Tuesday, April 25, 2017



Police misbehaviour in Australia

Most times that I see them, I put up here reports of police misbehaviour.  As well as posting them here, I have a separate site that records reports about police only.  I have recently brought it up to date and the overwhelming feeling I got from it was shock about how frequent such behaviors are.  For anybody with concerns about the police, it could be a useful resource





Holocaust denial materials prompt concerns after distribution at Australian universities

Posters questioning the historical accuracy of the Holocaust have sparked concerns among students at the Australian National University (ANU) and at least two other universities where they were distributed.

On Friday students found flyers and posters at the ANU campus that give support to the views of controversial British writer David Irving, who has questioned the overwhelming body of evidence supporting the existence of the Holocaust.

The materials point to a website that includes questions about whether gas chambers existed at concentration camps.

ANU Students Association president James Connolly said the posters made reference to the new movie Denial, which dramatized a court case involving Mr Irving.

"There were a series of flyers and posters that had been found around the gym ... that challenged the historical authenticity of the Holocaust," Mr Connolly said.

"The impetus for the posters had come from a new film called Denial — the subject of the film was about Holocaust denial.

"It was challenging whether that film had resolved the matter of whether the Holocaust had actually happened."

Mr Connolly said it was not clear who distributed the flyers, but they were similar to ones that appeared on campus last year.

University 'appalled' by flyers

Mr Connolly said the materials were taken down immediately. "I was aware that it had happened in Victorian Universities," he said. "Holocaust denial is hate speech — it's usually peddling an agenda of anti-Semitism and it really has no place in an environment which values tolerance and inclusion."

A statement from the university also condemned the materials. "The University is appalled by the distribution of derogatory material on campus," it said. "The Vice-Chancellor has made it clear that the distribution of derogatory and inappropriate material is completely unacceptable. "ANU Security removed the fliers, and is reviewing CCTV footage to identify the perpetrators."

Melbourne University confirmed similar flyers were also distributed on its campus two weeks ago. A small number of flyers were also found in a carpark at Monash University. Police were notified of both incidents in Victoria.

SOURCE






Bob Katter 'doesn't want Muslims coming to Australia'

Queensland MP Bob Katter has been accused of racism after he was filmed admitting he opposed Muslim immigration to Australia.

The video, filmed in a New South Wales pub, shows a man quizzing the leader of Bob Katter’s Australia Party on his stance towards Muslims. “You don’t like much, do you really?” the man asks.

“We’re nice to you white blokes, I think we are,” Mr Katter replies.

The man then demands to know whether the Federal Member for Kennedy is “in bed with One Nation”.

“I don’t want any Muslims coming here,” Mr Katter says, before backtracking. “I shouldn’t say that.”

“You don’t want any of them coming here at all – do you, Bob Katter?” the man taunts.

Mr Katter then walks away.

Mr Katter today responded to the video taking aim at the media storm. "There is something wrong in the media when you can address this issue formally and intelligently in the Parliament with reason and you get absolutely nothing; and some loud mouth Bludgerigar  puts a video out and we get nation-wide publicity.  I’ll be writing Pauncho a letter of thanks," he said.

"We will say again, and again, bring in the tormented, not the tormentors.

"As I’ve said on the public record many times, it is imperative the people from the Middle East and North Africa are barred from entering Australia. The time is long overdue to stop people from terrorist regions coming to Australia," Mr Katter said.

"Why we say the Middle East and North Africa, the case cannot be made against Albania, Indonesia or Malaysia – they are not terrorist countries, even though they are Muslim countries.

"The exception of course are the persecuted minorities... We must, and please god will always, welcome them."

The politician is the grandson of a Lebanese migrant widely known for his socially conservative views.

In August last year, Mr Katter told Sky News the “time has come” to stop immigration from the Middle East and North Africa, citing terrorism fears and alleged migrant reliance on welfare.

In 2011, Mr Katter also dismissed same-sex marriage as something that deserved "to be laughed at and ridiculed".

SOURCE






Australia Institute examines Pauline Hanson's One Nation's performance in WA

Although it was widely written off as an embarrassing failure, One Nation's campaign in the Western Australia election was a considerable victory in which the party positioned itself to seize long-term balance of power in the federal senate, according to a new analysis.

In the March state election, One Nation secured three upper house seats, but failed to secure any in the lower house, as had been widely expected. The final days of the campaign were derailed by the resignation of some of its candidates and a disastrous interview in which Ms Hanson question the safety of vaccinations.

Many commentators suggested that it was the high tide mark for One Nation's electoral surge over recent years.

But a research paper to be published by the progressive think tank The Australia Institute finds that One Nation's result has been broadly misunderstood and the party underestimated.

In the election, One Nation candidates received 65,192 of a total of 1,321,640 valid first preference votes cast in Legislative Assembly districts, or 4.86 per cent. This was the figure focused on by most analysts after the election.

But in the paper, entitled One Nation in Western Australia: Epic fail or huge win?, Philip Dorling writes that many commentators failed to note that One Nation had run candidates in just 35 of the state's 59 lower house seats. In the seats it contested, the party won 8.47 per cent of first preference votes and in 10 electorates it won more than 10 per cent. This is the figure analysts should have emphasised, says Dorling.

The perception that the party lost ground in the election is a result of its failure to manage expectations, he told Fairfax Media.

Dorling notes that, when this 8.47 per cent figure is compared with One Nation's result in the 2016 federal election, the party has effectively doubled its vote in just seven months.

"Doubling of support and the election of three new parliamentary representatives (compared with zero representation previously) can hardly be described as a 'disaster' or an 'epic fail'."

If One Nation maintains support at this level, Dorling argues, it will be in a position to take a Senate seat in WA in the next federal election, when its current WA senator will face the polls again.

"Irrespective of One Nation's performance in other states, this would ensure a One Nation presence of at least two senators in the Senate after 2019. (Senator Hanson was elected in 2016 to a full six-year term until June 30, 2022.) In the event that One Nation's support increases in other states, notably in Queensland and NSW but also elsewhere, the party could anticipate Senate representation of five and possibly six or seven senators between 2019 and 2025."

The WA victory has other national ramifications for One Nation, Dorling notes. "One Nation now has a stronger political machine in Western Australia. The party is registered with an office that has supported a statewide political campaign. Having polled above 4 per cent in all of the upper and lower house seats it contested, the party and its candidates are eligible to claim up to approximately $320,000 in public funding to reimburse campaign expenses," he writes.

"One Nation now has four parliamentary offices in Western Australia (one senator's office and three legislative councillors' offices) with staff, administrative resources and travel entitlements. As a consequence, One Nation in Western Australia will be much better placed to campaign in the next federal election."

