Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Australian conservative politician wants to combat adverse opinions about Muslims in Australia

Mr Laundy seems to be a rather low wattage intellect.  He has drunk the  Leftist Kool-Aid -- that less than 1% of Muslims in Western countries engage in terrorism and therefore Muslims are no problem.  Let me give a small analogy to that.  What say you were buying a new car and the salesman told you that this car could blow up and kill you but there is only a very small chance of that happening?  Would you buy that car when other, safer cars in the same price-range were available?  I doubt it.

And importing Muslims into Australia is similar to buying that car.  There are many other needy people we could bring into this country -- persecuted Middle-East Christians, for instance. So why not leave the Muslims to rot in the hellholes they and their ilk have created and bring in more compatible people, people who have NO record of blowing up religious unbelievers?

But surely it is unjust to judge a whole group of people by a few oddballs?  It is, in general.  But this is not about justice.  It is about prevention.  All those who come to us have found refuge somewhere else first.  Australia has no borders with the Middle East.  So let them stay there.  We have no obligation to take in people who just want a better standard of living. So there is no injustice in leaving them be.  And by leaving them be we prevent the attacks that a small minority of them will mount on us.

But attacks on us by a small minority are only a part of the problem.  The basic problem can be found by opening up a Koran and reading almost any page there -- something the entire Left refuses to do.  The Koran is a very hostile, hate-filled book.  It is full of instructions to kill or subjugate non-Muslims.  Start at Sura 9, for instance.  Islam preaches religious supremacism.  As Binyamin Netanyahu said rather wearily recently: We have just got rid of racial supremacism (Hitler) and now we have religious supremacism to deal with.

Just as most Christians don't do what the Bible tells them, most Muslims don't do what the Koran tells them.  To do so would be  difficult and risky.  But the underlying attitude taught in the Koran is still there.  And that matters. At its most basic, Christianity is a religion of kindness, whereas Islam is a religion of hate. There are equivalents in the Koran to the Golden Rule but those teachings apply to fellow Muslims only.  See here. The terrorist acts against us are the tip of an iceberg of hate.

As a result, Muslims are very arrogant towards non-Muslims.  They think they have the truth and we do not.  And that gives them feelings of superiority towards us and makes them at least uncaring about our wellbeing if not hostile to it.  Their religion tells them NOT to adapt or assimilate to our ways.  They want us to assimilate to their ways and are not backward in demanding that.

Why should we put up with such incompatible people?  Why should we invite into our country people who despise us?  It's insane. We should certainly not let any more into our country and should make it a demand on those who are already here that they change their religion or get out. Changing your religion is a common thing in our country.  Let Muslims adapt to that.  Many innocent Australians have died at the hands of Muslims -- mostly in Bali but also in Australia itself.  Let there be no more of that

New assistant minister for multiculturalism Craig Laundy says most inflammatory opinions about Islam and Muslims came from people who were "not well informed".

Malcolm Turnbull's new assistant minister for multiculturalism, Craig Laundy, has vowed to combat "wrong" public perceptions about Australia's Muslims.

Ethnic and religious leaders have reported increased tension in recent months amid the rise of Islamic State and calls from political leaders such as Tony Abbott for a "reformation" of Islam.

Mr Laundy, a former publican from Sydney's culturally diverse inner-west, said the vast majority of inflammatory opinions about Islam and Muslims came from people who were "not well informed" and their views were "wrong".

Although he acknowledged greater "tension" in the community following recent terrorist attacks, Mr Laundy said Australians should "come together in times of challenge, not fall apart".

"People that dive into this debate and say controversial things, I would argue, the vast majority are speaking from a position that is not well informed," Mr Laundy told ABC Radio.

"My job . is to enter the debate, knowing the background and the community, engaging and explaining to Australia the challenges that these communities actually face.

Mr Laundy said Australian Muslims were "not scared" about debating how their religious practices integrated with the Australian way of life, but the discussion should be "respectful" and "informed".

He said the story of Australian multiculturalism was new arrivals "rolling up their sleeves and having a go".

