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, 2018

Where you live is determining your school's NAPLAN score

Rubbish! Where you live is just another effect of the real cause of educational success. The real cause is that rich people tend to have smarter kids and also tend to live in more salubrious suburbs.  And there's nothing you can do about that

If you live in Sydney's west or south-west, your child's school is almost certain to be scoring below the national average on NAPLAN.

But if you live on the north shore, northern beaches, eastern suburbs or inner-west almost every school is achieving above the national average, whether it is public or private.

In a new analysis, Macquarie University researchers have found that the area in which a student goes to school is one of the clearest predictors of year 5 NAPLAN reading scores, painting a stark picture of Australia's socioeducational divide.

"The results are confronting," said Crichton Smith, the study's lead author and a PhD candidate at Macquarie University.

"Virtually no schools in any city's advantaged suburbs are below the national average, and almost no schools in disadvantaged areas are above average."

In Sydney "you can literally draw a line” between schools with above-average results and below-average results, Smith said.

North of Sydney's "latte line", 173 schools achieved above the national average in year 5 reading, 13 were close to average and only seven schools achieved below average.

But in the city's south-west, 104 schools were below average, while only 10 were ranked above average and 32 were at average.

And the polarisation is getting worse. The study found the disparity between results in Sydney’s north and east compared to those in the city's west and south-west became more pronounced between 2008 and 2016.

“If you look at the 2008 maps you can see there were some schools below average in the North Shore and Eastern Suburbs but they have basically disappeared," said Smith.

“It is a very stark map,” he said. “In Sydney we don’t have many schools close to the national average - most are either above or below.”

Also, the "spatial polarisation" in Sydney was worse that other big cities. Smith said it had the “clearest delineation” of above average and below average NAPLAN results of all the state capitals.

“I would have thought that would be a concern for anyone involved in education,” he said.

The study found a clear divide in educational achievement based on a school's location within every major city in Australia and between regional and metropolitan areas.

"The fact that socioeconomic disadvantage plays out in such a geographic way shows how socially stratified our cities, and particularly Sydney, are," the Grattan Institute's schools expert Peter Goss said.

"It could be to do with schools and teaching practices or it could be to do with changes in the make-up of the city where house prices are meaning it's very difficult to trade up as it were, and that dynamic may be reinforcing the divide.

"This geographic comparison will be picking up both disadvantage at the family level and at the peer group level. If your peer group is educationally advantaged, you'll typically do better."

The Macquarie University study also suggests that school choice does not make a difference to NAPLAN scores, with both public and private schools performing according to the location-based trend.

"Unfortunately the location-based divide has increased since NAPLAN began," said Smith.

"With 10 years of NAPLAN results now available, it is difficult to see a policy solution to bridge a gap that is so wide, and growing."

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said it is working to improve achievement through its literacy and numeracy strategy, which includes targeted support for "low performing and low SES students".

"All NSW schools receive needs-based funding [and] schools with low socio-economic rankings receive greater resources and more funding to support students," the spokesman said.

However, Dr Goss said that disadvantaged schools in Australia remain relatively underfunded according to the target set by the needs-based school resourcing standard.

"Despite the rhetoric, disadvantaged schools are underfunded relative to targets whereas most advantaged schools typically are close to their target," Dr Goss said.

Some of the state's most advantaged private schools were overfunded by $160 million in state allocations this year, while NSW public schools got $470 million less from the state government than their entitlement under the needs-based formula, a recent report found.


Adani to begin construction on scaled-back Carmichael coal mine

Greenie hostility to the project meant that all the banks refused to fund it

The controversial mine in Queensland will move ahead but it will be scaled back after the project failed to find financing.

Adani says it will self-fund the construction of its controversial Carmichael mine and that work will begin soon.

The mining giant said a scaled-down mine and rail project would be 100 per cent financed through the Adani’s Group’s resources.

Adani Mining chief executive officer Lucas Dow made the announcement at the Bowen Basin Mining Club luncheon in Mackay, Queensland today.

It follows recent changes to simplify construction and reduce the initial capital requirements for the project.

The mine was originally expected to be a $16.5 billion project but will now only cost $2 billion, according to the Townsville Bulletin.

“Our work in recent months has culminated in Adani Group’s approval of the revised project plan that de-risks the initial stage of the Carmichael mine and rail project by adopting a narrow gauge rail solution combined with a reduced ramp up volume for the mine,” Mr Dow said.

“This means we’ve minimised our execution risk and initial capital outlay. The sharpening of the mine plan has kept operating costs to a minimum and ensures the project remains within the first quartile of the global cost curve.”

According to the Bulletin, Mr Dow said work on the mine would start first, after management plans were approved by state and federal governments. Work on the rail line was expected to begin early in the New Year. The first coal experts would be produced in 2021.

Once spruiked as Australia’s biggest coal mine, which would produce 60 million tonnes of coal per year. The scaled-back version will now produce 27.5 million tonnes at its peak.

Initially production will only be 10 to 15 million tonnes but it will ramp up to 27.5 within 10 years.

A rail line to service the mine will also be scaled back. Earlier this year Adani scrapped plans for a 388km standard gauge rail line and will instead build a 200km line that will connect to Aurizon’s existing Goonyella and Newlands rail network. This will more than halve the cost from $2.5 billion to $1 billion.

Mr Dow said the project would deliver 1500 direct jobs during the initial ramp-up and construction phase of the mine and rail projects.

Townsville and Rockhampton were still expected to be the primary source markets for jobs but workers would also be hired from other areas.

The company had to find its own funding for the project after banks overseas and in Australia distanced themselves from coal export projects in the area, or introduced policies that prohibited financing Adani’s mine.

Early this year rail operator Aurizon walked away from plans to build a rail line linked to the mine, withdrawing its application for a $5 billion government-funded loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

The decision comes after Adani was previously denied a $1 billion NAIF loan to build its own rail line, after the Queensland Government vetoed it ahead of the state election.

The Carmichael mine was previously delayed by court challenges brought by environmental groups as well as the need to change the Native Title Act to legitimise an Indigenous Land Use Agreement it had signed.

Today’s announcement is not the first time Adani has announced it was going to start construction. Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj previously said physical construction of the mine was scheduled to start in weeks in October 2017.

This year it was announced that pre-construction work on the project was expected to begin in the September quarter.


Fireworks and entertainment to be removed from Australia Day celebrations to make the event 'more respectful to Aboriginal people'

Fireworks and entertainment could be removed from Australia Day celebrations to make the event more respectful to Aboriginal people.

A local government proposal has been put forward in Sydney to consult the community about 'changing the nature' of Australia Day celebrations.

Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne put forward the idea to change January 26 celebrations into a day more about commemoration and shift the 'community festival' aspect to a different day.

'For First Nations peoples, January 26 represents the beginning of invasion, dispossession, disease, stolen children and the deliberate elimination of language and culture,' Cr Byrne said.

The mayor said he wanted to be respectful to Aboriginal people and 'reflect it's a day of sadness for them.'

The review comes about nine months after a proposal was put forward to completely remove Australia Day celebrations from January 26.

Security had to be increased after the Council meeting as far-right nationalists threatened to 'declare war' on the council if the idea gained support, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Nathan Moran said that a separate day to acknowledge the date of federation, the sorry day speech, or the start of reconciliation week would be more appropriate.

'We find this development of nationalism or patriotism is bizarre at best and alarming at worst of how Australia in such a short time has somehow turned it around to make this day a national day of celebration or significance when in early 90s not even all states had a public holiday for it,' Mr Moran.

The Federal Government removed the right for Byron Bay Council and also two Melbourne councils to conduct citizenship ceremonies after they tried to ban holding them on Australia Day.

Events planned for Australia Day 2019 at Enmore Park in Inner West will proceed as the community consultation will only affect events from the following year.


Dutton to strip convicted terrorists of Australian citizenship

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled plans to strip convicted terrorists of their Australian citizenship.

Mr Morrison said the proposed new laws would allow a minister to strip Australian citizenship from a convicted terrorist if they were “reasonably satisfied” the person was entitled to citizenship in another country.

That is a departure from the current policy of stripping citizenship only from dual nationals, who are definitely citizens of other countries.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is also pushing to speed up the process for new laws to allow police to access encrypted communications used by “paedophiles or terrorists” such as WhatsApp messages.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Mr Morrison said: “Terrorists have violated everything about what being an Australian is all about.

“It’s a crime against our country, not just against other citizens, and this is something that can’t be tolerated and permitted.

“And for those who have engaged in this sort of activity, if they have citizenship elsewhere, and we reasonably believe they do, well they can go, that’s our clear message.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, the new plan would apply to Aussies who have parents or grandparents from different countries thus allowing them to obtain citizenship somewhere else.

The government will review the backgrounds of some 400 terrorists being monitored by ASIO to determine whether they are dual-citizens or are entitled to acquire a foreign citizenship.

It raises the possibility of some people being deported who have no other citizenship but Australian.

Unlike now where a six-year custodial sentence is needed for citizenship to be revoked, the planned legislation would merely need someone to be convicted for them to stripped of their right to remain in Australia.

The PM also wants to introduce “temporary exclusion orders” of up to two years for foreign fighters returning from conflict zones in the Middle East.

Based on a UK scheme, they would block a proven terrorist from returning to Australia for up to two years, unless a special permit was provided.

“We’re determined to deal with those individuals who have done this as far away from our shores as is possible,” Mr Morrison said.

Once back in Australia, the person would be subject to various controls including reporting to police, adhering to curfews and complying with restrictions on technology use.

“Failure to comply with the terms of that temporary exclusion order would be also an offence and subject to penalties for that citizen,” he said.

Earlier, the Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration Jason Wood also called for residents, who were born overseas, but later became Australian citizens, to be immediately deported if they engaged in extremism.

“As far as I’m concerned, if you’ve put your hand up to say you uphold the rights and responsibility of Australian citizenship, but the next minute you want to talk jihad all day, it’s a breach of contract and you need to go,” Mr Wood said.

The plan comes the same week three Melbourne men — brothers Ertunc Eriklioglu, 30 and Samed Eriklioglu, 26 and Hanifi Halis, 21 — were charged with allegedly planning a deadly terror attack on Melbourne.

Victoria Police later confirmed the men had all had their Australian passports cancelled this year and were of Turkish background.

Mr Dutton has said passing a new encryption law should be done sooner rather than later.

He said the heads of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australian Federal Police had already given evidence to the committee.

“The evidence there is overwhelming that we need this change. We cannot have paedophiles or terrorists using encrypted messaging apps,” Mr Dutton said.

The minister said paedophiles were directing sex scenes through the messaging apps, which were also used by terrorists.

“We are in a situation where we have terrorists who are using encrypted messaging apps to plan attacks and ASIO and the Australian Federal Police have no sight of that,” Mr Dutton said.

“It’s unacceptable, particularly given the current risk environment.”

Labor has warned against rushing the committee, while denying Mr Dutton’s claims they are against increasing authorities’ powers.


Schools accused of failing us on basic Aussie knowledge

You might travel down Macquarie Street in Sydney’s CBD every day but do you know why the thoroughfare is called that? How about Sydney itself? Or Brisbane and Melbourne?

The truth is, many of us don’t know the history behind our Aussie cities.

Controversial shock jock Alan Jones says it’s simply not good enough that Australians can’t answer these questions and something needs to be done to fix our education system.

So how would you go with these 10 questions?

1. How did Sydney get its name?

2. How did Brisbane get its name?

3. How did Melbourne get its name?

4. How did Macquarie Street, Sydney, get its name?

5. What river is Mackay on?

Do you know how Australian city names came to be?
Do you know how Australian city names came to be?Source:istock

Those questions were what Jones said we should know but we added a few extras while we’re at it:

6. What is the Great Australian Bight?

7. What is the highest mountain in Australia?

8. What is the longest river in Australia?

9. What is Australia’s most easterly point?

10. When did Australian become an independent nation?

(Answers at the bottom)

Jones said if you went down the streets of Mackay with a megaphone saying the Pioneer River was flooding, anyone between 12 and 40 would not take notice.

“They wouldn’t know it’s on a river,” he said. “Kids have got to be told and taught why Brisbane was called Brisbane. They don’t know any of that.”

The 2GB radio host said people should be able to tell the difference between a full stop and an apostrophe.

Jones said people would not drive a car if they did not understand the basics of how it worked, so language should be no different. “How can you drive the language if you don’t really understand how the language works?” he said.

Jones said he asked an 11-year-old what he was learning about at school and he responded, “Is Donald Trump going to blow up North Korea?”

He said useful lessons taken from literature were being denied to young people.

“Shakespeare’s too difficult. Charles Dickens? Forget about it,” Jones said. “The great works of literature, that’s all too difficult to teach primarily because there are many teachers who aren’t capable of teaching them.

“Where did it go off the rails? At the end of the day the losers are the kids. I’m surprised parents aren’t marching the streets.”

Jones made the comments during the launch of Dr Kevin Donnelly’s new book, How Political Correctness is Destroying Education and Your Child’s Future.

The pair said children were being taught more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history than Western culture.

“If today it was established that we had dropped a pile of rubbish in Cooks River, prosecutions would take place because we are upset over pollution of the environment — who is prosecuting over the polluting of minds of young people?” Jones asked.

“There’s significant dissatisfaction with what’s happening but no one really at the end of the day has the capability to do anything about it.

“It’s all very well to pretend (political correctness) doesn’t exist but it’s alive and well and strong — it’s rampant. What hope have we got?”

Jones and Dr Donnelly said teaching was once a noble profession but standards had slipped.

“We’re not even in the top 20 in the world (for academic standards) — this is too serious an issue to ignore,” Jones said.

“This is serious, serious stuff, yet you talk it to any education minister and they will tell you education is fantastic, wonderful things are going on in schools.

“It has to change. It’s not an education system without discipline and content. I can’t see that at work. The classroom is quarantined from appropriate review and sanction.”

Jones called for school inspectors to be returned so classrooms could be held to account.


1. Arriving in Botany Bay in January 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet, set out to look for more water. He found a settlement he intended to name Albion, the poetic name for England.

However, he quickly changed his mind and named the bay Sydney Cove in honour of Lord Sydney, the Secretary of State for the Home Office. The settlement itself later became known as Sydney Town. Lord Sydney, aka Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney was a prominent politician, yet he never visited Australia.

2. Brisbane came into being long before the state of Queensland was established, when intrepid Surveyor General John Oxley named the river he discovered after the Governor of New South Wales, Thomas Brisbane, in 1823.

3.Melbourne was briefly named “Batmania” after one of its founders, John Batman. Other proposed names included Bearbrass, Bareport, Bareheep, Barehurp and Bareberp. In 1837 the town was officially granted a seal of approval and in 1851 the colony of Victoria was formed and formally separated from NSW.

The colony was named “Victoria” after the reigning English monarch Queen Victoria and the main town ”Melbourne” in honour of Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria’s most dedicated Prime Minister William Lamb.

4. When Lachlan Macquarie, who had a great interest in town planning, arrived in the colony in 1810 he gave early attention to the state of the roads, ordering alignments, reformings, widenings and the demolition of encroaching buildings. He also tried to stop names being duplicated — often on streets quite close to each other.

Lachlan Macquarie was governor of NSW from 1810-1822. Many streets had their beginnings with the First Fleeters including Argyle, George and Bridge street.

5. Pioneer River — the name Mackay River didn’t survive very long, as it was soon changed to Pioneer River, to avoid confusion with a river of the same name flowing into Rockingham Bay. Pioneer was derived from the Government survey ship HMS Pioneer.

6. The Great Australian Bight is a bay off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia.

7. The highest mountain in Australia is Mount Kosciuszko.

8. Australia’s longest single river is the Murray River, which stretches 2508km across NSW and South Australia.

9. Australia’s most easterly point is Cape Byron in NSW. The furthest points in Australia are Queensland’s Cape York to the north, South East Cape in Tasmania to the south and WA’s Steep Point in the west.

10. Australia became an independent nation on January 1, 1901. It couldn’t have happened without the “Father of Federation”, Sir Henry Parkes, a master politician who was elected premier of NSW five times.


 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

Six in ten Asian-born Australians experience racism in accessing housing, survey finds

It is typical of a Left-leaning newspaper like the SMH to blame everything on racism.  If you believed Leftist media outlets, you would think Australia rivals Nazi Germany for racism.

As it happens, I usually have both Chinese and Indian tenants so I suppose I can talk with some immunity from a charge of racism.

The first thing to note is that the data is highly suspect. Online surveys tend to be answered by those who have a dog in the fight concerned.  Much lower and differently distributed examples of discrimination could be expected from a representative survey.  So the findings below are essentially rubbish from beginning to end.

From my involvement in the matter, what is actually happening is dislike not of the race of a tenant but the inability to communicate well with people who have poor English. And East Asians find English very difficult to learn.  I am sure that Asian speakers of Australian English would rarely find difficulty.

I put up with poor English because I have found Chinese to be otherwise exceptionally good tenants.  Indians are more diverse but usually have passable English and I like their generally cheerful attitudes.  Indian English is the de facto national language of India so Indians have little difficulty in adapting to Australian English

When it comes to access to housing in Australia, the playing field is far from even.

Our recent research has found that race matters. Many Australians experience racism and discrimination based on their cultural background.

This is particularly the case for Asian Australians. They experience much higher rates of racism across a variety of everyday settings, but particularly when renting or buying a house.

An online national survey of 6001 Australians measured the extent and variation of racist attitudes and experiences. We examined the impacts of where Australians are born and what language they speak at home on their experiences of racism.

Our research revealed that if you were born overseas, or if your parents were born overseas and you speak a language other than English at home, you are likely to have many more experiences of racism than other Australians. Racism is experienced in a variety of settings –workplaces, educational institutions, shopping centres, public spaces and online.

Survey participants born in Asia were twice as likely as other Australians to experience everyday racism. In fact, 84 per cent of these Asian Australians experienced racism.

For those born in Australia to parents who were both born in an Asian country, rates of racism were just as high (86 per cent).

If you speak an Asian language at home, your experiences of racism are also likely to be high. Speakers of South Asian and East Asian languages experience racism at alarming rates – 85 per cent and 88 per cent respectively. Those who speak Southwest/Central Asian and Southeast Asian languages experience rates of discrimination (79 per cent and 78 per cent respectively) similar to those for all participants of a non-English-speaking background (77 per cent).

Anti-Asian housing discrimination

Published findings for New South Wales and Queensland in the 1990s revealed that 6.4 per cent of Australians reported having experienced ethnic-based discrimination when renting or buying a house. Our recent national study has found this proportion has increased dramatically. In recent years, 24 per cent of Australians have experienced housing discrimination.

As with the broader pattern of everyday racism, Asian Australians are feeling the brunt of housing discrimination. Almost six in ten (59 per cent) Asia-born participants in our study experienced racism in accessing housing. This compares to only 19 per cent of non-Asian-born participants.

Asia-born respondents were also more likely to report frequent experiences of housing discrimination. Some 13 per cent reported these experiences occurred “often” or “very often”. This is more than three times the average exposure of non-Asian-born Australians.

In particular, participants born in Northeast and South/Central Asia are more frequently exposed to racism in housing. And 15 per cent and 16 per cent respectively reported housing discrimination occurred “often” or “very often”. This compares to only 9 per cent of those born in Southeast Asia.

The survey also found that if you have two Asia-born parents you are highly likely to experience such racism (44 per cent). Similarly, if you speak a language other than English at home (especially an Asian language), you are more likely to experience housing discrimination (45 per cent).

South Asian language speakers (e.g. Hindi, Tamil, Sinhalese) experience housing discrimination at a much higher rate of 63 per cent. The rate for East Asian language speakers (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean) is 55 per cent. Only 19 per cent of English-only speakers had the same experiences.



In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is disgusted with the media

Foreign postgraduates now outnumber Australians at Sydney University - as fears grow over Chinese influence

This is a very good sign for relations with China.  The students will go back to China with a firm impression of Australia as a relaxed non-threatening country.  Would there be so many of them if they experienced Australia as a racist place?

International postgraduate students now outnumber Australian postgraduates at Sydney's oldest university, as fears rise over foreign influence in student politics.

Questions have been raised over whether Australia's universities are too dependent on revenue generated by international fee-paying students, or if their primary role is still to educate the next generation of Australians.

Sydney University, Australia's most prestigious sandstone university, now has more foreign postgraduate students enrolled than Australian citizens.

As of November 15, Sydney University had 15,082 international postgraduate students compared with 13,891 Australian citizens.

Almost a third of the university's undergrad student body is now made up of international fee-paying students with 11,622 foreign students compared with 25,075 Australian citizens, according to university figures.

Of the combined student body of 70,412 enrolled students, 38 per cent or 26,704 are international fee-paying students.

In 2017, the university made $752.2 million from overseas fee-paying students.

The issue has become controversial after organised Chinese international student factions have come to dominate university politics.

For the first time this year, Sydney University's postgraduate student body SUPRA had an executive elected composed entirely of foreign fee-paying students, according to a report by student newspaper Honi Soit.

Recent Sydney University Students Representative Council elections resulted in increased representation for Chinese international student group Panda which won 11 out of the 33 council seats, up from eight the previous year under the 'Panda Warriors' banner. 

Panda worked together with moderate liberal group Shake Up in the election, whose members included Gabi Stricker-Phelps, the daughter of recently elected Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps.

Together the two groups control 15 out of the 33 council seats, while Advance, another Chinese international student faction, holds another 3 seats.

Incoming SRC President Jacky He (Panda) strongly denied that the China Development Society had anything to do with the Chinese Communist Party in an interview with Honi Soit.

He, a permanent resident who moved from China to Australia as a child, said he has been unfairly asked by several people whether he had links to the Chinese Communist Party. 'I feel like it's quite unjust for people to say 'Hey look, because there's a lot of Chinese students, they must be Chinese spies',' he told Fairfax Media.   

Sydney University would not reveal how many Australian citizens won the right to sit on the student council in the elections, citing privacy reasons.

Sydney University told Daily Mail Australia it is proud of the contribution international students make to the university.

'We welcome any attempt to ensure that representative bodies at the University of Sydney are as diverse as our student population and would encourage more of our students to get involved,' a Sydney University spokesperson said in an emailed statement.  

The Sydney University Students Representative Council is known as a training ground for future political leaders, with Joe Hockey, Anthony Albanese, and Tony Abbott all having served.

Australia's security agencies including spy agency ASIO have warned about the threat of foreign interference in Australia's society.

In October last year, ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis warned in the ASIO Annual Report that foreign powers were clandestinely seeking to shape the opinions of the public, media organisations and government officials to advance their objectives.

'Espionage and foreign interference are insidious threats,' he said. 'Activities that may appear relatively harmless today can have significant future consequences. The harm may not manifest until many years, even decades, after the activity has occurred.'

According to Australian government figures, as of August there were 640,342 international students enrolled in Australia, an 11 percent increase on the previous corresponding period.

Chinese nationals make up 30 percent of the national total, or just over 189,000. The majority of foreign students - more than 380,000 - were enrolled in tertiary education. 


Three African teens 'on the run after terrorising elderly couple at gunpoint in their home' - as police take the unusual step of naming underage 'attackers'

Three teenagers remain on the run after allegedly smashing their way into a home and terrorising an elderly couple at gunpoint.

A gang of five youths forced their way into a Wyndham Vale property, in Melbourne, at 6am on November 17, and pointed a firearm at a 66-year-old woman before demanding the keys to her car, police allege.

An 18-year-old man and a boy, 16, have since been charged over the alleged invasion, which left the woman, her 80-year-old husband and their 27-year-old daughter shaken, but uninjured.

Victoria Police on Tuesday took the highly unusual step of naming and releasing photos of three others wanted over the alleged attack. Investigators made applications to enable them to identify Bafal Gatluak and Mading Nyolic, both 16, and 17-year-old Deng Kuol.

Detective Acting Inspector Brett Kahan said the decision to publicly identify the teenagers was something they did not take lightly but deemed necessary.

'I think this an important step in respect to bringing these youths who are committing quite hard crimes into custody,' he said on Tuesday.

'They know they are wanted by police and they are actively avoiding police and we really believe this step will assist us in bringing them into custody quite quickly.'

Det Insp Kahan said police believed the three were still together and known to hang around the Collingwood and Sunshine areas.

The elderly couple had reportedly feared they would become victims of a home invasion. 'I did not panic, I did not scream. They said to me ''car key, car key'',' the woman told Seven News.

The vehicle was found dumped about 15 kilometres away in the suburb of Point Cook.


Council slammed over N-word funeral post for former employee

A Queensland regional council this month posted a funeral notice on its Facebook page for a local Aboriginal man under the heading “John Hagan (N..... Rat)’’.

The November 8 post was only removed today from the Facebook page of the Paroo Shire Council, in the state’s southwest, after a complaint and threatened legal action from the three children and a cousin of Hagan.

A long-time employee of the council, Hagan, 67, was described in the funeral notice as being “known to all’’ by the racially ­offensive “N..... Rat’’, a claim disputed by his family.

Hagan’s son, Bruce, said he had never heard anyone refer to his ­father, who volunteered helping local Aboriginal youth, in the way purported by the council.

“I have never heard anyone call him by the N-word. It’s wrong, and it has been very, very hurtful to the family,’’ he said. “He worked for 45 years on the railway and then council, paid his taxes and I don’t want my dad remembered that way, it’s degrading.’’

Paroo Shire Council chief executive Oliver Simon today said he was “looking into the facts’’ behind the posting of Hagan’s ­funeral notice but that family were “usually consulted’’.

His three children, who are considering making formal complaints under state and commonwealth anti-discrimination laws, said they were not aware of any family member being consulted by the council.


 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, 2018

Feminist Lies about Sex abuse on campus

Bettina Arndt

Last year I was approached by a Perth Film company, asking me to take part in a documentary being made for SBS on sexism. I wasn’t keen because I know all too well how easy it is for filmmakers to do a long interview which they then chop up to make you look like a dodo. I couldn’t imagine anyone at SBS would do me any favours. But the Perth company, Joined UP, assured me they planned to do a balance programme and they pressured me to take part to comment on survey results showing most Australians have real concerns about the way sexism is normally portrayed.

Those statistics were very revealing. Only 19 per cent of Australians identify as feminist. Almost half the population (45 per cent) feel feminism has gone too far. By far the majority, (76 per cent) feel men suffer from sexism too. I did the interview and persuaded others to get involved to comment on this majority view. But then SBS released their teaser for the programme - Is Australia Sexist – showing they had ditched anything that challenges the feminist narrative and simply were promoting the usual male-bashing dogma we have come to expect from our public broadcasters.

I wrote about this for The Australian this week and SBS told an Oz news reporter that “they couldn’t cover every angle of complex issues surrounding sexism,” and admitted they weren’t including the statistics in question. Instead, in the promo for the programme which goes to air December 4, we are promised shocking findings about our sexist country showing how hard life it is for women dealing with the wage gap, the constant underlying threat of rape. We see little girls being taught that boys always get paid more, women afraid to walk down public streets. The compere ends up in tears at the thought of her children facing such ordeals.

I thought it was a very telling example of the grip of feminism on our key institutions and lengths these activists are prepared to go to promote their ideology. Here’s the video – please help me circulate it:

And for the all the people who keep asking me how they can help in my various campaigns, I have a job for you. The Sydney Morning Herald last week revealed that my recent activities had derailed the feminist goal of a Federal Government taskforce aimed at bullying universities into doing more about sexual assault and harassment on campuses.

“We were so close”, wailed the SMH headline which blamed me for the set-back in the feminists’ plans. The journalist claimed Education Minister Dan Tehan postponed making a decision about their taskforce, instead prioritising an inquiry into freedom of speech at universities, triggered by the violent protest against me at Sydney University.

News of the proposed task force is extremely worrying because it shows the government is under great pressure to force universities into further action on the manufactured rape crisis. The ultimate goal of this taskforce will be to persuade universities to get involved in adjudicating date rape cases – as has happened in the US with disastrous consequences for many young men and for the universities. In case you missed it, I recently wrote an article for the online journal Quillette, explaining what is likely to happen if the feminists get their way.

The trouble is that governments and education authorities only ever hear from the feminist extremists and rarely from sensible people warning of the risks to universities if they head further down this path. We must all get active and persuade Education Minister Tehan to permanently shelve this idea. Email him or lobby your own MP and warn others about what’s going on here. We need to protect young male students from this madness.

Via email

Rich and poor Australians united on pausing immigration

The majority of both rich and poor Australians support cutting the immigration intake to relieve population pressures on infrastructure, requiring migrants to learn English and Australian values to promote integration, and maintaining strong border protection policies, according to new research from The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS).

The research, Australian Attitudes to Immigration: Coming Apart or Common Ground? is based on polling by YouGov Galaxy that surveyed the opinions on immigration-related topics of 500 Australians who live in the top 10% of metropolitan postcodes by income and education, and 500 who live in the bottom 10%.

Research authors Dr Jeremy Sammut and Monica Wilkie say the polling shows that attitudes to key immigration questions in both the most affluent and least affluent suburbs are not starkly polarised and are far more similar than they are different.

“In both rich and poor postcodes, strong majorities — 65% of residents in the top postcodes and the 77% in the bottom postcodes — support cutting or pausing immigration until struggling transport, schools, and housing infrastructure catches up with demand,” Dr Sammut says.

“The consensus is even stronger regarding integration, with 75% in the top postcodes and 82% in the bottom postcodes believing the government should require migrants to attend a course about Australian values before granting them permanent residence.

“And 80% in the top suburbs and 86% in the bottom ones also agreed that migrants should have to learn English.”

The researchers said that majorities across the polling (67% in the least affluent suburbs and 58% in the most affluent ones) also agreed ‘regardless of whether the Coalition or Labor wins the next federal election, the border protection policies introduced by the federal government in 2014 should remain in place.’

“Conflict between elites and ordinary voters over immigration — combined with loss of control of borders — has led to populist insurgencies against the political establishment in many European countries, and to the ‘Leave’ Brexit victory in the UK and Trump’s election victory in the US,” Ms Wilkie says.

“What our polling indicates is that Australia faces an old-fashioned political problem over immigration: politicians being ‘out of touch’ on the intake and integration issues that are of common concern to the majority of metropolitan voters.

“Infrastructure-linked intake cuts, actively promoting integration, and strong border protection measures are not ‘fringe’ (or worse) views — they are mainstream public opinion.

“To ensure our immigration program retains public support, governments must respond to public concerns about urban congestion and social cohesion.”


Fremantle couple tasered by WA Police win fight for more than $1.1 million in damages

W.A. cops would have to be the most malodorous in the nation

An innocent Fremantle couple wrongfully tasered by police have won their legal battle against the WA Government for more than $1.1 million in compensation. Law professor Robert Cunningham and his wife Catherine Atoms have welcomed a decision by the WA Supreme Court of Appeal to dismiss an appeal by the Government.

The couple were walking past the Esplanade Hotel at night in November 2008 when they stopped to help a man lying in bushes nearby.

Police arrived shortly afterwards and tasered the couple, before handcuffing them and charging them with obstructing a public officer.  The charges were later dismissed, but the couple took civil action against the Government and three police officers.

Dr Cunningham and Ms Atoms said their quest for justice had been an expensive and gruelling ordeal.  "It will remain a costly exercise and a great concern to Western Australian citizens if the state's role in justice and the rule of law is consigned only to civil procedures," Dr Cunningham said.

"Today's decision will motivate the state to correct their institutional responses for allegations of serious misconduct," she said.

The Government was ordered by justices Michael Buss, Janine Pritchard and Graeme Murphy to pay the couple more than $1.1 million in damages, as well as costs, which are yet to be determined.

The damages were first awarded two years ago by Justice Felicity Davis in a District Court case. But the appeal by the Government over a point of law, determining whether the government or police were liable when police behaved maliciously, put the compensation payment on hold. The appeal judgment found the Government was liable for the full amount of damages.

It marks a rare victory for the couple, who have tirelessly worked for many years to have the police officers brought to justice. An internal police investigation cleared the officers of wrongdoing and the Corruption and Crime Commission has refused to reopen an investigation.

The couple has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees and medical bills, after the unlawful tasering left them with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries.

As a result of the civil action, Ms Atoms was awarded more than $1 million, predominantly for her lost earnings as a consultant, and Dr Cunningham more than $110,000.

Justice Davis found the officers — Glenn Caldwell, Peter Clark and Simon Traynor — had fabricated evidence, abused their powers and falsely imprisoned, assaulted and tasered the couple.

Attorney-General John Quigley said the couple would receive the $1.1 million payment in coming weeks.  "Now that has been determined, the case is over and they will get the money they were awarded by the court.".

He told the WA Parliament in March that he would ask the State Solicitor to look at whether the three officers had committed criminal or disciplinary offences.

A spokeswoman from his office said the matter was still being considered by the State Solicitor.


Union turns on teacher over ‘don’t vote Liberal’ post

A public school teacher who pledged to ensure her students “don’t vote Liberal” when they graduated should be investigated by the Education Department, the teachers’ union says.

Regina Wilson, a South Australian teacher and union delegate, is at the centre of a firestorm over political interference in the classroom by union-affiliated teachers after her post on the Australian Education Union’s Facebook page was yesterday revealed by The Australian.

Amid a community backlash against Ms Wilson’s comments, AEU state president Howard Spreadbury conceded “the posting of her intent needs to be investigated”. He said there was “at this stage” no evidence Ms Wilson had carried through on her vow to ­“ensure that the next generation of voters in my classroom don’t vote Liberal”.

“She believes that part of developing students’ critical thinking is to talk to them about politics,” Mr Spreadbury said.

“It’s not for me to make the judgment about whether she’s right or wrong … I think that it does need to be followed through.”

Ms Wilson’s post was deleted on Tuesday night after inquiries by The Australian.

The AEU yesterday would not confirm whether Ms Wilson remained a delegate, as it prepares for likely strike action next week over stalled enterprise bargaining ­negotiations.

The 58-year-old former Fair Work inspector is an international student program manager who also teaches classes in Years 8, 9 and 11 at the 1000-student Woodville High School in northwestern Adelaide, located in safe Labor-held federal and state electorates.

Yesterday, she claimed she was being targeted because of her gender and insisted her post was meant to be “private … for my friends and family only”, even though she posted it publicly on the AEU’s Facebook forum.

“It (the post) did not identify me as a teacher at Woodville High School or an AEU member,” she told The Australian.

South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas raised the matter with union bosses last week but they took no action at the time.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan yesterday said parents would be concerned if their children were “being indoctrinated with the political ideologies of teachers”.

“Teachers hold a unique position in our society and we trust them to educate our kids — that trust should not be abused to further any political agenda,” he said.

“The classroom should be a place of learning, not a place where teachers recruit students to their political worldview.”

Mr Lucas yesterday maintained pressure on the teachers’ union, telling ABC radio that “we’re not going to accept this sort of behaviour or action or indications of an intent to involve students in politics in the ­classroom”.

“I think this sort of action or this sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Disciplinary proceedings were a matter for Education Department chief executive Rick Persse, he said.

An Education Department spokesman said: “The department has a clear process for dealing with alleged misconduct.”

South Australian Education Minister John Gardner said the public sector code of ethics also “makes it fairly clear that campaigning for partisan politics in the classroom isn’t appropriate”.

Australian Catholic University senior research fellow Kevin ­Donnelly said the incident was not surprising as the teachers' union had a long history of left-wing ­activism.

Jennifer Buckingham, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, said left-wing political biases permeate all classrooms but “it’s just generally a bit more subtle”.


 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, 2018

African crime: Attack the writer, and miss the point

Bernard Lane, writing below, has run into a Leftist misapplication of natural justice. It is natural justice that I am responsible for my own deeds only, not the deeds of others. Leftists use that to say that we cannot act against or discuss a criminally-inclined group if some members only of the group are actual criminals. But that seems to most people to be instinctively wrong.  Why?

What they overlook is that it is not only justice that needs to be discussed in reference to such a group but prevention.  We have a strong need to protect ourselves from members of that group. But we have no certain knowledge of which group members are likely to harm us. So we act probabilistically. Most of our knowledge is probabilistic.  We expect that dogs will bark but some don't.  Our knowledge that dogs bark is strong knowledge but it is in the end only probabilistic.

So we often HAVE TO act on probabilistic knowledge..  If (say) we wish to protect ourselves from the frequent vicious attacks emanating from South Sudanese youths, our only recourse is to reply on our probabilistic knowledge of them and do something to restrict all of them from access to us. Britain dealt with Irish terrorism by instituting detention without trial so there are available precedents.

Justice is tangential to the problem.  The issue is prevention.  Only perfect knowledge could give us perfect justice but we do not have such knowledge. Prevention, however, is not in principle difficult.  Returning them all to their ancestral homeland, for instance, should be quite effective and only minimally oppressive

I am Twitter’s racist of the day. I wrote two words — African crime — that are not supposed to go together, unlike white supremacy. My Tuesday coverage of Melbourne’s crime problem ran to 5000 words, plus maps and charts. It sketched an atlas of crime hot spots across the city by people born in the conflict-ravaged Horn of Africa, mostly Sudanese. I knew it would be contentious, that any data analysis is imperfect, and so took care in framing it.

Twitter doesn’t care about that. Activist group Sleeping Giants Oz tweeted: “We are about to have a LONG rant about a News Corp @australian article compiled by @Bernard_Lane where they exclude ALL other criminals and focus ONLY on migrant East Africans committing crime in Victoria”.

No mention that I’d conceded African-born offending was “arguably trivial” compared with the rap sheet of the Australian-born. But the Sudanese are over-represented in the crime data, and police reports suggest an alarming degree of violence and contempt for the law, leaving a legacy of trauma and fear.