Dorling expects the party to perform well during its next electoral test, which will be in its home state of Queensland.

He believes that, far from being a disaster, the WA poll may prove to be a "harbinger to the party's long-term presence on the national political stage with consequent impacts on public policy across the board".

SOURCE





Budget to have another go at dole bludgers

The Turnbull government is going back to basics with its May 9 budget and having another crack at dole bludgers.

After weeks of speculation over what the budget might bring to ease housing affordability pressures, Malcolm Turnbull has attempted to tone down expectations despite a red-hot property market in Sydney and Melbourne.

A new poll has found voters agreeing with the prime minister about housing affordability, saying while it's an important issue it isn't necessarily a top priority.

The government will crack down on people who claim welfare but won't participate in work-for-the-dole schemes, closing a loophole that allows payments to continue despite people refusing interviews or placements.

Employment Minster Michaelia Cash says there is a cohort of people in Australia that actively says no to suitable work

"I think all taxpayers would rightly expect that those who can work should work and our welfare system should be there as a genuine safety net, not as something that people can choose to fund their lifestyle," she told reporters in Brisbane on Monday.

Labor frontbencher Katy Gallagher is a "bit suspicious" when a coalition government attempts to demonise and attack those who rely on welfare.

"We support rigour around people being responsible for the money they receive and actually having to play by the rules. There is no problem with that," she told reporters in Canberra.

But Labor wants to make sure the government isn't being "harsh and unfair" by attacking those who are most vulnerable.

However, Senator Gallagher welcomed a backflip by the government that will enable Australia's most vulnerable people access to legal services under new funding arrangements.

The government will provide $39 million for community legal centres and $16.7 million for indigenous legal services in the budget.

"We're actually announcing this in advance of the budget because we want to send a very clear signal about where the government's priorities lie," Attorney-General George Brandis told reporters in Brisbane.

The coalition has come under sustained fire from Labor, minor parties and community groups for not guaranteeing ongoing funding to the legal services, with previous commitments set to end on July 1.

Senator Gallagher said it was a humiliating about face by Senator Brandis.

"Just eight weeks out from these cuts taking effect, for those who have campaigned against the cuts, the victory is theirs today," she said.

A new survey found a majority (57 per cent) of voters regard Medicare and hospitals as their top priority.

The polling, by JWS Research for the Australian Financial Review, found stimulating economic growth and employment came second on 48 per cent, followed by welfare and social issues on 46 per cent and then housing affordability and funding for education and schools, both on 41 per cent.

SOURCE

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




Monday, April 24, 2017


March for Science participants hoping to send strong message to political leaders

I heartily endorse this march.  We do need more science in public life.  More attention to the scientific fact that there is no correspondence between global temperature levels and global CO2 levels would be a start

Thousands of people have rallied across Australia as part of a global movement calling on political leaders to focus more on science.

Crowds gathered in cities and towns including Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Brisbane and Townsville as part of the inaugural March for Science, which is taking place in 500 locations worldwide.

The movement was started by scientists sceptical of the agenda of US President Donald Trump, but Stuart Khan, one of the organisers of the Sydney march, said it quickly went global.

He said marchers were calling on politicians to take note that the public wanted policy based on fact.

"The gaps that we see between what science tells us and what we actually see being translated into policy is very large, particularly when you look at things like climate change and the Great Barrier Reef," Professor Khan said.

"We're calling on politicians to make laws that are based on evidence that are appropriate for our future … Australians want to understand how science and how evidence is being incorporated into policy.

"Disease, famine, communicable disease, pollution of the ocean, climate change, all of these challenges are addressable by science."

Professor Khan emphasised that the march was not for scientists, but for anyone. "I'm participating as a community member, I'm participating as a dad," he said. "It is very important that the March for Science is a community-led march, it's a statement that is coming from the community.

"It's not led by the academics, it's not led by eminent scientists because it's not about them, it's about the community saying 'This is what is important to us'."

Among the thousands attending the Sydney rally was former Liberal leader John Hewson, who told AM ahead of the march he was concerned about "the lack of evidence being used as the basis of public policy".

"I think science is probably more useful and more relevant to society today than it's probably ever been. But there's been a widening gap between science and the public," he said.

"We need to stop and recognise the significance of science and the importance of funding it properly and using the evidence that it produces as the basis of good public policy."

Scientist and Macquarie University Associate Professor Josh Madin attended the Sydney rally with his young family and said politicians needed to pay attention to scientific evidence.

"We do a lot of work on the Great Barrier Reef and we've seen first hand the devastation up there and I just think there are some decisions being made that don't have the best interests of our children's future in mind," he said.

Among those throwing their support behind the March for Science is Luke Briscoe, chief executive of Indigi Lab, which works to get more recognition for Indigenous science.

Ms Briscoe said Indigenous science, a form of science in its own right, needed to be better understood in Western culture.

"The honeybee dance from where I'm from in Kuku Yalanji country in far north Queensland, that dance talks about how the bees are sustaining our ecologies," he said.

"It's passing on those customs and traditions that our sciences are embedded in and … it's hard to really put value and monetise the importance of that in a Western world."

Mr Briscoe said having Indigneous participation in the decision-making process would be the only way to ensure better recognition of Indigenous science.

"I think it's important that we ensure that Indigenous voices are heard in the science sector and are at the table in decision-making processes for how we roll out science programs," he said.

"In terms of the workforce, making sure that that it's not just a one-way science understanding — it's looking at two ways of learning and two ways of teaching science and practicing science."

SOURCE






US will honour refugee deal with Australia, Vice-President Mike Pence confirms

US Vice-President Mike Pence has reaffirmed that the Trump administration will honour the controversial refugee deal struck with Barack Obama, despite not liking it.

Made in the last days of the Obama administration, the United States agreed to resettle refugees from Manus Island and Nauru, as Australia seeks to close its off-shore detention facilities.

The US Vice-President has arrived in Sydney for talks with Malcolm Turnbull, with growing military tensions on the Korean peninsula expected to dominate his three-day visit to Australia.

In a phone call to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shortly after his election, President Donald Trump referred to it as the "worst deal ever" in a conversation later described as "tense".

Speaking to media following his bilateral meeting with Mr Turnbull in Sydney on Saturday, Mr Pence said the deal would go ahead, despite doubts over what Mr Trump had publicly labelled a "dumb" agreement.

"President Trump has made it clear we will honour the agreement, but it doesn't mean we admire the agreement," he said.

"Frankly looking back at the last administration, the President has never been shy about expressing frustration with other international agreements, most notably the so-called nuclear agreement with Iran.

