Tuesday, May 12, 2009

World Vision children's charity goes into the global warming business

Comments below by Andrew Bolt. I too was once a World Vision donor but stopped immediately when they started making anti-Israel statements. In 2006 I asked them could I sponsor a poor Jewish child in Israel. They said No. I still have the emails concerned. Maybe I should put them online -- JR

I’ve been a donor to World Vision for more than a decade. I’ve helped to publicise its work and urged you to support it, praising above all its commitment to giving the poor the direct help they need.

That’s now over. When my current sponsorships end, I will not renew. I will not donate a dollar more than I’ve already promised. An organisation I once admired for pragmatism has now fallen for the giddiest ideology of all. Under Tim Costello, so ignorant and alarmist that he blames global warming even for tsunamis, donors’ money is now being wasted on a great sham. A once-Christian organisation is now switching its focus from saving people to saving Nature, as it follows a neo-pagan gospel. The latest evidence? From World Vision’s jobs page:
Strategic Technical Advisor (Carbon and Poverty Reduction Facility - Asia Pacific)

This exciting and newly created role based in the Asia Pacific provides technical assistance in the design and implementation of carbon and poverty reduction projects and programmatic responses, helping position World Vision Australia as the pre-eminent development NGO in climate change.

Campaigns Leader - Climate Change

We are seeking an experienced Campaign Leader for our Policy & Programs Group to work on effecting change within our region.

Project Manager

This role has been created to provide multi-disciplinary support through business analysis, research, proposal development, project design and management, stakeholder engagement and communications, particularly around climate change related to Carbon and Poverty Reduction Projects.

Reader Daniel is furious:
World Vision through very expensive advertising campaigns educate and look after children in deprived circumstances in the third world. What are they doing joining the very crowded world of those preaching global warming?

That leaves me needing a new charity. I’m starting already to switch my support to Very Special Kids. Could anyone also recommend a charity that gives meaningful help to the poor overseas?


A number of readers say they’re cancelling their sponsorships immediately. That’s not something I’m doing. I’ve made implied promises to children that I intend to keep. The issue is what I do with my money once those sponsorships lapse. I hope no one makes children suffer for the ideological giddiness of Tim Costello.


4BC’s Michael Smith isn’t impressed, either.


Tim Costello has rung to make the following important points:

- None of the money given for World Vision’s sponsorships go to its global warming programs.

- By getting involved in global warming, World Vision actually makes money, getting donations from governments and international bodies.

- The money it gets for carbon offsets, for example, is used to benefit people though the planting of trees that are also a food source.

Tim has challenged me to consider what I would do in his place, if there was so much money I could use for the poor that was being offered by global warming campaigners.

My answer to him was and is: I would take it, indeed, but I would not preach as true that which is false. There are ways to help the poor that do not involve endorsing a new faith that is a threat to reason, development and even humanity itself. You, however, may consider his answer sufficiently pragmatic to continue to support World Vision.

SOURCE. See the original for links

Helpline thrown to bashed Indian students

Big deal! The only real solution would be to send the "refugees" who are the main perpetrators of the violence back to where they came from in Africa

A HELPLINE to assist Indian students who are victims of crime will begin operating from Friday amid mounting alarm over violent racist attacks in Melbourne's western suburbs.

The strategy comes as statistics obtained by the State Opposition reveal violent crime has risen by up to 100 per cent in some areas in the west over the past eight years.

And the growing number of attacks on Indian students have made headlines in India, with the Hindustan Times reporting students were "scared" and the Economic Times of India warning the Australian Government's $3.5 million campaign to attract Indian students to combat the recession could remain a "non-starter" if the issue of racial attacks was not addressed.

The helpline, to be staffed by trained volunteers fluent in English and Hindi, will provide guidance on what to do and where to go in a crisis. It is an initiative of a police reference group, formed with members of the Indian community.

But Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said that without a zero-tolerance approach to racial assaults and more police, there was little hope of stamping out the violence.

