Thursday, July 27, 2017

More Leftist hysteria

The Leftist version of reality is borderline insane -- with very little connection to actual events at all.  It suits their need for grievance but it is  totally unbalanced

Gillian Triggs, a stupid old hate-filled bag

LOOK, it’s her last day, and one is tempted to just let it go …

But the outgoing president of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, has made assertions so outlandish this morning, it’s just not possible.

In an interview with the ABC’s Fran Kelly Triggs declared to listeners that the Turnbull government “is ideologically opposed to human rights.”

I’m not misquoting.

“We have a government that is ideologically opposed to human rights.” Those are Triggs’ exact words, and it’s on video, so there can be none of that coming back in a few days’ time to say she was misquoted.

Malcolm Turnbull and the government he leads — a democratically-elected government in the House of Representatives, which is held in check by the good folk of the Senate, men and women from every conceivable walk of life and human experience — is “ideologically opposed to human rights.”

Which ones, though? Not the right to vote. Or stand for parliament. Or read a newspaper. Or even start your own. Or be tried by a jury of your peers in an open court of law.

We’re not a junta. We’re not a fascist state. We have a robust media, and a democratically-elected parliament.

We could go on, but that was not the worst of the interview.

Triggs also said that human rights had “regressed” in Australia under her leadership. She’s been head of the Human Rights Commission for five years, and we’ve “regressed on almost every front” and “one is extremely disappointed about that.”

One?  What is this queenly "one" business?

Also, if one is extremely disappointed, shouldn’t one be taking responsibility? Triggs has had five years to advance the cause of human rights. Lord knows, she’s not without a platform. If we’re regressing, who is to blame?

Not the Human Rights Commission, no. It’s the Turnbull government, which is, as we’ve just heard, implacably opposed to human rights.

Moving now to the subject of how the world sees Australia, Triggs said: “One would have to be very careful indeed before we assume that we are well regarded in human rights circles internationally.”

There’s that one again. But does one really believe that? I am myself completely opposed to the detention of children under any circumstance. It’s a stain on our good name.

But surely Australia still stacks up okay against, say, Aceh, where gay men were last week being flogged on podiums before cheering crowds; or Saudi Arabia, where women are routinely denied the right to travel, including behind the wheel of their own car, without a male guardian; or China, which allowed the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize to die in custody after jailing him for eight years for thought crimes, after a trial in which he was not permitted to speak in his own defence?

Or North Korea, for sending Otto Warmbier back to the US in a body sling?

Are we seriously to accept membership of this club? Australia makes mistakes. But we’re not a junta. We’re not a fascist state. We have a robust media, and a democratically-elected parliament.

Get a grip, Gillian.

Also interesting was how Triggs would, in a perfect world, address the problem. She says we need a Bill of Rights. Okay, and what should be on it?

Freedom of speech?

It’s the cornerstone of democracy. Western values can’t thrive without it. But it was the Human Rights Commission, under Triggs, that went hell-for-leather after a couple of college kids in Queensland, for writing Facebook posts; and it was the Human Rights Commission under Triggs that suggested the government make a massive compensation payment to an asylum-seeker who beat his pregnant wife to death; and it was the Human Rights Commission, under Triggs, who toyed prettily with the inquisition of a political cartoonist.

So perhaps we need a Bill of Rights that includes freedom of speech with a range of conditions, as set by one?

There’s more — like the bit where Triggs said she decided to launch an inquiry into the children in detention because “the new government was not going to release these children” — but let’s end on Fran Kelly’s final question: any regrets?

“No regrets. I believe we’ve done a terrific job,” said Triggs.

Well, it’s a democracy! One is of course entitled to one’s own opinion.


Dangerous Victoria police

A 16-year-old girl has reportedly taken out an intervention order against a senior constable she has accused of raping her in a park.

The order – preventing the officer from contacting or approaching her - was issued after the girl made multiple sexual assault allegations against him, according to The Age.

The incident in a park in Mildura is the latest allegation of serious predatory behaviour being investigated by an internal taskforce.

A Victoria Police spokesman confirmed the investigation with Daily Mail Australia.

Detectives from Taskforce Salus arrested the policeman on January 25 and he was suspended with pay, she said.

'The male senior constable from Western Region was interviewed in relation to sexual offences and misconduct in public office,' the spokeswoman said.

She added the alleged offences date back to December last year, but declined to comment on whether they are said to have occurred while the officer was on duty.

'The victim has been referred to appropriate support agencies,' she added. 'As the investigation is ongoing, it would not be appropriate to make further comment at this time.'

According to The Age, it took two months after the complaint was made for detectives to interview the girl.

It is also not clear whether she is the only alleged victim in the case.

Taskforce Salus was set up in November 2014 by then chief commissioner Ken Lay to crack down on sexual predators inside the force. It is responsible for handling internal complaints as well as those made by civilians. The taskforce's detectives have charged a number of officers with rape and child sex offences.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that 144 claims of sexual abuse or harassment have been made against serving officers in the year since the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission gave its reports after reviewing sexual discrimination within Victoria Police in December 2015.

Last year, chief commissioner Graham Ashton said Victoria Police was facing its 'biggest journey of cultural change' to overcome the sexism and predatory behaviour ingrained in the force.


High school CANTEEN menu features turmeric lattes, smashed avo on artisan bread and vegan salted caramel

A big improvement on Mrs Obama's dismal ideas

An elite all-ages school is offering its students vegan chocolate mousse, dumplings and even smashed avocado on toast at its canteen.

Northern Beaches Christian School, in Sydney's far north, has been open to change in recent years, with teachers calling themselves everything from 'learning activists' to 'pedagogical wizards'.

And now the $15,000-a-year private school has also bid goodbye the days of writing lunch orders on a brown paper bag, with the school's canteen better resembling a beachside cafe with its variety of gourmet options.

Founded in the early 1980s, Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS) became an independent and not-for-profit organisation in 2004. Today it has more than 1,300 students, with its practices seeing it 'highly regarded by educators across the world'.

And part of the school's efforts to 'empower' its students from primary school to Year 12, has been the inclusion of its independently-owned canteen - 'Grounded'.

While many parents' memories of school canteens involve brown paper bags, meat pies or devon and tomato sauce sandwiches, times have definitely changed.

It is joined on the canteen's winter menu by artisian fruit loaf, tapioca pudding, Vietnamese rice paper rolls, 'Nonnas meatballs', deli sandwiches on sourdough, as well as turmeric and chai lattes.

Promoting the canteen on its website, the school spruiks its 'great food and coffee' while also encouraging parents to pay a visit.

'The cafe aligns with our core value of being a learning community built on strong, meaningful relationships – food is a great catalyst for shared community,' the website reads.

'Grounded is an independent business, with a vision is to provide healthy, delicious food, prepared daily on the premises.' 


‘Self-aware’ Army officers to get coached in ‘cross-cultural competence’

Wotta lotta bullshit.  A soldier has to be ready to fight, not to hold hands

THE Australian Army is hiring private “executive coaches” to teach its senior officers “self-awareness”, “emotional intelligence”, “cross-cultural competence” and “interpersonal maturity” in an effort to combat perceptions that they are too “authoritarian, assertive and angry”.

It has also commissioned “psychometric and psychological testing” as part of the Australian Defence Force’s push to transform its culture to fit with modern standards.

The Department of Defence has tendered for “executive coaching services” for private and group sessions with its top brass that would not be out of place on the bureaucratic satire Utopia.

The top priority referred to in the tender documents is “Self Awareness of Strategic Leadership Style”.

Defence describes this as: “Exploration of personal values, beliefs, attitudes and associations and their impact on personal leadership behaviour.”

The 12-month contract — which can be extended for further years — is for a program of up to six sessions for 24 officers, with individual coaching for Brigadiers and Major-Generals and group coaching for Lieutenant Colonels and Colonels.

In an accompanying document entitled “Why the Australian Army needs a co-ordinated Executive Coaching Program”, the tender refers to an open letter by Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell to his senior leadership group.

“General Campbell reflects that perceptions of Army officers as bureaucratically authoritarian, assertive and angry do not fit with the evolving cultural requirements of Army and are not helpful in a joint strategic environment,” the document states.

“General Campbell suggests that what is helpful is ethically informed, values based leadership that inspires, resources and enables subordinates to achieve their best work.”

One characteristic the Army is seeking to instil in its officers is described as “cross-cultural competence”, which it defines as “understand(ing) cultures beyond one’s professional and national boundaries”.

Officers will be expected to “work effectively with those from other cultures, generations, departments and gender”.

Another is called “interpersonal maturity”, which is described as “the ongoing development of self-awareness and emotional intelligence”.

It also seeks to develop “‘small p’ political sense”, which is “exerting influence across organisations and teams” and communications skills to “succinctly help others to understand complicated issues” and exert “interpersonal influence”.

The document also expects officers to know their “identity” which is “understanding of one’s own values and how they shape leadership style”.

Australian Defence Association executive director Neil James said it was a mistake to think the Army needed to change its leadership style. “You don’t want your army to change too much,” he said. “You want your army to win wars.”