The long rant never came, unless that was all the rant on offer. What happened was that hundreds of people retweeted Sleeping Giants, sometimes adding their own abuse, conspiracy theories and bad spelling. The Twitter feed kept scrolling along, hour after hour.

Sudanese-Australian lawyer Nyadol Nyuon took me to task for “Making a whole community responsible for the conduct of others because of their skin colour. Have you ever had to answer for any crime because the person who did it shared the same race as you?”

Nowhere had I suggested collective responsibility.

If a white-on-black crime is in the news, I feel a kind of shame, but shouldn’t my first response be empathy for the victim, regardless of our group identities? Nobody in the Twitter feed expressed compassion for Elena Morgan, the white woman bashed by three teenage girls of African appearance. If crime is a racist media concoction, it has no true victims.

I’d acknowledged in the coverage that a fixation with African crime was hurtful for the law-abiding majority of people from the Horn of Africa. This only infuriated Nyuon, who likened it to “when they piss on you, then tell you it is raining”.

I also had included a reference to the 2007 murder of Sudanese refugee Liep Gony by two whites in Noble Park. It was a shocking crime and I couldn’t understand why the judge had ruled out a racial motive. This earned me a rebuke from Gony’s cousin, Nyawech Fouch, for “using” this tragedy “to support your ‘reverse racism’ argument”.

I had expected that race, nationality, culture and history would be conflated.

So I’d written: “Nobody suggests a racial link to crime in Melbourne but there is a question whether the horrors that qualify people for refugee status also create problems for their resettlement in a peaceful society ruled by law, especially if those new arrivals encounter prejudice and unemployment.”

Nyuon challenged me: “What is African crime? Does this include white Africans?”

The coverage focused not just on Sudan but three other Horn of Africa countries with a presence in Melbourne and a history of regional conflict often spilling over borders.

I kept in the analysis the very low “alleged offender incident” counts of people from Eritrea, a small country not spared the agonies of the region, because it suggested that arriving in Melbourne as a traumatised refugee did not mean you were predestined to a life of criminal dysfunction; what happened here counted too.

Sydney lawyer James Wheeldon, whose job would require him to be a careful reader, joined the Twitter feed: “this is garbage reporting and an egregious misuse of statistics”. He accused me of not comparing like with like, suggesting he had not paid much attention to the coverage before moralising. At least he read it, I think.

Criminologist Jarryd Bartle entered the fray, intimating I was a fraud because the data I had claimed to make use of was not publicly available. I asked if he’d read the full coverage. “Paywalled,” he tweeted in complaint, willing to criticise what he wasn’t willing to read.

Next came Benjamin Millar, a journalist with a local paper in Maribyrnong, the council area with the highest number of “offender incidents” involving people from the Horn of Africa across the past decade.

He upbraided me for the “privileged white fragility” I had displayed when rejecting the suggestion of reverse racism.

If a white woman is bashed by blacks on his watch as a reporter, is her “white privilege” a mitigating factor? Is her hurt different from the bruises of black-on-black violence?

Millar did have one useful criticism of my data analysis, which I added to the coverage.

Twitter exemplifies the tactic today to “call out” racists. This involves a lot of digital high fives but what does it actually achieve? Relentless smearing of people as racists only reinforces the dubious category of race as the lens through which we view the world. Individuals give up empathy for the tribal loyalty of identity politics.

This week’s anti-racists were blind to the point of my coverage: that in Melbourne’s violence, there may be lessons on how to make future resettlement of refugees more successful.

If activists dwell only on the supposed bigotry of white Australia, they risk undermining popular support for a generous humanitarian program.



In his latest offerings, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is dumbfounded by one university's ban on capital letters.  He also deplores the arrogance of Greenies who think that their rallies are more important than schooling

A life ruined: Man, 73, who spent nearly 20 YEARS in prison over the murder of a top cop is found not guilty on appeal

Eastman was an oddball but the case against him was always just supposition.  I think he did it but I have always said that the evidence just was not there.

A man who spent 19 years in jail for the murder of a federal police assistant commissioner has been found not guilty on appeal of his sentence.

Former Treasury official David Eastman, 73, was charged with the murder of Colin Winchester in 1993, but has always maintained his innocence.

In 2014 concerns arose about problems with original evidence and a new trial began in July 2018.

An ACT Supreme Court jury found Mr Eastman not guilty of the murder after a lengthy - and costly - retrial involving 36,000 pages of evidence and over 100 witnesses, costing taxpayers $6.5 million. 

Mr Eastman said 'thank you' to the judge after the verdict was read out.   

Mr Winchester was shot twice in the head as he parked on the driveway next to his Canberra home about 9.15pm on January 10, 1989.

The prosecution alleged Mr Eastman developed a murderous hatred of Mr Winchester, who he blamed for hindering his bid to rejoin the commonwealth public service.

Mr Eastman, a former Treasury official, was charged with the murder in 1993. He pleaded not guilty but in 1995 he was sentenced to life in jail.

He spent 19 years behind bars before being released in 2014 when his conviction was quashed.

The defence counsel told the ACT Supreme Court there were too many unknowns and gaps for the jury to find Eastman guilty.

However, the court heard listening devices placed in Eastman's flat revealed him whispering to himself: 'He was the first man, the first man I ever killed.'

There were audible gasps in the packed courtroom on Thursday as the jury's verdict was read out.


The moment a MAN in a burqa and a woman in a motorcycle helmet walk into a bank – so can YOU guess what happens next?

A man in a burqa and a woman in a motorcycle helmet have walked into a Melbourne bank to make a point about political correctness.

Conservative activist Avi Yemini, who is running as an Australian Liberty Alliance candidate at tomorrow's Victorian election, and the right-wing party's president Debbie Robinson entered an ANZ branch in the city on Friday afternoon.

Bank security guards raised no objection to Mr Yemini, a former Israeli soldier, wearing a black Islamic outfit as he carried a handbag during the lunch hour.

Mrs Robinson however was approached by security as she wore a black helmet over a blue suit jacket, moments after arriving at the bank on Collins Street.

She asked why she had to remove her helmet while her party colleague, running as an upper house candidate for Southern Metro, could keep his burqa on.

'Well, how come that lady can wear a burqa?,' she said.

The bank employee struggled to answer her question.

'Yeah, I know but it's um,' he said.

Still wearing her motorcycle helmet, Mrs Robinson protested about being discriminated against.

'So I have to take this off and she doesn't have to take that off?,' she said.

The security guard still struggled to answer her.

'Yeah, I'm not going to get into that,' he said.

At that point, Mrs Robinson told him she thought the double standard was ridiculous.

'Why? What's the difference? I feel like that's kind of discriminating against me,' she said.

'I mean she's sitting there with that on. Why do I have to take this off?.'

Mrs Robinson then removed her helmet and made her point about political correctness as Mr Yemini walked by her in a burqa.

'I think it's really unfair I have to take this off and people can walk around with those on,' she said. 'I think that's terrible in this day in age. How come you can wear that? That's not fair.'

Mr Yemini then removed his facial covering.

The conservative Jewish activist, who campaigns against Islamist extremists, mocked the security guard for being politically correct. 'You're a good man for standing up for multiculturalism,' he said. 'Don't you feel safer?'

Like One Nation, the Australian Liberty Alliance is in favour of banning full facial coverings in public.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson last year wore a burqa into the Senate chamber to make this point.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted ANZ to clarify their policy on full facial coverings in bank branches.


Victorian election: Puffer-jacket squad delivers pained message

They came for them wearing ­puffer jackets and pearls. Along the beaches of Sandringham, beneath the lush, elm-tree canopies of Hawthorn, from dress-circle addresses in Brighton, they marched into polling booths to ­deliver a message that will send political shockwaves from Melbourne to Canberra.

The Liberal Party, their Liberal Party, no longer spoke to them. In Daniel Andrews, they saw a Premier promising to deliver more of the essential services and infrastructure that a fast-growing city needed. In Matthew Guy, they saw a small man shouting at them about crime.

It was enough for Paula Reilly, a lifelong Liberal voter in leafiest Brighton, to despair. “I told people last night that I won’t vote again,’’ Reilly says. “I get too upset about it. I am getting too old.’’

For more than 150 years the seat of Brighton has not been touched by Labor hands. The electorate was considered so safe, Labor was willing to run as a token candidate a 19-year-old university student who didn’t hold a driver’s licence and two months ago wasn’t even a member of the party.

Declan Martin probably won’t win the seat but he has given the Liberals the scare of the century. The Liberal candidate, 38-year-old James Newbury, should have been a shoo-in. He is a qualified lawyer, holds a master’s degree in business and is an experienced political operative, having served stints as an adviser in Spring Street and in Canberra.

Perhaps more importantly, Newbury comes from a long line of Bayside orthodontists who, for as long as anyone can remember, have provided the sons and daughters of Brighton gleaming ­Osmond smiles.

Instead, the seat of Brighton ­remains close. In Church Street, where delicately poached eggs steam on kerbside tables and a poodle sits on the end of every lead, there is one name that keeps coming up in the election post-mortems: Malcolm.

Sitting outside a corner cafe, Julie Hoyne says she is shocked by the result but, in a way, not surprised. “The general consensus was that Daniel Andrews was getting on with the job,’’ she says. “I felt for the first time in a long time that things were really changing in terms of infrastructure and transport. I felt we were in safe hands with him.

“In the wider context, there is a real backlash over what happened with Malcolm Turnbull. People are just disenchanted with what happened with the Liberal Party and their treatment of Malcolm. I didn’t feel he was performing badly, it was just pure venom on behalf of Tony Abbott.’’

At a nearby table, a 46-year-old accountant says that for the first time in his life, he didn’t vote Liberal. He doesn’t want his name published in case some of his ­clients hold it against him but when asked why he didn’t back a Guy government, he provides a scathing bottom line. “At the federal level there seems to be more focus in infighting and locally, the policies didn’t really resonate,’’ he says. “I really like Labor’s infrastructure and big-picture thinking. That grabbed my attention.”

The moment he walked into the polling booth on Saturday, his overriding emotion was frustration. “I am just over it,’’ he says.

Outside Botticelli Ristorante, grey-haired angels are gathering for their 55-year class reunion. They went to Brighton’s Star of the Sea, the Catholic alma mater of Germaine Greer. When asked about the election, they deliver a scornful review.

“Abbott has caused the problem,’’ Paula Reilly says. “He is still bitter and twisted. I thought Malcolm was doing a good job.’’

Leonie Tully doesn’t like the cut of Guy’s jib. “He is over the top and his whole approach irritates me,’’ she offers. “It is like he is ­haranguing voters.’’

Christine Chamberlain stuck with the Liberals, partly because Newbury’s grandfather straightened her bottom teeth many years ago. Yet she has no love for the party figures who knifed Turnbull.

“There is no glue that is holding everyone together,’’ she says. “It is so factionalised. They need one good leader who can hold them all together, but the party won’t let them. It’s terrible.’’

With about a third of the votes still to be counted and four seats to be decided, this election has swung a wrecking ball through Liberal Party heartland. In Brighton, the swing to Labor is sitting on 7 per cent. The further you drive along Port Phillip Bay, the worse it gets; an 11.8 per cent swing in neighbouring Bentleigh, 12.2 per cent in Mordialloc.

Frankston, an uber-marginal battleground before Saturday, is now safe Labor. Carrum and Bentleigh, two other marginals, were decided before preferences.

In the eastern suburbs, an electoral dam broke, with Burwood, Ringwood and Box Hill, a Liberal seat since the first year of the Kennett government in 1992, all falling to Labor. Hawthorn, held by the conservatives for all but one term since 1889, is another once safe seat on a knife edge. As of last night, 53 votes separated opposition legal affairs spokesman John Pesutto from John Kennedy, a 71-year-old former school principal and RAAF officer now living in a retirement home.

In the coastal seat of Bass, the great blue of the Southern Ocean turned ALP red. Geraldine, a sea-change resident of the hamlet of Harmers Haven, says that to understand why this seat went to Labor you need only think back to the extra money Andrews promised for the nearby Wonthaggi Secondary College and a hospital.

She also thinks Canberra’s ­August follies played a part. “We all hoped that Abbott would go and disappear into the sunset,’’ she says. “To think he was the catalyst for getting rid of ­Malcolm …’’

As the electoral carnage unfolded on Saturday night, political hardheads couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

At the Village Green Hotel in Andrews’s seat of Mulgrave, an ALP victory party was in full swing within an hour of the polls closing. A chant of “four more years’’ ­became “eight more years’’ as red-seat projections soar.

At the back of the room, former ALP state secretary Nick Reece, an adviser to John Brumby and Julia Gillard during their times in office, said the message for the Liberals should be loud and clear.

“Australian elections are decided in the middle,’’ he said. “Don’t listen to extremists in your party, don’t get caught up in the conservative echo chamber of branch meetings. For every vote you gain on the right pandering to hard-core conservatives, you lose five in the middle. It is the same reason why the Labor Party should never pander to the Greens.’’

Amid a jubilant throng of red-shirted volunteers, Labor supporter and retired shearer Ray Nicholson was more succinct: “Every Liberal leader that I can ­remember has always espoused to follow in Menzies’ footsteps. I am nearly 70 and I can remember Menzies. Mate, Menzies wouldn’t piss on this mob.’’

Two days before the election, Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger described Andrews as “the most radical premier and Labor government we have ever seen’’. Even by the standards of campaign hyperbole, it is an ­extraordinary statement.

The Andrews government, a state government in Australia’s fastest growing state, embarked in its first term on a substantial infrastructure agenda involving a new metro rail tunnel, new roads and tunnels and the removal of level rail crossings. It went to the polls promising to spend more money on hospitals, schools and vocational training and to build more roads and rail. Having kept the budget in surplus, it is willing to run up state debt to provide what is needed. From what political perspective is this a radical agenda?

The Liberal Party campaign, by contrast, was built on a narrowcast message about population growth and crime. It is a message that failed to convince enough voters in marginal and previously safe Liberal seats. Guy told The Australian in the last week of the campaign that the “noise’’ from Canberra had not helped.

Jeff Kennett credits Andrews with running a disciplined, positive campaign. He also believes the result represents a Victorian rejection of the muscular conservatism personified by Abbott, Peter Dutton and to a lesser extent, Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“It is not the basis on which the party was formed,’’ the former Victorian premier says.

“It is not Menzies’ formation credo, it is not what the Hamer credo was and I would like to think it wasn’t my credo. I think it is out of kilter with the community.’’

Reece and Kennett agree that the Victorian election result should prompt a substantial rethink of how the Liberal Party ­approaches the next federal election, expected in May.

Before Saturday, Canberra’s gaze was firmly fixed on familiar NSW battlegrounds and the electoral wilds of Queensland, where the Liberal National Party has spent years trying to mute the siren call of Pauline Nation and various, conservative carpet baggers. If Saturday’s swing was replicated across Victoria in the federal election, the Liberals would lose up to five seats to Labor. As Kennett puts it: “Forget Queensland, forget NSW; the federal election could be won and lost here in Victoria.’’


Bettina Arndt writes:

I’m very excited that my new book, #MenToo, is being published in the next few weeks. I’ll attach the full cover. We hope there will copies hitting the bookshops and newsagents early December but if you want the book in time for Christmas please put in an order using this link as these will be given priority. Details regarding e-book orders will be on the publisher’s website soon. 

As I keep telling everybody, it is a far more exciting Xmas present for men than socks or a new tie. My slogan is “Show the men in your life that Bettina is rooting for them!”

Via email

 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, 2018

'I don't even call myself Australian': Indigenous activist who admitted to assaulting four police officers over a few months claims she's the victim of 'colonial oppression'

Blue eyes and all.  There's not much Aboriginal in her.  She would normally be taken as white.  Her irresponsible behaviour will not stop until she ceases to be treated with extreme leniency.  She is just using her tiny bit of Aboriginal ancestry as a "get out of jail free" card.  She is in fact an habitual criminal and should be doing a long stretch by now

A young Indigenous activist who admitted to assaulting four police officers over a period of a few months has claimed she's the victim of ' colonial oppression'.

Leilani Clarke has been arrested in the last 12 months for assaulting police, kneeing a police officer in the groin, and spitting at police and paramedics.

The 20-year-old spoke to KIIS FM's Kyle and Jackie O on October 23, and said her court appearances were nothing more than 'colonial propaganda.'

She also admitted she could not recall details of the offending because she had been drinking alcohol.

Clarke, who was given a good behaviour bond on November 2, told the radio hosts that 'definitely alcohol doesn't benefit me' and said she had changed and grown up. She also said she was seeing a psychiatrist and taking 'anti-psycho' drugs.

“Aboriginal kids are going to be taken off their parents again. Adoption parents, the majority are white,” she told Kyle and Jackie.

When Kyle Sandilands questioned her about the topic of Australia Day, Clarke replied 'What does Australia Day even mean?' 'If it holds some significance to Australian society, that is colonial postmodernism. I don't even call myself Australian.'   

Clarke's most recent run-in with police occurred when was caught stealing a butter chicken curry from a 7-Eleven store in Marrickville, Sydney's inner west, on June 26. 

Clarke faced court over her charges on November 2nd and plead guilty to assaulting a police officer for the fourth time this year.

The environmentalist walked free following the assault, with the magistrate describing her as a 'wonderful' young person with a bright future.

The 20-year-old was put on a 10-month good behaviour bond without a recorded conviction. 

Clarke explained that on the night of the incident, both her and her cousin had been drinking before entering the 7-Eleven store.  'I actually de-escalated that situation, but my cousin punched the store owner after supposedly we were trying to steal butter chicken,' Clarke said.

When police arrived to the store and arrested the pair, Clarke said an officer 'unnecessarily' took her away from her group and into an alleyway.

She said she had to remove her jewellery before getting into the police car, but the officer forcefully took it off her. 'He was clearly trying to antagonise me and stuff and I'm asking him politely to get out of my face and stuff and I must've just snapped in the moment. And I will admit that I did revert to aggressiveness,' the young environmentalist said.

In another run-in with the law in March, Clarke spat at a police officer and assaulted a paramedic who had been trying to take her to hospital.


January 27: Clarke was arrested for spitting on security and assaulting police. She pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court and was fined $1,200.

March 18: Arrested for assaulting a police officer and spitting at a paramedic.

May 30: Pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting police in the execution of their duty and common assault.

June 26: Clarke was arrested for kneeing a police officer in the groin.

June 28: Clarke spat on a police officer after they attended a domestic disturbance.

September 27: Pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer in the execution of duty and resisting arrest in the execution of duty, and was given a 12-month bond.

November 2: Clarke walked free from Downing Centre Local Court on a good behaviour bond.

Prior to the ambulance arriving, the 20-year-old said she had fallen unconscious on a street after heavily drinking. She claimed she was cooperative with police when they found her, but has little recollection of what happened.

When the paramedics tried to strap Clarke to the stretcher, she said she began to freak out.

Police said the young woman screamed: 'F**k you white dogs. I'm smart not dumb. I got three more degrees than you'll ever have.'

'I was just drunk and I obviously have learnt my lesson, I've had a bit of alcohol education and all that stuff,' she said.

Police last encountered Clarke when they attended reports of a domestic disturbance in Forest Lodge, in the city's inner-west, in the early hours of June 28.

Clarke said she is aware that alcohol is a defining factor behind her actions, as well as her mental illness, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD).

CPTSD is a psychological disorder thought to occur as a result of repetitive, prolonged trauma involving sustained abuse or abandonment.

She has previously claimed on her Instagram account that she suffers from 'transgenerational trauma' - a theoretical condition passed down through generations of people due to the trauma affecting DNA.

Despite this, the young Indigenous activist acknowledges her actions were wrong. 'I knew I did wrong,' Clarke told the KIIS FM hosts.


Snowflake students demand university adopts 'trigger warnings' for lectures in case the contents upsets them

Students are demanding the University of Western Australia adopt 'trigger warnings' to prevent students from being upset by challenging topics.

UWA Guild president Conrad Hogg, who is leading the push, said at the September council meeting he wants to introduce alerts before lectures, Perth Now reported.

Trigger warnings, or content warnings, have become common in the United States, but so far, only Monash University has adopted the warning policy to date.

While advocates such as Mr Hogg say the alerts can help students deal with disturbing topics like suicide and sexual assault, critics claim they do the opposite.

The Institute of Public Affairs research fellow Matthew Lesh said the warnings may prevent teachers from tackling difficult concepts, and may cause additional stress.

He said by telling students something is going to be emotionally challenging in an 'over the top' way it may increase the chance of having a strong emotional reaction. 'So it is completely counterproductive for what you’re aiming to do which is help students with their mental health,' Mr Lesh said.

The warnings are already been used at the start of all Guild publications, including Damsel Magazine, which includes alerts for violence, rape, death and abuse topics.

In the latest issue of the magazine, it warns about articles that mention genitals, gendered slurs and 'ablesim' - discrimination in favour of able-bodied people.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has appointed UWA Chancellor Robert French to lead an inquiry at the university to ensure freedom of speech is maintained.

'The French review is looking at ensuring free speech on campus because a university education should involve dealing with ideas and concepts that are challenging,' Mr Tehan said.

'Likewise, the introduction of trigger warnings should not be used as an excuse to avoid difficult topics, only as an aid to resilience.'


"GetUp" faces conservative challenger "Advance Australia"

An alliance of well-known Australians has launched a centre-right political machine in a bid to rival union-backed activist group GetUp and vowed to campaign as a registered third-party organisation against the Left ahead of next year’s election.

The group, Advance Australia, will run its first major campaign against Labor’s plan to scrap ­imputation dividend refunds, the so-called retiree tax, as well as a grassroots movement to keep Australia Day unchanged.

Advance Australia has also flagged a direct counter campaign to GetUp-led attacks on sitting conservative Liberal MPs, and may target federal seats to support candidates who campaign on mainstream issues.

An advisory body for the not-for-profit organisation, which proposes to register with the ­Australian Electoral Commission as an independent third party under pending rule changes in the ­electoral act, includes: former ABC chairman, banking executive and Macquarie University chancellor Maurice Newman; Sydney doctor David Adler, who is president of the Australian ­Jewish Association; and storage king Sam Kennard.

Free-speech advocate Kerry Wakefield, whose husband is former Coalition minister Nick Minchin, will also be on the advisory board, with the organisation to be chaired by Queensland businessman James Power, whose uncle Bernie Power founded Power Brewing, which was bought by Fosters Group in 1993.

Mr Newman, who also served as Australian Stock Exchange chairman, said the time had come to challenge groups such as GetUp, with left-wing activism dominating the national debate.

“We are in the position of the battle of Stalingrad … we have retreated to such an extent we need to hold our ground somewhere and start to push back,” Mr Newman told The Australian. “We have to put our hand up and say we believe in this country. People like GetUp are so well funded.

“Look at seats like Warringah, Canning, Dickson … these electorates are under constant attack by GetUp. They are very well-funded and we have to get well-funded. We are hopeful we can. We can’t leave the world to ­George Soros.”

A nationwide poll of 2000 voters, commissioned by Advance Australia in September to guide its charter, found that only 16 per cent of people believed society was better than it was a decade ago, while more than 80 per cent were concerned about the rise of political correctness.

Dr Adler, a former deputy medical director at the Australian Medical Association, told The Australian that mainstream and traditional values had largely been left out of the national discourse. Dr Adler, who lives in the electorate of Wentworth, said that in the recent by-election there was only one side of the argument displayed in any great volume at polling booths, and most focused on climate change.

“Clearly the material came from GetUp,” Dr Adler said.

He said the new organisation stood for freedoms, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion, individual initiative and safety and security. “It is important to have an ­organisation standing up for these values and I’m pleased to lend my support,” Dr Adler said.

He said Advance Australia would not be aligned to a political party. The group’s national director, Gerard Benedet, who previously worked as chief of staff to former Queensland Liberal Nat­ional Party treasurer Tim Nicholls and also worked for News Corp, publisher of The Australian, said a mainstream political movement to counter GetUp had been a “long time coming”.

“It’s also been borne out of frustration with the major parties,” Mr Benedet said. “We don’t get caught up in the politics of activism, we are about raising awareness. GetUp is 13 years old; we are three months in the making … we want to have an impact and we think we will have an impact this time around (at the election).

“We will support people of all political persuasions who back mainstream values and freedoms and stand for the institutions that have served this country well.”

Mr Benedet said the organisation would consider seat-by-seat campaigns. However, he said there was no one involved in the organisation who was a member of a political party.

Mr Benedet resigned his LNP membership when he left Mr Nicholls’s office. He said had the group been established earlier, it would have campaigned against the Coalition’s changes to superannuation.

GetUp, which has had significant funding from construction union CFMEU, is fighting attempts by Coalition senator Eric Abetz to have its independent status revoked and force its regis­tration as an affiliated entity of Labor. It has been forced to amend its constitution and remove references to charitable status. In 2007, it was taken to task by the AEC for printing misleading how-to-vote cards recommending voting against Coalition candidates.

Mr Benedet said Advance Australia would be based on a similar structural arrangement as GetUp but would not be a charitable organisation. The name was chosen after focus group testing found Advance Australia popular.

He said more than 1000 members signed up to the organisation in six days after the launch of its campaign website.


Abbott’s issue with indigenous welcome

Tony Abbott says we’re showing respect for indigenous culture at the expense of acknowledging Australia’s Christian roots.

The former prime minister argued Christian prayer should have as great a role in public ceremonies as “welcome to country” rituals, which acknowledge the traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owners of Australian land.

Mr Abbott also wants to see more Christian gospel stories taught in our schools.

The Warringah Liberal MP, who is the Prime Minister’s special envoy for indigenous affairs, made the comments today at the launch of Dr Kevin Donnelly’s new book, "How Political Correctness is Destroying Education and Your Child’s Future".

Mr Abbott made reference to the opening of the new Northern Beaches Hospital yesterday and complained that each of the speakers paid respects to the traditional owners of the land before starting their speeches, and not a single one offered a prayer.

“Every single speaker, and there was about six of them, acknowledged country,” he said. “But there was not a single prayer, even though our society is unimaginable without the influence of Christianity.”

He said Western society was based on all people being created equal, and justice was built on the biblical principle “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

“I’m not against acknowledging country; there are many circumstances where it’s entirely right and proper,” he said when questioned on his remark.

But he said there was nothing in the Western world that wasn’t inspired by the gospel. He said “thank God” Australia had not dumped prayer from parliament. “This is essential to our culture, we should never forget that,” Mr Abbott said. “I certainly would welcome (more prayer); I’m not saying it should be compulsory.”

Dr Donnelly’s book addresses how political correctness has undermined and weakened Australia’s education system.

Dr Donnelly argues that “instead of an academically rigorous curriculum, subjects have been dumbed down and taught through a politically correct prism involving Asian, indigenous and environmental perspectives”.

Mr Abbott asked if these were really the top three priorities that should permeate every aspect of our curriculum.

The former Liberal leader said learning about playwright William Shakespeare and the narrative histories of the West was the background to all Australians’ lives.

“If you can’t read, write, count and think, our schools are not doing their jobs,” he said. “But it’s not enough … there needs to be an essential cultural literacy that everyone coming through Australian culture should have — and that needs to be a familiarity with gospel stories.

“This is not a question of trying to ram religious faith down people’s throats, it’s about giving people an understanding of culture.”

Mr Donnelly then ended the discussion about prayer by quipping: “We should be making sure it kosher, to mix the metaphors.” He then jokingly apologised if he offended any Jewish people in the room.


Australian exports to India will be driven by coal and competition

I think we may have reached peak "stop Adani". In The Australian Financial Review on Monday last week, Richard Denniss prosecuted the fantastic argument that we should not allow Adani to open because that would hurt coal production and jobs in NSW!

So the message to North Queensland is, 'sorry you can't have jobs because we have to protect another part of the country'. Townsville's unemployment rate for the past 12 months has averaged 9.1 per cent, so you can imagine how such a message would be received north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The unemployment rate around Newcastle has averaged 5.7 per cent over the same period.

But let's take Richard's argument to its logical conclusions. Why allow pesky competition at all when the entry of new businesses sometimes puts other businesses out of action? Why do we allow Bunnings to open when they have caused Mitre 10s to close? Why do we allow Netflix to stream when so many video stores have shut down? Think of all the heartache we could stop if we just stopped all this wasteful competition and let some kind of modern, technocratic Politburo sort it all out.

Richard's argument reveals the warped misunderstanding green activists have of the market. Their largely socialist outlook of the world blinds them to the well-demonstrated benefits of competition. We should not seek to protect some businesses in Australia by limiting the prospects of others. If the coal from North Queensland ends up out-competing NSW coal, we will have a stronger and more competitive industry as a whole. (This is extremely unlikely given NSW thermal coal is the best in the world.)

What Richard is really suggesting is we reintroduce a single desk for the export of coal. If the export of coal from Queensland can influence the global price, then the export of coal from NSW can do the same. On this reasoning we should have every coal miner seek permission from Canberra before a ship leaves the Newcastle port, so we can ensure the maximum price. That is something the coal industry is unlikely to welcome.

In fact, we have tried this before in many commodities and they have all ended in failure. We may think we can outsmart global markets, but practical experience has taught us that trying to micro-manage such outcomes from a room in Canberra is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully such proposals have largely been consigned to the dustbin, notwithstanding their bizarre reappearance as an argument prosecuted by the unholy alliance of incumbent coal miners and greenies.

Room for both

Most happily for us, we are unlikely to have to make this choice between Queensland and NSW because world coal markets are booming and there is ample room for both. Last year the production of coal-fired power globally reached a new record at 9723 terawatt hours.

It is this increased demand that has pushed coal prices to near record highs, and increased the margin for high-quality Australian coal over Indonesian coal by six times. Coal has once again become Australia's biggest export and this wealth is helping pay for important public services by bringing state and federal budgets to balance sooner.

Last week the International Energy Agency forecast that coal demand is set to grow by 492 million tonnes in the Asia Pacific region by 2040. Australia exports just under 400 million tonnes so this is a massive opportunity for us to create more wealth and more jobs right nationwide. The IEA conclude that new mines in Australia, such as Adani's, would be required to meet this increased demand.

The biggest opportunity lies in India. With coal demand there set to grow by over 600 million tonnes by 2040. Last year, India imported 160 million tonnes of thermal coal but Australia accounted for just 3 million tonnes of that. As the world's largest coal exporter that performance is not good enough.

This week The Australian Financial Review will host an important summit on Australian-Indian relations. The Adani project, as the largest potential Indian investment in Australia by far, offers the most direct way to cement a strong and ongoing relationship between our two countries.

We are sometimes too complacent about Australian-Indian relations. Sometimes we rest back on the "three C's" of "cricket, Commonwealth and curry". These won't be enough, to take our relationship to the next level we must add a fourth C of "commerce" and the quickest way to do that is to grow our trade in a fifth C of "coal".


 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, 2018

'Enough, enough, enough': PM Morrison vows to cut migrant numbers and says pressure needs to be taken off Sydney, Melbourne, with new state-based policy

This could win him the next election if he really makes it happen

Scott Morrison has vowed to cut the number of immigrants coming into Australia - saying population growth needs to be managed.

'Australians in our biggest cities are concerned about population. They are saying enough, enough, enough,' the Prime Minister said in a speech in Sydney on Monday.

'The roads are clogged, the buses and trains are full. The schools are taking no more enrollments.'

'We have become, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, a victim of our success.'

Over the last decade migration has accounted for over half of the population growth in the nation at 58 per cent.   

The Prime Minister predicted his changes would cause a shift in direction of immigration policy and lower the annual immigration target from the national cap of 190,000.

His new direction would involve talking to State leaders and forming immigration targets on a regional basis, rather than having a national immigration cap.

The PM defended immigration in general, saying the benefits include a growing workforce, increased opportunities for Australian businesses and workers, and that immigrants contribute to the economy rather than draw from welfare.

'I believe that we need a new discussion with the States and territories and local governments about how we manage and plan for our changing population,' Mr Morrison said.

'The old model of a single national number determine by Canberra is no longer fit for purpose.'

'Further to this I am writing to the Premiers and chief ministers inviting them to contribute to a national strategy and framework on population and putting this on the table for out next COAG meeting on 12 December.'


African teens arrested over St Kilda beach trouble

Two teenagers have been arrested after riot police were called to break-up a group of youths causing trouble on a Melbourne beach with a rock being thrown at an officer.

About 150 youths gathered on the St Kilda foreshore on Monday about 10.20pm before "an escalation of unwanted and unwelcome behaviour", Superintendent Phillip Green said.

"Once you have that escalation of kids chasing one another, wrestling with one another, language or open-drinking, that causes people to be fearful," Supt Green said of the group, which was described as being of African appearance.

"People need to understand that if they are doing it as a joke or to one another it doesn't prevent or stop other people who can see that becoming concerned."

An 18-year-old Flemington man has been charged and bailed with possessing a drug of dependence, while a 17-year-old North Melbourne boy has been arrested for assaulting a police officer with a rock and released pending further inquiries.

No complaint of fighting or assault has been made to police and no further arrests are expected, Supt Green said.

Police respond to specific complaints but also to the "broader perception of safety" to make sure people's right to feel "comfortable, safe and confident" was upheld, he added.

The incident coincided with the launch of a police operation on the beach over summer.


Melbourne's African gang crime hot spots are revealed

The city's western suburbs are among the worst areas when it comes to alleged offenders born in Sudan, figures from Victoria's Crime Statistics Agency show. The number Sudanese defendants in Maribyrnong surged by 60 per cent between 2009 and 2018, climbing from 80 to 128 after more than doubling in one year.

In total, 1,384 alleged offenders born in Sudan have faced criminal charges during the past decade, in the inner-west local government area where 15 mainly African youths last year burst into a Footscray barber shop and hit a man in the head with a tomahawk.

On Boxing Day last year, a police officer was kicked in the face when he tried to arrest a 16-year boy at the Highpoint Shopping Centre at nearby Maribyrnong.

A little farther west, the Wyndham City Council area was another hot spot for African crime with 818 Sudanese-born defendants during the past decade. The problem has dramatically escalated, with just six people from Sudan charged in 2009.

That surged to 82 in 2016, more than doubled to 180 last year before reaching 288 in the year to June 30.

This occurred in a local government area where an AirBnB house at Werribee was trashed in December 2017, with four teenagers arrested.

Police were called to the home on Attunga Grove following reports two women were assaulted leaving residents terrified as gangs of teenagers pelted police with rocks.

The Menace to Society gang was blamed for damaging walls and furniture and spraying 'MTS' graffiti, after a party descended into chaos about 3.30am.

The area also covered Tarneit where Daily Mail Australia last year documented the trashing of the Ecoville Community Park, also by Menace to Society.

Melbourne's western suburbs weren't the only places experiencing higher levels of African gang crime, with the Greater Dandenong region in the city's east and the city centre districts also on the list.

In Melbourne's city centre, 2,695 Sudanese-born people were charged during the past decade.

The number arrested quadrupled from 85 in 2009 to 365 in the year to June 2018.

The Victorian election is being held this Saturday, with crime likely to be on the minds of voters as Labor fights to win a second term.


Victorian election: African crime hits Labor seats

East African crime in Victoria is overwhelmingly a problem in Labor seats, with the major hotspots overlapping key sand-belt marginals as well as many electorates considered rock solid for the Andrews government.

Analysis by The Australian shows 19 mostly Melbourne local government areas with a significant history of crime by offenders born in Sudan and other Horn of Africa countries over the past 10 years. Those areas overlay 31 Labor electorates, including the four vulnerable bayside seats of Frankston (held on a margin of 0.5 per cent), Carrum (0.7), Bentleigh (0.8) and Mordialloc (2.1).

Premier Daniel Andrews’ district of Mulgrave overlaps with the number two African crime hotspot of Greater Dandenong, while Bill Shorten’s federal seat of Maribyrnong lines up with the council area of the same name that is ranked number one for ­African-born crime.

It is the first time that the scale, footprint and decade-long trend of police dealings with African-born “alleged offenders” in Melbourne has been put clearly on the map. The data covers all kinds of dealings with police, from official warnings through low-grade offences to brutal crime.

Law and order — along with the spectre of burglary, home invasion, assault and carjacking by youths of African appearance — has been a polarising issue in the lead-up to Saturday’s election.

Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville said yesterday that “high-harm crimes by African youth offenders” had fallen in the latest figures. “We’re delivering an unprecedented investment into 3135 new police, and giving police the powers, resources and tools they need to keep the community safe,” she said.

Elena Morgan was assaulted 11 months ago in East Melbourne on her way to work. She was in the Greens-held electorate of Melbourne and was targeted by three teenage girls of African appearance who had spent a night at a party and set upon her at 7.30am, repeatedly punching her before trying to push her into the path of oncoming traffic.

The traumatic assault left her physically and emotionally injured, “I was fearing for my life,” she told The Australian. It has also left her about $8000 out of pocket through medical expenses, including physiotherapy, psychological help and specialist appointments.

She says victims of crime in Victoria need to be taken seriously. “The police do such a good job and there are a lot of people in the system who want to help you, but they’re all under huge caseloads and so the waiting times are really long for people who need help paying medical bills,” she said.

“And so when politicians talk about changing the system, they need to realise it’s not just about making people safer and stopping this stuff from happening — it’s also about looking at the other half and the people who’ve been affected by crime and making it simpler for them to get back on track.”

Two of the three offenders involved in the attack, both teenagers, were arrested and charged. One person has been sentenced and another remains at large.

In today’s crime-data analysis, the combined African “offender incident” count is very low compared with Australian-born offenders but higher than would be expected given their small population in Victoria. The analysis focuses on countries from the war-torn Horn of Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea.

