students: last week students at Cornell University gathered for a "cry-in" with tissues and hot chocolate provided. Tufts University offered Play-Doh to distressed students. The University of Kansas made therapy dogs available to comfort students.

The biggest danger to women is not Trump: it’s the snobbish nastiness and division perpetuated by gender studies experts.

Contrast the offerings from Freeman, Murphy, Sheehan, Triggs and Rizvi with Tina Brown’s observations. Last week, the writer and former editor of left-wing opinion website The Daily Beast wrote: "Here’s my own beef. Liberal feminists, young and old, need to question the role they played in Hillary’s demise. The two weeks of media hyperventilation over grab-her-by-the-pussygate, when the airwaves were saturated with aghast liberal women equating Trump’s gross comments with sexual assault, had the opposite effect on multiple women voters in the Heartland."

"These are resilient women," wrote Brown, "often working two or three jobs, for whom boorish men are an occasional occupational hazard, not an existential threat. They rolled their eyes over Trump’s unmitigated coarseness, but still bought into his spiel that he’d be the greatest job producer who ever lived. Oh, and they wondered why his behaviour was any worse than Bill’s."

And it has taken a man to say what many left-wing women should be saying. Last week, Matthew Dowd from the US ABC News wrote: "I want to take this opportunity to say I was wrong about who would win the election. But my biggest regret, and what I would like to apologise for, is the arrogant, close-minded, judgmental, and sometimes mean-spirited way I related to many who believed Trump would win. They were right, and I was wrong."

Bunkered in the New York bubble, Dowd admits he didn’t spend enough time listening to Trump supporters and understanding the communities "where another portion of America lives and breathes".

It took a cool head to deliver a rational and informed mea culpa. The ill-informed and often emotional responses from so many women on the Left over Clinton’s loss confirms that the gender prism has become an anti-intellectual prison, locking them away from exploring, let alone understanding, the world beyond them.


Andrew Bolt race-case judge ‘had ALP links’

Labor’s newest senator, Kimberley Kitching, says she remembers "being very surprised" when Federal Court judge Mordecai Bromberg decided to hear Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt’s racial discrimination case, given his close relationship with the Labor Party.

Speaking with Bolt on his Sky News program The Bolt Report on Monday night, Senator Kitching said she had known Justice Bromberg through the Labor Party.

A Federal Court judge since 2009 and former VFL footballer for St Kilda, Justice Bromberg ran unsuccessfully for Labor preselection for the since amalgamated federal seat of Burke in Melbourne’s northern suburbs in 2001.

"He was an active ALP person, he was active enough that he was in a faction, he ran for preselection," she said. "Obviously he would have had some views about you, and perhaps he was not the best person to hear your case."

Bolt asked Senator Kitching whether as a lawyer she was able to cast such aspersions on Justice Bromberg’s impartiality as a judge "under our ridiculous laws against free speech".

"I think that it’s an expression I should be able to take," she said.

In 2011, Justice Bromberg found Bolt had contravened section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act after nine "fair-skinned" Aboriginal applicants brought a class action against him and the Herald and Weekly Times for articles Bolt had written accusing them of seeking professional advantage from their Aboriginality.

Justice Bromberg found that "fair-skinned Aboriginal people (or some of them) were reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to have been offended, insulted, ­humiliated or intimidated by the imputations conveyed in the newspaper articles".

The contention centred on Bolt’s assertion that the nine applicants had chosen to identify as Aboriginal and consequently win grants, prizes and career advancement, despite their apparently fair skin and mixed heritage.

The nine applicants were led by activist Pat Eatock and included artist Bindi Cole, NSW Australian of the Year Larissa Behrendt, auth­or Anita Heiss and former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission chief Geoff Clark.

The applicants’ lawyers conceded that Bolt’s writings did not incite "racial vilification or racial hatred", but successfully argued they "constituted highly personal, highly derogatory and highly offensive attacks" on the nine.

Senator Kitching said she believed Justice Bromberg should have read section 18C more narrowly in Bolt’s case.


Malcolm Turnbull turns attack on ABC and the 'elite media' for distracting people

The ABC and "elite media" are to blame for distracting people from the government's focus on economic growth, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said, at pains to emphasise that he is in touch with the concerns of real people.

Grilled by the ABC's Leigh Sales on 7.30 about the persistence of Coalition MPs seeking to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the Prime Minister agreed that the issue is not a priority for the electorate.

"How many Australians do you reckon sat around on Saturday night and said: 'Geez, you know what I am really worried about? Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act'," Sales asked on Monday night.

"Well it isn't a subject on everybody's lips, I can assure you of that but it is, it raises, there are important issues relating to free speech but you're right, it is not – the big issue Leigh, is the one that I spent eight weeks of the election campaign talking about which is the economy, it is about jobs and growth," Mr Turnbull said.

Sales pressed on, observing that Coalition MPs were spending a lot of time on the issue and asking why it got so much attention when voters have more pressing concerns such as medical expenses, suicide rates and childcare costs.

"Leigh, this is a question you should address to your editors at the ABC – very seriously. 18C is talked about constantly on the ABC, talked about constantly in what's often the elite media. I have focused overwhelmingly on the economy," he said.

Following sustained pressure from free speech campaigners in the Liberal party room, the government recently announced an inquiry into freedom of speech that that would examine the Racial Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Commission.

"I take your point about the media but it also many members of your own parliamentary team," Sales offered. But Mr Turnbull wasn't finished.

"By all means engage in some self-criticism of the ABC or other media outlets or indeed other people in Parliament. Overwhelmingly I focus on the big issues of concern to Australians and they are economic issues, and they are issues of national security," the Prime Minister said.

On being in touch with real people: "Well one of the greatest assets of a politician, indeed of any leader, is empathy and of course you have to break out of the bubble. Again, I often get – on the elite media like the ABC – I often get criticised or sent up, and I don't object to that, by the way, for catching public transport a lot."

On his poor polling, currently a feature of his government and one of his stated reasons for ousting Tony Abbott: "I would have thought, after this last election in the United States, people might focus less on the polls and less on the opinions of commentators on the ABC, or other elite media outlets and focus more on what people are actually saying."

Mr Turnbull was joined in criticisms by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who said "people do believe that Canberra and other areas, and to be honest the ABC at times, get fascinated in questions that are inside the beltway that have zero and nothing to do with our lives out there".

"We see it occupying more and more oxygen. It creates a frustration, not only towards the political class but towards the ABC as well," the Nationals leader told Q&A.

Following the shock victory of populist presidential candidate Donald Trump, major party politicians in Australia are scrambling to show they are not disengaged from mainstream concerns about jobs and economic insecurity. Since last week, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has ramped up his rhetoric about protecting Australian jobs.

Targeting the "elite media" was a prominent feature of Mr Trump's presidential campaign but marks a new tone for the Prime Minister, previously seen as a darling of the ABC.


Enough is enough. There are bigger issues than gay marriage

The Senate’s rejection of the February 11 people’s vote on same-sex marriage should be the time to draw a line under this long-running saga.   

Most Australians don’t rate it as a top order issue and, quite frankly, have had enough. Even gay marriage advocates of the Turnbull Government such as Tim Wilson, Trent Zimmerman and their fellow traveller Warren Entsch have rightly said there is no plan B.

It’s plebiscite or nothing.

This was the Coalition’s election commitment; failure to honour it would be a breach of trust.

Gay marriage now remains gridlocked for years and few will be worried about this, apart from activists in the inner city areas of Sydney and Melbourne where rainbow flags adorn shop windows.

Quite frankly there are bigger issues facing the nation.

There is no popular clamour for a change to the Marriage Act. Even the left-leaning GetUp! organisation’s supporters consistently rate same-sex marriage way down their list of priorities, with it coming in at number 16 in their 2015 Vision Survey.

Labor achieved two of its worst primary votes in history promising to legislate same-sex marriage within 100 days. That it has dominated political debate for the past six years is testament to the skill of activists and a pro-change media.

Good on them. We live in a democracy.

But to the extent there has been a consensus, it has been a manufactured one. Australians fearful of being labelled "bigots" have been telling pollsters what the activists wanted to hear.

The little-known reality is that since 2008 same-sex couples have enjoyed full equality under the law. There is no discrimination and the overwhelming majority of Australians bear no ill will in their hearts towards their gay friends.

This is good.

The Turnbull Government, which won an election with a well-publicised pledge to hold a people’s vote on the definition of marriage, is now right to move on to other things.

Sure Labor will try and undermine the Prime Minister’s authority by pressuring government members to break ranks and support various private members’ bills.

How much more parliamentary time will be expended on this issue between now and Christmas? The public expects the Parliament to focus on issues much further up the public’s priority list.

But Australia will fall behind other western nations which have legislated same-sex marriage, is the cry. We’ll be an embarrassment.

But do we really want to see bakers, florists and photographers being fined and hauled before courts because they disagree with the state’s new definition of marriage?

Do we want to see people like former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran or former Mozilla Chief Executive Brendan Eich hounded from their jobs because they believe marriage is a man-woman thing?

Closer to home, do we want to see people like Hobart’s Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous in trouble with the law because the local version of the human rights commission thinks Christian teaching on marriage might be hate speech?

If people think the insult and offend clauses of 18C of the federal Racial Discrimination Act has a chilling effect on free speech, wait until a change to same-sex marriage law weaponises state-based anti-discrimination law and state human rights tribunals.

Is this the Australia we want?

With marriage de-gendered, do we want school toilets and change facilities also de-gendered as ordered by President Obama in post-same-sex marriage America? Parents have had a taste of this with the so-called "Safe Schools" program, whose federal funding runs out in April.

But like America, there will be no stopping other rainbow political agendas if gender is removed from marriage law. Children at school will be on the front line of a compulsory national induction into Queer Theory.

Labor’s successful political manoeuvring to deny the Government’s election mandate and vote down the plebiscite has done the bidding of groups who don’t trust ordinary people to have a say. This is ironic given advocates for change regularly boast of overwhelming public support.

The rationale for blocking the people’s vote is that the debate will be ugly.

But as Western Australian Liberal Senator Chris Back told the Senate this week: "if there has been evidence of intolerance and hate speech it is not from those people who support marriage as it is currently defined".

Quite simply, you are a bigot and a homophobe if you disagree.

But no, Bill Shorten, Nick Xenophon and the rainbow lobby know better. This is rule by arrogant elites and no wonder Donald Trump, Pauline Hanson and Brexit have become flag bearers for the discontent of the disenfranchised.

Same-sex marriage is an icon for all that is wrong with modern western politics. By blocking the plebiscite, Bill Shorten may have done Australia a favour.

With time, more Australians will wake up to the serious elite-mandated consequences of changing marriage.

They know our gay friends are free under law to love and live the way they want. But changing the definition of marriage has consequences and is unnecessary.

It’s time to move on. But those seeking change won’t and they probably don’t have the patience to wait for Labor to win government again. This means the plebiscite should come back in the future. Either way, Australians will have greater understanding of what is at stake.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

16 November, 2016

No free speech for conservatives on Australian public TV

Australia's ABC does often have a token conservative on its TV shows, hoping mainly to humiliate them.  But usually, the conservative does get to say something.  This time the conservative had barely opened his mouth before a Leftist interrupted him to contradict him.  And the show host sided with the Leftist

A petition calling for The Project to apologise to Steve Price after he was 'bullied' by Carrie Bickmore live on-air has received 17,000 signatures.

The petition says the 61-year-old radio presenter was a victim of "leftist bullying" after a heated with columnist Jamila Rizvi last week which ended with Bickmore telling Price to watch his tone.

Price, a 2GB presenter and regular guest on The Project, was commenting on Donald Trump's election victory on Wednesday night when Rizvi, a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter, cut him off.

"The people in real America, in small town America, weren't buying the bulldust that was coming out of the elites," Price said.

When Rizvi interjected, calling the idea of a real America "b-------", Price got personal.

"This is the reason why Donald Trump won, because people like you lecture and hector people."

Bickmore jumped to Rizvi's defence and warned Price to not "keep that tone" as the guests bickered between themselves. But it appears a large number of people think Rizvi was in the wrong.

The petition started three days ago calls for The Project to apologise to Price, describing the incident as "leftist bullying".

"Nobody, no matter what side of politics they fall on, should have to experience the abuse and degradation of what Steve had to go through on that program," petition founder Thomas Nicholls wrote. "What happened on The Project is unacceptable and should be condemned. Whether you are on the left, right, or somewhere in between, nobody should experience what Steve experienced."


Australian students mired in mediocrity

A sense of "mediocrity" in Aus­tralian education and a "she’ll be right" attitude has led to our­ ­students losing the hunger for ­academic success shown by their Asian competitors, a leading education expert says.

The comments by Kevin Donnelly, a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University, come after a renewed debate on government-run selective schools.

Academic Christina Ho, a senior lecturer in social and political sciences at the University of Technology Sydney, earlier this month told The Weekend Australian that selective schools had become ­"ethnically unbalanced" and politicians had their "heads in the sand" over the intensive commercial coaching often favoured by Asian-Australian families seeking to get their children into selective schools.

Dr Donnelly argues that education in Australia has for many years moved down "a particular path that was anti-meritocracy, anti-competition, anti-elitism".

"We have this idea that all students should do well, we should celebrate all students in terms of their potential and what they can achieve but because we set the bar so low, and because there was this, what I would call, prevailing sense of mediocrity, we really haven’t engendered in our students, Anglo-Australian students, the same willingness to compete, to achieve and to celebrate being academically able," Dr Donnelly said.

"And you need only look at the percentage of Asian and Indian kids getting into selective schools, compared to Anglo-Australian, to see there’s a real imbalance there."

Dr Donnelly, who is also executive director of the Education Standards Institute, said the stereotype of "tiger mums" pushing their children to achieve academically had an element of truth because Asian cultures respected education, and believed in hard work and classroom discipline.

"The Australian mentality is more egalitarian; she’ll be right ... So we’re a bit more easygoing when it comes to academic study or academic success," he said.

Chinese-Australian mother of two Anna Yuan, who used to work in family support services in Sydney, is a vocal advocate of giving children a balanced education including sports.

Ms Yuan said during her time working with Chinese-Australian families, it was "horrendous" seeing kids develop mental health problems and lacking social skills from being pushed hard academically with extra coaching to get into selective schools.

Ms Yuan still volunteers her expertise to help parents understand the pressure on their children.

"It is part of the culture. In China, many people think that academic is the only pathway for success … many parents want their children to have a good life," she said.

Gary Banks, the principal clinical psychologist and managing director at the Sydney Counselling Centre, is the chairman of two headspace facilities and also provides supervision for several school psychologists. He said he was seeing "an ongoing and ­potentially increasing quantum of stress among higher school certificate students".

"There are now national campaigns, such as headspace and ReachOut, to address the problems among young people, but in many cases it is actually the parents placing too great an emphasis on high ATARS (the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank)," Dr Banks said.


Immigration system is groaning under influx of new migrants

One of the underlying factors that influenced the outcome of last week’s US election result was the fundamental clash between globalists and nativists.

A driving outlook of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is based on concern for everyone, including present and future immigrants, as well as faith in international institutions such as the UN. By contrast, the standpoint of the successful Republican candidate, Donald Trump, is that the prime role of government is to protect its legal citizens and to respect and support feelings of patriotism and loyalty to country.

A part of this clash between globalists and nativists takes the form of differing attitudes towards immigration, legal and illegal. Add the stultifying impact of restrictions on free speech associated with the widespread insistence that only politically correct comments can be made — anyone who questions the value of immigration or asks why illegal immigrants are not deported is immediately labelled racist, xenophobic or Islamophobic — and the scene is set for the impact of this clash to play out in the ballot box.

The reality is that there are legitimate questions to ask about US immigration.

* Why are there are 11 million illegal — the PC term is undocumented — immigrants in the US?

* Why are so few of these illegal immigrants deported as the law provides?

* Why is it that a rising share of illegal immigrants has lived in the US for more than a decade?

* Why does Silicon Valley rely so heavily on the H-1B program (the equivalent of our 457 visa program) for its workforce?

* What is the impact of immigration on local workers?

When it came to the policy prescriptions being offered up by the two candidates, they were diametrically opposed. Clinton proposed a series of measures, including more executive actions, to allow illegal immigrants and their children to stay on in the US as well as obtain benefits available only to citizens and permanent residents.

Trump proposed to cancel all the existing executive actions that have deferred the deportation of illegal immigrants as well as new measures — most notably the construction of a wall on the Mexico-US border — to deter the entry of new ones. (Most illegal immigrants in the US are Mexican.) Until fail-safe vetting mechanisms are available, he also suggested a moratorium on new immigrants from countries with high proportions of Muslim residents.

It is tempting to describe Australia’s immigration policy as striking an appropriate balance between the nativist and globalist perspectives. By and large, illegal immigrant numbers are kept to a minimum and the permanent immigration program (presently with an annual intake of 190,000) is skewed towards those with skills.

The formal humanitarian program caters for asylum-seekers, with the numbers kept at relatively modest levels. The annual intake is 13,750, rising to 18,750 in 2018-19. The intake of 12,000 refugees from Syria also has been announced.

But in addition to these permanent immigrants, the number of temporary entrants to Australia has soared. In 2004-05, for instance, there were 49,000 457 visa entrants. In 2014-15, the number was 96,000, having peaked the previous year at 126,000.

The number of working holiday-makers also has skyrocketed, more than doubling in the decade ending 2014-15. There were 226,000 working holiday entrants in 2014-15. The number of international students rose by more than 70 per cent between 2004-05 and 2014-15, reaching 300,000 in the latter year.

All these temporary migrant categories are uncapped; as long as the applicant meets the conditions of the visa, then entry is granted. We are at the point that the number of new temporary immigrants is swamping the number of permanent entrants. But bear in mind that a high proportion of temporary immigrants apply to become permanent residents in due course.

So what are the problems with our immigration program? They can be gauged only by moving away from the high-level descriptors and digging deeper by analysing the component parts.

Take the employer-sponsored category of the skill permanent intake. There are 650 occupations listed on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List — many more than on the Skilled Occupation List used for the independent skill category — and the applicants need only minimal English proficiency. While it is true that the primary applicants under the skill category do well in the labour market, this is not so true of the secondary applicants who have the right to permanent residence as well.

International students who have graduated are allowed to stay in Australia with full work rights for considerable periods. Increasingly, these graduates are using the family stream to secure permanent residence, rather than the skill category.

When we look at the occupations of those who enter under the 457 visa category, we note that cook and cafe/restaurant manager are in the top three occupations. In fact, accommodation and food services is the industry with the largest percentage of 457 visa holders. Does anyone really think that cook and cafe/restaurant manager are occupations that can’t be filled by locals?

And when it comes to the labour market experience and welfare dependency of those holding humanitarian visas, the outcomes are clear: extremely low rates of employment, even after years in Australia, and high rates of welfare dependence. The story that emerges at this more nuanced level is that employer sponsorship of immigrants, permanent and temporary, is scammed in many cases, oftentimes with linked ethnicity between the employer and the immigrant.

It is also clear that being an international student is often seen as a pathway to permanent residence and recent changes to the regulations have facilitate this — a move much appreciated by the university sector.

That there is some exploitation of international students working in part-time jobs is hardly surprising and again often occurs where there is an ethnic link between the employer and the worker. 7-Eleven stores are a case in point.

Humanitarian visa holders impose a high fiscal burden on taxpayers and in Melbourne, at least, the criminal activities of the so-called Apex gang are giving asylum-seekers more generally a bad name in the eyes of the public.

The underpricing of the contributory parent visa also is causing concern as it becomes clear that the elderly parents of migrants impose high costs on taxpayers.

So before our politicians get too smug about our immigration program and contrast it with the divisiveness induced by immigration in the US, we need to face up to some hard cold facts.

Arguably, our program is no longer working in the national interest. Rather, it is working to favour particular groups and to buy votes in certain electorates.

My guess is that more people are beginning to appreciate this fact, particularly as they bear the costs of congestion, loss of amenity and safety, and declining housing affordability. Canberra insiders need to acknowledge this and start to remedy the deficiencies.


Plight unmasks the injustice of 18C

Kyran Findlater made an alarming discovery when he checked his LinkedIn page one day in November last year.

The married Brisbane man, 26, a robotics engineer and graduate of the Queensland University of Technology, had been working in Canada since December, 2014. He had not heard of Cindy Prior.

He knew nothing of a racial vilification case Prior had brought against him and six other QUT students under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act over their Facebook posts in late May 2013.

Until now, Findlater, a quietlyspoken young professional with no interest in, or history of, political activism, did not want to speak publicly about any of these facts. He feared the smear of racism, and damage to his reputation, budding career in Canada and family.

He is sharing his story with The Weekend Australian because he is distressed at the idea he could be seen as a racist by those who do not know the facts. He believes Australians need to understand how innocent people are being harmed by misuse of what he regards as a bad law, section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, administered by an incompetent handler, the Human Rights Commission.

"The fact that myself and the other students were even dragged into the litigation against QUT is a disgrace to the legal system in Australia," Findlater said from his home in a small town in Canada’s British Columbia.

The LinkedIn message he got last November 13 came from Prior’s Brisbane solicitor, Susan Moriarty, who conveyed news that stunned him: Findlater was, the solicitor explained, being sued in the Federal Circuit Court for Prior’s "psychiatric injury and economic loss linked to racial vilification posts you uploaded to QUT Stalkerspace (Facebook page)" in May 2013.

But there was a way out. Moriarty, winner of the 2015 Australian Employment Discrimination Lawyer Award from Corp INTO Magazine, added: "Our client is prepared to discontinue her complaint of racial vilification against you and agree to confidentiality in consideration of your payment to her of the sum of $5000. If we do not receive your response to this offer on or before 25 November, 2015, we shall assume that you do not wish to settle, and continue proceedings against you."

Findlater recalls that he was confused and deeply concerned. He went back and read what he had written on Facebook in late May 2013 after another student, Alex Wood, had posted about being ejected from QUT’s indigenous-only computer lab ­because of the colour of his skin.

Wood and his friends — who had visited QUT’s unsigned computer lab, called the Oodgeroo Unit, to access its unused computers for study — are white. They did not know that made the lab off-limits to them. Prior, who worked there in an administrative role, is indigenous. She asked their race and told them to leave because of their non-Aboriginality.

Findlater says he cannot stand racism. He believes that race-based barriers sow division, and that universities should promote cohesion, not segregation, among students, many of whom he ­believes will impart those values as role models and leaders in their professional lives.

Findlater’s Facebook post that offended Prior, after her ejection of Wood, an engineering student, on May 28, 2013, stated: "My Student and Amenity fees are going to furbish rooms in the university where inequality reigns supreme? I believe if we have to pay to support these sorts of places, there should at least be more created for general purpose use, but again, how do these sorts of facilities support interaction­ and community within QUT? All this does is ­encourage separation and ­inequality."

The post made Findlater a ­defendant, along with six other students, in Prior’s Federal Circuit Court proceedings in November last year with a claim for $250,000 in damages.

What Findlater did not know when he checked his LinkedIn and saw Moriarty’s "urgent" message was that the racial hatred claims levelled against him were not new — in fact, they had been in Prior’s formal written complaint, naming him, to the Human Rights Commission since May 2014.

For reasons including natural justice, the commission is required to tell people when they are ­accused of racial hatred. This is to help them clarify the circumstances or deny they said something racially abhorrent or explain the context. The commission’s president, Gillian Triggs, has claimed this week in interviews that the taxpayer-funded body and its staff had been working with the QUT students "in good faith" to try to resolve the complaint for some 14 months after it was lodged by Prior. But the commission’s own records show that claim by Triggs is false.

Most of the seven students found out for the first time in late July 2014 of the existence of the complaint. They were given just three business days’ notice to ­attend a conciliation conference in Brisbane. But nobody — not the human rights body, nor QUT, nor Prior — had ever successfully alerted Findlater.

QUT confirmed yesterday, after doing checks following The Weekend Australian's questions, that a letter it sent by registered post on July 28, 2015, to alert him did not reach Findlater and the email it sent on the same day had not been opened, possibly because it went to an old email address.

Findlater said the first he knew was when he saw the LinkedIn message, three months after the failure of the commission’s August 3 conciliation conference in which he was a named party. Documents show the commission had decided by late August that there was "no reasonable prospect of the matter being settled by conciliation", ­resulting in it being escalated to court.

How, Findlater asks, can the commission be serious about "conciliation" when it does not once tell him there is a complaint? How, he questions, did it decide conciliation would not be possible when he did not know about it?

Back in November last year, when he saw the LinkedIn message, Findlater did not know that a growing number of people — solicitors for Prior, commission staff and Triggs, QUT staff and their vice-chancellor Peter Coaldrake — had known since late May the previous year that he was one of the seven at the heart of an 18C ­racial hatred complaint of which he was unaware.

Findlater had even joined the staff of QUT in its robotics lab. He was an employee at the same time the university knew of the 18C complaint against him; he was easy to find and contact. Yet he was not told. He is appalled at the commission’s conduct and deeply disappointed with the university.

In his reply to Moriarty last November, he wrote: "Firstly, I do not wish to settle on this matter. I have reviewed my involvement in the social media posts in which I have allegedly racially vilified your client (or anyone else for that matter) and I feel that the defamatory allegations against me cannot be substantiated."

Having decided to stand on principle and reject the invitation to pay money, Findlater prepared for the next stage — the court proceedings, and a December 7 date for the case to be mentioned in an open hearing.

"I was in Canada and I had one month to scramble and find a ­lawyer," Findlater says.

"If I had known there was a conciliation meeting months earlier with the Human Rights Commission, I could have gone and tried to explain to Ms Prior that I was sorry her feelings were hurt and that I’m not a bastard. I could have attended some form of conciliation and tried to have it ­resolved and concluded so that there would have been no court proceedings. But I was never given that ­option. I was never contacted about it by QUT or by the ­commission. It is very disturbing to be named before a court as a human rights violator. This is not who I am."

He spent money on legal ­advice from a Queensland solicitor, who wrote to Moriarty with a proposal that both sides walk away with no payment.