"That has never changed be it the Snowy Mountains workers (from Europe) after World War Two or be it the Hazara Afghanis that are working in local abattoirs around the country as we speak - very good boners, for example - they are here to give their families more opportunities than they had," he said.

"The humanitarian intake visa category is one of the most entrepreneurial classes of visa category we have. I see new arrivals start working for someone else and within six or 12 months they've started their own business."


Treasurer will gain power to force foreign companies to sell Australian assets if they avoid paying tax

This is bad policy.  It will lead to a reduction in foreign investment and an increase in corruption.  A better solution would be a turnovrer tax on gross revenue for multinational companies.  A 2% turnover tax would be simple to administer, would lead to no accounting shenanigans and would probably raise about the same as normal domestic tax arrangements

Multinationals dodging tax on earnings in Australia could be forced to sell their assets under a tough new crackdown by the Federal Government.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said new foreign investment applications would now face requirements to pay tax on what they earned in Australia.

In a move that is likely to unsettle multinationals considering an Australian investment, Mr Morrison now has powers to force a company to sell assets if the appropriate tax is not paid.

"The Government is committed to ensuring companies operating in Australia pay tax on their Australian earnings. Where companies fail to do so I will have powers to take action, including ordering divestment of Australian assets," Mr Morrison said in a statement.

"Foreign investment applications will have to comply with Australian taxation law, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) directions to provide information in relation to the investment and advise the ATO if investors enter into any transactions with non-residents to which transfer pricing or anti-avoidance measures of Australian tax law may potentially apply."

Mr Morrison said any breach of the new conditions imposed by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) could result in prosecution, fines and, ultimately, the divestment of an asset.

"Australians expect all entities operating in Australia to maintain the highest standards of corporate behaviour, irrespective of whether those entities are Australian or foreign owned," Mr Morrison said.

The requirements come after pressure from the ATO and the former treasurer Joe Hockey to ensure multinationals are not able to shift profits to low-tax havens, such as Singapore, to avoid paying more tax in Australia.

The politically charged issue has also prompted hard questioning of multinational chief executives from companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft and News Corporation, who have been grilled by a Senate inquiry.

The legal loopholes in tax law to allow the use of "profit shifting" have seen hundreds of millions, and possibly billions, of dollars of tax avoided in recent years.


An easy transition from the Greens to the Labor party for a "black" lawyer

An opportunistic transition from the far Left to the more cautious Left.  She is still pretty extreme, however.  Interesting that the "Aborigines" who are full of grievance about "racism" all seem to have a lot of white ancestry and all seem actually to have done pretty well for themselves. The explanation for that couldn't possibly be a genetic one, of course

Labor's candidate in the federal seat of Swan, human rights activist Tammy Solonec, stood for the Greens at the 2013 West Australian election, has never voted for the ALP and believes the use of the word "Aborigine" has racist -overtones.

The indigenous lawyer, who campaigned this week with Bill Shorten in Perth, also wants -Australia to be taken to the International Criminal Court for -"cultural genocide" for continuing to remove- Aboriginal children from their families.

During campaigning as a Green for the last state election, Ms Solonec said she had always voted for the party - apart from once voting for the Democrats - because she believed in its "philosophies and policies".

She also criticised Labor's support- for the Northern Territory intervention. "We just wish other parties would have the courage that Rachel (Siewert) and the Greens have," she told a Greens newsletter at the time.

But Ms Solonec told The Australian yesterday she had drifted away from the Greens after 2013 and now felt more at home in the Labor Party, among the Opposition Leader and other MPs including- deputy Tanya Plibersek.

Her preselection for Labor has surprised some in the party's Right faction, who say it highlights the rise of Left activists and a worrying trend of targeting the Greens to find new candidates. But others in the party say Ms Solonec is highly impressive and would make an excellent federal MP.

Another Labor recruit for this year's election, Islamic radicalism expert Anne Aly, was a federal candidate for the Greens in 2007, although she withdrew before election day.

All three of Labor's lower house MPs in Western Australia - Gary Gray, Alannah MacTiernan and Melissa Parke - have announced that they will not recontest the election, throwing the preselection process into chaos.

In Perth yesterday, Mr Shorten refused to answer questions on whether he believed Labor's national executive should intervene in the state to stop an attempt by the left-wing Maritime Union of Australia to install its own candidate in the seat of Fremantle.

