Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Little white lies: Agnok Lueth adopts 'Daniel McClean' on his CV to try to get a fair go

A lot of this "racism" is created by the diversity industry itself. If I were an employer, I would be wary of hiring an African too. What if he proved unsuitable for the work and I had to fire him? I would run the risk of being accused of racism for doing so -- and then getting taken before a heavily biased "tribunal" over it. Better to opt for the simple life and not hire him in the first place

A SUDANESE man who has applied unsuccessfully for more than 1000 jobs has resorted to using a fake Anglo name on his resume in a desperate attempt to get work.

Former refugee Agnok Lueth, 23, who fled war-torn Sudan for Melbourne in 2004, created the resume alias "Daniel McClean" because he believed Australian employers were unwilling to give him a fair go under his real name.

Mr Lueth sent out hundreds of resumes for jobs he was qualified for, but only received callbacks on applications with the fake names. Of the six applications with the fake name, he got five callbacks.

The Swinburne University biomedicine and commerce double degree student can speak three languages, has a favourable work history and volunteered for three years for an Australian aid organisation.

Despite meeting the job criteria for positions as a waiter, shop assistant, call centre worker and bank teller, Mr Lueth told mX he felt overlooked by employers.

"I did a test to see if it was an experience problem or something more," he said. "I sent six resumes with my qualifications but used a different name, and I was surprised at how quickly I heard back from five of the companies for interview requests."

Mr Lueth could not say why the five calls did not lead to a job interview. He said one employer only asked him two questions.

The Australian Human Rights Commission's Graeme Innes said there was a growing trend of immigrants adopting western names in the hope it would help them get hired.

"Unfortunately, there are elements of racism in our community and there are definitely people in Australia who make employment decisions on a racist bias," he said. "We like to call ourselves a tolerant society, but this happens a lot more often than we think."

Since university timetable clashes forced Mr Lueth into the job hunt in 2009, he has relied on Centrelink payments and a Smith Family scholarship.

"Sometimes I just feel like giving up," he said. "The Sudanese community is thankful for all the opportunities we're given in Australia, but we have something to make this nation defined by the strength of its diversity."

Smith Family Learning for Life team leader Anne Marmion said Lueth's efforts to secure a job had been "massive". "When a young person has to change their name because they're discriminated against, it's an indication of bias and prejudice in our society and a fear of those who are different," she said.


Gillard declares war on the nation's electricity supply

Trying to stiff the power generators will just send them broke. And Victoria will be in big trouble. Its brown coal generators are both huge and produce very cheap power. Shutting them down will be a disaster, however you look at it. What are they going to replace it with? Are they going to build a black coal generator and ship in coal from interstate to run it? And where will the money come from? The costs defy the imagination

ENERGY Minister Martin Ferguson is staring down demands by the nation's dirtiest coal power plants for multi-billion-dollar payouts to shut down, declaring there is "no bottomless pit of taxpayer dollars" to finance Julia Gillard's clean energy plan.

Mr Ferguson's department has also revealed that money put aside in the taxpayer-funded contingency reserve to support the closure of highly polluting electricity generators will be allocated for after June 30, 2016 - a move that keeps the costs beyond the budget forecasts.

While the government will be asked to pay almost $3 billion to shut down Victoria's Hazelwood plant, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism has insisted in a new fact sheet on the plan that the payment made to close the power stations will be "modest".

"It refers to the fact that there is no bottomless pit of taxpayer dollars," Mr Ferguson told The Australian yesterday.

His department is responsible for implementing the strategy to retire 2000 megawatts of brown-coal power, which forms part of the Prime Minister's clean energy plan released last week.

The warning comes as the $120bn energy sector issues new demands for the government to increase its compensation package for the carbon tax, warning that the chance of blackouts is increasing and that energy retailers could go broke.

New analysis from the Energy Supply Association of Australia of the government's package, provided exclusively to The Australian, concludes that just eight or nine of 31 power stations that produce baseload power will receive assistance and finds that generators will pay $15bn more for carbon permits than they are getting in assistance in the first five years of the scheme.

The group also warns that a key plank of the government's package for electricity generators - emergency federal government loans to head off financial failure, but at rates above the commercial market - could be viewed cynically as a revenue grab by the commonwealth.

As part of its carbon tax package, the government has promised to set up an energy security fund that will give $5.5bn in free permits and cash up to 2016-17.

But this is skewed towards the most emissions-intensive generators - the privately owned brown coal electricity generators in Victoria and South Australia - and will cover only 23 per cent of their expected carbon liability during that time.

Figures from Macquarie Generation, which is owned by the NSW government, have suggested that a carbon price could wipe more than $2bn from the book value of its assets and add about $600 million to its yearly costs.

Macquarie Generation chief Russell Skelton said the firm had commissioned modelling on the impact of the carbon tax package on the business. But he said that because the allocation of free permits was skewed in favour of the privately owned brown-coal generators, revenues to the state governments could be crimped and prices increased.

