Friday, March 28, 2014


This article by the outspoken Larry Pickering was also posted on Facebook.  Facebook took it down. Larry comments: "The article on free speech has been removed by Facebook in response to organised Left rabble.  It seems ironic that if one dares put the case for free speech over a person’s right “not to be offended”, the reasoned argument is deleted.  I understand why so many cartoons have been deleted but to delete an article that pleads the case for free speech highlights exactly the problem we face with Section 18C. of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Greens and Labor’s Left dream of the perfect egalitarian PC world where no-one is offended by anything and everyone sleeps in the same conjugal bed. Well, that’s not the way it works, fellas, and it’s you lot that have made an art form of offending people.

No-one can agree with racial vilification, although we all come across it, but this debate is inane and widens, rather than closes, "the gap".

Only a fool believes you could legislate to determine a degree of personal offence. Is “whitie c...” less racially offensive than, “boong”? Is “gwailo” (white ghost) more racially offensive than “chink”? Is “wog” racially offensive to a southern European when he refers to himself as a wog?

The terms, “Pom”, “Kiwi”, “Newfie”, “Yank”, “Jap”, “Coon”, “Abo”, “Chink”, “Wetback”, “Fuzzy Wuzzy”, “Raghead” are all racially based, but which is legally racial bigotry? All, none or some?

What about "Shortarse" ,"Fatso" and "Freckles"? Are they less or more offensive?

Those terms, and hundreds of others, will always be used, sometimes affectionately and sometimes not. It depends on how they are used, how well you know the person and in what context.

There is no law that can decide "offence"! And there is no law that can determine one’s legitimate or feigned degree of offence.

In the 1970s Labor tried to outlaw the term “Wog”, but unfortunately “Pom” and “Kiwi” were caught in the same legislative net, it was duly ignored.

Let’s not kid ourselves, existing law is all about Aborigines. But Aborigines are as guilty as we are of racially discriminatory remarks, at least in my experience. Reverse racism is rampant wherever Aborigines reside in numbers.

I have been forced to drink my beer in a "Whitie" section but you can bet the reverse would be unacceptable.

    The current law is malleable, interpretive and requires racial discrimination by the courts themselves in order to enforce it.

PM Abbott’s proposed changes to current legislation will place "free speech" above what an individual might perceive as “offensive”. And "free speech" should win that battle every time.

Andrew Bolt was legally vilified for discussing “white Aborigines” and how they use a nominated ethnicity for financial advantage.

Okay, Bolt got a few facts wrong but he was right to say this is happening and right to ask is it fair.

Legally you are not required to prove you are of Aboriginal descent, that's "offensive", you need only to declare you are, and you can then join an entitlement queue that heavily favours Aborigines.

Is that fair to those who legitimately depend on social services?

This racial anomaly is what Andrew Bolt was debating, yet it was deemed illegal for him to do so, much to "white Aborigines'" delight.

Free speech was what our forefathers fought for, it’s a jewel in our Aussie ethic. No Labor/Green Lefty or Aboriginal activist should be allowed to take it from us and we want it back!


Govt to proceed with Medibank sale

THE Abbott government will go ahead with the sale of health insurer Medibank Private as it attempts to heal the budget.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says an independently-prepared scoping study into the planned sale has reaffirmed the government's long-held view that there is no compelling reason for it to own a private health fund.

The sale will be conducted in the 2014/15 financial year, but the precise timing and structure of the initial public offering are yet to be determined.

"The scoping study found no evidence that premiums will increase as a result of the sale," Senator Cormann told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

He was coy on what the government hoped to raise from the privatisation, but it has been previously valued at around $4 billion.

Further details will be announced in the May 13 budget.

Gross debt would be 40 per cent lower in 2023/24 than forecast by the government in the mid-year budget review and the budget would be $34 billion in surplus that year, rather than a $12 billion deficit, according to the analysis.

Mr Hockey insists his budget numbers tell the truth and "Labor's didn't".

He ridiculed the suggestion that if the coalition had kept to Labor's budget rules the budget would be coming back to surplus.

"The problem is that Labor never kept to their budget rules," he told an exceptionally rowdy parliamentary question time.

He reminded the house yet again that on more than 300 occasions Labor had promised to deliver a surplus, but they never did.

"They have no economic credibility, they got every single number wrong and they left the Australian people to pick up the bill from a very bad Labor government," he said.

Separate modelling suggests there would need to be $55 billion worth of savings in 2023/24 alone to achieve a surplus.


Pressure on cattlemen to be "sustainable"

They already are

SENATOR Ron Boswell has attacked the power of environmentalists to damage the prosperity of regional communities.

In a speech in the Senate today, Senator Boswell warned cattle producers to closely examine a campaign to force them to prove their environmental sustainability.

“The apparent growing power of environmental non-government organisations and corporations raises fundamental questions about the future role of government, science and rational resource management in Australian primary production,” he said.

Senator Boswell foreshadowed a Senate inquiry to examine the implications of an international campaign to develop sustainability criteria for beef production.

“This goes to the very essence of not simply who is running the Australian beef industry but who is running the country,” Senator Boswell said.

“Who determines how our primary industries are managed and how they are administered? Who decides how our resources are utilised and where they are marketed? Who determines the prosperity of our communities, our industries and our nation? Those are questions that must be answered.

“I believe this issue should be referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport. Before I do that, I will discuss this further with my colleague, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.”