Mr James, who served in the army for 31 years, also said it was a popular misconception that the Army was full of officers who were too aggressive. “Armies don’t work because people yell at people,” he said. “It’s teamwork that drives the army, not shouting.”

He said leadership skills were already taught extensively within the Army and this program seemed to be more directed at officers dispelling that misconception when dealing with other people and organisations, rather than actually changing themselves.

“It doesn’t matter what coaching you give, there’ll be people out there in society who think that. But that’s society’s problem, not the army’s.”

The individual coaching would apply to 10 Brigadiers and/or Major Generals for six two to three hour sessions each in one year. The group coaching would involve six four hour sessions for 14 lieutenant colonels and/or colonels.

The tender also asks for providers to have expertise in applying psychometric testing during the coaching sessions.

“It is preferred that the supplier is also able to demonstrate suitable qualifications and expertise in the use of a range of psychometric and psychological testing and assessment tools for use within coaching, as determined by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or similar body,” it states.

It also raises the question of officers being psychologically re-evaluated over their careers and whether this should be included in the course, stating: “Defence does not have a standardised program that assesses personality styles or psychological types throughout officers’ careers.”


Aboriginal whiner Cindy Prior avoids bankruptcy by paying court debt

Probably the work of a kind donor

The university administration worker who lost a $250,000 racial discrimination lawsuit against three students has escaped bankruptcy.

The Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane this morning heard that Cindy Prior, who claimed damages over Facebook posts, had paid her debt this week.

On Monday, a hand-delivered cheque for $4900 was sent to the office of Anthony Morris QC, who is representing two of the former Queensland University of Technology students Jackson Powell and Calum Thwaites.

Ms Prior, a Noongar woman from the Ballardong nation in Western Australia, was indebted after Federal Court judge John Dowsett ordered she pay $10,780 in court costs when she lost her bid to appeal against the students, causing bankruptcy action taken against her.

The former QUT university staffer, who worked in the Oodgeroo Unit at the Gardens Point campus, sued students Alex Wood, Mr Powell and Mr Thwaites for hundreds of thousands of dollars over Facebook posts in 2013, claiming the online posts contravened section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Ms Prior lost the case. She recently set up a crowd-funding page asking for donations to support the court costs she owes.

The string of legal challenges followed an incident where Ms Prior ejected non-indigenous students from an indigenous-only computer lab at QUT’s Brisbane campus on May 28, 2013

Mr Morris said Ms Prior paid the balance of the amount owed and under those circumstances, bankruptcy action could not go ahead.

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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

'The education system is broken': Teacher who quit her job after 30 years reveals why she intends to home-school her grandchildren

Rather unclear what she wants changed.  More staff and less assessment is part of it but the rest is unclear. 

I think she fails to understand that continuous assessment is designed to circumvent reliance on a "sudden-death" examination at the end of the year.  That was once the system but was often protested against as being an unfair measure of a pupil's ability.  Lots of students who did poorly were said just to be having a "bad day".

And teachers "taught to the test" back then too.  It would be irresponsible to do otherwise.

And she ignores the function of the NAPLAN (national) exams in detecting and hopefully improving failing schools.  There are many quite bad schools in the government sector.  That is why 40% of Australian teenagers go to private schools.

It is of course possible to have a school environment where students feel relaxed and learn in their own way.  I once taught in such a "progressive" school myself. It had a great staff/student ratio and friendly teachers  but, even so, one half of my pupils did well and the other half learnt nothing.  And the school did not survive that.  It closed down after a few years.  A school system meant to serve all just cannot be run that way.

The classic example of such a school, "Summerhill", still struggles on but it still has only 60-70 pupils and is too expensive for most parents -- meaning that most pupils come from rich homes -- and they are above-average pupils anyhow.  The school is also said to be "surprisingly strict" these days. The school has been around since the '20s but has few imitators today.  It is clearly not a viable model for government schools

She set the internet alight last year, after she penned a damning essay about the state of the Australian education system and why she was quitting after 30 years in the profession.

And now the Queensland-based teacher, Kathy Margolis, has said she has absolutely no intention of letting her grandchildren into the school system either: 'The education system is broken,' she said.

'I have said to my three sons, "If you guys one day have kids, and I haven't managed to get the system changed, then I’m going to home-school every last one of them",' she told Mamamia on Monday.

In her latest statement, Ms Margolis has said that one of her biggest concerns about the school system is the fact that kids are being expected to read and write in their first formal year of schooling.

'There are kids who are saying, "I'm stupid, I can't do this,"' Ms Margolis said.

'They can see their friends who know all the sight words. Not only that, we're giving them report cards that are telling these parents, "Your child hasn't met this standard," when really, what we should be saying to the parent is, "It's okay, they're just not ready yet, don't stress." But they're not hearing that and they're going out and getting tutors.'

Ms Margolis added that she would have 'lost her job' if she had told parents that their child merely needed an 'extra year'.

'Parents want their kids to do well and to be okay, so they're coming from a place of helping their kids. Really, the kids just need extra time,' she said.

Since Ms Margolis quit teaching, she has started working for the organisation, Protecting Childhood. 

This stands for play-based learning till the age of six, no set formal homework until the age of eight, and no standardised testing which is used to 'pass or fail' kids.


Education in Australian schools is in crisis and someone has to listen to those who are game enough to speak up. I have been a primary school teacher in Brisbane schools for over 30 years. This year, after much thought, I have decided to look for another job, not easy for a woman in her 50s. I cannot continue to do a job that requires me to do what is fundamentally against my philosophy of how it should be done. I love my students and they love me. I know how to engage children in learning and how to make it fun. It’s what I do best.

Teachers have very little professional autonomy anymore. We are told what to do, how to do it and when it has to be done by. Never have I experienced a time in my profession where teachers are this stressed and in real fear for the mental health of not only themselves, but the children that they teach. The pressures are enormous. And before we get the people who rabbit on about our 9 to 3 day and all the holidays we get, let’s get some things straight. No teacher works from 9 until 3. We are with the students during those hours. We go on camps, we man stalls at fetes, we conduct parents/teacher interviews, we coach sporting teams and we supervise discos. And of course there is the lesson preparation, the marking, the report cards. Full time teachers are paid 25 hours a week. Yes you read that correctly, 25 paid hours a week. In any other job that would be considered part time. So now that I have justified our holidays, many of which are spent doing the above, let’s talk about what is going on in classrooms across this great nation of ours.

Classrooms are overcrowded, filled with individuals with all sorts of needs both educational and social. Teachers are told we must differentiate and cater to each individual. Good teachers try desperately to do that but it is near impossible and we feel guilty that we are not doing enough to help the children in our care.

The curriculum is so overcrowded. Prep teachers who used to run lovely play based programs (which might I add work beautifully) are teaching children sight words and how to read and write alongside subjects like history and geography. As a teacher and a mother of 3 sons, this scares the proverbial out of me. We all know that boys this age need to be moving around doing things that interest them, not sitting at desks. And what about the notion of readiness? I fear those little ones who are not ready are going to be left behind. And here’s the problem with our crowded curriculum. There is not enough time to consolidate the basics. Every teacher on this earth will tell you that the early years should be about the 3 R’s. My own children went off to year one after having had a lovely, enriching play based year of learning back in the days of pre-school. They didn’t know any sight words; they could write maybe a few letters and guess what? They learnt to read and write without being pushed at such an early age.

In my teaching career I have never seen so many children suffering from stress and anxiety. It saddens me greatly. Teaching at the moment is data driven. We are testing them and assessing them and pushing them so hard. I get that teachers need to be accountable and of course we need assessment but teachers have an innate ability to know what kids need. A lot of it is data for data’s sake. Don’t even get me started on NAPLAN. Teachers wouldn’t have a problem with NAPLAN if it wasn’t made out to be such a big deal by the powers that be, the press and parents. It has turned into something bigger than Ben Hur.

So why am I writing this? I’m writing this because teachers need to speak up but we are often afraid of retribution. We need to claim back our profession but we are powerless. Teachers teach because we love children and are passionate about education. Our young teaching graduates enter the profession bright eyed and bushy tailed, energetic and enthusiastic, ready to make a difference. So why I ask are they only staying for an average of 5 years? Of course that question is rhetorical. I know the answer. They are burnt out and disillusioned. Older teachers like me have seen better days in the classroom so in a way it’s harder for us to see all the joy slowly being sucked out of learning. But we also have a wealth of experience to draw from and we know which hoops you don’t necessarily need to jump through. We occasionally speak out. We are not as easy to “control”. But we are tired and also burning out with disillusionment.

I write this in the hope that we can spark a public discussion. We need the support of parents, who I know agree with us. I write this because I love children and I can’t bear to see what we are doing to them. Last year, as I apologised once again to my class for pushing them so hard and for the constant barrage of assessment, one child asked me “if you don’t like the things you have to do then why are you still a teacher?” That question got me to thinking long and hard. I had no answer except that I truly loved kids and it was with a heavy heart that I realised that wasn’t enough anymore.

The teacher's original 976-word essay was published on her Facebook page last year. In it, she said the system was in 'crisis' and added that she wrote the post in the hope of sparking public debate.