Statistics obtained by the Opposition under Freedom of Information laws show violent crimes against persons in Melton increased by 101 per cent from 2000-2001 to 2007-2008. There was an increase of 51 per cent over the same period in Brimbank, 43.5 per cent in Wyndham and 15.2 per cent in Hobsons Bay, while Maribyrnong bucked the trend with a decrease of 11.4 per cent.

The Federation of Indian Students of Australia said police had failed to curb racist attacks against Indians and it did not see many positive developments from the reference group.

Other strategies discussed by the group include educating Indian students to keep a low profile by not displaying signs of wealth, such as iPods or laptops, and not talking loudly in their native tongue when travelling on trains late at night. Police say these suggestions came from Indian members.

Federation of Indian Students of Australia president Amit Menghani said keeping a low profile would do nothing to prevent Indian students like Mr Sharma from being bashed by racist gangs.

Assistant Police Commissioner of Region Two West, Sandra Nicholson, denied police were failing to act. She said police last year established the Embona anti-robbery taskforce specifically to address attacks on Indian students.

"They have been extremely successful — last week alone they made seven arrests for robberies," she said.

Assistant Commissioner Nicholson said the increase in violent crime over the past eight years had to be considered in light of population growth in the west, with Melton and Wyndham among the highest growth areas in the state.


Mental hospital staff try to cover up dangerous negligence with a pack of lies

And they are so arrogant that they offer the whistleblower "counselling"

A MENTALLY ill man in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital was "accidentally" released only hours before threatening a neighbour with a knife. The man's daughter said yesterday she was still awaiting a reply to her formal complaint about how her father was able to abscond on March 17 and how hospital staff misled her about his disappearance.

The western suburbs man, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was able to leave the RBWH's mental health unit by telling staff his daughter was waiting downstairs to take him on approved leave. He had been admitted under an involuntary treatment order two weeks earlier after suffering a psychotic episode and threatening to kill neighbours and himself.

The young woman said the hospital had contacted her the previous day to ask if she could supervise him for three hours' leave, but she had refused. "My father later told them I was waiting for him in a cab and they just buzzed him out," she said.

After another family member told her that her father was out of hospital, the woman called the mental health unit. "They told me he hadn't been released and that he was 'Here on the ward as we speak'," she said. "I thought, 'That's weird', and so I rang home and Dad picked up the phone. I then rang the hospital back to ask what's going on and was told 'His daughter picked him up'.

"When a patient is released to someone's care, that person has to be sighted, ID checked, and there is paperwork to be signed. But I never went to the hospital that day. "Then they said it was his sister who signed him out, but all of his relatives live in England except for me and his brother."

The woman arrived at her father's home just before police detained him for threatening a neighbour with a knife.

RBWH's acting mental health director, Dr Warren Ward, said Queensland Health was unable to comment on specific patients. "Risk assessments occur regularly to ascertain levels of restrictions and leave ," he said.

The man's daughter said she had an "emergency meeting" with RBWH staff the next day, but had not had a reply to her written complaint. At the meeting she had been offered counselling. "I'm very concerned at how easily someone can walk out of a secure mental health unit," she said.


Welfare parent trap

THE Rudd Government’s budget eve promise of paid parental leave is a political rebranding exercise designed to make people feel good.

But the symbolism sidesteps the much more serious problems of genuine disadvantage entrenched by Australia’s welfare state.

Claims that Australia lags even Third World nations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo by not providing paid parental leave are mostly semantic, according to the Productivity Commission.

Australia ranks sixth among rich nations in the share of national income it spends on family policy. And it directs more of its social spending to families than any other developed country.

The $5000 baby bonus and other family benefits already operate as a “generous” form of parental pay, whether or not parents exercise their existing entitlement to up to a year’s unpaid leave after the birth of a child.

Parents who choose the new entitlement for 18 weeks’ leave on the minimum wage will lose their baby bonus and other family payments. The new scheme will add only $260 million, or a bit more than 1 per cent, to the $20 billion or so of annual family subsidies.