The data does not include Australian-born offenders from Horn of Africa families.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton has said the African crime problem involves a small number “(who are) mostly people born here”. Some African parents say their children born locally have to be viewed as products of the Australian experience, not the horrors of the home country.

Maribyrnong, Greater Dandenong, Mooney Valley, Brimbank, Yarra and Melbourne councils head the list of 19 East African crime clusters derived from official data for the top 10 nationalities linked to alleged offender incidents. In Maribyrnong, 2086 African offender incidents repres­ented 7.9 per cent of total incidents from 2008-18 yet the African-born accounted for only 1.34 per cent of the local population. One offender may be linked to multiple incidents and offences in the data. In Greater Dandenong, African offenders were linked to 3562 incidents, 5.8 per cent of the decade’s total in that council area, while making up only 0.9 per cent of the population.

The cut-off for The Australian's ranking of 19 councils with crime hotspots is 250 African offender incidents and 0.5 per cent of total incidents from 2008-18.

The number of African-born offender incidents statewide rose by 209 per cent over the decade to 2017-18. This outstripped African population growth, which increased by 57 per cent from the 2006 census to 2016. More offenders linked to multiple incidents may be part of the story.

The incident total for Horn of Africa-born offenders last ­financial year (3384 incidents) is still slight in comparison with ­Australian-born offender incidents (135,046).

Some of Labor’s safest seats overlap with African crime hotspots including Footscray and Williamstown. The Liberals have four seats with significant African crime (Caulfield, Gembrook, Malvern and Mount Waverley), the Greens three (Melbourne, Northcote and Prahran), and the Nationals one (Morwell).

In some cases, council and electorate share only a small area, meaning crime may be less of a political issue for the state MP.

The small group born in Eritrea, which has had its share of Horn of Africa conflict, hardly figures in the data for the top 10 crime nationalities. Sudanese, the biggest group, accounted for 73 per cent of African-born offender incidents last financial year.

In the past year, federal Coalition government ministers and the Andrews administration have clashed over law and order issues.


ANOTHER blackout in South Australia

Their "Green" electricity supply is very fragile and easily knocked out by normal wind

Strong wind gusts cut power to thousands of South Australians and whipped up a giant dust cloud over Adelaide as a cold change swept in on Monday evening.

After a 36C day, a southwesterly wind change swept across the Yorke Peninsula towards Adelaide, causing damage across the metropolitan area, Mt Lofty Ranges and parts of the Mid North.

The bureau issued a warning for damaging winds, which was cancelled later on Monday evening.

At the height of the blackout more than 11,000 customers were without power — these were across all the metropolitan area, as well as some towns on the western Eyre Peninsula.

The larger outages included almost 3000 people at Henley Beach, 2000 near Goodwood and 3000 in Somerton Park.

Power is now being restored. Today’s forecast is 20C, with medium chance of showers in the morning.

Accompanying the cool change were high winds of more than 90km/h that brought down trees and power lines.


Australian Principals at ‘breaking point’ as they struggle with violent parents and high stress

Teachers and principals across the country say they are at breaking point, too stressed from their workloads, pressures within the education system and abusive or violent parents.

In the worst cases teachers are attempting suicide or suffering major heart attacks.

Serious concerns are being raised over the mental health of Australian educators, with an “unprecedented” number of principals at risk.

Principals say parents are to blame and are calling for a national code of conduct to stop the abuse they face.

At St Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney’s CBD one student had to be expelled last year because things between parents and a staff member became so bad.

In Victoria teachers say that have been forced to get the police to intervene.

Ann Marie Kliman, president of Victorian Principals Association, said she was physically assaulted by a student’s father.

On the Gold Coast principals have reported parents pulling knives on them, with one even threatening to ram their “head into concrete”.

The crisis across the country is subject of debate, with many teachers claiming it is the principals who are abusive towards them.

But Australian Primary Principals Association president Dennis Yarrington said aggressive and abusive parents were the biggest issue.

But he said the problem was indicative of a societal issue and has called for a national code of conduct for parents.

“It’s very concerning and even though there are a number of states and territories implementing support, there’s still more to be done,” Mr Yarrington said.

“We really need to crank up the focus that this is a community issue so we need a community response.

“It’s the behaviour of parents and community members that we feel is totally unacceptable.

“We want this issue raised as a national topic that needs a response from departments and communities.”

Mr Yarrington said just as students were asked to call out other bullies, they wanted parents to call out inappropriate behaviour too.

“If parents continue to role model it in front of children it makes it very hard for schools to try and change that behaviour,” he said.

The problem is so bad, principal wellbeing researcher Phil Riley said he had received dozens of “red flag” alerts from those taking part in his annual survey.

The Australian Catholic University education expert said one-in-three school principals who took part in the survey had been flagged this year — the worst he had ever seen.

Participants get red flagged if they answer questions indicating they are at risk.

The survey included questions over their quality of life, their psychosocial risk and whether they had felt like harming themselves in the last week.

“That’s unprecedented, we’ve never had anything like that before,” Dr Riley said. “Every year it’s getting worse and worse.”

The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey indicates whether staff are burning out, having sleeping problems or are depressed.

“It’s pretty rough, and it’s uniform across the country, across the whole system,” Dr Riley.

About a third of principals across the country take part in the survey, which in previous years has also revealed alarming results.

Last year, Dr Riley indicated a “worrying trend” around the increase in stress caused by mental health issues among staff and students over the last six years.

“This is a worrying trend that goes well beyond the school gate,” he wrote.

“The costs associated with this trend were recently estimated to be $10.9 billion annually. As

the education workforce is very large, a significant proportion of these costs could be saved.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia reported a 2.3 return on investment when organisations addressed the issues directly. It appears foolhardy not to do so in the education sector.”

His report also revealed 44 per cent of principals had been threatened with violence.

Principals are at the top end of a mental health crisis that is appears to be systemic across the education sector. has spoken to several formers teachers across the country who have been forced to leave their profession because of stress and bullying.

Current teachers said they were struggling with high workloads and pressures from NAPLAN requirements but were too scared to speak 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

20 November, 2018

Nearly half of Australians want the number of Muslim immigrants slashed following the Melbourne terrorist attack

Almost half of Australians want Muslim immigration to be cut following the Melbourne terrorist attack, a poll has found.  

The Fairfax-Ipsos survey was conducted after Islamic State sympathiser Hassan Khalif Shire Ali attacked random people on Bourke Street, Melbourne, on November 9, knifing three and killing one.

The poll found 46 per cent of Australians believe that Muslim migration numbers should be reduced.

Of those surveyed, 35 per cent believed the intake should remain the same and only 14 per cent of voters supported an increase.

The telephone poll of 1200 respondents conducted nationally found that a majority of Coalition voters and one third of Labor voters backed the cut.

Muslim leaders deflected criticism of Islam in the wake of the Bourke St attack by stressing that Shire Ali's actions were caused by mental illness and not by religion.

Many Australians are concerned about the rise of Sharia law – the Islamic set of laws that are drawn from the Koran and Hadith.

Islamic State and other Islamist groups are fighting to establish Islam as a political system not just a religion, with the rule of sharia law.

Secular Muslims oppose the implementation of Islam as a set of laws.

Overwhelming majorities of Muslims in countries including Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Malaysia, want sharia to be the law of the land, according to Pew Research survey results published in 2013.

Some elements of Sharia are applied in varying degrees in the legal codes of several Muslim-majority countries.

The Fairfax-Ipsos poll also found 45 per cent of voters would like to see overall immigration numbers reduced, with 23 per cent arguing for a rise and 29 per cent happy with the status quo.

The 2016 Census revealed Australia’s population grew by 1.9 million people in the five years to 2016, driven by a 1.3 million increase in new immigrants.

Of those, 86 per cent or 1.11 million settled in Australia's major cities, according to government data, causing strain on infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called for a return to Howard-era immigration levels of about 45,000 a year.

Fairfax reported that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton reduced permanent migration from the official estimate of 190,000 to an actual intake of 163,000.

Data from the 2016 Census showed the Muslim population in Australia has soared to more than 604,000 people, overtaking Buddhism as the most popular non-Christian religion.

The number of Muslims living in the country has almost doubled from 341,000 in the the 2006 census.


Senate could thwart a Labor government too

Bill Shorten’s ability to pass his tax-and-spend manifesto if elected could be put in doubt after projections that Labor would not be able to form a majority bloc with the Greens in the Senate to pass legislation without being forced to negotiate with key crossbenchers.

One Nation is tipped to ­increase its presence, with the Greens potentially losing a spot and Centre Alliance gaining a senator to likely hold the balance of power.

Despite polling pointing to a likely Labor landslide at the next election, analysis of specific Senate polling conducted since the last election shows the best-case scenario for Labor and the Greens was 38 senators, just short of being able to command the upper house.

It shows that on current trends Labor, if elected in the lower house, would face the same Senate gridlock caused by a chaotic, unpredictable and largest crossbench that has bedevilled the Coalition since 2013.

The research paper produced by the Australia Institute think tank suggests that Labor would not be able to guarantee passage of key tax and spending policies such as those on negative gearing or penalty rates.

It predicts a best-case scenario for Labor to be 29 seats, with the Greens either remaining on its current nine or more likely losing a spot to eight.

At worst, it would gain just one seat to have 27 senators.

Under either scenario, Labor would be forced to rely on crossbench senators such as the Centre Alliance or even a right-wing party such as One Nation to pass much of its $160 billion spending program and tax measures.

The best-case scenario for the Coalition would be 35 spots out of the 76-member Senate.

The likely May 2019 election will be the first half-Senate election under the new optional preferential voting system introduced by Malcolm Turnbull to make it more difficult for independents to be elected. However, polling suggests little change to the Senate crossbench numbers, with up to five One Nation spots — up one from the 2016 result — and an extra Centre Alliance senator making three and the likely independent party to hold the balance of power.

Cory Bernardi is not up for re-election nor are the two current Centre Alliance senators and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.

Those independents elected for a half term of three years — which includes Derryn Hinch, Tim Storer, Brian Burston, Fraser Anning, David Leyonhjelm and Petro Georgio — are all up for election next year.

The analysis predicts Liberal Democrat Senator Leyonhjelm will lose his NSW spot, the potential re-election of Senator Hinch and the possible return of Tas­man­ian Jacqui Lambie at the ­expense of the Coalition.

The research is based on quarterly polling of voting intention for the Senate conducted since the last election based on a sample size of about 1400 voters.

Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist says the new voting system makes predicting the Senate even more fraught. “While the last federal election was a ­double-dissolution election … this next election is a half-Senate election only, which doubles the quota making it more difficult for minor parties and independents in particular,” he said.

“Current polling makes Labor the favourite to form government at the next election, but our analysis shows they will still need to work with other parties, and potentially some independents, in the new parliament.

“Even under the most optimistic predictions for the Labor Party, we expect that they and the Greens will only have 38 senators between them, one short of a passing majority. ”


University review a win for free speech on campus

The review of freedom of speech at universities announced by the federal government is a timely initiative to ensure the rights and freedoms of all Australians are protected on Australian campuses, The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) said.

The review follows a paper published last month by CIS Senior Research Fellow Dr Jeremy Sammut,  University Freedom Charters: How best to protect free speech on Australian campuses, which called for the introduction of University of Chicago-style free speech charters to promote and protect free and open inquiry in pursuit of truth in Australian universities.

“We welcome the move to hold higher education administrators to account and ensure universities fulfil the role they receive billions of taxpayer’s dollars to perform in a democratic society,” Dr Sammut said.

“As my report showed, the free speech policies developed in Chicago and emulated by other US colleges are international best practice.”

The review, headed by former High Court Chief Justice, Robert French, has been tasked with developing realistic and practical policies to promote free speech on campus that are based the Chicago approach.

“The Chicago model strikes the right balance between protecting legitimate debate and protest and stamping out the kind of disruptive behaviour that interferes with the right to free speech of others like we have seen recently at Sydney University,” Dr Sammut said.

He also welcomed the announcement that the federal government will use the findings of the review to formulate a national declara­tion on freedom of speech that will serve as a benchmark to hold universities to account.

“A key recommendation of my research was the need to ensure that university freedom charters are not toothless tigers to which only lip service is paid, and to impose greater external accountability mechanisms for what universities actually do and don’t do to protect free speech.”


Crying wolf too many times on poverty

Yet another sensationalist headline on poverty in Australia appeared this week, indicating poverty rates in Victoria are as high as 13%, and more than one in 10 Victorians are ‘poor’.

The breathless report by the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) found “alarmingly” there is no corner of Victoria untouched by poverty. But this reporting is misleading at best and irresponsible at worst.

Firstly, the report did not measure absolute poverty, but what is known as relative poverty — a subjective measure of deprivation, obtained by comparing person A’s income to person B’s income. This means if person B is wealthy, person A could be relatively poor.

In Australia, relative poverty is generally defined as receiving less than half the national median household income.

The limitations of this measure are obvious. If the median income increases, more people could be classified as poor — even though their absolute level of deprivation remains unchanged (or may even have improved).

Secondly, many Australians go through periods of low income — which does not necessarily indicate material deprivation or socio-economic disadvantage.

The obvious example is university students. Even VCOSS admitted the 13% figure would have picked up thousands of students in the Melbourne area. In retrospect, it is certain that I would have been technically classified as poor when I was a student at Sydney University a decade ago.

In fact, this simply reflects life cycle factors. Most people’s earnings peak and ebb during certain stages of their lives.

Consequently, retirees are more likely to be counted as poor by having lower incomes in that stage of their lives. Similarly, pensioners can be picked up in measures of relative poverty by being asset rich and cash poor.

The risk of elevating relative poverty as a problem is that governments will become distracted from tackling real, persistent disadvantage in Australia.

There are about 700,000 Australians — roughly 3% of our population — who experience entrenched socio-economic disadvantage.

Our concern should be focused on those Australians, particularly on early intervention for vulnerable children who would otherwise be caught in an intergenerational cycle of poverty and disadvantage.

But unfortunately for VCOSS, a 3% poverty rate doesn’t make for a news-grabbing headline.


High energy costs send Pact packing

Australia's largest manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging, billionaire Raphael Geminder’s Pact Group, says it will move more of its operations offshore to Asia because of the soaring cost of doing business in Australia.

Pact has closed three local manufacturing sites over the past 12 months among more than 60 it runs in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the US after undertaking extensive work on establishing a reliable and cost-effective import supply chain for select product categories.

Pact, which has more than 4000 staff, supplies a wide range of plastic and steel packaging to the food, household cleaning, pharmaceutical, personal care, agricultural, chemical and industrial markets....

The manufacturer’s second-largest shareholder, the $9 billion Investors Mutual’s Anton Tagliaferro?—?who has previously written to the Pact board questioning the company’s performance?—?said Australian manufacturers faced a gloomy outlook given slipshod government policy and higher energy prices than many of its global competitors.

“All of manufacturing in Australia is feeling the pinch of failed government policies and that includes electricity,” Mr Tagliaferro told The Australian. “Manufacturers are seeing their costs going up, their margins being squeezed and they’re grappling with having to put their prices up to customers,” he said.

“It’s a diabolical situation where the price of electricity in Australia is three times what it is in the US. Unfortunately we’re living in this crazy environment where we sell coal, uranium and gas to everyone else in the world but it doesn’t seem like we are able to effectively use it here for our own needs.”

More broadly, he said a decade of ineffective government policies had put a handbrake on the ability of Australian business to succeed.

“Unfortunately, eventually the country is going to have to pay the price for this poor management.”

Mr Tagliaferro said there may be a pick-up under a Bill Shorten-led Labor government.

“At the moment I don’t think things could be any worse. We basically have a government that’s basically running the country by opinion poll and every week the policies change depending on what the polls say. What we need is some certainty,” he said. The impact of ineffectual policy had added to the pain of sharemarket investors reeling from weeks of volatility, he said.

Manufacturing Australia chair­man James Fazzino has previously claimed high costs and declining energy security were materially damaging the ability of local manufacturers to compete against imports, impacting both potential and current manufacturing investments.

He claimed the business case for undertaking essential reinvestments and plant maintenance in many existing manufacturing operations was increasingly being scrutinised by boards and executive teams and that plant closures and job losses flowing from high energy costs were inevitable.

But chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, Innes Willox, said recently that challenges remained for the sector.

“While manufacturers are working hard to sustain these robust conditions, the uncertainties hanging over energy prices and energy policy continue to cloud the medium and longer-term outlook, particularly for the more energy-intensive segments of the industry,” 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

19 November, 2018

NSW plans a de facto confiscation of private school property

A central part of private property rights is the ability to say who uses it.  So this abolishes that right  It is pure communism. Why should those who have not paid for it be entitled to it?

Private schools could be forced to share their multimillion-dollar facilities with public school students under a radical new plan.

The proposal - pushed by Education Minister Rob Stokes - encourages Australia's most prestigious schools to open up their sports and arts facilities to ensure the best facilities can be used by all students regardless of their school.

Access to playing fields, swimming pools and gyms, along with theatres and libraries would be under the new proposal and may require tweaking the Education Act to come into effect.

'There are a couple of regulatory­ hurdles that we need to overcome,' Mr Stokes told The Saturday Telegraph.

Current regulations prevent private­ schools receiving government money to recover the costs of opening their facilities.

'The challenge then if they're getting small amounts of money to clean halls and so forth, after a community group has used it, is whether that offends those not-for-profit provisions — we're working through that.'   

Some of the nations top private schools charge fees of up to $40,000 a year, with many fee-paying parents unwilling to back the proposal.

However, Mr Stokes said the pay-off for private schools was in community goodwill when they wanted to expand.

'I know one of the challenges private schools have in developing their facilities have is that the surrounding communities can often object on the basis that they say, well we're getting the extra traffic, where is the benefit for us?, he said.

'By opening these facilities up and sharing them with the community, that means the community is much more likely to be open to expansion if there is a wider social benefit.'

Association of Independent Schools of NSW CEO Dr Geoff Newcombe said some schools have already made their facilities­ available and not all independent schools had 'lavish' facilities.

'On average, more than 90 per cent of the cost of capital works in independent schools is met by parents, fundraising and donations, with this figure at 100 per cent for most higher SES schools,' he said.

Instead, he said the notion that all private schools had lavish stereotypes was 'a stereotype' and noted that most school facilities were not markedly different to other schools nearby.

NSW P&C President Susie Boyd said she would welcome the change in private schools being opened up to public students, adding if private schools refused to open up to their community, they should be denied further funding.

The government's school infrastructure plan specifically looks at encouraging more joint-use projects, Mr Stokes said.


White magazine shuts down after refusing to feature same-sex weddings

No freedom of religion for Christians

One of Australia's leading wedding magazines, White, is shutting down following its refusal to feature same-sex weddings.

Founders Luke and Carla Burrell, who are Christian, say the magazine became the target of a damaging campaign after Australia voted to legalise same-sex marriage last year, and a number of advertisers withdrew their support.

"White Magazine is no longer economically viable," they said in a blog post. "As much as we love what we do and are inspired by the positive impact it's had, we need to draw the curtain on this part of our lives."

Earlier this year, hundreds of wedding industry professionals boycotted the magazine over its lack of LGBTQI diversity.

Former contributor Lara Hotz, who photographed a number of covers for the magazine, told Hack it made her feel "extremely hurt".

"It appears they are happy to take money, content and photographs from LGBTQI advertisers and contributors, but are yet to support and represent us in the same way as heterosexual couples are represented in the magazine," she said.


Greens policy would outlaw thermal coal as it is 'no longer compatible' with human life

The Australian Greens will propose a phase-out of thermal coal exports by 2030 in a significant strengthening of the party’s existing policy, which has focused on banning new mines.

The Greens’ climate change spokesman, Adam Bandt, will outline the shift on Friday in a speech to the United Firefighters Union in Hobart. The speech focuses on the growing risk of wildfires as a consequence of climate change.

Against the backdrop of catastrophic destruction in California, Bandt will tell his audience Australia’s biggest chance of avoiding climate catastrophe is by ceasing coal exports.

Under the reworked Greens policy, by 2030, it will no longer be legal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal. The proposal includes maximum penalties for breaches of the prohibition of seven years imprisonment, and hefty fines.

According to the speech circulated in advance, Bandt notes Australia’s current status as the world’s largest coal exporter and the likelihood that demand will remain high “for some time”.

Australia’s economy relies heavily on coal exports, which in 2017 were valued at $56.5bn, and governments rely on revenue from royalties and tax collections.

The latest World Energy Outlook, released this week, suggests coal has enjoyed a mini resurgence over the past two years because of demand from developing economies in Asia. That report also points out Australia is the only export-oriented country projected to ramp up coal production significantly over the next 20 years.

Bandt will say on Friday the current outlook indicates Australia “will continue to export hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal every year which, when burnt, produces about twice as much global warming pollution than Australia’s domestic economy”.

“The reality is every tonne of coal that is burnt makes the bushfire threat worse, and every tonne of coal burnt brings us closer to climate catastrophe – in other words the burning of coal is no longer compatible with the protection of human life.”

Bandt will flag bringing forward legislation, based on laws regulating the use of asbestos, to ban thermal coal exports in January 2030, and impose quotas in the interim so exports scale down between now and the proposed cut-off.

The policy proposal would see export permits auctioned annually, with the revenue raised supporting a transition fund for displaced coal workers to assist with structural adjustment.

Bandt says the science is clear – the world needs to shut down two-thirds of the coal fleet in the next 12 years, and the rest shortly after. He says Australia should take the opportunity of the coal phase-out to develop the clean energy economy and pursue renewable hydrogen exports, with burgeoning demand in Asia.

He will also acknowledge his proposed coal ban isn’t absolute. Bandt says there will continue to be a role in the short term for coking coal, which is used for the manufacture of steel.

With the Morrison government strongly supportive of the coal industry, and Labor flagging a managed transition, the bill Bandt proposes has no prospect of passing the parliament.

Labor is currently finalising the energy policy it will take to the next federal election. It is mulling a package of measures to guide the transition away from coal that will be triggered because of a more ambitious emissions reduction target.

The Labor package, expected to be outlined in coming weeks, is likely to include the creation of a new statutory authority to oversee the transition and the programs intended to ameliorate it; specific industrial relations arrangements to ensure workers are managed through the process; and programs to drive economic diversification.

Bandt on Friday will compare coal to tobacco and asbestos. “When we found out tobacco companies knew their product killed but kept on selling it anyway, they got sued and they got regulated.

“We once used asbestos in our buildings because we thought it was safe. But we now know better, so we have banned it. Now it is coal’s turn. “Coal is a product that kills people when used according to the seller’s instructions.”


How a 10-year-old child was repeatedly beaten and tortured by her sadistic African step-father – who is now rotting in jail after murdering her older sister

Why was this monster in Australia?

An evil step-father has admitted to repeatedly torturing and savagely beating two young girls - bashing one of them to death.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, subjected his two step-daughters aged 10 and 12 years old to sickening assaults at their home in the New South Wales Hunter Region.

The 10-year-old girl was tied to a bed and beaten, hit over the head with a metal spoon, thrown to the ground, had her arm broken, punched in the ribs until they fractured and hit with a power cord, the Newcastle Herald reported.

She was also subjected to a three-day long beating carried out by her step-father, during which he placed metal balls inside a necktie and whipped her.

On the second day of the ordeal, she walked out of the room to find her family sitting around a dinner table eating McDonald's.

Despite the girl's serious injuries, her mother did nothing to stop the attacks and did not seek medical attention for her.

The beatings have had such a physical and emotional toll on the girl that she was unable to provide a statement to be read in court, Justice Peter Hamill said.

She was kept out of  school for weeks at a time due to her injuries, and it was only after her sister's death that she saw a doctor.

The girl has been separated from her extended family, and told her foster carer that she 'despairs that she will never be able to speak to her ''best friend'' again', Justice Hamill said.

'She misses her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from whom she has been separated as a result of these events,' he said.

'She feels she will need ongoing psychological support for the rest of her life. She sleeps with the light on every night. 'She says ''Every day this is with me. This is my story and I wish it wasn't''.'

The step-father also beat and killed the girl's 12-year-old sister, who was found dead in her bed in September 2015.

He is serving 37-year sentence in jail for her murder, and on Wednesday he appeared in Newcastle Local Court. He pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and will be sentenced next year.

He is eligible for parole in 2043 at age 59, when he will be deported back to Africa.

The girls' mother pleaded guilty to manslaughter due to 'gross criminal negligence' and to failing to provide for a child causing danger or serious injury.


 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, 2018

Forty of the 300 Nauru refugees who elected to resettle in America are pleading to come back because 'it's the land of the free but there are a lot of catches'

Making clear that they are economic migrants, not refugees

Nauru's President Baron Waqa told The Australian that life on Nauru is much cheaper, allowing refugees holidays to Fiji, healthcare, free housing and jobs.

He said it is not surprising some refugees have asked to come back. 'The US is a difficult place to live with a lot of competition when it comes to work,' he said. 'It is the land of the free but there are a lot of catches.'

Mr Waqa said he takes his role of caring for the refugees seriously claiming the government's mistreatment of the refugees is untrue, as they remain wary of the some refugees' political agendas on the island.

'We try and understand the situation because there are people that want to attack us because of our involvement in the process,' Mr Waqa told the publication.

Revealing his disdain at how the media perceives the treatment of refugees, Mr Waqa said he wants the media to report on the freedom the refugees have.

He revealed they move around the island freely, own businesses, and working for his government.

Refugee Mohammad Noor is using his skills he gained while studying and working in Afghanistan to work as a nurse at the $27million hospital that was built by Australia.

The 37-year-old hopes to one day be reunited with his wife and seven children and is given the option to bring them to Nauru. 

Slamming the Australian-based advocates, Mr Waqa said they have ignited false hope among refugees.

Nauru's police commissioner Corey Caleb concurred Mr Waqa's statement, saying the refugees and asylum seekers were given 'wrong advice' on how to gain attention in hopes of being removed from the island.

Mr Caleb said police officer presence increased from 110 to 130 due to the constant calls to authorities about problems between locals and refugees and asylum seekers.

He said it does not help their case, because police are not finding any evidence based on the allegations and the alleged victims refuse to make a statement.


School cancels prize giving ceremony so students don't get upset when they're beaten by their friends

A school has cancelled prize giving ceremonies in a bid to move away from ranking systems so students don't get upset when they're beaten by their friends.

Silverdale Primary School, on Auckland's Hibiscus Coast in New Zealand, announced their plans to abolish award ceremonies in their October school newsletter.

Principal Cameron Lockie told the New Zealand Herald handing out awards at end of year ceremonies no longer aligned with the school's beliefs and values.

Mr Lockie said singling out students as 'special' made no sense - especially when the majority of kids are trying their hardest to be the best they can be.

'Try explaining to a child that has tried hard all year with their learning that they didn't get the Commitment to Learning award because someone else was trying harder, this is subjective,' he said.

The principal said schools are supposed to be about 'learning and creativity' to empower children, not 'ranking and sorting', which only rewards high achievers.

'If we continuously tell our children that every single one of them is important to our school, I do not see how end-of-year prizegiving aligns with this belief,' he said.

The decision to change the school's award ceremonies was met with mixed reviews from parents and generated 'a lot of talk' in the community. 

Silverdale resident Tracey Smith questioned the principal's decision, saying if we don't each kids to how to fail, they may struggle transitioning into high school.

But another resident, Theresa Yaroshevich, agreed with Mr Lockie, saying prizegiving ceremonies are outdated and awkward to sit through for those not being rewarded.

The principal explained his reasons for the changes in the October newsletter.

Mr Lockie wrote the changes wouldn't have an impact on certain reward systems, such as sporting activities, inter-school competitions and team awards.

He said prizes would continue for these events as they were 'competitive' and not 'subjective'.

If a student comes first in the cross country race, then obviously they've won and deserve first place and a reward, everyone understands that, he said.

The principal said the way to promote 'lifelong learners' is to provide them with an engaging curriculum in a 'safe, caring community in which to discover and create'.   

He said there is 'abundant research' that show awards can undermine a child's intrinsic motivation to to succeed.

'We are trying to get our children to succeed because they want to succeed and not because of a reward at the end which is subjective at best,' he said.  


NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham has a plan to cut the state’s immigration by two-thirds

NSW’S immigration intake would be slashed by two-thirds to 35,000 a year with all newcomers subjected to “national­ interest” selection criteria to save Sydney “suffocating” from overpopulation and overdevelopment, One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham has said.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the NSW policy platform of the new state leader of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party, which targets population growth, planning and infrastructure as top issues impacting Sydney.

The eight-point plan includes a national interest measure­ for migrants and abolishing leading planning body the Greater Sydney Commission, headed by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s wife, Lucy.

“Let’s save Sydney from suffocating overpopulation and overdevelopment,” Mr Latham (pictured) told the Telegraph.

The policy document, titled Saving Sydney, would involve cutting immigration numbers by roughly two-thirds — nationally­ this would be from 190,000 to 70,000 and for NSW it would be from 100,000 to 35,000 — and scrap the “special refugee” program, which placed 6000 refugees into Fairfield in 2015.

It comes after Premier Gladys Berejiklian last month called for a “breather” on migration­ in NSW, saying the numbers needed to halve from last year’s intake of 100,000 net migrants.


1. Our immigration program must be framed in the interest of the people who live here now. This is especially true of policies impacting on an over-crowded, increasingly dysfunctional city like Sydney.

2. Permanent immigration numbers should be slashed, bringing them closer to their 20th Century average of 70,000 per annum (down from 190,000 currently). Temporary visas must also be cut back.

3. NSW should not take any more special refugee intakes, given the mismanagement of Syrian refugee settlement by the Baird Government.

4. Sydney’s planning laws must be overhauled to make the city more efficient and sustainable. An urban containment strategy is needed. For existing suburbs, One Nation supports development and density restrictions in under-serviced, over-crowded LGAs. The Government should publish a comprehensive report identifying these suburbs (most likely, most of the city).

5. The release of greenfields residential land also needs to be limited to prevent further urban sprawl. Priority should be given to the development of employment land in Sydney to reduce commuter-travelling times, especially in the city’s outer suburbs.

6. The Greater Sydney Commission should be disbanded (at an annual cost saving of $18 million) as it has become a mouthpiece for Big Australia immigration and unlimited population growth in Sydney. Political appointments and unrealistic planning strategies have dominated the Commission’s work.

7. The Greater Sydney Commission’s excessive housing and population growth targets should also be abandoned. NSW Planning should be given the task of containing the city’s growth to reasonable lifestyle, infrastructure and environmental limits. Local Councils, as the level of government closest to the people, also have a critical role to play in limiting densities and development in line with local infrastructure/service capacity. One Nation respects this vital local government urban planning role.

8. The State Government should scale back the responsibilities of the so-called Western Sydney Aerotropolis to focus on employment creation in the immediate vicinity of the new Badgerys Creek Airport, rather than land acquisition and development for residential purposes. In the fair treatment of existing property rights, affected landowners should be bought out at enhanced (rezoned) land values, rather than current unimproved rates.


How would you close the gender pay gap?

Once again, we’ve been told women are being paid less than the “bloke sitting next to them” doing the same work. Sorry, but that’s just not true

In 1961, American historian Daniel J Boorstin coined the phrase “pseudo-events” to describe a growing trend in journalism and politics.

An actual event, the sort of thing that used to fill newspaper columns, may be a plane crash, a shooting or a fire. A pseudo-event, by contrast, is a staged event produced solely for the purpose of generating media coverage — think press conferences, pre-planned protests or the release of a research report.

Yesterday, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency released its annual gender equality scorecard, announcing the “gender pay gap” had fallen by 1.1 per cent but that men still earnt 21.3 per cent more than women on average. This was a pseudo-event about a pseudo-problem.

But every single media outlet (including dutifully reported on it as they do year after year. “Pay gap narrows as employers work towards equality,” one headline read. “Gender pay gap still depressingly wide,” another said.

One columnist argued the gender pay gap was a “crisis we can no longer ignore”. Another journalist wrote that the data showed women were being paid less than “the bloke sitting next to you”.

Except that is completely untrue. It points to the persistent myth that women are paid less than men “sitting next” to them for doing the same jobs.

The WGEA even admits this, noting that its data “does not reflect comparisons of women and men in the same roles — that is, like-for-like gaps”.

While there may be individual cases where women are found to be earning less than male colleagues for the same work, there is no widespread, systemic “gender pay gap” defined in this way — it’s illegal.

Equal pay for equal work has been law in Australia since 1969.

The headline gender pay gap compares average full-time weekly earnings for men and women across the entire population.

It doesn’t take into account industry, experience, education, hours worked, or any of the hundreds of other fairly relevant factors that determine how much people are paid.

In other words, it’s an entirely meaningless statistic.

Critics of the gender pay gap argument say it all comes down to choice — women choose to take time out of the workforce to raise a family, for example, or choose to work in nursing rather than finance.

The counterargument is that many of those “choices” aren’t really choices — not only is there a glass ceiling, there are “glass walls” preventing women from entering higher-paying, male-dominated industries.

According the WGEA, factors influencing the gender pay gap include “discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions” and “women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work”.

The left and the right have argued for years about not only whether the gender pay gap exists but even if it did, whether anything should be done about it.

The real question worth exploring is this — when groups like the WGEA talk about closing the gender pay gap, how are they proposing to do it?

It’s safe to say no one believes women should be discriminated against based on their sex when employers are negotiating individual contracts or considering candidates for senior management roles.

There’s also an obvious argument for employers to offer greater flexibility and support so women aren’t forced to choose between career and family.

But eliminating those kinds of biases would only account for a very small percentage of the observed difference in earnings between men and women across the entire population.

That is, CEOs and senior company executives make up a tiny sliver of the entire workforce, meaning even if there were 50-50 representation, the difference to the overall “gender pay gap” would be immeasurable.

The WGEA is very focused on the glass ceiling issue but conflates barriers to women in upper management with the broader pay gap — and they don’t appear to have actually answered how they propose addressing the remainder.

So taking the “closing the gender pay gap” argument to its logical conclusion, how could complete gender parity be achieved?

Should men be forced out of male-dominated industries and into female-dominated industries en masse, and vice versa, until the ratio is exactly 50-50?

Or should the federal government step in and mandate equal pay rates across industries, so that a school is forced to pay a female schoolteacher the same as bank pays a male stockbroker — and conversely, should a factory then be forced to pay a male worker the same as a female GP?

Within workplaces, should employers be required to pay female employees more than their male counterparts doing the same work, to make up for their shorter overall time in the workforce?

All of these utopian solutions would require some kind of drastic, Soviet-style state compulsion and a massive reduction in individual liberty.

The reality is there are innate differences in interests that are always going to result in uneven distribution of men and women across industries.

Often raised in this context is the “Nordic gender equality paradox” — the more “equal” the society, the greater the tendency of men and women to gravitate towards traditional gender roles.

As University of Michigan economics professor Mark J Perry writes, there will always be a gender earnings gap “unless and until there are equal numbers of each gender working in the same occupations, for the same number of hours and with the same years of continuous experience”.

“The only way to close that gap is to get to a point where men and women are completely interchangeable in their family and work roles, and getting to that outcome is probably impossible,” he said.

“And (it’s) an outcome that even women apparently don’t want, given their current demonstrated preferences for career options, work hours, commute times and family responsibilities.”

Or as former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher put it in 1975, “We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.”


 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, 2018

Greenies protect their own

Greenies can do no wrong, apparently

Let’s re-imagine, just for a minute, last week’s furore around the alleged sexual assault of ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper by former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley.

Let’s imagine that instead of resigning from the leadership within 24 hours, that Foley and the Labor Party instead branded Ms Raper a drug-using slut. Deeply offensive, I know, but stick with me.

Let’s imagine that after levelling those allegations, Foley refused to stand down and the Labor Party refused to even debate internally whether or not he should.

Now let’s try and imagine the public and media response to Ms Raper having her character assassinated for having the audacity to speak out against a politician in a position of power who sexually assaulted her.

The fact is, you don’t actually have to try particularly hard to imagine it. You only need to know the story of Ella Buckland, a former Greens NSW staffer who earlier this year levelled startlingly similar allegations against Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland alleges that after a work function, she was sexually assaulted by a drunken politician.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland alleges that following the alleged assault, she received a phone call from her alleged attacker.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland waited a considerable period of time to air those allegations.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland was the subject of defamation threats when the issue became public.

Those are the commonalities. The differences, however, are stark.

In Ms Raper’s case, Luke Foley allegedly slipped his hand down her dress and between her underpants, resting his hand on her bare buttocks. In Ms Buckland’s case, Mr Buckingham allegedly approached her from behind, grabbed her “roughly on the vagina” and kissed her neck.

In Ms Raper’s case, she was dragged into the public fray by a Coalition politician seeking to exploit a political advantage. In Ms Buckland’s case, her motivation in coming forward was publicly and falsely ascribed to her being involved in a factional move against Mr Buckingham. Ms Buckland has not been a member of the Greens for several years and has no day-to-day involvement in politics.

In Ms Raper’s case, she received a phone call from her alleged abuser, who apologised and promised to resign. In Ms Buckland’s case, she received a phone call from her alleged abuser who threatened that she should be ‘careful in her job’.

In Ms Raper’s case, she subsequently received threats of defamation when the issue became public, only to have those threats widely shouted down. In Ms Buckland’s case, she received threats of defamation before the issue even became public, and Mr Buckingham has gone on to threaten to sue – and actively sue – multiple people.

In Ms Raper’s case, there was a startlingly swift resolution to the issue. Luke Foley announced his resignation almost immediately. Ms Buckland made her complaint internally through the Greens in April. It took months to progress, but not before a subsequent internal investigation finally turned the blow torch on Ms Buckland herself, investigating the baseless allegations that she was a ‘promiscuous drug user’.