Moriarty replied to Findlater’s solicitor on December 14: "Our ­client did nothing wrong on 28 or 29 May 2013 but the posts, in which your client was a voluntary and enthusiastic participant, have contributed to the ending of her career with the Queensland University of Technology. The timing of your client’s posts ties him to the debate which emerged on QUT Stalkerspace following (another student’s) post on 28 May 2013 challenging the ethics and ­legality of study rooms for indigenous persons at the University.

"By our reading of your client’s contributions, your client’s posts were popular. As is the case, for every comment that went up in response/reply to his post he would have received an email each time and he also would have received an email of every ‘like’ that went up also. We note there were ten (10) ‘likes’ in relation to one of your client’s posts. He will be expected to discover those responses as part of his List of Documents.

"It is also the case that the decided law merely requires our client to prove her identification with and membership of a race of people subjected to an act or course of conduct the law regards as vilification and discrimination on the basis of ‘race’. Our client will compromise her claim and agree to a Deed of Release incorporating the normal terms of ­indemnity, confidentiality and non-derogation in consideration of a payment to her of $5,000.00. The Offer is open for fourteen days from today’s date."

Findlater and his family worried about this over the Christmas break. They believed it was grossly unfair. There was more legal correspondence between his solicitor and Moriarty, resulting in him incurring legal fees of about $10,000. He knew he was not a racist. But he could not afford to run a financially-crippling legal defence.

In early January, during a visit to his family in Brisbane, Findlater decided to call it quits. He and his wife were worrying a lot. The stress was not worth it.

He wrote to Ms Moriarty with an offer to settle, to limit the costs and end the concerns he and his wife held about the case. He ­explained in his offer letter that he had significant debts from his ­engineering degree at QUT, and other bills in Canada from his relocation there.

He asked if, instead of $5000, he could pay $3500, which he would need to borrow. He wrote that he was making the offer "in the hope that I can avoid the ­expense of time and money during the proceedings and in the hope that your client will gain something in the process".

His offer was rejected in a letter from Ms Moriarty who replied that her client, Prior, "advises that her review of your Facebook and LinkedIn profile establishes that you have been a well-paid employee since graduating as an ­engineer from QUT.

Her research demonstrates that your wife too has a degree. While you may have some financial difficulties, as you allege, there is nothing to indicate that those difficulties are anything but temporary".

Moriarty set a deadline of late February for full payment of the $5000; Findlater paid.

"My reasoning for taking the settlement offer was to avoid a protracted legal process where I could not be present to defend my name," he says.

"I feel that I did the right thing at the time because it was the safest route, and many people agreed with me at the time that I should settle but there is the whole injustice of it. If I was living in Australia I would not have paid, I would have fought it with the other ­students.

"Sure, my quote was the face of reason, but now when I Google my name, my positive achievements in life have been sullied, perhaps permanently, by the media coverage and headlines now associated with my name."

On issues of race and segregation, Findlater says: "I really think that all Australians should be given equal opportunities. Why should it matter what their race is? By segregating people with facilities like the computer lab, we are telling them they are disadvantaged, we are reinforcing it. It’s divisive and unfair to them."

From Canada, he has been closely following The Australian’s reporting of the case since February. He cheered the dismissal of the proceedings against three of the students — Wood, Calum Thwaites and Jackson Powell — by judge Michael Jarrett earlier this month.

He was surprised that Triggs claimed publicly that the commission "investigated" the case and engaged with students.

He has been buoyed by the public support and the growing calls to change 18C and investigate the commission’s handling of the cases.

He has always been reluctant to speak out but he changed his mind to ensure that the facts in his case were on the public record and well-understood, so that strangers knew, as his family and friends knew, that he did nothing wrong, and should not have been put through the worrying and costly process.

"I am glad about the possibility of review and amendment of 18C to avoid people being dragged through the mud like this again is comforting to me," he says.

"I feel like I was unfairly targeted. I am frustrated that the lady was able to take me to court over what was, in my opinion, something very harmless. But that’s the problem with 18C — it allows this to happen over opinions and free speech. None of the things I posted were racist or vilifying of anyone. I feel let down by the legal system and frustrated that nobody told me until it was too late. I got sucked into this legal vortex and I felt helpless to do anything. It cost me a lot of money that I will probably not see again. It’s not good that I was part of it. If I Google myself, it pops up.

"I blame the Human Rights Commission and QUT for not telling me. It compromised the chance for the complaint to go away. There was no conciliation.

"I am surprised by the audacity of Professor Triggs in saying that the commission did all these things for the students. It is a terrible performance for someone in a highly paid position. If the commission had done its job in the first place I would not be in this ­situation."


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

15 November, 2016

Private school kids earn more, live in better suburbs and are happier on average, new analysis discovers

I am myself a strong supporter of private schools.  I sent my son to one.  But I feel bound to report that the findings below are not as strong as they appear.  Parents of private schoolkids tend to be richer.  And richer people tend to have other important advantages, such as better health and higher IQ.  And such traits have a strong genetic component. So the advantages described below could possibly be entirely due to genetics, not schooling type. 

It is just very hard to separate out the two possible factors responsible for the advantage. From other studies, however, both schooling type and genetics are involved in the better results from private schools

The one undoubted advantage of private schooling is social contacts. Your kid will make friends from other better-off  families, which will almost certainly be advantageous in various ways.  At the risk of being extremely corny, there are many situations where "It's not what you know, it's whom you know".

One aspect of that is that private school graduates tend to meet mainly one-another on occasions where the mating game is afoot.  Your schoolfriend's kid sister can often seem very attractive, for instance. So they intermarry, which in turn preserves health and IQ advantages into subsequent generations.  You will tend to get smarter, healthier and probably more tractable grandkids, which is very pleasing

PRIVATE school kids grow up to earn more, live in better suburbs and be happier than their public school peers, a new national study has found.

Curtin University analysis of more than 17,000 Australian adults shows independent private school male graduates earn 15 per cent more than those from government schools. The research, by Associate Professor Mike Dockery, also shows female graduates earn 19 per cent more compared to those from government schools.

This higher household income "can be largely attributed to the greater educational attainment achieved by those who went to independent schools, with some contribution also associated with having come from a family background of higher socio-economic status," Associate Professor Dockery said.

"It seems likely that there is a causal relationship in which attending a private school increases the propensity to enter university, which in turn contributes to higher wages," he said.

Independent school graduates also live in more wealthy, up-market suburbs.  "One way or another, private school graduates sort their way into more prestigious neighbourhoods," he said.

"This may reflect a number of factors: higher preferences for living in such areas, marrying more affluent partners, or the effect of maintaining geographically close networks with family and peers who disproportionately reside in more prestigious neighbourhoods".

Catholic private schooling is also beneficial, bringing with it higher average household incomes of around ten per cent, which is mainly due to higher educational attainment.

However, Catholic school graduates have a bonus which is not shared with their independent-school peers: they have higher life satisfaction than those from state schools. "This apparent Catholic school effect on life satisfaction is possibly associated with religiosity," Associate Professor Dockery said.

The research from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education found men who went to independent schools did not share this greater life satisfaction compared to those who went to government schools. Women who attended independent schools, on the other hand, were marginally happier.

The Herald Sun reported recently the annual fees of top private schools is more than $30,000 and rising at triple the cost of inflation.


Conservatives should force Liberals to emulate John Howard era or start their own party

IT’S time for the real conservatives within the Coalition to put up or shut up.

In the wake of the historic Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump’s extraordinary triumph in the US, there’s never been a better time for disaffected conservatives to take the Liberal Party back from the hopeless bedwetters who are spooked by gallery chatter and Twitter storms.

If they can’t bring the party back to something resembling John Howard’s Liberals, then perhaps it’s time for the birth of a new conservative force that unashamedly stands for freedom of speech, small government, lower taxes, border protection and energy security.

Australia has already felt a hint of the anti-establishment phenomenon sweeping the Western world. Millions of voters abandoned the major parties in the latest federal election, including more than one million conservative voters who cast their ballot for non-Coalition candidates. The birth of an organised, viable alternative — let’s call it the Conservative Party — would give those on the centre Right a real choice rather than wasting their votes on minor parties or independents as a protest against the Liberals.

The Conservative Party would also present an alternative for disaffected Labor supporters unhappy with the party’s lurch to the far Left. Labor in 2016 is a vastly inferior version of the party led by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.

It’s not only the Coalition that has lost support from once rusted- on supporters — the past two federal elections have seen Labor’s primary vote plummet to levels not seen since the 1930s.

An Essential Report poll released this month showed that the majority of Labor voters were against the party’s opposition to tough new border protection policies. Indeed, 52 per cent of Labor voters backed the Coalition’s lifetime ban for boat arrivals, and only 38 per cent opposed the move.

Voter loyalty is at historic lows. In the 1980s, a whopping 72 per cent of the electorate always voted for the same party, compared with only 46 per cent in 2013, according to Australian Election Study surveys. The Greens may only receive about one in 10 votes, but they have managed to pull both the Coalition and Labor to the Left, to the detriment of both parties and the country.

Though they fight and carry on like overtired toddlers, there are few differences between the Coalition and Labor. Both favour policies that add to the national debt, spending more than the country can afford, and crucially both have signed on for emission targets that destroy jobs and increase energy costs.

It seems absurd that a country blessed with vast natural resources, including coal, gas and other fossil fuels, has citizens who can’t afford to heat their homes in winter or cool them in summer owing to crippling energy costs, which are set to soar further in coming years.

In the past two decades, America has dramatically reduced its dependence on Middle Eastern oil by significantly increasing local production via fracking. Fracking now accounts for almost half of all crude oil production in the US, up from less than 2 per cent just 16 years ago.

While other countries capitalise on their natural resources, we opt for higher priced and less reliable options.

The Andrews Government has announced a permanent ban on fracking and coal-seam gas drilling in Victoria, and the Coalition supports a ban on onshore conventional gas extraction until 2020.

What choice do long-suffering voters have when every major party has policies that will see energy prices continue to rise?

South Australian senator Cory Bernardi launched his Australian Conservatives brand in July and has already signed up more than 50,000 online supporters.

Though it was set up to rival GetUp! in raising funds and promoting conservative ideals, it could quite easily morph into a political party that gives voters a clear option at the ballot box.

Any new conservative force will likely be dismissed by the Left-wing media as some "angry white male" aberration — the support for Brexit and Trump was dismissed in similar derogatory terms — but a sound conservative movement would have widespread appeal and be inclusive of women, migrants and anybody fed up with the prevailing PC culture infecting public discourse.

Even Trump, whose intemperate language about Mexicans and Muslims outraged progressives, received more votes from people of colour, including Hispanics, than his purer-than-the-driven-snow predecessor Mitt Romney.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s impersonation of a conservative leader continues to be about as convincing as Kevin Rudd’s pretending to be a fiscal conservative while blowing a huge Budget surplus on pink batts and $900 cheques.

Even if Turnbull does have a late awakening and starts embracing conservative values, he is never going to win over the base, which sees him as a duplicitous dud who consistently undermined and eventually knifed a first-term PM, only to scrape in with a one-seat majority against opposition as underwhelming as Bill Shorten’s.


Wake up, Australia. Victim feminism does not resonate with female voters. Just look at Hillary

Millions of American women rejected victim feminism and voted for Donald Trump, especially white, non-college-educated women.   

Exit polls show 53 per cent of white women in total chose Trump over Hillary Clinton, and 62 per cent of white women without a degree.

They know how unfair it is that the men they love have been cast as the arch villains of Clinton’s elitist brand of feminism, castigated for enjoying patriarchal "white male privilege" when their jobs are gone, social norms destroyed and their children are dying of drug overdoses.

But Australia’s misogyny crowd are slow learners. They are the ones who keep pretending that domestic violence is the domain of "white male privilege", and that affluent feminists are its primary victims.

Clueless Gillian Triggs, for instance, missed the lesson of the US election and kept shrilling for victim feminism when she hailed Clinton as a "beacon" brought down by "abuse of a woman with quite exceptional experience... simply on the basis that she’s a woman."

Melbourne University Publishing’s leftist chief executive Louise Adler declared she "fears for the world" over Trump, a man "of bigotry and racism".

And Destroy the Joint founder Jenna Price moaned: "There are still different rules for men and women... Rules which make it possible for a man to become president but not a woman."

No, there are just voters, including vast numbers of women, with more important concerns than breaking a glass ceiling just for the sake of it.


Christmas carol ban is out of tune with society

Victoria’s public schools are the frontline in the war on Christmas.

In an extraordinary decision of the Andrews government, Education Minister James Merlino issued a diktat to state government schools that has the effect of banning Christmas carols.

You may need to read that sentence one more time.

In an attempt to secularise public schools, a directive was issued last month to the principal of every Victorian public school. These new rules restrict the way in which teachers, parents and volunteers talk about religious ideas in our state schools. The most shocking aspect of the rules is that the teaching and singing of traditional Christmas carols will now be banished from the classroom.

"Praise music", defined as "any type of music that glorifies God or a particular religious figure or deity" will be banned from music classes beginning in January. This is the last year parents will be allowed to volunteer their lunchtimes to teach kids Christmas carols for the end-of-year concert.

Most children aren’t even aware there’s a religious dimension to Christmas carols. It’s Christmas, and singing carols is just what people do. Silent Night has taken on its own significance beyond anything that may be characterised by some government bureaucrat as "praise music". Christmas carols now form a unique genre of music, and removing them from schools has the same effect banning any other genre of music would have; it ignores an important part of the complex tapestry of musical history.

In fact, the motivation behind a ban on Christmas carols today is remarkably similar to that which parents and teachers of children growing up in the 1950s and 60s shared in relation to rock ’n’ roll. Sixty years ago, older generations worried Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry would lead a generation to juvenile delinquency. Today, the concern is that Christmas carols may lead to alarming ideas about religion and the meaning of Christmas. Christmas carols are the new subversive influence on youth that parents and teachers should be concerned about — a nonsense idea ironically given life by the fact the elite are attempting to ban them.

Of course, the government hasn’t banned all Christmas carols, just those that refer to God. So while drab, contemporary Christmas songs such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be spared, the traditional carols — those that drip with a rich Christmas spirit — such as Once in Royal David’s City, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and O Come, All Ye Faithful are verboten in Victorian public schools.

But it’s far bigger than all that. This is a cultural turning point. The Victorian government isn’t just banning Christmas carols; this is an attempt to strip away the meaning of Christmas. It’s an overt attack on one of the most significant events in the Christian calendar.

The decision goes to the heart of good education. Christmas, and all the ceremony and custom associated with it, has been a significant religious and cultural ritual for 1700 years. A ban on these traditions is a denial of our history. Suppressing aspects of the Christmas celebration denies a cultural heritage that has formed the basis of Western civilisation and that underpins our understanding of life and liberty.

A well-rounded education should include lessons on Christianity and its contribution to who we are today. We can’t expect the next generation to defend the values of Western civilisation if they don’t know what they are.

The inflammatory decision of the Andrews government to ban Christmas carols in Victoria’s public schools must be reversed immediately. Former Victorian attorney-general Robert Clark is to be congratulated for taking a stand on the issue. In parliament Clark called on the government to "withdraw this appalling edict and make clear that students at government schools are entitled to learn, sing and enjoy Christmas carols as they have for generations". In the meantime, and while I’m still able to say it — merry Christmas!


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

14 November, 2016

"The seething streets of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, WA, where racism towards indigenous boys has hit a flashpoint"

This is utter BS.  Resentment of criminality is not racism. Black kids are often devious criminals and are deservedly under scrutiny.  And if a few whites make racist remarks that is fed by  the criminality

JASSEPPIE Garlett hasn’t ridden his motorbike since Elijah Doughty was run over and killed just a few hundred metres from home on August 29. He’s clearly traumatised: he sleeps a lot, doesn’t go to school, doesn’t say much. Elijah was his best mate.

He, like the other distressed teenage Aboriginal kids of the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and like kids the world over, has that innate thing where torpor helps heals worry.

They haven’t yet processed what happened to Elijah who, according to police, was riding a small stolen bike in a dirt park in Boulder when he was run down. They can’t fathom his death. While parents and elders talk about racism, the kids just see strangers in cars who change down gears and roar and swerve at them.

There’s a seething presence in this gold town, 600km east of Perth. The blare of a two-stroke makes certain people sit up, alert. The suspicion is whoever’s riding that bike is a black kid who stole it.

We spoke to numerous Aboriginal kids, aged between 10 and 18, who ride dirt bikes on the edges of town, and sometimes through it. All had been chased by unknown white men in vehicles; or stalked and photographed by men and women with cameras.

They’re too quick and evade their pursuers, easily. Most of the time.

"When we’re walking along or riding bikes," says Jasseppie, "people are yelling, ‘That’s my bike, you little black c***.’ I’ve been chased a lot of times."

From about 2011, local citizen-crimewatch Facebook sites emerged, aimed at exposing supposedly bad kids and giving people an outlet to complain about police inaction and court leniency.

By 2013, the sites had descended to unmoderated free-for-all on Aborigines. Some of the posts, usually written by people hiding behind pseudonyms, could have been datelined Mississippi, 1963.

In the lead-up to Elijah’s death, people wrote openly about killing Aboriginal kids. One site, "Kalgoorlie Crimes Whinge and Whine", was run by a local white man, Michael Doyle, 52. It took Elijah’s death for it to be closed down.

Doyle was too ill to get out of bed when we visited his Kalgoorlie home – he’s got 10 per cent kidney function and, according to someone close to him, not long to live.

Doyle has said previously he was not responsible for what people posted; that everything was the responsibility of the author. Visitors to the pages liked to complain they had lost the freedom to speak their minds – and then freely hurled the hatred.

What he helped create got right out of control. Messages were sent in real-time, saying that certain kids were riding or walking on certain streets. Vigilantes got in their cars and searched.

A local white couple, Leigh and Dianne Smith, told of pulling up outside the Broken Hill pub in Boulder, earlier this year, to visit the TAB. Leigh said: "There were a heap of kids about. There were kids on motorbikes and this bloke came up the street swerving at them.

"This bigger kid came off his bike and hit the gutter. He was forced off the road. I thought he’d killed him. The kid said he didn’t want to go to police because they were already onto him over motorbikes. The bloke was laughing when the kid came off. I was dumbfounded."

Leigh didn’t get a numberplate of the small blue car. The kid was covered in blood, his bike jammed under a car. He staggered off. "He was dazed and needed hospital," says Dianne.

In May, a photo of Elijah was posted of him with his bike – his own bike – near the Johnston St flats. "Run the f***kers over," someone wrote..

The man alleged to have killed Elijah has had his identity suppressed and will without doubt be under protective custody within WA corrections, given the Aboriginal prison population; his family has been evacuated from Kalgoorlie and the rental house they were living torched to the ground.

The decision to charge the 55-year-old with manslaughter, rather than murder, along with Aborigines being denied entry to the Kalgoorlie courthouse to attend the accused’s first appearance, created frustration and the main-street riot, with people hurling bottles and rocks.

"That day when he first went to court people went to support [Elijah’s] family," says Debbie Carmody, manager of Tjuma Pulka Original Nations Media Corporation.

"There was great sorrow. It was quiet but it was loud and under the great sorrow was anger. Anger that he was only charged with manslaughter. Anger that two local social media sites openly encouraged racist attacks and killings on Wongi youth and that despite complaints were not closed down."

Kyle Lynch, a 15-year-old from Kurrawang community just south-west of Kalgoorlie, a dirt-bike rider who was a mate of Elijah’s, shows me a Facebook post he saved to his phone. This captured the pitiless depths.

"Aboriginals," he or she posted in the aftermath of Elijah’s death, "don’t deserve to live. That’s good that young boy got killed. Aboriginals don’t own Australia. Aboriginals live in the bush. They are filthy animals. They all need the death sentence."

For some reason, Kyle has saved that message to his phone. He not sure why. He doesn’t feel all white people hate him. Maybe it’s some contemporary smartphone talisman, a reminder there’s danger.

Kyle has been stalked and photographed while riding his bike; and earlier this year, he and his cousin Thahn left the dirt and crossed over on public roads to refuel at a servo when police swooped, putting both to the ground, handcuffing them, and demanding to know where they had stolen the bike.

Aubrey Lynch, widely regarded as the Goldfields’ region senior Aboriginal leader, had paid $4000 for the Honda 250, as a gift for Kyle. He had to pay another $1000 to get it out of impoundment once police established that it was not stolen (Kyle got a three-month good behaviour bond for reckless riding and being unlicensed on the road).

"There’s some good people in this town, they’re not all racist. It’s just some," says Lynch, who as a Justice of the Peace likes to make a point of going to people’s homes when they need documents witnessed. I suspect he enjoys the mild shock of being an Aboriginal man who can give a white person the legal authority they need.


PM set to announce US asylum seeker deal

Looks like Mr Obama is getting in before Trump takes over

THE federal government has today announced a "one-off" deal with the US to resettle asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru.

Under the deal, which follows talks with the US, Canada, Malaysia and New Zealand, the US will take some asylum seekers found to be refugees.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this morning confirmed "that the government has reached a further third country resettlement arrangement for refugees presently in the regional processing centres".

"It’s a one off," Mr Turnbull said. "The arrangements with the United States will offer the opportunity for refugees, both on Nauru and Manus, to be resettled but I should stress that the priority is very much on the most vulnerable which are family units and, of course, they are located on Nauru.

"This agreement is built on the security of our borders."

The arrangement is supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Refugees will need to satisfy standard requirements for admission to the US, including passing health and security checks.

Mr Turnbull said "American officials from Homeland Security (will be) coming to Australia to begin the process in the next few days".

"We’re not setting timelines," he said.

US authorities will conduct their own assessment of refugees and decide which people are settled in the US.

Human rights groups said the resettlement deal announcement is full of holes.

Representatives from groups including the Human Rights Law Centre and Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce told reporters in Melbourne that the US resettlement of asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus Island was a government concession that the offshore centres were "dead ends".

"This announcement is full of holes. No time frame, no numbers, no plan for what looks like the hundreds of people who will be left behind," HRLC director of legal advocacy Daniel Webb said.
Men shave, brush their teeth and prepare for the day at a refugee camp on the Island of Nauru. Picture: AP /Rick Rycroft.

Men shave, brush their teeth and prepare for the day at a refugee camp on the Island of Nauru. Picture: AP /Rick Rycroft.Source:AP

According to the government, settlement in Australia "will never be an option for those found to be refugees in regional processing centres nor for anyone who attempts to travel to Australia illegally by boat in the future".

Immigration minister Peter Dutton said the government will "work hard to ... remove people back to their country of origin, or to send them to third countries, the United States".

"I want to confirm there are other aspects to the announcement we make today," he said.

Refugees who refuse offers of resettlement will remain in Nauru on a 20 year-visa.

"We are in final stages of negotiation with Nauru for a 20-year visa," Mr Dutton said.

"People who are offered a settlement arrangement in the United States and refuse to take that arrangement, so this deal only applies to people who are on Nauru at the moment, prioritising women and children and family units.

"And with the prospect of providing assistance to others on Nauru and Manus and including those 370-odd people who have come from Nauru or Manus and are receiving medical attention in Australia at the moment with the intent of sending those people back to an RPC.

"That is the only application of this policy."

He would not be drawn on how many refugees were likely to be resettled in the US.

"All I can say to you is that we have demonstrated, by the diligence and integrity of our response, we can secure Australia’s borders, we’ve demonstrated we can source and provide alternative resettlement options," Mr Dutton said.

Mr Dutton said the agreement will "never ever apply to any prospective arrivals". He said this was the latest step in Operation Sovereign Borders.

The announcement comes after US Secretary of State US John Kerry confirmed he has agreed to consider referrals from the UNHCR on refugees who are being detained in Australia’s offshore detention centres.

Mr Kerry told a press conference in Wellington the US was encouraging all countries to work with the UN to find a "durable solution" for the refugees. "We in the United States have agreed to consider referrals from UNHCR on refugees now residing in Nauru and in Papua New Guinea," he said.

Mr Kerry said the issue had been a key focus of the leaders summit in New York in September.

"My sense is that we are reaching an understanding of how we may be able to deal with it," he said.

He had been asked if the US was going to resettle refugees held in offshore detention centres, how many, whether the agreement would be conditional on Australia’s proposed lifetime ban on them ever entering Australia, and if an agreement could be overturned by President-elect Donald Trump. He said he could not answer all of those questions.


Trumpism is not a passing fad. Ignore the ‘forgotten men and women’ at your peril

The earth has shaken and the stars have realigned. A great force has arrived to rescue Western civilisation and its name is Trump, Donald J. Trump.

Example: On the ABC News Radio website, a poll asked: "How do you feel about Donald Trump’s victory as US President-elect?" Elated, concerned, terrified, confident or anxious?

The answer chosen by 49 per cent of respondents was … drum roll … "elated", with "concerned" a distant second.

Elated about Trump’s victory! On the ABC. Amazing.

Example: Bill Leak’s feckless tormentor, Melissa Dinnison, who alleged she had suffered racial hatred from a cartoon, dropped her 18C complaint.

The Citadel cracked. The Dow Jones soared to all-time highs.

For the first time since the Left staged its "long march" through our institutions, its tools of ­tyranny are crumbling.

Political correctness, identity politics, cultural Marxism, victim feminism, all kryptonite to the soul of Western civilisation, are under threat.

Brexit was just the prelude to this glorious global revolution of the deplorables.

Hungarian President Viktor Orban defined Trump’s victory as "a historic event, in which Western civilisation appears to successfully break free from the confines of an ideology".

And so, of course, the Left had a massive tantrum which exposed its ghastliness, its entitled, hate-filled, self-obsessed intolerance.

Assassination threats filled ­social media, including from a Guardian journalist, who promptly deleted her account. Shocked media clowns, such as the newly minted Senator Derryn Hinch, compared Trump’s ­victory with the 9/11 ­terrorist attacks.

The sore losers rioted in the streets and burned Trump in effigy, chanting "Dump Trump" and "Not my President".  They blindly trashed their own patch, the cities that voted for Clinton.

They burned the flag, broke ­windows, smashed police cars, blocked traffic, beat up ­suspected Trump supporters and faked hate crimes, thus confirming the ­wisdom of each and every Trump vote.