'Classrooms are overcrowded, filled with individuals with all sorts of needs both educational and social. Teachers are told we must differentiate and cater to each individual. Good teachers try desperately to do that but it is near impossible and we feel guilty that we are not doing enough to help the children in our care,' she wrote at the time.

'Teaching at the moment is data driven. We are testing them and assessing them and pushing them so hard. I get that teachers need to be accountable and of course we need assessment but teachers have an innate ability to know what kids need. A lot of it is data for data's sake.'

The post swiftly went viral and was shared thousands of times online.

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to the Queensland Department of Education for comment.

In a recent statement issued by the state's education minister, Kate Jones, to ABC Radio, she said: 'I have to ensure that early year teachers feel that they have the flexibility to do the appropriate age learning for students in their class.

'Also in the recent budget we announced that there will be a fully funded prep teacher aide in every classroom in Queensland.

'The statements will identify any issues they believe the prep teacher should have and we will provide that directly, and this is something prep teachers have asked for.'


More than 68,000 people risk having their power cut as electricity prices skyrocket - forcing the government to step in with emergency financial help

Australia used to have some of the cheapest power in the world -- until the Greenies got involved

Tens of thousands of Australians are at risk of having their power cut off as they are unable to afford their bills.

A report by the Daily Telegraph has revealed 68,400 residents across New South Wales are set to lose their electricity as energy bills continue to skyrocket.

The state government are having to step in with emergency funds, with Western Sydney suburbs the hardest hit.

New South Wales homes pay more for power bills than any developed nation in the world.

The Energy Accounts Payments Assistance was implemented in 2012 as a measure to prevent an eletricity bill crisis, with each home to receive $50 in vouchers towards their energy bill. The new report suggests the average household needs five vouchers.

The suburb of Campbelltown is in need of the most help, with an estimated 1,619 homes needing financial assistance to continue their access to electricity.

The government are setting aside $404,750 for Campbelltown alone.

Auburn is not far behind, with 1,270 families needing assistance at a cost of $317,650.

The report estimates Blacktown and Bankstown are the next suburbs with the most risk with 1191 and 1156 homes in trouble respectively.

Western Sydney suburbs have been the worst effected because of the large number of fibro homes combined with uncommonly low winter temperatures.

Don Harwin, the NSW Energy Minister, has approached the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal over the crisis to ask whether the continually increasing prices are the result of a fair and balanced market.

'We are concerned about national energy rises and we are pushing our federal counterparts hard to ensure there is a sensible plan to fix the broken national energy market,' Mr Harwin told the Telegraph. 


Father battling Christian school after they banned his son, five, from wearing his traditional Sikh turban because it breaches uniform policy

He likes the school enough to pay money for his kid to go there but then disrespects what has made the school a good one -- an insistence on standards

A Sikh family in Melbourne is taking action against their son's Christian school - after they banned the five-year-old from wearing his traditional turban.

Sagardeep Singh Arora is fighting on behalf of his young son Sidhak, five, believing that he is being denied a basic human right outlined in the Equal Opportunity Act because he can't wear his 'patka' - which is the turban for children.

'I believe students should be allowed to practice their religion and should be allowed to wear their article of faith,' Mr Arora said, ABC reported.

'I was very surprised in an advanced country like Australia, they are still not allowing us to wear patka in the school,' he said.

Sidhak was enrolled to begin school at Melton Christian College, at the start of the year however the school's uniform policy does not accept his head covering.

The principal of the school David Gleeson said that multiple Sikh students go to the school but none are given an exception to wear the religious head covering.

'I think one of the real strengths of the college is that we're blind to … everyone is blind to religious affiliations,' he said.

Mr Gleeson likened the situation to a child who likes to wear a New Balance cap but is not permitted.  

He said anything additional to the uniform is not acceptable and this policy does not breach the Equal Opportunity Act. 

Mr Arora's son is now on the class list at another school but hopes the Christian school will change their minds so Sidhak can attend school with his cousins, who do not wear the turban. 

The hearing will continue on Wednesday.


Liberal Party members support Abbott’s ‘Warringah motion’ for plebiscites to decide candidate preselection

A TRIUMPHANT Tony Abbott last night declared the Liberal Party was finally wrenching power away from “factional hacks”, after his one-member-one-vote push scored a decisive victory.

The former prime minister last night insisted the move was “not about me” after rank-and-file members overwhelmingly voted at a special party reform convention in favour of his “Warringah motion”, which would allow ordinary Liberal members a say in who gets to run for office.

The proposal would mean preselections for candidates would be decided by plebiscites in which each member would get a direct vote in deciding who stood at the election, including for seats occupied by sitting MPs.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph after his charge to water down the influence of factional bosses within the party proved a success, Mr Abbott said it was time to steer away from the current “insiders club” that involves “rorting, racketeering and factioneering”.

“We won’t have factional stitch-ups putting factional hacks into safe seats,” he said.

“This is a huge rebuff to the faction bosses. It’ll mean a bigger, stronger Liberal Party and it will mean more talented, more representative people going into Parliament as Liberals.”

Asked if the victory could be seen as a big win for the former prime minister, Treasurer Scott Morrison this morning extended the congratulations beyond Mr Abbott.

“You can read it as a win for everyone who thinks that plebiscites are a good idea and that includes Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and a whole range of other members,” he told ABC radio.

Those on the other side of the argument, such as federal MPs Alex Hawke and Julian Leeser, attempted to put up alternative motions at the convention, which were effectively diluted versions of the Warringah motion.

“The people on the other side wanted a few tentative steps in the right direction and the party said ‘let’s embrace it — let’s go all the way to being a party that the members can be proud of’,” Mr Abbott said.


ASIC boss Greg Medcraft struggles with sums

It is astonishing, really quite extraordinary and more than a tad disturbing that we have as our top corporate regulator somebody who apparently doesn’t understand the financial system and the most basic operating realities of our banks.

This in itself might seem an extraordinary observation, but how else is one to interpret some of the key remarks made by outgoing ASIC chief Greg Medcraft in an interview, purportedly to “mark his 6½ years as chairman”, in itself a somewhat odd milestone.

Once again in the interview he attacked banks for so-called “out-of-cycle” rate increases on their property loans. He said banks that repriced their existing loan book without increases in the official (RBA) cash rate were “just profit-taking”.

And to drive this point home, he finished with what he clearly thought was a powerful rhetorical flourish, that the “recent rate rises did not pass the front-page test” — in effect, saying that “shock jocks” and overexcited media more generally should be the test of the appropriateness of rate changes.

There are two very simple points — in the sense, one would have thought one could have assumed that an ASIC chairman understood them — to be made about Medcraft’s assertion.

First, the RBA’s cash rate might well be the most important influence on bank funding costs, and so indirectly on their lending rates, but it is not the only influence.

Doesn’t the ASIC chairman understand that our big four banks fund their balance sheets broadly 60 per cent by domestic deposits and 40 per cent by a variety of others sources including shareholder funds and, most importantly, global capital markets?

Yes, domestic deposits might largely be directly priced off the cash rate, but even with them and quite appropriately, not entirely. But surprisingly perhaps to the ASIC chairman, investors on Wall Street do not price their interest rates off the RBA’s cash rate.

Then there’s the cost of hedging non-Australian dollar borrowings into Aussie dollars, which can fluctuate. In short, and keeping it simple for our ASIC chairman, bank cost of funds can change even when the RBA has not touched its cash rate. Goodness me, how radical.

Now yes, the mantra “passing on the RBA’s rate cut/hike” has got locked into the media culture — and the banks themselves have from time to time used it as an unfortunate and obviously not totally incorrect shorthand.

But that does not excuse the corporate regulator, who should know better from adopting it as the basis for a bit of egregious and misleading bank-bashing.

There is a very clear, very simple metric to judge the bank rate pricing: their NIM, or net interest margin. If they are raising their lending rates without a commensurate increase in their cost of funds their NIM will rise.

Guess what: it hasn’t. In the latest six months the NIM of three of the big four banks went down. The NIM of the fourth, NAB, was unchanged but it was also the lowest at 182 points, or 1.82 per cent.

On an unweighted basis the average NIM of the big four went from 202 points in the first half of the 2015-16 year to 198 point in the first half of the 2016-17 year: hardly evidence of rate gouging. We will see what happened in the second half.

To explain to the uninitiated — and, it seems, the ASIC chairman — the NIM is the difference between what a bank charges borrowers and what it pays depositors and other lenders; a difference that has been, obviously, the basis of banking for hundreds of years and of every bank’s very existence.

There are two further critical points to be made about the big four’s individual and group NIM.

It has been falling consistently over time. As noted it is now around 200 points on an unweighted group basis. Five years ago it was more like 215-220 points. A decade ago, before the GFC, it was closer to 250 points. And at the turn of the century it was around 300 points.

Second, it is very similar to the only rational international comparator. According to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, the NIM of Canadian banks has run at around 200 points for most of this century, apart from an extraordinary spike up to 400 points briefly after the GFC.

It’s outside the scope of this column, but I’ll happily brief the ASIC chairman on why the NIMs of the major European and US banks are not a relevant comparison.

I would note an interesting chart in the speech yesterday by RBA assistant governor Michelle Bullock that showed the bottom line profitability comparison of banks from several countries.