The other glaring differences, of course, included the reactions of media and politicians.

In terms of the media response, the alleged assault on Ashleigh Raper was a major news story that dominated news coverage last week. The fall out is still being felt a week later. Ella Buckland’s alleged assault attracted far less interest. With the exception of the ABC, who broke the Buckland story in August and followed it up on Radio National just a day before the Foley allegations broke, no other mainstream media outlet has seen fit to report a syllable of the allegations levelled by Ms Buckland.

The most unkind interpretation of that silence is that when women are allegedly sexually assaulted, media interest is optional. But when journalists are allegedly sexually assaulted, it’s stacks on.

Fortunately, in the brave new world of social media, mainstream news outlets no longer control all the channels of public communication. That’s where the reactions of politicians come into focus.

Over the past week, anger at the difference in the treatment of Ms Buckland and Ms Raper has been blowing up on social media, with a growing number of people doing the job of the mainstream media by calling out the obvious hypocrisy between the two approaches.

Square in the gun of that growing public outrage has been the actions of Greens politicians, most of whom stayed silent for months over the Buckland allegations, but wasted no time in coming out to condemn Luke Foley.

Greens MLA Cate Faehrmann weighed into the Foley issue last week. The condemnation of her obvious hypocrisy was swift.

That public condemnation of Faehrmann comes in the absence of all the facts, which are actually much worse than they appear. Not only has Faerhmann said nothing publicly about the alleged assault on Ella Buckland, she recently voted in a Greens NSW State Delegates Council meeting against any debate on whether or not Mr Buckingham should stand down from his position while an internal investigation was ongoing.

Read that again: Faerhmann didn’t just vote against any action being taken against Buckingham, she voted to suppress any debate about any action being taken against Buckingham.

Greens MP for the seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong has also seen fit to weigh publicly into the fray around Foley, while having nothing to say about Jeremy Buckingham.

Labor, obviously, handled their crisis much better. Even Bill Shorten, the federal leader of the Labor Party and a man known for his inability to avoid spin at every available opportunity, weighed into the debate, saying, “Modern society has no tolerance for the behaviour described.”

So how did the Greens federal leader, Richard Di Natale respond to the Buckland allegations?

Helpfully, he was asked about them by Fran Kelly, on ABC Radio National less than 24 hours before the Foley allegations broke. The response is telling.

FRAN KELLY: Are you satisfied this matter has been dealt with appropriately?

DI NATALE: Well as you’ve said Fran, that was the subject of an independent external investigation and obviously it’s a matter for the NSW Greens to respond to that.

KELLY: Have you intervened in any way?

DI NATALE: We have very clearly protocols about how these are dealt with. We’ve respond based on the advice of a number of women’s groups, a number of experts in this field. We’ve got clear protocols. We had an independent investigation take place and we’ve made it very clear the party needs to take these cases, treat them really seriously, create an environment where women come forward and are supported in taking action, and we’ve done those things, and now this is a matter for the NSW Greens.

KELLY: Does Jeremy Buckingham have your confidence?

DI NATALE: Well, as I said Fran this is now a matter for the NSW Greens…

KELLY: Well you’re the leader of the Greens, does he have your confidence?

DI NATALE: Well I’m the leader of the federal party. And our federal party has made it very clear there is no role for members of parliament to be making judgements about cases that have been thoroughly investigated, and that’s as it should be.”

The deafening silence and spin aside, that last statement – about a ‘thorough investigation’ – is the claim on which Di Natale should perhaps stand most condemned.

It is that very ‘thorough investigation’ which led directly to the allegations against Ella Buckland that she was a ‘promiscuous intravenous drug user’.

If that’s what a ‘thorough Greens-led investigation’ looks like, you have to wonder what hope there is for the party.

Having said that, there are good people within Greens NSW, and the party more broadly, who have worked hard internally to take the right path on this issue. I acknowledge that sometimes, the right path is a difficult one to map out.

The Greens have, to some extent, been frozen by a strong belief in affording procedural fairness to Jeremy Buckingham, while also supporting Ella Buckland. But that begs one simple question: Why have Greens MLA’s been prepared to afford Jeremy Buckingham that ‘procedural fairness’, but not Luke Foley?

Why did Greens politicians who had nothing to say about the alleged assault of one of their own, by one of the own, not feel the same weight of ethical constraints when it came to a member of the Labor Party?

The answer is obvious: politics.

While that plays out, in all its unedifying glory, the Greens continue to tie themselves in knots, determined to ‘respect the process’, despite the outcome.

As we speak, fresh moves are afoot within the party to remove Jeremy Buckingham from the Greens’ ballot in the March 2019 state election. We’ll have that story in a day or so, and there are more revelations to come. New Matilda’s investigation into the Greens handling of sexual assault allegations is ongoing, albeit moving at the snail’s pace for which we’re famous (you can help speed it up by clicking on the link directly below and contributing to our fundraiser).

Whatever the outcome though, the Greens, as a party, has clearly lost its way. On this issue at least, it is hopelessly compromised.

The last word belongs to Ashleigh Raper, whose dignified and moving statement should be required reading for all men in power, and for all political parties.

“It is clear to me that a woman who is the subject of such behaviour is often the person who suffers once a complaint is made,” Ms Raper wrote.

“I cherished my position as a state political reporter and feared that would be lost. I also feared the negative impact the publicity could have on me personally and on my young family. This impact is now being felt profoundly.”

I’m sure Ella Buckland, who did lose her dream job, can empathise.


Australian immigration and asylum system needs cutback

Tony Abbott has repeated his call for Scott Morrison to cut the rate of immigration as the government redoubles efforts to engineer an overhaul of the program, including giving the states more input into where migrants settle.

The former prime minister used his regular spot on 2GB on Monday to declare that the current intake needed to come down until infrastructure, housing and “integration” caught up.

Even though the intake is down on previous years, Abbott said there was “absolutely no doubt” that “record” numbers of “newcomers” were putting “downward pressure on wages, upward pressure on housing prices and adding to the crush on our roads and public transport”.

“We do need to get the numbers down,” he said.

Work on an overhaul of the program began under Malcolm Turnbull, partly in response to positioning within Liberal party ranks. Abbott has been campaigning for months on immigration, and Peter Dutton also signalled support for a cut in the rate in the build-up to the government’s leadership crisis.

Turnbull, and Morrison as treasurer, resisted calls for a cut in the rate and put in place a process examining options to relieve pressure in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as boosting spending on infrastructure.

Migration is running under the 190,000 cap: 162,417 people permanently migrated to Australia in 2017-18 – well under the cap and down from 183,608 the year before.

Abbott in February advocated a target of 110,000 migrants a year, prompting Morrison to say at the time: “If you cut the level of permanent immigration to Australia by 80,000, that would cost the budget, that would hit the bottom line, the deficit, by $4bn to $5bn over the next four years.”

On Monday Morrison said the government was looking to pursue a better process with state governments to ensure migration levels aligned with the “carrying capacity” in large cities including Sydney and Melbourne. He said the current process was not working as it should.

The prime minister said state governments, with planning departments responsible for building schools, roads and hospitals, were best placed to indicate to the commonwealth “their carrying capacity”.

“Our process to date has not been enough ground-up,” he told Sky News. “Having a top-down approach to migration I don’t think has served us well.”

He said the process under development would see the commonwealth continue to set the cap, and the system would remain demand-driven, but the states would have greater input in determining how migrants were distributed by providing advice about whether local services matched growing population levels.

Morrison said the “polarisation” in the migration debate was unhelpful to getting a practical outcome. The prime minister said he was attempting to set a middle course to manage what is always a hot-button political issue.

More migrants were needed in Perth, Darwin and Adelaide, he said, and the commonwealth had scope with temporary migrants to determine the terms of their settlement.

Dutton, the home affairs minister, told reporters on Monday that migrants could not be compelled “to stay within a particular postcode” but he said “there are incentives you can provide” and that’s what the government was examining.

Abbott told 2GB he was sanguine about creating a new process with the states if it was related to reducing the current intake. “If this talk with the states is part of getting the numbers down, all well and good, let’s expedite it.”


Support for a republic slumps to 25-year low

The recent trip to Australia by Prince Harry and new wife Meghan has changed Australians’ stance on a key issue.

Royals vs Republic: Have Harry and Meghan turned Aussies into monarchists?

Young Australians appear to have revived support for the monarchy with support for a republic slumping to a 25-year low after a visit from Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan.

A Newspoll survey found only 40 per cent of respondents favoured Australia becoming a republic, the lowest level of support in 25 years and 10 points down from a similar poll conducted before the royal tour in October.

Australian Monarchist League national chair Philip Benwell told there’s been growing support for the Royals from younger generations of Australians.

“The majority of our members are under 40, many of them are in their 20s and we are now getting a number of 16 to 17 year olds through, who are very staunch,” he said.

Mr Benwell believes the renewed support is due to three factors. It’s partly a reaction against the pro-republic, anti-Establishment attitudes of the Baby Boomer generation, and because the younger generation have a rapport with the younger royals, who are more relaxed and not so strict on protocol.

“The young Royals are naturals and of course, are closer to their age groups whereas the Queen and Prince of Wales are elderly,” he said.

Mr Benwell said young people also love the way of life in Australia, which they equate to the system of governance and don’t want it to change.

Just in the last week, Mr Benwell said about 1000 people had either liked the organisation’s Facebook page or signed up to be members.

“We’ve got financial members in the several thousands and a support base of 40,000 and it’s growing continuously,” he said.

Australian Republic Movement national director Michael Cooney acknowledged the organisation had to work harder to gain support.

“We know a republic is not inevitable,” Mr Cooney told “Australians want to know what the benefits are and our campaign has to work hard to have conversations with more of our citizens.

“The queen’s grandchildren are popular and I’m sure their visit has had a short term effect. “They will be welcome guests in an Australian republic.”

Mr Cooney said the organisation would continue to work towards achieving a republic but appears to have dropped its target of achieving this by 2022.

It’s now working towards a referendum in 2022 on two questions: Should Australia have an Australian head of state? And how should our head of state be chosen?

The Labor Party, which is favoured to take power in the next national elections due by May, announced on Monday that it would organise another plebiscite on becoming a republic if elected.

Monday’s poll indicated that bid would likely fail as it did in 1999.

However, there are limits to the Royal love-in and the outrage over former prime minister Tony Abbott’s decision to grant a knighthood to Prince Philip on Australia Day illustrates this. Mr Benwell said he didn’t support the knighthood and there was a reaction to Mr Abbott making a captain’s call without much consultation but it was also bad timing.

“It would have been accepted if it had been given when the Queen became the longest serving monarch later in the year,” Mr Benwell said.

“Australia Day has become a national day and people (whether they were) monarchists or republicans, didn’t feel like it was good idea.

A total of 48 per cent of the 1800 people questioned in the Newspoll said they opposed ending the colonial tradition of having the British monarch act as Australia’s head of state.

It was the first time since a 1999 referendum on the issue which maintained Australia’s status that supporters of the monarchy outnumbered republicans.

The turnaround in public sentiment came after Prince Harry and Meghan spent two weeks touring Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands in a tour that drew adoring throngs.

It was the first international tour for Harry and the American-born former actress since the couple were married in May, and began with the announcement that Meghan was pregnant.

She charmed crowds with a down-to-earth style which saw her halt the royal entourage several times to give shy toddlers a cuddle and bring homemade banana bread to an afternoon tea in the outback town of Dubbo.


Huge green grocer cicada unearths itself near Mt Gambier

A huge, green insect with a screeching call that would “put the Red Hot Chili Peppers to shame” has unearthed itself in SA’s South-East.

The green grocer cicada is one of the loudest insects in the world and after spending years underground as caterpillars, they have now emerged for six weeks of noisy mating.

One of the ear-piercing insects was spotted at Mt Gambier yesterday, measuring a whopping six centimetres, two more than their average length.

While it is too early to say, there could be “many thousands” of these cicadas emerging with it, according to UniSA Professor Chris Daniels.

“They all emerge at once, they mate like crazy and then they die,” he said.

“So you get some appearances of really large numbers of cicadas every two to 17 years, depending on the species.”

This particular species of cicada, the green grocer or yellow monday depending on the colour, can spend up to seven years underground feeding on plant roots before emerging.

And when they do emerge — usually near forests around Christmas time — the sound is deafening.

“They’re so loud, they can actually deafen themselves,” Professor Daniels said. “They would put the Red Hot Chili Peppers to shame.”

The noise, which is used to find a mate as quickly as possible while fending off predators, can reach up to 110 decibels.

Around sunset is the best time to hear the male’s harsh, high-pitched call for females in their six-week final hurrah.


 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, 2018

Collateral damage of the debased #MeToo crusade

Janet Albrectsen  is generally right below but her claim that no conservative should copy the unscrupulous tactics of the Left is rather idealistic. A prophet long ago warned "Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7).  The Left deserve a taste of how their bad behaviour affects people

In the latest outpouring of #MeToo miasma, former ABC managing director Michelle Guth­rie claims former chairman Justin Milne touched her inappropriately on her back. It was “unprofessional” and “icky”, she told ABC’s Four Corners on Monday evening. Guthrie has gone public amid a war of words over who said and did what to whom just before she was sacked and he resigned.

Let’s just say that Guthrie is a woman in her early 50s who stood on equal footing with the former chairman. She chose not to make a formal complaint at the time. Who knows what happened? And, quite frankly, who cares?

More of us are concerned about Ashleigh Raper. The ABC journalist became an innocent ­casualty when powerful men ­decided to exploit the #MeToo zeitgeist for their brutal political games. Before we get to that, if it is true, the alleged behaviour of ­former NSW Labor opposition leader Luke Foley towards Raper at Christmas drinks in 2016 was shameful. More than that, if a man puts his hand on a woman’s back, slides his hand inside her dress and rests his hand on her backside without consent, that is assault. At a press conference last week, Foley denied the allegations and said he planned to launch defamation proceedings. Given there was a witness, this sordid tale has a way to go yet.

Women are right to be just as outraged about Foley’s alleged ­behaviour as the contemptible and uncontested actions of NSW Liberal minister David Elliott and federal Liberal MP Eric Abetz who exploited the #MeToo zeitgeist for their partisan political pur­poses. A month ago, under the coward’s cloak of parliamentary privilege, Elliott alluded to Foley’s actions against an unnamed ABC journalist. Elliott’s actions made it impossible for Raper to remain ­silent.

A week later Abetz also mentioned an alleged “assault”, “sexual assault” and “indecent assault” while grilling ABC management at a Senate estimates committee. His base motives forced the ABC’s acting managing director into the ridiculous position of saying the matter would be investigated, even though Raper had not made a complaint.

Who gave these two men the right to set the hares running about an ABC journalist who was allegedly harassed or assaulted by Foley?

Elliott and Abetz knew that Raper had chosen to stay silent. She did what many, many women do in the same circumstances. She decided to get on with her life, in her case as a political journalist. She did not join the public #MeToo campaign that started a year later. Up until last week, Raper made no public comment or formal complaint.

These were not men in shining armour acting on behalf of Raper when they pursued Foley and the ABC respectively. The two Liberal politicians were acting for their own craven purposes; they knowingly disregarded her choice to ­remain silent. It is especially rank behaviour from two men who dress daily in the moral garb of ­social conservatives within the Liberal Party.

On Friday morning Elliott ­requested privacy. What a joke. Elliott and Abetz ignored Raper’s right to privacy, forcing her into the public domain against her will to damage Foley and embarrass the ABC.

Elliott’s late apology on Saturday only compounds the stench. This is politics 101: a politician apologises only when it becomes untenable not to do so. And even then the apology is predictably lame, a means of deflecting bad behaviour rather than serious reflection about what he did wrong.

We can all agree then that Raper became collateral damage when two senior Liberal men ­exploited the #MeToo crusade for their own political purposes.

But here comes the part that will cause some women conniptions, as is often the case with #MeToo: many women have man­ipulated the social media campaign for their own purposes, corrupting its focus and undermining its credibility. That doesn’t excuse the mistreatment of Raper by the men involved in this sleazy saga. It adds insult to injury that both sexes have used #MeToo for their own ulterior motives.

When millions of women, each with their own agenda, jumped aboard the #MeToo movement early on, it became a train wreck waiting to happen for men and women alike. This early exploitation was an open invitation to others to use the same confected emotion and rage for their personal and political purposes too.

Perhaps if the early champions of #MeToo had demanded a more disciplined focus on serious harassment and sexual assault, their campaign would not have gone off the rails in the way it has. Those who are so outraged over Raper’s treatment should have had the foresight to see this coming. Some unintended consequences are predictable even early on.

Instead, #MeToo became a shoddy conduit for political causes and trivial episodes. And a clique of female supporters would not countenance debate that veered from their fast-forming orthodoxy. They discouraged discussion about how we define sexual harassment and treated those of us who suggested some nuance, context, due process and less prudery as traitors to the sisterhood. The same women so quick to condemn men for exploiting claims of sexual harassment will not concede that women have done the same. Outing a man ­because he didn’t turn out to be Prince Charming and the sex was bad was lumped in the #MeToo basket with everything from a wink and a wolf-whistle, leaving their cause badly damaged.

Three key words suffice as evidence of the wicked manipulation of the #MeToo movement: women, Democrats and Kavanaugh. Even the American Civil Liberties Union exploited the emotion-laden #MeToo zeitgeist to try to stop Brett Kavanaugh becoming a Supreme Court justice. A group that includes civil liberties in its name is prima facie dedic­ated to due process. Not when it came to Donald Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court. Here, the ACLU used unproven and highly contested claims by women to ­oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The debasement of the #MeToo movement made it ­inevitable that it would be exploited by men and women and people of all political persuasions. Last week, during a fiery White House press conference, a Trump aide took the microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta. Later that day Acosta’s press credentials were suspended and Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern”, calling it “absolutely unacceptable”. The video shows Acosta’s hand brushing the intern’s shoulder as she takes the microphone from him. But in an age of confected #MeToo outrage, everyone gets a shot at emoting over even the most trivial #MeToo matter.

Now that a Republican president and two Liberal politicians in Australia have exploited this hashtag crusade for their own tawdry ends, maybe more backers of #MeToo will concede that its early corruption encouraged precisely this outcome: a political free-for-all where women have become collateral damage too.


Australia's annual wage growth the highest in three years

Despite leadership troubles, a conservative administration has still delivered the goods.  Even if a conservatve administration does no more than block the destructive Left from power, it can still do a lot of good

Hourly pay rates across Australia rose 0.6% in September quarter, meeting expectations, and have now increased 2.3% over the past 12 months for the highest annual growth rate in three years.

Public-sector hourly rates of pay lifted 0.6% in the quarter and 2.5% over the year, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Private-sector workers received a 0.5% increase in the quarter and 2.1% over the year.

The September quarter result was in line with economist expectations but seemingly below what traders expected, with the Australian dollar dipping in reaction to the data, from US72.35c to US72.21c.

“There was a higher rate of wage growth recorded across the majority of industries in comparison to this time last year, reflecting the influence of improved labour market conditions,” the ABS chief economist, Bruce Hockman, said.

In original terms, annual growth to the September quarter 2018 ranged from 1.8% for the mining and retail trade industries to 2.8% for the healthcare and social assistance industry.

The Reserve Bank has been scanning the economy for signs of stronger wages growth before it considers raising interest rates.


Australian universities miffed about inquiry into freedom of speech

The government has asked a former chief justice of the high court, Robert French, to review the health of freedom of speech on Australia’s university campuses.

The review will take four months, and French has been asked to assess the framework protecting freedom of expression and inquiry, including the multiple codes of conduct and enterprise agreements that govern campuses.

He has also been asked to consider policy options that could “better promote” freedom of expression, including the development of a sector-led code of conduct to govern university behaviour.

The request comes after a series of controversies on university campuses where students and academic staff have been accused of stifling public debates.

But Universities Australia has questioned why the review is necessary, saying campuses should be free of political interference. [Including interference from Left-Fascist goons

It has also criticised some media commentators for being “very wide of the mark” and “selectively quoting from university policies and codes” to make their arguments about free speech.

Dan Tehan, the education minister, said universities were important institutions where ideas were debated and challenged and freedom of speech had to be protected “even where what is being said may be unpopular or challenging”.

“The best university education is one where students are taught to think for themselves, and protecting freedom of speech is how to guarantee that,” he said.

“If necessary, the French review could lead to the development of an Australian version of the Chicago statement, which is a voluntary framework that clearly sets out a university’s commitment to promoting freedom of speech.”

French said he would respect the “legitimate institutional autonomy” of Australia’s universities while undertaking the review.

“An important object of the review will be the production of a resource including a model code which can be used as a point of reference in any consideration by universities of their existing rules and guidelines relating to the protection of freedom of speech on campus,” he said.

But Universities Australia said the country’s universities had more than 100 policies, codes and agreements that support free intellectual inquiry, ensuring a culture of lively debate and a vigorous contest of ideas.

Prof Margaret Gardner, the chair of Universities Australia, said some assertions in media reporting had mischaracterised academic freedom and downplayed the robust state of debate on campuses.

“Some commentators on free speech at Australian universities have been very wide of the mark – jumping to the wrong conclusions or selectively quoting from university policies and codes,” she said.

“These same conclusions would not meet the threshold test of academic inquiry — informed by evidence and facts.

“They are made by advocates who appear to want government to override university autonomy with heavy-handed external regulation and red tape.

“Despite these incorrect assertions, a wide range of opinions are freely expressed on campus – in the context of Australian law and university codes of conduct.”

Gardner also said Universities Australia had not provided input for the review’s terms of reference.

A press release from Tehan’s office on Wednesday said: “Universities Australia have been consulted on the review.”


Almost 300 asylum seekers prevented from sailing to Australia in past year

International authorities, with the assistance of Australia, have “disrupted” at least 10 alleged attempts to transport almost 300 asylum seekers to Australia by boat in the past 14 months, documents obtained under freedom of information reveal.

The documents, from the federal home affairs department, record the number of “foreign law enforcement agency” (FLEA) disruptions since 2013.

FLEA disruptions were set up as one of three components of the Abbott government’s border policy – alongside boat turnbacks and offshore detention and processing.

Since the establishment of the new policy there have been 78 disruption operations involving 2,525 “potential illegal immigrants” – the terms used in the documents referencing suspected passengers.

In the year to August there were 10 disruptions involving 297 people, the majority occurring in Indonesia but also in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

FLEA disruptions are operated by a multi-agency taskforce led by Australian federal police and reporting to the head of Australia’s border enforcement operation, air vice marshal Stephen Osborne, and seek to prevent vessels carrying asylum seekers from leaving international ports including Indonesia.

The taskforce has stationed more than a dozen extra liaison officers in various countries, on top of almost 100 already there, targeting known transport hubs, Guardian Australia understands.

The operations involved weeks or months of intelligence gathering on individual plans for people-smuggling ventures, before local authorities intercepted groups – usually just prior to the point of departure.

The freedom of information documents note 614 arrests since September 2013, as well as 14 arrest warrants.

Most arrests – 489 – occurred in Sri Lanka, followed by 48 in Malaysia and 66 in Indonesia. Thirteen of the 14 arrest warrants were issued in Indonesia.

However the document notes the statistics are “indicative only” as they were provided by AFP posts from advice given by foreign law enforcement.

“Post experience is that results are typically under-reported because arrests in regional locations are occasionally not reported.”

Asher Hirsch, senior policy advisor with the Refugee Council of Australia, said the fact Australia was still working with Indonesian authorities to stop asylum seekers getting on boats “highlights the desperation of people there”.

“Refugees in Indonesia have no basic rights and are living in indefinite limbo and uncertainty. Instead of interceptions and disruptions of potential boat journeys, the Australian government should work with the Indonesian government to ensure refugees have the right to work, education and healthcare, and can remain in Indonesia safely until they find another solution,” Hirsch said.

“A better way to spend this money would be to invest in helping refugees in Indonesia through local initiatives and increasing our resettlement program to share responsibility for refugee protection.”

Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN refugee convention and has no status determination system of its own, and so asylum claims are assessed by the UNHCR.

As of December last year Indonesia was hosting around 13,800 refugees from 49 countries. About half originated from Afghanistan. At least 800 more have arrived in 2018.

The International Organisation for Migration has provided basic healthcare and shelter for around two-thirds of the refugee and asylum seeker population in Indonesia since 2000, under a regional cooperation arrangement between the organisation, Indonesia and Australia.

However in March the Australian government announced it was cutting funding to the IOM, saying it did not want Indonesia to be a “pull factor” for asylum seekers.

In 2017 only 763 people were resettled in a third country from Indonesia, more than half in Australia, according to the Refugee Council of Australia. The US settled 228, but has since cut its resettlement program from more than 96,000 to 30,000.

The IOM also administered the Australia-funded Assisted Voluntary Returns program, offering asylum seekers $2,000 plus airfares to return to their country of origin.

The Australian government refuses to resettle any refugee who arrives in Australia by boat.

Under the other two arms of Operation Sovereign Borders, Australian customs and authorities intercept and return vessels to their point of origin, “when it is safe to do so”, and have in the past commissioned replica Asian fishing vessels to put passengers on when their own vessel is unsafe. Australia was previously using orange lifeboats to do this.

Offshore processing has seen thousands of men, women and children held in detention centres on Christmas Island, Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, and Nauru, in many cases for longer than five years.


Climate, economy on govt agenda: Cormann

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has dismissed a colleague's concern that the Liberal Party needs to do more about climate change to gain support from younger Australians.

WA Liberal senator Dean Smith says the party's diminishing appeal to young voters is the "elephant in the party room" and is being ignored at the government's peril, The Australian reports.

"We are dealing with climate change," Senator Cormann told the ABC on Tuesday. "But in a way that doesn't undermine the opportunity for young people in particular to get a job, to build a career in Australia into the future.

"My view and our view is that we have to continue to take strong and effective action in relation to climate change but in a way that is economically responsible."

Senator Smith's concerns were reportedly fuelled after a Newspoll analysis showed 27 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds would hand their primary vote to the coalition, compared with 46 per cent who would support Labor.

Population and climate change policies were critical to the coalition's future success, he added.

Greens senator Larissa Waters says the federal government wouldn't know a climate policy "if it hit them in the face". "Young people can spot bullshit artists a mile off, so it's no wonder that young people don't buy the nonsense this prime minister is coming out with on climate," she told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday. "The tragedy is, it's actually better for the economy to transition to clean energy."

A new report on climate change shows it has fuelled the drought, with changing rainfall patterns increasing the risk of water shortages for agricultural and urban uses.

The Climate Council [A private Leftist outfit] report released on Tuesday found the flow of water in the Murray-Darling Basin has declined by 41 per cent during the past 20 years, with fears it will continue to decrease. The catchment produces more than a third of Australia's food.

With no federal climate policy and rising emissions every quarter since March 2015, Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world on climate action, the Climate Council's Lesley Hughes told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.


 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, 2018

Men have had their careers ruined by fake rape claims, and they can’t defend themselves, a former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission has said

Gillian Triggs finally says something sensible

There is a danger that comes with airing allegations of sexual harassment and assault in the public domain, such has become increasingly common in the #MeToo movement.

That’s the view of Gillian Triggs, former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, who said those kinds of matters should almost always be dealt with in the safety of a confidential setting.

In an appearance on the Q&A panel on ABC television, Ms Triggs was responding to a point that men who are falsely accused of inappropriate conduct have few avenues of recourse.

“One of my concerns as a lawyer is far too many of the men have no ability to defend themselves, they’re simply resigning and using the tool of defamation to come back against the woman concerned,” Ms Triggs said.

“For those men, if they feel they’ve been unjustly accused, they have no other vehicle because they’ve lost … the reputation with their colleagues and lost their job very often, and they have no other option.”

Matters needed to be examined “from both perspectives”, which made trying to “solve this problem in the public arena” highly problematic, she said.

“We really need safe confidential and private ways in which to resolve matters long before we go anywhere near the courts, by which time the matter is way out in the public arena.”

Ms Triggs is currently chairing a committee organised by a United Nations body exploring the issue of sexual harassment, she said.

Communications consultant Parnell Palme McGuinness said examples in the United States where men were found to have been falsely accused of rape of sexual assault highlighted the need for caution.

The speed with which the #MeToo movement had taken hold, encouraging victims to publicly air accusations, meant only one side of the issue was being examined, she said. “We can’t have this discussion about women ignoring what happens to men when allegations are raised that are false,” Ms McGuinness said.

“That is not in any way, in any circumstance, to imply that a woman is not telling the truth, but there have been cases, most notably in the States recently with some football players who had their careers ruined on the basis of a fake rape allegation, that go beyond the pale.”

The conversations sparked by #MeToo should consider “both genders”, she said.  “It’s important that this debate be about … how we can ensure that one person, one side’s attempt at being able to speak out more, doesn’t become a way of oppressing the other side.”

Moving away from a tendency to air accusations in private was beneficial for all parties, Ms Triggs said, not just for men who may have been falsely accused.

“Most importantly, and I do go back to my experience with the Human Rights Commission, it must be a safe and confidential environment for women. If they feel their allegations are going to be put into the media … they’re not going to do it.

“We know they’re not going to do it. So it’s key that we establish safe, confidential environments, possibly external to the organisation, where these issues can be safely considered.”

Research conducted in the US in 2010 estimated that between two to 10 per cent of rape accusations were found to be false.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes the number of “unfounded” accusations is about eight per cent.

However, as the Q&A panellists also pointed out that a significant number of women do not come forward after experiencing sexual assault, harassment or rape.

In the US and UK, authorities believe between 30 and 40 per cent of victims never come forward to make a formal complaint.

During her time at the Human Rights Commission, Ms Triggs said “hundreds” of matters a year dealt with sexually based allegations. “We would resolve (them) quietly in the small rooms at the Commission, bringing in perhaps an executive of a major company, and you would get a face-to-face examination of the issue,” she said.

“And you would have the matter, in 76 per cent of cases in formal complaints, we would resolve them quietly and confidentially.”

Ms Triggs said in the majority of cases, once an allegation was brought into the public arena, “women almost always came out second or third best”.

Ms Triggs said all organisations had a responsibility to deal directly with matters when they were raised.

“It’s a health and safety issue at minimum. But it’s also an environment in which there’s huge risks to the organisation, to the ability to carry out its objectives,” she said.

However, more work needed to be done to encourage victims of sexual assault, harassment or rape to feel safe enough to come forward. At the moment, far too many don’t, she said.

“It is absolutely typical — the woman concerned will raise the issue at particular levels, perhaps test the waters, see what kind of response she’s getting, and very rapidly retreat and not make a formal complaint,” Ms Triggs said.

“And that is typical globally. Women simply don’t proceed because they see it as too dangerous, because they know, there’s a very high probability, they’ll be the ones that suffer.”


Scott Morrison doubles down in response to Bourke Street attack  -- says Muslims have to do more

The angry fallout from the Bourke St terror attack is growing as Prime Minister Scott Morrison is embroiled in a row with parts of the Islamic community.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has doubled down on his criticism of the Islamic community in the wake of the Bourke Street terror attack.

Mr Morrison visited Pellegrini’s cafe this morning to pay his respects to Sisto Malaspina, the beloved restaurateur who was killed when 30-year-old Hassan Khalif Shire Ali stabbed him during Friday’s attack.

He reiterated his call for imams and other members of the community to be better at identifying radicalised people in their congregations and alerting the authorities.

“I won’t cop the excuses,” he said. “For those who want to stick their head in the sand, for those who want to make excuses for those who stick their head in the sand, you are not making Australia safer. You are giving people an excuse to look the other way and not deal with things right in front of you.

“If there are people in a religious community, an Islamic community, that are bringing in hateful, violent, extremist ideologies into your community, you’ve got to call it out.”

Earlier today, Mr Morrison came under fire from Sheik Mohammed Omran, the spiritual leader of the youth centre where Ali attended prayer sessions.

“This person was on the watch list. So what did they do? Nothing,” Sheik Omran told The Australian. “We want to be really truthful with each other. This bloody Prime Minister, instead of turning the heat on somebody else, he should answer us about what he did.

“He has spent billions of dollars — billions — on security services. And what is the end result? We have crazy people in the streets.”

Yesterday Australia’s Grand Mufti, Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, told SBS Arabic Mr Morrison’s position constituted “serious discrimination” against Muslims. He also took aim at Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. “We do not need Dutton’s plea to remember our duties,” he said. “I’d like to remind him that security agencies failed to do their job.”

Meanwhile Muslims Australia wrote to the Prime Minister and urged him to apologise.

When he spoke outside Pellegrini’s, Mr Morrison rejected the criticism, saying it was the community’s responsibility to be vigilant for radicalisation.

“Communities need to ensure they weed this out,” he said. “I’m a member of a religious community, and my pastor knows what’s going on in our church community.

“He would know if there was someone, or his wife would know if there was someone leading a local Bible study group or something like that who was teaching things that were not in accordance with what our faith believed. They’d be pointing that out and they’d be dealing with it.”

He would not reveal the details of how Ali was radicalised, citing “the cone of silence of the investigation”, but said it clearly happened in Australia. “He was radicalised in this country. He came here when he was five years old, for goodness’ sake,” the Prime Minister said.

“What happened here, happened here. And so we need to focus on what happened here, that is a man grew up in this country, and was radicalised with these hateful views and beliefs, and he didn’t get it from the postman. He didn’t get it from the police. He got it from the community he was living in and the people he was speaking to.”

He stressed that some imams were “brave” and deserved to be applauded for “protecting the integrity” of their communities.

Labor leader Bill Shorten was more circumspect in his own comments addressing the “evil tragedy” this morning. “I can understand why people what to lash out, want to blame different groups or want to blame politicians, or want to blame Mr Morrison. I actually think we’ve got to take a step back,” Mr Shorten said.

“There are a few radicalised troublemakers, no question, and pretending that isn’t the case doesn’t make it go away. But by the same token, the vast bulk of Muslim Australians, the vast, vast bulk, love their country, and I don’t want to tag a whole group of Australians just by the actions of a few. “We need calmness and coolness.” [And what is need calmness and coolness going to do?]

Mr Morrison’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton made a similar point to the Prime Minsiter on Sunday, as he pleaded with Australians to help close a “black spot” in the country’s ability to detect terror threats.

“There is a real black spot for us, and that is a vulnerability,” Mr Dutton admitted, citing comments from Duncan Lewis, the Director-General of Security at ASIO, who said potential terrorists were using encrypted apps so their messages couldn’t be discovered.

“It is even more difficult today than it was five or ten years ago to try to deal with some of these cases,” Mr Dutton said. “The police can’t contemplate every circumstance. “Where you have someone who is buying chemicals, importing or purchasing online different items that might be precursors to make up an explosive device, you would expect there to be intelligence around that activity.

“Where you have someone who picks up a kitchen knife and grabs a couple of gas bottles and drives into the CBD, these are very difficult circumstances to stop.”

Mr Dutton did not reveal why Ali’s passport was revoked in 2015, saying only that he had been spoken to by ASIO and other agencies and there was “no evidence” an attack was imminent. “The judgement made about this individual was that he was not in the planning stage of the attack,” he said.

The Home Affairs Minister indicated it was critical for Australians to report suspicious activity, to help authorities compensate for the “black spot”.

“Unless there’s advice, as I say, from a community member or from a family member, or there’s advice as the result of a surveillance process or intercept of a telecommunications device, then it is very, very difficult,” Mr Dutton said.

“My plea is to people within particularly the Islamic community, but across society. If you have information, if you see a behaviour of an individual or family member, someone in a workplace, that causes you concern, provide that information.

“It may lead to somebody not going to Bourke Street Mall or not committing an offence that results in loss of life.

“There may be no phone call. There may be no advice or planning or purchasing of particular precursors to make an improvised explosive device. So again, we need to be realistic about this.

“That is why it is important for us to get as much information from the imams, from spouses, from family members, community members, council workers, people that might be interacting with those that might have changed their behaviours.”


Vocational education graduates earn barely more than school leavers

Another failure of credentialism.  Learning on the job is just as good

Students graduating with a vocational qualification earn only marginally more on average than students who finished year 12 at high school, and the small differential sticks with them all their working lives.

The lack of earnings premium is so startling it has left researchers puzzled, especially given the shortage of skilled labour in vocational jobs.

For women in some jobs a vocational education qualification left them worse off than if they'd got a job straight out of school, and this disadvantage also stayed with them for a lifetime.

In 2016, males with a vocational qualification earned just 2.1 per cent more than males who went straight into jobs from year 12. Women vocational graduates earned 1.8 per cent less than women who had gone from year 12 straight into the workforce.
He said the data was not necessarily a reflection of the quality VET providers or TAFEs. It was a reflection of ...
He said the data was not necessarily a reflection of the quality VET providers or TAFEs. It was a reflection of Australian job market and what people think should be rewarded most. Rob Homer

Professor Stephen Parker, national sector leader for education at KPMG, said while there are some irregularities that need to be accounted for, the data shows people with vocational education and training qualifications are not more well off, on average, despite the cost and time they put into further education.

The data comes from a long-term Household Income and Labour Dynamics Australia survey and was analysed by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling for KPMG.

Looking at a whole working life, the small gap between people with VET qualifications and people with year 12 qualifications does not change over a career. Male VET graduates continue to make barely any more than year 12 students well into their late 50s. And the negative premium for women continues right up to age 60.

"I can't fully explain it. This is such a stunning finding. We know there is a shortage of skills. We can see it in the government's skills shortage list. Certain jobs are in short supply but this is not pushing up average incomes in jobs done with vocational qualification."