If these are the people who hate Trump, then whose side are you on? My enemy’s enemy is my friend.

More confirmation that America made the right decision came from the jazz hands and trigger-warning crowd, who plunged into a state of psychic despair, dubbed Trump-ression.

American universities had to deploy therapy dogs and Play-Doh to calm the nerves of the "snowflake" generation.

Cornell University staged a "cry-in to mourn the results of the (election), with school staff providing tissues and hot chocolate," ­reported The Wall Street Journal.

At the University of Michigan, fragile students comforted themselves with colouring-in books.

If this is the future of Western civilisation, no wonder Middle America revolted.

Trump derangement syndrome jumped the oceans, too, with ­reports of schoolchildren in Sydney bursting into tears and going home early because they’re frightened that Trump will start World War III.

Of course it’s child abuse for their parents and teachers to plant such ideas, just as they did a decade ago when they scared children witless with apocalyptic global warming prophecies.

Undeterred by its abject failure to predict anything other than a Clinton clean sweep, The Sydney Morning Herald ran an obvious hoax story from a Twitter parody account as legitimate news: "Reports from Trump Tower in New York … saw large angry groups chanting ‘We hate Muslims, we hate blacks, we want our great country back’."

It never happened, but what better example of the degeneracy of the Western world’s prestige media, exposed by WikiLeaks and the status-seeking bias of journalists who handed debate questions to Hillary Clinton so she could cheat, cravenly sought story ­approval from her campaign and painted Trump as an impossible gargoyle?

"Hug your loved ones", wrote The Australian’s Peter van Onselen, threatening to tear up his American passport. Mamamia publisher Mia Freedman wailed she was "heartsick and despondent" about the "Trumpocalypse" and urged readers to call Lifeline.

It was laughable.

But Malcolm Turnbull’s ­lugubrious tone when announcing Trump’s victory also signalled something more serious than the neuroses of pampered leftists: the threat Trumpism poses to establishment politicians.

Continue to ignore the "forgotten men and women" at your peril.

Never-Trumpers — represented in politics across the Left, the pointless marshmallow centre and the craven right — are shocked by the US election result because the people they unjustly dismiss as ­racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic, transphobic bigots were ­silent. They didn’t express themselves to pollsters or journalists. They barely dared to put a Trump sign in their front yard or a "Make America Great Again" bumper sticker on their car.

Even in Australia friends avoided the topic for fear of social ostracism.

Only in the remaining oasis of democracy, the polling booth, did the silenced majority feel free to express themselves.

That’s what you get when you silence dissent with political ­correctness, when you ban speakers from university campuses, make social status dependent on virtue-­signalling, traduce religious conservatives, and stack your media organisations with groupthink elitists.

Trump the Vulgarian is an unlikely saviour of Western civilisation, but Christians, who were key to his victory (over abortion, religious freedom and the Supreme Court), liken him to the Roman emperor Constantine.

Similarly a vainglorious egoist, Constantine nonetheless saved the Roman Empire, and liberated Christianity. "Constantine was no ­pillar of virtue, but he ­created the environment which gave Christians the freedom to ­influence society," wrote Christian website ­MercatorNet.

Freedom is nigh! Drain the swamp.


Federal Government backbencher Eric Abetz has welcomed the withdrawal of a race discrimination complaint against cartoonist Bill Leak

The cartoon in question, published by News Corp in August, shows an Aboriginal man with a beer can, unable to remember his son's name, as a policeman questions him.

"Australians do love their freedom of speech even if sometimes they find it uncomfortable," Senator Abetz said after the complaint was withdrawn.

The cartoon was drawn in response to a widespread focus on the treatment of Aboriginal people in Australia's prisons, after images of abuse in Don Dale detention centre were broadcast on Four Corners in July.

After it was published, the Race Discrimination Commissioner issued a reminder on social media that those who found it upsetting had the right to complain under the Racial Discrimination Act.

A woman then lodged a complaint under section 18C of the act, which allows a person to sue if the cartoon is reasonably likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate on the basis of race, colour or national or ethnic origin.

However, publications can be defended, under section 18D of the act, if they are in the course of debate on an issue in the public interest or a fair comment on any event.

Leak has previously told Lateline he was "bewildered" when he was accused of being racist, and that the Human Rights Commission complaint "stifled free speech".

The complaint was dropped on Friday.

Senator Abetz asked why the Human Rights Commission did not immediately dismiss the complaint as vexatious and said they had to answer "very quickly".

He has pointed to the $300,000 salary of the commissioner and asked whether the commission was "bleeding the taxpayer" for any "actual, useful purpose".

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion labelled the cartoon "racist" and said he was appalled by it when it was published.


Gang of men attempt horrific early morning carjacking in Laverton North, Melbourne

As soon as I saw the above headline, I knew that the word "African" would appear in the story.  I wonder why?

A DRIVER was surrounded by a gang of men before one jumped on the bonnet of his ute in an attempted carjacking this morning.

The victim was sitting in his red Ford utility in a car park in Laverton North when about five men of African appearance approached.

He locked his car doors tried to flee.

One of the men then jumped on the bonnet of the car.

Police want anyone who was in the area of Fitzgerald Rd about 5.30am, and who may have information, to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

13 November, 2016

Why Trump prevailed despite the cloud of sexual assault accusations over him

I thought I would put up the diatribe below as vivid evidence of how little Leftists understand and how one-eyed feminists are.  The author is Jenna Price, a long-time Australian Leftist journalist and academic.  Her publicity picture is below. 

Right from the start you can see that she is not a normal woman.  Active feminists rarely are.  What normal woman would allow a publicity shot of herself to go forward showing her with such messy hair?  She has no pride in her appearance at all, most unusual in normal women.  If she wants to represent women generally, she has certainly chosen a strange way to go about it.

But her hair is only a most incidental matter. It just enables her to refer to me as a patriarchal, sexist, xenophobic, racist, pedophilic member of the Ku Kux Klan -- and other such hate-speech.  The important thing is what she says.

And what she says is a classic exhibit of how Leftists never care about the full picture.  They have simplistic, narrow-focused explanations of everything. To read her, you would have to think -- and many Leftists do think it -- that Trump's attitude to women was important to the voters.  In fact, Trump voters  were quite clearly uninfluenced by it.  What does that mean?  Does it mean that Americans as a whole are unenlightened sexist pigs who delight in female suffering and inequality?  That is what Ms Price would have you think.

In fact, as many interviews with Trump voters show, most of them thought his attitude to women was bad but of incidental importance.  Astounding though it is to feminists, many Americans, including female ones, don't see feminist issues as all that important.  They have -- surprise, surprise! -- other political issues in mind that they think are far more important.  But reading Ms Price you would get no inkling of that. 

You would never know that most Americans, including Bill, are quite uninterested in what Hillary has betwen her legs.  Her ascent to to the presidency or not would prove nothing about glass ceilings.  They have been shattered long ago on the world scene.  Note the following female heads of government in recent decades:  Indira Gandhi, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Sheikh Hasina, Benazir Bhutto, Yulia Tymoshenko, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Cristina Kirchner, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Helen Clark, Julia Gillard, Ameenah Gurib, Park Geun-hye, Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May. And stodgy old Britain has had TWO female heads of government. Capable women CAN rise to the very top. Hatshepsut, Sobekneferu and Boadicea proved that long ago but you can't expect feminists to know any history.

So let me tell Ms Price and her ilk why feminist concerns were ignored by Trump voters.  Leftists claim that they voted for Mr Trump because they were ignorant snaggle-toothed, mouth breathing hillbillies who just hated everybody, including women.  But all the analyses of Trump support show the opposite -- that his vote was up among Hispanics and blacks compared with previous elections, that his vote among women was down only a little from the usual rough 50/50 split and that all social classes were well represented among his supporters.

So if demographics cannot explain the Trump vote, what can?  It's extremely simple.  Trump was the only one who offered liberation from Leftist oppression.  Those wonderful "progressive" changes that Obama and Hillary were offering could only be achieved by making most Americans do things that they were strongly disinclined to do -- make mainstream Americans love rampant homosexuals, Muslim Jihadis, black criminals and low-IQ Hispanic illegal immigrants -- etc.

Leftists are tyrants.  They think it is all in a good cause but it is still tyranny and those tyrannized don't like it. 

Had Leftists been less one-eyed in their policies towards minorities, they could still have accomplished much without antagonizing the majority. They could for instance have improved rights and services for homosexuals without pushing it all the way to a demand for homosexual marriage. Homosexual marriage did virtually nothing for homosexuals that they did not have already -- through civil partnerships, for instance.  But it did greatly antagonize believing Christians who know perfectly well what their Bible says about homosexuals.

So THAT is why so many voted for Trump. They see him as their liberator.  All other concerns faded into insignificance compared with the chance to throw off tyranny

There are still different rules for men and women.

Rules which make it possible for men to win and for women to lose. Rules which make it possible for a man to become president but not a woman.

Here are the rules for men. If you seek higher office, your history can include incitement of violence and abuse towards women. Your history can include the kind of racism and bigotry which echoes Hitler's rise to power. Your history will include running businesses which are still refusing to pay those who worked for you.

You can be as post-fact and as post-truth as you like because the population will not judge you. Your history can include a rejection of equal rights for the LGBTQI community. You can even intersect a couple of those, by demeaning Ghazala Khan, the mother whose son died fighting for the US.

Yet no one has put it better than Amelia Paxman, a 27-year-old documentary film maker in Queensland, who tweeted yesterday: "Tell me again how rape and sexual assault accusations will ruin a man's career".

Because, much more terrifying than electing Trump as president, more serious than that, is the permission this gives to treat women in a particular way, as s**** and w*****, as Miss Piggy and Miss Housekeeping, as commodities.

This was not the traditional political confrontation, of right versus left, or even of Right versus Left. This was about a decent flawed woman versus an indecent highly flawed man, a man who could tap into all the anxieties felt by those whose lives are changing around them.

We knew that Clinton's mistakes were made in the course of her career as a public servant, political transactions taking place in a political arena. Trump, on the other hand, hates people who are not like him. Women, blacks, Hispanics, gays and lesbians. And when he dismantles America's fledgling attempt at universal healthcare, he will target the sick, the elderly and those living with a disability.

But right now, Trump's target is women. They are the majority, and they are also deeply divided. For weeks we heard that evangelical and conservative women would vote for Clinton yet the figures tell us that many of those women voted for Trump. Maybe they thought violence and abuse was better than a woman who supported Roe v Wade.

Clinton's womanhood has always been considered fair game for public commentary, considered either unwomanly or not a good enough woman. Her steely ambition to reach the top job is in stark contrast to the expectation that women are compliant and accommodating. At the same she has been reviled for being too accommodating, too Stand By Your Man, shamed for not leaving her philandering husband.

Clinton shows us that women can never get it right. If women want to succeed we are coldly ambitious. You have trouble warming to us. We aren't authentic. Sometimes, we are shameless s**** and w*****, sometimes we asked for it. Sometimes we didn't say no loudly enough, often enough.

And yesterday for men, some men, many men, the defeat of Hillary Clinton was their dream come true, the ever-lasting buck's night, the moment in time when big swinging d**** proudly emerged to celebrate the death of another ambitious woman's dreams.

Powerful men are p****-grabbers yet powerful women p****-whip their men. This is still the world in which we live. There are different rules and different ways in which women are held accountable. Men have excuses, women are constructed as evil.

When Clinton won the nomination – as my women friends told me it would be all right, that I was over thinking things, that times had changed – I did what I always do: I worried. Worried that the US was not ready for a woman to lead; and that entrenched sexism and misogyny would destroy Hillary Clinton in the same way it had destroyed women before her.

Hillary parties? I wrote about them but I didn't go to any (was that it? Should I have gone? Please excuse my magical thinking).

And now it's done and so is she, the most qualified person ever to have stood for president.

When Amelia Paxman asks, "Tell me again how rape and sexual assault accusations will ruin a man's career" I can only reply that it won't. And it may not ever.

I read this from Clinton this morning: "To the little girls watching this, never doubt that you are valuable & powerful & deserving of every chance to achieve your dreams."

And those of you sitting on the sidelines, lips pursed, commenting about how this isn't about sexism and misogyny, race or class, please f*** off.

Or get off your behinds and join with people who want change; women's groups, human rights groups, environmental groups, anti-racism groups, unions. Yes, unions. Join with people who want your daughters and your sons to live in a world where even the poor, the black, the disenfranchised, hell yes, even the women, have a chance to shape a better world. Stop being divided and defeated. Build unbreakable coalitions for the good of the many. Please, please, as so many have said before me, don't let perfect be the enemy of good.

And in the meantime, never tell me to be grateful – and to appreciate – how far women have come. We have not.


Another 180 degree turn

Now Waleed Aly PRAISES Trump! The Project host says The Donald's victory in US election was not just due to 'an alliance of racist and sexist people' - but because he LISTENED

Television personality Waleed Aly has praised Donald Trump after the US businessman and former reality TV star won the presidential election.

Speaking from New York City on Thursday night, The Project's host claimed Mr Trump won the election because he 'listened' to people.

The 38-year-old, who has been in the US covering the election, interviewed rallygoers in the days leading up to the shock result.

'We went to the Trump rally. And yeah, I heard a lot of really crazy things at that rally but I also heard a lot of really normal things,' Aly revealed.

'I spoke to people who lost their businesses and couldn't find a way out. I spoke to people who didn't particularly like Trump but thought he was the only one listening.

'These are white working class states and they think no-one is listening.'

During the segment on Channel 10, Aly admitted he had questioned 'how can someone overtly sexist and racist' receive the most votes.  'That's pretty much the question I had before I got here,' Aly said.

'But the thing is, it's different once you are here. The Trump phenomenon isn't easy to understand but it's really easy to misunderstand.

'I think the easiest mistake to make would be to think that this is just an alliance between racist and sexist people. 'But that's not why he won the election.'

He insisted the nation had a different take on voting - and not because they were 'desperately looking for a misogynist racist to lead them'.

After interviewing locals, Aly said the Republican won simply because he promised to make changes after listening - and made their voices heard.

'He won on class, not because he is a racist or misogynist,' he said.

'They [voters] decided the system was screwing them and they voted for Trump to destroy it. Personally, I think it might all end in tears.'

But despite the shock election result, Aly called on Australians to take the newly elected US president 'seriously'.

'I think the real thing we need to take home is equality really matters, like it's serious but we hardly ever talk about it in Australian politics but we need to.

'I mean, Trump at least looked like he was listening and in the end, turns out, that counted for everything.

'Here in America, they have this saying about Trump voters that they don't take him literally, but they do take him seriously. I think we need to, too.'


US hints at Nauru refugee resettlement deal

This will probably die on the vine now

The US has strongly hinted that it has been in discussions with Australia about the possible resettlement of refugees from Nauru to the US.

The Australian last week revealed that refugees on Manus Island and Nauru will be offered permanent new homes in a handful of third countries, which could include northern hemisphere countries such as the US and Canada, as part of a multilateral resettlement deal the Turnbull government hopes to announce by the end of the year.

The resettlement deal would enable it to drastically downsize the processing centres on Manus and Nauru by offering permanent settlement to most of the 1800-odd recognised refugees on Manus and Nauru.

Sources told The Australian the government was in the final ­stages of negotiating the deals, of which several are understood to be in the northern hemisphere, suggesting the US or Canada may be being considered.

In response to questions about whether Australia and the US had held discussions over the issue of refugees on Nauru, the US State Department’s East Asian and ­Pacific Affairs Bureau spokeswoman Connie Paik appeared to confirm that talks had taken place.

In a carefully worded statement, Ms Paik said: "We are in regular contact with Australia and other countries that support ­humanitarian organisations and accept refugees for resettlement on a number of refugee-related ­issues. We encourage all countries to help create brighter futures for some of the world’s most vulnerable people by offering resettlement programs and alternative legal pathways for admission.

"The US has been a leader both in providing resettlement opportunities for refugees and in galvanising others to do so. For its part, the US has ­increased the number of refugees resettled in the US from 70,000 in FY 2015 to 85,000 in FY 2016 and to 110,000 in FY 2017, a more than 50 per cent increase over two years."

Last Saturday, Malcolm Turnbull revealed that the Coalition government would introduce legislation to permanently bar refugees pro­cessed on Nauru and Manus Island from ever obtaining an Australian visa unless they first gained the immigration minister’s explicit permission.


Excessive force systemic at Ballarat: IBAC

Ballarat police who stripped a drunk, off-duty officer half naked while she was in custody and kicked and stomped on the vulnerable woman could be charged over the incident.

The January 2015 matter was been directed to the Director of Public Prosecutions after Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog found it was just one example of excessive force at the Ballarat station outlined in a report tabled in state parliament on Thursday.

IBAC commissioner Stephen O'Bryan QC made four recommendations, including human rights training for officers.

He also suggested the government should consider decriminalising public drunkenness, bringing it into line with every state but Queensland.

Both the government and Victoria Police have baulked at the prospect of decriminalising public drunkenness, saying the laws are there to protect the community and the drunk person themselves.

But acting deputy commissioner Luke Cornelius said Victoria Police would accept the four recommendations and were waiting on the DPP to decide whether charges should be laid.

"It is clear to us that our high standards and expectations in treating citizens with dignity and respect certainly fell short," Mr Cornelius told reporters.

The inquiry was launched after IBAC received CCTV footage from Victoria Police showing the 51-year-old woman being kicked, dragged, stripped and stomped on in police cells.

The officers involved did not know at the time that the woman, who had been arrested for public drunkenness, was a serving police officer on leave for medical reasons.

The woman at the centre of an investigation into shocking police brutality allegations is planning to sue the force. © Ten News The woman at the centre of an investigation into shocking police brutality allegations is planning to sue the force. At IBAC hearings in Ballarat in May, one of the officers involved denied kicking the drunk woman and insisted she only "touched" her with her foot to calm her down and another said the struggle ensued when the woman tried to escape the cell.

All officers involved have returned to work on reduced workloads.

The inquiry also investigated three other complaints of excessive use of force at Ballarat by one officer who later received a promotion to the rank of sergeant.

The officer dragged a woman into an interview room in 2010 and held two women in a choke hold when they refused to leave the station in 2009 - actions which he later admitted to IBAC were "entirely inappropriate".

The public hearings were told Ballarat station attracted more than three times the average number of assault complaints against officers.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said a line had definitely been crossed at Ballarat.

"There is no room in Victoria Police for these sorts of behaviours," she said.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

11 November, 2016

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calls to congratulate US President-elect Donald Trump

I think the election of Trump is likely to put some spine into Turnbull.  He has already started to move Rightwards and the Trump victory legitimates that.  It shows that Rightist positions can be popular

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described US President-elect Donald Trump as a deal maker and pragmatist, welcoming early discussions on the Asia-Pacific region, trade and the fight against Islamic State.

Mr Turnbull phoned the Republican businessman from Parliament House on Thursday morning, with the 15-minute discussion coming amid calls from a number of world leaders congratulating Mr Trump after his shock victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The two discussed close historic ties between Australia and the US, agreeing to continue to build on the key alliance after Mr Trump takes office on January 20.

"It was a very warm discussion," Mr Turnbull said. "I suppose as both being businessmen who found our way into politics, somewhat later in life, we come to the problems of our own nations and indeed world problems with a pragmatic approach.

"Mr Trump is a deal maker. He is a businessman, a deal maker and he will, I have no doubt, view the world in a very practical and pragmatic way."

Mr Turnbull said the phone call was constructive, with the service of Australian men and women alongside the US in overseas conflicts discussed and with Mr Trump acknowledging the enormous importance of Australia fighting in every major conflict since World War I.

Security and trade in the Asia-Pacific region was also discussed. The pair agreed that a continued US presence in the region was important to international security, and spoke about the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

The TPP deal is probably dead, despite support from President Barack Obama and the Australian government.

"Most importantly, we absolutely agreed on the vital importance of our strong alliance," Mr Turnbull said.

"Mr Trump recognises the solidarity that Australia has shown the United States and the United States has shown Australia over 98 years, during which we have fought side-by-side with the United States in every major conflict."

Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump noted the shared role of Australia and the US in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and Mr Trump said he would welcome more talks about the fight against international terrorism and other issues in the relationship.


Donald Trump's victory is proof people have had enough of the "chardonnay set", Pauline Hanson says

The One Nation leader, who rode her own populist wave back to Canberra in the July federal election, says disenchanted voters want their voices to be heard.

"People around the world are saying 'we've had enough with the major political parties, with the establishment, with the elites, with the chardonnay set'," she told Sky News.

Conservative Liberal senator Cory Bernardi was also gleeful after Mr Trump's elevation to president elect. "What a wonderful morning," he tweeted.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he respected the outcome of the US election but didn't agree with it. He told ABC Radio he doesn't regret calling Mr Trump a "repulsive creep".

Labor defence spokesman Richard Marles said the federal government needed to use every avenue in its diplomatic arsenal to talk to the presidential transition team about Australia's issues in the region. "(A US) presence in east Asia is important," he told Sky News.

Senator Bernardi, who is on a parliamentary secondment to the United Nations in New York, is expecting big things from a new president who will have Republican control of congress.

"I think the best days of the United States are ahead of it if the Trump campaign is allowed to keep its promises," he said.

Senator Hanson said Australian politicians needed to heed the message of Trump's victory and Brexit, that people want their own backyards looked after first.

"I think a lot of them have lost touch with the grassroots Australians and the rural areas," Senator Hanson told the Seven Network.


Government Facebook ads tell migrant Australians to deter family members from arriving illegally

What a lot of whining!  The government does its best to target its messages to the right people but no targeting is perfect

Second and third-generation Australians say they are shocked to have been targeted by Federal Government Facebook advertisements encouraging them to tell their relatives not to come to Australia illegally.

"Obviously they're targeting me for some particular reason even though I live in Australia, I've been born in Australia, I don't know anyone who's looking to arrive in Australia by boat," said Johnny Lieu, whose parents migrated from Vietnam decades ago.

"So I'm not really sure what the point is of these advertisements except to make me feel uneasy."

Mr Lieu said he was surprised when he saw the taxpayer-funded, Australian Border Force advertisement in Vietnamese which translates to 'Never, no way — Australia will not loosen its tough border rules'.

He said he had listed Vietnamese as a language he speaks on Facebook.

"It was definitely a bit shocking and surprising to say the least, I guess I know who those advertisements are targeted to and to see them targeted at me, I was a little taken aback," he said.

"I'm surprised that the Australian Government would see me in their sights."

Aitak Salempour and her family arrived from Iran when she was one-year-old, and she is an Australian citizen.

She was targeted by the advertisements in Farsi.  "Maybe because I've put [on Facebook] my place of birth which is in Iran ... I have no idea why they would have chosen me who is already an Australian citizen living here," she said.  "I was confused and it was confronting, they've missed their target completely.

"I would not send that message on, I'm not the right kind of person."

Facebook allows users to target advertisements based on a number of factors including interests, behaviours, connections, and languages.

The Government advertisements are a part of an Operation Sovereign Borders campaign that appears in a number of languages including Bengali, Burmese, Hindi, and Tamil.

"The campaign is targeted at source and transit countries for people smuggling activity, as well as diaspora communities in Australia," an Immigration and Border Protection Department spokesman said.

The department said the ads were designed to ensure different ethnic communities were informed about Australia's border protection policies which aim to stop illegal maritime arrivals, and to encourage them to share the information with people offshore.

"Evaluation research consistently shows that family and friends are the primary information source for people in Australia and overseas,"the spokesman said.

But Ms Salempour said she was the wrong audience.   "If my relatives were to come here they wouldn't be applying as a refugee, they'd be applying as a skilled migrant or something," Ms Salempour said.

The Federal Government is due to introduce legislation this week that bans refugees and asylum seekers who have tried to reach Australia by boat from mid-July 2013 from ever coming here.


Queensland police officer who pulled gun on couple in outback awaits magistrate's ruling

A Brisbane magistrate has reserved his decision in the case of a police officer who pulled a gun on a couple for speeding along an outback Queensland highway in May last year.

Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan was charged with assault and deprivation of liberty after the couple lodged a complaint over the ordeal.

Flanagan's own dash-cam recorded most of the incident, where he is seen honking at the driver, before getting out of the car and pointing his pistol while swearing at the couple.

He is then filmed handcuffing the driver on the side of the highway, before issuing him with a speeding ticket.

The summary trial began yesterday and heard from three witnesses including Flanagan, driver Lee Povey and his partner Anna Lisa Cruse.

'Put you ******* hands in the air'

Mr Povey told the court he was confused at why a police car was following him without any lights and sirens.

He said when he eventually pulled over, he saw the police officer walking towards his vehicle window pointing a pistol and swearing.

"First up, he said, 'Put your ******* hands up in the air,'" Mr Povey said.

Mr Povey said he could feel the gun being pushed into his back while he was being handcuffed outside the car, a claim Flanagan told the court was unlikely.

Several videos of the incident were tendered to the court, including Flanagan's dash-cam and a recording Ms Cruse made on her smartphone.

Officer not a rogue lunatic: defence

In his final submissions, Flanagan's defence lawyer Stephen Zillman said the officer thought the car was stolen and the driver may have had a firearm, so he acted quickly.

"From what we've seen and heard on video, it's clear, he was very, very, highly stressed," he said. "It's not the case of some rogue lunatic police officer simply pulling pistols out, pulling them at someone who's been speeding."

The matter has been adjourned until December 7 and Flanagan's bail has been extended.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

10 November, 2016

They really love the Donald! Three Australians travel all the way to NEW YORK to show their support for him

Said 'horror, repulsion and disgust' at Clinton swayed their decision

It may be the American election - but it seems the whole world has an opinion on who should become the next President.

And three Australians even went so far as to travel to New York in order to make their feelings known.  Sporting 'Make America Great Again' caps and Donald Trump badges, the trio were spotted in Times Square stumping for the Republican candidate.

Interviewed by 9 News' Tom Steinfort, the group said they had traveled to be part in a 'once in a lifetime event'.

Asked why he is backing Trump, one man responded: 'Horror, repulsion, disgust - there's a lot more I could throw in there as well. '"Make America great again", absolutely. The ripples will make their way out to Australia.'