First, Canadian and Australian profitability ran in lock-step year after year. Secondly, before the GFC those US and European banks were just as profitable as our banks. They haven’t been since: I wonder why?

Now, in his interview, Medcraft also went on to make one utterly ludicrous observation about bank hybrid securities and one basically silly observation.

The ludicrous one was that they would eventually cause problems for the financial system, the silly one was that they were a ridiculous product for retail investors.

Some gratuitous advice: get a grip Greg. There is no way they could cause problems for the system; they are just too small. The total on issue is less than $30 billion. The big four banks have balance sheets well in excess of $2000bn.

But what’s the worst that can happen? They are compulsorily turned into bank shares. How would that be a problem for the system? And trust me, we’d all have much bigger things to worry about.

As for their “ridiculousness”, Medcraft’s rejection/hysteria would also apply to ordinary bank shares themselves. Given bank gearing; given bank exposure to global capital markets.

To validate your claim on the basis they had been banned in other markets like Britain is hardly convincing: did Medcraft notice what happened to British banks in the GFC?


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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

University funding rationalization provokes controversy

Universities have accused the Turnbull government of muddying the waters as it prepares for a fight over higher education funding.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham on Monday released figures showing what students will pay under planned changes would more closely match the benefits of getting a degree.

The federal government's overhaul of higher education includes increasing student fees by up to $3200 over a four-year degree, cutting university teaching funding by 2.5 per cent in 2018 and 2019, tying a portion of funding to performance measures, and lowering the threshold when student debts must start to be repaid.

Senator Birmingham said the report, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, "injects facts ... into a debate that has at times been dominated by platitudes and sound bites".

It showed about 45 per cent of the benefits from a higher education were private, such as securing a well-paid job.

The government says its planned fee increase will mean students contribute 46 per cent of the cost - up from 42 per cent now - with taxpayers covering the rest.

Senator Birmingham took aim at university groups that supported the coalition's previous proposal for full-fee deregulation but oppose the package now before parliament.

They had "tried to walk both sides of the street in this debate".

The minister characterised the increase in funding to universities since 2009 as "a river of gold".

The group of six Innovative Research Universities disagreed, telling a Senate inquiry on Monday the river of gold was down to more enrolments, not any boost to per-student funding.

"If anyone's being inconsistent here, it's the government that previously embraced the concept we did need more resources," executive director Conor King told a hearing of the inquiry in Melbourne.

"In this (package) it goes down; of course we're opposed."

The Group of Eight - representing the nation's research-intensive universities - said the government's package was not coherent and would leave students paying more for less.

The government had a track record of releasing reports such as the Deloitte research to the media without showing the sector first, chief executive Vicki Thomson said.

"We find we're responding to claims about rivers of gold or vice-chancellors' salaries or surpluses which are muddying the waters when we're wanting to talk about actually what sort of university sector do we actually want in this country," she told the committee.

The Senate inquiry will also hear from the academics union, education department officials, business representatives and higher education experts on Monday and Tuesday.

It's expected to report when parliament resumes in August, clearing the way for the bill to be debated.


Why the ABC is at odds with us

Jennifer Oriel

If the ABC were audited for diversity, the report might read something like as follows: “Evidence suggests that the ABC’s organisational culture ­reflects structural discrimination. The staff profile is unrepresentative and produces marginalisation of outsiders or ‘others’. This marginalisation persists due to ­apparent discrimination in recruit­ment and promotion practices. As a consequence, the ABC’s program content reflects bias that reinforces the privilege of insiders while stereotyping and demonising those excluded from the existing power structure. ­Cultural change is required to transform the ABC from an unrepresentative public institution to an organisation that puts the public good ahead of in-group power and privilege.”

From my early years in the ­university sector, I worked for various equal opportunity and anti-­discrimination units. As a part of that work, I conducted ­organisational audits of equity and diversity. After several years, I saw that the movement for equity was ­destroying diversity of the kind that matters in education: ­intellectual diversity. Universities ­replaced the West’s civilisational wellspring of freedom of thought and speech, mastered by learning the art of public reason, with the comparatively superficial culture of skin ­diversity.

In the 21st century culture of public education and media, ­diversity is often measured by skin colour or gender. Diversity of thought is devalued, especially in the arts and humanities.

Despite the spread of discrimination and affirmative action policies across the public sector, little attention is paid to intellectual and political diversity. Rather, the ­equity and diversity agenda has come to resemble what former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau considered the Maoist approach. In the book Two Innocents in Red China, he praised Mao Zedong’s approach to racial minority groups because it did “not try to assimilate them but … make them understand the ­blessings of Marxism”. Trudeau pioneered a nationwide policy of ­multi­culturalism. The multi­cultural ideal was a diversity of races united in ideological conformity to ­Marxism.

The diversity agenda sometimes reflects the founding ideal of multicultural policy: a culture where race or gender diversity is encouraged as long as members conform to PC ideology. Islamic activist Linda Sarsour is celebrated as a leader of the US women’s march despite appearing to wish for violence against women who disagree with her. On Twitter, Sarsour wrote of two dissidents: “I wish I could take their vaginas away — they don’t ­deserve to be women.” One of her would-be victims was ­author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who ­suffered ­female genital mutilation as a child. Apparently that wasn’t enough.

The ABC has not admitted to a lack of political diversity in its staff profile or systemic political bias in its programming. Yet the largest survey in 20 years of political attitudes among journalists found that 73.6 per cent of ABC journalists support Labor or the Greens. The Sunshine Coast University ­research also found that 41.2 per cent of ABC staff surveyed voted for the Greens. As Chris Kenny wrote in The Weekend Australian, the “federal vote ceiling” for the Greens is just over 10 per cent. On those figures, the ABC’s staff ­profile is highly unrepresentative of the Australian general public.

The ABC’s political bias seems most apparent in stories related to border security, immigration, iden­tity politics and Islam. Many believe that the ABC pushes the PC party line backing porous borders, minority politics and the ­censorship of dissenters under dis­crimination law while demonising border integrity, conservatism, ­Judeo-Christianity and Western civilisation. In 2014, the broadcaster admitted that its reports that the navy had burned refugees were wrong. A previous audit found bias in ABC reporting on Tamil asylum-seekers.

Last week’s 7.30 was criticised for bias against Christians after presenters inferred that evangelical or conservative Christianity could lead to domestic violence. ABC presenter Leigh Sales said: “We talk about women in Islam but statistically it is evangelical Christian men who attend church sporadically who are the most ­likely to assault their wives.” To my knowledge, there is no cross-country research comparing male violence against women in Islamic and Christian communities. The relevant study cited was by American researcher Steven Tracy.

A series of lies by omission ­resulted in the perception that conservative or evangelical Christianity can lead to domestic violence. For instance, the ABC omitted Tracy’s related finding that: “Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are … the least likely group to ­engage in domestic violence. The ABC also omitted interviews that conflicted with the presenters’ line of commentary.

Ean Higgins ­reported that Sydney’s Anglican Archdeacon for Women Kara Hartley was interviewed for over an hour by Julia Baird. Hartley spoke at length about the church’s positive work in combating domestic violence. Her comments were excluded from the program.

Brisbane’s Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge responded to an ABC ­request for comments about a ­related essay by Baird and Hayley Gleeson. The ABC reported falsely that he had not responded.

It should go without saying that domestic violence is an abhorrent form of abuse to be condemned without reservation. Research on causation should be funded where preliminary research finds specific attributes correlated with higher rates of abuse. The public often funds such research and should be informed also when certain ­attributes are correlated with lower rates of abuse. The ABC ­neglected its public duty when it omitted the positive work of ­Christian churches in preventing domestic violence and the ­research finding that: “Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are … the least likely group to engage in domestic violence.”

In the coming 7.30 on violence against women in Islam, we might expect the ABC to consider the status of women under sharia. It might look at the prevalence of ­female genital mutilation and child marriage in Islamic countries and communities. It might consider why Islamic states enter the most reservations to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and justify it by appeal to sharia. Alas, we’re more likely to hear yet another version of: “We talk about women in Islam but … ” and find the blame shifted to the standard victims of politically ­correct thought.


NBN installation not up to speed

Kevvy's expensive brainwave is not performing

Martin Lack knows a few things about technology, having spent almost 50 years in the computer industry, first as an installer, then as a technical project manager and finally, before retiring, running the nation’s biggest computer conference company.

He also knows a “disastrous” internet product when he sees one. Living on a 1ha block in Brisbane’s affluent Kenmore Hills, Mr Lack has taken it upon ­himself to represent all 31 households on his street in their ­struggles with the rollout of the National Broadband Network.

The street, with multi-million-dollar homes housing senior ­executives and powerful business people, had pay-TV internet ­cabling — now known as HFC — installed in 2003.

They are being forced across to the NBN, and the six that have done so — connected via a variety of different telco providers — have had a “terrible” experience, Mr Lack says, with faulty connections and speeds below what they were achieving before.

“On Telstra HFC we were consistently getting 115 megabits-per-second download speeds ... during the day now we are consistently getting 94Mbs, but after 6pm things get very ­erratic,” Mr Lack said.

