Monday, July 11, 2016

A prize example of Leftist argument

Australian writer Xavier Toby offers below a stream of abuse with not the slightest attempt to put forward any balanced and rational argument about anything.  There is no exploration of any argument that any conservative has ever made  -- only demonization and misrepresentation of conservative people. One wonders if he has ever read any argument put forward by a conservative.  It's classic closed-mindedness.

He just assumes that his readers will share his rage at views he does not share. Yet his screed was published in a Murdoch newspaper, which has a large conservative readership. So his approach is not even clever, which it is presumably intended to be.  It's just offensive.  He seems basically to be what older Australians would call a "nong", which translates roughly as someone who knows nothing about anything.

The amusing thing is that he argues for "debating the complicated problems faced by our society and reaching an intelligent solution" -- something that he himself shows absolutely no ability at.  He really has a superb lack of self-insight

THERE is one positive to be found in the words and actions of people like Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson and that positive is it’s now far harder to ignore all the other morons.

The fact that a fat rich white guy surrounded by yes-men and a blatantly racist woman who hasn’t been relevant for 18 years are saying crazy stuff is not that surprising. Visit any snowfield, racing club, golfing superstore, footy match or pokies den and you’ll see what I mean.

What is surprising, though, is that Trump’s simple and blatantly racist, sexist, anti-environment, homophobic and horrible message has been so popular. Given the Trump effect globally, it’s not at all surprising Hanson has made such a strong comeback in this election.

And it’s all our fault.

For too long now, too many of us have ignored sexist Uncle Keith; or the climate change denying taxi driver, Phil; or the racist football supporter, Pete; or Sandra, the Christian fundamentalist who believes gay marriage will lead to people marrying their pets – leaving them free to spread their hateful ideas without being adequately challenged. So now sexist Uncle Donald is in the running to be the next president of the USA and in Australia racist Aunty Pauline holds part of the balance of power.

A lot of Republicans in the US haven’t called out Trump for his most shocking statements and that’s because most party members agree with him. The only thing they object to is how blatant he’s being. They prefer a more subtle brand of racism and sexism because, otherwise, the masses might just work out that the whole system is screwing them over.

But their message, which is Trump’s message, is the exact same one peddled by many in the Liberal National Coalition in Australia, the Tories and UKIP in the UK and many other right wing politicians around the planet.

The difference is that, unlike Trump, Hanson, Nigel Farage and their ilk, most other politicians hide behind complicated policies, fancy words and boring speeches and hope we continue ignoring them because it’s so complicated and boring and, by the way, it’s footy season.

But do you see that “Build a wall” is just a different way of saying “Stop the boats”? And instead of debating the complicated problems faced by our society and reaching an intelligent solution, what each new Trump and Hanson-ism really says is: “I’m going to solve everything with hate and fear, slogans and slurs. Are you okay with that?”

Now if you object to what comes out of Trump’s and Hanson’s mouths, it’s time to reject that same message no matter where it comes from – other politicians, your Facebook feed, the workplace, your dinner table. For too long that hasn’t been happening. Otherwise, how did we get here?

These conversations are hard and awkward, but if we all just gave up, then all that’s left is Trump and Hanson.


Now it's mangroves (persongroves?)

All bad things are caused by global warming.  That seems to be the orthodoxy. Evidence be damned. Warmists are like the people who see UFO's ..... every light in the sky is a UFO.  So coral bleaching in 2015 was due to global warming; kelp dieback was due to global warming and now dieback among some mangroves in Northern Australia is due to global warming.  And, as we all surely know, global warming is caused by increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  As CO2 increases, so we get hotter.  So if all these diebacks were caused by a warming globe, CO2 levels should have been shooting up, right?

Fortunately the guy below can pinpoint the time when the mangroves died off.  He says it happened "in September-October 2015".  So CO2 levels should have shot up around that time, right?  In fact, 2015 was the one year in which CO2 levels stagnated. 2015 CO2 levels at Mauna Loa just fluctuated up and down from month to month around the 400ppm mark.  See the record below, a screen grab from Mauna Loa.

The 4th column is the actual average CO2 level in ppm. So, far from shooting up, CO2 was in stasis.  So any warming CANNOT be attributed to a CO2 rise. Dr Norm Duke is talking through his anus.  There WAS warming in 2015 but that was due to El Nino. It cannot have been due to a CO2 rise, because there wasn't any

Close to 10,000 hectares of mangroves have died across a stretch of coastline reaching from Queensland to the Northern Territory.

International mangroves expert Dr Norm Duke said he had no doubt the "dieback" was related to climate change.

"It's a world-first in terms of the scale of mangrove that have died," he told the ABC.

Dr Duke flew 200 kilometres between the mouths of the Roper and McArthur Rivers in the Northern Territory last month to survey the extent of the dieback.

He described the scene as the most "dramatic, pronounced extreme level of dieback that I've ever observed".

