Tuesday, April 28, 2015


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG objects to ANZAC day being insulted by a public employee

Why The Fate Of The World's Climate Is Largely In Australia's Hands (?)

I fairly regularly read the  Australian far-Left publication, "New Matilda".  Not being a Leftist, I like to see the opposite point of view. The opposite point of view gives them the horrors, judging by the way they try to suppress it.

The rave excerpted below is one of their latest.  Their argument is as usual very long-winded but is nonetheless a brilliant example of Leftist over-simplification.  They seem to think that a torrent of words will disguise the shallowness of the thinking. Their argument could be condensed into just one sentence as follows:

"Australian mines supply a significant fraction of the world's coal so Australia should stop doing that to prevent global warming".

That there has been no statistically significant global warming for the last 18 years somehow goes unmentioned.  I would be rather surprised if the writer knew what "statistically significant" meant.  But you don't need knowledge to be a Warmist. You just have to have faith in your prophets

Be that as it may, what the article overlooks is that Australia is only  the world's fourth-largest coal producer, after China, the United States, and India. And there are also in Africa and elsewhere  mines from which production could easily be ramped up.  And Britain almost floats on coal, though it is rarely mined there these days.  And lignite ("brown coal") substitutes readily for thermal coal -- and Germany has masses of that, which it is already making extensive use of.  The list of alternatives goes on .... Coal is superabundant.  Even such unlikely places as Japan and New Zealand mine some coal.  So if Australia impoverished itself by stopping coal exports, other countries would rapidly take up the slack -- meaning that coal usage would continue much as before. 

One really does wonder what Thom Mitchell and his American friend use for brains.  I suspect they just like sounding dramatic. Leftists are big on ill-founded drama.  It seems to give them a desperately-needed feeling of importance

We're told Australia's contribution to global warning is minimal. A report out today proves that's a dangerous lie. Thom Mitchell explains.  As American academic Bob Massey put it, “Australia now holds the fate of the world’s climate in its hands”.

In its pursuit of a solution to the ‘budget emergency’ Australia is using up the ‘carbon budget’ at a rate incompatible with the global goal of limiting temperature rises to below two degrees, a Climate Council report out today has demonstrated.

While Australia is under increasing pressure to announce an ambitious target to limit emissions at home, the report makes clear that it is our reliance on fossil fuel exports that is doing the real damage.

By actively seeking to prolong the dying revenue stream, which has buoyed the economy through the past decade, the Australian government is doing massive damage to the remaining ‘carbon budget’.

At a recent talk in Sydney, Massey was blunt.  “If your government and mining companies decide to develop all of the coal and gas currently planned, already on the books, our children will be forced to endure a world very different from what we know,” he said.

To avoid such a world, scientists have developed the ‘carbon budget’ which, put simply, is the amount of carbon dioxide humans can emit into the atmosphere before temperature rises reach two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

On that basis, if all of Australia’s coal were burnt, it would use up two thirds of the ‘carbon budget’. Effectively, 90 per cent of the continent’s coal must stay in the ground.

Not all of that coal is technologically and economically viable now, but even if we burnt only the nation’s ‘reserves’, a 19 per cent bite would be taken out of the carbon budget.

If we burnt the total ‘resources’ - coal known to exist but not necessarily recoverable at this point - it would constitute a whopping 67.7 per cent of the carbon budget.

Yet despite the increasingly gloomy outlook for the commodity – the price of which has collapsed by around 60 per cent in the last five years - mining companies continue to explore for it and develop new mines. Australian governments are not only approving them, they’re promoting them.


Brisbane councillors tell Muslims who don’t like the Australian way of life to go back to where they came from

A LOGAN City councillor has urged her colleagues to ensure their personal security after they condemned Islamic extremism en masse and called for Australians to stand up for their rights during a full meeting of council yesterday.

One after the other, councillors joined an anti-extremism chorus demanding the Federal Government do something now before the atrocities committed by ISIS overseas were seen being carried out in Australia.

Councillor Jennie Breene (Div 12) said she would be considering her own safety and urged her colleagues to follow suit.

"When we talk about these things, extremists don’t like it,” she said.

Councillor Cherie Dalley (Div 8) said the Federal Government had "pussy-footed” around and was too frightened to do anything.  She said the community was also too scared to speak of their concerns out of fear of being labelled racist.

"We need to have a civilised conversation about the problems perceived by the community and starting at a local level is the best way; to get real people’s feelings out. We are the grassroots, we’re about the people.”

Councillor Phil Pidgeon (Div 9) said Muslims who didn’t love the Australian way of life should go back to where they came from. "Federal members need to be more vocal and say it’s not right to kill people,” he said.