Yet despite spending so much, more Australian children still grow up in jobless families than in all but one other developed economy (Hungary). In the mid-1990s, a startling one in six Australian children lived in families where no one held a job.

By last year, this had been ground down to one in eight children, thanks to a strong economy, a less-regulated industrial relations system, lower taxes and a modest toughening of welfare rules that began under the Keating government during the previous recession. This is troubling because family joblessness and hence poverty can be handed down from generation to generation. And now even the modest inroads into genuine disadvantage since the mid-’90s are threatened by the job shake-out, the reregulation of the labour market and pressure to ease welfare rules.

The puzzle of why so many Australian children remained trapped in jobless families, even when the overall unemployment rate fell to generational lows, is answered in a Centre for Independent Studies paper by Jessica Brown.

It found that the parents of these children, particularly single parents, had opted out of the labour market and hence out of the jobless numbers to instead be supported by welfare.

Concern that the welfare system discourages work has engaged a new consensus on the issue that includes Treasury secretary Ken Henry.

As a brash young Treasury economist in the mid-’80s, Henry thought fairness simply got in the way of efficiency. Today he heads the Government’s review of the tax and transfer system and says equity is “central to Treasury’s mission”.

But the need now, Henry adds, is to move beyond “steeply progressive taxation and the further expansion of the welfare state”.

His critique is strongly influenced by Indian economist and Nobel prizewinner Amartya Sen, who argues that the role of policy is to foster people’s “capabilities” to live meaningful lives, whether they begin in troubled public housing estates, rural poverty or remote indigenous disadvantage. As Henry argues, the classical liberal focus on rights and the subsequent utilitarian concentration on income distribution can actually entrench, rather than alleviate, social disadvantage.

Henry has worked closely with Cape York indigenous leader Noel Pearson, whose attack on “sit-down money” and social dysfunction has left the old welfare model and its rights obsession in ruins. In Pearson’s agenda, mutual obligation and individual responsibility may overrule rights (say, through grog bans) or income support (if parents don’t enforce school attendance).

Moreover, Henry says the tax-transfer review panel has heard time and again how welfare motivates the disadvantaged to accept passive income support rather than to work, study or retrain.

A parent with a couple of young children often finds it is not worth working after the income-related withdrawal of benefits, the tax onadditional income and the cost of child care. A maze of rules encourages disabled people capable of working part time to go on to the disability pension, which pays $70 a week more than the single dole and does not impose an activity test. This, warns Henry, “could be discouraging some people from work that could make them happier and healthier and our society more equitable”.

Similar poverty traps exist in public housing, where rents are set at 25 per cent of the tenant’s income, so lifting the effective marginal tax rate on extra income.

In her CIS paper, Brown notes that children in single-parent families are 10 times likelier to live in a household where no one works. By the 2006 census, this amounted to 383,000 jobless one-parent families and 213,000 jobless two-parent families.

In the ‘90s, the so-called five-economists plan called for a US-style earned income tax credit to maintain incomes for low-paid workers while freezing the minimum wage to make them more attractive to employ.

But Brown notes that the Australian version of this income top-up - the low income tax offset - provides a tax break to all low-income earners, whether they get their income from work or welfare.

While the idea that the welfare state makes work unrewarding is not new, unsophisticated voices were the first to scream it out.

Last week’s 20th anniversary Media Watch episode proudly reprised the ABC’s show’s censure of commercial television for pillorying the Paxton family kids for appearing comfortable with life on the dole in preference to getting out of bed, getting a haircut and getting a job in the mid-’90s. It again slammed the interview ambush of a youngish mother said to have had five children with five different fathers.

Yet, for all its sleaze and foot-in-the-door rudeness, the raw truths of tabloid journalism historically have reflected a mix of real-world common sense and politically incorrect prejudice of its working-class and aspirational audience.

In this case, its instincts have been right, however alien to left-progressive sensibilities.

The welfare state has hurt, not helped, the poor.

The Media Watch claim to be a defender of the powerless against tabloid bullying is as conceited as Labor’s assertion that its rebranding of family payments is “a huge step forward for all mothers”.


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