Senator Boswell said indications were that meeting basic sustainability criteria could cost Australia’s 77,000 cattle properties some $135 million in fees in the first year.

“I do not want to see Australian farming families burdened with more cost and more paperwork and more unnecessary environmental obligations to keep WWF in business and provide a marketing point-of-difference for the likes of McDonald’s,” he said.

Senator Boswell was referring to the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), established by WWF and McDonald’s.

“On March 17, the GRSB published a document called the ‘Draft Principles and Criteria for Global Sustainable Beef’, which potentially could shape how Australian cattle producers are allowed to operate in years to come.

“We can call witnesses to the inquiry from the main players. We can thoroughly examine who will bear the cost of this sustainability scheme and who will enjoy the benefits.

“We can investigate what the implications are for rural and regional communities that depend on cattle and other primary production. Also the implications for Australia’s trade sovereignty and its ability to freely trade in primary products, products we already know to be sustainable.”

Via email from Sen. Boswell

Why feminists should support childcare deregulation

 The Abbott Government is examining childcare regulation as part of its 'cutting red tape' agenda.

We can't keep hoping that higher subsidies will cancel out the rising cost of childcare red tape - that's why we should support deregulation in the name of gender equity, writes Trisha Jha.

It used to be petrol prices and housing affordability, but the new 'BBQ stopper' occupying the minds and hip-pockets of ordinary Australians is childcare affordability and accessibility.

Fees for long day care have increased 4 per cent a year in real terms over the last decade, and demand is still unmet across service types in many areas. Despite the previous Labor government increasing fee subsidies and funding the establishment of new services, it is still difficult for parents to procure an affordable childcare place and solutions must be found elsewhere.

The Abbott Government is examining childcare regulation as part of its 'cutting red tape' agenda, alongside its Productivity Commission review of the childcare system. Advocates for childcare access should embrace this decision to consider deregulating the sector.

The benefits to women and to wider society through increased work participation and a broader tax base are many. Women, feminist organisations (such as the Women's Electoral Lobby Australia and the National Foundation for Australian Women), professional organisations and the business community all recognise that access to affordable childcare reduces barriers to employment. Employment is key to women's financial independence, and has benefits such as the means to leave negative or abusive relationships and an increased lifetime superannuation accumulation.

It is for these reasons that childcare subsidies were introduced in the 1980s, and is for these reasons that the problem of childcare access is worth investigating.

So what exactly is wrong with our childcare system? The short answer: the government.

The principal culprit is regulation, primarily through the objective of increasing the quality of services. While it may seem like a good thing at first glance, 'quality' in this context is not about health, hygiene and safety, and nor is it about children in care being happy and safe.

Instead, the federal and state compact that governs the majority of childcare services, the National Quality Framework (NQF), involves increasing reporting requirements, mandating a minimum standard for staff qualifications and lower staff-to-child ratios. These are allegedly markers of quality childcare.

A particular loser from these regulations is community and family day care (FDC). The pursuit of qualifications turns carers into educators, and limits who can run a legitimate FDC service. Competition is shut out as the costs of regulation are absorbed by larger, amalgamated providers while smaller care providers are unable to easily absorb the costs and may shut down. Reducing services in areas that may already be experiencing shortages negatively impacts both accessibility and affordability for women and their families, making deregulation in this area worthy of concern for feminists.

The costs of regulation are passed on to families through higher fees and on to the government through increased reliance on fee subsidies. A COAG report estimated that from 2009 to 2019, the additional costs of the NQF would be $1.6 billion in real (inflation-adjusted) terms, about 50 per cent of which would be borne by families. Childcare will become more unaffordable as well as inaccessible, mostly to the detriment of women.

Growth in costs has occurred, in part, due to the childcare industry, which has campaigned for quality assurances and accreditation processes. It has been accepted without complaint by comfortable and well-off parents who support the quality agenda. Prices have been pushed up for everyone by those who could afford to pay for bells and whistles, while low- and lower-middle-income earners have lost out.

Families seeking flexibility and choice have also lost out. Paperwork that detracts from supervision of children - as many submissions from providers to the Productivity Commission inquiry attest - is surely the opposite of the quality most parents would want for their children. Moreover, regulatory constraints on supply (which local councils also influence through planning and zoning restrictions) have resulted in a decline of care services like FDC. More stringent minimum standards for FDC mean parents have less options when entrusting their child into care and, often, inconvenient and expensive long day care becomes the only option.

Not having access to childcare also has regressive impacts. Higher-income women can keep up more easily with the costs of childcare, while lower-income women find that it costs too much to go back to work and bear the brunt of the resulting inequities, especially in the event of family breakdown.

The grim truth is that the childcare sector is a classic case of regulatory capture, where larger players such as Early Childhood Australia and Goodstart Early Learning shape the regulations that govern the industry. The prevalence of fee subsidies guarantees money from the government ($4.7 billion in 2012-13) and has given providers a certain degree of immunity to the usual rules of supply and demand.

For a long time, the debate over childcare affordability and availability has involved advocating higher subsidies and increased levels of regulation simultaneously, hoping the two will cancel each other out and supply will be unaffected. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Those who advocate for childcare access in the name of gender equity and feminism must decide whether they want to support the interests of providers, or the interests of their fellow working women



Paul said...

r.e your son Joe.

Phew! Getting hot in here.

jonjayray said...

The ladies like him too

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you're every bit as proud as you should be.