Councillor Luke Smith (Div 6) said Logan residents were making it clear they were concerned and called on Islamic leaders to publicly condemn Islamic extremism and reassure the local community.

Councillor Trevina Schwarz (Div 11) said the "lucky country was starting to go” and said Australia and Islamic leaders needed to take a stance and say extremism wasn’t wanted in Australia.

She said a public forum was needed with leaders in a controlled environment. "We need to protect our society and our city,” she said.

Councillor Don Petersen (Div 4) said if someone wanted to go and fight with ISIS overseas, then they should be left alone to stay over there.

Councillor Steve Swenson (Div 3) said residents were rightfully concerned and said he did not want his children growing up under Sharia Law.

He moved a motion to have the issue of Islamic extremism placed on the next agenda of the Sport and Community Services Committee for discussion.

Mayor Pam Parker said she supported the move for further discussion to provide a better understanding between Islamic extremists and Muslims who embraced the Australian way of life.

Councillor Russell Lutton (Div 2) said while disengaged Australian youth "got on the grog” or "stole a car” young Muslims who did not feel part of a community had the potential to turn to extremism.

He said it was up to Islamic leaders to reach out and engage with their young people.

Logan City Safe Communities spokesman Chris Newman said the organisation had received a ground swell of support since their community meeting opposing a new mosque at Slacks Creek on April 8.  He said the councillors’ comments yesterday were a sign that Logan City Council was starting to respond to the concerns of the community about Islam which he described as a "terror culture”.

"It’s very encouraging that this council has a heart and soul. People have been afraid to speak their minds in their own country.  "People are now becoming more educated and seeing what is going on in the community.”

Mr Newman said the organisation had more public meetings planned but could not confirm the date of the next one yet.

Muslim community spokesman Ali Kadri said he was happy to discuss the issues with councillors and the community it was done objectively and genuinely.  He said it was sad to be asked to condemn Islamic extremism when Muslims were the biggest victim of extremism. "There are more Muslims fighting against ISIS than there are fighting with them.” [A half truth.  It is a war between Muslims of different sects]


Former student Lamisse Hamouda says sports for girls at Al-Taqwa College wasn’t encouraged

A FORMER pupil of the Islamic school at the centre of the ban on running because it could cause girls to lose their virginity controversy has spoken out describing her time at the college as a “rollercoaster of frustrations, battles and internalising resentment”.

Lamisse Hamouda, 26, says that during her time at Al-Taqwa College in Melbourne girls were never forbidden to participate in sports, it was just never encouraged, she wrote in Fairfax media.

“If it wasn’t the insidious racism, it was the oppressive preaching of faith that rendered critical thinking lost to obedience and authoritarianism,” Ms Hamouda wrote. “As female students, we often copped the short end of the stick. Participation in sport was never outright forbidden, it was just ignored wherever possible. Lip service was paid to exercise and sports, and there was an attempt to designate a “female-only” basketball court.

“The schoolyard was strictly gender-segregated, with female students relegated to spaces of concrete and picnic tables.”

She added: “I used to joke, as a teenager, that Al-Taqwa College was run like a mini Arab dictatorship.”

Yesterday it emerged the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority had been asked to investigate claims that the principal, Omar Hallak, stopped girls from running in cross country events in 2013 and 2014.

Fairfax reported the former teacher put forward the claims in a letter this week that said: “The principal holds beliefs that if females run excessively, they may ‘lose their virginity’.”

But following the reports, Al-Taqwa College in Melbourne issued a statement denying the claims.

“Contrary to reports in the media, female students at Al-Taqwa College participate in all range of sporting activities such as track and field (including running over a range of distances, long jump, high jump, shot put, discus, athletics), basketball, cricket, hockey, tennis and netball.

“Other recreational activities on camps include low rope climbing, bush walking, archery, golf, volleyball and table tennis, as well as other indoor and outdoor activities.

“Girls are encouraged to participate in all activities, with participation subject to parental consent.

“We do not believe that running excessively may cause female students to lose their virginity or that sporting injuries could render them infertile.”

Victorian Education minister James Merlino confirmed an investigation was underway.

He said the authority had the power to force sanctions on schools and funding if investigations uncovered issues with meeting governance standards.

Islamic Council of Victoria general manager Nail Aykan said his first reaction would be to clarify the accuracy of the allegation.

“But if it was true, it’s an absurd statement and absurd thinking and has no place in our society,” Mr Akyan told news.com.au.

“If anyone thinks as such then it is pure stupidity.”

“We would ask him (the principal) to realise the absurdity of such thinking and apologise and learn from his mistake and that these types of comments are not on.”