Professor Parker there were exceptions. Some VET graduates, such as plumbers and electricians, earned more than people with less-sought after VET qualifications. But the overall trend remained.

He added that people who left school before year 12 earned far less than year 12 finishers or VET graduates. This meant that people doing VET at least had a lifetime premium over people who left school before year 12.

He said the data was not necessarily a reflection of the quality of VET providers or TAFEs. It was a reflection of the Australian job market and what people think should be rewarded most.

"Poor old TAFE has been targeted. But the problem lies in the jobs and the status attached to them."

By comparison with VET, males with university qualifications could expect a wage premium of nearly 19 per cent versus the benchmark year-12 graduate. Women university graduates could expect a 13 per cent premium.

"That's also about the nature of the job market and the status that is attached to higher education. It's about the expansion of the professions and the expansion of the knowledge economy."

But another puzzle in the data was that the 40-year trend for graduates showed no increase or decrease in the wage premium even though vastly more people were graduating which, in a market system, should mean the price of labor  would fall.

"So the market is not working perfectly," he said.

The data show the gender wage gap remains wide. In 2016 not only did women with VET qualifications earn less than people who went to work straight from school, they earned less than men with VET qualifications. In 2016 women university graduates' hourly earnings ($40.90) were 19 per cent lower than for men ($50.60).

Women who went to work straight after year 12 earned $30 an hour, compared to men, who earned $32.90.

"The really worrying thing is that the gap between men and women's hourly wage is not closing and it's across all qualifications."

"In the old days and perhaps still, people were resistant to the militant word 'patriarchy', a society run by men. But when you look at these figures you would say we are looking at a patriarchy in numbers." [Rubbish!  Women study different subjects]


Gender hate law sparks free speech fear

The Tasmanian Labor party want to make it illegal to say that trannies are not female

There are fears debate on transgender issues may be shut down in Tasmania by a proposed extensi­on of hate speech laws to protect gender identity, including ­“gender expression”.

A legal analysis of Anti-­Discrimination Act amendments proposed by Labor suggests they could prevent some women’s groups continuing to argue that biological males who self-identify as women should be denied ­access to femal­e-only services.

“Presenting the perspective from a women’s rights position, and not acknowledging that trans women are female, could be construed as inciting hatred (under the changes),” said Bronwyn Williams, a lawyer and spokeswoman for Women Speak Tasmania.

“It limits our ability to say: ‘Hang on a minute, you are a biological male, you’re not female.’

“They could say: ‘I am legally female, I have a female name, my personal preference is for a fema­le personal pronoun, you can’t discuss this, and if you do you are inciting hatred and ridicule.’ ”

Labor’s amendments would extend hate speech protections to include “gender identity or variations of sex characteristics”.

The act’s gender identity defin­ition would be expanded to include “gender expression”, describ­ed as “any personal physical expression, appearance, speech, mannerisms, behaviour patterns, names and personal references that manifest or express gender or gender identity”.

Ms Williams said the changes — likely to be supported by the Greens and to swing on the casting vote of the independent-minded Speaker — could see people accused of hate speech for referring to a trans person’s biological sex, former gender or previous honorific or name

The ALP, which backed down this week on the compulsory remov­al of sex from birth certificates, is standing firmly by its amendments.

Labor justice spokeswoman Ella Haddad said the changes were long overdue protections for transgender people, with no impact on free speech.

“In no way does the existing act or the changes I’m proposing seek to prevent people speaking about ­issues, debating issues in the public sphere,” Ms Haddad said.

“The gender identity defin­ition … in the act deals with how somebody identifies, as male or female or some other way. The new definition we’re adding … deals with how you display that expression physically.

“They strengthen the act in terms of protecting people from discrimin­ation, but it’s a furphy argument to say that this would stop people talking about those things.”

Liberal Attorney-General Elise Archer called on Labor to refer all its proposed amendments to the Tasmania Law Refor­m Institute for detailed analysis.


 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, 2018

Security expert says we’re ‘feeding the beasts’ of terror with shoot-to-kill policy

As happens every time, somebody says the terrorist was mentally ill.  And that is true in one way.  He was certainly deviant from the norm.  The important point however is that when a Muslim feels out of sorts in some way for some reason he tends to see that as a call to Jihad.  Jihad provides an answer to your truobles that will send you straight to Paradise. Attacking unbelievers rewards people with problems.  So Islam is still the problem in these attacks

The claim that his actions were a cry for help is complete BS.  You don't load your car up with gas cylinders and try to explode them in a busy street as a cry for help.  He wanted to kill unbelievers and go to Paradise.  That is all

Karl Stefanovic has launched a scathing attack on the “timid” critics who wanted police to refrain from shooting a knife-wielding terrorist.

As a debate rages over Australia’s response to Friday’s sickening terror attack in Melbourne, Karl Stefanovic has backed police and launched a scathing attack on their “timid” critics.

The Today co-host praised said he felt sorry for the young police officers who were forced to shoot the knife-wielding terrorist dead.

He said they were “consumed” by a “politically correct” message from the public — which dictates that they should try to keep the terrorist alive.

“People (were) yelling, ‘Shoot him, shoot him’ they tried their best not to,” he said this morning. “I reckon, on second thought, someone comes at police with a knife you shoot them dead straight away?

“You know what the courage of the cops, this is a reminder again of what our police do. The first there, first to deal with it, fighting back. I’m amazed. Who would be a police officer? Who would be a police officer and they do it and they do it without complaint.”

“They do it sometimes with the public hating them. But they’re the first you call when you need them and they were the first to respond. I salute them this morning.”

The rant came after a counter-terrorism expert said Australia is leaving itself wide open to future attacks by training police to shoot terrorists dead.

Dr Allan Orr, a counter-terrorism and insurgency specialist who is researching and writing on the Sydney cafe siege — said Australia is “feeding the beasts” of terror and failing to prevent future attacks by giving cops shoot-to-kill advice instead of shoot-to-injure training.

He recommended creating a British-style rapid response anti-terror unit — with high powered weapons and access to helicopters — and powers to track people on terrorist watch lists to prevent more extremist attacks.

“These specialist police would be completely armed, unseen and just minutes away from the scene of an attack,” he told Fairfax.  “In the UK these frontline officers don’t deal with anything else but counter-terrorism, so they’ve got their play book down to response times of two minutes.”

The call comes in response to a deadly attack in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on Friday by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali — a Muslim refugee from Somalia. Ali crashed his car full of gas cylinders before stabbing three people, killing prominent Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina.

As Melbourne mourns over the tragic consequences of the deadly attack, a fierce debate is raging over how tough our immigration laws should be.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is advocating a tough-line approach which would allow the government to more easily deport residents before they become ­citizens. “I’ve been very open about the cancellation of visas, the numbers have ramped up, because there are some people who should not go on to become Australian citizens,’’ he said yesterday.

“The law applies differently, ­obviously, to someone who has ­Australian citizenship, by conferral or births, as opposed to someone here on a temporary status because they are the holder of a particular visa category.”

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has backed the call, according to the Herald Sun. “Deportation and the cancellation of visas are matters for the Commonwealth government, but we certainly support this action being taken against extremists and those who wish to do us harm,” he said.

Ali was known to federal police and had his passport cancelled in 2015 amid fears the Somali-born man would travel to Syria.

“It is important for us to get as much information from the imams, from spouses, family members, community members, council workers, people that might be interacting with those that might have changed their behaviours, that they think have been radicalised,” Mr Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he backs religious freedoms but has also called on Islamic leaders to call out the attack.

Those remarks that have in turn been labelled divisive by Muslim groups who say their community is not to blame for the actions of an individual and fear it could stoke Islamophobia.

“It is extremely disappointing in such difficult times and during a national tragedy, when all Australians of all faiths and backgrounds should be called upon to unite and stand together against any form of extremism and violence, to see our nation’s leader politicising this incident and using it for political gain,” the Australian National Imams Council said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Dutton says the government’s community engagement programs have worked in building solid relationships with members of the public who have provided critical intelligence that has helped stop other attacks, but that there were still gaps in information gathering.

The family of a popular Melbourne restaurateur who was killed in the Bourke Street terror attack has been offered a state funeral as the city continues to mourn the tragedy.

Hundreds of flowers and cards line the footpath outside of Pellegrini’s restaurant as staff let mourners know the tributes would be passed on to the family of Mr Malaspina.

The 74-year-old man was walking down Bourke St, just a few hundred metres from the business he had run for more than 40 years, when he was caught up in the horrific attack.

Mr Andrews spoke to the family of Mr Malaspina and offered a state funeral.

Tasmanian businessman Rod Patterson and a 24-year-old security guard were also injured in the attack.

The attacker’s family has said the man had mental health problems in a note to reporters.

“Hassan suffered from mental illness for years and refused help. He’s been deteriorating these past few months,” a note given to Nine News showed. “Please stop turning this into a political game. This isn’t a guy who had any connections with terrorism but was simply crying for help,” it read.


How Australian shark attack prevention technology can stop deaths

Greenies want us to leave the sharks alone so try to obstruct shark control measures

In the past 50 days, Australia’s east coast has witnessed five serious shark attacks, one fatal.

In September, Tasmanian mum Justine Barwick and 12-year-old Victorian Hannah Papps were both attacked in separate incidents in the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland.

A month later, a shark latched onto the arm of a mine worker off a New South Wales nudist beach, north of Newcastle, that resulted in him being admitted to hospital.

Last Monday, Daniel Christidis, a 33-year-old Victorian urologist, was also bitten by a shark in Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays on the first day of a yachting holiday. He didn’t survive the attack.

Three days later, another shark dragged a surfer from his board on NSW’s far north coast and left him with a 20cm bite wound on his calf.

The spate of incidents has sparked an urgent meeting between multiple levels of Queensland government, tourism representatives and marine experts to try and work out how to best prevent swimmers in the future being mauled.

The discussions have spanned everything from culls to better education of tourists and the possible use of a world-first technology designed to replace shark nets and drum lines.

There’s no real answer, yet.

“I don’t think scientists really have the answer at the moment, unfortunately. That’s what has people perplexed,” Perth-based shark biologist Amanda Elizabeth told

So far this year 22 shark attacks have been recorded around Australia, according to data provided to by Taronga Zoo. Ten of those occurred in Western Australia, seven in NSW, four in Queensland and another in Victoria.

How are attacks being prevented?

In Australia, there is a shift away from traditional prevention methods like shark nets and drum line bait traps to new technologies designed to ward the creatures off.

Ocean Guardian is an Australian company that develops the Shark Shield technology – the world’s only electrical deterrent system that emits electromagnetic pulses into water to scare off sharks.

“Sharks have these small little electrical receptors in their snout, they also have sight, smell and hearing, but they use these electrical receptors, the same we use touch,” Mr Lyon said.

“We create a very powerful electrical field, which causes the receptors to spasm, they get oversensitive and it turns the shark away.

According to Mr Lyon, the technology is the way forward, but has only been supported on a government level by Western Australia.

In WA, residents who buy Shark Shield packs for diving or surfing are offered government-backed rebates.

“Australia is known as the shark attack capital of the world and it affects our tourism by one percent - it costs the Australian economy nearly half-a-billion dollars a year.

“Technology is an answer, and it’s been proven to be an answer, so let’s embrace it and move on.


Craig Kelly MP mocks climate change 'exaggeration' in presentation to Liberal party members

Coral bleaching has been happening for centuries, threats of rising sea levels to countries such as the Maldives and Tuvalu are greatly exaggerated and temperature gains have been grossly exaggerated by scientists.

These are the assessments of the member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, who is part of a Tony Abbott-led speaking campaign to pull the Liberal party back from the centre.

The Guardian has obtained a tape of a presentation by Kelly at the right-aligned Mosman branch of the Liberal party in September that outlines in detail his climate scepticism.

Abbott himself was meant to be the star billing but was unable to attend, leaving Kelly and New South Wales senator Jim Molan to occupy centre stage, after running a gauntlet of about 100 demonstrators who turned up to protest against the Liberal party’s lack of policy on climate change.

Kelly’s PowerPoint presentation veered between mocking “the lefties” and arguing that there was no need to tackle climate change because its impact had been grossly overblown.

“Here we are in Paris, France,” he said of his first slide. “A whole lot of lefties here celebrating the Paris agreement, the achievement of the day.”

Kelly then said the debate about global warming was about trying to get “better weather, and that people wanted to dial down the CO2 knob.

“It’s CO2 we are talking about: it’s what turns water into soda water, its what makes chardonnay into champagne,” he said derisively, before claiming that the consensus view among the world’s scientists that the planet was warming was wrong.

Kelly said that “30 years ago, the temperature was the same globally about where it was today” – even though the Bureau of Meteorology and other international agencies estimate the planet has already warmed more than 1 degree in the past century.

“The reality is we live in a time where our generation has never ever been as safe from the climate because of fossil fuels, concrete and steel,” Kelly said. “The climate was always dangerous. We didn’t make it dangerous.”

He also claimed “coral bleaching was a centuries-old problem, science tells us” and that warnings about the polar icecaps were not borne out. While he acknowledged there had been some shrinking in the Arctic, he said this year the north-west passage had been closed owing to ice.

Kelly, who was a furniture salesman before he entered parliament, also cited a study that said Tuvalu was growing not sinking. The peer-reviewed study shows the island’s land mass has grown owing to sedimention and reef growth, but Kelly ignored part of the same study that said climate change remained the single biggest threat to the low-lying Pacific islands and their future.

As for Australia’s Paris target, Kelly said it was “the most onerous of any nation in the world because of our high rates of population growth”, and the Labor party planned to wreck the economy with its proposal to set a target of 45% reduction by 2030.

The chief scientist, Alan Finkel, had said Australia on its own could not change the world’s climate, Kelly said.

Now that “the US was out” of the Paris agreement, and “China and India weren’t doing anything”, Australia had “an escape clause” and it should use it.


Attorney-General argues limits to public servant free speech justified

The Coalition government has fired the opening shots in a High Court clash over limits to free speech for public servants, telling judges that good government depends on bureaucrats keeping their political views private.

Attorney-General Christian Porter launched a defence of a government decision to sack an Immigration Department worker for anonymous tweets about Australia's asylum seeker policy, and sought to justify the burden it imposed on free expression.

In a case that could weaken or entrench the bureaucracy's limits on political commentary from public servants, lawyers for the Attorney-General told the court on Wednesday the restrictions protected and enhanced responsible and representative government.

The freedom of speech implied in Australia's constitution accommodated the need for an apolitical public service and rules enshrining the importance of the bureaucracy, Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue, arguing for the government, said.

These combined to suggest that "burdens on political communication by public servants may be more readily justified than similar burdens on other groups," he said.

"The imposition of such burdens on public servants promotes the functioning of the system of government for which the constitution provides."

Public servants work under rules requiring them to uphold the bureaucracy's integrity, impartiality and good reputation, and governments have limited their free political expression in Australia since before federation.

An appeals tribunal decision in April threw into question the federal public service's ability to enforce limits to free speech, finding the Immigration Department's 2013 dismissal of former bureaucrat Michaela Banerji was unlawful because it intruded on her right to free political expression.

Mr Donaghue denied the Australian Public Service prohibited its staff from holding or expressing opinions, but said rules designed to promote a professional bureaucracy, willing to serve governments of different political views, put justified limits on their free speech.

Public servants had to work in a detached manner, unaffected by their political beliefs, but they could still hold views. The limits to their expression extended as far as required by a code designed to keep their workplaces impartial and professional.

"The burden upon political communication arising from the code is not correctly identified as a prohibition on APS members expressing political opinions. The code is more nuanced," Mr Donaghue said.

He also rejected an Administrative Appeals Tribunal finding that guidelines stopping public servants from publicly criticising the government should not be applied to anonymous comments.

"While a communication that is critical of the APS may have more weight if known to have been made by a member of the APS, such statements may damage the 'good reputation' of the APS even if it is not known who made the relevant communications," he said.

Exempting anonymous comments from rules limiting bureaucrats' free political speech would raise problems for the government by creating an "area of immunity" for misconduct.

Mr Porter intervened in the case after Ms Banerji won an appeal against the federal workplace insurer's refusal to compensate her for the psychological condition that developed after she was sacked over tweets from a pseudonymous Twitter account with the handle @LaLegale.

He removed the government's Federal Court appeal against the finding and sent it to the High Court, flagging the case's potential to undermine the government's policy stopping public servants from expressing their political views on social media.

Ms Banerji was working in the Immigration Department when co-workers learnt she was behind tweets railing against the government's treatment of asylum seekers.

She lost a high-profile attempt to stop her dismissal in the Federal Circuit Court in 2013, a decision seen as likely to curtail other bureaucrats' use of social media when judge Warwick Neville found Australians had no "unfettered implied right (or freedom) of political expression".

Her tweets did not disclose confidential departmental information, but an internal Immigration Department investigation in 2012 found she had breached the code of conduct for government employees.

Lawyers for Ms Banerji are expected to respond to the Attorney-General's arguments in early December.


 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

12 November, 2018

My Macquarie Uni talk shows why universities can't win

Bettina Arndt

Well, I have just completed the final talk in my Fake Rape Campus tour for this year– at Macquarie University in Sydney. Macquarie is a pretty snoozy place, a far less political campus than Sydney university and it is currently exam time so the event was much quieter than previous ones. It went pretty well, with about 60 people showing up and no protesters.

For the previous few weeks feminists had been very actively pull down posters promoting the event but the Liberal Club students hosting my talk did a great job getting more posters out there. That’s the main point of the whole exercise – not simply persuading people to show up for the event but getting the message out to ordinary students the universities are misleading them about the safety of their campuses – and demonising young men in the process.   

The student newspaper put the usual feminist spin on what I am doing, claiming the Human Rights Commission figures understate the problem because rape victims won’t come forward. That’s an argument that surely doesn’t hold up when it comes to a totally confidential, anonymous survey. But at Macquarie the activists had the bright idea of holding an event supporting rape survivors at the same time as my talk – and a far more peaceful time was had by all.

I’m posting just a small segment of the Q&A, where I was questioned by a rape victim. It’s only a few minutes long but I think you will find it illuminating. 

We are not allowing comments to be posted about this video because I don’t want my questionner to receive personal attacks. However I thought this was a very interesting exchange, illustrating very clearly that the whole campus rape narrative is being driven by people, some with very sad histories, who have no interest in evidence or facts but are determined to promote their ideological position that our campuses are crawling with rapists. They are now actively seeking to drum up new data which supports their position, conveniently dismissing the Human Rights’ Commission survey which failed to produce evidence of a rape crisis. It shows so clearly that despite the strenuous efforts of our universities to appease these people, there is no way they are ever going to be satisfied.  

It is quite frightening that the whole higher education sector appears to believe they can enhance their public reputation by kowtowing to this dangerous minority group – selling out young men in the process. It makes me all the more determined to push ahead with my campus tour next year. I now have student groups across the country keen on hosting more talks – which will roll out from the start of first semester next year. We are looking at ways of circulating proper information about the campus rape issue, organising meetings with university administrators, talking to staff and alumni groups as well as students.

Senator Amanda Stoker

Then there’s action following Senator Amanda Stoker’s excellent efforts to raise questions about the violent Sydney University protest in Senate Estimates.  We’ve organised for TEQSA, the body responsible for monitoring universities’ compliance with regulations, to be given all the evidence for Sydney University’s failure to protect student safety and control unruly students. It will be nice to see this arrogant institution facing some tough questions and we have other plans if the current approach fails to achieve any results. 

Gunning for me

Some of you may remember a video interview I posted last year with Nico Bester, a teacher who served time in prison for having a sexual relationship with one of his older students. He rightly paid the price for doing something very wrong. I interviewed him because I object to the fact that having served prison time for his offence he has now become the poster boy for the #MeToo activists who are conducting a ferocious campaign to try to stop him finishing his PhD at Tasmania University.

This week the activists have launched  the latest stage in their campaign, arguing in numerous newspaper articles that his victim should be allowed to “fight back,” by openly telling her story. At present Tasmanian laws prohibit the media from naming her. The irony is we recently removed Bester’s video after discovering the material we presented included a tiny image of her face, taken from her Facebook page, which apparently was most distressing for the victim.

It seems rather odd that she is now demanding Tasmania changes its laws so her identity can be publicly revealed. Sixty Minutes is currently promoting a teaser for this week’s programme which includes a highly selective segment from my video interview with Bester. Rest assured they’ll be doing their best to discredit me in every way possible. My campus tour is making me a very big target!

Via email

Latest Melbourne terrorist attack: Scott Morrison slammed for Islam remarks by an Australian Leftist politician of Egyptian origin

Says we should not worry about Jihadi attacks because there are other bigger sources of violence -- a classical fallacy

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been slammed for his remarks singling out radical Islam in the wake of the Bourke Street terror attack.

Labor MP and counter-terrorism expert Anne Aly said the PM’s response to the events in Melbourne was ignorant and “politically desperate”, after he called Islamic extremism the greatest threat to Australia’s national security.

“There is no country that is immune to the threat of terrorism,” Dr Aly told Sky News. [So?]

“I don’t care how politically desperate you are, now is not the right time to divide the community.”

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Morrison said he could not speak of Friday’s attack in Melbourne, which left an innocent man dead, two others stabbed and a car bomb driven into the CBD, without naming the threat of “radical, violent, extremist Islam” behind it.

Somalian-born terrorist Khalif Shire Ali, 30, had links to Islamic State and had been radicalised, according to police.

“Here in Australia, we would be kidding ourselves if we did not call out the fact that the greatest threat of religious extremism in this country is the radical and dangerous ideology of extremist Islam,” Mr Morrision said.

But Dr Aly, a Professorial Fellow and former Associate Professor at Curtin University, said Mr Morrison needed to do “a little bit of terrorism 101 … and know what he’s talking about before he starts dividing communities and pointing fingers at radical Islam.”

“Yes, violent jihadism has been the predominant aspect of the religious wave of terrorism (of) the last 40 years or so (but) is it the biggest threat here in Australia in terms of violence and victims of violence? The biggest victims of violence in Australia aren’t victims of violent terrorism, they are victims of domestic violence. [So?]

“When we look at all forms of violence, violence perpetrated by violent jihadists — or radical Islam as the Prime Minister wants to put it — pales in comparison to the number of women who are being killed every week in domestic and partner violence.”

Dr Aly said Mr Morrison had also missed an important distinction between cognitive extremism and behavioural extremism.

“Now every researcher, every academic, every practitioner and every person in law enforcement knows that being extreme doesn’t always necessarily lead to violence,” she said.

“In fact we have many case of people have become violent but have not shown a process of extremism or radicalisation. We also have examples of people who are extreme, who we may consider holding extreme beliefs, extreme world views who have never become violent.”

Mr Morrison yesterday told Australians to “keep being yourselves, keep being Australians,” while urging Islamic religious leaders to protect their communities to ensure “dangerous teachings and ideologies” didn’t spread in Australia.

“They must be proactive, they must be alert and they must call this out in their communities,” he said, adding the government and wider community needed to work respectfully with them.

But Dr Aly said singling out Muslim leaders to do more was a cheap political shot.

Australian Federal Police yesterday revealed Shire Ali was known to authorities for his extremist views, and had had his passport cancelled in 2015 following an attempt to travel to Syria. But he was not considered a national security threat went unmonitored after that time.

AFP national manager of counter-terrorism Ian McCartney admitted the Bourke Street attack had come as a wake-up call to authorities.

“The event yesterday for us is a reality check, even with the fall of the Caliphate … the threat continues to be real,” he said.

Beloved restranteur Sisto Malaspina, co-owner of Melbourne’s iconic Pellegrino’s espresso bar, stabbed to death just a few hundred metres from the premises after trying to assist Shire Ali when he stepped out of a burning car on Bourke Street on Friday afternoon.

Two others were also stabbed before Shire Ali was filmed lunging wildly at police with a knife. He was shot by a junior officer and later died in hospital.


Australian curriculum reform must be based on evidence, not fads

The NSW school curriculum review is no trivial matter, and will have serious consequences for the state’s students. The importance of the curriculum – what students are expected to know and be able to do at each stage of school – by far outweighs jousting over funding, although it gets far less public attention.

Curriculum development is a balancing act and involves compromises and trade-offs. Children spend a limited number of hours in class each year, and there are many competing demands for this time: from foundational skills in literacy and numeracy, to general knowledge of the world and its history, health and physical activity, using technology, and now so-called general capabilities such as collaboration and creativity.

This balancing act is growing more fraught. There is strong advocacy to add to an already crowded curriculum in significant ways. Decisions have to be made about what to keep and what to jettison. These decisions must made with advice from subject matter experts, without recourse to superficial and dangerous propositions such as that from “21st-Century skills pioneer” Charles Fadel, who recently suggested trigonometry should be out and mindfulness should be in.

Care must be taken that curriculum does not implicitly or explicitly prescribe teaching methods. In theory, curriculum is agnostic about teaching. It specifies the content students should learn and the skills they should master, but does not state how these things should be taught.

The Australian curriculum says children should learn to calculate percentages by the end of Year 4, but has nothing to say about whether this should be learned sitting at a desk or playing in a sandpit. Schools make judgments about which teaching strategies are most likely to be effective.

However, in reality a curriculum can and often does encourage certain teaching practices. An example is the recommendation in the second ‘Gonski’ report to “strengthen the development of the general capabilities, and raise their status within curriculum delivery, by using learning progressions to support clear and structured approaches to their teaching, assessment, reporting and integration with learning areas”.

Creating a set of learning progressions is not a straightforward exercise. It heightens the influence of curriculum on teaching methods, and drives a particular approach to assessment. The Gonski report proposes “developing the general capabilities into learning progressions that will provide a detailed picture of students’ increasing proficiency.”

There are two risks in this. One is that it will authorise and promulgate the misguided notion that general capabilities are independent of knowledge of facts and concepts – including the fallacy that “learning how to learn” is the ultimate goal of school education.

The other is that the proposed policies and practices overshoot the existing evidence base, and therefore risk wasting valuable time and resources – not least the time of teachers who generally
already have a heavy administrative workload, and that of students whose education is at stake.

The general capabilities listed in the Australian curriculum – digital capability, critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, intercultural understanding, and ethical understanding – are inarguably valuable for the world of work and for life more broadly. The crucial questions are whether they are really generic skills that can be conceptually sequenced on developmental progressions, and if they can be taught and assessed separate from content knowledge. The evidence at the moment suggests the answer to both questions is no.


Australia's little socialist republic in Canberra goes rogue on religion

This week the ACT has proved yet again that Canberrans are living in a world of their own.

Our little socialist republic has gone ahead and passed a bill aimed at eliminating the legal exemptions to the anti-discrimination laws pertaining to freedom of religion aimed at schools and other religious institutions.

The exemptions have been branded by the Barr government as “loopholes” although they were deliberately included in the original anti-discrimination legislation to give religious institutions freedom to run the institutions on religious principles. What is more, the ACT has gone its own way, despite the commonwealth government having yet to respond to the Ruddock review, pre-­empting any changes the commonwealth may make.

It has always been the stated aim of the Greens and the left of Labor to get rid of the exemptions to anti-discrimination law. The last thing Mark Dreyfus did as­ ­attorney-general was to eliminate the never-used exemptions in religious aged care. That was a warning for Labor’s future conduct.

The timely leaking of parts of the Ruddock review and the “who knew?” outrage that accompanied the leak were deliberately engineered and have given the green-Left the impetus it was seeking to eliminate the exemptions.

In Canberra, where 40 per cent of children are in independent schools, it will have the effect of restricting the freedom of parents in the choice of school, accomplished under the mantle of eliminating “discrimination” and encouraging “diversity”. It limits parents’ right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, all of which are part of the international covenants to which Australia is a signatory.

This was blatantly admitted in an accompanying speech by Shane Rattenbury, who sponsored the bill: “The amendments will engage and limit the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief. They engage and potentially limit the right of parents to ensure the religious and moral education of a child in conformity with their convictions. However, in the context of the scheme of the Discrimination Act as a whole, these limitations are reasonable and proportionate in accordance with s28 of the Human Rights Act.”

This is Rattenbury’s interpretation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

No one should forget what happened to Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous, who was hauled up to a human rights board for disseminating Catholic doctrine on marriage. The archbishop was a victim of the human rights apparatus that has redefined and limited our rights. Advocates of human rights, and especially advocates on human rights commissions, are very keen to talk about “balance”.

However, the real problem is that the human rights apparatus, encompassing all the various commissions and boards, has been allowed to override fundamental human rights in favour of the rights of special interest groups. The Porteous case was the most blatant example of this.

All rights are important — religion, speech and right of minorities not to suffer discrimination — but the legal structure is skewed in favour of rights that appeal to identified groups (24 in fact), not the broader community. We have given priority to a handful of rights while ignoring the impact on rights that are just as important. Hence, the fundamental right of parents to educate their children in accordance with their moral and religious views is potentially compromised by the palaver about “balance” in the ACT legislation.

Freedom of religion is one of our foundation constitutional principles. Despite talk of the “private” practice of religion and those whingers of the freedom-from-­religion camp, the manifest practice of religion cannot be separated from freedom to “private” practice of religion. One must accept religion is not something separate from daily life. Belief must be manifest in thought, in conscience, which guides morality, and in speech.

Silencing religion in the public square is not just about silencing bishops; it is about silencing lay men and women. Governments have already begun to interfere in individual conscience in ways acceptable only in the worst totalitarian regimes. Victoria has overridden the right to freedom of conscience by requiring doctors to refer patients for abortion.

Religious bodies should not be subject to legislation that affects their foundation principles but, then, religious bodies should not have to rely on exemptions. The anti-religion activists have been allowed to set the terms of the debate by accepting the outrageous assertion that manifestations of religious freedom are, at law, mere incidents of discrimination that are permissible only because of exemptions in the law. Once they fell into that error, a bad outcome for religious freedom was assured.

The starting point for the debate must be that religious freedom is a fundamental human right — the position in international law. If this right is given only lukewarm recognition, the inroads on religious freedom will get only worse. Using the interpretative clauses in anti-discrimination laws to refer to the importance of religion is much weaker than a stand-alone act that asserts that everyone has the right to privateand public manifestations of religious belief.

This would change the debate as manifestations of religion would no longer be an exemption from laws against discrimination but a manifestation of a right accepted by federal law. Schools would no longer be allowed to “discriminate” but would be allowed to exercise a right to religious freedom.

The leaking of the Ruddock review was part of a campaign to scare the government in advance of the report’s full release. There seems little appetite to declare freedom of religion as a full right. However, those who fear such a law as the harbinger of a bill of rights should think again. There is a greater fear we will have a half-hearted ­response to the issue and lose a vital part of our freedom.


 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, 2018

Australians are the richest people in the world

This is only superficially true.  It mainly reflects the high price of real estate in the capital cities.  Almost any home-owner in Sydney, for instance, is a millionaire. 

Travellers will tell you that just about everything in the USA is cheaper while it is dearer in Britain.  So dollar wealth is not comparable across countries anyway.  Purchasing power figures are available but there is no mention of them being used below

The United States is home to more millionaires than any other country in the world. But whether the country is truly the wealthiest in the world depends on how you measure. Judging by where the greatest number of people are well off, Australia is taking the top spot.

A report released by Credit Suisse in October says the US is “in the lead” when it comes to global wealth. Yet a closer look at the numbers in that report reveals a different story.

While it’s true that wealth in the US is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, it’s not the richest when you compare the average amount of wealth per adult.

That prize goes to Switzerland, as you can see in the map below. Australia is in second place, ahead of the US.

Wait a minute, you may be thinking: it looks like Switzerland is richer than Australia. And the US is doing pretty well too. So what’s with the headline?

The ranking above divides a country’s overall wealth by the total population. That means it doesn’t reflect the fact that in the US, for example, the top 0.1 per cent of US households hold as much wealth as the bottom 90 per cent.

“The United States has the most members of the top 1 per cent global wealth group, and currently accounts for 41 per cent of the world’s millionaires,” Credit Suisse's report notes. “Our research indicates that the United States added 878,000 new millionaires [since 2017] – representing around 40 per cent of the global increase.”

But a different, perhaps fairer, way to rank the richest countries in the world is to take a look at the countries where the greatest number of people are rich.

Credit Suisse ran those numbers, too, in order to compare how much wealth the median, middle-of-the-pack person has in every country.

In that ranking, Australians are the richest. And the US doesn’t even make the top 10.

By this measure, Australia comes out on top, with median wealth of $US191,453 ($263,822) per adult. The US has a median wealth of $US61,667 ($84,977) per adult, which puts the country at number 18, well behind others, including the UK ($US97,169), Canada ($U106,342), and New Zealand ($US98,613).


More black Muslim mayhem in Melbourne

What will it take to show the do-gooders that black Muslims are too much of a risk to have in Australia?  How many innocent people have to die?

A Melbourne cafe legend was stabbed to death during a terrorist's knife rampage through Bourke Street that injured two others before police gunned the Somali immigrant down.

Sisto Malaspina, 74, was murdered by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, as he ran to help what he thought was a car crash victim just blocks from his iconic Pellegrini's coffee shop about 4.20pm on Friday.

However, Khalif had deliberately crashed his Holden Rodeo that was loaded with gas canisters and set the car alight after mounting the pavement near the Swanson Street intersection.

By trying to do a good deed, Mr Malaspina became the murderous knifeman's first victim. Soon two others would also be stabbed before Khalif attacked police.

Video shot from the scene showed the frenzied attack that carried on for more than a minute as Khalif chased the officers around as they tried to convince him to surrender, before finally shooting him.

Police said Khalif was inspired by ISIS to commit jihad, but they were unsure if he had direct contrast with the terrorist group. ISIS claimed his as one of their own, but often falsely associate themselves with lone wolf attacks.

Khalif's passport was cancelled in 2015 after he was flagged as one of 300 potential security risks when he it was discovered he planned to travel to Syria.

An AFP spokesman said in a press conference late on Saturday morning that though Khalif was on their radar, police decided not to intervene. 'While he held radical ideals, he didn't hold a threat,' he said.

His family were known to counter-terror agencies and believed to have ties with North African extremist groups.

His brother Ali Khalif Shire Ali was arrested in November 2017 over an alleged planned New Year's Eve attack on Federation Square.

Heartbroken friends and longtime customers left floral tributes to the slain food icon outside the Pellegrini's, just down Bourke Street near the Exhibition Street intersection.

Staff were in shock and a sign on the door said the cafe would be closed until November 12, with police standing guard outside.

Mr Malaspina's body was on Friday seen lying in the street covered by a white sheet with a bare foot sticking out after bystanders unsuccessfully tried to save his life.


Australia's new labour scheme for Pacific Islanders gets underway

As the Morrison government tries to prove it is stepping up its role in the Pacific, 80 Pacific Islanders have spent their first months working in regional parts of Australia under a new labour program.

Talimanatu Uilese is among the new arrivals and is working as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat in coastal New South Wales.

He arrived in Australia in August from the small Pacific island nation of Tuvalu and has already been surprised by the different fishing methods used in his home country compared to those in Australia.

“They use live bait and calamari for catching tuna, but in Tuvalu we make our own bait,” Mr Uilese told SBS News.

Under the new Pacific Labour Scheme, he is able to stay in Australia for up to three years.

“We see this as very much a win-win,” Assistant Minister for the Pacific, Anne Ruston, told SBS News. “Obviously we are getting a great source of fantastic labour… but equally, we can be training these workers when they come to Australia so that when they return home to their countries they have got the kinds of skills that are going to assist in capacity building in their own country.”

Mr Uilese is earning 10 times more than his usual wage back home and told SBS News he plans to build a house when he eventually returns.  He has left his wife and four children in Tuvalu. His youngest is just ten months old.

“The main reason why I am here is for my children's future,” he said. “It is very hard for me but on the other side, it is better for me to earn money than stay back home without doing anything.”

A total of 2,000 Pacific Islanders are expected to arrive in Australia by mid next year but numbers will be capped annually after that, depending on demand.

The aim is to strengthen relations with some of Australia’s closest neighbours and boost workforce numbers in the primary industries that need it.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a foreign policy reset on the Pacific in Townsville on Thursday, saying: “Australia is committed to building on labour mobility opportunities for Pacific countries to Australia and ensuring that Pacific countries take priority.”

The access to extra staff is vital for local industries including Steve Basile’s third-generation fishing business in the NSW town of Ulladulla. Half of his staff members are foreign workers and without them, he told SBS News his business would fold. “We would not have a business. The boats would be tied up to the wharf or sold and we would be doing something else,” he said.

Tuna Australia CEO David Ellis said fishing and tourism were traditional Pacific industries. “What this scheme does is allow them to get the skills in using the commercial equipment and be able to take that back,” Mr Ellis said.

The Pacific Labour Scheme was first announced at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa last year by then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The labour scheme will run alongside an existing program that brings in farm workers from the region with around 8,500 arriving in the last financial year.


Finally, Western civilisation finds champions at the University of Sydney

Only time will tell whether this week marks the turning point when cool reason defeated hotter heads at the University of Sydney. Those trying to secure more diverse views on campus and greater choice for students to study the great books of Western civilisation are not pulling their punches any more. Too much is at stake.

Sydney University was once a place for robust debates and diverse views. It is, or at least was, the embodiment of thousands of years of human progress and learning from ancient Greece to the Roman Empire; from the spread of Christianity and the artistic, political and economic discoveries of Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment. This is the rich, messy and splendidly complicated heritage of intellectual freedoms that underpin our liberal democracy.

As part of a $3 billion bequest by businessman Paul Ramsay, the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation is offering to fund a three-year degree where students study 30 of the great texts, from Homer and Chaucer to Marx and Virginia Woolf. The proposal includes about 40 scholarships of $30,000 to young students. The curriculum has not been finalised, nor has a memorandum of understanding been signed.