He has a 100MB NBN package provided through Telstra, and has documented speeds his home has been achieving before and after having the NBN installed.

Under the NBN connection his download speed at 9.22pm on June 1 was 22.38Mbs — less than a quarter of the rate he is paying for — while at 9.34pm on June 14 his connection fell to 22Mbs.

A key problem facing the NBN is telco providers of the network — of which there are more than 400 — buy both data from the NBN as well as relatively ­expensive “bandwidth”.

Many providers have failed to buy enough bandwidth — a ­financial decision to cut costs — to ensure speeds don’t plummet when usage rises, such as after 5pm on weekdays.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has announced it will place physical internet speed monitors in 4000 homes nationwide and publish the results to improve transparency in the marketplace.

For its part, the NBN has data detailing how fast each NBN-connected home’s internet should be, but is refusing to ­release it publicly, saying it is a wholesaler and the telcos have the relationship with customers.

Mr Lack said his dealings with Telstra in installing the NBN had been highly unsatisfactory.

A Telstra spokesman said the company had spoken to Mr Lack and had “apologised for issues he’s experienced”.



Three current articles below

Piers Akerman: Climate change is being served up to unsuspecting Australians

IN August 1973, the term Stockholm syndrome was coined after four hostages who had been held in a bank vault during a failed robbery later ­refused to testify against their captor Jan-Erik “Janne” ­Olsson, who, as it happens had been “on leave” from prison when he attempted the heist.

Nils Bejerot, a Swedish criminologist and psychiatrist coined the term.

Brainwashing was not unknown but the manner in which the hostages developed positive feelings toward their captors and negative feelings toward the police or authorities, was something new, Beje-rot guessed. The term took off.

A year after Olsson’s crime (for which he served a term and later committed further crimes), Patty Hearst, the granddaughter of publisher William Randolph Hearst, was taken and held hostage by a drug-addled crew of misfits who called themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Hearst was filmed denouncing her family as well as the police under her new urban guerilla name, “Tania”, and was later seen working with the SLA to rob banks in San Francisco. She publicly asserted her sympathetic feelings towards the SLA.

However, after arrest following a fiery shootout in 1975, her celebrity lawyer F. Lee Bailey said his client was suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

But, until now, the greatest example of Stockholm syndrome was the mass suicide by followers of American cult leader and Communist Jim Jones, who was the founder and leader of the People’s Temple, another loopy group with strong ties to the Democratic Party and the Californian counter-culture.

Jones took his flock to an old plantation in Guyana but when reports of human rights abuses started emerging, he had his followers drink poison, flavoured by the soft drink mix Kool-Aid.

Among the 918 dead were nearly three hundred children.

Stockholm syndrome plus Kool-Aid was a potent ­combination.

But not as potent as the ­global warming — now called climate change — mixture that is being served up to the Australian public by the Greens, Labor and now the Turnbull faux Liberal government.

Swept along by the global hysteria generated by the UN and a claque of compromised scientists who have been ­exposed as manipulating temperature modelling, Australians are in the process of committing mass suicide as they sip the Kool-Aid sweetener of renewable energy.

South Australia — remember Snowtown, the mysterious disappearance of the Beaumont children, the other creepy instances of unsolved crimes involving children — has long worn a reputation for weird but with its closure of its coal-powered fire stations and its embrace of a huge battery to meet its risky energy supply needs, is leading the way in this suicidal endeavour.

Believe me, the world is not following South Australia or Australia, in this insane folly.

Research from the Global Coal Tracker via the Comstat Data Portal uploaded on January 12, 20017, shows that there were 5973 coal-fired power station units globally. A unit is considered to be one or more boilers where coal is burned to create steam, plus one or more turbine generators which convert the steam’s heat ­energy into electricity of a minimum 30MW (megawatts).

NSW’s Liddell power station, for example, has four 500MW units.

Australia has in total 73 units, according to the Comstat Data, China has 2107.

Germany, where we have seen anti-coal demonstrators rioting in recent days, has 155 units. India, who the Adani mine will service with coal, has 877, and Indonesia has 125, while there 783 operating in the US.

The numbers that really highlight the futility of the South Australian lunacy and the madness of Australia signing up this psychosis are those which reflect where the world is heading — the number of coal-fired power units under construction.

China, for example, has 299 power stations in preparation or under construction. India has 132, Indonesia has 32, the Philippines has 22, Vietnam has 34.

In all, the data lists more than 30 nations actively ­engaged in building 621 new coal-fired power units.

That’s more than 10 times more power than the current 26,783MW produced by ­Australia’s 73 units. South Australia’s moonstruck Premier Jay Weatherill thinks that ­installing Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s battery will solve the problems created by his government’s destruction of its coal-fired power plants and its embrace of erratic wind and solar plants.

It won’t. At best, the big battery may have sufficient reserves to power around 30,000 homes while repairs are made to the network.

There are about 730,000 homes in South Australia, almost all of which lost their power last September. The big battery will be connected to a big wind farm but wind is notoriously variable and South Australia consistently records the highest power prices in the nation ­because of its foolhardy reliance on renewable energy.

In fact, it relies on the coal-fired power plants in the rest of the country for constant power. The federal government knows this, that’s why its building a $50 million generation plant to give the submarine building program a reliable ­energy source.

But for South Australians, and the rest of the nation, the Kool-Aid is kicking in.

Despite the flawed data on which the global warmists rest their case, Australia is still ­closing coal-fired power plants as our economic competitors build their coal-fired capacity.

The big battery may ­become a tourist attraction in South Australia but so, in time, will be the mass grave that ­buries Australia’s industry and the economic fortunes of ­future generations.


No Australian weather site has recorded a daily max of 50° this century


I had Lance staying overnight and this subject came up – me opining after watching too much ABC TV news for years – that some site must have hit the 50° in the last several years. When Lance pointed out on BoM pages that the last 50° plus was in 1998 – I felt somewhat conned.

We searched Google and sure enough we found this article “The proof Australia is getting hotter” – which includes this rather specific claim – Quote “While Western Australia had a cooler than average year in 2016, some parts of the giant state did hit 50 degrees, Australia’s observation of such heat a first in two decades.”

Well if 50 was hit it was not noticed in official BoM daily data. Screen saved. What an amazing lie – “fake news” indeed. Part of my conning was BoM news early in 2013 of the extension of temperature scales up into the 50’s. Oddly this neat animated map from Feb 2016 does not extend to cool temperatures around -10 that are quite common this winter. What other plus 50’s (122F) are there that the BoM should recognize?


Climate change scaremongering based on ‘minuscule’ sea level rises

THIS weekend on Sky News, Connie Fierravanti-Wells, the Liberal minister for International Development and the Pacific, having just returned from a junket handing out vast sums of our money to beautiful Pacific Islands to “combat climate change”, said: “It’s interesting to see that, according to real data, the changes to (sea) levels are actually very, very minuscule.”

That’s right. Very, very minuscule. Or, perhaps what she really meant to say was “non-existent”. The whole climate-change hype about rising sea levels, as being touted by the likes of Al Gore and his new horror flick – er sorry, “documentary” – about climate change, simply doesn’t tally with reality. This has been confirmed by climate scientists themselves, who are sitting around scratching their heads trying to work out why reality doesn’t match their alarmist modelling.

Here’s my bet: these measurements that show “very, very minuscule” rises in sea levels actually mean nothing out of the normal is happening in the oceans.

Climates do change, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We are handing hundreds of millions of dollars (that we don’t actually have, by the way) to our dear Pacific neighbours for no genuine reason at all.

Also last week, another Liberal MP, Sarah Henderson, mocked the idea that elderly Australians would die this winter because they couldn’t afford to pay their heating bills. This came after one of the only sensible Liberal MPs, Craig Kelly, pointed out on Sky News – to me, as it happens – that our renewables energy policy would kill people.

Mr Kelly, who is chairman of the backbench energy committee, caused a furore by stating what is backed up by real data: more people die in Australia during July and August (the coldest months) than at any other time of the year, and that the numbers have been increasing in direct correlation to rising electricity prices. Those price rises, which ultimately stem from both Liberal and Labor policies demonising coal and making it too expensive to be worthwhile, have seen a record number of household disconnections.

Even the ABC admits: “The first detailed analysis of electricity disconnections in four states paints a grim picture of areas under extreme financial stress, with hundreds of households unable to pay their bills.”

What makes the situation even more maddening is that the Government’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, admitted to Parliament that all of Australia’s efforts to combat climate change will, in the end, make virtually no difference to global temperatures. So why on earth do we bother?

Five weeks ago, writing on this page, I upset some people by linking climate change zealotry to deaths.

“It’s not climate change that kills. It’s the zealotry of those who believe they are on a Gaia-given mission to save the planet that is capable of causing economic mayhem, poverty, and even death,” I wrote, using the ghastly Grenfell Tower fire in London as “an extreme, but apt, metaphor for climate change alarmism”.

My point – that thanks to excessive climate change alarmism, energy-efficiency (or “green”) requirements tend to get prioritised over safety measures – has yet to be refuted.

My thinking was also driven by Queensland’s horrendous “pink batts” scandal in 2010. I hardly need remind readers that when Kevin Rudd embarked on a harebrained scheme to “save the planet” by installing pink batts into Australian rooftops, four young men tragically lost their lives.