"Rest assured, as I confirmed today with the Prime Minister, the United States of America will honour the agreement and actually we have initiated the process of fulfilling that agreement, subject to the vetting processes that now apply to all refugees in the United States."

Mr Pence also appeared to confirm Mr Turnbull's role in ensuring the deal would still go ahead under a Trump administration, which was pinpointed as the cause of the now-notorious phone call.

"As this topic came up early in this administration, Prime Minister Turnbull made the case for the agreement with the President and the decision to go forward, I think, can rightly be seen as a reflection of the enormous importance of the historical alliance between the United States and Australia," Mr Pence said.

"And whatever reservations the President may have about the details of agreements reached with the prior administration, we will honour this agreement out of respect for that enormously important alliance."

Neither Mr Pence nor Mr Turnbull would say how many refugees would be resettled, under the agreement.

US Homeland Security officials have travelled to Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea to begin interviews with those who have applied under the deal.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was recently criticised for claiming fears over a five-year-old local boy, who was allegedly led into the Manus Island detention centre, sparked a recent violent outburst at the facility, an account which has been disputed by PNG officials.

The Manus Island facility has been marked for closure in the second half of this year, after the PNG Supreme Court found it to be unconstitutional.

SOURCE






Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull doubles down on 'Australia first' message

Echoes of Mr Trump

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken to social media to promote his citizenship push and migrant worker crackdown, as the government works on selling its "Australia first" agenda.

It was all rolled out after the Easter long weekend.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has posted this video on Facebook saying his government is standing up for Australian jobs and values.

On Tuesday, Mr Turnbull announced the government would axe the 457 foreign worker visa program, and replace it with two new temporary visas, which would impose tougher qualification tests, while cutting down on the number of occupations open to international workers last week.

He followed that announcement up on Thursday with changes to the citizenship rules, which will see would-be Australians subjected to tougher language and "values-based" tests, and much longer waiting times before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship.

Now comes the sell, with Mr Turnbull releasing a short video on his Facebook page espousing the benefits of Australian values – and the policy changes – intersected with images of him meeting people on the street, being mobbed by school children, wearing an Akubra and talking to first and new Australians.

Mr Turnbull released the video shortly after his media conference with US Vice-President Mike Pence, who was elected, along with Donald Trump, on an "America First" platform.

"Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world," he said.

"We do not define our national identity by race or religion, but by a commitment to shared Australian values. "Those Australian values define us. Australian values unite us.

"Freedom. Parliamentary democracy. The rule of law. Mutual respect. The equality of men and women and a fair go. The opportunity to get ahead, but lend a hand to those who fall behind.

"Our reforms will put these values at the heart of our citizenship requirements. Membership of our Australian family is a privilege and it should be afforded to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to integrate and contribute to an even better Australia."

Using the same language he used during the week, Mr Turnbull said the migration law changes would ensure "temporary worker visas do not become passports to jobs that should or could be done by Australians".

"Yes, businesses require access to the skills they need to grow, but Australian workers should always have priority for Australian jobs," he said, against a backdrop of native trees.

"My government is standing up for Australian jobs and Australian values."

When announcing his changes to the citizenship rules earlier in the week, Mr Turnbull appeared to struggle to name the Australian values he said were at the core of the reforms, saying there would be public consultation.

Facing pressure in the polls and within his own government, Mr Turnbull has sought to re-set his government's message in recent months, as it attempts to appeal to voters it lost at the last election to parties such as One Nation.

SOURCE





Symbolic domestic violence 'a blessing'

Peter Kurti

'Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia' provoked controversy recently by giving the go-ahead for Muslim men to strike their wives -- but only in a symbolic way, they insisted. It must be done in a "managed" way with a short stick, a scrap of fabric, or a coiled scarf.

In the course of a panel discussion, two women agreed that discipline was "a beautiful blessing" and sometimes necessary to "promote tranquillity" in the family home. A husband is entitled to discipline a wife, the women said, if she has been disobedient or acted in an immoral way.

Prominent Australian Muslims, including Waleed Aly, condemned the video, as did Muslim MP, Ed Husic, who stated that any form of striking -- "either between husband or wife or anywhere" -- was "not acceptable." The Prophet, they all said, condemned violence.

Australian Muslims are in a tight spot when it comes to the rights of women. Sheik Shady Alsuleiman, a leading Muslim, has asserted the right of a husband to demand sex from his wife. But Yassmin Abdel-Magid, says domestic violence is unacceptable. Which, of course, it is.

Muslim leaders prevaricate whenever Islam rubs up against Western rights, values and laws. Some claim the Qu'ran says one thing, while others deny it and declare that it says another. Multiculturalist policies have inhibited us from judging other cultures. But not all cultures are equal.

This is the social price we are paying for striving to stamp out racism and discrimination. Promoting 'diversity' has long trumped affirming the primacy of our national culture. Now we are remembering that every Australian, regardless of race or creed, has full protection under the law.

Diffidence in the face of the illegal and the unacceptable leads not to liberty, but to tyranny. 

SOURCE

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



Sunday, April 23, 2017



Citizenship changes revealed: Fluent English, four years of residency, Australian values

That fluency in English requirement is a bit of a fantasy.  The low-IQ wogs we have been getting lately will simply be unable to do it.  To learn a new language in adulthood is hard for anybody and few can do it.  People from Northern Europe can do it because they learned English throughout their schooldays.  How much English do Afghan goat-herders learn in their childhoods?

Prospective Australian citizens will need to have fluent English, four years of residency, Australian values, and a demonstrated capacity to integrate as part of an overhaul of the citizenship test announced by the Turnbull government this morning.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there is “no more important title in our democracy than ‘Australian citizen’, and the institution of citizenship must reflect Australian values.

“We’re not defined by race or religion or culture, as many other nations are,” he said. “We’re defined by commitment to common values, political values, the rule of law, democracy, freedom, mutual respect, equality for men and women ... and our citizenship process should reflect that.”

The current system sets a good “character test” which rules out anyone with a conviction of a serious offence. For the first time domestic violence, gang related activity and organised crime associations will be included in more forensic police checks.

A government source claimed that the new test would look more deeply into people’s history for even minor offences which were not consistent with Australian values such as social welfare fraud and abuse.

New questions that would target religious extremism will be designed to demonstrate appreciation of Australian values, with potential questions to include whether the principle of religious freedom allowed for children to marry, genital mutilation, striking a spouse and prohibiting girls from school.

A position paper to be released today and obtained by The Australian cites national security and the global threat of terrorism as factors in the decision to update the Citizenship laws to re-affirm a commitment to democracy and bolstered Australian values.