This has not deterred a small group of loud and irrational malcontents at Sydney University who are determined to stop negotiations dead in their tracks.

For months now, they have turned a debate into a one-sided diktat that the university must say no to Ramsay. They have spread wild claims, piled high with misrepresentation and misinformation. Unloading their double-barrelled loathing of the Ramsay Centre and Western civilisation, they have pitched themselves to other staff and students as moral guardians holding back barbarians from the university’s gates.

This week more reasoned ­voices pushed back against the real vandals, the hotheads inside the gates who run scared from div­erse opinions and competition by concocting conspiracy theories to scupper a Ramsay-funded degree. James Curran, professor of modern history, is one of those voices of reason.

“I’m speaking up now because of my concern that those more strident voices of opposition have unfortunately abandoned cool real­ism and calm detachment in responding to the Ramsay proposal,” Curran told The Australian on Thursday. “My bottom line is: a course such as this will complement much that is already being taught in the humanities at the university, not least the Faculty Scholars program.”

Curran says there is no evidence the intellectual autonomy of the university will be compromised. He also rejects claims the degree harbours a “three cheers for the West” ambition.

He challenges claims by professor of politics John Keane, who, says Curran, has been quoting “the British race patriot rhetoric of wartime prime minister John Curtin, implying that to support Ramsay is somehow to be advocating the recrudescence of the White Australia policy, or that it involves some kind of nostalgic harking back to or longing for the British Empire”.

“What?” says Curran with incredulity. “I am not sure where this kind of interpretation comes from. Thankfully Australia long ago dispensed with its British race character and instead wholeheartedly and enthusiastically embraced a new language and policy of tolerance and diversity.”

Curran says this country has an “ancient, rich and precious indigenous heritage” and that modern Australia, for good and ill, derives from a Western tradition that we have adapted to our environment and experience. He points to our interaction with the civilisations of the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere around the world.

Curran is speaking out after a meeting late last month where academics stridently opposed to Ramsay lined up on stage all shaking their heads in one direction. “Say ‘no’ to Ramsay,” they said, one after the other.

Professor of English literature John Frow said Western civilisation had “become code for a ­racially imagined culture under attack from racially imagined others”.

Academic Shima Shahbazi said: “The Ramsay Centre is structurally, institutionally, morally and epistemically violent to other knowledges, modernities, democracies and more importantly the indigenous history of the land.”

University of Western Sydney associate professor Alana Lentin claimed the Ramsay offer would compound the “wilful, knowing white ignorance that is leading us down the road to fascism while Liberals mindlessly bleat about the marketplace of ideas”.

In his open letter of October 3, Keane described Western civilisation as brimming with resentment. “It feels unshakeably arrogant, male and white,” he wrote. He said it was being “championed by fools (Boris Johnson) and arsonists (Nigel Farage)” and “these loudmouthed champions of Western civilisation are killing off its last remaining credibility”.

This is the stuff of political rallies. But remember these same ­academics are educating our children, the next generation of leaders and citizens.

On Wednesday at 10.04am, provost and deputy vice-chancellor Stephen Garton fired off an email to Keane, copied to members of the arts faculty and other staff. His exasperation is palpable. So is his determination to check a minority of politically charged and ideologically blinkered academics who want to scuttle an epochal funding offer to Sydney University. Garton’s 2000-plus-word response, along with Curran’s public intervention the next day, are pivotal developments. Finally, facts are gaining ground over emotion and fabrication.

In his response to an email Keane sent a week earlier, Garton’s confronts the “leaps of logic” and the “myths that frame some of the misrepresentations” running rife at the university. He addresses Keane’s “conspiracy theory thinking”, which is “lacking any evidence whatsoever”.

Garton objects to Keane’s “pejorative language of lucre” — a word that alludes to filthy money. You will find the word in the Bible, Titus 1:11, admonishing those who teach “things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake”.

“Is it lucre when we raise funds to support indigenous scholarships or research on childhood obesity?” Garton asks Keane.

“The logic of the argument … escapes me. Does this mean we shouldn’t accept funding for renal cancer because it is not also for bowel cancer, that we shouldn’t accept a chair in Celtic studies because it is not more broadly ­European studies, that we shouldn’t accept funding for a position in Near Eastern archeology because it is not also classical archaeology, that we wouldn’t accept it for medieval history ­because it ignores medieval ­philosophy?”

He assures Keane and other academics that the draft MOU will safeguard academic autonomy but laments that nothing will satisfy them except outright rejection of the proposal. Deploying his background in medical history, Garton likens some of their anxiety to “a type of Victorian ­miasma theory”.

“The frame of reference here is an implication that if we breathe any Ramsay air at all we will immediately become infected and diseased,” he writes. “I have far more confidence in the intellectual robustness and resilience of our colleagues than that.”

As to the claim by loathers of Western civilisation that core texts such as Plato, St Augustine, Locke, Chaucer and Shakespeare are “old-fashioned”, Garton admonishes their “dismaying dismissal of much that is good in what we do”. He defends “many of our finest colleagues” who teach such texts using depth, not breadth.

“To explore one set of intellectual traditions or one canon of texts does not devalue other traditions or textual canons,” writes Garton. He dismisses as equally irrational claims the new course will compete with other courses. “How a program with a very small commencing cohort (30 to 60) can threaten disciplines like history and English is equally puzzling,” Garton writes. “Are these disciplines really that vulnerable? If students are leaving these disciplines then they have more to worry about than Ramsay.”

Garton points out that existing teaching of the Western tradition is done in a piecemeal fashion. “None of it is stitched together as an overall program as the university does with, say, Asian studies or American studies.”

This point is critical to learning the real story of human progress. During a visit to Australia earlier this year, the historian and author of The English and Their History, Robert Tombs, said: “The West ravaged continents, burned heretics, invented the gas chamber and the atom bomb, and almost destroyed itself in two world wars. But when woven together the separate parts of Western civilisation explain how we learned to end slavery, defeat totalitarianism and grew ashamed of war, genocide and persecution.”

It is, says the historian who has taught at Cambridge for more than 50 years, “an action-packed adventure story, not a philosophical treatise”. And that is how it should be taught at school and university.


 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, 2018

Australia Indonesia free trade deal to be signed next week

Depending on how free this really is, it could be very beneficial.  Australia is a great rural producer and as a couple of hundred million Indonesians get richer and want more and better on their dinner plates, Australia would be well poised to help with that

A far-out possibiliy would be for the huge Indonesian rice market to be at least partially opened up.  The Ord is a very close shipping distance to Indonesia and has the potential to be a big rice producer.  It could be the salvation of the Ord as it presently grows very little food of any sort

Jakarta: Australia and Indonesia are poised to sign the landmark Australia-Indonesia free trade deal next week at the ASEAN summit in Singapore.

Fairfax Media has confirmed with three sources in the Indonesian government that the two countries plan to ink the agreement on November 14, the second day of the summit, which brings together world leaders from the Asian region.

The signing of the document is a win for the Morrison government, and comes after the Prime Minister announced a review of whether to move the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to extend diplomatic recognition to Jerusalem.

But political analysts warn that if the embassy move goes ahead, ratification of the deal by Indonesia's parliament could be delayed for months – even after it is signed by the two trade ministers.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Joko Widodo will both be in Singapore to witness the historic signing by off by trade ministers Simon Birmingham and Enggartiasto Lukita.

A senior source in Jakarta, who asked not to be named, confirmed "if things go as planned, it will be on the morning of November 14".

The source said that translation of the text into Bahasa Indonesia had been completed, and that the "legal scrubbing" process – which ensures the deal complies with local laws in both countries – has been finished too. Two other sources confirmed the signing was planned for next week.

The details of the free trade deal, which will boost Australian exports of beef and wheat and open the Indonesian market up to Australian healthcare and education providers, were agreed in August.

Political blow back over the embassy proposal in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, has been relatively restrained, but opposition could become more serious if Australia does decide to go ahead with the Jerusalem embassy move.

Last week, Jakarta's former top diplomat in Canberra Nadjib Riphat Kesoema said he was "shocked" by the embassy proposal and urged Australia to adopt foreign policies that were more independent of the US.

Lowy Institute non-resident fellow Matthew Busch said the signing of the much-delayed deal would be good news for the Morrison government and the bilateral relationship, "but the Indonesians have been very clear that this embassy move is a very important issue for them and it could become a domestic issue for their government".

"If Australia pressed ahead after the review of the location of the embassy in Israel there is no guarantee that the free trade deal road map would be adhered to," he said.

Mr Busch said it was possible that ratification of the free trade deal – formally known as the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement – could be delayed by the Indonesian parliament, given domestic political sensitivities over the status of Palestine.

With Indonesians due to head to the polls in April 2019 to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections, it is also possible opposition parties could stir protests over the deal – as occurred when US President Donald Trump announced his country would move its embassy to Jerusalem – and cause a major headache for Mr Widodo.

The Australian trade deal was due to be signed at a recent conference in Bali on the health of the world's oceans but was delayed.

Last week, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull warned after meeting Mr Widodo that moving the embassy would meet a "very negative reaction" in Indonesia. He said, however, that he expected the trade deal would be signed in a matter of weeks.


Feds threaten councils over Australia Day date change

Dutton not hoodwinked

The federal government has threatened to strip several NSW councils of the right to hold Australia Day citizenship ceremonies amid plans to hold them a day earlier.

Hawkesbury City is reportedly considering holding its ceremonies on the evening of January 25 because of the daytime heat.

Kempsey and Bellingen shire councils have similar plans, according to Macquarie Media.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton suggested the move was political rather than weather related and warned them against changing the day. "I don't care whether people are seeking to move it in an obvious way or playing games - the intent is very clear," he told Sydney's 2GB on Thursday. "Australians don't want councils playing politics with these issues."

Mr Dutton said ratepayers expected Australia Day to be "respectful" to those new citizens who consider it one of the proudest days of their lives. "We're not going to have that disrupted by this nonsense," he said.

"The rules are pretty clear. If they're not going to abide by it, then they'll find themselves without the ability to conduct the ceremony."

Last month, Byron Shire Council backed down on its plan to move its citizenship ceremonies from January 26 after threats from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He called the move "indulgent self-loathing".

Citizenship Minister David Coleman later wrote to all council mayors to reinforce that citizenship ceremonies should be apolitical, bipartisan, non-commercial and secular.


Conservatives believe Queensland federal marginal seats again winnable under Morrison

As Scott Morrison’s “Sco-mobile” ghost bus has made its way northward, so too have the Coalition’s hopes of retaining crucial electorates.

LNP sources confirm Morrison’s elevation to prime minister alone has put Queensland “back in play”, with early internal polling showing marginal electorates all but written off by the government under Malcolm Turnbull’s tenure as prime minister once again considered “competitive”.

Morrison’s four-day tour of Queensland, from the south-east to Townsville, has been seen as the start of the pseudo election campaign, with the north crucial to any chance the government has of remaining in power, or “at the very least, keeping a loss to something potentially overcome in an election cycle, rather than a generation”.

With the southern states all but being dismissed by Coalition sources as a “zero sum game” come polling day, the fictional “Brisbane line” has taken on new meaning, as the Morrison government concentrates on Queensland and Western Australia as its potential keys to victory.

Party sources have reported a “reinvigoration” in Queensland following Morrison’s elevation to prime minister but no one was willing to go as far as to say it was a game-changer.

“We don’t know if it’s him, or just that it’s not Malcolm,” one party source told Guardian Australia. “But we know that people are prepared to listen again, and that is more than we could say in June.”

The Coalition holds 21 of Queensland’s 30 seats, with the state key to the 2016 election win. Under Turnbull, the Coalition won 49% of NSW’s seats, 46% of Victoria, 36% of South Australia and nothing in Tasmania.

But in Western Australia, the Liberals claimed 69% of seats, beaten only by Queensland where the LNP won 70%, which, at the time, gave the government a one-seat majority.

The Wentworth byelection loss has seen the Morrison government lose that majority and it now must govern with the support of the crossbench.

Labor has not been shy in declaring its intention to seriously challenge for at least a dozen of the seats held by the LNP, where the Coalition is officially one party.

Four months ago, party sources had conceded holding at least six of those seats, including Dawson, Forde, Petrie, Capricornia, Flynn and Dickson, was looking like a challenge.

“It is still going to be tough but we are off to a better start this election campaign under Morrison, at least so far,” another party source said. “I can tell you that, internally, we know that Morrison is better for us in those seats than Turnbull was.”

That comes as no surprise, as Queensland MPs, led by Peter Dutton, and backed by the state party executive, were at the forefront of the push to remove Turnbull from office, a move that proved only half-successful, when Morrison snatched the party room numbers when it became clear Dutton did not have enough support.

Morrison may not be popular in the rest of the country but in Queensland he is considered more popular than Turnbull and, for the moment, that is considered enough.

But that is not to say the LNP is feeling confident.

Katter’s Australian party, having dealt with the issue of Fraser Anning by removing him from the party, has indicated it will make a serious play for two Queensland seats, Leichardt, held by the LNP’s Warren Entsch, and Herbert, held, just, by Labor’s Cathy O’Toole.

KAP preferences in those seats, along with Clive Palmer’s reincarnated political push, in the north Queensland seat of Herbert, are likely to prove crucial.

Preliminary reports from the north of the state show Leichardt to be “fairly safe” as long as Entsch remains the candidate.

“The moment Warren goes, that seat goes,” a LNP source said. “He’s the key. Same sort of thing as Bonner [a Brisbane eastern suburbs seat held by the LNP’s Ross Vasta since 2010], where a good local candidate makes all the difference.

“Looking at it at the moment though, you could see a couple of three-way contests up north, where one of the majors gets bumped by a minor party and, at this stage, I don’t think anyone could say if it would be Labor or us who came out on top.”

Dawson, held by George Christensen, is considered to be safe as “Georgie doesn’t really give voters up there a reason to turn to One Nation, there’s not a lot separating him”, while Flynn, held by Ken O’Dowd, is considered “lineball”.

A surprise worry is the inner city seat of Brisbane, held by Trevor Evans, where Andrew Bartlett is standing as the Greens candidate in an electorate showing a strong green tinge. In the last election, Labor received its lowest primary vote in the seat since Federation, as voters turned to the minor party, which has seen a growing influence in the state and last year elected its first state MP.

But once again, the Pauline Hanson effect looms large, its shadow chasing Morrison’s government plane, and bus, up the state’s major highways, as he makes stops in central and northern towns considered most primed for her message.

“And that is what makes it so unpredictable,” another LNP source, familiar with campaign plans said. “Hanson attracted about 20% of the Longman vote while floating off the coast of Ireland. She doesn’t even have to be there, people just look for her name. So while Morrison is a better foil than Turnbull for that, who knows what impact that will ultimately have.”


Australian students plan school strikes to protest against climate inaction

Government by children?  Greenie parents behind it, no doubt

Hundreds of students around the country are preparing to strike from school because of what they say is a failure by politicians to recognise climate change as an emergency.

They’ve been inspired by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student who has been sitting outside the parliament in central Stockholm to draw attention to the fears younger generations hold about the global climate crisis and the failure of countries to take urgent action.

Fourteen-year-old Milou Albrecht, a year 8 student at Castlemaine Steiner school in Victoria, her classmate Harriet O’Shea Carre, and 11-year-old Callum Bridgefoot from Castlemaine North primary school, started by protesting last week outside of the offices of their local representatives, the Labor MP Lisa Chester and the Nationals deputy leader, Bridget McKenzie. They’ve been joined by 50 students from local schools and are planning weekly events.

And what began as a small local protest is growing into a nationwide movement. Students in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Lismore, the Gold Coast, Albury-Wodonga and the Sunshine Coast are planning to walk out of classes this month.

Similar plans are being explored in other regional areas including Coffs Harbour, Cairns, Townsville and the southern highlands of New South Wales. Hundreds of students have indicated they want to attend protests outside state parliaments in the capital cities on 28, 29 and 30 November.

The idea for the strikes came from the Castlemaine students, who contacted the Australian Youth Climate Coalition for help.

They have had assistance from the coalition and their parents with contacting media, building a website and spreading the word about the strikes through their social networks.

“We think it’s important because it’s a huge problem,” Milou said. “The Earth is already too hot, with droughts in winter in NSW and the coral reef is dying.”

She said students were speaking to Greta in Sweden each week. “I would like our politicians to acknowledge climate change is an emergency and take the necessary steps in order to have a sustainable world,” she said.

A 14-year-old Fort Street high school student, Jean Hinchliffe, is organising the Sydney walkout on 30 November. She said there was a template letter students who were worried about taking time off class could give to their teachers.

“We’ve got involved because at this stage we can’t vote, we’re not politicians and we want to make a difference,” she said. “We can’t stand around waiting.

“I think it’s because climate change is scary seeing that it’s our future. This is a fact and not to be debated.”


Isaac Plains coalmine ramps up production

Stanmore Coal has secured additional long-term port capacity at Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, Mackay, paving the way to step up production at its Isaac Plains mine near Moranbah.

The company said the extra capacity added certainty for the company to pursue options to take its coal handling and preparation plant to its nameplate capacity of 3.5Mtpa ROM.

In announcement to the ASX, it said the Isaac Plains complex’s reserves and resources were sufficient to allow it to ramp up production to match that capacity.

It is increasing its production guidance for the 2019 financial year from 1.8Mtpa to 2Mtpa.


The whole Liberal tribe are cheering new PM on


Any political party that hopes to win a democratic election in its own right is inevitably a coalition of people with different interests and values. That’s been true both of the Labor Party and of the Liberal-National Coalition that between them have formed every government since 1949.

There has never been a time when the big parties have been free of differences within them, as well as between them. There have always been economic liberals and economic conservatives on both sides, and there have always been social conservatives and social progressives too — although the Liberals have been more economically liberal and less socially ­progressive, and Labor the reverse. And while the Coalition’s ­centre of gravity, as John Howard used to observe, has invariably been “economically liberal and socially conservative”, the extent to which the party has been “liberal” on some things and “conservative” on others has always depended on the political character of the leader and on the composition of the partyroom.

Differences of degree among senior members of the party are not new: think Howard (economically “dry”) and Andrew Peacock (“wet”); or Howard (a monarchist) and Peter Costello (a republican). Malcolm Turnbull and I are not the first (and won’t be the last) Liberal contemporaries to have lined up on different sides of the internal divide. Think, for instance, of the NSW Liberal leadership team of Gladys Berejiklian (thought to be a moderate) and Dom Perrottet (undoubtedly a conservative). The NSW government has its issues (as all governments do) but no one says that it’s paralysed by ideology or doesn’t deserve to win the next election.

I respectfully disagree with Paul Kelly’s assessment on this page last Wednesday that the Liberal Party (and the Coalition) is now almost irredeemably torn because it represents seats with a fundamentally different world-view. I accept that the view from Wentworth in Sydney’s eastern suburbs differs from the view in Longman on the outer fringes of Brisbane; but when Kerryn Phelps said last week that the big issues were ABC funding, climate change and getting children off Nauru, she said more about herself than about her new seat.

Socially progressive voters are certainly more numerous in Wentworth (where One Nation didn’t run) than in Longman (where it has a 16 per cent vote) but it’s also worth noting that the Liberal vote in Wentworth was higher in 2013 (with a more conservative leader) than in 2016 (with a more progressive one).

Kelly is right that internal differences are harder to manage in the era of 24/7 mainstream media plus the social media echo chamber. Still, being in opposition is in no one’s interests. A looming election concentrates the mind wonderfully. As well, the protest factors at work right now will fade once voters have to choose ­between a middle-of-the-road Coalition government and what would be the most left-wing Labor government in our history.

Howard was correct to say in The Weekend Australian that nothing “is more important than the relationship between the prime minister and the men and women who comprise the parliamentary party”. The differences between Liberal MPs do matter; but not nearly as much as how they’re managed. Howard, for instance, was better at managing his colleagues in his second stint as leader than he’d been in his first.

In my judgment, it’s much less a philosophical divide that’s hurt the party over the past five years than a clash of personalities. I’m confident that the internals will be better handled now that some leading players have changed.

There were a lot of big egos, huge ambitions and differing philosophical outlooks in the Howard cabinet, but colleagues hardly ever leaked against each other. Costello, for instance, has never been given enough credit for the honourable way in which he handled the differences that he sometimes had with his leader. Peacock had Howard in his shadow cabinet and vice versa. For his part, Howard always ensured that his cabinet reflected the Liberal Party’s “broad church”. When Turnbull decided to stay in parliament in 2010, I had him on my frontbench and kept him there in government — along with Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne and George Brandis. Turnbull never returned the compliment. His problem was not that he had too many conservatives in his partyroom but that he didn’t have enough of them in his cabinet.

All prime ministers face challenges and all make mistakes. Still, Scott Morrison won’t have the problems that I had as PM because no one is stalking him for his job. He won’t have the problems Turnbull had as PM because he is a much more tribal Liberal; and because he’s done the best he could, under the circumstances, to acknowledge the two biggest personalities on his backbench.

Although Morrison appreciates that our party does best when it’s led from the centre-right, he hasn’t abandoned Turnbull’s commitment to emissions reduction nor changed the immigration policy. He’s kept Snowy 2.0 and Gonski 2.0. He hasn’t solved the challenge to religious freedom in the era of identity politics and ultra-left activism — and he probably can’t. What he won’t ever find, though, is any personal hostility from the so-called Right, because he has no wish to marginalise them inside the party.

There will always be some Liberals who want the party to go further on climate change or be more compassionate on boatpeople. There will always be others to question turning the economy upside down when it won’t make any difference to emissions, and to caution against anything that might embolden the people-smugglers. It’s not a question of decency versus hardness of heart but of what really is the most ­humane thing to do. The leader’s job is to get the balance right.

It goes without saying that the next election will be tough. But under Morrison, it won’t be internal division that holds us back. We can’t change the self-inflicted wounds of the past five years, the squandered majority, and the fact that we’re seeking a third term against the Labor Party, the Greens, the unions and GetUp.

But against this, Morrison will have a fierce will to win, unbounded energy, political savvy, and the whole Liberal tribe cheering him on.


 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, 2018

Battered Australian Power Consumers Cry Mercy as Climate Cult Ramps Up Renewables Rhetoric

Wind and solar power have never been about logic and reason, it’s a deranged form of ideology that drives their promoters. The zealots that promote that pathetic pair are screaming blue murder, as the political tide turns against them. The rhetoric gets ramped up, even as reality bites.

Sydney billionaires living in $100 million Harbourside mansions are just the latest class of virtue signalling cynics to condescend from their very privileged positions to dictate the terms on the form of electricity that only their peers can afford. Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has a Masters in Smug, is now lecturing Australians on what constitutes ‘fair dinkum power’. He’s made his fortune out of the Internet, which in Australia runs on coal-fired power; always has, always will.

Now Cannon-Brookes is demanding an end to what powers Australia and his beloved Internet.

Naturally, Cannon-Brookes commences his pontification by claiming the moral high ground on climate change and runs the line that urgent action is required to save the planet from everybody else’s energy use (not his, of course).

Cannon-Brookes recently targeted STT as part of his Twitter storm, unleashing his push from all sun and wind powered future – he reckons he can take “Australia 100% onto renewables eventually”. A Sydney boy, Cannon-Brookes may have never heard of South Australia where, having only reached the halfway mark, it’s already the butt of international jokes, suffering the world’s highest power prices and Third World reliability, to boot.

Unwilling to deal with troubling facts such as the skyrocketing power prices and blackouts that plague SA, Cannon-Brookes and his ilk instead attack STT and our fellow travellers as “anti-wind, climate deniers”.

The guff about STT (or any other repository of common sense, for that matter) being “anti-wind” is … well … just plain silly.

STT loves a summer breeze just as much as the next family sweating on the beach – we’re partial to surfing a ‘winter-stormy’ – and love being tucked up inside during a winter squall. And sailing wouldn’t be much without a southerly bluster.

No, it’s the nonsense that is wind power that’s the prime target for STT.

The use of words and phrases such as “anti-wind”, “denier”, “denial”, “belief” and “believer” have no place in science, politics or economics. Then there’s the hysterical phrase: “climate denier”.

No one at STT, well, actually no one anywhere, denies that there’s such a thing as the “climate”.

That word, by definition, incorporates within it the concept of “change”; for if the climate had not changed over the 4.6 billion years that our Earth has been lapping around the Sun, it would have probably remained a solid frozen lump of ice; and we wouldn’t be here arguing the toss about a few degrees, one way or the other.

Climate hysterics run a kind of ‘Goldilocks fantasy’ that, at some point in the recent past (we can’t quite pin down when) the climate was “just right”. Ever since, apparently, we’ve been lurching towards a man-made climate catastrophe.

In the 1970s school kids were terrorised with forecasts of a looming ice age. 20 years on and the reign of terror was reversed: catastrophic global warming was the next big thing.

As global surface temperatures stubbornly refused to budge for nearly 20 years – ‘the pause’ – the rhetoric shifted from global warming to “climate change”: a tautology if ever there was one.

As any geologist will tell you, the Earth’s climate is in a constant state of change: change is endogenous to the model. Whether that change is significant or “dangerous”, as the most strident would have us believe, is yet to be seen. Humans have tolerated severe ice ages and, somehow, miraculously managed to survive. If the planet warms, we’ll survive that, too. It’s called “adaptation”: a central feature of humanity, without which the species wouldn’t have 8 billion units presently roaming the planet.

STT takes the position that man-made emissions of CO2 may increase atmospheric temperatures. But we don’t concede that wind or solar power has made – or is even capable of making – one jot of difference to CO2 emissions in the electricity sector; principally because they are not – and will never be – an ‘alternative’ to conventional generation systems, which are always and everywhere available on demand:

Assume that man-made CO2 emissions in the electricity sector are a problem. Then the only presently available solution is nuclear power; unless, of course, you’re prepared to live in Stone Age darkness.

STT’s work is aimed at a pair of meaningless power sources; that are insanely expensive, and utterly pointless, on every level. For those on both sides of the argument (including “climate deniers”) that slavishly connect industrial wind turbines or solar panels with global warming (or climate change) they, in effect, box themselves into a logical corner.

On the one hand, if the AGW champions are wrong and we are in fact on the brink of the next ice age, applying their (by then failed) man-made CO2/warming argument, we should scrap every last (planet cooling) wind turbine and solar panel and start burning coal and gas as fast as humanly possible and prevent the next ‘big freeze’.

Alternatively, if the “climate deniers” are wrong, temperatures start to rise and Australia becomes a lifeless desert, then the AGW camp gets to claim victory and the high moral ground.

From that platform, the anti-CO2 crowd will have the imperative to carpet the entire planet with an endless sea of giant industrial wind turbines and solar panels as far as the eye can see.

Having pinned their arguments against wind power on the basis that CO2 caused AGW is a furphy, the “deniers” would be forced to concede their opponents’ case; and to also concede the need for a completely wind and solar powered electricity system.

And that’s why STT seeks to disconnect arguments for and against global warming, from arguments about generating electricity with sunshine and breezes.

As wind power can only ever be delivered (if at all) at crazy, random intervals it will never amount to a meaningful power source and will always require 100% of its capacity to be backed up 100% of the time with fossil fuel generation sources; in Australia, principally coal-fired plant. As a result, wind power generation will never “displace”, let alone “replace” fossil fuel generation sources.

Contrary to the anti-fossil fuel squad’s ranting, there isn’t a ‘choice’ between wind power and fossil fuel power generation: there’s a ‘choice’ between wind power (with fossil fuel powered back-up equal to 100% of its capacity) and relying on wind power alone. If you’re ready to ‘pick’ the latter, expect to be sitting freezing (or boiling) in the dark more than 60% of the time.

Placed in the practical context of the needs of a functioning industrial society, wind power can be seen as the patent nonsense that it clearly is. If a country didn’t have a conventional power generation system (as we have), it would build one, anyway.

Despite the hype from RE zealots, the completely chaotic and very occasional delivery of wind and solar won’t be cured with giant batteries. Sure, at a technical level, it is possible to store volumes of electricity for a period, such that it might be released when power consumers need it. However, were such a thing ever attempted, the cost of the electricity generated, stored and later released would be astronomical and beyond the reach of all but billionaires and rock stars – people just like Mike Cannon-Brookes.

The world’s largest battery cuts a lonely figure in a paddock near Jamestown in South Australia’s mid North; it doesn’t generate power; it stores a piddling 100 MW worth; it consumes power during each charge/discharge cycle, lost as heat energy; it cost taxpayers $150 million; and would satisfy SA’s minimum power demand for all of four minutes. On those numbers, anyone talking about batteries providing an economic solution to Australia’s energy crisis, is either delusional or hoping to sell them.

Facts, logic and reason of never stopped the likes of Mike Cannon-Brookes from trying to destroy the system that works, by pushing wind and solar, which never will.

But, always and everywhere, central to their case is the idea that the only way to save the planet is to run it entirely on sunshine and breezes.


The three great lies corroding western cultures


The degeneration in the culture that drives the corrosion in our politics has its origins in three great lies now being propounded daily in our universities, media, corporates and obviously among the politicians.

These lies are becoming embedded in our discourse. National politics in America and Australia was once about the fight for control of the shared narrative or common destiny. Not any more. Politics is about tribal messages derived from the breakdown of the agreed national ethos.

The recent statement of this pathology based on the US university sector comes from American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and lawyer Greg Lukianoff in this year’s "The Coddling of the American Mind", and in this column I have drawn on their thesis as modified by my own assessments.

In the 1980s politicians such as Ronald Reagan and Australia's Bob Hawke offered appeals based on the shared national imagination — Hawke won office in 1983 calling for consensus under the slogan: “Bob Hawke — Bringing Australians Together”. Reagan helped Americans manage adversity with his “It’s morning again in America” slogan, a fusion of nostalgia and optimism.

The Haidt-Lukianoff book is based on the “three great untruths” in our cultural and university life now spilling into politics.

* The starting lie or untruth is that disputes and differences today are a battle between good and evil, between the oppressed (the virtuous victims) and the oppressors (evil tyrants of the status quo.)

This turns the mundane injus­tices of everyday life into a moral contest. Yet it is a contest based on distorted morality. There are many illustrations: if you don’t support radical action to curb climate change you are a moral threat to society and betraying your friends. In short, your support for the status quo marks you as a bad person no matter how many charities you support.

In her recent Helen Hughes lecture for the Centre for Independent Studies, Quillette editor-in-chief Claire Lehmann called out the technique: “If there is a gender pay gap then this is because men are oppressing women. If there is a gap between the earnings of immigrants and a native population, then this is because the native population is oppressing the immigrant group. If there are health discrepancies between LGBTI people and heterosexual people, then this is because of discrimination. This simple formula gets repeated over and over and over again.” Eventually this false logic seems to become the only way a sensible person would think. In fact a sensible person, while recognising discrimination as a factor, would analyse the other explanations at work to avoid reaching the wrong conclusion.

As Lehmann said, a conclusion endlessly repeated — that the gender pay gap is caused by sexist oppression — takes hold when a considered analysis shows the fact that women have children is critical in the explanation. Adopting a conflict framework, an oppressed versus oppressor narrative, means politics becomes more divisive and problems are harder to solve because the analysis is wrong. One reason for this is while many advocates would like to solve the problem they have a higher motive; their purpose to dismantle the power structure, whether it is allegedly patriarchy or white supremacy or heteronormativity.

The Haidt-Lukianoff book argues the key to an inclusive community is to create the sense of common humanity, not tribalism based on gender and race. The authors point out that in his heroic 1960s civil rights campaigns Martin Luther King declared his dream was “the American dream” and asked the entire nation “to rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed”, to honour equality beyond race. King relied on American values. He aspired to unite, not destroy. He appealed to one America, not a collection of tribes. Haidt and Lukianoff contrast the impact of the oppressed-oppressor paradigm that enshrines “whiteness” as a power construct. They quote a student’s essay: “White death will mean liberation for all.”

These days social issues are frequently presented in mainstream media as rituals of injustice and grievance. This mentality originated in Marxist ideology. Once you believe social problems arise primarily because of power and the oppressed-oppressor conflict, then the scene is set for tribal warfare justified by a moral principle.

Referring to American universities, the authors state an enduring reality: “The more you separate people and point out differences among them, the more divided and less trusting they will become.” None of this is to say power is irrelevant. It is always relevant. Indeed, academic opposition to the Ramsay Centre courses on Western civilisation is an insight into the pathology. The Ramsay people are bad because they arrive, the critics assert, in the name of white supremacy, racism, neo-colonialism and so forth. They represent the oppressors and you cannot deal or debate with oppressors; you can only resist them.

* The second great lie or untruth from the Haidt-Lukianoff analysis is people will be weaker by being challenged in their ideas and preconceptions. They need to be protected and made safe. This is the notion of a fragile society. It was given focus last year in the campaign against the same-sex marriage plebiscite when politicians and mental health experts united against a democratic vote and debate because its extremes would damage too many people.

Because identity politics relates to the personal, it becomes dan­gerous. It is not just your political views being threatened, it is your identity. That makes it a health issue. Female students in the US have refused to hear lectures denying America is a rape culture because it threatens to invalidate their own identity and experience.

In this world the public policy test to prevent trauma and offence becomes a subjective test. This was the issue in relation to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Defenders of the law said subjective views must prevail and what mattered was how people felt — whether people felt offended and intimidated. Haidt and Lukianoff say that if people and students come to believe they cannot handle offence then they will become less able to do so. Fragility begets more fragility. The authors say leaders and health professionals have made the wrong call.

The task of institutions and universities is to “prepare students for conflict, controversy and argument” and students must learn that having cherished beliefs being questioned is not a personal attack on them but preparation for life. At present institutions are “setting up a generation for failure”.

* The third lie the authors nominate is “the untruth of emotional reasoning”, the false nostrum you must “always trust your feelings”. Much of our political and media debate now revolves around displays of emotions to prove you care. Be unemotional and you are uncaring. The oppressor-oppressed mentality largely thrives on emotion at the cost of reason.

“In an age of social media, cyber trolls and fake news it is a global crisis that people so readily follow their feelings to embrace outlandish stories about their enemies,” Haidt and Lukianoff state. They quote Hanna Holborn Gray, president of the University of Chicago from 1978 to 1993: “Education should not be intended to make people comfortable; it is meant to make them think.”

Because politics operates at the intersection of emotion and reason, it becomes hostage to the cult of emotional reasoning; witness the appeal of Donald Trump among many. Social media generates a mob mentality based on emotion. Once emotion takes control, people view the world through one single lens, not through a more balanced understanding based on reason.

Single-lens emotion is the path to anxiety and depression for people and hysteria and irrationality in politics. Human beings are tribal creatures and civilisation was supposed to lead us from the tribe to society. Are we regressing?


South Australia signs up to Fed offer on school funding

But no Federal funding is ever enough for Left-led States

South Australia is the first state to sign up to a controversial new national deal for school funding with the federal government hoping others will follow its lead.

The SA Liberal government on Monday signed up to the deal, which has been under negotiation with all the states since mid-2017.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan is confident others will soon follow, despite complaints from some states that public schools won't get enough money.

"I continue to negotiate bilateral agreements with the other states and territories in good faith and hope to finalise them all soon," he said.

The federal government's deal with SA lays out concrete steps the state must take to improve outcomes for its students, Mr Tehan said.

"This agreement confirms that school reform must focus on driving individual student achievement and equipping teachers with the right tools in the classroom," he said.

In September, a $4.6 billion 10-year peace deal offered to Catholic and independent educators by the coalition threw a curve ball at negotiations with the states, with education ministers calling for an equal funding boost for government schools.

Labor education spokesman Tanya Plibersek said Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government has shown through the deal that looking after the "top end of town" is more important than funding public schooling.

"Mr Morrison has restored the money he cut from Catholic and independent schools, but he refuses to do the same for public schools that teach two in three Australian students," she said on Monday.

The coalition says it has delivered record funding for public schools, with $7.3 billion this year, rising to $8.6 billion in two years' time.

Dozens of education organisations penned an open letter to Mr Morrison last month calling for a $1.9 billion funding boost for public schools.

The Australian Education Union, Children and Young People with Disability, and numerous principals' associations were among the 26 signatories.

But SA Education Minister John Gardner said the federal funding boost in the deal, from $1.3 billion in 2018 to more than $2 billion in 2029, would deliver better outcomes for children in his state.

"By working with the Morrison government, we are providing funding certainty for schools across South Australia," he said.


Qantas fears return to union anarchy

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has warned that a push by the union movement to reintroduce industry-wide bargaining could cripple thousands of small suppliers to the airline and take the ­nation’s industrial relations system back to the chaos of the 1970s, threatening jobs and national prosperity.

As Labor considers giving ­unions and workers the right to strike in support of pay claims covering multiple employers, Mr Joyce said any move to reintroduce industry-wide or pattern bargaining would wreak havoc with the airline’s supply chain, and the wider economy.

“Industry-wide bargaining will mean that people who need to change their business to survive will not be able to survive if the highest common denominator wins. That is terrible for employment, terrible for ­efficiency,” he told The Australian.

“We have 13,000 small suppliers around the country. We buy $7 billion worth of Australian produce. If those suppliers lose their ability to make money and be ­efficient, that is bad for us, it is bad for the economy and it is bad for Australia.”

The airline chief, who successfully took on the union movement in 2011 by grounding the entire Qantas fleet, was backed heavily yesterday by the nation’s three major employer groups, which warned of industrial upheaval if the union push was realised.

Bill Shorten has left the door open to changes that would allow industry-wide pay claims, but it is understood Labor is also considering greater powers to allow the workplace umpire to suspend and cease industrial action against multiple employers.

