Thursday, April 30, 2015
Selective attention to the facts from the Left once again
Another gout of anger just out in the latest edition of Australia's far-Left "New Matilda" webzine. Leftists sure are unhappy people. I'm glad I'm not one of them. There's not much "new" about the webzine that I can see so "Angry Matilda" would be a more fitting name for it.
I rather enjoy reading "New Matilda". It's amusing. In order to give their readers the emotional feed they need, they regularly resort to all sorts of evasions and distortions, if not outright lies. Ask any reader of New Matilda who ended the White Australia policy and he/she will reply like a shot: "Gough Whitlam". It was in fact conservative Prime Minister Harold Holt.
In the screed recycled below they refuse to distinguish between an inadvertent gaffe that was rapidly apologized for and a deliberate and sustained tirade of extreme abuse. Well done!
Regarding the Samantha Armytage matter: I gather that the comment was directed at the problems of fair skin which Armytage shares -- sunburn etc. It's only commenters who saw it as racial. The TV presenter was in fact trying to console the fair girl but did not choose her words with the precision that is required of public figures these days.
We also read: "Mixed race twins Lucy and Maria Aylmer have defended Samantha Armytage's comments about their skin colour on Sunrise last month, which were dubbed 'racist' by some viewers. On Tuesday Lucy, 18, released a statement on Facebook on behalf of her sister and mother, saying, 'we believe she did not meant this as a racial comment and we have taken no personal offence to it (sic)... Lucy and her family believe Armytage's comments were misinterpreted by viewers and what was made as a remark of solidarity has been perceived as racially offensive."
Regarding the Scott McIntyre matter: There is an extensive coverage of the free speech issues involved here but it seems to me that any business is entitled to fire employees who insult its customers -- and in this case the Australian public who pay the broadcaster's bills were very insulted. ANZAC day is Australia's remembrance day for its war dead and is Australia's most solemn day of the year.
Leftists are always trying to disparage ANZAC day but it goes from strength to strength despite them. The anti-Anzac play "The One Day of the Year" by Alan Seymour was written way back in 1958. It was at times set as reading in Australian High Schools -- but with no apparent effect
I note that New Matilda actually has a number of articles on the McIntyre affair. They just can't get enough of that wonderful feeling of being bravely dissident and persecuted. It gives them the feeling that their lives have significance and merit. For more on the psychology of Leftists, see here
White good. Black bad. So says the smiling, congenial host of Channel 7’s Sunrise. And yes, she still has her job.
As most would now know, Scott McIntyre, former journalist for SBS, has been sacrificed to the Gods Of Anzac Myths.
On Saturday, McIntyre, a sports journalist, chose the holiest of Australian days to send a series of tweets opposing war. Some of them were, well, rather brutally honest about his views on the Anzac myth.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull objected, tweeted… and the rest as they say is history. SBS sacked McIntyre immediately, and a media storm has since ensued… most of it attacking McIntyre.
Which begs the question, why does Samantha Armytage, the smiling co-host of Channel 7’s Sunrise program still have her job?
In March this year, Armytage and David Koch (better known as Kochie) were presenting a quirky story about two twins from a mixed race family in England, Lucy and Maria Aylmer.
According to ‘Kochie’, the Alymer twins, due to a “rare genetic quirk” turned out quite different - one of the sisters is “obviously black, the other is white”.
Over to co-host Samantha Armytage, who proceeds to explain why that is a good thing… for one of them.
“Maria has taken after her half Jamaican mum with dark skin and brown eyes and curly dark hair, but Lucy got her dad’s fair skin, good on her, along with straight red hair and blue eyes.”
As she says ‘it’ - replete with a tip of her head and a wink - Kochie turns to Armytage with a look of ‘nervous stunned mullet’. Armytage also appears to have shortly after realized what she’s let slip.
“Now Maria… gulp… Maria….” stumbles Arymtage, with a look on her face that equates to either constipation, or the sudden realization that she’s just ended her career.