Ms Solonec, who is on leave from her job with Amnesty International to campaign for Swan, said her strong beliefs on social justice were aligned with Labor.

"When people are young and idealistic I think they go where their heart is, but I'm now really enjoying being part of Labor," she said. "And I think we are all ---entitled to experiment with different things and to change our mind."

Ms Solonec said it would have been "very difficult" to win a seat as a Green because the party had never won a lower-house seat in Western Australia. "The Labor Party approached me and it just seemed too good an opportunity to not try."

Ms Solonec said she believed there was a case for Australia to be taken to the ICC under the UN's genocide convention for its continued removal of Aboriginal children from their families. Children at risk should only be removed "temporarily" and too many children were being removed on a permanent basis, creating a "second stolen generation".

In an article last year entitled "Why saying Aborigine isn't OK", Ms Solonec wrote the word was perceived as insensitive because it had "racist connotations" from Australia's colonial past and "lumps people with diverse backgrounds into a single group".


Australia avoiding the predicted disasters of the commodity rout

As evidence mounts that Australia's economy is slowing, one surprising consensus is emerging: It isn't nearly as bad as it should be.

Other big resource exporters such as Brazil and Canada have been slammed far worse over the past year and a half by the falling commodities trade that was sparked by China's deceleration. Australia, in contrast, seems already to have passed its nadir and is set to recover over the next two years, the government and many economists say.

"The economy is continuing to grow at a modest pace, in the face of considerable adjustment challenges," Glenn Stevens, governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, told parliament Friday.

Australia's resilience owes largely to two broad trends--strong infrastructure investment in recent years and an economic shift to services from mining. The trend has been helped by a weak Australian dollar and slow wage growth. All of this has made Australian goods and services more competitive globally, allowing the country, in some cases, to grab more market share.

During the boom period of the past decade, Australian companies invested billions of dollars to increase production capacity and modernize the country's mining, rail, and port facilities. That has helped to lower production costs, making Australia commodities such as iron ore and coal more competitive abroad. The trend is likely to be bolstered by an expected boom in sales of liquefied natural gas as the billions of dollars invested in new facilities start production over the next few years.

So, even as the world's top commodities buyer, China, is acquiring lower volumes from many other countries, its demand from nearby Australia is holding steady. That is also helping to lower unemployment, which has fallen to 5.8%. spurring consumer spending.

"The investments that were undertaken during the boom by the private sector are still productive investments," even at today's lower commodities prices, said Warwick McKibbin, a professor of economics at Australian National University.

Further aiding Australia's economy is the resource-rich country's shift from traditional mining to services, such as health care, education and tourism, which was propped up by a record 1 million Chinese tourists in 2015. These labor-intensive industries are absorbing jobs lost in mining and driving lucrative new avenues of export growth, economists say.

"Australia has more than one string to its bow," said Saul Eslake, former chief economist at ANZ and Merrill Lynch in Australia.

The country's central bank forecast this month a return to strong annual GDP growth of about 3% this year and next, from an expected 2.5% last year. A government jobs report to be released on Thursday will be the next closely watched sign of the economy's health.

To be sure, risks remain for Australia.

Government debt is growing, sparking speculation that the country could lose its coveted triple-A rating by ratings firms. Australian exports plunged 5% in December from the prior month by value due to falling prices, an unusually high trade deficit for the country. In fact, export income has been falling for two years, with increased volumes of iron ore and coal failing to compensate for prices that have fallen steeply from their 2011 peak. And the outlook for commodities prices are still cloudy.

Global risks surrounding Australia's big trading partners, including the U.S. and Japan, are also on the minds of Australian policy makers. None top the questions surrounding China, which is also navigating a difficult transition, and whether it will devaluate the yuan again. Australian policy makers' options in addressing any renewed downturn are limited after the central bank dropped interest rates to record lows.

"The Chinese economy has become more of a concern for many observers," the RBA's Mr. Stevens told parliament. "The more recent anxiety is probably best described as greater uncertainty over the intentions of Chinese policy makers."