Labor workplace spokesman Brendan O’Connor said the opposition was “looking at multi-­employer bargaining”, but he suggested the right would not be universal. “My priority and my focus is on those who are not getting a fair share. And I have to say that tends to be those people who are not receiving high wages or very good conditions of employment,” Mr O’Connor said.

He said it was “hysterical” to suggest that some form of multi-employer bargaining would damage the economy or lead to an increase in industrial disputes. “There is not a high instance of ­industrial action for countries with multi-employer, sector or ­industry bargaining,” he said.

Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said any reintroduction of pattern bargaining would be a disaster for Australian prosperity, opening the way for job-destroying, industry-wide strikes. “Small businesses would be crippled as militant unions pursue sector-wide claims targeting hundreds of family enterprises at a time,” she said.

“Bill Shorten must stand up to the demands of his union masters and rule out industry-wide strikes ever becoming Labor policy.”

The ACTU, which is leading the campaign to revive industry-wide bargaining in response to static wage levels, accused Qantas of using the enterprise bargaining system to crush the ability of workers to achieve fair pay rises.

“Mr Joyce and other large employers have been squeezing working people for ­decades and the reason they are opposing sector bargaining is they are worried workers will finally have the power they need to fight to negotiate fair pay rises,” ACTU president ­Michelle O’Neil said. “This is a man who locked out workers and grounded thousands of travellers because he didn’t get his own way.

“He showed no concern for small suppliers or the families of workers and customers affected. Clearly he is desperate to protect a bargaining system where all the power rests with big business.”

Mr Joyce, who last week opened the airline’s new business and Qantas club lounges in Melbourne, said every company and every union should have the same interest: to improve the economic activity in Australia.

“The Hawke era saw great reform and enterprise bargaining that made a huge difference to this country. What we are worried about as a business community is some of the ideas that are on the table,” he said.

“It takes us back to the 1970s before those reforms that (Bob) Hawke bought in, which we think, and everyone thinks, were great.’’

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott warned that the ACTU plan would send workplace relations “back into the dark ages”, empowering big unions at the expense of workers. She urged the union movement to return to the role it played during the era of the Hawke Labor government in the 80s where it worked with the commonwealth to “open up Australia”.

The Australian Industry Group attacked the proposal as a “throwback” to a time when Australia was protected behind tariff walls, saying it would undermine busi­ness competitiveness and ­inno­vation in an era of global competition.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said small and medium-sized firms, with high overheads and lean inventories, would find it almost impossible to ride out industry-wide disputes. “Many SMEs will need to keep paying their non-striking employees who don’t join unions and don’t want to stop work,” ACCI workplace relations director Scott Barklamb said.

Industry-wide bargaining will be a key focus of the industrial relations policy debate at the ALP national conference next month.

Mr Joyce said it was up to corporate Australia to make the case to the government — whichever side of politics it belonged to — of the benefits for workers and productivity from enterprise bargaining. “We are in dialogue — the BCA is, all companies are. It is up to us to make the case and to show that we are speaking in the best interests of the economy, in the best interests of our employees.

“There are a lot of sensible ­people on both sides of politics and I hope that sense prevails.”

Qantas famously confronted the union movement in October 2011 when it grounded its entire fleet in response to a union industrial campaign. It was a decision backed by the company’s now former chairman Leigh Clifford.

Last month, Mr Clifford called on Mr Shorten to reveal his position on the return to collective bargaining proposals by the ACTU: “Someone’s got to ask him what he does (plan to) do so that we understand if, when we go to an election, what the alternative government’s view on this is. I think he’s been aggressively silent.”


 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, 2018

Co-ed or single-sex schools? Are all-boys or all-girls schools still relevant?

Christopher Scanlon gives below a pretty good summary of the evidence that the social background of the pupils underlies the  degree of success that different schooling types have in getting pupils through their final exams.  And that is true because IQ underlies socio-economic status.  As Charles Murray showed decades ago to great outrage, the richer are smarter on average.

Scanlon does however treat social class very gingerly and thus overlooks the one thing that DOES give private schools of all types an advantage.  Particularly for boys, the friends they make at school will be the core of their friendship group for life.   And they will tend to marry their friends' sisters. So they will tend to have both bright friends and bright wives.  And that is gold for an easy progression through life.  They really will have class "privilege"

As a parent of a school-aged daughter it feels like I’ve engaged in, or overheard in playgrounds and kids’ parties, roughly a million conversations about the pros and cons of single sex schools vs co-ed schools.

The angst-ridden nature of these conversations would make you think that school choice is one of the most important decisions a parent is ever going to make for their child. Many of these conversations feature “facts” about the benefits of single-sex schooling.

But how well do these facts stand up to scrutiny? While single sex schools typically outperform co-educational schools in terms of academic results, it’s unclear whether this is due to the absence of the opposite sex or other factors, such as socio-economic status of parents.

Kids who attend well-resourced schools tend to do better academically than kids at poorer schools, unfair as that may be.

As most single-sex schools in Australia are private schools or select-entry schools, the benefits may have more to do with the socio-economic backgrounds of the kids, rather than the gender make-up.

Yet the results factor is most often brought up by parents in terms of gender exclusivity, fuelling anxiety about school choice.

One particularly entrenched view is that single-sex schools are good for girls’ science and maths education. Girls, it’s suggested, will “dumb down” to fit with persistent gender stereotypes about girls not being innately good at these subjects. But the evidence is hardly compelling.

Sociologist Dr Joanna Sikora from the Australian National University found that while girls at gender-segregated schools are slightly more likely to pursue science in their final years of schooling compared to their peers who attend co-ed schools, it’s unclear whether this has to do with the absence of boys.

Other factors, such as coming from a wealthier family and, in the case of physical sciences at least, being born overseas and speaking a language other than English at home, appear to be important factor in girls’ selection and performance in science subjects (not the gender of fellow students).

And even accepting that girls from single sex schools are more likely to opt for science subjects in their senior years, it doesn’t seem to have a lasting impact.

Dr Sikora found that while boys attending single-sex schools are likely to express an interest in careers in medicine or physiotherapy compared to boys at co-ed schools, girls attending single-sex schools don’t aspire to careers in science any more than girls who share classrooms with boys. How lasting the effects of single-sex schooling are is a theme that comes up in other research.

Dr Katherine Dix from the Australian Council of Education Research compared NAPLAN literacy and numeracy results for boys, girls and co-educational schools at years 3, 5 and 7 and found that while students attending single-sex schools start out strong, the benefits declined over time.

In Year 3, for example, students at all-girls schools start out 7.2 school terms ahead in reading compared to their peers at co-educational schools, while students at all-boy’s schools are 4.6 terms ahead of their co-ed peers.

But by Grade 7, girls at all-girls schools are only 1.9 terms ahead and boys at single-sex schools are than half a term ahead of their co-ed peers. Similar results apply to numeracy. Students in Grade 3 at an all-boys school start out 4.3 terms ahead of their peers at co-educational schools while girls start out 3.1 terms ahead.

But by Grade 7, the boys from single-sex schools are only 2.8 terms ahead and girls are less than a term ahead of their co-ed peers.

“The most important outcome of having single-sex schools in any educational system”, says Dr Dix, “is not that they may be better, but rather that they offer families choice.”

Schools, however, do more than provide academic outcomes. They also play a role in the development of children’s identity and socialisation. And when it comes to single sex schools, that includes a strong pitch to parents about how the school will inculcate gender identity.

Single sex school marketing often includes statements about the type of young men and young women schools will produce.

Forget “gender whisperers” as Prime Minister Scott Morrison labelled strategies to support transgender students in schools, many single sex schools use a gender megaphone to tell the world how they will shape student’s gender identity.

While many parents might regard that as a plus, the ideal of gender they promote — sport-loving future male CEOs or community-minded, forthright yet agreeable, young woman leader —may not suit every student.

What about the artsy boy, with little interests in sports? Or the young woman who feels constrained by "traditional feminine" expectations of behaviour?

While the benefits or otherwise of single-sex schooling may be up for debate, what is clear is that single-sex education is in decline in Australia, and has been for some time.

According to Dr Katherine Dix’s work, data shows that that the proportion of students from independent schools attending single-sex schools fell from 31 per cent in 1985 to just 12 per cent of students in 2015.

If your head is spinning at the research results, a better approach might be to consult another kind of expert.

Rather than worrying about the advice of educational consultants, school marketing departments or, dare I say it, the academic researchers, my wife and I have decided when the time comes, we will consult the experts in our own house.

I’m talking about our children. Involving them the question about school choice is about empowering them to think about the kind of learning environment they want.

It’s about finding out who’s in their friendship network. If you daughter has many friendships with boys or your son socialises with girls, then these friendships may well be key to their engagement with schooling — and their academic success.

Ask them about what subjects they like best, and about what they do. Do they take opportunities to show leadership, or do they work best when they’re supporting and following?

If nothing else, including your child in this discussion and really listening to and observing them during it, show them you take their views seriously, and help them to begin a lifetime of making important decisions for themselves.

After all, they’re the ones who are going to be most affected by your decision.


"The Cup". And the winner was ....

The Melbourne Cup horse race was exciting as usual -- with the winner coming from behind at the last minute -- but the ladies made a mark too. The "Fashions on the Field" contest is the only fashion show I ever look at at all -- as the fashions there usually seem street-wearable.  And it's particularly pleasing to see that the winners often come from humble backgrounds:

While some sipped Champagne in the Birdcage and others tried their luck with betting trackside, hopeful fashion lovers turned up the sartorial heat by going head to head in Myer's Fashions on the Field.

Hundreds of fashionistas took to the catwalk in their racing best on Tuesday in a bid to take out the daily title.

After a bold and bright display of brightly-coloured gowns, sky-high headwear and fascinators, the Daily Finalist title went to Jordan Beard, who will battle it out for the Victorian state title on Oaks Day on Thursday.

Queensland flight attendant Jordan Beard in the middle above. Sleeves were "in"

Jordan won against two other finalists, in green sequins and a one-shouldered dress by Cult Gaia.

Jordan's elegant dress nodded to countless race day trends for 2018, including bold colours, straw hats and exaggerated sleeves.

She completed the chic race day look with statement earrings and an elegant clutch bag before posing for photographs with the second and third place entrants.


'I didn't steal it, that happened in the past': Pauline Hanson says she's sick of people saying Australian land belongs to Aboriginal people

Pauline Hanson has accused Aboriginal people of joining the land rights 'bandwagon', and suggested they are 'milking' the argument for all it was worth.

The controversial One Nation leader told Sky News she believed she had the right to feel a connection with the country in the same way as its traditional owners because she and her children were born in Australia.

'When people claim I don't have any connection with this land, I'm sorry I do. There's no other land I feel I would fight for, defend, that I am so proud as I do Australia,' Ms Hanson said.

'I get really upset when people say we have no connection with the land, that this is Aboriginal land, that we stole it. Well, I didn't steal it.'

'This is what's happened in the past and has happened throughout the world with many countries.'

She added many migrants had moved to Australia and embraced its values and culture, and they too should be feel able to call Down Under their rightful home.

'See people that have jumped onto the bandwagon, the Aboriginal industry, to milk it for what it's worth, and that's what I get annoyed about.'

'Until we actually accept and recognise each other as Australians and start working together on an individual needs basis not based on race, we are going to be more divisive as the time goes.'

Her comments were met with a mixed response, some agreeing the land should be equally shared and others slamming her 'immoral' views.

'Pauline has been living off the proceeds of crime for so long she's forgotten it's immoral,' someone wrote on Twitter.

Another wrote: 'All throughout history man has fought over land. When you defeat the opposition that land became yours. That's how it worked back then.'

Many agreed with Ms Hanson's view that immigrants should be accepted as Australians after adapting its culture and values.   

Figures within the Aboriginal community slammed Ms Hanson following the inflammatory comments she made on Sunday, SBS News reported.

Co-chair of National Congress of Australia's First Peoples and native title claimant Rod Little described her words as 'unhelpful' and 'pathetic'.

'First Peoples have been calling for equality from day one. We need to be discussing resolutions and solutions ... How do we work together to achieve real equality in this country,' he said.

ANTaR president Peter Lewis agreed, stating 'thousands of non-Indigenous Australians that support reconciliation and truth-telling don't share Pauline Hanson's fears and sense of threat.'  



After years of evasions, Victoria Police reveals the full catastrophe of the Howard Government's decision to let in poorly educated Sudanese refugees from tribal war zones who'd struggle to fit in.

Sudanese make up just 0.11 per cent of Victoria's population but 4.8 per cent of aggravated burglary offenders.

That makes them 44 times more likely to break the law.

Then there are these statistics:

But Sudanese youths were vastly over-represented in the 2015 data, responsible for 7.44 per cent of home invasions, 5.65 per cent of car thefts and 13.9 per cent of aggravated robberies, despite Sudanese-born citizens making up about 0.11 per cent of Victoria's population.

Nearly 70 times more likely, then, to commit a home invasion than are Australian-born youths.

Yes, most Sudanese do not break the law. Yes, it is nice to help the victims of war. But why have we put so many Victorians in danger by letting in people who so plainly would struggle to adapt?

And why the years of falsehoods and coverup?

Remember the falsehoods once spread by then Chief Commissioner of police Christine Nixon, after Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said Sudanese crime rates were too high and he was cutting the immigration intake?:

But worst was the reaction of Victoria Police, led by Labor-appointed Christine Nixon.

Nixon claimed Andrews was wrong about Sudanese crime rates: “They’re not, in a sense, represented more than the proportion of them in the population.”

A police multicultural liaison officer agreed: “There’s an under-representation of the Sudanese in crime stats.”

Those police claims were false. Figures let slip by Nixon the following year revealed crime rates for Sudanese youth at least four times the state average.

And that's now got dramatically worse.

But remember also how the multicultural lobby and media Left vilified Andrews for telling the truth and trying to stop us from importing even more danger?

The ethnic lobby predictably denounced him as a racist, as did Labor politicians.

“It has been a long time since I have heard such a pure form of racism out of the mouth of any Australian politician,” sneered Queensland premier Anna Bligh.

We had a “leadership which allows divisiveness”, stormed the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

And the elite media pack-attacked.

The Age accused Andrews of making “unpleasant and inflammatory” comments to provoke “a predictably base reaction from those sensitive to immigration on racial grounds”.

Where are the apologies? Where's the acknowledgement that the Left made a terrible mistake?

The ABC has also consistently tried to ignore, hide or diminish the problem with specious arguments like this:

Commentators have linked a recent spate of crimes to the so-called Apex gang, heightening anti-migration rhetoric, but police statistics show most home invasions, car thefts and aggravated robberies are committed by people born in Australia.

Of course most such crimes are committed by the dominant demographic, but note the evasions. First, how many of those born in Australia are actually born to Sudanese parents? Second, and more relevant: what is the crime rate of each ethnic group?

Yes, the born-here cohort commit crime, but why are we adding to the problem by importing people 44 times more likely to bash, rob and smash into your home?


 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, 2018

Hottest start to November in 13 years: Intense heatwave blasts Australia's east coast with temperatures to nudge 40 for the next three days

"Intense heatwave", bollocks!  My well-calibrated thermometer reads 33.5 on the afternon of the 5th (Monday), which is a normal summer afternoon temperature in Brisbane.  And summer onset has long been variable in Brisbane.  You get both hot and cool days rather randomly for the whole November/December period

The east coast of Australia is expected to battle high temperatures and humid conditions for two more days before a cold front moves in.

South-east Queensland is anticipated to feel the brunt of the heat, with temperatures nudging towards 40C on Monday and Tuesday.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the temperature in Ipswich, south-east Queensland, will hit 39C on Monday.

The Bureau also upgraded their heatwave forecast to 'extreme' for south-east Queensland over the next three days.

According to the Courier Mail, south-east Queensland has experienced the hottest start to November since 2005.  

Senior Meteorologist at Weatherzone Jacob Cronje said conditions are expected to be 'uncomfortable' in Queensland in the coming days due to unrelenting humid conditions.

'It looks like for Brisbane itself, the CBD, we are looking at temperatures in the low to mid 30s, each day until Wednesday before cooler weather arrives from the south, that'll also impact New South Wales before that,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

Adding to the uncomfortable conditions, Mr Cronje said: 'It is an extended spell of heat and with that, evenings are unlikely to cool below 20C.'

The cool change is anticipated to begin on Tuesday night, as cold weather arrives from the south, hitting New South Wales first and arriving in Queensland on Thursday. 


Australian airline to honour military veterans

But Leftist miseries are whining and may destroy the policy

Virgin Australia to give military veterans special boarding and in-flight privileges has received mixed opinions from passengers.

The move, backed by prime minister Scott Morrison, would see Australian ex-servicemen honoured in a similar way to those who fly in America.

Thousands of Australians have expressed their disapproval and campaigned to boycott the airline completely if the new system is adapted.

While some were happy to comply with the US-style concept, others were convinced it was a politically-driven stunt designed purely to boost Mr Morrison's popularity.

If the plan goes ahead it would see veterans offered priority boarding and thanked during the airline's in-flight announcements, according to

Former military personnel and regular flyers alike have taken issue with the move, saying it failed to offer any meaningful acknowledgement such as discounted fares.

Many also believed it excluded emergency workers and who thought they too should be eligible for hero-status recognition.

'With all due respect to the many veterans out there, the government needs to focus on mental health support, don't put veterans through rigorous assessment to get funding/pensions, more older vets support,' someone shared to Twitter.

'Hey Virgin Australia if I have a choice ...I won't fly you. Some of my friends are returned service people and they know this is not about them but a cheap stunt by you and the prime minister,' another said.

Qantas has received pressure to follow in Virgin's footsteps and offer similar perks, however announced it would not be following suit.

Several people were happy with current orders of business and saw no need for Australian airlines to start behaving like those in America.

'I fly Virgin. This puts me off. I live in Oz not USA. This is a mistake,' one flyer said.

Another agreed, writing: 'Virgin Australia we are Australians... Not Americans, your American tokenism is not wanted or welcomed. #HelloQantas.'

Many fliers argued being publicly acknowledged would actually be highly distressing unwanted attention for veterans, who often preferred to blend in.

'Sorry - no way would I support service men and women boarding first or applaud them. This may even trigger issues for them. Respect and good manners for all passengers,' someone added.

Several argued it was a token move from the airline and attention would be better focused on providing better mental health support for veterans and their families

'I think donating to an org that helped with their mental health on their return would have been better. Getting on quicker just means you wait on board longer. Our soldiers & their families need mental health support first,' a flier wrote.

Mr Morrison said it was about 'nurturing the respect for our veterans' which he claimed was 'brought home for me really heavily during the Invictus Games', Brisbane's Sunday Mail reported.

'We acknowledge the important contribution veterans have made to keeping our country safe and the role they play in our community,' Virgin Australia chief executive officer John Borghetti said.

'Once the veterans have their cards and lapel pins, they will simply need to present them during the boarding process to be given priority boarding and be recognised on board.'     


Muslims shouldn't wish Christians a Merry Xmas and wives can NEVER refuse sex: How hardline Islamic groups are still spreading hate and division in Australia

One of Australia's leading experts on Islamic extremism has described Sharia law fundamentalists as a 'danger' to society that conservative Muslims needed to challenge.

Professor Greg Barton, a global Islamic politics expert from Melbourne's Deakin University, said hateful rhetoric from hardline Islamist groups had the potential to radicalise a small number of disaffected young people.

Even if they didn't preach violence, Professor Barton feared they would convince a follower they needed to physically punish or even kill non-Muslims.

'"We will follow through and do what these beliefs require", that's the danger,' Professor Barton told Daily Mail Australia from Indonesia.

Fundamentalists in the suburbs have been telling Muslims to avoid wishing Christians a Merry Christmas and demanding that wives should never refuse a husband's demand for sex.

Salafist Muslim groups advocating a fundamentalist, seventh-century version of Islam, operate in parts of Sydney and Melbourne and are funded by Saudi Arabian interests.

The Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association, also known as the ASWJ, is an extreme example.

Jamil El-Biza, a fundamentalist sheikh from Wollongong south of Sydney, last year told his followers via Facebook they should avoid wishing Christians a Merry Christmas to please Allah.

'I'd rather be resurrected on the day of judgement, with the fact I made a few hundred million unhappy with me because I refuse to say "Merry Christmas", rather than being brought forward before Allah and having to explain to him why I congratulated a Christian who worships Jesus as lord,' he said on Christmas Day, 2017.

Professor Barton said fundamentalist groups needed to be called out for pushing anti-social messages.

'So when you've got a group that's putting hatred or intolerance or misogyny, you've got to call it out and say, "That's not acceptable",' he said.

Another ASWJ preacher Nassim Abdi last month told a mosque at Auburn, in Sydney's west, that it was sinful for a wife to refuse sex with her husband.

'If the husband calls the wife to be intimate and there's no legitimate reason for the woman to say no, then she must answer the call of her husband,' he said.

'She must answer the call of her husband and if not she has committed a major sin.'

Professor Barton said Australian authorities needed to ask other theologically conservative Muslims to tell extremists they had crossed a socially-acceptable line.

'Perversely, it actually means working with some of the more conservative groups and making it clear where the boundaries are and say, "Look, we fully respect you having your personal beliefs but when it comes to misogyny, child marriage, when it comes to any kind of teaching that incites hatred of others, that's not acceptable",' he said.

'What you want to do is identify where the line is in terms of behaviour.

'You're living in a society where a lot of people celebrate Christmas, you need to educate the next generation to grow up in that multicultural society and not feel threatened.

'When you feel angry, it's not good for you, it's not good for your community.'

Another Sunni hardliner, Um Jamaal ud-Din, a niqab-wearing Muslim convert from Christianity, previously known as Mouna Parkin, earlier this year told Muslims to boycott Valentine's Day because it had originated as a Christian festival.

'Roses are red, violets are blue, celebrating Valentine's Day is from what the immoral people do,' the religious instructor from western Sydney said.

Another Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, a political group pushing for an Islamic caliphate, is so extreme it last year confirmed it supported the death penalty for ex-Muslims.

The Australian government is continuing to resist calls to ban this group, even though it is illegal in a range of Muslim-majority nations including Indonesia, Egypt and Jordan.

Sydney Lindt cafe siege gunman Man Monis was photographed attending Hizb ut-Tahrir events before he killed manager Tori Johnson in December 2014 at the end of a 16-hour siege.

Less than a year later, 15-year-old schoolboy Farhad Jabar gunned down accountant Curtis Cheng outside the New South Wales police headquarters in Parramatta, after reportedly visiting a Muslim bookshop in western Sydney selling Sharia law books that advocated death for homosexuals and stoning for adultery.

Professor Barton said Saudi-funded Islamic Salafist groups had been sprouting up in Australia since the late 1970s and were a challenge to contain.

'In most societies, it's going to be a hopeless battle trying to take on all religious fundamentalists of whatever form including the Salafists,' he said.

Last year, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wore a burqa into the Senate to make a point about how fundamentalist Islam was incompatible with Australian society.

Professor Barton said stunts like that only helped fundamentalist portray themselves to their followers as being under attack from the West.

'The message of the fundamentalists is that the West hates Islam, that the Australian government, the Australian people are against Muslims so when Pauline Hanson turns up in the Senate in a burqa, it just makes it that much easier for the local preacher who's pushing an intolerant message to turn around and say, "I told you, guys",' he said.


Australia's alternative to illegal immigrant farm workers

Thousands of backpackers who travel to Australia will have their working visas extended as the Federal Government looks to permanently end worker shortages on farms.   

Annual working holiday visa caps will be lifted, the age limit raised to 35 for select countries, and backpackers will also be able to triple the length of their stay in some instances after formally agreeing to more agricultural work.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has endorsed the sweeping changes, with backpackers also no longer required to leave jobs every six months.

They will now be encouraged to stay with the same employer for up a year.

The Government has been under increasing pressure to help struggling farmers after the Nationals failed to deliver on a promised agriculture visa, and Mr Morrison's ambitious plan to force dole recipients to pick fruit never got off the ground. 

Nationals MP Keith Pitt urged federal government representatives to increase the number of backpackers because farms in his local Bundaberg region were struggling to survive.

As part of the newly introduced farm labourer push, overseas visitors with a Pacific Islander background will now be able to work for nine months rather than the current six month limit. 

Daily Mail Australia understands Mr Morrison has also not ruled out agreeing to another agriculture visa if the changes don't fill the required jobs on farms.

The Prime Minister said the primary aim was to deliver immediate help and willing workers to farmers.

'Australians filling Australian jobs is my number one priority but when this isn't possible we need to ensure our farmers aren't left high and dry with rotting crops, especially in the strawberry industry,' Mr Morrison told the Courier Mail.

'We want more money in the back pockets of our farmers.' 


 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

5 November, 2018

Could our reefs be saved after all? Weed-like cauliflower coral has evolved unique immunity genes that means it could survive global warming

So a very vigorous coral is a "weed".  The Green/Left never miss a chance at negativity.  And saying it has developed "immune" responses to survive is a stretch.  Starfish, lowered water levels, and  unexpected heat variations are the big enemies of coral, not viruses and bacteria

A common coral has evolved unique strategies to cope with environmental change. Scientists say the cauliflower coral - which is traditionally thought of as a weed - could be one of the only corals to survive dramatic changes in the climate.

As one of the most abundant and widespread reef-building corals in the world it could be crucial to the future survival of the world's reefs, scientists found.

Researchers from the University of Miami say the common coral species might have evolved unique immune strategies to cope with environmental change.

Roughly 30 per cent of the cauliflower coral's (Pocillopora damicornis) genome was unique compared to several other reef-building corals.

This adaptation could be crucial for the long-term survival of coral reefs as climate change and ocean acidification continue to ravage the oceans.

'This coral is traditionally thought of as a weed, and yet it may be one of the last corals to survive environmental changes such as climate change,' said senior author of the study Nikki Traylor-Knowles, an assistant professor of marine biology and ecology at the University of Miami.

To conduct the research, scientists extracted and sequenced the genomic DNA from two healthy fragments and two bleached fragments of P. damicornis.

Their genome was then compared to publicly available genomes for several other coral species.

'The study shows that this is an important coral with a very complex and unique immune system, which may explain why it is able to survive in so many different locations,' said the paper's lead author Ross Cunning who is now a researcher at Shedd Aquarium.

The results suggest that the evolution of an innate immune system has been a defining feature of the success of hard corals like P. damicornis.

The immune system of corals, like humans, is vital to protect overall health and deal with changes in its surroundings.

If an animal has a stronger immune system then it will be better equipped to deal with environmental changes.

These new findings, published in Scientific Reports, suggest that some corals have many more immunity genes than would be expected.

'This study helps us better understand how corals deal with stress,' said Dr Traylor-Knowles.

'Its complex immune system indicates that it may have the tools to deal with environmental change much more easily than other corals.'


When will we start deporting these black goons

An African gang attacked a group of chefs outside an exclusive restaurant, who fought their way to safety with a shovel.

The group of up to 15 men used iron bars and knuckledusters and launched the unprovoked attack outside Donovans in St Kilda, Melbourne on Thursday night.

Business owners on St Kilda's foreshore are now forming 'action plans' in an attempt to protect staff and customers from violence. 

Following his shift at the popular restaurant, Daniel Maetzing, 24, was waiting for a friend when the group approached him and demanded he hand over his belongings.

When he refused to do so, the gang began to violently attack him. 'All of sudden it escalated, the first hit I got was to the back of the head, from there it carried on,' Mr Maetzing told 9NEWS.

One of the attackers snapped the chef's glasses while another lunged at him with a champagne bottle.

The 24-year-old suffered serious bruising and a laceration to his head, having to spend the night in hospital to monitor the injuries.

'They don't value other peoples' lives. Will it take someone to die before we start focusing on our safety?' Mr Maetzing told The Herald Sun.

The wife of a Donovan's worker told the publication six of the African youths attacked chefs who had just finished their shifts with metal poles they had hidden inside their clothing.

She added the shovel was used by other chefs to fight the gang off and drag their colleagues to safety.

Thirty minutes prior to the vicious brawl, a 23-year-old was punched to the head and robbed by the same group of youths nearby. When he refused to hand over his phone, he got hit several times in the head before they forcefully stole it.

The Herald Sun reported multiple restaurants long the St Kilda beach strip are implementing security plans to defend staff and patrons.

One worker said the continuous violence has warned locals that youth gangs are 'back' and for businesses to be prepared.

There are also plans to turn the St Kilda Life Saving Club into a remote police station for the summer.

The Victorian government is also installing CCTV cameras across the foreshore.

A witness said he saw the brawl scenes spill out onto the road as he drove past the Donovans restaurant at about 10pm.

Speaking to 3AW Mornings on Friday, the witness called John said he thought he was watching a Halloween stunt and was forced to swerve to avoid hitting those involved.

He said: 'I saw a man wearing chef's gear and he was swinging this shovel around trying to protect himself from around 10 to 15 black Africans.'

John added he saw another group of about 10 Africans standing in the car park as he looked back, half of which were girls.  

Donovans declined to comment on the incident when approached by Daily Mail Australia.  


The petulant man: Turnbull has become a miserable ghost

It was a Friday night in early March 2008 when I received a call from Malcolm Turnbull on my home phone. The (then) shadow treasurer was in an agitated state. He told me Brendan Nelson, who succeeded John Howard as Liberal Party leader in December 2007, was hopeless and should step down.

I was not a Liberal Party member and I certainly did not have a vote in the partyroom. I doubted Nelson would be a successful opposition leader. However, I reminded Turnbull that Nelson had been leader for only a couple of months and that he deserved time.

Turnbull’s position was that the Liberal Party would collapse unless Nelson was replaced by him. I advised patience and we never spoke about the issue again.

As it turned out, Turnbull successfully challenged Nelson for the Liberal Party leadership in September 2008 and held the position until he was replaced by Tony Abbott in December 2009.

The lesson from that exchange a decade ago was that Turnbull is impulsive and impatient.

There is more evidence of this right now. A month ago the former prime minister was recorded making the following comment at a forum in New York: “When you stop being prime minister, that’s it. There is no way I’m going to be hanging around like embittered Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott … these people are like some sort of miserable, miserable ghosts.”

Turnbull is a clever man. So he would have expected that his “miserable ghosts” reference would raise attention.

Rudd took the bait, Abbott remained silent. Returning to Sydney on October 22, Turnbull defended his decision not to publicly support Liberal candidate Dave Sharma in the Wentworth by-election on the basis that he had retired from politics. Then on Wednesday the ABC’s Q&A announced that Turnbull would be appearing on a special program next Thursday. There will be no one else on the panel. From retiree to miserable ghost in just more than a couple of weeks, it seems.

ABC news and current affairs is in such poor shape at the moment that it cannot run a specialist current affairs program on its main channel late at night. The once news-setting Lateline died recently while on Emma Alberici’s watch, which leaves Q&A.

During the early period of the Abbott government, Q&A presenter Tony Jones and executive producer Peter McEvoy used the program to promote Turnbull. It provided an opportunity for the ambitious Liberal to put on his leather jacket and appeal to a green-left audience on what are called progressive issues.

In the lead-up to the 2013 election, the ABC’s Lateline and Q&A effectively had promoted Clive Palmer, then head of the Palmer United Party. Palmer narrowly defeated Liberal Party candidate Ted O’Brien in the Queensland seat of Fairfax.

As Abbott said on Sky News’ The Bolt Report on Monday, the ABC criticises the Coalition and the Labor Party from the Left. That’s why the public broadcaster is so loved by the Greens and self-proclaimed “progressives”. The ABC is a conservative-free-zone without a conservative presenter, producer or editor on any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets, and many of its panels go to air without the voice of even one conservative commentator.

However, the ABC has plenty of time to hear from disaffected present or former Liberal Party members. That’s why John Hewson appears so often on the public broadcaster. And that’s why Malcolm Fraser received such a friendly reception when he appeared on Q&A in 2010 with Jones in the presenter’s chair. Stand by for many appearances by Turnbull in the years ahead.

The unfashionable fact — which dare not speak its name on the ABC or in Fairfax Media — is that Turnbull is primarily responsible for the Coalition’s present circumstances. He lost 14 seats to Labor in the July 2016 election. It was Turnbull’s idea to call a double-dissolution election, including an eight-week campaign. It was Turnbull’s decision to run a meaningless “jobs and growth” campaign and not take the attack to Bill Shorten and Labor on issues such as border protection and trade union abuse of power. It was the worst campaign by a government in recent memory.

Turnbull led the Coalition to a narrow one-seat majority. Then, after he was replaced by Scott Morrison, he quit Wentworth causing an unnecessary by-­election. Then he intervened from New York by publicly advising the Prime Minister to refer Peter Dutton’s eligibility to sit in parliament to the High Court. Then from Indonesia he criticised Morrison’s decision to consider relocating the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital in Jerusalem.

It was perfectly appropriate for Turnbull to discuss this matter with Indonesian President Joko Widodo when he represented Australia at the oceans conference in Bali. Where Turnbull erred was in talking to the media about his personal views following the meeting. That was entering the political debate, something he said he would not do three weeks ago. Turnbull gave the impression he believed Australia’s position on Israel should be determined by the attitude of the government in ­Indonesia. No former Liberal leader has been as disruptive as Turnbull so soon after losing the top position. The fact is that Abbott was quiet in the lead-up to the 2016 election. When Turnbull rejected Howard’s advice and refused to give his predecessor a good job after the 2016 election, Abbott made life tough for Turnbull, as he is quoted as acknowledging in David Speers’s new book, On Mutiny (MUP).

Before the leadership change, Morrison advised Turnbull not to initiate a spill. He did. Morrison then supported Turnbull against Dutton’s challenge. When it was obvious Turnbull had lost the support of most of his colleagues, Morrison entered the contest and won. His reward is to be attacked and criticised by his predecessor in full miserable ghosts mode — soon to be brought to us all in its entirety on Q&A.


The Eastman case is still ongoing!

In 1995 Eastman was convicted of the murder of Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. However, a 2014 judicial inquiry recommended the sentence be quashed and he should be pardoned. On 22 August of the same year, the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory quashed the conviction, released Eastman from prison, and ordered a retrial. A retrial commenced on 18 June 2018

The defence counsel for David Eastman says there are too many unknowns and too many gaps for the jury to find him guilty of the murder of Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Colin Winchester.

Concluding his address to the ACT Supreme Court jury, George Georgiou SC said the prosecution relied heavily on circumstantial evidence, comparing that to strands in a cable.

But under scrutiny and careful analysis, jurors might think the strands in the cable had begun to stretch, to whither and to break away, he said.

"There are too many unknowns, too many gaps and too many pieces of evidence that cannot be explained for the case to be made out beyond reasonable doubt," Mr Georgiou said.

Eastman, 73, a former Treasury official has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Winchester, who was shot twice in the head as he parked on the driveway next to his Canberra home about 9.15pm on January 10, 1989.

The prosecution alleges Eastman had developed a murderous hatred of Mr Winchester, who he blamed for imperilling his bid to rejoin the Commonwealth Public Service.

In his address to the jury, Mr Georgiou raised the possibility Mr Winchester could have been murdered by an organised crime group and not Eastman.

He told the jurors they should not allow any emotion or bias to intrude on their important task of considering the facts of the case.

"The charge of murder against Mr Eastman has not been made out beyond reasonable doubt," he said, urging them to return a verdict of not guilty.

Trial judge Justice Murray Kellam has now begun his summing up of the case to the jury, which is expected to conclude in mid-November.

Jurors will then retire to consider their verdict in the trial which has been running since June 18.


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, 2018

Grim reef bleaching forecast

Prophecies, prophecies. They do this forecast most years.  I come from Australia's Far North, adjoining the reef, and I can in fact remember such earnest forecasts from when I was a kid --60 years ago.  But the reef is still there, much the same as ever.  It has ups and downs but it always bounces back.  It has bounced back recently in fact, something not mentioned below -- which is why they stick to prophecy

Predictions that the Great Barrier Reef could suffer severe coral bleaching by the end of summer is an urgent warning for the Federal Government to take immediate climate action, says the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) tentative forecast, out today, predicts the entire reef has a 60 percent chance of being subject to "bleaching alert level one"—meaning bleaching is likely— by March 2019, with possible coral mortality in some areas.

“How much more of the Great Barrier Reef has to die before the Federal Government acts on climate change?,” said AMCS spokesperson Imogen Zethoven.

“While our Reef is in danger, our politicians continue to ignore the issue of climate change with no credible plan to reduce pollution.

Parts of the southern half of the Reef are on higher alert with coral mortality likely in some areas, according to NOAA. An El Niño event could increase the odds of a severe bleaching event.

“The Reef is already suffering heat impacts. Add drought, bushfires and heatwaves into the mix and all Queenslanders, including our marine life, are in for a tough summer,” said Zethoven.

“The government’s claims that it is looking after the Reef—and the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on this—ultimately count for very little if it continues to ignore the greatest threat to the reef.

“By failing to protect the Reef, the Federal Government is also gambling with the 64,000 jobs that are dependent on the Reef, and the $6 billion that it generates every year for the Queensland economy.”

“The Government knows what the solutions to this are all too well: no new coal mines, including Adani’s monstrous Carmichael mine, a rapid transition to renewable energy, a phase out of all coal-fired power stations by 2030 and an immediate end to all fossil fuel subsidies.”

“But instead of acting on these recommendations, the government continues to pander to the demands of the fossil fuel industry instead of delivering a cleaner, safer future for Australia.

“The Government is on notice ahead of the next election. Australians want the Government to protect the Reef and its amazing wildlife. The time to act is now.”