“Recent terrorist attacks around the world have justifiably caused concern in the Australian community,” it says. “In the face of these threats, there is no better time to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to democracy, opportunity and our shared values.

“The Australian community expects that aspiring citizens demonstrate their allegiance to Australia, their commitment to live in accordance with Australian values and their willingness to integrate into and become contributing members of the Australian community.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the government made no apologies for wanting new Australian citizens to integrate. “We want people to be able to send their kids to school, to take advantage of a great education system,” he said. “We want people to be able to work if they’re of working age and to make sure that if they have a capacity to work, they’re contributing and not leading a life on welfare.

Mr Dutton outlined the four key aspects of the overhaul:

* The current residency requirement to be eligible for citizenship will increase from 12 months to four years;

* Applicants will be required to pass an English language test equivalent to IELTS level 6 equivalent, or a “competent” English language proficiency level;

* The government will make changes to the pledge of Australian citizenship and add questions to the current test aimed at cracking down on inappropriate attitudes on issues such as violence against women, child and forced marriage, female genital mutilation, etc;

* Applicants must provide evidence of integration including employment, tax payments and schooling for children;

Mr Dutton said the government would consult around the changes to questions and pledge and the values requirements between now and June 1.

The new requirements will also limit the number of times an applicant can fail the citizenship test to three (at present there is no limit), and introduce an automatic fail for applicants who cheat during the test.

Mr Dutton said the current multiple-choice test was essentially a civics test, that asked questions of people.

“What we’re saying is that we want people to demonstrate the fact that they have, if they’re of working age, that they have worked over that period of four years, that they have sent their children to school,” he said.

“We would ask questions for example, as we’re seeing in Melbourne at the moment, if kids are roaming the street at night as part of gangs in the apex gangs or elsewhere in cities like Melbourne, whether or not that is adopting an Australian value. Clearly it’s not.

The Immigration Minister said he believed there was a deficiency in the way the current test was applied, and said the new test would work alongside current laws to crack down inappropriate conduct.

“For example, a perpetrator of domestic violence,” he said. “My view is that that person shouldn’t become an Australian citizen. We can ask that question but we can also undertake our own checks in relation to police checks or whatever the case might be. So that’s how you can adopt, apply the test.”  Mr Dutton said there were currently criminal background checks for applicants, but the current checks were “clearly insufficient”.

Mr Turnbull conceded that practices such as genital mutilation and forced marriage are already illegal, but said questions on such matters in the new test were necessary to reinforce Australian values.

“Are you proud of our Australian values? Are you a proud Australian? You should stand up for it. You should stand up for those values and that’s what we’re doing,” he told a journalist.

“You see if we believe that respect for women and respect for women and children and saying no to violence against women and children, if we believe that that is an Australian value and it is and every one of you does believe that, then why should that not be made a key part, a fundamental part, a very prominent part, of our process to be an Australian citizen?

“Why should the test simply be a checklist of civic questions, all very important, about the parliament and how many senators there are from each state. These are all important things to know, no doubt, but fundamentally, the values which bind us together are those ones of respect, the rule of law, commitment to freedom, democracy, these are the key elements in our Australian identity and our citizenship should reflect this.”

Mr Turnbull said members of the Labor Party were criticising the proposition that prospective citizens should have competent English.

“Really? Are they serious?” he said. “I mean does anybody doubt that if you want to succeed, if you want to even have a chance of succeeding in Australia, you need to be able to speak English?

“It is the single best thing any person coming to this country can do is learn English and that’s why Peter’s department put such a big effort into it.”

Mr Dutton said people would lie on the new citizenship test in relation to issues such as domestic violence. “I mean they lie now in relation to citizenship tests and in relationship to laws that exist now,” he said. “That is not an argument for us to do nothing in this space.

“Domestic violence is a significant issue in this country, and we shouldn’t tolerate one instance of it, and the fact that somebody might fudge an answer on a test or an application is no argument against us asking people if you want to become an Australian citizen, abide by our laws and our norms.

“If somebody lies in an application, if they are fraudulent in their application for Australian citizenship, there is an existing power under the act in certain circumstances to revoke that citizenship.”

Mr Turnbull said the government would be briefing the Opposition and crossbench about the new laws “today or as soon as possible”, subject to their availaibility.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the new citizenship would ask a series of questions to highlight inappropriate attitudes.

“I don’t think anyone could seriously defend an attitude that says women are not equal to men, or that violence against women is acceptable, so we’re looking to test attitudes to ensure that people who take out Australian citizenship, and it is a privilege to become an Australian citizen, so it has responsibilities and obligations with it, that they are prepared to embrace the values, the laws, the attitudes that we have as a society that’s made us so successful,” Ms Bishop said.

SOURCE





'Don't be scared of being called Islamophobic'

Christian minister calls for a BAN on extremist Muslims coming to Australia - and only those who reject sharia law should be accepted

A Baptist reverend born in Egypt says Australia needs to deport radical Islamists and stop taking in so many fundamentalist Muslims.

While outspoken church leaders are saying conciliatory things about migrants, Sydney minister George Capsis said the large-scale migration of hardline Islamists from the Middle East was a threat to Australian democracy.

He made a clear distinction between Islamist extremists, from places like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria, and secular Muslims from Turkey who reject sharia law and fundamentalism.

'We can't have open slather like we used to. We've got to be more discerning,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday.

'We mustn't be afraid to be called Islamophobic. We've got to be more careful in our immigration policy.

'If we do not protect the freedoms we have in this country, they'll be eroded.'

Mr Capsis, a minister at Croydon in Sydney's inner west, said Islamist migrant preachers were radicalising the children of migrants and needed to be deported, echoing a call from Adelaide imam Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi.

'We probably should deport some people who preach hate. You hate to do that but you've got to make a stand,' he said.

His call comes only weeks after Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar, who was born in Pakistan, told a forum at Bankstown library, in south-west Sydney, that ex-Muslims deserved capital punishment.

This same Islamist group, which wants a Muslim caliphate based on sharia law, also produced a video last week justifying domestic violence.

Earlier this month, a Christian man claims a group of Muslim teenagers of Middle Eastern appearance ripped off his silver Greek Orthodox necklace during an alleged attack on a Sydney train to Bankstown.

'They ripped the cross off me, threw it to the ground, they said 'f**k Jesus, and then said they said 'Allah' after that,' the man, who chose to remain unnamed, told Daily Mail Australia.

'I thought I was going to die. The next victim might not be so lucky, they might be killed or seriously injured.'

Sydney's west is home to the hardline Sunni Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association, whose preachers have described as sinful attending non-Muslim events, having non-Muslim friends and even using a public urinal.