Another man added: 'It is a once in a lifetime event. We are never going to see another Donald Trump again.'


QUT students to pursue defamation suit against Gillian Triggs

About time for someone to call the old bag to account. She'sw just a Leftist bigot who doesn't care what damage she does

Gillian Triggs is under renewed fire and facing a defamation ­action from Queensland University of Technology students who accused her yesterday of making false and damaging statements implying they and their Facebook posts were racist.

The Human Rights Commission president was asked by the students’ barrister Tony Morris QC yesterday to publish a retraction and apology, make no further "defamatory" comments about the students, and pay damages and costs. The warning to Professor Triggs that she faces being sued comes after she told Fairfax Media and the ABC’s 7.30 that the human rights body had acted in "good faith" and in consultation with the students during a 14-month investigation into Facebook posts from May 2013.

QUT staffer Cindy Prior had named seven students in May 2014 in her complaint to the ­commission of racial hatred under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act over posts they wrote after being told they could not use an indigenous-only computer lab at QUT. In one post, Alex Wood said: "QUT stopping segregation with segregation?"

The claims by Professor Triggs are contradicted by the commission’s internal documents and its acknowledgment in legal letters that it did not tell the students at any stage that they were the ­subject of a complaint for the 14 months from its lodgement by Ms Prior to soon before it was finalised by the rights body.

Internal documents obtained under Freedom of Information show the commission never advised the students or engaged them in any way, despite official guidelines requiring such disclosures to people accused of racial vilification. That was left to QUT and meant the students were not made aware until late July last year, three business day before the commission ran a conciliation conference with Ms Prior.

The students accuse the commission of breaching their human rights by not telling them of the complaint until it was too late to prepare, obtain legal advice and potentially prevent it being escalated to the Federal Circuit Court as a $250,000 damages claim. The claim was thrown out last week, 3½ years after the Facebook posts.

"Much of what you said was knowingly and demonstrably false," Mr Morris wrote yesterday in a defamation "concerns notice" to Professor Triggs about her ­interview on the ABC’s 7.30 with Leigh Sales.

"You said ‘what we did was do what we normally do which is ­investigate the facts, get a sense of what each of the parties is saying, and then attempt to conciliate the matter’. There was no investigation. There was no attempt to ‘get a sense of what each of the parties is saying’. The truth is that the (commission) sat on the complaint for 14 months, without contacting any of the students or even telling them that a complaint had been made against them.

Only two of the seven students were present at the purported ‘conciliation conference’, and those two students had no more than three business days’ notice to attend.

"You said ‘for 14 months or at least for 12 of those months we ­believed that in good faith we were going to get a conciliation’. It is impossible that the (AHRC) held any such belief — let alone that it held such a belief in ‘good faith’ — when it had not even made contact with (the ­students)."

Mr Morris said Professor Triggs defamed the students when she said on 7.30 that while some cases were vexatious or frivolous, "this was one that had a level of substance". "The complaints were ones that attracted a certain measure of concern about the nature of the comments that were made," she said. "I won’t repeat the language but it was worrying and troubling."

He said her statement meant the students wrote Facebook posts that were "so abhorrently racist that it could not with propriety or dignity be repeated on a mid-­evening television program run by the national broadcaster". Mr Morris said the claim was "palpably false" and that there was no basis for the accusation his clients used language of such a racist character that she felt it unseemly to repeat on air.

The letter asks Professor Triggs to pay compensation and costs "given that you explicitly claimed on two occasions to be speaking ‘in good faith’, even though you either knew that what you were saying was untrue, or spoke with reckless indifference to the truth or falsity of your remarks".

One of the students, Calum Thwaites, told The Australian: "I never received one piece of correspondence from the commission. There is absolutely no truth in what she said about that (on Monday night) on 7.30 and to Fairfax Media. She was claiming the students were being consulted from the start by the commission and that there was this ‘good faith’ dialogue but that is completely false."

The documents include a contemporaneous diary note by a commission officer managing the complaint, showing that less than a week before the conciliation conference she told QUT’s solicitor "it would not be possible to postpone" it; that QUT should have contacted the students; and that "if a student is notified and wants to attend next week, they will have to make time".

Professor Triggs did not ­respond to a request for comment.


Turnbull moving Right

He has gone back to the Liberals’ good old days of being tough on asylum seekers, tough on attempts to limit free speech, tough on bids to change the social order through same-sex-marriage.

In the process, Mr Turnbull has consciously diluted personal positions that had set him apart from predecessor Tony Abbott and elevated his standing as the leader the Liberals needed.

The Prime Minister has done little to disguise the crunching noise as he slams policy into reverse gear.

His salvation is the political dividends have been quick to appear.

An Essential poll released late yesterday showed news of the Government’s plan to ban from Australia for life anyone in Manus and Nauru detention sites had been absorbed by voters.

Essential found 56 per cent of voters backed the move, including a thumping 76 per cent of Coalition voters and a significant 52 per cent of Labor supporters.

The base was back, and a few Labor folk had come with them.

Then there was the creation of a parliamentary inquiry into the Racial Discrimination Act and its notorious and often misinterpreted sections 18c and 18d, combined with what some Coalition MPs would see as an opportunity to tame the Human Rights Commission.

It was billed by Attorney-General George Brandis as "an inquiry into

free speech" — which it isn’t. Quite specifically it is about Part 11A of the Racial Discrimination Act , which includes 18c and 18d, and the Human Rights Commission processing of RDA actions.

The sub-topic of whether these elements "impose unreasonable restrictions on freedom of speech" was added for show. And it paid off.

Former Liberal minister and current conservative grump Eric Abetz was most satisfied.

"Very good result," Senator Abetz, whose stewardship of the Tasmanian Liberal Party saw it lose all House of Representatives seats on July 2, told 2GB yesterday. "I think it’s something that the Australian people want to see.

"One of the precious elements of our democratic fabric is freedom of speech."

In fact, the RDA had barely rated as a topic outside a clutch of commentators, sources in all parties report.

And the Prime Minister himself as recently as August 31 said the Government had no plans to change 18c, and "we have other more pressing, much more pressing priorities to address".

But to Mr Turnbull the critical topic is not what he once said, but what a former Labor leader once said.

"Over the last few days, we have heard disturbing echoes of the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. We’ve obviously heard him on Twitter and on the OpEd pages," he said, attempting to pummel Bill Shorten with the asylum seeker policies a man who had not been in Parliament since 2013.

The current Opposition is refusing to back the new policy.

What tickled Labor was while Mr Turnbull accused Mr Shorten of "giving in to the left" on the life ban, the Prime Minister was accommodating his right wing at a rate of knots.


Government puts off the two bills which triggered the double dissolution election

THEY were pieces of legislation so important to the nation Malcolm Turnbull called a double dissolution election to fight for their passage.

But suddenly they have disappeared.

When the Senate returns next week, the bills to revive the Australian Building and Construction Commission, and the registered organisations bill — both linked to workplace laws — will not be on the agenda.

They might appear for a vote during the two following weeks, the final sittings for the year, but chances are they will be put off until next year.

"I can tell you two things," manager of government business in the Senate Mitch Fifield told ABC radio today in an attempt to not say much at all.

"One is, we are absolutely committed to the ABCC legislation and absolutely committed to the registered organisations legislation.

"We took these bills to a double dissolution election. These are core elements of our agenda.

"And the second thing is, we take our legislative program one week at a time. We have three sitting weeks left."

The bills’ disappearance is one of the more obvious signs of confusion and apprehension in the Senate over the status of two men m — former senator Bob Day and One Nation‘s Rod Culleton.

The crossbench numbers have been reduced from 11 to nine and no one is certain how this remainder will vote on the big pieces of legislation.

When the Senate resumes on Monday, the first bit of business will be a Government motion to refer doubts over their eligibility to have been elected to Parliament sent to the High Court for a decision.

Labor will support the motion but will take its time giving the Government some thoughts on how it is managing the Upper House.

There will be a break to move to the House of Representatives where Indonesian President Joko Widodo will address a joint sitting.

The rest of the week will be taken up by non-controversial legislation, and by the proposal for a February 11 same-sex marriage plebiscite, which is likely to be defeated.

In the House of Representatives, the Government will introduce legislation to put a lifetime ban on asylum seekers who arrive by boat ever getting to Australia, even as tourists from third countries.

Labor sees this legislation as a bid to divide it on the asylum seeker debate and not a genuine attempt to prevent more boat arrivals.

That debate in the Lower House is expected to be protracted and the legislation might not make it into the Senate in three sitting weeks.


Margaret Court calls fault: ABC maligned my beliefs

Tennis great Margaret Court says she felt maligned by the ABC for her religious beliefs and opposition to gay marriage in interviews to promote her book.

Court, a Perth-based Christian pastor, said the broadcaster was one-sided, barely touching on her church charity work.

She did 22 media appearances to promote her autobiography, including eight with the ABC, but said the national broadcaster was the only outlet that seemed to have an agenda.

"They weren’t really interested in my tennis much; all they were interested in was hitting my beliefs for standing for marriage between a man and a woman," Court said. "I think we have to look at the fact this is happening, because it was not very nice in there — it was horrible, it was below-the-belt stuff.

"What has gone wrong? It used to be full of good religious programs ... There was nothing about Christianity in my interviews, it was all on gay marriage."

This morning a delegation of religious leaders will meet ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie to argue against planned cuts to religious programming. The delegation will include the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge and priest Frank Brennan, former South Australian Premier and Anglican priest Lynn Arnold and World Vision chief executive Tim Costello.

Court, a grand slam champion with 24 major titles, has stirred controversy with her hard­line views, including saying she did not want Martina Navratilova to win Wimbledon because she was gay.

Court said the interviews were particularly confronting on prerecorded shows One Plus One with Jane Hutcheon, Radio National Drive with Patricia Karvelas and on ABC Goulburn Murray with Gaye Pattison.

An ABC spokesman said several programs had agreed to ­interview Court while she promoted her book, which mentioned gay marriage. "In this context ABC presenters asked her a broad range of questions relating to her sporting career, life after tennis and her Christian beliefs," he said.

Court acknowledged she deserved scrutiny, but said most ABC interviewers did not seek to understand her point of view: "It would have been nice if they had come from: why do you have such strong beliefs in this area?"


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

9 November, 2016

Another big Australian power station closes  -- with a big impact on costs and another threat to system reliability

Even after watching what South Australia did to itself – pushing for renewable energy, increasing electricity prices, shutting down coal-fired power stations, reducing energy security, and triggering a statewide blackout – the Big V is rushing headlong down the same path.

Confirmation the Hazelwood coal-fired power station will close early next year guarantees power prices will increase by at least 8 per cent in Victoria next year.

Given SA imports huge amounts of power from that state, the increases will flow across the border.

The La Trobe Valley plant has 1600 megawatts of baseload capacity and has supplied up to 25 per cent of Victoria’s power.

Victoria has been an exporter of electricity, sending power to SA, Tasmania and even NSW at times but now will need to import power at peak times – mainly coal-fired electricity from NSW.

Instead of cheap reliable coal-fired power, Victoria is following SA with increased reliance on subsidised, unreliable wind and solar energy. Good luck.

Just like SA, Victoria has seen car manufacturers and other companies close, with jobs shed in the steel and aluminium sectors. Power prices have been a major factor.

More job losses will come – this is deliberate policy leading to inevitable deindustrialisation.

It is bad news for SA because, as industry shrinks across the border, local suppliers will be hit.

And, as Victoria’s electricity becomes more expensive and less reliable, it will increase SA’s exposure, given the state’s dangerous reliance on the Victoria’s Heywood interconnector – as everyone discovered on September 28.

SA’s biggest user of electricity is the Olympic Dam mine – one of the world’s largest uranium and copper operations.

BHP-Billiton shelved its huge open-cut expansion a few years ago but now plans to massively expand its underground mining, more than doubling copper output from 200,000 tonnes a year to 500,000 tonnes over the next decade.

This is vital for a struggling state economy – Olympic Dam has helped to keep SA above water since the State Bank disaster.

Yet the mismanagement of the power situation could kill the plans, as the head of BHP-Billiton’s Australian operations, Mike Henry, told me on television last week.

Olympic Dam refines copper on site, requiring vast amounts of "stable, affordable energy" and the company is deeply worried about a repeat of September’s blackout (that shut it down for two weeks) and ongoing price spikes.

"Left unresolved, that sort of thing will start to put at risk some of the investments we have planned for Olympic Dam," Henry said.

That is a stark warning. It should create shockwaves in SA and have the Weatherill government urgently looking at ways to increase baseload power.

Instead, the situation is getting worse because of what the Victorians are doing.

It is difficult to overstate the madness that is afoot – we must be approaching peak lunacy.

In the name of climate change policies, the two states most reliant on manufacturing have deliberately chosen policies to increase power prices and make energy less reliable; and then have mourned the loss of manufacturing jobs.

And to assuage their deep concerns about climate change both states have also spent billions of dollars building desalination plants that are mothballed.

Labor politicians in both states and federally are now publicly expressing concern about workers who have lost their jobs in coal-fired power stations when the policies they have implemented are deliberately designed to shut down these very generators.

Remember, every time these politicians mourn a job loss in the energy or manufacturing sectors, this is exactly what those same politicians have tried to achieve through their climate policies.

Renewable energy targets and other prices on carbon are about driving out so-called "dirty" industries and replacing them with "green" and "clean" jobs – you’ve heard the politicians say that.

They just don’t seem to trumpet these aims so loudly when real people are actually laid off.

And, of course, the real idiocy of all this is that it is doing precisely nothing for the environment.

While we deliberately make ourselves less competitive, impose higher prices on ourselves and toss our compatriots out of work, global emissions continue to rise.

In China and India, they are building more coal-fired power stations that will burn coal mined in NSW and Queensland.

But in Victoria and SA the unemployed can huddle together in the darkness, perhaps using a desalination plant as a windbreak, and try to convince themselves they are saving the planet.


No body, no parole for Vic murderers

Leftist governments do sometimes get things right

Victorian murderers won't get parole unless they reveal where they hid their victims' bodies under tough new laws.

The government's "no body, no parole" laws will be introduced in 2017 and will affect at least seven convicted murderers who have not revealed where they put their victims.

"This is the right thing to do, but it needs to be done properly ... it's what we've been considering for some time," Premier Daniel Andrews told question time on Tuesday.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the laws should be introduced immediately to give families of victims some closure. "There are murderers in our prison system who treat the parole as their right. It's not their right, it's a privilege that's afforded to people who've done the right thing," Mr Guy said.

Labor has rejected a previous opposition bid to bring the laws in and Mr Andrews says there is no immediate need to rush them through.

"There are seven individuals in custody for whom this might be relevant and none of them are eligible for parole in the next 12 months," Mr Andrews said.


Australia: The anti-democratic Left shows its colours

Democracy is only good if it leads to the "right" answers

The Federal Government's bid to hold a plebiscite on whether to legalise same sex marriage has been defeated in the Senate. The proposal was voted down on Monday night in the Upper House 33 votes to 29.

The Attorney-General George Brandis had warned that a defeat would result in delaying same sex marriage in Australia for years to come.

But the Federal Opposition says the plebiscite would have resulted in harmful debate against the gay and lesbian community and want a direct vote in Parliament, instead.

Labor and the Greens were joined by the Nick Xenophon Team and Derryn Hinch to defeat the bill, while the Coalition secured the support of the One Nation Party, the Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm and Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Liberal Senator Dean Smith abstained from voting in Parliament late on Monday night.

It ends 14-months of debate over the fate of the plebiscite, which was first proposed by the former prime minister Tony Abbott and taken by his successor Malcolm Turnbull to the 2016 federal election.

The Federal Government said it was the quickest way to achieve same sex marriage, promising a plebiscite would be held in February 2017, with Mr Turnbull confident it would be supported by the public.

But the Federal Opposition, joined by an increasing number of gay and lesbian groups, argued it would result in divisive debate that would have hurt vulnerable members of the community.

It also attacked the proposed $170 million price tag for the plebiscite.

Attorney-General George Brandis earlier criticised Labor for opposing the plebiscite.

"Stop playing politics with gay people's lives, because that is all that you are doing," Senator Brandis told Parliament.

"A vote against this bill is a vote against marriage equality."

"And those who claim to believe in marriage equality, but nevertheless, for their own cynical, game-playing reasons, are determined to vote against it, should hang their heads in shame."

Labor Senator Louise Pratt described the plebiscite as "an utterly demeaning act."

"No child should have their family status a subject of public debate like this."

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said the gay and lesbian community had lobbied strongly for the plebiscite bill to be defeated.

"I've lost count of the number of my LGBTIQ friends who have urged and begged us not to support this plebiscite."

Chair of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich said supporters of same sex marriage should refocus efforts on a direct vote in Parliament to change the Marriage Act.

"We know that a majority of Australians, indeed a majority of parliamentarians, support this reform."

"We hope that we can all work together to finally get this through our Parliament."


Africa comes to Melbourne

A gang of 15 teenagers brazenly shoplifted from a Melbourne Officeworks store and left 'cheering and dancing' while holding the stolen items above their heads.

Witness Chris, who chose to keep his surname anonymous, said he went to the South Yarra store in the city's southeast to buy a computer at 4.30pm on Saturday when he noticed the youths, aged 13 to 17, taking headphones and speakers from the shelves.

He said the teenagers, believed to be members of the notorious Apex gang, were dancing down the aisles and walked out cheering a minute later, setting off the store alarms.

'They certainly weren't walking around with their heads down - they were happily ransacking the shelves,' he told 3AW on Monday.

'The staff just stood there, like myself, probably in shock at what they were witnessing'.

Chris said the teenagers, all of African descent, were all wearing hooded jumpers, but were 'confident' as they trawled the store.

He said after the gang left and police had been called, he asked a staff member whether it was the first incident they had at the store.

'She indicated it had happened a few times before and they were a soft target on the weekends with reduced staff,' he said.

Victoria police confirmed to Daily Mail Australia officers went to the store following reports a group of about 15 males were shoplifting. 

A woman who heard Chris' account, said she was driving along Nepean Highway on the same day when she saw a similar group emerging from a house and heading toward the Moorabbin Officeworks.

Witness Julia said the group were milling out the front of the store, but 'nervously legged it' down Highett Road when they heard police sirens approaching.

There was reportedly another similar incident at the Officeworks in Chadstone, 17-kilometres from the city centre, on Saturday.

An Officeworks spokesperson confirmed there were 'incidents involving theft at four of its stores in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne on Saturday'.

'No Officeworks team members or customers were harmed and all affected stores remain open today with a heightened level of security,' a statement read.

'As the incidents are currently under police investigation, we are unable to provide further comment at this time'.


Murky past of NSW cop Damian Goodfellow, and the criminal who went on to kill

A senior NSW police officer who played a key role in a botched drug case that resulted in a violent criminal being released to roam the streets has been convicted of assault, drink driving and has twice survived recommendations he be fired.

Despite an assault conviction for the drunken bashing of an off-duty colleague at a cricket international, then being arrested at gunpoint for fleeing a breath test and crashing a police car, Damian Goodfellow has climbed through the police ranks to become one of Sydney's most prominent crime managers.

A Fairfax Media probe has placed him at the heart of two recent significant investigations that resulted in a drug sting that left four police officers claiming they were wrongly persecuted, and the release of a criminal who was facing serious drugs charges:

    "As acting crime manager at Kings Cross local area command in 2011, Detective Inspector Goodfellow filed a report to the agency's Professional Standards Command that later resulted in a string of drug charges being inexplicably dropped against a violent criminal named Wayne Edward Jones. A year later, the Nomad Outlaw Motorcycle gang member, who was operating an illegal prostitution racket in Kings Cross, tortured and strangled to death a mother of four.

    As the current crime manager at Newtown, Inspector Goodfellow was one of three senior police from the station who, based on "strong supposition", recommended a "covert investigation" be launched against the only openly gay male officers within the command, targeting illicit drug use. After combing through their private lives for six months, the operation found no evidence of wrongdoing. The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW has since "accepted for investigation" four individual complaints of employment-based "homosexuality discrimination" against the force"

In 1999, Inspector Goodfellow was one of two police personnel who were recommended be sacked after they repeatedly punched a third off-duty officer during a drunken brawl at a one-day cricket international at the SCG.

Magistrate Kevin Flack recorded convictions and fined each of the officers $400 plus $52 court costs.

The then police commissioner Peter Ryan gave Inspector Goodfellow a second chance.

But in 2002, he was convicted again, this time of drink driving, after an erratic attempt to skip a breath test resulted in him crashing an unmarked patrol car.

While Mr Ryan lost his patience and issued a dismissal notice, Inspector Goodfellow received another reprieve from incoming commissioner Ken Moroney who, 18 months earlier, had delivered a heart-warming speech at the detective's wedding to fellow officer Carlee Mahoney, the daughter of then assistant commissioner Reg Mahoney.

Police sources who spoke to Fairfax Media at the time expressed dismay that other officers, with no such ties, had been sacked for far less.

Mr Moroney responded by saying his confidence in any officer was relevant to them acknowledging their mistakes and their continued good behaviour.

"Leniency extended once is rarely extended twice," he said.

Inspector Goodfellow was in the headlines again 12 months later as was one of four off-duty officers who were hospitalised following a punch up inside a Kings Cross strip club.

While he was the least injured, Inspector Goodfellow had been knocked unconscious.

"There's no suggestion they made it known they were police officers," said former Kings Cross commander Dave Darcy, who added it was irrelevant they were from the force.

"It could just as well have been any group of young people who happened to be visiting a strip club."

While more than 10 years have passed since those personal indiscretions, Inspector Goodfellow is again under scrutiny after a Fairfax Media investigation published explosive revelations last week about a Kings Cross drug case, handled by him, that ended in controversy and tragedy.

After the drugs case was bungled, Senior Constable Glen Roberts faced charges relating to the professional standards report filed by Inspector Goodfellow (see below).

But in court, magistrate Graeme Curran tongue-lashed police, labelling the conduct as "quite unacceptable" and "quite inexcusable".

In dismissing the case against Senior Constable Roberts and awarding him costs, Mr Curran pointed to two "critical" pieces of evidence the agency had withheld from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the defence that would have proved the officer's "truthfulness" from the start.

But equally as important, he cited the prosecution's "failure to obtain" any form of statement or evidence from Inspector Goodfellow. "It could have been of assistance to the prosecution ... it may easily have been of assistance to the defence," he said.

Fairfax Media requested an interview with Inspector Goodfellow and also forwarded him questions about the case. However, the NSW Police Force advised he was on scheduled annual leave. It provided the following statement:

"[Inspector Goodfellow] was not relieving as crime manager when the charges were recommended for withdrawal.

"The charges against Jones were properly and ethically withdrawn when the force found it could no longer rely upon the evidence upon which the [drug] charges were founded. It was alleged the original information provided by the main police witness [Roberts] was incorrect and that witness never produced a statement for use in court.

"The charges preferred against the former officer were supported by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and this matter was prosecuted by the DPP. Any questions concerning material contained within the brief are best referred to the DPP."
The botched drug bust that set free a criminal

In April 2011, Senior Constable Glen Roberts witnessed a drug exchange in Darlinghurst between a man, Wayne Jones, and one of three young women he had allegedly transported to Sydney from Newcastle and the Central Coast for prostitution.

Already on parole over a brutal bashing that left a woman disfigured, the drug charges served that night were enough to send Jones back to jail for several years. But a short time later, Inspector Goodfellow forwarded a "report" to the Professional Standards Command.

It's contents remain a mystery. However, it led to the PSC charging Senior Constable Roberts with having fabricated evidence and Jones being released from jail in October 2012.

A year later, Jones tortured, burned, bashed and strangled Central Coast mother of four Michelle Reynolds in a Coffs Harbour motel while high on ice.

When Senior Constable Roberts' own case finally came before Sydney's Downing Centre in 2013, the prosecution went all out to jail him.

Today, after being exonerated by Mr Curran, Senior Constable Roberts is no longer in the force and is haunted by "what might have been" had Jones' charges not been "wrongly withdrawn".
The secret police drug sting and the gay officers

In May last year, Inspector Goodfellow was the "resolution manager" who, with two senior colleagues at Newtown, escalated a complaint to the PSC, recommending a sting be launched against three serving gay officers and one of their long-term partners who used to work at the station, over suspicions they might be taking drugs.

The result was an eight-man strike force codenamed "Andro" that, six months later, had turned up "no evidence" of drug use or "related misconduct". The covert operation is estimated to have cost about $250,000 in wages alone.

Their lawyer has since written to police hierarchy, complaining about the "improper use of public resources" to "systematically target" the men because of their "sexual orientation".

Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller replied, stating he was "satisfied" the investigations were "appropriate in the circumstances".

The initial response from Anti-Discrimination Board NSW suggests otherwise and it has "accepted for investigation" all four complaints of "homosexuality discrimination" against police.

Despite suppressed documents entitled "behavioural observations of subject officers", "analysis of subject officers' communications" and further material relating to bars "regularly visited", the force said on Saturday the investigation had "involved no covert surveillance as alleged".

It added the inquiry was "concluded before it was necessary" to interview any of the men who had been "exonerated of any wrongdoing." Only one of the officers remains in the force.
The life and crimes of a Sydney police officer

1995: As a probationary constable, Damian Goodfellow was forced to apologise to a motel owner after property was damaged and female guests harrassed during a police conferencing session.

1999: Bashes a fellow off-duty officer at the SCG while drunk, is convicted of common assault and fined $400. Receives notice requiring him to show cause why he should not lose his job. Then Commissioner Peter Ryan gives him a second chance.

2000: Marries the daughter of NSW Assistant Commissioner Reg Mahoney. Future Police Commissioner Ken Moroney is among the speech givers.

2002: An attempt to flee a breath test backfires when he crashes a police car while drunk and then gets arrested at gunpoint. Fined by the court. Loses his licence. Issued with a dismissal notice by Mr Ryan but gets another reprieve by incoming Commissioner Ken Moroney.

2003: Among four off-duty officers hospitalised after a violent, early hours brawl inside a Kings Cross strip club.

2007: Receives specialist promotion to senior sergeant at what was then Special Crime and Internal Affairs.

