Monday, September 28, 2015

Is Clueless Clemmie emulating that vicious British barrister feminist?

I want to say something about Clementine Ford's latest emission just to provide the balance that her Fascist thinking lacks but I am initially a little struck by her new photo.  See above.

Her old photo with its furiously red lipstick still accompanies her actual column but on the main page of the SMH there is now a much softer picture of her.  Is she hoping to trap rebarbative old reactionaries like me into praising her looks?  After the Charlotte Proudperson episode in Britain she should be so lucky!  NEVER praise a feminist's looks!  So what is the new image about?  Does she want a Lesbian bit on the side?  I guess that's it. Lesbian couples I have known did have one attractive female. 

But on to the important stuff:  In a typical Fascist way, she wants the government to solve our problems -- in this case the problem of violence against women.  But how CAN a government do that?  Turnbull has announced that he will spend a lot of money on it but that is just window-dressing.  Is he going to put a policeman in every home? Of course not.  Governments may be able to scratch at the margins of the problem but large and inherited  male/female differences will always be there and will in extreme and rare cases result in frustrations great enough to evoke violence.

All that the polity can reasonably do is provide refuges for threatened women and severe punishment for those men who do physically attack women.  But as far as I can tell, that is already pretty much in place.  Some problems will never be completely solved and a mature person learns to know when an  asymptote (limit) has been approached.

Just some excerpts from Clemmie below -- JR

Over the two, long years that Tony Abbott was Prime Minister, very little was done to address the scourge of men's violence against women. This sustained, brutal form of misogyny currently sees around 6 women killed per month while claiming the lives of just under 60 women this year*. Despite the arrogant appointment of himself to the office of Prime Minister for Women, Abbott's interest in issues affecting women's lives remained rooted in the retro ideology that assumes our greatest challenges lie in feeding our families and keeping our energy bills down.

Indeed, rather than direct even a skerrick of the attention given to combating fictional terror threats and desperate refugees fleeing war-torn countries, the Abbott government actually withdrew funding from organisations offering vital services to the victims of family violence. During the exit speech supposedly listing all of the successes of his government, Abbott reemphasised his disinterest in the impact of family violence when he said, "Then there's the challenge of ice and domestic violence, yet to be addressed."


Politics trumps reality over submarine building

Australian naval shipbuilders have a proven record of inefficiency and delay -- both of which greatly hike costs.  And in the end, the boat may not even work.  After decades of trying, the Collins subs have never been got to work properly.  A realistic government would learn from experience and never again give Australian unionists such work. We would get a much cheaper and better result to buy proven submarines off the shelf from Japan.  I like the idea of a sub that works as well as my Toyota -- JR

All three international bidders for the multi-billion-dollar contract to produce Australia's next fleet of submarines would prefer to build in Australia, according to Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne.

The Federal Government is undertaking an international Competitive Evaluation Process with Japan, France and Germany all bidding for the lucrative deal.

Industry Minister Mr Pyne has confirmed Japan is open to an Australian build process, and said all three countries were prepared to offer a local build option.

He said all three countries were preparing hybrid and overseas build proposals too, but the bidders were aware the Federal Government wants the submarines to be constructed in Australia.

"All three of them are now saying they'd prefer a domestic build," Mr Pyne told Channel Nine this morning.

Ahead of the overthrow of former prime minister Tony Abbott a number of senior South Australian Liberals were fearful they would lose their seats if Japan secured the contract and the submarines were built offshore.

The state had originally been promised a job boosting submarine package by the Coalition Government, to offset the loss of thousands of car manufacturing jobs.

There is increasing Coalition concern that disillusioned votes will turn to other parties at the next election in protest, including Labor and the group formed by independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Mr Pyne holds a South Australian seat that is considered marginal and has played up the prospects of Japan's interest in building in Australia.

"As a South Australian that is music to my ears but we will go through the proper processes and we'll make an announce at the appropriate time," he said.

"Sounds to me like all three bidders are picking up that we'd like to spend $50 billion of defence industry money in Australia where it creates jobs, new technologies, innovations, all sorts of spin-off industries.

"It would be great for Australia."

Labor's defence spokesman Stephen Conroy said he was happy to hear all countries were providing a local build option.

But he said Mr Pyne had not indicated that the Government will rule out building the submarines overseas.

"Well he's pretty brave today but he was silent when this debate's been raging for the last 12 months," Senator Conroy told AM.

"When Chris Pyne and Marise Payne and Malcolm Turnbull receive those bids they should only consider the three domestic build bids."