Greenie Media release. Interviews available from Imogen Zethoven, a Greenie from way back. 0431 565 495

What heatwave?

At mid-afternoon in Brisbane on Saturday, my thermometer read 31C.  But a normal summer mid-afternoon temperature is 34C, so there is nothing out of the ordinary about the current temperature

Good news for weekend beach-goers as Friday's heatwave will spill over onto Super Saturday.

Records were smashed across New South Wales on Friday, as Green Cape in the state's far south-east broke its November record by six degrees and Wollongong's highs of 36C represented its highest ever early Spring mark.

While temperatures will not reach as high as Friday's scorcher, those in Australia's east coast can expect the above-average heat to continue.

Persistent warm north-westerly winds blowing in from central Australia will see Sydney hit 30C on Saturday, making it perfect weather to hit the beach.

According to Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) forecaster Rose Barr, temperatures in western parts of the state will stretch past 30C.

The western suburb of Penrith is expected to see highs of 36C.

Meanwhile in parts of Queensland, temperatures could push up to 40C over the weekend.

However those looking to top up their tan should bare in mind that the heatwave won't last much longer.

BOM meteorologist Rose Barr told Daily Mail Australia that the hot spell is likely to linger until Tuesday.


Seventy ‘desperate’ asylum seekers on Nauru REJECT chance to move to the US when they’re told they’ll have to work and won’t get free welfare

A total of 71 asylum seekers on Nauru have turned down the chance to move to the US after discovering they would need to work and wouldn't get free welfare. 

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton claimed those who who rejected the move were not 'genuine' refugees.

Mr Dutton claimed their reluctance to take up the opportunity proved they were simply economic migrants trying to take advantage of generous welfare systems.

He told The Daily Telegraph: 'People who have refused to take a place in the US are not genuine. 'Millions of refugees have gone to the US and may have died trying because it's one of the greatest countries in the world. 'Reports have come back to people on Nauru it's all a bit financially tight there because you have to get a job and there's no welfare there.'

With Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing on Thursday he aimed to remove all children from Nauru by Christmas, pressure has been growing on the government to accept an offer from the New Zealand government to resettle refugees.

The prime minister has said he would accept such an offer if it meant those sent to New Zealand received lifetime bans on returning to Australia.

But the Home Affairs Minister said people-smugglers would likely keep trying to bring refugees back into Australia.

And that would mean more children could end up back on Nauru, defeating the purpose of the Liberal government pledge.

As of Monday, 40 children of asylum seekers remain on Nauru and an unofficial timeline has been set to have them brought to Australia. A total of 46 infants have been born to asylum seekers since Nauru was reopened for processing in 2012, an average of about eight a year.

Last week, more than 1,000 people stopped traffic in the heart of Sydney while about 500 protesters in Melbourne rallied against the federal government's offshore detention centres.


Sex vs gender: down the slippery linguistic slope

Public discourse is filled with euphemistic language that can make difficult topics more palatable. However, euphemisms can also create more confusion than clarity when the meanings of words become blurred. A clear example of this is in the discussion on gender and sex.

Next month, the Tasmanian parliament will debate the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018. Several media reports have stated the proposed bill will, among other things, remove gender from birth certificates. The bill began as a push to remove an old law that required transgender people to divorce before changing their gender on legal documents; but amendments by the Greens have added in the potential for gender to be removed from birth certificates.

There is just one problem — Tasmanian birth certificates do not currently record the gender of a child. They record the sex. That is, they record the biologically immutable characteristics of males and females, developed at conception from the XY chromosomal determination system.

Prior to the mid 1950s, the term ‘gender’ pertained to language — where some nouns were masculine or feminine. Then psychologist Dr John Money decided that gender applied to human beings and coined the term ‘gender identity’ —  which refers to an individual’s personal view of their sex, without regard to their biological sex.

This is where things start to become a little tricky when we use gender and sex interchangeably. If gender is completely socially or personally constructed and does not bear any relationship to biological sex, what is recorded on a birth certificate should not matter because birth certificates record a biological fact — the sex of a child.

If sex and gender are interchangeable you can argue that gender is biologically determined and sex is social constructed or vice-versa — confusing, I know.

We would all be better served if people were strict in their use of the terms sex and gender and stopped using them interchangeably. This would at least help clarify debate around these issues, which are ill-served by muddying the dialogue.


Leftists twist the speech of a conservative

An attempt to be vivid backfired

Ross Cameron has been let go from Sky News after on-air comments many said were 'racist'. The Sydney Morning Herald smears likewise: Sky News host Ross Cameron sacked for racist comments.

Tellingly, the Herald damned Cameron as a racist without bothering to read the context:

On Tuesday night's Outsiders program, Cameron stated: "If you go to the Disneyland in Shanghai on any typical morning of the week you'll see 20,000 black-haired, slanty-eyed, yellow-skinned Chinese desperate to get into Disneyland."

The context of the comment was not immediately clear

The media by and large relied on that one out-of-context quote, provided by a small far-Left activist group, Sleeping Giants, which is dedicated to getting Sky News banned or boycotted by advertisers.

Sleeping Giants and the media have presented that (regrettable) quote as evidence of Ross being racist - anti-Chinese.

This is a foul deception. The opposite of the truth.

In fact, hear Ross's poorly-chosen words in context and you will find he was defending Chinese people, not mocking them. He was actually mocking racist stereotypes in defending the Chinese as people who may look very different but have a great civilisation and are open the West's as well.

Ironically, Ross's comments came when he was once again defending China probably more than I think prudent, and the outrage-takers have taken him down with deceit and selective quoting.

Here is what Ross actually said - and, note, I agree that he should not have expressed himself with language that was so likely to give offence, and so likely to be misinterpreted, accidently or (more probably) maliciously.

But anyone who thinks, after reading this context, that Ross was being "racist" is an idiot or a liar:

Ross Cameron:I want to begin with just the factual reference that we’ve had an announcement of policy from the Australian Labor Party as something actually worth discussing... :“The next Labor Government will not deal with China through the prism of worst case assumptions about its long term ambitions", Mr Shorten said. "Pre-emptively framing China as a strategic threat isn’t a sufficient response to its role and increasing influence in our region.”

So I wanted to ask my co-host Rowan, is China a strategic threat to Australia?

Rowan Dean: Of course it is.

Ross Cameron: What evidence do you rely upon?

Rowan Dean: Because it is not a democracy, it is a totalitarian dictatorship, therefore by definition, absolute power will corrupt somewhere down the line - maybe it already has -any democracy must approach a non-democracy with caution. You’d be silly not to...

Ross Cameron: I think you approach with caution - I don’t find us in disagreement... When we look at a country like China - and I would say the same thing of Russia - we have a choice... The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has just released a paper saying that there are 300 senior Chinese military scholars who have come to Australia to try and penetrate the wall of the 5 Eyes intelligence and trying to hoover up all of our secrets. I would say I find this to be characteristic of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which comes up with few strategic ideas but does manage to smear China every time it cuts and pastes something out of the CIA Handbook.

I’m just saying to you that the Chinese civilisation is the oldest continuous civilisation in the world. OK, It's not going anywhere. 1.4 billion people, it's got about a sixth of the world’s population. All of them are studying English. If you go to Disneyland in Shanghai on any typical morning of the week you will see 20,000 black haired, slanty eyed, yellow skinned Chinese desperate to get into Disneyland because they like and enjoy and are embracing many aspects of Western culture...

We find the Chinese to be Australia’s single most important trading partner. The Chinese provide the greatest number of purchasers of Australian education exports, the greatest number of foreign students. We find a million Chinese coming to Australia each year to visit. One out of four ships leaving an Australian port goes straight to China.

I am a ruthless realist in relation to Australian foreign policy. Henry Kissinger I don’t believe in indulging fantasies, or wishing the world was something other than what it is. My view of China’s conduct in the South China Sea, we have to remember that is the access to their ports. The Chinese could run out of fuel if they can’t get access to ships for more than a couple of weeks. You’ve got 1.6 billion people consuming energy, China simply cannot and will not risk inability to access their own sea lanes. I just say the Chinese have very little history of invading others or dropping bombs. The United States, NATO, Atlantic Alliance has dropped bombs in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Yemen, all over the joint. The Chinese have not dropped bombs on anybody else in recent decades.

The greatest humanitarian achievement in human history is the lifting out of poverty of seven or eight hundred million people since Deng Xiaoping came to power in 1980. He committed to lifting the standard of living of the average Chinese by a factor of four which he managed to achieve. So I am not uncritical of the China’s conduct.

Rowan Dean: Ross you are sounding like a PR firm. You’re sounding like a PR firm.

Ross Cameron: It's factual.

I am heart-sick that such a malicious spin of Ross's words could be so effective in panicking advertisers, ending Ross's career, and damaging Sky.

(And note, by the way, the hypocrisy. Where was Sleeping Giants when then ABC host Red Symons asked a Chinese guest if she was "yellow"?)


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, 2018


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is critical of Greenie plans to give 16 year olds the vote

"Killer heatwave": What the heck are they talking about?

At mid afternoon Thurs 1st November in Brisbane (S.E. Queeensland), my thermometer reads 29.5C -- and my thermometer synchronizes well with Brisbane BoM readings. And a normal summer afternoon reading is 34C

Killer heatwave strikes: Temperatures on Australia's east coast soar towards 40C – and it won't end until next week

Australia is sweating its way through the first heatwave of the season, prompting dire warnings from fire and health authorities.

Temperatures in Sydney are set to reach the mid-to high-30s by Friday and more than 40C in regional areas.

Unusually dry conditions, strong winds and scorching temperatures have also increased the risk of dangerous fires.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke told Daily Mail Australia the heatwave would be contained to inland areas for southern parts of the country.

'In the far north of the country parts of the tropics are getting the heatwave, such as the eastern part of Cape York,' Mr Dutschke said.

Most of southern Australia is set to endure three to four days of the scorching heatwave. However, areas such as northern New South Wales and southwest Queensland will be met with much more severe heat.

Most of the coast will be lucky to avoid the heatwave due to sea breezes, but will still see warmer than normal temperatures.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Jake Phillips said it was the first heatwave of the season and while it won't be very intense, it could impact people more than normal given the recent run of mild conditions.

'One of the characteristics of heatwaves is not just hotter maximum temperatures but also hotter minimums,' he said in a statement.

As the heatwave stretches across most of the country, authorities have urged residents to prepare themselves for a 'killer' bushfire season.

Friday and Saturday will be the hottest days as the heatwave makes its way across the east coast before being pushed north.

Weatherzone meteorologist Jacob Cronje said the heatwave was the result of a cold front pushing the warm weather towards the coast. 'At the moment there is very hot air over the interior of Australia, which has had very little cloud cover,' Mr Cronje said. 'A cold front is forcing and dragging all that warm air down.'


'They're obsessed with all this stuff!' Scott Morrison blasts Labor for spending too much time on transgender people after plans for new gender-neutral passports emerge

Has the workers' party become the deviant's party?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed Labor and its 'ridiculous' obsession with gender identity.

Mr Morrison's comments follow the release of the Labor Party's final draft national policy platform, which mentions sexual orientation and transgender dozens of times.

Labor is also considering appointing a new Commissioner for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status issues.

When asked by Alan Jones on his 2GB breakfast radio program on Thursday if the focus on the subject worries him, Mr Morrison replied, 'It does, at a number of levels.'

'But the main one is why aren't they talking about small business and family businesses. Why aren't they talking about (bringing) taxes down and electricity prices down?' Mr Morrison continued.

'Why aren't they talking about those issues? I mean, they're obsessed with this stuff. I honestly don't understand.'

Labor's federal policy proposal has been released ahead of the party's triennial national party conference, which is being held in Adelaide from December 16 to 18.

The party's left and right factions will debate the draft platform at the conference and if the proposals are agreed to, they will be the policies Labor takes to next year's federal election.

The draft document mentions sexual orientation 64 times, transgender 36 times and intersex 59 times.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual are each mentioned about 30 times, while gender is included on 138 occasions.

The 224-page policy proposal seeks to commit a Labor government to reviewing 'documentation requirements'.

For transgender and intersex people, that would mean the ability to choose an identification 'beyond binary male/female'. 

'That's what they're going to debate at the Labor Party national conference. Apparently that is the issue, not what people are having to pay,' Mr Morrison said. 'It's ridiculous. It is just simply ridiculous.'  


The university degrees that will earn you big bucks and the ones that will leave you empty-handed (communications and tourism students look away now)

Australia's best and worst universities and degrees for landing a high-paying job after graduation have been revealed in a new report into higher education.

The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey showed the best courses but also laid bare which degrees are the worst when it came to job availability and pay rises.

The study showed that nine in ten tertiary graduates were working full-time three years after graduating, with an average salary of $70,000.

The latest data from Australia's largest higher education survey was based on the responses of 40,000 students who graduated in 2014 from 60 institutions across Australia.

Graduates who studied medicine, pharmacy and engineering were enjoying the highest average salaries by 2018, with their pay going up by 78 per cent between their entry-level post-graduation jobs and the positions they were filling four years down the line.

Medicine graduates were earning $65,000 straight out of uni in 2015, but that jumped to $98,000 in 2018.

The highest-paid profession four years after university was dentistry, with the class of 2014 averaging $118,000 in salary this year.

On the other end of the scale, teaching degrees had the worst outcomes for graduates when it came to salary growth, with pay only increasing by 15 percent over the four-year period.

When it came to finding work, the worst outcomes were for graduates in tourism, hospitality, personal services, sport and recreation, with only 48 per cent finding a job within a year of gaining a degree.

It was little better for those in the creative arts, such as communications, where the rate of employment in year one was 48.3 per cent - the same percentage as those with degrees in maths and science despite schools trying to push more female students into that sector.

However, all fields of study had an employment rate of at least 85 per cent by year four, indicating the value of tertiary study.

 'A university degree expands your horizons, challenges you and remains one of the surest ways to find full-time work, even when the labour market has been doing it tough,' Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said in a statement.

'Four out of five people with undergraduate qualifications are working in managerial and professional occupations. These are exactly the type of jobs that the Australian Bureau of Statistics says require a Bachelor’s degree or higher.'

Sydney graduates fared better than their Melbourne counterparts when it comes to salaries.

University of Sydney’s class of 2014 were earning a median salary of $73,000 by 2018, $8000 more than their University of Melbourne counterparts.

Three years after graduation, universities with the highest full-time employment rates for undergraduates include Charles Sturt University in regional New South Wales (93.6 per cent) and Murdoch University in Perth (93.2), followed by University of Technology Sydney (92.7), Canberra's Australian National University (92.2)  and University of South Australia (91.8).


We can’t let the aggressive secularists drive out religion

The Machiavellian leaking of “fake news” out of the Ruddock review of religious freedom during the Wentworth by-election and the emotionally charged reaction raises yet again the issue of how 25 million people are going to live together with their deepest ideological and religious beliefs in the vastly different Australia we now live in.

In short, the question is how we are now going to respect diversity and still promote liberty while maintaining the harmony that has been so much the hallmark of our national life.

We must face up to the urgency of the problem: we are atomising and fracturing in the context of the rise of powerful ferment over beliefs and ideologies across the globe. Far from this being “the end of history” or an age of secularism, we are witnessing a global resurgence of religion and ideology.

We are also living through a clash of Western traditions within our own civilisation, between liberal traditionalism and cultural Marxism, both of which emerged out of the Enlightenment. Add to this the emergence of social media, which was supposed to create a virtual global public square, but in the process has also created virtual global tribes, and we a have vast new machinery for transforming civil disagreement into civil hate. These forces are potentially so destabilising that they may threaten our governability.

If we beneficiaries of liberal democracy and human rights better understood our history we wouldn’t be so reserved about affirming religious freedom. History teaches that the long arc of Christian influence on society has proven to be hugely beneficial.

No doubt it is easy to find serious moral blemishes in Christian history, but it was also out of Christianity’s capacity for reform that the solutions evolved. Perez Zagorin in his classic book How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West shows that religious freedom — the beginning of liberalism — largely emerged from Christian tradition in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The great myth is that all of our most cherished values came out of some secular Enlightenment. On the contrary, notions of human dignity and equality arose in the Judeo-Christian tradition hundreds of years before the Enlightenment; and, in any case, for the most part the Enlightenment was not secular. The great Enlightenment document affirming human rights, equality, and liberty — Thomas Jefferson’s 1776 Declaration of Independence — based these ideals on the notion that “all men are created equal” and are “endowed by their Creator” with these rights.

To this day secularists have not found a better foundation.

The anti-slavery movement, perhaps the greatest human rights achievement of all time, drank deeply at the well of Christianity, with the strong religiosity of African-Americans to this day testifying to a collective awareness of Christianity’s emancipatory ­potential.

The early feminist movement was also made up of many individual Christian women, including the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which was the major agent behind women getting the vote in South Australia in 1894.

Evangelicals were at the front of 19th-century movements to improve the conditions in factories: Catholic social thought influenced Justice Henry Higgins in the Harvester judgment of 1907, which introduced a minimum “living” wage in Australia.

None of this is even to mention the huge social utility of religion in Australia today, particularly in the founding of charities and levels of charitable giving, as outlined in Greg Sheridan’s brilliant God is Good For You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times. Society benefits from religion, even if not all individuals know it, and thus it is at our collective loss if we hinder religion’s efforts to maintain strong institutions and have a public influence.

But strong religious institutions are made up of strongly religious individuals — that is, individuals who honour the principles of the institution in thought and deed. For this reason as long as we recognise the importance of allowing religious institutions — churches, schools, charities — to exist we must allow them to discriminate in their membership, lest our commitment to freedom of religion and association is just an empty gong.

It cannot be doubted that individuals can be hurt by the exercise of the rights of religion and conscience, just as people can be hurt by other rights such as freedom of speech, association — we all exercise the right to exclude individuals from our circle of friends — and even free trade.

The best way to address this is within the paradigm of liberal freedoms themselves.

In a liberal democracy, if a clash of interests can be resolved without limiting anybody’s freedoms then it should be the preferred way. In the case of religious schools in a highly developed country like Australia, most people have the option of more than just one school to work or study in. Furthermore, as the Ruddock review recommends, schools can develop strategies for making their doctrinal and moral expectations clear from the beginning in a sensitive way, seeking to avoid any unnecessary hurt.

Interestingly, this reflects the diversity of political parties in our system as a vital part of the machinery of our freedom. Politicians argue that voters should have choice, and we as voters embrace choice every time we decide whom to vote for.

The rhetoric of an often aggressive secularism which seeks to drive religion out of the public square fails to grasp that secularism is merely one voice in the pluralist crowd. Contemporary secularists need to accept that while Australia is not as religious as it was a generation ago, it is not the secularist nation they would like. If secularists rejoice that the 2016 census reported that 30 per cent of Australians register “no religion” they must also acknowledge that around 50 per cent of Australians identified as Christian, with continued immigration coming from countries that are less secular than Australia.

Thus, calls for the withdrawal of public funding for religious schools that discriminate are seriously flawed. Such calls covertly define the Australian “public” as secular, as though the religious parents who send their children to religious schools aren’t themselves members of the same public that contributes the funds from which Australian schools are supported. Once we acknowledge that the Australian public remains to a significant degree a religious public — as the 2016 census indicated — then religious schools have as much right to public funding as non-religious schools.

Sir Robert Menzies said that “democracy is more than a machine; it is a spirit. It is based upon the Christian conception that there is in every human soul a spark of the divine.” For Menzies, democracy could work only if we remember that “with all their inequalities of mind and body, the souls of men stand equal in the sight of God”.

In the ridiculing and mocking of the Christian God and his expulsion from the public square, we have also lost the compelling narrative that Menzies so plainly understood for respecting one another that arises from the Christian insistence on loving your neighbour as yourself, even when that neighbour is your enemy.

In the all-too-common circumstances when we find we profoundly and genuinely disagree, we now resort to such levels of hate speech that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that we are faced with a civic crisis. The aggressive secularists who insist on burning down what remains of our cultural house have proved totally unable to point the way to a better dwelling. The 20th century showed us just how hideous secular utopianism can be.

Modern Australia could surely use an infusion of some things traditionally Christian, for example Christianity’s emphasis on humility. When you replace humility with a culture of narcissism and self-righteousness, those with whom we disagree become wicked in our minds. But as Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said: “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts.”

We are also seeing how superficial progressives’ commitment to multiculturalism actually is, for the cultural integrity of religious schools — Christian or otherwise — seems to have no moral force when it comes to the diversity movement. In fact, the demands of diversity are a new form of assimilation. Dare to disagree on cultural grounds with the reigning orthodoxy on gender politics and you’ll immediately find yourself branded a lesser Australian.

Much as I dislike the racial and sexual discrimination architecture in this country, it appears that an overarching religious discrimination act may be the only way to secure as a positive right an acceptable degree of religious freedom in contemporary Australia.

It would need to be very carefully thought through and drafted in order to properly enshrine religious freedom, associational rights, and freedom of conscience as human rights. Ironically, this is necessary to bring us into line with the very international obligations so beloved of today’s social ­activists.

We are fortunate that in Australia there is indication of a decent majority that values freedom of conscience and religious liberty. The submissions in favour of religious liberty and freedom of conscience to the Ruddock review into religious freedom were overwhelming and, according to polls conducted during the 2017 same-sex marriage debate, a very large majority of Australians are in favour of the protection of religious liberty.

I don’t hear anyone arguing for an extension of religious liberty; rather, it has become patently obvious that effective measures are now needed to simply preserve the freedoms we’ve taken for granted and exercised for so long in laissez-faire Australia. That is because our society is now plainly infused with activists who are determined to use every tool available to enforce their views on others, no matter the cost. And as a result, our cherished social harmony really is now at risk.


The cylist was a typical arrogant prick

I was right in expecting that the cyclist had behaved offensively before he was attacked. Cyclist 'keyed' his attacker's car moments before he was run off the road - and had to write an APOLOGY

The cyclist at the centre of a road rage video that went viral keyed the driver's car before the attack, Daily Mail Australia can reveal.

University mathematics student Jack McDonnell, 29, admitted to running a key along Michael Giarrusso's Nissan Patrol 4WD as he cycled alongside him in Melbourne's St Kilda.

This prompted Mr Giarrusso to deliberately swipe him off the road and then throw his bike into the bushes.

The video went viral after the footage of Giarrusso's savage retaliation was posted online by Australian Cycle Alliance last week and quickly spread across the world.

McDonnell fronted the Melbourne Magistrates' Court in August and admitted his guilt to a single charge of criminal damage with intent to damage or destroy.

He was placed into the court's diversion program for first time offenders where he agreed to write a letter of apology to Giarrusso. Under the plan, offenders are not required to enter into formal pleas and do not have criminal convictions recorded under their names. 

The apology letter was received by the driver within a month and the diversion plan was discharged on September 3.

McDonnnell, a language expert who previously worked in France, has further angered police after taking to social media this week to out Giarrusso as the driver in the video.

The Queensland native branded Giarrusso a 'coward', naming him and providing his home address and mobile phone number, which has since been disconnected.

Giarrusso's dad, John Giarrusso, told Daily Mail Australia he was furious with the social and mainstream media coverage his son had received. Mr Giarrusso was named in a one-sided article written by The Age on Tuesday. 'It's in the hands of solicitors at the moment,' he said.

'It's totally incorrect, so the solicitor is looking after this … this is total a fabrication. They don't know the whole story of this so this is why it's in the hands of solicitors

Mr Giarrusso, 27, of Bentleigh East, was forced to front court over his savage retaliation against the cyclist.

The Melbourne Magistrates' Court confirmed Giarrusso initially faced five charges over the incident, but pleaded guilty to just one charge of recklessly causing injury after accepting a deal from prosecutors. He was fined $1000 without conviction and ordered to pay $81 in court costs.


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, 2018

Australia: Endangered Koalas?

More stupid Greenie prophecy. If they ever get a disaster prophecy right will be the time to heed them, and not before.  As it is, this is just another of their old scares.  Scares are their stock in trade.

And it is as dishonest as usual. They say, for instance, that Koalas are "at serious risk of disappearing entirely from some areas".  A more honest statement would be that Koalas are "at serious risk of disappearing entirely from some areas while being in pest proportions in other areas, such as Kangaroo Island in South Australia".  There is no truth in them (John 8:44)

EARTH has lost a staggering 60 per cent of its wildlife populations since 1970, a bleak new report has revealed.

But koala numbers in Australia have declined at an even faster rate, and the beloved national animal is at serious risk of disappearing entirely from some areas.

The group WWF today released its Living Planet Report, a comprehensive study tracking 16,704 populations of 4005 vertebrate species across the world from 1970 to 2014.

It described the global decline in species — an average rate of 13.6 per cent every 10 years, or 60 per cent in total — as a “grim” result of the pressure humans place on nature.

While the figures are alarming, koala populations along Australia’s east coast have plummeted even faster, at a rate of 21 per cent per decade.

That shocking statistic can be explained by another figure in the report — eastern Australia is one of the 11 worst deforestation fronts in the world, and the only developed country on the list.

“It is a wakeup call for our east coast to appear alongside notorious forest destruction hot spots such as the Amazon, Congo Basin, Sumatra and Borneo,” WWF Australia boss Dermot O’Gorman said.

Clearing for livestock is listed as the primary cause of forest loss, with unsustainable logging an important secondary cause.

By 2050, koalas are likely to disappear completely from the wild in NSW, WWF Australia estimates.

The group blames the axing of forest protection laws by the State Government, saying it all but signing the species’ death warrant.

“The Government needs to urgently reverse its recent axing of laws that has led to a tripling of koala habitat destruction in northwest NSW,” Mr O’Gorman said.


Anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson joins Proud Boys founder’s Australian tour

ANTI-ISLAM campaigner Tommy Robinson has announced he will join Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes on his Australian tour in December, in a move likely to increase pressure on the government to ban the right-wing activists from entering the country.

Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is the former leader of the English Defence League and is one of the most prominent anti-Islam voices in the UK. Earlier this year he spent two months in jail after being sentenced for contempt of court for live-streaming outside a “grooming gang” trial.

The 35-year-old was released on bail in August and ordered to face a retrial. A judge last week referred the long-running case to the attorney-general to determine whether it should be dropped.

In a Facebook video on Monday, Robinson said he was coming to Australia to “thank everyone” for their support, “providing all is good”. “We’re going to see over the next couple of days,” he said.

“I guess there’s going to be a lot of people getting triggered in Australia and hopefully a lot of people happy I’ll be coming. Eight weeks ago I was sitting in solitary confinement in prison, and now I’m probably going to address American Congress and speak in cities across Australia.”

The tour, dubbed “The Deplorables”, is being organised by Penthouse magazine and follows controversial visits by right-wing provocateurs Milo Yiannopoulos and Lauren Southern, both of which were marred by clashes between attendees and protesters.

There are growing calls for McInnes to have his visa rejected on character grounds. The former Vice co-founder has described his Proud Boys group as a “gang” and encourages members to brawl with left-wing groups like Antifa.

Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dr Dvir Abramovich called on Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to reject both men’s visas, saying the tour would “whip up fear and unrest in our nation and should be of grave concern”.

He said McInnes held “hateful, anti-Semitic and abhorrent views” and he would “not be surprised if one of his rallies will result in rioting in the streets as well as in violence and bloodshed”.

“This is an individual who has said that he hates Jews and who has demonised Muslims, women, Africans and gays, and who brought a sword to an event and performed a re-enactment of the assassination of Japanese leader Inejiro Asanuma — a killing he described an ‘inspiring moment’ in history,” he said.

Dr Abramovich said in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh massacre and a surge in anti-Semitism, “we should not be giving McInnes a platform to spew his vile rhetoric”.

On Robinson, Dr Abramovich said it was “alarming that a far-right extremist and white-nationalist” was planning to visit Australia.

“Mr Robinson has a number of criminal convictions and has served time in prison for contempt and for trying to enter the US with a false passport,” he said.

“Allowing an individual, whose group has engaged in threats and incidents of violence with police, and who through fiery rhetoric and race-baiting promotes religious bigotry and vilification, would be a mistake.”

In his Facebook video, Robinson said he knew there would be “a lot of people trying to stop” his visit and that there would be “many people who know very little about me spreading lies and rumours and just out and out bulls**t about who I am and what I stand for”.

“They’ll be saying I’m a white supremacist,” he said. “For the record, I despise white supremacy. I’ve got a 10-year history of battling and confronting genuine Nazis. The real far-right hate me and despise me in my own country, I’m known as a race traitor.”

Penthouse publisher Damien Costas denied Robinson was Islamophobic. “There’s a big difference between Muslims and the perceived ideology of Islam,” he said.

“In my opinion, people don’t have a problem with Muslims, I think they have a problem with extreme Islam and the issues that come with that. I would say the vast majority of Australians don’t have an issue with multiculturalism, it’s when certain groups start advocating a nation with two separate sets of laws. That’s a very different story and a very divisive notion.”

He also claimed McInnes “doesn’t advocate violence at all”. “He’s a comedian, he advocates self-defence,” he said.

“It’s easy to take what he says out of context and silly to do so. For a number of years, conservatives, especially in the US, have been told to turn the other cheek and take a beating from groups like Antifa because violence is wrong. Now it’s at the point where it’s expected. That’s just wrong.”

He added historically “in many cases, the authorities haven’t intervened”. “There’s now an attitude that if the police are not going to get involved, the victims should hit back,” he said. “That’s a very sad state of affairs.”

Speaking to in August, McInnes said he saw it as a “comedy tour” but predicted it would draw violent left-wing protesters.

“I don’t know why,” he said. “We don’t come to their things. I don’t understand why there’s a problem with free speech. Why is that seen as a threat?”

He added “people will show up and if they want to fight, I’m happy to fight”. “Our motto is we don’t start fights but we’re happy to finish them,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs declined to say whether visas for the pair would be rejected. “The Department does not comment on individual cases,” they said.

“All non-citizens entering Australia must meet the character requirements set out in the Migration Act 1958 (the Act), prior to the grant of any visa. For visitors who may hold controversial views, any risk they may pose will be balanced against Australia’s well established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs, among other relevant considerations.”


Another charming Muslim immigrant

EUAN Fraser’s night out in Melbourne almost cost him his life. The 30-year-old former cage fighter from Dundee in Scotland was holidaying Down Under last year.

Inside a taxi on the way home to Aberfeldie, just north of the CBD, in the early hours of the morning on June 12, 2017, Mr Fraser and his driver started talking about religion.

Mr Fraser says what seemed like a casual chat enraged the driver to such an extent that he grabbed a weapon from his car, followed his passenger to the door and beat him almost to death with it.

His victim was left with bleeding on the brain, broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and significant facial injuries — but the man responsible is still on the loose.

Mr Fraser’s girlfriend Sharon Macrae told her partner was “not doing great”.

“The driver struck him from behind with a crowbar,” she said. “(He) suffers bad PTSD and has recurring flashbacks and nightmares which means he hardly sleeps.

“It’s a terrible shame and it breaks my heart.”

Mr Fraser called an Uber to get from his home to hospital. Pictures taken shortly after the attack show his face bloodied. In the images, he wears a neck brace and a hospital gown and reportedly required several stitches.

UK-based newspaper The Scotsman reports Mr Fraser paid more than $AU7200 (£4000) for medical treatment but was reimbursed a percentage of that — about $AU4500 (£2500) in compensation by the Australian Government.

The conversation inside the cab before Mr Fraser was attacked involved him telling the taxi driver he was atheist. The driver, who Mr Fraser says is a Muslim, reportedly took offence.

“As I got out of the taxi I just heard footsteps behind me and heard a loud bang,” Mr Fraser told local newspapers. “Then I felt this immense pain in my head and I was knocked clean out.”

Mr Fraser said the house was covered in blood and later “looked like a murder scene”.

During his Mixed Martial Arts fighting days, Mr Fraser weighed 102kgs and fought in the UK’s light heavyweight division. He described himself in one interview as “a real crowd pleaser”.

Aberfeldie, where Mr Fraser was attacked, ranked 57 out of 351 Melbourne suburbs for liveability in 2015, according to Domain.

The suburb bordering Essendon has a relatively low crime rate but the City of Moonee Valley, which covers Aberfeldie, saw 614 assault related offences committed in 2017.

That figure was down this year to 510. approached Victoria Police for comment. In a statement, police said they are investigating.

“It is believed a man was standing outside his home address on Fawkner Street in the early hours of the morning when he was struck in the back of the head by an unknown offender,” the statement said.

“The victim, 29-years-old at the time, sustained serious head injuries. The victim reported having a verbal altercation with a taxi driver prior to the incident.

“Investigators have not identified the offender at this stage and the investigation remains ongoing.”


Finally, Keating can see the folly of his super scheme

If you were in any doubt our system of compulsory superannuation is essentially pointless, other than making industry players extremely wealthy, check out the latest suggestion from the father of the scheme, former prime minister Paul Keating.

Evidently, superannuation is of no use to many people over 80 because their superannuation balances will be largely exhausted.

“We have no policy in Australia for the 80 to 100-year-old cohort,” he said. “I don’t believe that should be left to superannuation. I think it should be a national insurance scheme. Only the commonwealth can insure across generations.”

Take it from me: it’s time to be afraid. With an insurance scheme comes the payment of premiums — by us. In the past, Keating raised the possibility of levying an additional 2 to 3 per cent on wages, a so-called longevity levy, to look after the oldies. He also might be inclined to support yet another surcharge on the Medicare levy.

So what is the purpose of superannuation, a form of compulsory saving? In theory it is to substitute or supplement the Age Pension. Mostly it acts simply as a source of additional income above the Age Pension amount or a nest egg to be cashed in.

There is no expectation that the proportion of totally self-funded retirees will change during the next several decades even though the system of compulsory superannuation has been here for almost 30 years.

Assuming that no political leader will have the courage to pull the plug on the superannuation racket any time soon, what are the glaring faults of the system that need to be remedied?

In particular, how can the highly respected Future Fund become an integral part of the system to drive down fees and charges as well as secure a better deal for members more generally?

One of the egregious features of compulsory superannuation is the mistreatment of young workers (and some others) with multiple accounts. Having worked several jobs in their late teens and through their 20s, it is common for young people to find their cumulative superannuation balances are close to zero when they hit 30.

Fees and charges are continuously subtracted from low-balance accounts and unwanted insurance premiums are deducted for death and disability cover and sometimes for income protection. Balances are quickly depleted. The funds mainly have stood by and allowed this to happen.

The previous minster responsible for superannuation, Kelly O’Dwyer, had developed a package of legislative initiatives to deal with some of the problems under the Protecting Your Superannuation Package.

The changes include:

* Three per cent maximum on fees and costs for low-balance My­Super accounts below $6000.

* Opt-in insurance for new members aged under 25, members of low-balance accounts and members with inactive accounts.

* Transfer of inactive low-balance accounts to the Australian Taxation Office.

* The consolidation of inactive, low-balance and lost accounts by the ATO.

These make sense and should be passed swiftly by the Senate.

It is estimated that more than $3 billion is paid in terms of unwanted or pointless insurance by young people. Note, however, should young people or others with low-balance accounts wish to buy insurance within their superannuation accounts, they will be perfectly free to do so.

A significant unsettled issue is the status of the default arrangements applying to new workers who fail to nominate a superannuation fund. For award covered workers, the modern awards set out a small list of funds, overwhelmingly industry funds, from which the employer can select.

Additionally, for a significant number covered by enterprise agreements — about 40 per cent of workers — a single superannuation fund is nominated and new workers are signed up to it. These workers have no choice even though they already may be members of other funds. These arrangements should be prohibited by law.

According to the Productivity Commission’s recent analysis of superannuation, the default arrangements are defective because they do not always direct workers to funds with superior returns (there are some industry super funds that have very poor records). The system also lacks transparency and is anti-competitive.

The Productivity Commission sets out a possible alternative based on 10 best-in-show funds that would be used by the ATO to enrol workers and to keep them there across time. Using a variety of criteria, these 10 funds would be selected by experts (there is talk of involving various government officials, including the governor of the Reserve Bank) and the competition would be repeated from time to time.

But the idea is unworkable. It would trigger the mother of all bunfights. It also is hard to see how funds, once on the list, would ever be dislodged, given the economies of scale and scope being on the list would entail.

The obvious alternative is to use the vehicle of the Future Fund as the key mechanism to receive default superannuation contributions. We’d need an agency — let’s call it the Australian Superannuation Guarantee Agency — and the administration and custodial functions could be outsourced, as they are with many funds. And other workers would be free to join. The Future Fund would be the wholesale investor of the funds, although the ASGA would be free to consider other fund managers.

With the likely annual flow of funds of about $10bn, ASGA quickly would achieve the required economic scale, and its fees and charges should be lower than the prevailing rates, putting competitive pressure on others to lower their fees and charges.

There are examples of these arrangements overseas and they work well. The argument that involving the Future Fund implies some sort of government guarantee — this was used by the Productivity Commission to dismiss the idea — is fallacious. There would be no more government guarantee for ASGA members than for all other superannuation fund members. If the superannuation system is to stay, and recall Keating’s declaration that it is useless for real old­ies, its more glaring faults must be fixed urgently.


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

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?

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

Would you believe that there once was a politician whose nickname was "Honest"?

"Honest" Frank Nicklin M.M. was a war hero, a banana farmer and later the conservative Premier of my home State of Queensland in the '60s. He was even popular with the bureaucracy and gave the State a remarkably tranquil 10 years during his time in office. Sad that there are so few like him.

A great Australian wit exemplified

An Australian Mona Lisa (Nikki Gogan)

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."

A great Australian: His eminence George Pell. Pictured in devout company before his elevation to Rome


Alternative (Monthly) archives for this blog


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism"
"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
Australian Police News
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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