Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Singleton/Waterhouse clash

Below are what I think are the main points to come out of the enquiry so far.  Young Tom seems to be smiling his way through it.  Unlike Leftists, I admire success and the meteoric rise of Tom makes him one of my favourite people.  And Gai is a former student of mine

And Gai can hardly be accused of poor judgment in running the horse when Singleton's own people also said it should run

The whole episode has sparked great interest among Australians as bookies are almost like royalty here.  And Tom is now the biggest bookie of them all

Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy asked Gai Waterhouse if she had relayed any information about the condition of the horse to her son.

"I'll happily swear on a Bible, the first time I made contact with my son was after the race when Mr Singleton screamed abuse at me," she said.

Mr Singleton told stewards he had not been aware there was any problem with More Joyous until race day. He accepted the advice of his racing manager, Duncan Grimley, and veterinarian Dr John Peatfield that his champion mare was fit to run but heeded Mr Grimley's advice "not to bet". Then Mr Singleton told stewards he received a phone call from Allan Robinson with some information about the condition of More Joyous and rang Johns to clarify.

"I had massive concerns when I heard Allan Robinson and Andrew Johns passed on information which Duncan Grimley said was a bit too close to the bone," he said.

The owner and trainer had a heated discussion about More Joyous's fitness earlier at the race meeting before clashing again in the mounting yard just prior to the race.

"I wasn't happy. I was what Andrew Johns would call 'agitated'," he said.

"I would say drunk," Gai Waterhouse interjected.

Mr Singleton replied: "I had two to three beers before (the race) and as much as I could after."

Just before the adjournment of the inquiry, Gai Waterhouse had a final crack: "If Mr Singleton shut his mouth we wouldn't be here."

"But the mare still came second last," Mr Singleton replied.

"She is a seven-year-old. She's old - just like you," Waterhouse said. The inquiry will resume at a date to be fixed.


More background here.

Young criminals could be forced to make amends to victims under planned shake-up of juvenile justice system

YOUNG criminals could be forced to make amends to their victims under a new "community reparation" model that ensures juveniles take personal responsibility for their crimes.

The Newman Government's planned overhaul of the juvenile justice system has "everything on the table", including expanding orders that ensure delinquent youths help fix what they break.

And in one of the most significant proposals, the Government has revealed some Queenslanders believe they would be safer if the principle of locking up youths as a last resort was removed from the Youth Justice Act.

A proposed overhaul to the Act also includes making it an offence for a juvenile offender to breach their bail conditions, and targeting recidivist youths under a prolific offender program.

While not speaking about any individual case, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the community was fed up with arrogant repeat offenders.

"You've got to think of the victims," Mr Bleijie said. "Victims want people to be held responsible. (Repairing damage) can all be part of community reparations."

The premise of personal responsibility would be an extension of mandatory laws to be introduced this year that would force youths convicted of a graffiti offence to spend up to 20 hours repairing the damage.

Last week a 16-year-old boy walked free from court despite punching 93-year-old Harold Dickson during a violent home invasion at Inala last year.

The boy and his co-accused, Kye Thomas Nicholls, 22, were armed with knives when they demanded money from Mr Dickson and his 91-year-old wife, Ronnie.

In District Court in Brisbane on Friday, the 16-year-old smirked during the proceedings.

Nicholls received four months jail but will be free in a few months.

Mr Bleijie is now seeking information about the case from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Under the Act, police and courts assess the type of offence the youth is charged with, take into account the offending history and risk to community safety and, in the first instance, must consider options such as bail or community-based orders.

It means many violent offenders can walk free from court without serving any time.

In March, Mr Bleijie asked Queenslanders to complete a survey that will help form the Government's blueprint for youth justice, to be announced this year.

Exclusively obtained by The Courier-Mail, the results revealed that three-quarters of the 2000 respondents had been victims of crime.

Most respondents agreed that it should be an offence if youths breached their bail conditions - currently it is not an offence - and courts should be able to consider an adult offender's juvenile criminal history.

Half also agreed with removing the principle of detention as a last resort.

Mr Bleijie said that some parents admitted to him that they could not control their troubled teenage children, and "begged and pleaded" for help.

"Some parents are at a wit's end on what to do," Mr Bleijie said.

He said the private sector might be asked to help provide services for wayward youths. It could include help for those with alcohol and drug addiction.

"People still need to be held responsible for their actions," he said.

"Just because they were high on drugs should not excuse them for what they've done."


The Curse of Government Help

"The indisposition of the aborigines to manual labor is well known; but as they can obtain work of various kinds in the country they should not only be induced to take it, but they should be discouraged from remaining in comparative idleness at mission stations, where they will certainly abide as long as they are provided with food and clothing, without some corresponding demand being made upon their labor."  - Phillip Gidley King and Edmund Fosbery, report on missions to Aborigines, 1882

It's so interesting to me that the economic debate in the USA can exist without a debate on the surge in food stamps and associated government sponsored benefits like tax credits, cell phones and extended unemployment benefits. The elephant in the room seems to be the dishonest ability to talk about people becoming lazy and unmotivated. The increasing lack of desire to work is eating away at the foundation of the nation. Unfortunately it's become a racial issue in America and when that doesn't work any detractors from the current system simply hate children.