2009: Joins Kings Cross as Duty Officer.

2011: While Goodfellow stands in as acting crime manager at Kings Cross, one of the station's detectives, Glen Roberts, lays drug charges against local crime figure and Nomads bikie gang member Wayne Jones. After Goodfellow sends a report to the force's Professional Standards Command (PSC), they are dropped.

October 2012: Senior constable Roberts is charged by the force with having fabricated false evidence against Jones.

December 2012: Jones tortures, bashes and strangles to death Central Coast mother of four Michelle Reynolds.

2013: A magistrate dismisses the case against Roberts, awards him costs and slams police for failing to obtain evidence from Goodfellow and concealing, for two years, vital evidence from the DPP that verified the detective's "truthfulness".

2015: Goodfellow, now crime manager at Newtown, is one of three senior police who, based on "strong supposition", signed off on a joint decision to investigate four officers over illicit drug use. The men, who are gay, claim homophobia sparked the six month sting - which found no evidence of wrongdoing.

2016: The Sun-Herald reveals the chain of events that led to the murder of Michelle Reynolds.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

8 November, 2016

Science says Australia's record hot summers will become normal (?)

Totally dishonest.  No mention that the high 2015 temps were an effect of a natural El Nino weather pattern -- nothing to do with CO2

Look at the CO2 levels from Australia's Cape Grim climate observatory over the heart of the El Nino period.

Within an accuracy of parts per billion, there was NO increase in CO2 levels at all! The warming over the El Nino period was ENTIRELY natural, with NO contribution from a CO2 rise. CO2 levels did NOT rise so they CANNOT be responsible for the higher temperatures.

Below we see where the peak of the El Nino effect was.  High temps coinciding with NO rise in CO2

So, it was during a period of no CO2 rise that temperatures peaked.  Super pesky

Australian scientists say the hottest year on record globally in 2015 could be an average year by 2025 if carbon emissions continue to rise at the same rate.

The latest study has tried to define the concept of what is a new normal when talking about climate change.

Dr Sophie Lewis of the Australian National University says human activities have already locked in higher temperatures but immediate action could prevent record extreme seasons year after year.

"If we continue with business-as-usual emissions, extreme seasons will inevitably be the norm within decades and Australia is the canary in the coal mine that will experience this change first," says Dr Lewis.

"If we don’t reduce our rate of emissions the record hot summer of 2013 in Australia — when we saw temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius in some areas — could be just another average summer season by 2035."

The recent State of the Climate report by the peak science body, the CSIRO, and the Bureau of Meteorology also says severe fire seasons fueled by increasingly hot days will continue for Australia.

Australia’s climate has warmed by around 1 degree celsius since 1910. Extreme fire weather, and a longer fire season, has increased across large parts of Australia since the 1970s.

And 2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

However, the latest Australian research shows record-breaking temperatures can be prevented from becoming average.

"Based on a specific starting point, we determined a new normal occurred when at least half of the years following an extreme year were cooler and half warmer," says Dr Lewis. "Only then can a new normal state be declared."

Using the National Computational Infrastructure supercomputer at ANU to run climate models, the researchers explored when new normal states would appear.

The research team looked at temperatures from December to February across Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.

"The results revealed that while global average temperatures would inevitably enter a new normal under all emissions scenarios, this wasn’t the case at seasonal and regional levels," says Dr Lewis.

"We found that with prompt action to reduce greenhouse gases a new normal might never occur in the 21st century at regional levels during the Southern Hemisphere summer and Northern Hemisphere winter."

The research is published in the Bulletin of the American Meterological Society.


African thugs finally being deported

TWO young thugs linked to the violent Apex street gang will be deported after their visas were revoked under tough new migration laws.

The duo, aged 19 and 20, will be expelled to their countries of birth or put into immigration detention after they have finished serving out sentences in youth detention.

Police sources told the Herald Sun that both men are associated with the notorious Apex gang, believed to be responsible for a spate of violent burglaries and carjackings across Melbourne’s southeast.

The young men are just two of 173 foreign thugs living in Victoria whose visas have been cancelled in the past financial year.

In 2014, migration laws were amended to give Immigration Minister Peter Dutton the power to strip visas from non-citizens who fail to pass a character test or who have been convicted of an offence involving a jail term of more than 12 months.

Figures reveal that in Victoria in 2015-16, the visas of 23 child sex ­offenders, two convicted murderers and 23 people guilty of drug offences were cancelled, leaving them liable to ­deportation on completion of jail terms. The tough new laws were ­initially used to kick out foreign-born bikie gang members.

But in April, the Government used them to revoke the visa of an associate of the Apex gang, who was deported to New Zealand.

The Herald Sun understands Sudanese-born Isaac Gatkuoth, 19, who was on ice when he pointed a shotgun at the head of a terrified motorist during a robbery, is the latest Apex member whose visa has been revoked.

Gatkuoth — who has denied being an Apex member — could be forced to return to Africa next year after serving 14 months in a youth detention.

In May, a court heard he had endured a hellish upbringing before moving to Australia at age nine. Raised by his sister, he hasn’t seen his mother since he was about five, and recently learned his father died when he was a toddler.

The visa of the second Apex member, a New Zealand-born 20-year-old, has also been cancelled. In January, the man was sentenced to 27 months for offences including armed robbery, theft and arson.

The Herald Sun understands authorities are poised to revoke the visas of a further two Apex gang members.

Mr Dutton refused to comment on the latest cases, but reiterated his determination to revoke the visas of convicted criminals.

"Australia is a generous nation and we settle a record number of people in our country each year, but we won’t hesitate to cancel visas of people who commit crimes against Australians," Mr Dutton said

Liberal backbencher Jason Wood, an ex-policeman whose electorate of La Trobe has experienced a recent wave of aggravated burglaries and car-jackings, welcomed the visa cancellations.

Mr Wood — whose own home was recently burgled — told the Herald Sun: "These violent criminals give up the right to stay in Australia.

"This action sends a crystal-clear message that they will be booted back to their home country."

More than 1500 people, including more than 100 criminal bikie gang members and 25 convicted murderers, have been expelled since the laws were introduced.


Direct instruction works
Jennifer Buckingham

Education is high stakes. It's not good enough to throw ideas about teaching methods at a wall and see which one sticks. Classroom practice has to be guided by the best research, to give children the best chance of strong learning gains.

One teaching method in particular has been consistently shown to be effective on a variety of measures -- direct and explicit instruction. These terms are generally used interchangeably to refer to a set of instructional practices characterised by highly structured and carefully sequenced lessons in which it is made clear to students what they need to learn and how to go about it. Student progress is checked frequently and they are expected to master each step before moving to the next.

This teaching method has been shown to be effective not just for fundamental skills like literacy and numeracy, but also higher level conceptual understanding and creativity.

A specific form of this method is Direct Instruction -- a comprehensive teaching program that includes both direct instruction pedagogy and curriculum content. DI programs have been the subject of dozens of studies, which have been overwhelmingly positive

At a forum co-hosted by CIS and Good to Great Schools Australia this week, several outstanding school leaders explained how DI and direct instruction led to success in their schools.

The Cape York Academies use DI -- adapted to align with the Australian Curriculum -- achieving substantial gains for students in remote communities where such outcomes had previously been thought impossible. Good to Great Schools co-founder and chair Noel Pearson and community leaders Dion Creek and Phyllis Yunkaporta explained the careful process by which DI had been chosen, and spoke passionately about the changes they had seen in the children attending Cape York Academies.

Despite the fact that policies and programs put in place by schools systems still fail to embrace evidence, increasing number of schools are adopting these methods and Direct Instruction programs. Hopefully this small groundswell will turn into a tidal wave.


'Jewish hearts only have envy and hatred': Firebrand Sydney sheik's hateful sermon to young Muslim children during Friday prayers

A firebrand Muslim sheik has gone on a hate-filled rant instructing young children that Jewish people have 'hatred and envy' in their heart.

Sheik Youssef Hasan, the leader of prayer at Quakers Hill Mosque, in Sydney's west, described Jews as having 'hearts harder than stone' during a regular Friday surmon in front of youngsters and their parents.

Video of the lecture on the second chapter of the Koran shows sheik Hassan talking about the differences Allah sees between the 'hearts' of Jews and Muslims.

'Allah mentioned the heart of the Jewish,' sheik Hassan began.

'Many of the Israelites - the Jewish - their heart become very hard and Allah said they become like a stone, but actually harder than a stone.'

The sheik then relates his sermon to a section of the Koran, where it states that 'for indeed there are stones from which rivers burst forth'.

In what he calls a 'great warning for Muslims', sheik Hassan dismisses that good can come from Jewish hearts.

'Some of the rocks, water come out of the rocks, so the water can get away' he said.  'The rocks can be soft, so they can make a way for the water. But the Jewish heart is very hard.  'They don't have mercy. They don't have anything in the heart. They've got only envy (and) they've got hatred.'

Despite the seemingly obvious message of his lecture, sheik Hassan denied to The Australian that he was talking about the entire Jewish race.

He claims that instead he was referring to a small group named specifically in the holy text.

'I've got so many friends (who are) Jewish and I have no problem with these people at all,' he said.  

Vic Alhadeff, the CEO of the NSW Jewish board of deputies said the incident was disappointing.

'It's very unfortunate that any religious leader would make such a bigoted and gratuitous remark,' he said.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

7 November, 2016

Australian psychologists oppose democracy

Whatever is good for homosexuals trumps all else

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) fully supports marriage equality, but believes the process for achieving equality should not be by means of a popular vote.

APS President, Mr Anthony Cichello, says there is evidence that a plebiscite is likely to present significant risks to the psychological health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people as they contend with the stress of a public campaign.

Evidence from a suite of studies shows that in the process of putting marriage equality to a public vote, gender and sexual minorities suffer significantly higher levels of negative emotions than positive emotions, experience significant distress over the negative rhetoric, display increases in psychiatric illness and feel negative, depressed, lonely, disenfranchised and powerless.

Children and other family members of LGBTI couples are also affected by public displays of discrimination against same-sex marriage and homophobia more generally.

The APS also says marriage equality is a human rights and equal opportunity issue and therefore should be a matter for Australian law and our parliamentary system - not a popular vote.

It says denying people the right to marry based on their gender or sexuality is discriminatory, and places them unfairly as second class citizens.

Mr Cichello says psychologists are committed via their code of ethics to the principle that all Australians should be supported to achieve positive mental health and full social inclusion.

"The APS supports full marriage equality for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, on human rights, health and wellbeing grounds – but not by means of a popular vote," says Mr Cichello.


Great result from 'No Jab, No Pay'

Social Services Minister Christian Porter says the response to the government's "No Jab, No Pay" policy has been a "great result".

He said 187, 695 children have caught up with their immunisation requirements since January 1, allowing parents to continue to receive their welfare benefits.

The most significant figure is the immunisation rate for indigenous five-year-olds, which has reached 95 per cent.

The minister said this level is critical to provide what's known as herd immunity - when large numbers of individuals are immune to disease, chains of infection are disrupted, stopping or slowing the spread of disease.

"This is a great result - and a reflection of what the No Jab, No Pay policy is achieving for the health of our children," Mr Porter said in a statement on Sunday.


Presbyterian Church sign on same-sex marriage divides regional community of Taree

Signs displayed outside a church in the New South Wales mid-north coast town of Taree are causing a stir, with some arguing they are offensive while others welcome them.

The controversy comes as politicians debate whether to hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage or vote on the issue in the federal parliament.

Resident Lisa Blogg said the sign "Marriage is one man + one woman" outside the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia in Taree was offensive.

"My daughter is gay and her response to the sign is, 'This is one of the reasons I want to leave this town, because it is oppressive to be a person in a same-sex relationship in a town like this'," Ms Blogg said.

"The sign is on the main thoroughfare where people drive past."
Her partner Chris Thiering said other signs outside the church had also raised eyebrows.

He cited 'Do not be surprised if the world hates you' as another example of an offensive sign.

"If I was having a bad day and trying to deal with my troubles and I walked around the corner, that would have a very negative influence on me," Mr Thiering said.

Messages on signs direct quotes from Bible, pastor says

Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia pastor Greg Ball acknowledged the signs could be taken out of context, but said the signs were direct quotes from the Bible.

"I do take to the point they are not referenced, but we are limited to what we can put on the sign as we have a limited number words we can put in," he said.

Mr Ball said 'Do not be surprised if the world hates you' is a direct quote from the Bible (1 John 3:13), and was directed at Christians, telling them not to be scared to be hated because of their religious beliefs.

He said he welcomed the feedback, but there had been very few complaints to the church, and many "statements of appreciation".

Mr Ball also said the statement about marriage would not have been controversial until recently.

Signs are legal, law expert says

University of New South Wales Professor of Law Luke McNamara, who has researched the operation of hate speech laws for more than 20 years, believes that, while views would differ on the merits and appropriateness of the signs, they were unlikely to breach laws against homosexual vilification in NSW.

Under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 it is "unlawful for a person, by a public act, to incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on ground of homosexuality of the person or members of the group".

"Even if these signs were regarded as falling within the definition of homosexual vilification, which is unlikely, the law does not create a criminal offence," Dr McNamara said.

"It simply allows a person from the relevant group to lodge a complaint with the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board."


Qld. child safety officers ripped to shreds in damning report into deaths of seven children

A PANEL of experts examining the suspicious deaths of seven children has accused Child Safety officers of cover-ups, ­misconduct and breaches of the law.

I have been given access to confidential reports in which the panel said it was ­"extremely concerned" about "dangerous practices" in the department leading up to the deaths of children.

The independent panel spoke of "major systems failure", "complacency" and "lack of accountability".

The damning report was critical of the department’s ­indecision in cases where children were known to be in danger.

The panel said assessment errors allowed children to stay in hostile families.

The report will leave the ­department’s reputation in ­tatters.

The panel found much blame lay with staff who put the rights of criminally maladjusted parents ahead of the rights of children who later died violent deaths.

The department failed to remove children from families where there was long-term criminality, intergenerational violence and "chronic lifestyle concerns" – a euphemism for drug and alcohol abuse.

Children suffered physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect at the hands of parents who were "skilled in lying and manipulating" case workers, the panel found. Staff with "greater expertise would not have made the ­errors in assessment," it said.

Members of the Child Death Case Review Panel are drawn from a pool of experts in pediatrics, law, forensic pathology and child health. The panel’s confidential reports were released after a Right to Information search. However it is an incomplete record with dozens of paragraphs and ­entire pages blanked out.

The names of the young victims and Child Safety officers and some other identifying material were expunged.

Nevertheless, the words that are visible paint a grim picture of the terrible plight of Queensland’s most vulnerable children – and the state’s abject failure to rescue them.

Opposition Child Safety spokeswoman Ros Bates said the report confirmed the department was in crisis "from top to bottom". She renewed her calls for Child Safety Minister Shannon ­Fentiman to be sacked. Bates said more than 1000 children were still at risk in hostile homes.

The panel also criticised Child Safety managers for a lack of oversight of inexperienced frontline workers.

The panel also found ethical standards breaches in cases now in the hands of homicide police.

And it expressed alarm that the Child Safety department had repeatedly failed to alert SCAN (Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect) teams – even after children had been taken to hospitals with severe bruising and other terrible injuries.

Tragically, no one bothered to alert the SCAN team in several ongoing cases that resulted in deaths.

One tragedy has highlighted "poor judgment and mistakes made by staff".

There were "thinking errors, poor knowledge of domestic and family violence and a lack of understanding of the impacts of substance abuse".

And: "The panel considered that the likelihood of significant harm or death was high.

"The panel was unclear whether the death of (name deleted) was a result of Child Safety staff or of the system as a whole but considered there were both staff and systems failings.

"The panel considers that the department should undertake urgent assessment of ­unsafe child-protection practices by staff.

"The panel expressed concerns that they did not have confidence in the workers ­involved in this case.

"The relevant staff did not show any signs of reflections or insights."

It questioned the suitability of some workers to remain in the department. It added: "(Some) staff displayed attitudes and made decisions that were inconsistent with sound child-protection practice."

And a proposed group training session "would not ­address dangerous practice and views".

One of the department’s own reviews into a death was "unsatisfactory".

"The panel found the report indicates evidence that the practice was very poor and that there was misconduct by staff.

"The panel considered that the view of staff that (words deleted) is indicative of a breach of the Child Protection Act."

On several occasions the panel was critical of the department’s own "standards and practice reviews".

In one case the review panel rejected the department’s assertion that its handling of a case was "reasonable".

It said the department’s ­response was "insufficient".

The department’s internal reviews "contained language that was ambiguous and confusing". Some was "vague".

Child Safety workers were sometimes complacent and remiss in "neglecting the need for stronger investigation".

Levels of risk were not identified and cases requiring immediate intervention were downgraded.

"The department seemed to be in ‘surveillance mode’ with a lack of active intervention," it noted.

In one case the panel criticised the "tick and flick" ­assessment process.

Some risk-assessment tools were not used because of "unsound personal judgments".

Tucked away in the fine print the panel reveals what is perhaps a far greater problem.

Different departments handling child emergencies did not communicate to one another. "Particularly concerning was the lack of collaboration with other services," it said.

High-risk children were not automatically referred to SCAN.

The panel said there was a critical need for a cross-agency co-ordination group to link Queensland Health, Queensland police, schools, youth justice groups and Child Safety. Each of these groups suffered from "siloed" thinking, it said.


Crooked cops in NSW

The crooked cops always slime the honest ones, thus making it hard to tell the sheep from the goats

Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn is likely to face adverse findings when the Ombudsman's long-running and controversial police bugging inquiry, Operation Prospect, tables its report, leaked letters have revealed.

An adverse finding would seriously dent any chance Ms Burn had of replacing Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione when he retires.

The two letters sent to Acting Ombudsman John McMillan by the NSW Crime Commissioner Peter Hastings, QC, have blasted the $10 million Operation Prospect investigation as unfair.

Mr Hastings threatens to seek an injunction in the Supreme Court to block the public release of the report when it is tabled in NSW Parliament.

The Greens will separately seek to "kill off" the report, by amending a police oversight bill in NSW Parliament next week, to terminate the Operation Prospect inquiry.

"Any report that the Acting Ombudsman delivers will be so infected by gross procedural injustice that it will never be accepted as either fair or impartial," Greens MP David Shoebridge said last night.

The Ombudsman has been investigating events that took place 17 years ago, when former deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas was among about 100 police bugged during a police internal affairs unit investigation involving Deputy Commissioner Burn.

The Ombudsman's report is still being written and is due to be released before Christmas.

The heavily redacted letters, obtained by Fairfax Media, confirm for the first time that Ms Burn, Mr Kaldas and former NSW Crime Commission chief Philip Bradley face recommendations of adverse findings.

But the letter attacks the investigation, begun by former ombudsman Bruce Barbour four years ago, for allowing key witnesses to make submissions that were not disclosed to other parties.

Mr Kaldas, who has previously made serious complaints about the Ombudsman's inquiry, retired from NSW Police earlier this year, bowing out of the race for the Commissioner role.

The letter says the process used by the Ombudsman's office is "intolerable", and it was "fundamentally unfair" that Mr Bradley has been unable to see evidence given by important witnesses against him.

Mr Hastings says he has discussed the matter with Ms Burn and "I understand her lawyers have expressed similar concerns about the processes generally and specifically in relation to the failure to put matters to her [redacted] about which recommendations are now apparently being made for adverse findings", the letter says.

"It is a matter of public record that former deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas has serious complaints about the manner in which the investigation has been conducted ... It is significant that those senior personnel who have been investigated but who have different interests, have major grievances about the way in which they have been treated," the letter says.

The report will cause "substantial reputational damage suffered ... The situation is wrong and the damage will be irremediable."

It threatens that Ms Burn, Mr Kaldas and Mr Bradley may join any legal action to injunct the report in the Supreme Court.

However, Ms Burn last night distanced herself from the letter.

"I am under strict directions from the Acting Ombudsman not to disclose the matters in which I have been involved in the Operation Prospect Inquiry. Contrary to a media report today, I have not decided to join in an application to the courts complaining about the process of the inquiry,'  she said in a statement.

No details of the adverse findings have been revealed in the redacted letters.

The October 26 letter also calls for the dispute between the government authorities to be referred to Premier Mike Baird within seven days.

A spokesman for Mr Baird said a copy of the letter had been sent to Mr Baird's office late this week.                

"We look forward to receiving the Ombudsman's report and will respond in due course," he said.

A spokesman for the NSW Crime Commission declined to confirm or deny the contents of the letter.

The Ombudsman's office said the report was still being written and would be tabled in Parliament before Christmas.

Mr Shoebridge said: "From day one it was clear the Ombudsman's office was not up to the job of investigating this extremely sensitive police bugging scandal, and it has hidden its inadequacies behind a wall of secrecy and a grossly unfair process.

"Parliament created this monster and Parliament now needs to do the right thing and kill it off before it causes any more damage."


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

6 November, 2016

Australia's fall from Lucky Country to Cruel Country (?)

Below is a sob story from a Leftist writer in a Leftist newspaper.  So, as usual, the important information is what she leaves out.  These men were NOT refugees.  They had refuge as soon as they arrived in Pakistan. They are illegal immigrants determined to force themselves on us to grab the economic benefits that Australians have created for themselves.  They could return to Pakistan at any time but they are fed and housed for nothing so why should they do that?

They were young men – call them Liam and Ben – best mates, far from home, full of chutzpah and crazy self-belief. They'd been through a lot together and landed on this idyllic-looking tropical island. One day they were swimming near a waterfall when, stupidly, Liam drowned. He was a poor swimmer, got stuck under a log, drowned.

This terrible accident was just the start. Liam, a bit older than the others, had a wife and child at home. His grieving friends wanted to preserve his body against the tropical heat, pay their respects and fly him home to his family, but they had no money. The ubiquitous uniformed black shirts, agents of the foreign power that controlled the island, were impatient with this prayer and repatriation nonsense and insisted they bury the body and be done. But the young men were determined. Selling their few possessions – phones, watches, cigarettes – they raised enough for body-preserving chemicals, then persuaded their own government to fly Liam home.

It sounds like a story of middle-class white kids caught in some heartless tin-pot dictatorship. In fact the waterfall is on Manus Island. The young men's real names are Kamil and Zubair. Pashto-speaking Muslims driven out by the Taliban, they became best friends despite being on opposite sides of the Sunni-Shiite divide.

Both were "processed" – in that manufacturing terminology we use to dehumanise – and found to be genuine refugees, fleeing for their lives. Yet our very own black shirts, the much-hated Australian Border Force, stood and watched their grief, refusing help or even sympathy. The government that finally flew the body home was the one the boys had implicitly rejected: Pakistan.

Of course, there's worse brutality, especially in these camps. There's rape, bullying, humiliation, emotional, physical abuse and, most egregious of all, the deliberate erasure of hope. 

Any remaining doubt about whether this is actually deliberate – whether we're just somehow unable to protect people from abuse, or resettle them without years of limbo – was removed, along with any remaining hope, by Malcolm Turnbull's latest "they will never set foot in this country" atrocity. Never? We take in war criminals but ban forever those who have done nothing but need our help.

Zubair, now 23, is a former student of business and IT. Unthinkingly, I ask what he's been doing. "Nothing," he says. What's the point? He has no future. His English is good and his quiet despair makes me want to weep. But what I really cannot get past is how comfortable Australia has become with the routine casualisation of cruelty.

This is not our self-image. No way. We consider ourselves the good guys. Fair, open, warm, much like the Americans after WWII. But as Michael Leunig notes, "we are a people who are quite able to declare things about ourselves which are not true ... This is our strength, and has made our nation very stupid, dysfunctional and unhappy – but so what? We're the greatest people in the world."

The Australian Border Force's Facebook page depicts them as all-round decent fellows, busting drug rings and rescuing sea turtles caught in ghost nets. To their human bycatch, however, trapped in the Australian government's harsh exemplary punishment policies, they offer only further cruelty.

For this is meant as punishment. It's couched – dammit, it's SOLD – as a deterrent, like hanging the carcasses of sheep-mauling dingoes on the fence for the others to see.

But there's a critical error here, quite apart from the misconceived morality: a huge error in logic. For it's not wrongdoers we're punishing, as a deterrent to others. We're punishing their innocent victims. We're decorating the fence not with dingoes, but with brutalised lambs. Talk about victim blaming.

So it's wrong in logic. It's morally wrong, trashing people's lives for political effect. It's wrong in law – directly contravening our UN obligations to care for people who seek our help, process them expeditiously and resettle any found to be genuine refugees. (That is, three-quarters of the 800-odd remaining on Manus and 400-odd on Nauru). It's also vastly expensive  – $10 billion so far.

But what of the psychology? What does it mean for us, to us, to perpetrate such cruelty?

Zubair's back-story is pretty standard. He was a middle-class kid of wealthy business owners in the pretty Kurram Valley, near Pakistan's troubled border with Afghanistan. Zubair was studying in Peshawar. Then the Taliban came. Targeting the family for extortion and demanded $30,000. The family didn't have it. Zubair was badly beaten and the family forced to flee, leaving everything. 

They moved from city to city but the Taliban kept finding them and demanding Zubair, the eldest son, as a recruit. Zubair escaped on foot through jungles and countries: his family, including seven sisters and four brothers, one of whom has cancer, are still on the move, still prey. Zubair speaks to them occasionally, but doesn't know when or if he'll see them again.

This story is verified; there is no threat. They're not queue-jumpers. There is no queue for people fleeing death. In Australia they'd be assiduous nation-builders. Yet Turnbull, channelling Trump, insists that our "generous humanitarian program" depends on walling the continent with what amounts to a reinvigorated White Australia Policy.

I'm reminded of an elderly white couple I met in Jo'burg. Big supporters of black rule but understandably fearful of violence, they'd bought into a walled community, but found themselves increasingly terrified. The safer, the scareder. Finally they thought bugger it and bought a house in the street "like everyone else". Now they don't even lock their doors.

Protectionism makes us fearful, fear makes us cruel, cruelty rebounds. You can see on Malcolm's face what his Hanson-pleasing is costing him. He looks more like Trump every day. (I swear his nose is growing). More chilling still is that he's doing it, in the end, for us.