Recently, The Australian reported that: “The owner of a Sydney-based solar-panel maintenance company said he had seen ‘hundreds’ of fires caused by solar panels in the past five years.”

Mercifully, nobody appears to have yet died from such fires, but that doesn’t make the danger of household solar panels, installed again to “save the planet”, any less real.

John Howard – viewed correctly by many as one of our greatest prime ministers – recently confirmed that he remains sceptical about climate change. Who can blame him?

Mr Kelly’s comments not only had Sarah Henderson mocking him by claiming he was “killing her with his humour”, they had Labor minister Mark Butler calling for his sacking “because of his scaremongering”.

Hang on a tick! Labor, the Greens, and even the bedwetters of the Turnbull Coalition, have been “scaremongering” us silly about climate change for the past decade and longer. The entire energy policy of both major parties is built on unproven, scary predictions of catastrophic rising sea levels, deadly droughts, killer storms, fatal floods, murderous cyclones, dying coral, and a whole host of terrifying disasters, all of which rely on the claim that, at some distant point in the future, “people will die”.

Now we learn that rather than being terrifying, those very same impacts from climate change are, in the minister’s own words, “very, very minuscule”. What a joke.


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

Monday, July 24, 2017

Melbourne could run out of water in ten years because of population growth and climate change

Wotta lotta bore-water!  For a start, Melbourne already has a big desalination plant that is hardly used. 

Secondly, global warming will produce more evaporation off the oceans and hence MORE rain, not less. 

Thirdly, the Snowy scheme already pours lots of dammed water into the sea for "environmental" reasons.  That water could easily be diverted inland into the Murray river. There is already a tunnel for that purpose. And again there is already a pipeline linking the Murray to Melbourne's water supply. 

The galoots below would seem not to have a clue about the Melbourne water supply.  They are however Greenies so are probably just frauds who want to frighten people. The only threat to the Melbourne water supply is the Greenies who want to send already-dammed water out to sea

One of the world's most livable cities could be facing an acute water shortage problem in the next ten to 15 years time no thanks to climate change and population growth.

Water supply in Melbourne may fall and reach a crisis point if no precautionary methods are taken to contain the problem from today, reports The Age.

The publication says demand for water in the state is expected to exceed the supply by 2028.

According to projections made by City West Water, Yarra Valley Water and South East Water demand for water is projected to surge to about 75 percent in the next 40 years, the publication reports.

Some water corporation produced the probable scenario for the state's water supply, Environment Victoria's acting chief executive, Nicholas Aberle told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Aberle said there was a bunch of things that Melbournians can do to address the situation by incorporating several water saving habits.

He said people should learn ways on saving storm water and turning that into a valuable water resource. 'During the drought (1997 to 2009) people were managing water efficiency by only using 155 litres a day.

'People should have a behavioural change and use 100 litres of water a day and handle the water resources efficiently,' he said.

Melbourne Water spokesman Joseph Keller told the publication that people living in the state were 'encouraged to limit their consumption to 155 litres per person per day.'

At present Melbourne Water reports that residents in the state use 162 litres of water per person per day in 2016-17.


Liberal Party leader reveals his plans to help Aboriginal communities in South Australia's APY Lands

The APY is an Aboriginal tribal area.  The Leftist government is just spending money on more bureaucracy rather than doing anything practical to help Aborigines

PLANS for Aboriginal treaties in South Australia are a “cruel hoax” that will not be supported by the Liberals, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall says.

In a move that will set the tone for how a Liberal Government would handle Aboriginal issues, Mr Marshall says symbolism will be scrapped and health, education, jobs and safety prioritised.

Speaking to the Sunday Mail during a three-day trip to the APY Lands last week, Mr Marshall said treaties were unworkable and not a priority for Aboriginal communities in South Australia.

“Treaties are a cruel hoax because they promise hope but don’t deliver practical outcomes,” he said.

“We have been here three days and nobody has raised the issue. The Anangu people want practical solutions and that is what we will be doing.

“The Government has neglected (health, education, jobs and safety) over the past 15 years while they have focused on gestures that are not practical for Aboriginal people across South Australia.”

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher last year announced the State Government would begin treaty discussions with Aboriginal South Australians as the next step towards reconciliation.

But Mr Marshall, who has vowed to become the first SA Premier to hold the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio if elected in March, said the Liberals will not support Labor’s treaty plan.

“Federal Labor governments from Hawke to Keating to Rudd and Gillard have talked about a treaty for 30 years,” he said.

“The problem on the APY Lands is there have been too many groups trying to provide solutions on complex issues but these are being done without any useful co-ordination whatsoever.”

Mr Marshall knows his attitude will be criticised by some in the Aboriginal community, which has previously supported the State Government’s treaty plans.

“Labor have done a lot more of the symbolic recognitions. The Liberals, by contrast, have proved to be very practical in terms of management of Aboriginal Affairs,” he said.

Mr Marshall said his Stolen Generation Bill, which was knocked back by Labor in 2014 before being reintroduced by the State Government in another form, showed his commitment to good outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Under Mr Marshall’s plan, about 300 Aboriginals would have been awarded $50,000 compensation in-line with the maximum amount payable from the Victims of Crime fund.

“The South Australian Government has still not paid a single cent to the people,” he said.

The State Government has set aside $4.4 million over five years to support the treaty process, the appointment of an independent Treaty Commissioner and governance training and support for Aboriginal nations to participate in the treaty negotiations.

Legislation underpinning Labor’s treaty plans are set to be debated in State Parliament in coming weeks.


New Leftist government already plunging Western Australia into more debt

Shades of Kevvy Rudd and Julia Gillard

THE McGowan Government is splurging more than $7 million a day on delivering election promises.

Figures compiled by the State Opposition show that in the 130 days since the March 11 election, Labor has committed to spending nearly $1 billion in projects.

This is despite the fact Premier Mark McGowan famously told West Australians within weeks of coming to power that “we now confront the worst set of finances since the Great Depression”.

Accusing the Government of “financial recklessness”, Opposition leader Mike Nahan said the $925 million spend was unacceptable given the new administration had yet to even deliver its first Budget, which is due on September 7.

He warned Labor’s spending would see State debt soar to more than $50 billion by the next election in 2021, close to double the $27 billion debt it inherited from the former Liberal-National Government.

“The McGowan Government has committed to spending more than $7 million every single day since it was elected,” Dr Nahan said.

“To commit almost a billion dollars expenditure without any Budget scrutiny is financial recklessness and anything but the gold standard transparency Mr McGowan promised.”
WA Opposition Leader Mike Nahan, who has accused the Government of financial 'recklessness'.

According to the Opposition’s figures, spending has included the Joondalup hospital extension ($167 million), a new inner-city college at Kitchener Park in Subiaco ($68 million) and education assistants ($40 million).

Dr Nahan said West Australians were being slugged big dollars — including water and electricity bill hikes — to help pay for Labor’s pledges.

“On June 22, the State Government hit WA families with massive increases in household expenses, which it said would raise an additional $200 million over the next four years,” Dr Nahan said.

“At its current rate of spending all of those savings have been spent in the last 30 days.”

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt yesterday fired back by mocking Dr Nahan’s record as the State’s former financial chief.

“Today clearly marks the first day in his political career that Mike Nahan has been concerned about Government spending,” Mr Wyatt said.

“However, I won’t be taking any advice from the man whose disastrous track record of financial mismanagement delivered the tight financial position that he suddenly appears to be concerned about.

“Since inheriting the worst set of books in the history of WA, the McGowan Government has got on with the job of fixing the mess left behind while also delivering on our election commitments.

“We are proud to have invested in jobs, education, hospitals, public transport and country roads, while also making the tough decisions to go towards Budget repair.”

WA Premier Mark McGowan laughed off the opposition criticising his government for spending $7 million a day meeting election commitments, saying the Liberals were spending $81 million a day.

Mr McGowan says the cash has been well-spent on a new western suburbs school and expanding WA's busiest hospital.

"He talks rubbish. For him to suddenly claim the moral high ground when it comes to debt and deficit is laughable and also embarrassing for him," the premier told reporters in Fremantle on Sunday.


Disgusting Queensland police show no regard for the law

They hate it that they don't have a total monopoly on gun ownership

FOR a Justice of the Peace, Gympie gun dealer Ron Owen has had a lot of run-ins with the police. This month he further increased his lead over all rivals for the self anointed title, “most charged innocent man in Queensland.” Claiming to have faced more than 2850 charges, he says he has beaten them all.

The Gympie Times reports that on Thursday Ron Owen revealed that he had now received one more vindication, when police withdrew an assault charge involving a person Mr Owen claimed was lawfully removed from his McMahon Rd gun shop.

The defence was that he acted lawfully, but that police did not when an officer seized the shop’s CCTV footage.

Mr Owen says the would-be customer had become agitated at the time staff took to finalise a eight-month old lay-by, so much so that Mr Owen refunded payments, rather than take responsibility for arming him. Yesterday Mr Owen said police wrote to him this week, saying the charge had been withdrawn.