Of course all races receive food stamps and of course it's rife with fraud and abuse.

While I think we need to take care of taxpayer funds there is an element to this situation that is even more important. It gets back to the notion of caring. It goes hand in hand with the development of the modern welfare state born of goodwill but now doing more harm than good. Take the aborigines of Australia, who somehow managed to survive for 50,000 years before the arrival of the British without a modern welfare state. The colonization of the people and capture of the land changed the old way of life.

Perhaps defeat took away something but without a doubt many wondered right out of the gate if welfare was doing more harm than good for the aboriginal people of Australia. Colonization of Australia began in 1788 and times were good from the end of the so-called Convict Era (1838) to the economic depression of 1890s (America suffered through a series of depressions and panics during the same decade). While times were good, private donations were made to help aboriginals adjust to their new country but the three main funds went bust.

Enter the government to fill the void, going from distribution of an annual blanket to being caretaker. Immediately there was debate over who should get benefits, how much those benefits should be and what the government expected in return. It was the beginning of a debate that continues to this day.

In the beginning it was clear that able-bodied men that wanted to work would always step in when given a chance, and those that would rather not work would avoid it at all costs - especially if that cost was nothing.

Literature from Stolen Generations, which chronicles life for the aboriginals, points to a trend of fewer and fewer able bodied men willing to do the work that coincided with greater and greater amounts of welfare benefits. As it turns out, the Aborigine Protection Board created, even encouraged, a proud people to become lazy and indifferent. Make no mistake, the aborigines of Australia have endured atrocities and even today sections of the nation's constitution allow government to disqualify particular races from voting and can make laws that apply to specific races.

Aborigines make up 2% of the nation's population but 25% of the prison population and have a life expectancy 17 years less than other Australians. Complicating matters is the same dilemma facing all nations that have offered generous welfare benefits for decades.

How to be less generous in the hopes of weaning people off assistance and into actually becoming productive members of society when so many entities have vested interested in people staying on government benefits. The power of each individual on the planet is transferable, much like the Faustian tale of exchanging one's soul in the afterlife for good times on earth. The deeper one gets into this arrangement the more difficult to climb out and being born into such circumstances makes escape a Herculean task.


Funding students based on Indigeneity demeaning and wasteful

The Labor government’s education proposal adds grants for Indigenous students on top of the Gonski recommendations for increased school funding. This proposal does not take into account the overwhelming evidence that funding is not a principal constraint on educational outcomes in Australia.

Past funding increases have failed to close the COAG ‘gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

The 2012 NAPLAN results showed that a ‘gap’ persists between the majority of students (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) who pass literacy and numeracy tests and a minority of Indigenous students who fail.

A majority of Indigenous students – at least 120,000 out of a total of 180,000 students enrolled – pass NAPLAN. These students attend a large range of mainstream private and government schools. They are mainly the children of working parents who ensure that their children attend school regularly and achieve good results. These successful students and their parents are demeaned and stigmatised by being classed as ‘disadvantaged’ just because of their Indigenous ancestry.

Some 40,000 failing Indigenous students attend schools that concentrate students from low socioeconomic and often welfare-dependent backgrounds. Employers constantly complain that these schools produce school leavers who cannot read, write or count and are not ‘job ready.’ Low socioeconomic characteristics contribute to poor attendance and behavioural problems that undermine school performance. Good teachers leave such schools. Parents enrol their children in performing schools. In the absence of strong principals, such schools become ‘residualised.’

Another 20,000 Indigenous students attend separate ‘Indigenous’ schools in remote communities that have no individual property rights and, therefore, no economy or jobs. These Indigenous schools have developed separate curriculums and teaching standards that fail to deliver literacy and numeracy. There are still 40 Homeland Learning Centres in the Northern Territory that do not have qualified teachers every school day. Although many students do not speak ‘standard’ English, unlike schools with high concentrations of immigrants, Indigenous schools do not have ESL teachers. Attendance is usually poor in Indigenous schools, and more than 90% of the students fail NAPLAN tests.

There is no correlation between funding per student and education performance. Indigenous schools already receive the highest funding, often more than $30,000 per student – more than three times the mainstream school average per student. Yet (with a few notable reformed exceptions), Indigenous school NAPLAN results are persistently at the bottom of all Australian schools.

Using ethnic characteristics to identify students who should receive additional education funding is doubly wrong: Indigeneity is not the cause of high failure rates so race-based funding will not reduce failure rates. Poor teaching, not lack of funds, is real reason for poor educational outcomes.


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