In Australia's fall from Lucky Country to Cruel Country, 10 billion will count as nothing. What this craven, mean-spirited, power-seeking fear-based fortress-Australia cruelty will cost us, if we let it, is our souls.


Those charming boat people again

Thank you Kevin Rudd for this person's presence in Australia

A girl who was allegedly held captive by an asylum seeker for a month in his Sydney home has been found after she was seen running barefoot for her life down a Western Sydney street.

The 15-year-old foster-home girl was allegedly kept as a hostage in a Blacktown home, in Sydney's west, for four weeks before she was seen by police being chased down a nearby street at 1.30am on Thursday.

An asylum seeker who came to Australia illegally by boat in 2013 is alleged to have been her captor, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Bangladeshi national Rashadul Islam, 29, was reportedly seen chasing the 15-year-old girl down the busy road before attempting to grab her and drag her away before police intervened.

Neighbour Amarjeet Singh told the Daily Telegraph the girl 'seemed scared and was asking police to help her' as she ran down the street.

'Across the road was a man in his late 20s talking to police and shouting at the girl,' Amarjeet said.

When police saw the horrific scene unfold, the girl and her alleged captor were both taken back to Blacktown Police Station.

The girl was later taken to The Children's Hospital at Westmead for medical assessment, and was released a short time later.

She told police she had been sexually assaulted by Islam and kept against her will in the closed up house for four weeks.

The owner of the Blacktown house, Joe Chen, said Islam told him the 15-year-old girl was his girlfriend. 'He said she was a girlfriend. (I) saw them together making dinner … shopping together, always together,' Mr Chen told The Saturday Telegraph.

The home owner said he rented the room to Islam two months ago and noticed the girl when she started living there three weeks ago. Mr Chen also revealed Islam had a lock on his bedroom door.

The 15-year-old girl was reported missing by the foster home facility where she lived immediately after she went missing in October. 

She reportedly met Islam in a chance encounter after leaving the group foster home in Sydney's west last month.

The Saturday Telegraph reported Islam arrived illegally by boat on March 24, 2013.

He landed in waters off Christmas Island and was held in a Phosphate Hill detention centre for two months.

He was then flown to Australia on May 15, 2013 where he was granted a bridging visa under the Rudd government.

A crime scene was established at the address where police seized a number of items that will undergo forensic examination.

Islam, 29, has been charged with aggravated sexual assault and common assault and has been refused bail.

Detectives from the State Crime Command's Child Abuse Squad are investigating the matter and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been notified regarding the man's arrest.

A Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) spokesperson said the department was 'deeply saddened' by the alleged crime but would not comment any further.


Queensland University of Technology case thrown out as 18C inquiry looms

A Brisbane judge has thrown out a controversial case of alleged racial vilification at the Queensland University of Technology, as an inquiry into Australia's race hate laws looks set to be announced next week.

The QUT ruling, which has emboldened Coalition MPs pushing for changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, comes as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave his clearest signal yet on Friday that an inquiry will be held into the provision and freedom of speech.

Federal Circuit Court judge Michael Jarrett on Friday dismissed a case against three QUT students embroiled in controversy over Facebook comments made in the wake of an incident in a computer lab reserved for Indigenous students.

The case had not yet proceeded to a full hearing, but Judge Jarrett said it had no reasonable prospect of success.

Opponents of section 18C – which makes it unlawful to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" a person or group on the grounds of race – believe the case exemplifies why the law should be amended or repealed.

Cindy Prior, an Indigenous staff member at QUT, lodged a complaint under section 18C after student Alex Wood posted on Facebook in 2013: "Just got kicked out of the unsigned Indigenous computer room. QUT is stopping segregation with segregation."

Another student, Jackson Powell, added the comment: "I wonder where the white supremacist lab is." A third man, Calum Thwaites, was accused of writing "ITT N-----s", a claim he vehemently denied.

Ms Prior accused the trio of racial vilification and sued for $250,000 for damages, lost wages and future economic losses. The case advanced from the Australian Human Rights Commission to the Federal Circuit Court in 2015.

Criminal sanctions do not apply for breaches of section 18C, but the court can make orders including awarding compensation.

In a written judgment, Judge Jarrett said the comments by Mr Wood and Mr Powell were in the category of "mere slights" and not "sufficiently profound or serious" to attract the operation of section 18C.

The comments were not made because of Ms Prior's race and were not reasonably likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate Indigenous people, he said.

As to the post allegedly made by Mr Thwaites, Judge Jarrett said there was "no evidence" to contest his claim that he did not make the comment. He dismissed the claim against all three students.

All but one Coalition Senate backbencher has publicly backed changing Section 18C, and the move also enjoys support in lower house. A change proposed would be for the words "insult" and "offend" to be removed from the act.

In Hobart, Mr Turnbull said his government was "considering" the proposal for an inquiry and that "nobody wants to encourage or condone hate speech of any kind".

However, the right balance must be struck between protections from hate speech and people's right to free speech.

"In this area, many people feel that the provisions of 18C oppose unreasonable restraints on free speech, or impose restraints on free speech over and above what is needed to prevent hate speech," he said.

"Parliamentary committees are a good way to examine issues of this kind because, of course, everybody with an interest can come and make a submission, can come and put their view, and the various arguments pro and con can be ventilated".

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said on Friday before the judgment that "regardless of the court's decision today ... it has now become clear that there needs to be a parliamentary enquiry [sic] into 18C".

Nick Xenophon Team party leader Nick Xenophon has indicated concern about the delays in cases such as the QUT case, and could back an inquiry, but he continues to support strong protections from hate speech.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten criticised the Prime Minister for "looking at horse-trading away protections against hate speech".

"Old Malcolm would never have contemplated this," Mr Shorten said. "Every time the bullies on the backbench ask for something, Malcolm Turnbull gives it to them. They can sense his weakness and they will keep exploiting it."

Fairfax Media has been told by senior government sources the 18C inquiry week would probably be held by Parliament's human rights committee, though hearings may not get under way until next year.

Liberal senator Dean Smith first called for an 18C inquiry as the first step towards breaking the impasse over changing the act and negotiations are well advanced with the Senate crossbenchers over the terms of reference for the inquiry.

Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm, who has previously called for the repeal of 18C, told Fairfax Media he had discussed the inquiry with Mr Turnbull during a Thursday meeting and that the Prime Minister "is sympathetic to it ... I won't be surprised if it is announced next week".

Liberal MP Tim Wilson, a vocal critic of 18C and advocate for change, said the the QUT case shone "another bright light on 18C's dark nature".

"By continuing to oppose any change, Labor is ignoring reality and would rather Australians shut up than speak up," he said. "Students should never be hauled through the courts because they want to question university policy or stand up against segregation.

"The case is not the problem – the law is. This case was a disgrace from day one. Costs have been incurred, reputations tarnished and public money wasted. In its current form, 18C is a badly written law that has no place in a liberal democracy."

"The current law and process vilifies people for having opinions. Reform is overdue to end the culture of censorship 18C is breeding."

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie said after the judgment was handed down: "Sanity has prevailed; this should never have gotten to this point.

"The process has been the punishment – the anxiety, financial cost and personal cost to the three students involved can't be measured and that why we need to amend this act."

Conservative senator Eric Abetz said the ruling was good news but "irrespective of the outcome, the students will be the losers" and will forever be unfairly associated with the matter in Google searches.

"Sure, they have won but they have had their name trashed for three years by the Human Rights Commission. They've had uncertainty, denial of natural justice, the full force of the commission against them," he said.

He said the legislation should be amended urgently to stop the Human Rights Commission's "frolics" but welcomed the suggestion of a parliamentary inquiry and the Prime Minister's apparent openness to it.

Liberal senator James Paterson said: "Defenders of the law will no doubt argue that the dismissal of the case proves there is no need to change 18C."

"This shows callous disregard for the welfare of three innocent students whose lives have been damaged by a tortuous three-and-a-half year case," he said.He said an inquiry was "the best path forward" to achieve real and viable change.

Senator Leyonhjelm said that, at this stage, he would not back the government's industrial relations bills and that discussion about 18C had taken place in that context.

He said an inquiry was the way to move things forward and "I would support it".


Lawyer criticises Gillian Triggs as 18C university case thrown out

The lawyer for one of the Queensland university students who has escaped a lawsuit for allegedly posting racist comments on Facebook has lashed Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs.

Alex Wood, Calum Thwaites and Jackson Powell were being sued by Cindy Prior, an Indigenous administration officer, under the Racial Discrimination Act's controversial section 18C.

The case was thrown out by Brisbane's Federal Court Judge Michael Jarrett on Friday after he found Ms Prior did not have reasonable prospects of successfully bringing a case against the trio.

Outside court, Mr Thwaites' lawyer Tony Morris QC slammed Ms Triggs for allowing the case to get so far.

Mr Morris said everyone involved in the case was a victim, including Ms Prior, and the matter should have never come to court.

"I'm not going to call for her to resign but if the woman had any decency whatsoever, her resignation would be on the attorney-general's desk on Monday," he said.

Mr Thwaites said he was very relieved at the outcome. "I'm happy to be able to get on with my life," he told AAP.

Ms Prior argued she was unable to continue working face-to-face with white people following a series of Facebook posts made after Mr Wood was asked to leave an Indigenous-only computer lab at the Queensland University of Technology in 2013.

"Just got kicked out of the unsigned Indigenous computer room. QUT stopping segregation with segregation," he wrote.

Ms Prior was not in court for the judgment and is said to be facing a six-figure legal bill if the students recoup their legal costs from her.


Why Climate Spending Does Nothing and Should Be Scrapped

The industrial burning of fossil fuels has released CO2 that is purported to be responsible for .7 degrees of planetary warming over the last century, and climate models predict it could be responsible for up to another 2 – 6 degrees over the next 100 years. Despite the fact that very few of the climate change predictions made since the late 80’s have come true (think empty dams, no more snow in the UK and an ice-free arctic) if a warmer earth is going to be problem, what can we do about it?

Mainstream thinking tells that leaving fossil fuels in the ground is the answer. According to the IPCC we must act now to reduce emissions substantially in order to reduce climate risks and increase our chances of adapting to a warmer world. Across the globe various carbon pricing schemes, taxes and renewable energy subsidies have been put in place in order to roll back the clock on global carbon dioxide emissions.

In Australia we have the Emissions Reduction Fund to which the government have allocated $2.55 billion in order to to help achieve Australia’s 2020 emissions reduction target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. Then there is the $1 billion dollars pledged after the Paris Climate Summit last year, $200 million pledged over 4 years for the Global Climate Fund, and also $200 million dollars pledged to Mission Innovation, a multi-country group whose mission is to accelerate global clean energy innovation. It has been estimated that the overall gross cost of decarbonising Australia’s energy production over the next 20 years will be $60 billion.

But what will we get for those dollars and how much will it affect global temperature? With perhaps the exception of Mission Innovation, which focuses on more on ‘clean’ energy innovation and not carbon reduction, the dollars spent largely serve to increase energy poverty and slow economic growth, by making energy production more expensive. Together with the Renewable Energy Targets we are also heading towards a 23.5% reliance on unreliable renewable energy sources by 2020, and nobody can say with any accuracy exactly how many degrees of future warming these measures will mitigate. Seeing as Australia emits just 1% of the total global carbon dioxide emissions per year, and we are striving to reduce this to 5% less than our 2000 emission levels, we can assume it’s not very much. Meanwhile, worldwide there are 350 gigawatts of coal projects currently under construction, and 932 gigawatts of pre-construction coal proposals in the pipeline. Compare that to Australia’s annual coal production capacity of 29 GWe in 2014, it becomes apparent that our efforts are not only futile, but seriously undermined.

Consider also that global population will continue to rise until at least mid-century, meaning that in order for global carbon dioxide emissions to even remain stagnant, per capita emissions must continually fall proportionate to population growth. We are told that if fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions stabilise at today’s levels, the climate will still warm by .6 degrees over the next 100 years. To achieve this continual reduction in per capita emissions, it means no new cheap energy for the developing world, and somebody would have to stop India, Indonesia and China from building new coal powered plants. A realist knows that this will never happen; it is more likely that globally we will continue on a ‘business as usual’ course. No number of carbon reduction schemes in the West will have any ability to stop this growth and they certainly won’t have any effect on the temperature.

But in rushing to decarbonise, are we on the right track? Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels outlines in his book just how much benefit fossil fuel use has been to humanity. By every measure human well-being is better than has ever been. We have cleaner air to breathe free from wood smoke, clean water, sanitation, sturdy homes, modern medicine and modern farming methods all due to the cheap reliable energy that fossil fuels provide. To him, the planet is here for us to modify and improve and in doing so we improve our lives. He even argues that fossil fuels improve the environment, evidenced by the fact that richer, industrialised nations have more measures in place to protect the environment than poorer, non-industrialised nations. By continuing to access cheap and plentiful energy through the burning of fossil fuels we are further equipping ourselves to withstand extreme weather events, and overcome and adapt to any changes a that warmer planet may bring. Mortality rates due to extreme weather events have actually declined by 95% since 1900, due, one can assume, to the protection modern fossil fuel powered technology affords, by way of satellite monitoring and more powerful modes of disseminating information.

Those who hark back to pre-industrialised societies as some sort of utopian existence where man is at one with nature, neglect to realise that without modern civilisation we would be faced with disease, hunger and very short and miserable lives. Those who demonise the ‘dirty fossil fuel industry’ naively forget just how much our modern lifestyles relies on it in order to function. They also forget that ‘clean’ energy sources have their own negative environmental impacts, and that fossil fuels and rare earths are required in order to produce ‘climate friendly’ solar panels and wind turbines.

What is comes down to is risk benefit analysis. No power source currently available is free from negative impacts. Fossil fuels can be polluting, but newer technologies are making it less so. Eventually fossil fuels are going to run out (but much later than the ‘peak oil’ scare had us believe) and at that point motivation to invest in alternatives will be at its greatest. Once alternative energy sources become viable under their own steam, demand for fossil fuels will decline. Our future lies in innovation, human ingenuity and an energy market free from government subsidies and incentives, that will provide us with the platform to develop new energy technology that works. It helps to remember that we don’t actually know with any certainty what the future climate will be; we need to be able to adapt to any future climate problems we may face including rapid warming or indeed global cooling.

Energy policies that attempt to push a move away from fossil fuel consumption before we are really ready have everything to do with ideology and nothing to do with common sense. The billions of taxpayer dollars Australia is spending in order to ‘do something’ about the climate is money down the drain and an example of government waste. It is money that could be better spent on any number of programs that would actually have a beneficial effect on our environment, or on our standard of living.  Our climate dollars will have next to no impact on the climate, and are instead just very expensive tokenism.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

4 November, 2016

Irresponsible peddlers of a Green/Left scare story get their just desserts

Fronted by Maryanne Demasi, the ABC "Catalyst" program aired  a scare story saying that mobile phones and Wi-Fi caused health impacts including brain tumours. That caused an immediate outcry from the scientific community who know the evidence on such a hoary old nonsense.

The Catalyst staff should have known better.  The effect of electromagnetic radiation on health has been a big boogeyman for many years but the contrary evidence is huge. Notably: From the early days of mobile phones until now there has been no upsurge in brain cancer.  Now that mobiles are very widely used, we should be swimming in brain cancer cases by now.  But we are not. High or low levels of mobile phone use and the resultant radiation makes no difference. It's all just attention-seekers big-noting themselves

Staff on the ABC’s Catalyst program staff have been told by the ABC’s director of television Richard Finlayson that they will all be made redundant.

In a meeting at Ultimo attended by TV management and human resources the presenters and producers were told the magazine style program was ending.

A last-minute bid by senior ABC staff on Wednesday to overturn the board’s decision to axe Catalyst failed, sources told Guardian Australia.

The board had been presented with reasons why the ABC should continue to cover science properly with an in-house science unit.

An internal review after Catalyst presenter Maryanne Demasi’s Wi-Fried? program was found to have breached the ABC’s impartiality guidelines recommended the program be axed and Demasi and all the other staff be made redundant.

Finlayson told staff that nine people will lose their jobs and that the changes to Catalyst were not driven by the Demasi incident alone.

"For 2017, Catalyst will move from the current half-hour, magazine-style program structure to a one-hour documentary format, focused on high-impact, single-issue programs or series," he said.

"It will be presented by leading science experts, chosen for the various programs. This shift will align Catalyst with world’s best practice for science programming. An embedded digital capability will deliver short-form content around each program and throughout the year to increase the ABC’s digital science offering on ABC and third party social platforms.

"Finally, we must recognise that Catalyst and its team have served our audiences and the science community well for many years. However, we need to do what we believe is best for audiences, and that means adjusting our approach to best meet their needs and the realities of a changing market. We will work closely with those staff impacted by these changes to ensure they are treated respectfully throughout this transition."

Under the baord’s plan the award-winning program will be replaced by 17 one-hour science specials, mainly from the independent production sector, commissioned by new staff the ABC is going to hire.

The ABC staff union, the Community and Public Sector Union, was holding meetings with management and staff on Thursday morning.

A letter from the ABC section secretary, Sinddy Ealy, to management fell on deaf ears.

"Catalyst fills a unique and important place in Australian science journalism and we share concerns that a longer-format replacement would mean important and exciting scientific work was ignored," Ealy said.

"It would be a huge disservice to the Australian public if the ABC’s strategy is to intentionally dumb down specialist content in favour of ratings.

"The changing media landscape means the importance of ABC’s specialist content has never been greater. We recognise that ABC should review its programs regularly, but they also need to ensure that quality specialist content and the staff behind that content are retained."

Senior ABC program makers warned that ditching the weekly half-hour program and disbanding the science unit would lead to a dumbing down of science programming and in effect kill off Australian science on television.

Demasi has been on leave since a review of her Wi-Fried? program – which linked Wi-Fi and mobile phones with health risks including brain cancer – was found to have breached the ABC’s impartiality guidelines.

The discredited program was the second Catalyst story by Demasi to be found in breach of the ABC’s editorial policies and to be removed from the website. In 2013 Demasi kept her job despite an editorial breach for a program about statins.


Black girl raped at Townsville boarding school -- maybe

Interesting that the girl didn't tell her parents about it.  And some of the allegations have already been shown to be false.  I suspect it is only the racial aspect that has brought this case forward. The Left find racists under every bed.  Note that the testimony has not been tested in a court of law.

THE parents of a women allegedly raped at an indigenous boarding school in Townsville when she was 14, have told a royal commission they believe the school tried to cover up the attack on their daughter.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is hearing evidence about an alleged sexual assault that took place at Shalom Christian College in Townsville in 2006.

The victim’s mother broke down this morning in the witness box, as she recalled the attack on her daughter and the long-term psychological consequences it has had on her family.

The woman, known to the commission as EAL, said she sent her daughter to the Townsville-based boarding school for indigenous students because she felt inclined to trust a school established to educate Aboriginal children.

"I thought Shalom would be more culturally appropriate than the other boarding schools around, so we decided to put our faith in Shalom and enrol her there," she said.

But ELM told the royal commission that in late March 2006, she received a call, informing her that her daughter, a student in Year 10 known as CLF, had been raped.

She later learned four male boarders were involved in the alleged sexual assault which took place behind the back of the school.

The mother said she arrived at the Townsville school with her husband days later and met with the school’s then principal Christopher Shirley.

"From the moment (Mr) Shirley opened his mouth it seemed like he was trying to paint a picture of our daughter, that she was asking for what those boys did to her," ELM said.

The mother told the royal commission that she believed the police had only found out about the rape of her daughter because they had attended the school on an unrelated matter.

She accused Mr Shirley of treating her and her husband like they were "dumb black people".

"(Mr) Shirley told us the boys who assaulted CLF were from influential families in Townsville, my response was ‘so what’? My daughter has been raped by their sons," she said.

The woman’s husband, known to the commission as EAM, said he formed the view that Mr Shirley wanted the matter swept under the rug, and discouraged the couple from taking it any further.

"Shirley made it crystal clear he wanted the matter covered up," the father said.

But school counsellor Amy Bridson told the royal commission that Mr Shirley made a report about the sexual assault to both child protection authorities and to the police.

Ms Bridson said a meeting was arranged between police and the teenage victim, but it was cancelled at the request of the parents.

"It seemed off to me, it felt like they didn’t want us to report it, and I was very upset and confused about that," Ms Bridson said.

The girl’s parents told the commission the police interviewewas delayed because they wanted to be there with their daughter and ensure a female officer or an indigenous liaison officer was present.

The mother said she also requested a meeting with the school’s board of directors, but quickly felt like they were just offering lip service to the distraught parents.

"The board was in damage control, they said they couldn’t do much because there was a police investigation, it felt like they weren’t taking any responsibility for what happened to our CLF," she said.


Hazelwood power station closure: Electricity bills could rise 8pc, Victorian Government modelling shows

A Greenie triumph.  They have been agitating to achieve this shut-down for a long time.  Why?  Because it is Victoria's "dirtiest" power station.  But Greenie dirt is different.  In this case the dirt is an invisible, tasteless and odorless gas that our bodies create all the time up until our death: CO2

Household power bills could increase by between 4 and 8 per cent following the closure of the Hazelwood power station, modelling released by the Victorian Government shows.

Hazelwood's majority French owner, ENGIE, is tomorrow expected to announce the plant will close in March next year.

Hazelwood generates up to a quarter of Victoria's energy supply, and the loss of its cheap, brown-coal fired electricity would push up power prices.

The ABC has obtained government-commissioned modelling that estimated the average residential power bill would rise by about 4 per cent in 2017, or $44 a year.

That's the equivalent of 85 cents a week.

The analysis, by Carbon + Energy Markets, is based on futures market wholesale price projections.

However a separate analysis based on assumptions by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, predicted the average household bill would remain unchanged in 2017, then rise by about 8 per cent in 2018, or $86 a year. That's the equivalent of $1.65 a week.

"The reality will be that if Hazelwood closes there will be an impact on electricity pricing," Treasurer Tim Pallas said.

"How much that will be we'll need to continue to monitor."

However Mr Pallas said the closure of Hazelwood would not jeopardise Victoria's energy security.

With continued questions about the future of the Hazelwood power station, the next generation has its eyes set on renewable energy.

"We have been given absolute assurances that there is more than enough energy in the network to sustain and support the community's energy needs," he said.

Shadow Treasurer Michael O'Brien disagreed.

"Put it this way. Hazelwood provides 25 per cent of our electricity needs," he said. "If you're sitting on a four-legged chair and one leg falls off, it's not going to stay upright for very long."

Mr O'Brien quoted analysis by Frontier Economics which forecast retail prices for Victorian householders would increase by up to 25 per cent immediately after a Hazelwood shut down.

The closure of Hazelwood would cost about 800 jobs in the Latrobe Valley, which already has a high unemployment rate.


You can trust the government with your information

Not when an error as simple as hitting CC can spew out heaps of personal details.  More proof that the last census was dangerous to privacy

Centrelink has apologised to hundreds of users of the myGov web portal after their contact details were shared with hundreds of strangers – twice.

The latest federal government data breach is being blamed on a rookie email error, someone at the giant Department of Human Services hitting the CC button on an email instead of the BCC button.

When the department realised it had disclosed the email contact details of hundreds of its customers on October 24, it tried to recall the email containing the information, but only succeeded in sending it again.

Despite the blunder, Human Services' service delivery boss Darren Box insists that myGov is the best way for millions of Australians to manage their dealings with the federal government.

Mr Box says that no myGov passwords or other potentially compromising material was disclosed by the blunder.

The email addresses that were made public belonged to clients who had been locked out of their account, a frequent occurrence, and asked for replacement passwords.

One user from regional NSW who did not wish to be identified, told Fairfax she was astonished to find eight pages of email addresses attached to what should have been a routine email from Human Services and to realise her own contact details had been shared.

"Privacy? Sent by their IT department," the woman told Fairfax.

"The mind boggles.  

"Just another mess from this department supposedly there to assist people."

On the day after the leak, Mr Box wrote to hundreds of myGov customers apologising for the "administrative error".

"As a result of an administrative error, your email address was unintentionally sent using the Carbon Copy (CC) rather than the Blind Copy (BCC) function in an email to a number of other individuals who had also requested to create a new myGov account," Mr Box wrote

"This meant that your email address was unintentionally disclosed to the other individuals to whom the email was sent.

"In an attempt to recall this email, regrettably, your email address was disclosed to these same recipients a second time.

"I sincerely apologise for any distress that may have been caused as a result of this incident.

"Please know that your myGov and linked member service information remains secure and has not been impacted by this administrative error.

"The department takes its privacy obligations very seriously and is implementing steps to ensure this does not happen again."


Same-sex couples and single people are now allowed to adopt children in Queensland

Laws allowing same-sex couples and other previously-excluded groups to adopt children in Queensland have passed in the state parliament.

The changes, which were debated late on Wednesday night, will broaden the pool of potential adoptive parents to also include single people and those undergoing fertility treatment.

Same-sex couples are able to adopt children elsewhere in Australia, apart from in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

'While Queensland may not be the first to break down this barrier, I am determined we will not be the last,' she said.

But Ros Bates, the Liberal National Party's child safety spokeswoman, opposed the eligibility expansion citing an insufficient demand for adoption in Queensland.

'Any expansion of the right to adopt to single people and same-sex couples will do nothing but create an unrealistic expectation amongst those Queenslanders that they will have an easy access to adoption,' she said.

Ms Bates said in 2015/16 there were only 21 Queensland adoption orders finalised, while the relevant department received less then 10 expression of interest applications for local adoptions per

'Adoption is not about appeasing someone wanting to adopt, but finding a child the best home in which to grow up happy and healthy,' she said.

Ms Bates said the bill had been rushed through the committee stage, despite a six-month consultation period described as 'extensive' by Ms Fentiman.

The LNP and two Katter's Australian Party MPs voted against the changes, leading to a heated interjection from Deputy Premier Jackie Trad. 'Disgraceful,' she said. 'Bigots.'

Ms Trad was forced to withdraw the comment after LNP MP Trevor Watts took offence.