Cue the tumbleweeds blowing through the Channel 7 studio. And cue the ensuing media outrage.
Oh wait… no outrage. Guess the rules are different if you only insult black people, and not Anzacs.
So move along people, nothing to see here… unless you want to watch the video repeatedly, and share it. Which we hope you do.
We must not forget the intended victims of the Bali Nine
I have no sympathy for any criminal. Criminals are just people who parasitize the work of others. My sympathy lies with the people who are parasitized. So the deaths of these two multiculturalists leaves me unmoved.
And there is plenty of evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect so this execution may well save many foolish lives -- JR
As public concern and sympathy reached an all-time high in the lead-up to their execution by firing squad, the far-reaching consequences of their original crime of co-ordinating a drug trafficking ring have been seemingly forgotten.
Yet had their heroin smuggling operation continued uninterrupted, it would almost certainly have contributed to the loss of countless lives and left a trail of devastation.
Sadly, this reality has been largely swept under the carpet as Australians become collectively lost in a sea of emotion and sympathy where the perpetrators have been hailed as the victims.
There are two very separate issues involved in the public outcry surrounding the death sentencing of Sukumaran and Chan.
The first is the barbaric nature of death by firing squad, which is largely undisputed in the Western world.
The second issue is the seriousness of the crime that was committed. If we abhor drug use and its effect upon young lives and society, as we rightly should, then we must equally abhor those who orchestrate it. Australians seem quick to forget that Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were not just drug mules, but alleged co-ringleaders in the heroin smuggling operation between Indonesia and Australia.
While by all accounts it appears that they have recognised the error of their ways while in prison, we are at risk of negating the seriousness of their crime if we make that our focus. To do so is like a slap in the face for families who have been torn apart by the scourge of drugs.
In Indonesia, drug dealers are viewed as mass murderers, perhaps not without adequate justification. According to World Health Organisation reports, illicit drug use claims the majority of its victims in the prime of their youth.
Several years ago a dear friend of mine lost her 19-year-old son to a heroin overdose. He was addicted from his first “hit”, and I watched as his family tried in vain to rescue him from his addiction. Before long he was stealing to support his habit, and had alienated his friends and family in the process.
There were several seemingly successful attempts at rehabilitation, each full of hope and optimism, which was sadly short-lived. In the end he overdosed one week shy of his 20th birthday.
The family are still in pain more than two decades later, and loathe the impact of drugs on young lives. Their scars are so deep they will most probably never heal. They are serving a sentence from which there can never be a reprieve.
The death penalty remains a barbaric and outdated facet of any judicial system, and like countless other Australians I had hoped and prayed that the decision was overturned by the Indonesian Government and that the two had been instead required to serve a life sentence. But amid our public sympathy for their plight, we must not forget the devastating implications of a crime such as theirs.
Before we lose ourselves too completely in the emotion and morality surrounding their execution, we must surely pay some mind to the thousands of lives that are lost each year worldwide due to drug use, and the insurmountable heartache that this brings to the loved ones who are left behind.
It would not be smart to risk Australia-Indonesia economic relationship
IT WOULD not be smart for Australia to extend its response to the execution of the Bali Nine ringleaders beyond the diplomatic level, says economist Tim Harcourt.
Mr Harcourt said that several blue chip Australian companies had operations in Indonesia.
“If you land at Jakarta airport you’ll see an ANZ ATM, you’ll see a BlueScope sign, and a Leighton’s building site, which was probably blown up using Orica explosives,” Mr Harcourt said.
“There’s around 2,500 exporters selling into Indonesia and that number tends to grow, even with Bali bombings and other difficulties.”
The UNSW economist and author of The Airport Economist said that Australian exports to Indonesia were worth $5.6 billion in 2013/14. Imports were worth $6.4 billion.