This fundamentalist group runs the Bukhari House Islamic Bookstore at Auburn, which has been linked to Farhad Jabar, the 15-year-old boy who killed accountant Curtis Cheng outside police headquarters at Parramatta in 2015.

Mr Capsis, the 70-year-old son of Greek Orthodox parents who moved to Australia at age four from Egypt, said Islamic fundamentalism had never been a success.

'Unlike Christianity, which has brought prosperity and civilization wherever it is established such as the U.S., the United Kingdom Australia, Islamic fundamentalism takes communities back to the dark ages,' he said.

He added that Islamist fundamentalist migrants, unlike secular Muslims from places like Turkey, had no interest in integrating into Australian society.

'The evidence is pretty clear: the red flag is waving in our faces,' Mr Capsis said. 'None of us want to be vilifying any race of people because every race has its good and its bad but unfortunately as a religion, it's very culturally based. 'Islam is now more culturally political than religious.'

A tipping point with radical Islamism had been reached in Australia, he said, with many people determined not to follow examples set in Europe. 'The tide has turned. We're going to see more Christian leaders come out and make a stand,' he said.

'We've got to protect ourselves. Australian society is not going to tolerate this anymore.'

Mr Capsis has previously spoken out about Muslim attacks on Christians in Sydney.

SOURCE






Peter Dutton signals room to move on work visas for universities

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has signalled he is willing to compromise on the Turnbull government's tough foreign labour regime, assuring universities they won't be hamstrung by new work experience requirements.

Vice-chancellors, academics and the powerful Group of Eight universities were alarmed the Turnbull government's abolition of the 457 visa may prevent them hiring overseas researchers straight out of a PhD program.

Antique dealer, jockey and judge are just some of the occupations now unavailable to foreign workers after the Turnbull government announced the abolition of the 457 visa program.

In a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Go8 chairman Peter Hoj warned the changes could be "extremely damaging" to Australia's reputation for welcoming international academics.

Particular concern surrounded the introduction of a two-year work experience prerequisite for temporary work visas, which universities feared would stop them hiring researchers who had spent their adulthood studying.

A spokeswoman for Mr Dutton told Fairfax Media it was not the government's intention to stop universities bringing talent into the country, and the new rules would be flexible.

"Universities will continue to be able to attract the best and brightest minds from Australia and the world," she said.

"The government recognises that work experience may take different forms for different occupations, such as research and teaching experience accumulated by PhDs.

"The government will work with the university sector to define what constitutes work for this cohort."

Belinda Robinson, chief executive of peak body Universities Australia, welcomed the development and said high-level talks with the government indicated it was prepared to compromise.

The election of Donald Trump as US President, and the fallout from Brexit, have prompted scores of overseas academics to express interest in moving to Australian universities.

Ms Robinson said it was "absolutely crucial" Australia stood ready to exploit "the window of opportunity that we have" to attract new talent.

"We want to encourage them, not deter them," she said.

Sydney University quantum physicist Michael Biercuk, who came to Australia on a 457 visa and has been a vocal critic of the changes, said the newfound flexibility was "a great first step in alleviating our concerns".

SOURCE

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


Friday, April 21, 2017






Melbourne's black terror goes on

So much for the police chief's claim that black crime is under control.  It never is

This is the chilling moment a gang of five Sudanese teenagers allegedly bashed their autistic classmate, 17, in a horrific attack on a Melbourne bus on Saturday.

Josh*, 17, was travelling alone on the bus at Tarneit, west of the the city's centre, when five boys approached him and told him to hand over his mobile phone and new Nike shoes.

When he refused, the group allegedly attacked him, kicking him in the head so hard he suffered a concussion and required a CT scan to check for permanent damage, his mother Sarah* said.

CCTV footage from inside the bus obtained by 9 News shows the group of boys surrounding Josh and taunting him before one allegedly launches a flying kick.

'The kid who bullied me at my school, he said to me, "Do I know you?" [And] I'm like, "Well yeah you're the kid who bullied me",' Josh told 9 News.

'As soon as we turned the corner I got one kick to the face straight across from me, and then one kick to the face from in front of me.'

Josh's mother Sarah told 3AW on Tuesday her distressed son called him in tears. 'He said, "Mum I'm scared",' Sarah said.

'It has taken a lot out of him because he doesn't want to go on public transport again.' 

Sarah said she immediately drove to meet her injured son where the bus pulled over at Tarneit McDonald's. Within minutes, she said the group of five Sudanese men grew to a group of about 30.

'When we drove past the McDonald's, they spotted my son in the car. They [five offenders] chased the car so I drove off and waited for police on the side of the road,' she told 9 News.

Sarah said Tarneit was 'overrun by Sudanese' people and claimed they often gathered at the local McDonald's. She said reports of violent behaviour from young Sudanese men in the area left her feeling scared for her son and the larger Melbourne community. 

'It's not safe for anyone, let alone for someone with a disability, they put so much trust in everybody,' she said.

A spate of criminal activity has swept across Melbourne in the past 18 months, with a series of carjackings, armed robberies and home invasions, blamed largely on the notorious Apex gang. Apex gang members are primarily from a Sudanese refugee background.

Sarah called on the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to take action. 'For Christ's sake, just open your eyes and see what's going on around you, there will be more than one life taken soon,' she said.  'My son was lucky he got out of it the way he did.

'When is the Government going to wake up? I'm very angry, very very angry.'

Wyndham North police have charged a 16-year-old boy with attempted robbery and assault over the incident. Police arrested the teen at the scene and he's been bailed to appear at a Children's Court at a later date.

The police investigation to identify others involved in the incident is continuing.

SOURCE





ABORTION: Vic, Law condones the act as it criminalises the image

On March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court of Victoria handed down a decision that related to protesting outside a fertility clinic.

This decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria arose from the appeal of a previous judgement in the County Court of Victoria in November 2015.

In a nutshell, the Court argued that images of dead unborn babies cannot be displayed in public because they are too disgusting and “may be so distressing as to be potentially harmful”.

The case upheld the criminal conviction of Michelle Fraser, a pro-life woman, for displaying an image of a dead foetus in public at a peaceful demonstration against abortion in 2013.

The effect of the decision is that showing any image of a dead foetus is obscene and therefore its display is a criminal act under laws that ban obscenity in several Australian jurisdictions.

I am unable to ascertain at this point whether there will be an appeal to the High Court from such an ill-conceived decision.

If the photo of a dead unborn baby is distressing, then is it not distressing to realise that 100,000 babies are brutally murdered in the womb in this country every year?

This ruling means that the truth about abortion practices can no longer be freely exposed.

Despite it being a Victorian decision, similar laws exist in other Australian jurisdictions that can be applied in the same way to stifle this type of political discussion.