The laws passed with the support of Speaker Peter Wellington and Independent MPs Rob Pyne and Billy Gordon.

Labour MP Grace Grace, the mother of an adopted daughter, also supported the new bill. Ms Grace said who have shown desire and capabilities of raising a child should be encouraged to adopt, in a report by The Courier Mail.

'That's exactly what I have done as the mother of a beautiful, wonderful and absolutely loved adopted daughter and it's what many other Queenslanders want to do but they are being held back from doing this under our current laws and that must change.' 


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

3 November, 2016

Politically correct Halloween directive points to an Orwellian future

FOR the first time ever, Halloween tonight will be genuinely scary. Not because of the costumes the kids will be wearing, but because of the costumes that they won’t be wearing.

The University of Florida, a bastion of sanctimonious political correctness worthy of our own quasi-Marxist tertiary institutions, posted on its website a fortnight ago:

"If you choose to participate in Halloween activities, we encourage you to think about your choices of costumes and themes. Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions. Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offence to groups of people. Also, keep in mind that social media posts can have a long-term impact on your personal and professional reputation."

Halloween is traditionally a time for terrifying kids, but this sinister censorship threat takes creepiness to a new level. In fact, it points to a totalitarian future that is scarier than the worst Halloween nightmare.

In the first sentence, "choose to participate" and "think about your choices" are weasel words that actually mean "we have made the decision for you". This is made clear in the disgusting, unambiguous threat in the final sentence, which is tantamount to an Orwellian promise to keep tabs on you via social media and punish you and your entire career should you deviate from the politically "correct" path.

Wearing a Donald Trump mask might land you in hot water with feminists if there’s any mock groping involved.
But the truly repellent part of this Big Brother directive comes in the claim that costumes can be "offensive" to cultural identity groups, be they "races, genders, cultures or religions". Sound familiar? This is the old 18C trick.

Here’s how it works.

I’d like to go along to the students’ Halloween fancy dress party as Frank N. Furter, the pansexual, cross-dressing mad scientist from The Rocky Horror Show. That’d be cool! Except it isn’t.

Some killjoy trawling students’ Facebook pages reports me for "mocking" the LGBTQI community.

Perhaps, instead, I’ll go along dressed as a Mad Mullah. Topical costumes are always fun. It’s Halloween after all, and what’s scarier than a bloke with a long black beard in a white robe wandering into your party clutching a copy of the Koran? (It’s actually just an old Bible but I crossed that out and wrote "Koran" on it instead.) Plus, it’s a pretty cheap costume and even better, my girlfriend decides to accompany me dressed in a giant black bin-liner with a slit cut out for her eyes. What a hoot.

Oops. Stupidly we allow ourselves to be photographed getting drunk, someone sticks it on Instagram, and there goes not only the rest of our education but our careers as well, because we have "offended" Muslims. This we did, they tell us, (a) by mocking their "cultural" clothing and religion and (b) by getting pissed while doing so.

OK, I need to be more imaginative. We’ve just been studying 12 Years A Slave in our cultural-political-media course, so why not go as my hero, Solomon Northup, in that scene where he survives getting lynched? That’s classic Halloween stuff! All I need is a rope around my neck, a bloody torn shirt, bare feet and to paint my face black …

Oh damn. There goes my career again.

Then how about I go as Donald Trump and my girlfriend goes as Miss Universe. Then, as we walk together into the party, I turn and grope her! That’d be funny. We’d be bound to win!

Unfortunately, the feminists report me and my girlfriend to the university.

The truly repellent part of the University of Florida’s Big Brother directive to "think about your (costume) choices" comes in the claim that they can be "offensive" to cultural groups.
You may think I’m joking, but this same self-censorship will be going through the minds of many Australians this year for the same insidious reason: political correctness gone creepy.

Remember, it was only recently that our own basketball star Alice Kunek was hounded by Australian Race Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane for wearing "blackface". Her crime? Posting on Instagram a photo of herself going to a fancy dress party as her favourite singer, Kanye West.

Unless such intolerant commissioners are removed and the insidious 18C repealed, our kids can look forward to a very bleak future.


No-offence culture of American campuses hurts Australia too

A chap in America, let’s call him the Bernard Salt of Rhode Island, recently wrote a grumpy little letter to his local newspaper about the poor sartorial choices made by women of a certain age who wear yoga pants. Boom. The cult of taking offence reared up, offended women gathered in their yoga pants to protest, social media lit up and the organiser took to radio stations, expressing outrage over "Bernard’s" criticism of her choices. Sure enough, it made news across the globe, from the BBC to the ABC and The Sydney Morning Herald with nary a question asked about the ramifications of the growing predilection to take offence.

To be sure, America is the home of the modern-day propensity to find offence. If this was a cult called Scientology, progressives would be carefully deconstructing its concerning presence in modernity. But the cult of taking offence is a slyer virus because it is largely unchecked. And it’s running rife on university campuses, where it threatens to do the most damage.

As Caitlin Flanagan wrote last year in The Atlantic, campus students who race to find offence are the inheritors of three decades of identity politics. In the lead up to Halloween this week, student fraternity leaders at Tufts University sent an email warning fraternity members not to wear: "inappropriate, offensive, or appropriative costumes", or "outfits relating to tragedy, controversy or acts of violence", or costumes that appropriate cultures or "reproduce stereotypes on race, gender, sexuality, immigrant, or socio-economic status". Why? Because the dean of student affairs at Tufts warned of university and police investigations and the "wide gamut of disciplinary sanctions" if students engage in actions that "make others in our community feel threatened or unsafe, or who direct conduct towards others that is offensive or discriminatory".

Indiana University’s Affirmative Action Office found a student guilty for reading Notre Dame v The Klan, a book that pays tribute to student opposition to the Ku Klux Klan, because a student was offended by the book’s cover. Oberlin College in Ohio released a list of areas that demand trigger warnings, everything from classism to privilege. Students at other universities have demanded trigger warnings for The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. And on it goes.

The cult of taking offence has become a determined game of what Jonathan Rauch has called the "offendedness sweepstakes", and it keeps lowering the bar on what words, ideas and freethinking analysis are to be mowed down to protect the hold identity politics has over academe. Political correctness, the soul brother of identity politics, may have started out briefly in some quarters as a sweet-sounding search for a very civil utopia imbued with respect for minorities. Now it is the weapon of choice in the pursuit of power and control over ideas, words, books, teaching and much more.

Students seek "safe spaces" to avoid ideas they don’t like and even comedians are not welcome: Chris Rock no longer appears on campus because students are more interested in not offending anyone than sharp humour that may offend. Jerry Seinfeld has said he has been warned to stay off campuses too because they’re too PC.

And the result, best described by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, has been the coddling of the American mind where emotional reasoning now determines the limits of university debates. "A claim that someone’s words are ‘offensive’ is not just an expression of one’s own subjective feeling of offendedness," they write. "It is, rather, a public charge that the speaker has done something objectively wrong" and must apologise or be punished for committing the offence.

This made-in-America phen­om­e­non is no longer an only-in-America one. Students studying archeology at University College London were recently given permission to leave class if they encounter "historical events that may be disturbing, even traumatising" — in other words, if they are freaked out by bones.

The coddling of the Australian student mind is under way too. Last week at the University of NSW a well-meaning lecturer teaching a class on 20th-century European history told his students he felt obliged to issue a trigger warning about material they would cover. At the same university last year, a lecturer teaching a course on terrorism and religion issued a trigger warning too. Isn’t the trigger in the title? Isn’t history replete with traumatic events?

The Australian asked UNSW, the University of Sydney, Melbourne University, Monash University, Queensland University, Queensland University of Technology and the Australian National University in Canberra about their policies, formal or informal, about trigger warnings. Those that responded issued bland comments about having no formal policy, with some offering statements such as this one from Melbourne University: "We encourage academics to be sensitive to student needs and some may choose to give warnings about confronting content." Or this from Merlin Crossley, UNSW’s deputy vice-chancellor education: "Some of our academics and teaching teams may choose to provide trigger or content warnings depending on course materials and in some cases possible confidential sensitivities of their students."

In 2017 Monash University will introduce what it calls "a radical and far-reaching reform of our education and pedagogy" involving an "optional inclusion of content warnings where appropriate".

While Monash rejects any dilution of learning outcomes and multimedia introduces a new perspective, this is how the censoring of intellectual debate and the cosseting of student minds started in the US. Trigger warnings and safe spaces run counter to why universities exist: they are places where students should be encouraged to engage in open and robust debate, exercise free speech and test and challenge orthodoxies in the greater pursuit of knowledge and progress.

The anti-intellectual consequences of trigger warnings led the dean of students at the University of Chicago in August to send a welcome letter to each new student advising them that the university "does not support so-called trigger warnings", it won’t cancel controversial speakers and "it does not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own".

The lack of intellectual diversity on American campuses has led scholars from the west coast to the east to form the Heterodox Academy, an advocacy group that seeks greater intellectual diversity on campus in the face of rigid ideological orthodoxies that discourage both academics and students from speaking freely.

Co-founded by Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University and author of The Righteous Mind — Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, the push for greater intellectual diversity has earned praise from New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Under the headline "A confession of liberal intolerance", Kristof wrote: "We progressives … we’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us." That could be the motto for our national broadcaster, sections of Fairfax media and much of academe here in Australia.

After all, try finding the Australian equivalent of Chicago University’s letter for new students entering Australian universities. Go looking for an Australian version of the Heterodox Academy or even a refreshingly honest progressive such as Kristof. You would have a better chance of finding a Tasmanian tiger.

The Australian asked each of the above-mentioned Australian universities whether they support the letter from University of Chicago to its freshers advising them of the university’s commitment to freedom of expression and opposition to trigger warnings because students are "encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn without fear of censorship". Our leading universities responded with thunderous silence about that apparently thorny question.

Indeed, there are few signs of Australian academics trying to ward off the American-born disease taking hold on our campuses. Quite the contrary. QUT vice-chancellor Peter Coaldrake told this newspaper last month that the university did not choose to be associated with the current public debate about section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. That’s unfortunate because section 18C, which makes it unlawful for someone to act in a manner that is reasonably likely to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" someone because of their race or ethnicity, is the legislative extension of trigger warnings that stifle open debate and infantilise students.

Praise then for psychology professor Joe Forgas from UNSW who wants to see all universities, not just those in Australia, follow the example of the University of Chicago and strongly and explicitly reaffirm their commitment to freedom of expression and the diversity of views. "We have always taken this freedom for granted, but in the current climate of rampant identity politics and political correctness, it is important to give these values added and explicit emphasis," Forgas tells The Australian.

The psychology professor is also opposed to trigger warnings because any "device that is designed to impose ideological self-censorship on academics can be hugely costly in terms of imposing limits on free speech and making lecturers hesitant to cover important but controversial topics".

Forgas is a rare breed of scholar in Australia. One of very few Australian members of the Heterodox Academy, Forgas says he joined because defending the completely free exchange of ideas "is absolutely essential not only for the proper functioning of universities, but also for the long-term health of liberal societies".

That some groups or individuals might find the discussion of controversial topics unpleasant cannot be a justification for limiting free speech on campuses, he says: "Quite the contrary, it is especially those issues that are controversial that need to be openly discussed and argued about if they are ever to be resolved."

The alternative is the closing of the student mind, those same minds entrusted to universities to become our next generation of intellectually curious and emotionally resilient thinkers. As Flanagan asked, perhaps rhetorically: "O Utopia. Why must your sweet governance always turn so quickly from the Edenic to the Stalinist?"

But back to the bloke from Rhode Island. He would have been safer staying away from yoga pants and challenging the practice of yoga as a case of cultural appropriation. For seven years, yoga teacher Jen Scharf taught a free yoga class for students with disabilities at Canada’s University of Ottawa.

Until last year, when she was effectively shamed into shutting down her classes because Ottawa University’s student union was concerned over the cultural appropriation behind practising yoga.

Where does it end? That depends on where we start when it comes to freedom of expression, and currently too many self-indulgent Westerners are starting in entirely the wrong place.


Flood of outrage over 'sexist' plan for men-only office space - but the founders claim it will 'stop men hitting their wives'

But "safe spaces" for women are fine, of course   

A pair of entrepreneurs planning to launch Australia's first male-only co-working space have been blasted on social media and branded 'sexist.'

Nomadic Thinkers is a Brisbane membership club set to open doors in January with a gym, café, barber for physio for men.

The founders, Samuel Monaghan and Matthew Mercer, claim the space will help tackle the issue of domestic violence as well as depression among men.

But social media users have taken the business model to task and accused the creators of perpetuating damaging sexist values.
Samuel Monaghan and Matthew Mercer believe their men-only Nomadic Thinkers space will help tackle the issue of domestic violence

Samuel Monaghan and Matthew Mercer believe their men-only Nomadic Thinkers space will help tackle the issue of domestic violence

When asked his inspiration for the plan, co-founder Samuel Monaghan told Junkee they both had a friend in a violent relationship.

'We both had a mate who ended up in a violent situation with his wife. He pushed his wife over.'

He said Nomadic Thinkers would help curb the problem by giving men suffering from depression a place to let off steam.

'Depression and suicide result from a lack of social support and community. Having a space where they [men] can be men is more of a preventative measure. Healthy, happy men don't hit their wives.'

Women could access the café and meeting room, but would be banished from the working space and knocked back if they applied for membership.

The startup reportedly has the backing of six investors, and they are listing a number of membership packages online including 'The Bear Grylls' and the 'The Musk Have'. 

Mr Monaghan said men have been robbed of their identity in present society, where women have 'tea parties' to embrace their gender.

'In other cultures you go out and hunt in a forest for three days. We just hit 15 and start drinking. There's a real loss of identity for men. We used to go to war together. Girls do it better naturally, they have tea parties and stuff.'

Brisbane startup network, Little Tokyo Two, were said to be backing the idea, however a spokesperson denied any involvement to Daily Mail Australia. 'Little Tokyo Two has no alignment with any single sex or single industry spaces.' 

A spokesperson from Nomadic Thinkers told Daily Mail Australia they apologised their message has been misunderstood.

'We believe that our space that combines mental, physical and social stimulation will be a catalyst for impact amongst the men of our community. Impact that is not reactive but also preventative.' 'We simply want to play a part in fixing a serious issue.'


$1.2bn economic cost of environmental ‘lawfare’

Environmental groups’ legal challenges to development projects ranging from dams and roads to coalmines are estimated to have cost the economy up to $1.2 billion — an amount that is rising as more "vexatious and frivolous" claims are made.

The 32 legal challenges under the environment laws that went to court meant developers spent a cumulative 7500 days — or 20 years — in court even though 28 of the environmental cases were defeated and three required only minor technical changes to go ahead.

The Institute of Public Affairs estimates that the delays to the projects "cost the Australian economy as much as $1.2bn".

The conservative think tank’s investigation into challenges to projects under section 487 of the Environment Act, which allows anyone with a "special interest in the environment" the right to challenge, found that environmental groups carried out "an ideological anti-coal, anti-economic development agenda" aimed at holding up projects to reduce profitability and investment.

"Given the high failure rate and frivolous nature of many of the legal challenges, it is clear it hasn’t been applied in the way ­initially intended and rather has been persistently abused by green groups whose primary motivation is an anti-coal agenda," the IPA report says.

Drawing on Productivity Commission calculations, the IPA finds the use of section 487, which was introduced by the Howard government in 2000, "is estim­ated to have cost the economy ­between $534 million and $1.2bn".

"This estimate is likely to underestimate the total cost to Australia, as it doesn’t capture all flow-on effects to employment, investment and higher capital costs," the report says.

"Some projects never go ahead due to heightened risk of legal challenges and consequent higher capital costs."

The Turnbull government is trying to amend the laws to prevent the delaying tactics of "green lawfare" in the courts, after it was revealed a highly orchestrated, ­secretly foreign-funded organisation of environment groups was trying to stop coalmining in Australia using the courts to undermine investor confidence.

The government is also looking at the tax-exempt status of ­environmental groups that are funded from overseas. Leaked emails, passed on to Hillary Clinton’s election campaign chairman, John Podesta, revealed that the groups wanted to hide its foreign funding.

The emails confirmed the co-ordinated campaign to stop the vast Adani coal project at Carmichael in northern Queensland and coalmining in Australia.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said last night the object of environmental court cases was "not to win, but to delay" and so undermine investor confidence and halt development.

"These activists aren’t playing to win, they are happy to lose as long as it wastes an investor’s time and adds to their costs," Senator Canavan said.

"They seek to subvert our legal system for political ends … If these disruption tactics aren’t stopped they will cause economic damage to our country through lost ­investment and jobs."

Labor environment spokesman Tony Burke said yesterday the laws should not restrict who can launch a challenge because "for the matters that hit national environmental law it’s accepted that every Australian has an ­interest in them".

"Every Australian does have an interest in a World Heritage Area, in the Great Barrier Reef, in a National Heritage Area or whether or not a species is going to be wiped out," Mr Burke said.

He told ABC Radio National in relation to the Adani coal project that, subject to environmental approvals, federal Labor had supported it.

Mr Burke said complaints about foreign-funding of opposition to the Adani project went a bit far when the project was ­Indian and the Liberal Party wouldn’t oppose foreign funding of political parties.

On Sunday Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk joined the condemnation of US funding of the campaign to block Adani’s project.

The IPA said total projects in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland were expected to ­attract more than $28bn in investment and create more than 15,000 jobs during construction and 13,000 jobs once operational.


The race that stops a nation may not be our classiest moment

From what I have seen of it, Britain's Aintree meet is the most disgusting -- acres of drunken fat

Every year there is video and photo evidence of drunken debauchery, often engaged in by well-dressed Aussies in fascinators and smart suits.

Australians are accustomed to the aftermath shots, have a little bit of a giggle at the photo of the woman in smart racewear and net fascinator riding a bin.

But this year the US, the land of Trump, has discovered our annual day of anything goes, and an opinion piece which labels the event as "decadent and depraved" may well have served as a tourism ad for Australia.

The article which compares the US’s Kentucky Derby with the Melbourne Cup, believes Aussies come out on top when it comes to total debauchery.

"There is a lot of booze. There is a lot of littering. There is a lot of smiling. There is, for whatever reason, a whole lot of falling/lying on the ground," writes article author Billy Haisley, tagging his story "white people are getting out of hand".

He goes on: "It’s not until you see these photos of the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most drunken and depraved horse racing event, that you can really understand just how out of hand the whites can get."

The article has attracted a whole lot of attention with many Kentucky Derby goers a bit offended that Melbourne Cup could even be considered more depraved than them.

"Anyone who thinks this is MORE debaucherous than the Derby hasn’t done the Derby correctly. Or been invited to the right before and after-parties. Or done Oaks AND Derby both in one weekend. Tourists."

Another proud Derby goer posted a video of herself mud wrestling at the race in a bikini.

Other commenters talked about booking flights and tickets for next year’s events. And many seemed suitably impressed and entertained by the photos.

He ended his article with a whole lot of other proud Australian moments with headlines like "Rugby Team Cuts Player For Photo Of Him Pissing Into His Own Mouth" and "Rioting Costumed Fans Halt Australian Darts Competition".

What do you think of Australia getting that kind of publicity overseas - all publicity is good publicity or something that should cause us deep shame?


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

2 November, 2016

Liberal Party branch president calls for a complete ban on immigration in Australia - and says new arrivals are 'b***ards' and 'criminals'

A Liberal Party branch president has called for an end to all immigration into Australia because new arrivals are 'b***ards' and 'criminals'.

George Popowski, president of the Carlingford branch in north-west Sydney, has accused migrants of rorting the system with forged documents, degrees and visas while slacking on welfare at the same time as taking jobs, according to a motion obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Popowski will pressure the Turnbull government to 'shut the door now' at a party conference on Thursday, his preamble attached to the motion revealed.

'The last thing we need is foreign workers. Get the b***ards who are here, off their backsides,' he wrote in the preamble.

The hard-right branch president cited U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump warning migrants could be terrorists.

'Who wants criminals? As THE Donald said: "We don't know who these people are!" And we don't! Today, when they can forge $100 notes, any documents can be bought,' he wrote.

'Also, all the jihadists here! Surely, this crap must stop! Shut the door NOW! Do we NEED these people??????'

Mr Popowski's motion called for an investigation into the 'risks and benefits' of immigration and refugee intakes on the country.

His surname is of Polish background, according to

Mr Popowski runs Lisbon Engineering, a fan and blower manufacturing business, in St Mary's in western Sydney.

The motion, which will be put forward at Parramatta RSL to about 400 division members, represents 'what everybody's thinking', he told Sydney Morning Herald.

An Essential Research poll released in September found 49 per cent of Australians want to ban Muslim immigration.

A similar poll by Roy Morgan released late October showed different results, with 58 per cent of Australians in support of Muslim migration and 33 per cent opposed.

In his motion, Mr Popowski said 'all the convicted jihadists were on benefits'.

He claimed 80 per cent of new arrivals were on welfare, and simultaneously complained of there being no work in Sydney and appeared to take issue with those studying training courses or university degrees.

'Simple: compulsory work for the dole – plus, prison for all the crooked quacks who've signed them up for the DSP [Disability Support Pension]!' he said.

About 26,000 asylum seekers in Australia have been denied the right to work and forced onto Centrelink to survive while they are slowly granted the right to work, The Conversation FactCheck reported.

A 2013 study of new migrants, most of whom had been in Australia for less than one year, found high rates of engagement in English language classes and other studies.

A longer-term study of refugees showed about a 33 per cent unemployment rate, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Mr Popowski also accused 'single parents and carers' of taking welfare 'freebies' instead of working.


Liberal senator Cory Bernardi says he is perfectly comfortable with a broad-ranging parliamentary inquiry looking at free speech

Late last week, Malcolm Turnbull said the government would consider a proposal from Liberal senator Dean Smith to have freedom of expression looked at by parliament’s joint committee on human rights.

Smith told Guardian Australia last Friday he believed that inquiry should examine all dimensions of free speech, not just the curbs on expression imposed by section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Bernardi has led the push within the Coalition since the election to reopen the debate on watering down the act, which the government abandoned after a politically disastrous effort spearheaded by Tony Abbott when he was prime minister.

In August, Bernardi brought forward a private member’s bill that would remove the words "insult" and "offend" from the act.

In the normal course of events, the Bernardi bill, which is narrowly focused, could go to a Senate committee for examination, but the Smith proposal would broaden the issue to ventilate debate about other restrictions on free speech, and would push consideration to a joint committee made up of lower house MPs and senators.

Smith said last week 18C was only one element of what should be a broad debate about free expression.

Some Coalition MPs believe the Smith proposal gives the prime minister a way to mollify the right faction of the party, which has been campaigning vociferously on the question, along with the Australian newspaper, but would broaden the issue beyond watering down the racial protections, which galvanised a significant community backlash during the Abbott attempt.

Speaking from New York, where he is on a parliamentary excursion to the United Nations, Bernardi told Guardian Australia he was comfortable with the Smith proposition.

"If this inquiry is what it takes to get the government and Nick Xenophon to accept that 18C needs to be reformed, it will be an important inquiry for the country," Bernardi said on Tuesday.

"Reform of 18C is a no-brainer and an increasing number of Australians are coming to that conclusion," he said.


How the GAMSAT is Raising the Bar on Aussie Talent in the Scientific Field

The GAMSAT was originally designed to aid the selection process for students looking to enrol in graduate-entry courses in Australia. Split into three sections, the test evaluates students on Reasoning in Humanities & Social Sciences, Written Communications, and Reasoning in Biological & Physical Sciences.

All of this will ultimately determine a candidate’s capacity to commence a high-level intellectual course in either a medical or health professional related field. By effectively serving as the gate-keeper for high level graduate-entry courses, the GAMSAT is maintaining a minimum level of competency across the board and acting as a quality control measure for the scientific field as a whole.

Mayank Nagory, owner of Acamedica Coaching, said that the GAMSAT ensures hopeful applicants are kept accountable and work hard to get into the courses they’re passionate about.

"Many students spend countless hours studying and expanding their knowledgebase in preparation for the GAMSAT," said Mr Nagory. "Majority will seek out specialised preparation courses to make sure they’ve truly mastered their skills and filled any knowledge gaps."

This, in turn, has a direct impact on the quality of applicants sitting for the exam and will inevitably lead to an influx of highly skilled, and qualified professionals in the health and medical industries.

GAMSAT is not exclusive to those who have previously completed scientific-based fields of study. Candidates who have attained academy excellence in social and humanities sciences are also encouraged to apply.

"While a certain level of knowledge on biological and physical sciences is a big component of the exam, it is not the only consideration candidates should be worried about," said Mr Nagory. "Successful applicants also need to possess a firm grasp of critical thinking, problem solving and writing ability."

The exam will ultimately evaluate candidates’ knowledge and skills acquired via prior learning and experience. Preparation for the exam typically involves individuals reading widely and seeking professional guidance from a specialised tutor who understands the level of preparation necessary to excel. 

"The exam can pose as a challenging endeavour for any prospective student, but it plays a big role in determining the overall standard for Australia’s science-based fields," said Mr Nagory.

 Via email

To be required to provide an explanation or, worse, an apology for your opinion, however repellent, insults all the principles of free speech

Let me make two completely irrelevant points in relation to Leak’s cartoon about dysfunction in some Aboriginal communities: first, I have known Bill as a colleague and good friend for more than 20 years, and have never seen the slightest hint of racism in him; second, I have been to Wilcannia, Halls Creek and other, worse, places and seen tiny Aboriginal children wandering the streets in the middle of the night whose parents would seem unaware of their existence, let alone their names.

Though I hope those observations provide some small balance to the vicious attacks Leak has suffered, I say they are irrelevant because no defence should be offered to Section 18C.

It is a dreadful, ill-conceived piece of legislation and needs to go. To be required to provide an explanation or, worse, an apology for your opinion, however repellent, insults all the principles of free speech.

And in their hearts everyone, including the members of the HRC and the anonymous snipers on the internet, knows that. How many people have given their lives to demand and defend our right to free expression, and how meekly have we allowed it to be erased by meddling social engineers?