While representations should be made at the official level, Mr Harcourt said it wouldn’t be smart to impact ordinary Indonesians.
“I think it’s going to be tense diplomatically for a while, I was there during the spying scandal and things were definitely tense under SBY (former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono).
“But over the long term the need between the two countries is too great.”
In a blog post, Mr Harcourt said he first realised the importance of the Indonesian-Australian economic relationship after seeing how many Indonesian business and political figures were Australian educated. This included the former vice minister for trade, Mahendra Siregar, who went to Monash University.
Mr Harcourt said Australian investment also improves infrastructure in Indonesia and consumers benefited from good quality Aussie fruit and vegetables.
“I don’t think you would want to do anything to damage ordinary Indonesian people given that there’s a lot of poverty in Indonesia. “So I think that the displeasure can be made at the appropriate (official) level.”
He said that ultimately the aim would be to reform the Indonesian legal system and this would also help ordinary Indonesians.
Australian Warmists breathing steam over Bjorn Lomborg
Australian universities are full of Warmists but appointing just one person who questions their dogma to a university post is outrageous, it seems. Bias and bigotry anyone? Certainly no willingness to debate ideas or engage in civil discourse there
HIS own country stripped him of funding and he’s famously known as a “climate contrarian” so why is Australia giving Dr Bjorn Lomborg $4 million to set up a university think tank?
That’s the question being asked in the scientific community, which has been left reeling by the decision. It comes after the government abolished the Climate Commission, because its $1.5 million annual operating cost was considered too expensive.
While Dr Lomborg doesn’t deny that climate change exists, the Danish author has been internationally criticised for his controversial research which many believe downplays its effects.
He is famous for suggesting the problem has been overstated and priority should be given to tackling other problems such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.
His controversial Copenhagen Consensus Center has now partnered with the University of Western Australia to establish a new research centre called the Australian Consensus Centre, which the government will fund to the tune of $4 million, in a move that has been criticised for being “politically motivated”.
Certainly no one seems eager to claim ownership of the controversial move, with the university and Education Minister Christopher Pyne being blamed at first. The decision has now been traced back to the Prime Minister’s office, according to Fairfax sources, and at least one international research fellow at the university is reportedly set to transfer their fellowship in protest..
School of Animal Biology head Sarah Dunlop has complained that Dr Lomborg does not have the necessary academic track record to justify his appointment as an adjunct professor.
“Existing PhD students in the school are concerned that this appointment will tarnish their accomplishments as graduates from this university,” she reportedly wrote in the letter.
Meanwhile, the decision has been described as an insult to Australia’s scientific community given the deep cuts to the CSIRO and other scientific research organisations.
Many of Australia’s best climate scientists, economists and energy experts lost their positions in 2013 when the government axed the Climate Comission, saying its $1.5m operating costs were too expensive.
“To see the best Australians, the best qualified Australians in the field, be let go because there was no money and then have someone from overseas just a few years later put in their place with abundant funding struck us as being odd,” environmental science and climate change writer Tim Flannery told Lateline.
Mr Flannery was the chief commissioner of the former Climate Commission, which relaunched as the Climate Council after thousands of Australians donated to keep the organisation going.
Dr Lomborg seems to be a favourite of the Prime Minister, who praised him in his 2009 book Battlines. He was also invited to launch the Department of Foreign Affiars and Trade’s development innovation hub.
The National Tertiary Education Union has questioned the Commonwealth funding, saying there appeared to have been no competitive process. Union president Jeannie Rea said the cash “seems to have arisen from discussions between UWA, the government and departmental officials”.
Why are Dr Lomborg’s views so controversial?
Dr Lomborg has been referred to as a “climate change refugee” after funding for his Copenhagen Consensus Centre was cut by the Danish government in 2012. But he has managed to continue operating with the help of private funding in countries like the US, where there are more people sympathetic towards his views.