This only goes to show that many judges in this country are more concerned about dead babies being shown in public than being concerned about protecting communication concerning political matters that is constitutionally protected.

It is a basic principle of constitutional law in Australia that no law can unreasonably burden free communication on political matters among voters. This implied freedom is a strong constitutional guarantee that has been developed by the High Court to recognise that this is so even where communication might be seriously offensive.

However, the confronting reality of abortion has now been (unconstitutionally) stifled by the unelected judiciary in the name of political correctness. There is much to be said about judges ignoring an important element of the Australian Constitution.

As Human Rights Law Alliance director Martyn Iles points out: “Often it is the shocking nature of a political communication which is the very thing that makes it effective, especially where, far from being gratuitous or unrealistic, the images are shocking precisely because they portray the truth about abortion to the public.”

The truth about abortion may be uncomfortable to many, but the solution is not judicial censorship of political communication. Instead, the solution is more public debate coupled with critical thinking about the seriousness of the problem.

SOURCE 






Teacher flaws stifle students, say principals

A survey has found nearly two-fifths of students attended schools in which principals perceived learning was hindered by teachers not meeting individual students’ needs.

Teachers who fail to meet the needs of their students, resist change or are unprepared for ­lessons are doing more to hinder learning in Australian classrooms than teenagers who are dis­respectful or skip school, a worldwide survey of principals has revealed.

School leaders were asked to report on the extent they believed learning in their schools was set back by teachers and students, as part of the triennial benchmark of global educational performance, the Program for International Student Assessment.

An in-depth look at Australia’s PISA results details a range of complex, diverse factors thwarting student achievement, from abysmal classroom discipline to resourcing and the learning environment.

“Overall, principals in Australia perceived that teacher-related behaviours were more likely to hinder student learning in their schools than student-related behaviours,’’ said the Australian Council for Educational Research report. It found nearly two-fifths of students attended schools at which principals thought learning was hindered by teachers not meeting individual students’ needs — a result higher than the OECD average. Only principals in Japan gauged teacher-related ­behaviours to pose more of a ­hurdle than in Australia.

School leaders were asked about teachers not meeting individual students’ needs; teacher ­absenteeism; staff resisting change; teachers being too strict with ­students; and teachers not being well prepared for classes.

They were also questioned about student truancy, skipping classes, students lacking respect for teachers, using drugs and alcohol, and bullying other students.

Australian Education Union federal president Correna Haythorpe said the results could not be looked at in isolation, and principals were most concerned about the resources they had available to them, including a lack of teachers.

“Australian teachers are amongst the most highly qualified and effective anywhere in the world and as the PISA report makes clear, the most significant teaching-related issue affecting student results is the shortage of teachers in Australian schools,’’ Ms Haythorpe said.

The union and experts also point to the chronic problem of out-of-field teaching: for example, about one-third of Year 7 to 10 maths classes are taught by teachers without maths qualifications.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s spokesman said the government had long recognised teachers were the most important in-school influence on students’ results, which was why it pursued stronger quality assurance of teacher-education programs and entry standards. New teachers were also tested to ensure their ­literacy and numeracy skills were in the top 30 per cent of the adult population.

He said the government’s ­reforms also focused on: rewarding teachers for competency and achievement, not just length of service; having minimum proportions of trainee teachers specialise in literacy and numeracy; and ­setting recruitment targets for teachers qualified in science, ­technology, engineering or ­mathematics subjects. The government is working to finalise plans to ditch the so-called fifth and sixth years of Labor’s Gonski needs-based funding approach and replace it with a more nationally consistent agreement.

PISA, conducted by the OECD, measures the ability of 15-year-olds in science, maths and reading.

Last year, the results of the 2015 PISA round revealed Australian students had slid 12 months ­behind where they were in maths in 2003, seven months behind in science compared with 2006, and about 10 months behind in reading since 2000, when PISA began.

ACER’s in-depth report, released last month, found principals judged student-related behaviours such as truancy and skipping classes to occupy their time and hinder instruction, particularly in the Northern Territory and in disadvantaged schools.

There was a “moderate negative relationship’’ between staff shortages and science performance, and a “weak negative relationship’’ between teacher behaviours and science scores.

Ms Haythorpe said principals were “most concerned about the overall level of resources in schools and that is why principals across the country are so strongly advocating for the federal government to deliver the final two years of Gonski funding’’.

Geoff Prince, director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, which runs the Choose Maths awards, said: “The parts of Australia where there is significant out-of-field teaching — lower SES (socio-economic), regional, remote areas — are also the areas that have the highest turnover of staff.

“This tells you that not only do we have to do something about working with these out-of-field teachers but we’ve got to do something about leadership, and creating teams and doing it in a strategic way for the schools that don’t have the resources.’’

Australian Catholic University senior research fellow Kevin Donnelly took issue with the PISA survey, arguing that it lacked validity and reliability because it was a subjective and self-selecting questionnaire.

He pointed to international research that argued that while teacher quality was important in explaining variants between student results, it amounted to only between 7 and 10 per cent of the factors, and student ability, intelligence and prior achievement were critical.

SOURCE






It shouldn’t be Australia’s job to liberalise Muslims

There is a fascinating struggle taking place in Australia over the soul of Islam. The women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia, acting out their pantomime of “permissible” discipline in a Muslim marriage, set tongues wagging.

I say pantomime because surely no one believes the event was not set up to mask the true level of male control in Islam. If you doubt it, look at the laws on marriage, or succession, or rape in marriage among our key migrant source Islamic countries: Lebanon, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia. A striking feature of the laws is that they distinguish the application of the law by religion. Religion first; the rule of law second.

The struggle over the soul of Islam in Australia is taking place in the mosques, in the universities and in public life.

In his book Islamic Exceptionalism, Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institute argues that “because the relationship between Islam and politics is distinctive, a replay of the Western model — Protestant Reformation followed by an enlightenment in which religion is gradually pushed into the private realm is unlikely … We aren’t all the same but, more important, why should we be?”

Hamid’s call to “respect” Islamic exceptionalism was taken up by the darlings of the ABC, who gave it plenty of coverage.

Hamid also wrote: “If it were destroyed tomorrow morning, the Islamic State would still stand as one of the most successful and distinctly ‘Islamist’ state-building projects of recent decades.”

This is a liberal scholar from a US think tank. Is this the liberal society’s burden, to suffer those who would do us harm?

But even the enemy can reveal truths. Hamid made the point that hoping for the liberalisation of Islam is false. “Liberalism … needs liberals to survive and prosper.”