But Mr Owen insists it is not a case of him beating the law. It has always been, he says, a case of the law protecting the citizen against sometimes mistaken agents of the state.

Some of his trouble started years ago, when he published a recipe for black powder, something which he says could also be found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Then came the gun de-activation case, in which he was charged with de-activating guns other than by approved methods.

He made history (and The Gympie Times front page) by re-activating an approved replica in less than 15 minutes, at the bar table of the Gympie Magistrates Court, armed only with a screwdriver and pliers. The witness forced to acknowledge his point was the head of police Ballistics.

“I would have done it quicker if I’d remembered to put the firing pin back in the first time,” Mr Owen said later. “And did you notice I didn’t use the pliers?”

Then came the gun buyback in which he proved, using data from police computers (purchased second hand at a police auction), that he was being paid less than anyone else for “millions of dollars worth of gun parts.”

An attempt was once also made to cancel his gun dealer’s licence.

Once, after civil action in which police were ordered to pay costs, he says he had to take further action to force payment. At one point he and his family were offered witness protection by the then Criminal Justice Commission.

He refused, because it would have silenced him.

He wonders how many others, without such generous legal support, have suffered serious injustice.


What will Canberra's Human Rights Commission outlaw next?

Mayhem and mad logic in the ACT

What to do when lying facedown on the floor, hands over head, when the neighbourhood is firebombed and houses are getting sprayed with an AK-47 automatic weapon?

It is a question residents in the Canberra southern district of Tuggeranong must have asked this week with the fifth such incident in recent months, as the turf war among rival outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG) intensifies.

“I just think it’s a matter of time before an innocent person gets caught up in that and gets injured or killed,” said Chief Police Officer Justine Saunders.

Residents caught in such terrifying situations could, while waiting for police and emergency services, draw solace from reading the secular version of the Good Book, in this case the ACT’s Human Rights Act 2004. Section 9 provides that “no-one may be arbitrarily deprived of life.”

The responsibility for ensuring compliance with that Act sits with the ACT Human Rights Commission and its president, Dr Helen Watchirs. Compared with that of her federal counterpart Gillian Triggs, Watchirs has a relatively paltry base salary of $220,381.

Unlike the federal government, the ACT’s minority government, a Labor/Greens coalition, takes very seriously the decrees of its HRC president. In July 2016 the government rejected calls from police to enact anti-consorting legislation to address the increasing and longstanding OMCG threat, citing Watchirs’ advice that the proposed laws “should have no place in a modern democratic society”.

The “level of OMCG activity in the ACT remains relatively low”, submitted Watchirs, who presumably doesn’t get out to Tuggeranong much. As recently as 2015 then Attorney-General Simon Corbell had been in favour of the legislation, declaring he did not want OMCGs to see Canberra as a “soft touch”.

The fact gangs have since come to the capital in droves is not so much them seeing Canberra as a soft touch but more a laughing stock.

Also opposing the laws was the Greens’ Shane Rattenbury, currently the Minister for Justice. Ostensibly the junior partner in the coalition, he enjoys a disproportionate influence — the green eminence, one might quip. His party’s agreement with Labor is based on having one’s cake and eating it too, for Rattenbury enjoys all the perks of being a minister while not having to observe cabinet solidarity.

As with Watchirs, Rattenbury strongly professes a belief in civil liberties, hence his opposition to the anti-consorting laws. Yet only days after opposing this legislation he introduced a private amendment to the territory’s anti-discrimination laws, since passed, to outlaw “vilification” on the grounds of religion.

This includes “serious contempt” for and “severe ridicule of” a person and/or a group of people, and it can be infringed simply by displaying an emblem on a T-shirt or a post on social media.

So what was Rattenbury’s justification for such sweeping legislation and the consequent restrictions upon freedom of speech? Very little as it turns out. He cited vandalism of an Islamic centre (for which there were already provisions in criminal law), and claimed that houses had received leaflets containing “anti-Muslim material” in opposition to a proposed mosque.

In any event this legislation appears to contravene section 16 of the Human Rights Act, which provides for people to have the right to “hold opinions without interference,” and “freedom of expression”, including “the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds.” Surely it was only a matter of time before Watchirs objected strongly to Rattenbury’s amendment?

Not only did Watchirs not oppose this amendment: she approved of it. You heard right: the human rights commissioner who labelled the anti-consorting legislation as a “profoundly retrogressive step” heartily endorsed what closely resembles the old blasphemy laws. Religious vilification, she said last year, was “an issue”.

Clearly it must be an overwhelming issue if the numbers in the HRC annual report for 2014/15 are accurate. According to that document the HRC did not receive a single complaint of discrimination based on the grounds of “religious conviction”.

Likewise, the HRC’s support for freedom of speech does not extend to public protests that offend progressive mantra. In 2015, Rattenbury successfully introduced a private member’s bill to impose so-called exclusion zones outside health clinics to thwart anti-abortion protesters. “This is not a freedom of speech issue,” he argued.

Predictably, Watchirs supported the move. “The bill is also neutral about the type of protest that it is to be regulated, in that protest activity both for and against abortion will be captured,” she submitted, in what could be termed one of the most risible attempts at rationalisation. Presumably then she would not object to a similar exclusion zone for approved forest-clearing on the basis that the legislation also outlawed pro-logging demonstrations?

Currently three pro-life protesters — all aged in their seventies — are before the courts for refusing to pay a $750 infringement notice, with the matter resulting in international attention. It also raises interesting considerations in respect to the HRC’s views on what constitutes the greatest threat to social harmony — the bikie indiscriminately firing an illegal AK-47 in public or the elderly pensioner brandishing a set of rosary beads?

Spare a thought for the officers of ACT Police, who are trying in vain to curtail the OMCGs despite not having the legislation they desperately need. And here’s a teaser for Chief Police Officer Saunders: if the HRC were abolished and its $3.6m budget allocated to your organisation, how would you use it to combat the OMCG scourge? Of course, such a move should never even be contemplated, for where would we be without essential publications such as Everyone Can Play: Guidelines for Local Clubs on Best Practice Inclusion of Transgender and Intersex Participants?

As for what else the Greens and the HRC intend outlawing next, it is anyone’s guess. In 2015 Rattenbury demanded the removal of “offensive” advertisements from Canberra airport. “We are confronted with unwelcoming pictures of border patrol ships advertising arms manufacturers,” he said. “Given that this year Canberra was officially declared a refugee welcome zone, it is simply not appropriate that those seeking refuge from war should be greeted upon arrival in Canberra with advertising that promotes warfare and armed violence.”

It makes one wonder what is more menacing — a gang of armed bikies intent on rampaging, or a collective of righteous zealots with their grand plans for us.


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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

ABC censored church’s ‘positive story' about domestic violence

And lied about it -- in good Leftist fashion. For a fuller coverage of how totally dishonest the program was, see here or my final post here on 21st. It was a classic example of Leftist cherrypicking. They ran with one little quote they liked and ignored the other facts that totally contradicted what they were claiming. There is no truth in them (John 8:44). They are Satanic

A senior female Anglican leader has expressed “disappointment” that her “positive” story in fighting domestic violence was ignored by the ABC in its controversial TV program claiming Christian men who go to church occasionally are the worst abusers of women.

Sydney diocese Archdeacon for Women Kara Hartley was ­interviewed for more than an hour by ABC journalist Julia Baird for the report on 7:30 that aired on Wednesday night, but none of her comments were aired.

“I probably wanted to promote our views and our responses more than came through — my disappointment is that there is positive work and a positive conversation, and I would have liked that to be highlighted some more,” Archdeacon Hartley said yesterday.

Archdeacon Hartley’s remarks came as the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, ­revealed he had, on request, provided the ABC with extensive comments for a related online essay by Baird and co-author ­Hayley Gleeson. But not only did Baird and Gleeson not publish any of his remarks, they falsely reported he had not responded.

Only after the diocese made an official complaint to the ABC did it amend the article yesterday.

“The archdiocese of Brisbane tried to tell ABC reporters about the work we do to assist people who are affected by domestic and family violence,” Archbishop Coleridge said.

“It’s time that the ABC took ­seriously its role to tell the story of the real Australia. It should disengage from the groupthink that has produced an antagonistic, one-sided narrative about the Catholic Church in this country.”

An ABC spokesman declined to comment. The 7:30 story by Baird and ­fellow ABC journalist Paige MacKenzie has been widely condemned for its apparent reliance on, and distortion of, a footnote in a 2008 paper by a professor of ­theology at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, Steven Tracy.

ABC presenter Leigh Sales said: “We talk about women in Islam, but statistically it is evangelical Christian men who attend church sporadically who are the most likely to assault their wives.”

But 7:30 did not report that ­Professor Tracy’s original paper actually found “there is an inverse relationship between church attendance and domestic violence”.

“Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are found to be the least likely group to engage in domestic violence, though conservative Protestant men who are irregular church ­attendees are the most likely to batter their wives,” his report said.

The 7:30 segment, which acknowledged “there has never been any real research” on the topic in Australia, quoted advocates claiming “the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it”.

In the segment, Baird cited concerns that “as long as women’s voices are denied within the church, domestic violence will continue”.