His centre has denied receiving funding from fossil-fuel companies but the DeSmogBlog claims to have uncovered donations from organisations with links to the billionaire Koch brothers, who have funded climate-denying think tanks in the US.
In Australia, the government’s $4 million contribution towards the centre is expected to cover just one-third of its operating costs, with the UWA saying other financial support would be drawn from corporate sponsors and government grants.
Dr Lomborg has been accused of cherrypicking data to understate the threat of climate change, and has questioned whether the benefits of efforts to curb climate change justify the costs. He believes funding would be better spent on adapting to changing conditions, investing in renewable technology and tackling poverty.
His books The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It have been criticised by climate scientists for underplaying the rate of global warming.
“Mr Lomborg’s views have no credibility in the scientific community. His message hasn’t varied at all in the last decade and he still believes we shouldn’t take any steps to mitigate climate change. When someone is unwilling to adapt their view on the basis of new science or information, it’s usually a sign those views are politically motivated,” the Climate Council said in a statement.
The Australia Consensus Centre will commission economists to “generate evidence and rational arguments” that will “result in the adoption of smarter, more cost-effective policies”.
The UWA Student Guild said the $4 million in “politically motivated” federal government funding should be rejected.
“While Dr Lomborg doesn’t refute climate change itself, many students question why the centre’s projects should be led by someone with a controversial track-record,” guild president Lizzy O’Shea said. “Students, staff and alumni alike are outraged.”
But UWA vice-chancellor Paul Johnson said Dr Lomborg was not leading the research and was not being paid as an adjunct professor.
“Lomborg is a contrarian but he is not a climate change denier,” Professor Johnson told AAP. “His contrary stance is around the use of economic efficiency and effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation strategies. “Contrarians are, I think, useful, particularly in a university context.”
He said a cost benefit analysis was one way of ranking possibilities in order to make decisions on how to tackle climate change. “The United Nations is currently considering what to do for the period 2016 to 2030, and there are over 1400 proposals that have to be whittled down.”
Arrogant California video game company reined in
ACCC Tells EA [Electronic Arts] Its Refund Policy Is Unfair. EA Agrees
Remember when EA initially claimed it would not be providing refunds for Sim City? Remember when the ACCC warned EA that was against Australian consumer law? Today the ACCC released a statement discussing EA refund statement. In response to pressure from the ACCC, EA has provided a court undertaking promising to change the way it deals with refunds in the future.
In short: EA is admitting its refund policy most likely breached certain areas of Australian Consumer Law and is taking steps to rectify that.
EA has agreed to create a new consumer redress program. Anyone who bought a faulty video game through Origin from January 2012 onwards can now contact EA to help address that situation either using a 1800 number, which EA has promised to set up. For now the ACCC is recommending that users with a complaint head to Origin’s website for further details.
“Businesses such as EA selling digitally downloadable goods cannot avoid their responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law just because they are located outside of Australia,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said, in a statement.
“If you sell to consumers in Australia, then the Australian Consumer Law applies to all goods or services you supply. This includes all of the ACL consumer guarantees, which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.”
“It is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law for businesses to state that customers are not entitled to refunds under any circumstances. Where a product has a major failure, consumers can insist on a refund or replacement at their choice. Representations that this right has or can be excluded, restricted or modified are false or misleading,” Mr Sims said.
We suspect that this decision was most likely spurred on by the Sim City controversy. Back then EA had claimed it would not be providing refunds on digital copies of The Sims after its troublesome launch. The ACCC took exception to this as it contradicted Australian consumer law. Even back then EA Australia backtracked from what was a global statement. Kotaku was told EA “would always comply with Australian consumer laws that apply to the purchases consumers make in Australia”. This undertaking appears to be the result of this commitment.
It should also be noted that Valve is currently in the process of being taken to court by the ACCC for the exact same issue. We’ve yet to hear the results of that litigation. Hopefully we’ll get some sort of update on that case as well in the near future.