Justice Margaret McMurdo urges Queenslanders to have to speak up on Human Rights Act

I am sure it is most unwise for me to contradict an eminent jurist but I nonetheless do think Maggie McMurdo, below, is wrong.  As far as I can tell, the writ of Britain's 1689 Bill of Rights still runs in Australia.  And it has served both Britain and Australia well.  Maggie may be thinking of the EU-inspired Bill of Rights introduced to Britain much more recently.  It is true that Australia has nothing like that, thankfully. One of its effects is to prevent most immigrant criminals from being deported from Britain -- to almost universal disapprobation among Britons.  Let us just have our good ol' 1689 bill doing its splendid job -- JR

JUSTICE Margaret McMurdo has outlined the advantages of a Human Rights Bill as the State Government establishes a parliamentary committee on the issue.

Queensland’s second most senior judge last night said similar Bills in the UK, New Zealand, Victoria and the ACT had been effective.

While delivering the University of the Sunshine Coast’s first law oration, Justice McMurdo said Australia was the only democracy without a Human Rights Act.  She quoted the late Nelson Mandela’s support of civil protections and urged people to get involved in the consultation process.  “I encourage each of you, as part of your personal celebration of 800 years of Magna Carta, to carefully follow and contribute to the parliamentary inquiry into whether Queensland should have a Human Rights Act,” she said.

The Palaszczuk Government is preparing to establish a parliamentary committee to consider the merits of a Bill of Rights for the state after the issue was raised by independent member for Nicklin and Speaker Peter Wellington.

Justice McMurdo, the president of Queensland’s Court of Appeal, who clashed publicly with former Chief Justice Tim Carmody, said it would be inappropriate to outline her personal opinion.

However she pointed out that in countries and states where rights were enshrined in law, there had not been the feared explosion in litigation.

Justice McMurdo said similar Acts had permeated the culture of those governments and public life right down to the rights of an elderly person in care being entitled to a shower curtain.

She said surveys undertaken as part of the Rudd government’s National Human Rights Consultation Report, had shown the majority of Australians were in favour.

But she said vocal opposition from certain media outlets, including The Australian newspaper, had successfully shut down progress.


Australian conservatives' warning to new PM: don't touch Direct Action climate policy

West Australian Liberal Dennis Jensen welcomed the assurances of Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who said Australia would not be altering its climate change abatement measures in response to the Chinese development.

But asked if the party's right still had concerns about what Mr Turnbull might do, Dr Jensen said, "absolutely".  "It's one of the conditions of the leadership change that we are sticking with the policy we had," he told Fairfax Media.  "It's also in the [Coalition] agreement with the Nationals, as I understand it.

"We fought a very damaging leadership contest on this very climate policy [in 2009], and we will now need to tread with enormous care, put it that way," he said.

Another conservative, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Turnbull gave two assurances to people who jumped into his camp: no change to marriage plebiscite and no change to Direct Action.

"But I fear we will now be softened up in the next couple of months leading into Paris talks with the argument that we didn't want to get ahead but now that the world has acted, we need to do more, and if that happens, things could become very interesting for Turnbull."

The warning to the green-inclined new Australian Prime Minister reflects concerns among climate sceptics about Mr Turnbull's longer-term plans for the area.

It came as a slew of policy options in tax, education, and other areas ruled out by the Abbott government were placed back on the table, and as China, the world's biggest polluter, prepared to announce a landmark cap and trade scheme to tackle climate change and the country's appalling air quality.

Mr Xi was also expected to pledge a "significant financial commitment" to help poorer nations move away from fossil fuels in a joint announcement with his US counterpart, Barack Obama.

While Mr Turnbull declined to comment, Mr Hunt was sent out to reassure nervous Liberals that the development out of Beijing would not lead to a similar move from Canberra.

"China's on track to be plus-150 per cent on its emissions from 2005 to 2030. We're on track to be minus-26 to minus-28 per cent, so any form of action by any country is welcome, but for us, we're getting the job done, we're doing it without a carbon tax, we're doing it by lowering electricity prices ... and we're reducing emissions in one of the most effective ways in the world," he told Sky News.

He said Australia was doing its part, and while China's move was positive, it was up to each country to work out what was best for it.

China and the US – the two largest economies and greenhouse gas polluters – are attempting to lead global action on climate change, and use their international clout to pressure other countries, including Australia, to do more.

Under Direct Action, the Australian government is paying companies and farmers to make emissions cuts, while also setting "baselines" for large polluting companies to try to put limits on their emissions.

A national Chinese emissions trading scheme would expand on existing pilot projects in seven Chinese cities already up and running.

The national market would open in 2017 and would cover industries including power generation and iron, steel and cement makers, according to the White House officials who briefed reporters in Washington.

Australia's Direct Action scheme has been criticised by some observers for lacking teeth and not being able to drive enough cuts to meet the country's international targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

However, some believe Direct Action could ultimately be turned into a form of emissions trading – called "baseline and credit" – in coming years if there is sufficient political will.

The Coalition government has said it will revisit climate policies in 2017-18 as part of an increasing focus on meeting the 2030 goals. Meanwhile, the Labor opposition has committed to introducing an emissions trading scheme as part of its platform for the next federal election.


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