He said these types of attitudes did not have a place in any school, public or private.

According to Fairfax, the former teacher also alleged that Mr Hallak also believed there was scientific evidence “that if girls injure themselves, such as break their leg while playing soccer, it could render them infertile”.


ICAC corruption findings ‘to be overturned’

The High Court has done a lot of damage in its desperation to protect an unethical colleague

The NSW anti-corruption watchdog has surrendered to a group of prominent businessmen fighting to have corruption findings against them overturned in a decision which effectively clears the group, including coal magnate Travers Duncan, of corruption.

In the most significant legal decision following Margaret Cunneen’s successful High Court appeal against the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, the NSW Crown Solicitors have written to the lawyers of the four men informing them that the ICAC will consent to having their corruption findings overturned in NSW Court of Appeal.

The group of men appealing their corruption in the NSW Court of Appeal are former Felix Resources boss Travers Duncan, and fellow investors and former directors in Cascade Coal John McGuigan, Richard Poole and John Atkinson.

The ICAC was also appealing a previous finding against former RAMS Home Loans boss John Kinghorn, who had previously successfully appealed his corruption finding in the NSW Supreme Court.

The men were found corrupt by the ICAC over their involvement in Cascade Coal; a company in which former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid had an interest an also held a coal exploration licence over the Obeid family farm at the Bylong Valley in northern NSW.

In the copy of the letter obtained by The Australian the NSW Crown Solicitor says it is the opinion of the ICAC the case against the four men was not viable because the commission was acting beyond their power.

"Based on the law as it currently stands, the Commission’s position is that the following findings made by it in its report Investigation into the conduct of Ian Macdonald, Edward Obeid Senior, Moses Obeid and other, dated July 2013, were beyond power” in relation to "Mr Travers Duncan ... Mr John Kinghorn ... Mr John McGuigan ... Mr Richard Poole ... and Mr John Atkinson.”

The Crown Solicitor, acting on the advice of the ICAC, has now decided to agree to an order from the NSW Court of Appeal which would see the four men have their corruption findings overturned, as well as drop an appeal against an earlier court decision which overturned Mr Kinghorn’s corruption findings.

"Based on the law as it currently stands, the Commission would consent to orders granting leave to appeal in the Duncan, McGuigan and Atkinson proceedings, allowing the appeals, setting aside the primary judge’s orders in those proceedings and, in place of those orders, declaring the corrupt findings against Messrs Duncan, McGuigan, Poole and Atkinson invalid ... dismissing the summons seeking leave to appeal in the Kinghorn proceedings, with costs,” the letter states

The letter from senior solicitor from the Crown Solicitor’s office Arron Baril says that the Cunneen decision will not affect the Court’s decision in relation to findings against Cascade Coal who had their coal exploration licence removed by special laws introduced by the NSW Parliament following ICAC findings the licence was corruptly obtained. Cascade Coal recently lost a High Court appeal to have the laws declared invalid.

"The Cascade Coal proceedings are in a different category. The Commission’s position is that Cunneen has no relevant impact on the validity of the recommendations, and any alleged findings, made in its report Operations Jasper and Acacia — addressing outstanding questions, dated December 2013 (which are the subject of the Cascade Coal proceedings). The Commission continues to oppose the orders ought in those proceedings,” the letter states.

John McGuigan told The Australian that he would seeking to have the Court of Appeal to meet as soon as possible in order to ratify the Crown Solicitor advice.

"ICAC today has made it clear that the findings against the Cascade directors were made without legal foundation and were beyond the power of ICAC.

"We will be seeking to have the matter listed before the Court of Appeal as a priority so that court can declare the corrupt findings invalid and make the appropriate orders,” Mr McGuigan said.

In a 4-1 decision, the High Court ruled last week that ICAC had no power to investigate allegations that Ms Cunneen and her son Stephen Wyllie advised his girlfriend, Sophia Tilley, to "pretend to have chest pains” at the scene of an accident with the intention of perverting the course of justice. The ruling ­affects the corruption body’s ability to investigate anyone who is not a public official, and who might have misled a public body.

In response to the ruling, ICAC has delayed two inquiries into Australian Water Holdings, which brought down former premier Barry O’Farrell after he misled the commission about receiving a bottle of wine, and one into political donations from property developers, which caused the resignation of 10 MPs.

The ICAC has called on the NSW Premier Mike Baird to introduce retrospective legislation that would effectively overturn the Cunneen decision and restore powers it claims to have had.

Mr Baird is yet to make a decision on the matter but Labor opposition leader Luke Foley has backed ICAC’s call.


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