"Taxpayers of NSW are effectively the owners of us. They see a reduction in revenues that their government has available," Mr Skelton said.

ESAA chief executive Brad Page warned that coal-fired generators could enter into fewer of the hedge contracts with retailers that are used to lock in prices and cushion against the massive price volatility in the high-risk spot market.

Instead, generators could sell power on to the spot market, where prices can reach $12,500/megawatt hour - well above the averages of $30-$40/MWh- to maximise their earnings.

This would increase electricity prices as the Australian Energy Regulator estimates that prices need to spike for only three hours a year to drive up the annual spot price by almost 10 per cent.

"It also means that competition is likely to be reduced as the independent, second-tier retailers can't get hedge contracts and either take risks that could see them go broke or are out of business anyway as they can't sell contracts without adequate hedge cover," Mr Page said.

He said this would be exacerbated by the government's decision not to allow deferred payment for permits as power stations would need a few years worth of permits, or about $10bn worth, in 2015 to back up generator-retailer contracts.

Mr Ferguson's department has released a series of fact sheets on the government's plan and, over the weekend, published on the internet a guide to the plan to pay 2000MW of the dirtiest power stations to close by 2020.

The guide on the so-called "contract for closure" states that the government will not reveal its expectations on the costs of the deal. It says there will be only a small number of power companies that will be able to apply, and adds that the government "must preserve its negotiating position to get the best value for money for the commonwealth".

However, it pointedly describes the plan as "modest" and states that a "certain amount" is in the budget contingency fund beyond June 30, 2016.

The government had previously insisted the fund was not a "rainy day" fund and it had dismissed suggestions the contingency fund would be used to support power companies.


We love prophecies but are unwise to believe them

The most interesting thing I’ve read all year about the climate-change debate is a book that has nothing directly to do with it.

Dan Gardner’s Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail and Why We Believe Them Anyway explores, well, the title pretty sums it up. Gardner runs through a laundry list of culture-shaping fears and hopes and points out that they were almost always wrong.

Capitalism didn’t end up on the ash heap of history. World War I didn’t turn out to be the war to end all wars. Society wasn’t plunged into anarchy by the Y2K bug. The nightmare scenario of overpopulation Malthusians have been banging on about since 1798 is yet to play out.

That’s despite the likes of Paul Ehrlich (the Al Gore of the ‘70s) predicting in 1968 that: “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundred of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

It’s 2011, and somehow I still don¹t have a robot maid to clean my house or a jetpack to fly me to work.

There are solid evolutionary reasons humans are desperate to know what is likely to be coming around the corner. And there’s a class of experts who make good coin by pandering to our desperate need to glimpse the future. The only problem with this arrangement is that the experts almost never deliver on their side of the bargain.

In 1984, The Economist asked four former finance ministers, four chairmen of multinational companies, four Oxford economics students and four London dustmen to provide a 10-year forecast of what was going to happen to things like inflation, unemployment and oil prices.

A decade on, it was discovered that while nobody¹s predictions had been particularly accurate, the garbos had done as well as the corporate chairmen and considerably better than the students or former finance ministers.

The likely reason the garbologists did better than the economists probably relates to what might be labelled the paradox of prognostication. Those humble types who accept the future is very difficult to predict do much better at forecasting it than those who are supremely confident of their seer-like capabilities - usually because they’re in thrall to One Big Idea That Explains Everything.

Guess which type of expert is most likely to get media attention, research funding and political backing?

Of course, given the marketplace of ideas is filled to bursting with predictions of mankind’s imminent doom, if some course of action is or isn’t taken, there’s still the issue of which apocalypse you choose to fear.

More here

Sharia law comes to Australia

Unlike Mussolini, I don't claim that I am always right, but my inferences yesterday have proven sound

TWO men will face court over allegedly whipping a Muslim man 40 times in a home invasion for drinking alcohol, prohibited under Sharia law.

The 31-year-old was allegedly lashed with electrical cable by four heavily bearded men who broke into his bedroom in Menton St, Silverwater, about 1am on Sunday.

Three of the men, in their late teens or early 20s, allegedly held him down on his bed while a fourth, aged between 40 and 50, allegedly lashed him about 40 times over half an hour.

The victim, a recent Islamic convert known only as Christian, told police he recognised the men from his local mosque who were punishing him for having a few drinks with friends, Seven News reported last night.

He said he was living in fear after the attack, which left him covered in welts.

Police arrested a 20-year-old man at his home in nearby Auburn about 8.30pm on Monday and he was taken to Auburn Police Station, where he was charged with aggravated break and enter and committing a serious indictable offence. He was refused bail and will appear in Burwood Local Court today.

A search warrant was executed on a second home in Auburn where police allege a 16-year-old youth assaulted officers. He was arrested and taken to Auburn Police Station, where he was charged with assault, and resisting and hindering officers in the execution of their duty.

He was granted bail to appear in Parramatta Children's court on August 18.


1 comment:

Paul said...

'The victim, a recent Islamic convert known only as Christian"

Wonderful piece of cognitive dissonance here....and a sucker for punishment.