Dr Duke is a world expert in mangrove classification and ecosystems, based at James Cook University, and in May received photographs showing vast areas of dead mangroves in the Northern Territory section of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Until that time he and other scientists had been focused on mangrove dieback around Karmuba, Queensland, at the opposite end of the Gulf.

"The images were compelling. They were really dramatic, showing severe dieback of mangrove shoreline fringing — areas just extending off into infinity," Dr Duke said.

"Certainly nothing in my experience had prepared me to see images like that."

Dr Duke said he wanted to discover if the dieback in the two states was related. "We're talking about 700 kilometres of distance between incidences at that early time," he said.

The area the Northern Territory photos were taken in was so remote the only way to confirm the extent and timing of the mangrove dieback was with specialist satellite imagery.

With careful analysis the imagery confirmed the mangrove dieback in both states had happened in the space of a month late last year, coincident with coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

"We're talking about 10,000 hectares of mangroves were lost across this whole 700 kilometre span," Dr Duke said.     "It's not only unprecedented, it's extensive, it's severe and it's noticeable.

"I have not seen such imagery anywhere before, from all over the world. I work in many places around the world and I look at damaged mangroves as part of my work all the time. These are the most shocking images of dieback I've ever seen."

Dr Duke flew to the Northern Territory in June to judge the physical extent of the mangroves' damage. With the support of the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission he flew in a helicopter between the mouths of the Roper and McArthur Rivers.
What is causing the 'dieback'?

Dr Duke said the cause of such extensive damage was not immediately evident.

"Like a large oil spill, like a cyclone or severe storm — none of those things had occurred in the region in recent times," he said.

"But in that mix of things that were going on at the same time we're starting to hear about coral bleaching ... [and] hot water on the east coast."

The coincident timing of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and the dieback of mangroves in the north led Dr Duke to look at climatic factors.

"I started hearing that the wet season was missing from the Northern Territory over that time period," he said. "The wet season was only one-month-long in the year before. Usually the wet season in the Northern Territory in that area is three or four months long," Dr Duke said.

He said he was convinced unusually low rainfall in the 2014 wet season and elevated temperatures led to the massive mangrove dieback. He said a deadly lack of fresh water and increased water and atmospheric temperatures stressed the plants beyond their tolerance.

Satellite imagery pinpoints the damage to a period of around four weeks in September-October 2015.


Why simply calling Hanson racist doesn't help

By Michael Bradley, a Leftist lawyer

It's unclear to me what the difference is between our calling Hanson a racist and her habit of branding other people who she has not met with pejorative labels. What Hanson does - in particular, what she says - is frequently reprehensible. She can appropriately be criticised and called to account for the offence and hurt she causes by her repetitive and irrational attacks on everyone and everything she perceives from her extremely limited frame of understanding to be not representative of the "real Australians", her nostalgically imagined tribe.

But to point out that Hanson is peddling racist views and seeding disharmony in the community is quite different from labelling her a racist. With the exception of the furthest fringe of racial supremacist groups, nobody ever said "yes, you're right, I'm a racist". Hanson is entirely sure that she is not racist, with the same rationale (just less well expressed) as Andrew Bolt has for his equally genuine belief that he is not racist.

Hanson and many others in Australian public life say things that, from the perspective of marginalised groups such as Indigenous Australians, Muslims or Asians, are hurtful and bigoted. Hanson's response to this calling out is two-fold: she claims innocence of bigotry, because she is only speaking her authentic truth; and she condemns the criticism that she sees as an attempt to silence her.

Look at it from Hanson's perspective: she believes, for example, that Sydney has been "swamped by Asians" as she warned us back in 1996. Her evidence for this is undeniable; obviously, she won't be going anywhere near Hurstville herself (because it's been swamped by Asians), but there really are a lot of people in the streets of Hurstville of Asian appearance.

Now, I may see this as a good thing, since I really like Asian food and culture and I really like human beings generally regardless of how they look. For Hanson, however, this is not a good thing. She's fearful of "Asians", and now they've taken over Hurstville.

She believes that her suburb is next. When you add to this her more recently discovered conviction that Islam is a worldwide conspiracy of conquest and subjugation, it's not hard to feel the urgency of her fear.

Does being scared of specific other people, not because of anything they've done or threatened to do but because of a label you've applied to them along with the ingredients you believe that label contains, make you a racist or a bigot? Or does it just make you a sad, self-alienated outlier in our multicultural society?

This isn't just a question of semantics. Calling Hanson racist guarantees one outcome only: that she will be reinforced ever further in her beliefs. Given that she already sees the world as a place of unending threat, and believes that the whole establishment is ranged against her, how do we expect her to react when we tell her she's a racist idiot and an embarrassment to her country? With gratitude? With remorse?