Still, after predicting a 50-50 chance of recession less than a year ago, Mr. McKibbin recently lowered that probability to about 20% due to strong exports, aided by a currency that has fallen by nearly 40% in the past five years, and a reasonably healthy job market.

Canada and Brazil haven't weathered the commodities rout nearly as well. Brazil is mired in its worst recession in decades and beset by high inflation, while Canada is considering major infrastructure investments to stimulate a sputtering economy.

In contrast, Australia's economy looks set to be helped by some favorable trade trends. By June, the government projects that iron ore shipments will have roughly doubled over the past five years to a record 818 million metric tons, while liquefied natural gas exports will rise 80% to 36.2 million tons.

"While the rest of the world is experiencing anemic trade, Australia stands out because exports, both mining volume and services are now key contributors to growth," Paul Bloxham, chief economist at HSBC, Australia.


Australia Post refuses to release WA complaints data

Another unaccountable bureaucracy

Australia Post has refused to release its customer complaints data for Western Australia as frustrated Perth residents continue to criticise the service and its delivery drivers.

The government-owned entity's Facebook page is flooded with hundreds of complaints a day ranging from stolen parcels, damaged goods and drivers not knocking when a person is home waiting for an item.

Many, including Perth woman Kelly Bell, also complained of waiting on the phone for hours to lodge an issue.

Ms Bell said she had a $300 graduation dress stolen from her Bentley front doorstep in February after a delivery driver left it unattended and in clear view a busy footpath three metres away.

According to Australia Post's policy, the driver is required to leave the parcel in a safe location, or leave a note for the person to collect the item from a local post office.

Despite the driver doing neither, Ms Bell was told she would not be reimbursed for her express-posted package.

"Australia Post failed in its duty of care to deliver my parcel safely, yes it was a dress, but what other parcels, containing 'more important' items are being left in 'safe places', only to be stolen," she said.

"Since the incident, I was too nervous to have anything sent to that address, so instead forwarded my mail to a friend's place.

"If Australia Post expects customers to keep using their service, they need to realise that mail often contains important and sentimental items that need to be delivered appropriately."

Residents in Ellenbrook also complained of Australia Post delivery drivers not knocking on their front door before leaving pick-up notes for residents to collect their item from a local post office.

"They're either understaffed and don't have time or are just lazy," one resident said. "I don't know which but every time you go to the post office there is a huge line out the door of people picking stuff up."

Another angry customer, Joe from Beeliar, told WAtoday he had his son's passport left in his letterbox, despite it being labelled as registered mail, which requires a signature to be delivered.

The parcel had been opened by someone when he found it on February 5. "I followed up with the Bibra Lake branch and a gentleman there told me there was no tracking on that parcel and nothing they could do to track which postie," Joe said. "I find it hard to believe, especially that it came from a WA state office."

Despite the complaints, an Australia Post spokesman said it had received "positive feedback" about its policy that required drivers to knock three times and call out before leaving a card or placing the item in a safe location.

"If there is no safe location, a notification card will be left under the front door to advise the recipient that delivery was attempted and their parcel is available to be collected from a nearby Australia Post outlet," he said.

"When there are no delivery instructions and a signature is not required and nobody is home, the delivery driver will look for a safe location to leave the parcel.

"The theft of parcels after delivery is concerning and we continue to provide delivery options that allow our customers to receive their parcels when and where it suits them, through parcel lockers, safe drop, deliveries direct to an Australia Post location, re-directions and twilight deliveries."

This week, police charged a Perth woman who brazenly stole a Valentine's Day gift from the doorstep of a Port Kennedy home.

Two months ago, two northern suburbs women dubbed the 'Christmas Grinches' were allegedly caught stealing presents from doorsteps in Wanneroo.

Australia Post, a government-owned entity, refused to provide statistics on the number of complaints it received, with a spokesman saying the company "complies with all relevant reporting requirements".

"There has been no reduction in Australia Post's performance levels," a spokesman said.  "Our year-to-date service performance for Western Australia is above our community service obligation of 94%."

Australia Post's 2015 annual report stated the industry's ombudsman had spent an estimated $550,000 investigating complaints relating to its service in 2014-15.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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