History and common sense show you do not defeat bad ideas by forbidding their expression; you destroy them with better ideas and vigorous debate. Unless that debate overflows into the clearly marked territory of defamation or criminal incitement, roar away. People may give offence, but no one is obliged to take it.

If I had Leak’s talent I’d create an image to highlight the sinister absurdity of this attempt to bully him into silence — indeed it’s a pity so few of his fellow artists have done so


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 November, 2016

Walgett Community College, the 'worst school in the state' gets a fresh start

Wotta lotta ... !  How are new buildings going to solve behaviour problems?  Politicians don't or won't understand Aboriginal behaviour problems so they do the one thing they can: Build things

A school with a long and troubled history of violence and disadvantage has been given a fresh start as students moved into brand-new $9.2 million school facilities.

A viral video of teenage girls fiercely attacking a classmate in a classroom last year brought infamy to the remote north-western NSW school, Walgett Community College.

Students at Walgett High say their school has seen a dramatic turnaround since a time when regular fights left them feeling unsafe.

There were crisis meetings with the minister and education bureaucrats, more student fights during their visits and police were stationed in the school, which found itself thrust reluctantly into the media spotlight.

This was after Education Minister Adrian Piccoli? had declared it "the worst school in the state" over the ruinous state of its buildings and facilities.

It wasn't just that. Attendance rates were abysmal, violent fights were common, teachers were subject to verbal abuse by students and the high turnover of principals had left a leadership gap and sour relations with the mostly Indigenous population in the town.

The students were hurt by the video and the media coverage. "That was just embarrassing," year 9 student Abbey Ashby, 14, told Fairfax Media this week. "It was pretty sad. It just made Walgett look bad."

But the school community celebrated a rare bright spot this week as they moved into brand new facilities built by the Department of Education under its Connected Communities Strategy, after what department officials say has been a stabilising year under new executive principal Karen McKinnon.

Year 9 student Raylene Kennedy, 14, said "It's better than how it used to be, it's safer. The learning, it's getting better. Nobody used to feel safe, 'cos there used to be so many fights. But now there's none."

The students are still the same, she adds, but they're behaving better.

Abbey, who wants to study nursing at university when she finishes school, said the new buildings were a major improvement on the old school. "It's just more like a learning space, [compared with] over there. You felt real crowded in."

The executive principal Karen McKinnon, who took over in October 2015, is being credited by the department for turning things around
in the school. She has worked in several remote and Indigenous schools, mainly in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Making the school safer, she said, is "about expectations and being consistent. There are rules and students know the rules and they know there are consequences if those rules aren't followed, and they know there's a consistency in the follow-up.

"So in this school, fighting has been reduced almost to none this year. That's because the consequences are out there, kids know, and they don't like to be suspended. In the end they recognise fighting isn't the answer."

The victories are small – Mrs McKinnon cites a year 10 student who was virtually never at school last year, who shows up "almost" every day now. They have been given the budget to hold a breakfast club every day at the primary school to make sure kids get a decent feed so they can concentrate in class. Staff say they are committed and feeling positive. And overall attendance rates have lifted a little from 68.9 per cent last year to an average of 72.5 per cent for 2016.

There are just 98 students enrolled in the gleaming new school which could house three or four times the number. But there are hopes for a resurgence. Walgett has a potential high school population of around 350 according to a census by the department last year, most of whom attend high schools elsewhere, driven away by the school's terrible reputation.

Signs of the old problems were scarce for Education Minister Adrian Piccoli's visit on Wednesday – his fifth as minister – but a groundsman let slip he'd been hard at work the night before scrubbing off graffiti and laying neat astroturf in the outdoor learning area.

New buildings can't fix everything, the minister conceded, but they make a difference. "I think you would walk in here as a student and feel like the system values you," he said.

"Aboriginal people on many occasions have been treated like rubbish and when you saw this school in its original state, given the vast majority of students were of Aboriginal background, you can't not make that conclusion.

"So here we've turned that around. I'd like to think that the students see this is an investment in them."

The minister said needs-based funding in NSW had seen an extra allocation of essential resources to schools like Walgett.

"They'd been able to get out of this crisis mode they've often been in. Lots of drama comes into these schools because of what's happening in children's homes and a lot of the time was taken just dealing with that stuff.

"A principal said to me recently we've been able to get out of our welfare mentality and into a teaching and learning mentality. That's music to my ears."

Trent Graham, the acting head of teaching and learning, said the staff saw the new buildings as an "positive opportunity to continue the change" they'd been working for. Time will tell if they can maintain it.

The intensive, individual approach is a lot of work for the teachers, he conceded. "But the kids are worth it."


Foreign-funded green groups could take whole swathes of Australia out of the productive economy

Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard have a lot in common — and it’s not just the ladylike shoes and matching pearl earrings.   

They both love to play the gender card, turning their immense privilege into victim status and ­dividing the electorate by sex.

Thus, Gillard nobbled Tony ­Abbott with her fabled misogyny speech and Clinton’s machine manages to drown out every Wikileaks embarrassment with a new Donald Trump bimbo eruption.

The other thing the two ladies have in common is the Clinton Foundation, which Wikileaks emails now show is an influence-peddling political slush fund.

And guess which country was one of its biggest donors? Australia. Yep, we’re up there with Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Australian taxpayer shovelled at least $88 million into the Clinton Foundation and associated entities from 2006 to 2014, reaching a peak of $10.3 million in 2012-13, Gillard’s last year in office.

On the Clinton Foundation website, AusAID and the Commonwealth of Australia score separate entries in the $10 million-plus group of donors, one rung up from American teacher unions.

In 2009-10 Kevin Rudd handed over another $10 million to the foundation for climate research, part of $300 million he squandered on a Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.

Gillard also donated $300 million of our money to the Clinton-affiliated Global Partnership for Education.

Lo and behold, she became chairman in 2014 and has been ­actively promoting Clinton as president ever since — in a campaign video last December slamming Trump, in opeds trumpeting the next woman president and in appearances with Clinton spruiking girls’ education.

The Abbott government topped up the left-wing organisation’s coffers with another $140 million in 2014, bringing total Australian largesse to $460 million, according to a press release from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

And yet, apart from the beautiful friendship with Gillard, what did Australia get from the Clintons for all that cash? A whole lot of trouble is what.

The latest treasure trove of Wikileaks emails released last week shows that Australian green groups have been secretly funded to destroy our coal industry by environmental activists connected to the Clinton campaign.

The email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta reveals extraordinary details of the sabotage of the $16 billion Adani coalmine in Queensland, which has damaged Australia’s national interest and denied cheap electricity to millions of poor Indians.

Last August John Hepburn, former Greenpeace activist and founder of Australian anti-coal group the Sunrise Project, sent a crowing email to his American paymasters, the Sandler Foundation, which is also a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. (Founder Herb Sandler and mate George Soros funded another Clinton-aligned progressive group, the Centre for American Progress, previously chaired by Podesta.)

"The Adani Carmichael mine and the whole Galilee Basin fossil fuel industrial complex is in its death throes," Hepburn wrote in the email forwarded to Podesta.

"I am going to buy a few bottles of bubbly for a celebration with the (Environmental ­Defenders Office) legal team, our colleagues at GetUp, Greenpeace,, ECF, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Mackay Conservation Group, Market Forces and the brilliant and tireless Sunrise team."

In another email forwarded to Podesta, Hepburn panics about an Abbott government inquiry into environmental charities and discusses hiding Sunrise’s sources of funding to safeguard its charitable tax status.

Hepburn boasts about the latest legal blow to Adani, when the Federal Court overturned its approval and the Commonwealth Bank quit the project. In it he now wants to "escalate the campaign ­towards the other 3 big Australian banks".

And he mocks miners who "try to claim that there is some kind of foreign-funded and tightly orchestrated conspiracy to systematically ­destroy the Australian coal industry. (I seriously don’t know where they get these wacky ideas from!)"

As if it’s not bad enough that foreign-funded activists are meddling with our largest export earner, Podesta’s emails also detail their insidious influence on indigenous land owners who blocked the Adani mine using powerful native title rights.

This alliance of green groups with native title owners is a frightening development detailed in a new book by historian Keith Windschuttle, The Break-up of Australia: The Real Agenda behind Aboriginal Recognition.

He reveals the imminent expansion of native title claims, either ­approved or quietly being processed, stretch across a whopping 60 per cent of the Australian continent, an area twice the size of Western Europe.

Already 6000sq km of the Kidman cattle empire in the Kimberley has been given, via native title, to green activists to be converted from productive cattle country to a wildlife conservation area.

"In return, the Yulumbu people get a paltry $50,000 a year royalty," Windschuttle writes. "As a flora and fauna sanctuary it is economically defunct for the foreseeable future."

At worst, writes Windschuttle, the upcoming referendum for indigenous constitutional recognition, proposed by Gillard in 2012, could pave the way for a separate Aboriginal state on native title land, funded by taxation, royalties and lease payments — passive welfare in another guise.

At the very least, the ­alliance between foreign-­funded green groups and ­indigenous owners gives ­environmentalists the opportunity to take whole swathes of Australia out of the productive economy and shut down industries they don’t like, from coal mines in Queensland to cattle farms in Western Australia.

Thanks for nothing, Hillary and Julia.


Open borders inevitably stoke xenophobia


The Western world is edging towards a precipice. The postwar consensus that cast internationalism as a global ideal is unravelling. The Muslim migrant crisis has revealed that the political ideals of the West’s ruling elite and the people they govern are not simply different but apparently opposed.

Historically, such a clash of ideals between the governing and the governed tends to produce the mass suppression of dissidents by the elite, or a grassroots revolution from below. Each tendency has become amplified in the battle ­between sovereign citizens and supranational elites over border policy.

In previous centuries, mass revolt usually has been caused by a combination of economic inequality and political disenfranchisement. The modern trust deficit between the rulers and the ruled is civilisational. It arises from a widespread belief that Western elites are ruled by and ruling for foreign interests against the sovereign wealth of their states and the sovereign interests of their people.

Historian John Fonte offers a scholarly account of the development of supranational elitism in his book Sovereignty or Submission. He analyses the emergence of a transnational system of unelected officials populating the UN, the EU and NGOs, who believe in imposing rule from above on sovereign states and citizens.

Recent evidence supports Fonte’s analysis of emergent supranational rule. Documents published by WikiLeaks and DCLeaks have exposed the influence of unelected elites, NGO networks and so-called human rights activists on Western politics. In particular, the leaked files illustrate a pattern of supranationalists funding Western political parties and civil society organisations that back open-border policy, complemented by the organised mobbing of freethinkers who dissent from the Left party line.

The old term used to punish Western dissenters from the UN’s porous border policy and PC politics was Islamophobia. The new thought crime is xenophobia.

At the September UN meeting attended by Malcolm Turnbull, the General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The UN aims to develop a global compact for migration in coming years. The declaration’s introductory paragraphs outline the contours of the new thought crime: "in many parts of the world we are witnessing with great concern increasingly xenophobia and racist responses to refugees and migrants. We strongly condemn acts and manifestations of … xenophobia and related intolerance against refugees and migrants … we deplore all manifestations of xenophobia." To solve the UN’s problem, its members endorsed a new global campaign to "counter xenophobia".

There should be no need to state the obvious truth that immigrants make great economic, social, intellectual and cultural contributions to their nations. There are innumerable examples in Australia including last week’s heroic act by taxi driver Aguek Nyok, who saved passengers from a burning bus. Nyok is an immigrant from Sudan. However, it would benefit social cohesion to celebrate the contributions of immigrants not as immigrants, but as citizens who have an equal share in advancing our great country and the civilisational values that sustain the free world.

The problem with the UN’s demand that only positive stories about migrants and refugees should be promoted as a part of its anti-xenophobia campaign is that it requires the censorship of truth, thereby deepening the trust deficit between supranational organisations and sovereign citizens. By permitting only positive reports about the effects of porous border policy, the UN has become a propagandist of PC ideology.

The politically incorrect truth is that people entering the West as asylum-seekers also commit serious violence against our citizens and undermine our civilisational values.

Soeren Kern, senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, has reported on several rapes of German women and girls by migrants, including teenage boys. In October, a 19-year-old Moroccan migrant was arrested on suspicion of raping a 90-year-old woman as she walked home from Sunday mass.

Speaking to Britain’s Sunday Express newspaper, German police union chief Rainer Wendt notes that criminal migrants from North Africa "despise our country and laugh at our justice".

Journalist Ingrid Carlqvist has documented a shockingly high number of arrests and convictions of asylum-seekers in Sweden during May. Their crimes include extraordinarily brutal rapes of women and children.

Norwegian police inspector Thomas Utne Pettersen reports that mass immigration has led to an increase in the rape of women and children. Speaking to Breitbart media, he cites the high incarceration rate of some migrant groups and cases of rape committed by asylum-seekers from Afghanistan and Syria, concluding: "People’s xenophobia in relation to this group is highly rational and justified".

Despite the reports of horrific violence against Western citizens arising from open-border policies, the UN and activist groups continue their campaign to demonise sovereign governments that support a rational immigration policy.

The Australian’s associate editor Chris Kenny analysed open-border activists’ response to Australia’s offshore immigration processing on Nauru. In short, green-Left politicians backed by the activist press lie by portraying offshore processing as "torture" while demonising Nauru’s decent citizens. Like their supranational comrades at the UN, Australia’s open-border activists are shameless propagandists for PC ideology.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has a history of agitating against the Coalition government’s immigration policy. However, the commission’s supposedly landmark report on children in immigration detention was methodologically unsound and biased. Documents revealed the inquiry’s main conclusion that Australia’s immigration system is non-compliant with UN conventions was stated in a 2013 work plan before the main investigations had commenced. Yet the Left media continues to laud AHRC opinion on border security and immigration policy.

Popular support for Brexit and figures like Donald Trump is driven by the lies and propaganda of supranational elites. Their hostility toward the creed, culture and citizens of the free world is evident in their campaign to enforce open-border policy on Western states and demonise dissenters.

Politicians who believe in democracy, human rights and the rule of law should resist the corrupted ideology of a once great UN. Instead, they should fulfil their primary duty of care to citizens by defending their peoples’ sovereign right to safety and security against the elitism of unelected ideologues.


Corruption in high places?  NSW Police dropped drug charges that allowed a violent criminal to kill

Glen Roberts served in the Cronulla riots and survived being mowed down twice by the same car during a dramatic police pursuit.

Yet his professional career – and his personal life – will forever be defined by a drug exchange he wishes he had never, by chance, witnessed.

One of the two people he arrested and charged that night in April 2011, Wayne Edward Jones, was a major crime figure who, already serving parole, was sent straight back to jail – where he should have remained for several years.

Yet for reasons known only to a select few officers within the NSW Police Force, he did not.

Michelle Reynolds with one of her young sons. © Janie Barrett Michelle Reynolds with one of her young sons. Six months later, the charges against Jones were inexplicably withdrawn and he was freed - with deadly consequences.

Jones later booked into a Coffs Harbour motel where, high on ice, he hogtied, tortured and strangled to death a mother-of-four, Michelle Reynolds. He then ordered take-away pizza beside her broken body before dumping her in bushland the following day.

Senior Constable Roberts, meanwhile, found himself charged with having fabricated "false evidence" in the drug case against Jones.

A Fairfax Media investigation has now found that the force appeared so determined to discredit the officer over what he saw that night, it broke the law by withholding two crucial pieces of evidence from the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Senior Constable Roberts' defence lawyers which proved his innocence.

As a magistrate was still getting his head around the prosecution's case against Senior Constable Roberts, which he later remarked "should never have started", the worst possible news surfaced in court.

The same violent offender whose drug supply charges had strangely evaporated 14 months earlier had since become the subject of another serious criminal case at Coffs Harbour.

"Sorry your honour … I just have a question," said a court assistant about what first appeared to be a mix up with files. "The case … is for a murder charge."

"We all looked around in disbelief," recalled Senior Constable Roberts.

"The man whom I had charged, who should still have been inside, and for whom I was now in court, had killed someone. I was absolutely devastated."

On April 4, 2011, Senior Constable Roberts and a colleague were patrolling Sydney's Kings Cross where they observed Jones and three young women in a situation that prompted concerns of underage prostitution. Senior Constable Roberts then observed Jones "clearly and without obstruction" place both his hands down the front of his pants and remove "a plastic item" before transferring the object into the co-accused's hands" which she swiftly stuffed down the front of her shorts.

They called for back up and a a female officer searched the girl and located the package inside her pants which contained bags of heroin, ice and marijuana.

However, back at the station, the seemingly straightforward arrest started to unravel when the 21-year-old woman divulged that she had been assisting Newcastle-based detectives with classified intelligence about Jones and his bikie gang associates, describing scenes involving big silver cases and "pounds of drugs" laid across tables. "He is part of the Nomads ... they all are," she said. The woman went on to explain how the previous evening Jones had rounded her and two teenage girls up, conducted an ice deal at a service station and then bashed her and forced her to drive, unlicensed, to Sydney for the purpose of prostitution.

"He had sexual intercourse with me even though I tried to stop him ... and then after that he forced me to do two jobs …otherwise he was going to do it again." She also alleged he had raped one of the other girls.

Throughout the interview, the woman said she was "scared", adding: "Once he overdosed me on heroin and just left me there. Other days he just belts me."

The drugs that led to the arrest of Wayne Jones in 2011. © Supplied The drugs that led to the arrest of Wayne Jones in 2011. Years earlier, Jones had smashed a woman so hard with a car "club lock", it caused the left side of her face to collapse. He received a seven and a half year sentence with a non-parole period of four and a half years.

He was still on parole for that horrific attack when the drug exchange took place. He was now served with three drug possession charges, one count of dealing with suspected proceeds of crime and an additional charge of supply of an indictable quantity of drugs, which carries a maximum 15 year prison term.

Yet six months on, some shadowy element in the police force set wheels in motion to withdraw all those charges and have Jones freed.

In turn Senior Constable Roberts was suddenly accused of lying about what he'd observed on the night and was charged with "fabricating false evidence with intent to mislead judicial tribunal".

When the case was heard in Sydney's Downing Centre in April 2013, it emerged that the prosecution's case against Senior Constable Roberts hinged on one statement from a senior constable who said Roberts had told her he "hadn't actually seen" the drug transaction that led to Jones being charged.

Yet two pivotal pieces of evidence, which the force had failed to produce for two years, proved otherwise. The first, an official record of interview in which Jones' co-accused acknowledged she personally saw Senior Constable Roberts witness the exchange. "I know you saw me," she said, adding: "I spotted that."

The second testimony came from the female constable called to the sceneto search the three women. In her statement, which police did not disclose, the officer recalled Senior Constable Roberts saying: "I've seen her hug the accused and possibly put something down the front of her pants."

Under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1986, police are legally bound to "disclose" to the DPP "all relevant information, documents or other things obtained during the investigation" that might reasonably be expected to assist the case for the prosecution or that of the accused person.

Magistrate Graeme Curran said it was that "critical" evidence that not only favoured the "truthfulness" and "accuracy" of Roberts' observations, but "founded" the supply charges then laid against Jones.

"For reasons which just remain completely inexplicable and quite strange … this document was not provided to the DPP. This is despite a request that it be made available to the DPP."

Michelle Reynolds was dumped in bushland by Wayne Jones. © Frank Redward Michelle Reynolds was dumped in bushland by Wayne Jones. He added: "It seems quite exceptional, quite unacceptable, and as far as I am concerned, quite inexcusable in relation to the conduct of this matter before the court."

NSW Greens justice spokesman David Shoebridge said on Saturday: "This was either the grossest incompetence or, these actions were conducted with the clear intent of delivering a serious miscarriage of injustice. Either way, the consequences have been deeply tragic."

Senior Constable Roberts has had plenty of time to speculate on why someone in the force freed Jones and then attempted to "throw him under a train". But central to the grief that still consumes him is the question of what might have unfolded, had he never made the arrest that night.

"I'm still plagued by the thought that I may have saved the lives of those three young girls, but I cost another woman hers."

On Saturday, the force released a statement to Fairfax Media acknowledging "the seriousness of this issue."
How the bizarre sequence of events unfolded

Feb 2003: Wayne Jones bashes a woman so hard with a car "club lock", the left side of her face collapses. He already has convictions for armed robbery, possession of a pistol and numerous drug-related charges. At the end of the year, he receives a 7year sentence with a non-parole period of 4years.

Apr 2011: Kings Cross Senior Constable Glen Roberts witnesses a drug exchange involving Jones and a woman who he allegedly brought to Sydney to prostitute. Jones' parole is revoked and he is returned to jail. It emerges the woman has been forwarding classified intelligence about Jones' involvement with a major drug supply and the Nomads motorcycle gang.

Oct 20: All charges against Jones are withdrawn. He is freed.

Nov: Within weeks of being released, Jones is charged with possessing a knife in public, driving while disqualified, dealing with proceeds of crime and possessing identity information to commit an indictable offence. He again avoids jail and is placed on good behaviour bonds, the last of which expires on November 18, 2014.

October 10, 2012: Senior Constable Glen Roberts is charged with "fabricating false evidence with intent to mislead judicial tribunal".

December  11-17: Jones tortures, bashes and strangles Central Coast mother Michelle Reynolds in a Coffs Harbour motel room, then dumps her battered body in bushland.

June 6, 2013: A judge dismisses the case against Senior Constable Roberts and is scathing of police after they were found to have concealed "critical" evidence from the DPP that verified the detective's "truthfulness" and the case against Jones.

October 2014: Jones is sentenced to minimum 20 years jail for murder.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here


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Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.

Most academics are lockstep Leftists so readers do sometimes doubt that I have the qualifications mentioned above. Photocopies of my academic and military certificates are however all viewable here

For overseas readers: The "ALP" is the Australian Labor Party -- Australia's major Leftist party. The "Liberal" party is Australia's major conservative political party.

In most Australian States there are two conservative political parties, the city-based Liberal party and the rural-based National party. But in Queensland those two parties are amalgamated as the LNP.

Again for overseas readers: Like the USA, Germany and India, Australia has State governments as well as the Federal government. So it may be useful to know the usual abbreviations for the Australian States: QLD (Queensland), NSW (New South Wales), WA (Western Australia), VIC (Victoria), TAS (Tasmania), SA (South Australia).

For American readers: A "pensioner" is a retired person living on Social Security

"Digger" is an honorific term for an Australian soldier

Another lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Another bit of Australian: Any bad writing or messy anything was once often described as being "like a pakapoo ticket". In origin this phrase refers to a ticket written with Chinese characters - and thus inscrutably confusing to Western eyes. These tickets were part of a Chinese gambling game called "pakapoo".

Two of my ancestors were convicts so my family has been in Australia for a long time. As well as that, all four of my grandparents were born in the State where I was born and still live: Queensland. And I am even a member of the world's second-most condemned minority: WASPs (the most condemned is of course the Jews -- which may be why I tend to like Jews). So I think I am as Australian as you can get. I certainly feel that way. I like all things that are iconically Australian: meat pies, Vegemite, Henry Lawson etc. I particularly pride myself on my familiarity with the great Australian slanguage. I draw the line at Iced Vo-Vos and betting on the neddies, however. So if I cannot comment insightfully on Australian affairs, who could?

My son Joe

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

I am an army man. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies or mining companies

Although I have been an atheist for all my adult life, I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak.

The Rt. Rev. Phil Case (Moderator of the Presbyterian church in Queensland) is a Pharisee, a hypocrite, an abomination and a "whited sepulchre".

English-born Australian novellist, Patrick White was a great favourite in literary circles. He even won a Nobel prize. But I and many others I have spoken to find his novels very turgid and boring. Despite my interest in history, I could only get through about a third of his historical novel Voss before I gave up. So why has he been so popular in literary circles? Easy. He was a miserable old Leftist coot, and, incidentally, a homosexual. And literary people are mostly Leftists with similar levels of anger and alienation from mainstream society. They enjoy his jaundiced outlook, his dissatisfaction, rage and anger.

A delightful story about a great Australian conservative

A great Australian wit exemplified

Bureaucracy: "One of the constant laments of doctors and nurses working with NSW Health is the incredible and increasing bureaucracy," she said. "It is completely obstructive to providing a service."

Revered Labour Party leader Gough Whitlam was a very erudite man so he cannot have been unaware of the similarities of his famous phrase “the Party, the platform, the people” with an earlier slogan: "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer". It's basically the same slogan in reverse order.

Australia's original inhabitants were a race of pygmies, some of whom survived into modern times in the mountainous regions of the Atherton tableland in far North Queensland. See also here. Below is a picture of one of them taken in 2007, when she was 105 years old and 3'7" tall

Julia Gillard, a failed feminist flop. She was given the job of Prime Minister of Australia but her feminist preaching was so unpopular that she was booted out of the job by her own Leftist party. Her signature "achievements" were the carbon tax and the mining tax, both of which were repealed by the next government.

The "White Australia Policy: "The Immigration Restriction Act was not about white supremacy, racism, or the belief that whites were higher up the evolutionary tree than the coloured races. Rather, it was designed to STOP the racist exploitation of non-whites (all of whom would have been illiterate peasants practicing religions and cultures anathema to progressive democracy) being conscripted into a life of semi-slavery in a coolie-worked plantation economy for the benefit of the absolute monarchs, hereditary aristocracy and the super-wealthy companies and share-holders of the northern hemisphere.

A great little kid

In November 2007, a four-year-old boy was found playing in a croc-infested Territory creek after sneaking off pig hunting alone with four dogs and a puppy. The toddler was found five-and-a-half hours after he set off from his parents' house playing in a creek with the puppy. Amazingly, Daniel Woditj also swam two creeks known to be inhabited by crocs during his adventurous romp. Mr Knight said that after walking for several kilometres, Daniel came to a creek and swam across it. Four of his dogs "bailed up" at the creek but the youngster continued on undaunted with his puppy to a second creek. Mr Knight said Daniel swam the second croc-infested creek and walked on for several more kilometres. "Captain is a hard bushman and Daniel is following in his footsteps. They breed them tough out bush."


Alternative (Monthly) archives for this blog


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral Reef Compendium
IQ Compendium
Queensland Police
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Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest
Dagmar Schellenberger
My alternative Wikipedia


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Bank of Queensland blues

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Rightism defined
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