But it made no mention of Archdeacon Hartley, who has been in the Anglican ministry for 20 years and is a leading member of the church’s domestic violence taskforce.

Archdeacon Hartley said she had emphasised to Baird that “domestic violence in our church is unacceptable … I and the senior leadership are absolutely committed, there is no confusion”.

“The first thing we do is we listen and we believe,” she said. “We work out with them what is the best way to be safe, to be cared for … is it going to the police, is it getting you out of your home?” “I am really passionate about this work.”


Diners served gold flakes on dessert at Bill Shorten’s inequality luncheon

SOMETIMES the irony of a situation is too much to bear. As Bill Shorten delivered a rousing speech on inequality at a luncheon on Friday, the assembled audience were being delivered desserts topped with gold.

The Opposition Leader’s speech, delivered in a ballroom in the Grand Hyatt Hotel to mostly well-off academics, public servants and media, marked a shift in emphasis for the Labor party – ranking the rich and poor equal first. The assembled crowd listened attentively as they spooned up the chocolate tart with salty caramel mousse and toasted hazelnuts, accompanied by gold leaf.

Bill Shorten made it clear the Labor party he leads will prioritise inequality before the next federal election.

“The system as it stands is accelerating inequality rather than addressing it. It is entrenching unfairness rather than alleviating it. A belligerent defence of trickle down economics is no kind of plan for Australia’s future,” Mr Shorten said.

Shorten has made it clear he will focus on inequality in coming months. But for the message to help him win the next election, it will have to travel far beyond the well-fed crowd at the Economic and Social Outlook Conference, sponsored by The Australian and the Melbourne Institute. The question is: will the rest of Australia bite?

“I think people are hungry for something more substantial than the current political fare,” Mr Shorten said, promising to do things that were in the past dismissed as too politically difficult.

He promised to go back to the “too-hard basket” and re-examine the tax options that had been put in there. But for now the details of what that might mean is scant, beyond already-announced changes to tax arrangements like negative gearing and deductions.

Bill Shorten’s speech – and one by shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen the day before – made it clear the Labor party is trying to draw on the legacy of the Hawke and Keating governments. But they want that legacy understood in slightly different terms.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen referred to it as “a grand bargain.”

“The Hawke government floated the dollar, deregulated the economy and brought down tariffs, opening up our economy, they also embarked on a grand bargain,” Mr Bowen said.

“Reforms which opened up the economy were accompanied by new social standards, through Medicare, superannuation, increased school retention rates and the social wage. Hawke and Keating understood that these were vital reassurances at a time when there were serious threats to the status quo and that they were essential components of good economic reform.”

When Mr Shorten echoed the same sentiment a day later, Mr Bowen’s argument started to look like part of a strategy: Labor wants to make sure the Hawke Keating era is remembered not just as a period of economic reforms – but of social interventions that made them possible.


ALP delivers ‘false’ pitch on inequality

Truth and falsehood are all the same to Leftists.  Their only aim is to sound good

Bill Shorten’s claim that ­inequal­ity is at a 75-year high is “patently false”, according to one of Australia’s leading labour market economists who suggested stagnant wage growth had made such claims believable.

Speaking just hours before the Opposition Leader railed against surging inequality in a landmark speech, Roger Wilkins, deputy ­director of the Melbourne Institute, said conventional measures of inequality showed both ­inequality of income and wealth had been falling in Australia since the financial crisis almost a decade ago.

“Inequality is still relatively high by modern standards but the narrative that says inequality is ever rising is patently false,” Professor Wilkins told the Melbourne Institute/The Aust­ralian Economic and Social Policy Conference in Melbourne yesterday.

Pointing out that the proportion of Australians over 15 with incomes less than half the median level of income had fallen to about 10 per cent, he added: “If anything, inequality has been declining.”

While Mr Shorten didn’t spec­ify a timeframe in his speech to the Melbourne Institute yesterday, he argued that Labor was the party best placed to combat rising ­inequality, saying a crackdown on tax concessions favouring high-income earners would balance the budget and help make Australia a fairer nation.

“Inequality is an economic problem, but it is not just an ­abstract concept,” he said. “Inequality is why young people, young Australians are more uncertain than they’ve been for generations. But it isn’t just about young people. Inequality is Australians going for years without a pay rise — but paying more taxes than their boss.”

Mr Shorten’s speech to the conference was seen as helping to frame his pitch for the next election, focusing on inequality and fairness. “Tackling inequality will be a defining mission for a Shorten Labor government,” he said, adding that “the system as it stands is accelerating inequality rather that addressing it. It is entrenching unfairness, rather than alleviating it.”

But the Business Council of Australia also took issue with Labor’s “fairness” platform yesterday, with strongly worded comments from chief executive Jennifer Westacott about the current political debate.

“How fair is it to let the country fall behind and be unable to compete globally and attract investment, to create jobs, better jobs and higher incomes?” Ms Westacott said. “How fair is it to spend all of our policy focus distributing an ever-diminishing pie and then have very little left? How fair is it to lumber our future generations with debt if we go on spending and expect them to pay for it?”

Professor Wilkins said Mr Shorten’s claim that inequality had been rising was “overegging” the truth and dependent on one statistic: the share of income ­accruing to the top 1 per cent of earners, which has risen from about 4.5 per cent in the early 1970s to 8.2 per cent in 2015, the latest year for which data is available.

“This is not traditionally what scholars have focused on. For ­example, it’s pre-tax and more ­importantly it’s a personal income measure,” Professor Wilkins said. “It’s conceivable all of these people in the top 1 per cent are the only earners in their households and live in large households, and when you adjust for dependants they aren’t so rich after all.”

Official statistics from the latest census show inequality has ­fallen between 2011 and 2016: the Gini coefficient (where a lower score implies greater equality) has ­declined from 0.382 to 0.366.

Professor Wilkins said wage growth, which painted a “really stark picture”, was more likely ­responsible in Australia for the ­belief income inequality had been rising, which has helped drive populist politics around the world, including the election of Donald Trump as US President.

Real average household incomes rose rapidly in Australia from about $40,000 in the early 2000s but has hovered around $52,000 since 2010. “When that stopped people started looking around a bit more; when incomes grow strongly people tend to be less concerned about its distribution,” Professor Wilkins said.

Opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen echoed Mr Shorten’s claims at the Melbourne Institute this week. “The facts and the challenges are clear. Income inequality in Australia is at (a) 75-year high,” Mr Bowen said.

Anthony Albanese previewed Mr Shorten’s speech by saying it was based on “the issue of inequality and the fact that inequality is at a 75-year high”.

Mr Shorten and the Labor Party have been making the claim for several years with Mr Shorten telling the ABC’s 7.30 in 2015 that inequality was at a 75-year high.

Grattan chief executive John Daley agreed that properly measured inequality had not been ­rising. “There’s actually no evidence at all that rising wealth or ­income inequality has fuelled populism in Australia,” he said.

Professor Wilkins, who oversees the Melbourne Institute’s Household Income and Labour Dynamics Survey, said inequality was “probably a little bit uncomfortably high” but could be ­reduced by reducing tax expenditures, ensuring retirees paid some income tax, lifting unemployment benefits, and improving education and training. “Lifting minimum wages would be a really terrible way to improve incomes of the poor,” Professor Wilkins argued, suggesting maximising employment opportunities was among the best ways to a mitigate poverty.


Turnbull takes high ground while Shorten looks for the bleak

The contrast between Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten could not have been greater, with one ­rekindling optimism in the potential for technology to transform our lives and the other painting a dystopian world in which a small wealthy class lords it over the struggling masses.

It was a side of the Prime Minister that has barely been seen since last year’s election. We live in a world of accelerating change, he told the Melbourne Institute/The Australian Economic and Social Outlook Conference. “Economic progress, innovation, technology have advanced humanity and changed our lives for the better,” he said.

If they were humans, the world’s biggest companies such as Facebook and Google would be at school, many at primary school.

It was understandable that ­people may feel threatened by the speed of the transformation, but they should face the future with optimism because technology was creating new jobs, and improving the quality of our lives.

“We have to harness the forces of change, make the best use of emerging technologies and secure the jobs, the opportunities of the future.”

The Opposition Leader picks up on the poor wage growth, the loss of penalty rates and the difficulty of young people gaining entry to the property market to argue that the government is failing the electorate at large while favouring a small coterie of high-income earners.

He uses a powerful metaphor of the “economy-class tax system” in which the PAYG taxpayers, many of whom have already filed their tax returns, pay the going rate less a few deductions while the “business-class tax system” enables the wealthy to reduce their taxes to less than that of a low-paid nurse.

“Inequality feeds the sense that the deck is stacked against ordinary people, that the fix is in and the deal is done,” he says.

Negative gearing, capital gains tax, superannuation and tax ­accounting deductions have ­already been targeted. Trusts are likely to be next in the attack on high-end tax.

Although Turnbull believes in the opportunity of the entrepreneurial age heralded by the internet, it was a message that did not connect with voters last year and will not play again in the next election.

It leaves the government selling its achievements, whether that is a school funding package, some “think-big” infrastructure or free trade deals while hoping the economy gathers momentum, bringing further gains in employment and easing the financial insecurity to which Shorten is playing.


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