Hanson has spent the past 18 years trying to get back into Parliament. There's no good reason to suppose that she's been doing it just for the electoral funding. The more logical conclusion is that she believes her voice is needed, because she has something urgent and meaningful to say. Each time she speaks, that conviction is far more apparent than any suspected ulterior motivation. She is absolutely making trouble, but she really doesn't seem to see herself as a trouble maker. The predictable reaction she provokes, of outrage and condemnation, is in her mind obviously misguided and further evidence that she's right.

Hanson is in fact that rare thing: a conviction politician. Shameless populist, yes; skilful manipulator of the media and gullible voters, yes. But there are two types of populists: the cynical opportunists of the Trump or Palmer variety; and the true believers. This class of politician reeks of authenticity - Jacqui Lambie is an exemplar. She genuinely believes what she says when she says it, even the stuff that makes literally no sense whatsoever and even if she won't believe it later. Hanson is the same.

I've read that Hanson is actually quite a nice person if you meet her. I have no idea whether that's true. I also don't know whether she's as stupid as she sometimes comes across. I do know that I abhor most of what she says. I also think she has the right to say it, provided it falls short of inciting hatred or violence towards others. And, like it or not, we have to respect the fact that a substantial number of Australians feel sufficiently angry, alienated and/or disgusted to want to have her speaking for them on the national stage.

So, what do we do with a problem child like Pauline? I'm not saying we should empathise with her. Empathy requires comprehension of another's inner mind; I don't recommend digging too deeply into the Hanson brain. Nor should we back off from holding her to public account for the harm she does. We can however achieve that purpose without lapsing into the same behaviours of which we accuse her: name calling and provocation.

Distasteful as the prospect is for the other members of Parliament, they are obliged by their duty to us to engage sensibly with Hanson. They don't seem to find it too hard to do that with George Christensen or Cory Bernardi, and I really struggle to see what makes those gentlemen more worthy of anyone's respect than Hanson.

As for the media: continue to treat Hanson as a circus freak if you wish, for our mock horror and cheap titillation (ooh you'll never guess what awful thing she said today!), but you are doing no service to anyone. She will not be ignored; she is, for now, significant. When her words are hateful and harmful, call them so. Point out her hypocrisies. Explain why she is wrong.

Bigotry isn't funny; Pauline Hanson isn't a joke.

SOURCE.  Note:  I have omitted some initial throat-clearing above -- JR

Must not describe a conservative as a "master politician"

Lisa Wilkinson has brushed off online criticism after being slammed by Twitter users for praising John Howard as a 'masterful politician' during a speech where he defended the Iraq war.

The Today Show host took to social media on Thursday to laud the former Prime Minister with praise as he responded to a scathing British report which ruled that the 2003 conflict was ill-informed.

Mr Howard, who was Prime Minister when Australia joined the UK and US in invading the Middle Eastern country, defended his decision on Thursday, insisting there had been 'no lie' behind the military action which at its peak involved 1,400 Australian troops.

Tweeting as he spoke, Ms Wilkinson said: 'This press conference by former PM John Howard is a reminder of what a master politician he was. And still is.'

Within minutes she was lambasted by social media users who said: 'He led us into a war without a UN mandate. How's that masterful?'

The presenter returned to Twitter defiantly to slap down critics' comments about her opinion of Mr Howard, reminding them she had herself protested against the war.

'Can e/one pls (sic) untwist their knickers over my tweet re John Howard being a masterful politician. I marched against the Iraq War. Enough said.'

Pressed on by one user who took the opportunity to slam her coverage of the federal election as the 'worst' on TV, the presenter said messages against her had been 'nasty'.

Accused of not making herself clear, she continued: 'I think your nasty tweet was pretty - actually make that VERY - clear.'

Mr Howard spoke firmly on Thursday to insist the war had been entered in to in good faith all be it under flawed intelligence. 

It came after a long-awaited inquiry in the UK delivered its verdict.

The Chilcot Inquiry found that the likelihood of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, the UK and US's motivation to invade the countries, had been overplayed.

Peace options had not been 'exhausted' before the decision to go to war was taken by the UK and US, it said.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US President George W. Bush have long come under fire for leading the Western forces involvement in the conflict.

On Thursday Mr Howard said he had no reason not to trust the leaders and their intelligence, defending his decision to support the operation.

'In the years that have gone by there's been this constant claim that we went to war based on a lie.

Tony Blair prompted fury in the UK by saying he would take the same decision to go to war again despite the report's finding that intelligence had been flawed

'There was no lie. There were errors in intelligence but there was no lie. When you're dealing with intelligence it's very, very hard to find a situation where advice is beyond doubt. 'Sometimes if you wait for advice that is beyond doubt you can end up with very disastrous consequences.'

By 2006 there were 1,400 Australian military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Howard remained Prime Minister until 2007, a year before troops began withdrawing from the conflict zones.

No Australians were killed in battle but two died while in the region in separate accidents. 

Mr Blair spoke in London last week to say he regretted lives had been lost in the conflict but would take the same decision again.

The victims of 119 British soldiers who died while serving in the campaign welcomed The Chilcot Inquiry's verdict. 


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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