In this, Hamid is dead right. Importing illiberal minds is not smart. While Muslim immigrants to Australia may want to escape Islamic laws, to what extent do they carry the habits and mindset of authoritarian Islam?

Why should Australia take on the burden of liberalising Muslims? In a multicultural policy setting and amid identity bellicosity what happens when they tell us to get stuffed?

A 2014 study of Muslim communities that have settled around Brisbane’s Holland Park mosque, reported “a marked shift” in the community following the large-scale migration of Muslims from the 1990s. They observed a more conscientious practice of Islam, and a tendency to “Arabise everything”. Some of the (Muslim) participants resented the overt Islamist identity and hostility towards Australia.

A 2014 study in Melbourne reported that 18 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds conducted their daily life “strictly in accordance with sharia law”.

Others grafted environmentalism to Islam. “It makes me a better neighbour and environmentally aware as there’s an Islamic element to it.” One suspects that Muslim students are now primed to talk of love, social justice and environment to help align Islam and left-greens politics.

As Kenan Malik, in his book From Fatwa to Jihad, observed in Britain: “It is not mosques but universities that provide the real recruiting ground for Islamists.”

Seven imams instructed their flocks in the West Australian election to vote Greens. Today, in Indonesia, imams are instructing their flock to vote against the Christian candidate for mayor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama, who is on trial for blasphemy.

Some people are leaving Islam in Australia because they find it too oppressive, but others are joining.

Silma Ihram is a Muslim convert and featured last week on an interview with a perplexed David Speers of Sky News over the Hizb ut-Tahrir ladies’ panto. Silma was born Anne Frances Beaumont on Sydney’s northern beaches. Her journey has been a long one: Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist, born-again Christian, including missionary work, and finally, after a trip to Indonesia, to Islam. At the other end are those jumping ship, which in Islam can have nasty consequences. Ibn Warraq’s book Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out is revealing. Australia has its version at the website, Australian Ex-Muslims.

In Australia, the Atheist Helper website responded to my requests as follows: “With respect to Islam, the problem we almost invariably find is that they have left the religion, no longer believe in it, but are unable to tell their family and friends for fear of ostracism and retribution.”

The struggle within the Muslim community, between liberals and authoritarians, between leavers and joiners, influenced by source-country politics, and local politicians trawling for advantage, is a plague. What Australians must decide is, why is this our struggle?

SOURCE






Organic 'greenwashing' prompts push for tighter food labelling laws

Australia's certified organic industry is expected to be worth more than $2 billion by next year but it is fighting to ensure fake organic claims do not damage its reputation.

Export volumes rose nearly one-fifth last year, and demand for Australian organic products continues to outstrip supply both at home and abroad, according to the latest report from industry and certifying group Australian Organic Ltd.

But Australian Organic chairman Andrew Monk said the industry faced two big challenges:

    Fixing chronic shortages of organic grain, which is restricting the growth of cereal markets and the supply of organic pigs, chickens and eggs

    Fighting for tighter labelling laws to ensure only certified products can be sold as organic

"It's the one missing chink in the armour to protect consumers outright in terms of claims for organic," Mr Monk said.

We are "absolutely concerned about greenwashing" and the use of words such as organic, sustainable, natural and free-range by non-certified producers, he said.

Greenwashing is the practice used by companies to make unsubstantiated claims about the origin and the environmental sustainability of their products.
Certified organic producers demand stricter labelling laws

In Australia, companies do not have to be certified to label their products as "organic".
What's in a name?

ABC Rural investigates Australian farmer accreditation for organic, biodynamic, free-range and grass-fed food labels.

The market report said that "two-thirds of organic shoppers rely on the word 'organic' on the product label to assure them it was organic".

However, it said that "an increasing percentage check for a certification logo on the product (44 per cent, up from 34 per cent in 2014)".

Certified producers and processors are concerned that consumers are getting ripped-off and paying premium prices for products that do not meet Australian organic standards.

Jamie Ferguson from the Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Company, a red meat processor in Toowoomba in southern Queensland, wants only certified organic businesses to be able to use the word "organic".

Quentin Kennedy, managing director of Kialla Pure Foods, an organic grain processor south of Toowoomba, agreed that current laws were too weak.

"I think it would be much clearer for the consumer if there were mandatory requirements around the use of the word organic," Mr Kennedy said.

Australian Organic chairman Andrew Monk said the Federal Government has resisted the industry's long-term lobbying to legislate changes to labelling laws.

"I think the challenge is that the [Federal] Government wants to push back on that … claiming that the industry is self-regulating very well and there is no systemic market failure," Mr Monk said.

"Our response to that is there are still parts of the market that are not complying with those requirements and we would like the ACCC to take a more active stance in that space."

Australia accounts for more than half of the world's organic farmland, most of which is used to produce beef and lamb.

Organic sheep and lamb meat exports grew 80 per cent last year, while beef — the largest single export item — declined 14 per cent.

Other sectors showing strong growth were cosmetics, wine and dairy products, while bakery items rose four-fold, with growing demand from South Korea.

North America and East Asia were Australia's largest organic markets, with Hong Kong showing the greatest growth.

Andrew Monk said there was plenty of opportunity for growth, as the red meat sector had shown over the years.

Arcadian Organics began processing 66 organic cattle each fortnight in 2005 and now processes as many as 900 cattle a week.

Sales Manager Jamie Ferguson said the organic market was growing strongly in Asia with young families wanting to buy healthy food for their children and elderly parents.

"Our most innovative new product is around organic and paleo sausages," he said, adding that it was just about to launch a grass-fed organic hot-dog in Australia.
Chronic undersupply of organic grains a big challenge

The added costs of growing grain organically without the use of traditional chemicals and pesticides makes growing grain one of the biggest challenges in the organic industry.

"Ultimately weed management is one of the biggest challenges," Andrew Monk said.

"That can add really considerably to the price, we're talking double, maybe even triple the cost of production (of conventional growers)."

He added: "It had downstream ramifications" for organic pig, chicken and egg producers who need organic grain for feed.

Organic grain miller Quentin Kennedy said the grain industry needed to spend grower levies on research and development of weed control measures to encourage farmers into organics. "Supply has been an issue with us forever," said Mr Kennedy, the owner of Kialla Pure Foods. "We are regularly knocking back export quotes," he said.

His business mills 20 different organic cereal grains for the domestic and export market, but one of the biggest growth areas of his business is providing organic feedstock

SOURCE

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



Thursday, April 20, 2017



ZEG

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is dubious about abolition of the 457 immigrant visa




Landmark case tests pre-nup law in Australia

Feminist-inspired divorce laws are already a large deterrent to marriage.  Living together is now roughly as common as marriage. The ladies complain that their man "won't commit".  He would be most unwise to do so given the legal hazards. If pre-nups are invalidated, that will be a further deterrent

A widow who claims she was made to sign a prenup under "duress" has gone to the High Court over the $11 million estate left behind by her property developer ex-husband.

The woman, a foreigner who cannot be named for legal reasons, received legal advice before her wedding in 2007 that the agreement was "no good" but signed it anyway, The Australian reports. She also signed a second agreement after the wedding against further advice she received.

The High Court agreed to hear the case last month.

The judgment could affect the strength of prenuptial agreements in Australia, as well as what constitutes as "duress".

Four days before her wedding, the widow had been told she must sign the agreement "or the wedding is off", her barrister Matthew Foley has told the court. Her lawyers will also argue she had no bargaining power at this point, given she had "no job, no home, no visa, her parents brought out from (their country)."

According to The Australian, the widow began her fight for the two agreements to be nullified a year after separating from her husband in 2011. He died in 2014 but his two adult children are now continuing the legal fight as the estate's trustees.

Lawyer representing the two children Robert Lethbridge told the court the woman "got the bargain that she indeed wanted".

The couple reportedly met through an online dating website in 2006, when she was 36 and living in her home country overseas and he was a 67-year-old father of three. He was then worth more than $18 million.

They began living together in Australia a year later but six months after she arrived she was asked to sign the agreement. Receiving independent advice, she was told she would be entitled to only $50,000 if they broke up after three years or nothing if they broke up earlier. 

In 2015, Brisbane's Federal Circuit Court ruled that both agreements were signed under duress, citing the woman's lack of financial equality and visa status.

However, this was overturned by the Family Court last year, which found there was no duress given she had received her own legal advice but "went ahead regardless".

The High Court has now been asked to determine principles surrounding such agreements in the appeal by the widow.

SOURCE






'We're putting Australians first': Malcolm Turnbull ABOLISHES 457 visas for foreign workers

Malcolm Turnbull's government is scrapping 457 visas for foreign workers. In a video statement posted on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said the visa would be replaced by a new program.  'Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs,' Mr Turnbull said. 

The 457 program, introduced by John Howard's government in 1996, allowed overseas workers to stay in Australia for up to four years.

Businesses could sponsor 'skilled' foreign workers to come to Australia for work - as long as they couldn't find a citizen or permanent resident to do the job instead.

But Mr Turnbull said the program has 'lost its credibility'. He said his new visa scheme will attract the 'best and brightest' to Australia and target regional skills shortages. 'We're putting Australians first,' he said.

Mr Turnbull's plan involves a short-term two year visa, with the number of available occupations cut from the current list of 200.

His program also includes a longer-term four year visa where workers will need to meet a higher standard of English.

People will need to undergo a criminal record check and show work experience.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the shock decision won't affect current Australian visa holders. 'There will be a grandfathering arrangement. They will continue under the conditions of that visa.'

Political reaction was swift. 'Make no mistake, the only job Malcolm Turnbull cares about saving is his own,' tweeted Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

One Nation senator Pauline Hanson claimed credit for the decision. 'The Government will deny their tough talk on immigration & plan to ban 457 visas is because of One Nation but we all know the truth!,' she said on Twitter.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the visa abolition sounded 'more like a dog whistle than a genuine policy to grow jobs for young Australians.'

The announcement came just weeks before Treasurer Scott Morrison hands down the Federal Budget.

And it comes less than a day after Mr Turnbull's predecessor, Tony Abbott, warned Australians were 'sick of governments that don't deliver

SOURCE 






Shark cull on agenda after WA teenager Laeticia Brouwer's death

Leftist State Govt. putting sharks first

FEDERAL Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has accused WA of not doing enough to protect ocean users from shark attacks.

Mr Frydenberg levelled the claim while repeating his invitation for the WA Government to submit proposals to introduce further shark mitigation measures which would require federal approval.

“I feel the WA government could do a lot more,” Mr Frydenberg told The Australian adding the Commonwealth had already given prompt approval for the use of shark nets in New South Wales.
Family speak out

The reported criticism is an escalation of Mr Frydenberg’s signalling on Wednesday that he would welcome any proposal to keep ocean users safe, including shark culls.

“In light of the recent shark attack, the Commonwealth would welcome any proposal to protect human life first and foremost,” he said.“This could include the newest drum-line technology, shark exclusion nets, culling or other measures which WA sees fit.”

But WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has appeared to dismiss the invitation to take drastic steps such as shark culling, questioning how it would make beaches safer.

Speaking on radio Wednesday morning, Mr Kelly again focused on the State Government’s policy of subsidising personal deterrent devices such as shark shields, claiming the measure would make a “genuine difference”.

He said the policy, under which the Government will set aside $200,000 for $200 rebates, would help drive down the costs of the products by increasing demand.

“The objective of a subsidy in these circumstances is two-fold,” Mr Kelly told 6PR. “By giving these products a subsidy you increase the brand awareness that they’re out there because there are lots of people out there saying they can deter sharks.

“But which ones work?

“If they then get more market awareness and the number of sales increases then, like most things, the price will come down as volumes increase.”

In rejecting Mr Frydenberg’s offer Mr Kelly described it as a “disappointing” media ploy but he would call the Federal Environment Minister to “see what his thoughts are”.

“Even if you accept that there are more great whites in the ocean than there used to be, the question is ‘what do you do about it?’

“I find it quite insulting that anyone could suggest that anyone could put human life below the value of a shark. “That’s just a cheap political line. “I would like to do something that actually makes a difference.

“For the Federal Environment Minister to make those comments to the media I find a little disappointing. “He didn’t ring me. It’s easy to say ‘let’s have a cull’.

“But if you have a cull how many sharks are you going to kill in order to actually make a difference, how are you going to do it, how are you going to pay for it?

“Whether great whites are endangered or not is a decision of the Federal Government. “It’s not a decision for the State Government.”

SOURCE 





New puritanism at work in refusals to show pro-men film

The liberal democratic model doesn’t need a tune-up; it needs a full body overhaul. Increasingly, the university campus — the very place where young minds should be challenged and provoked, where preconceptions should be tested and the notion of intellectual comfort zones should be anathema — is becoming a symbol of the dismal future of liberal traditions.

Warning signs from the US are bad enough. Safe rooms allow young students to escape confronting ideas in the lecture room. Inside lecture halls, students demand trigger alerts for literature that has been taught, without warnings, for hundreds of years. Students revel in their no-platforming to stop even Germaine Greer talking on campus because some of her views don’t comply with campus orthodoxy. Other speakers are drowned out by drums and saucepans and banging sticks to stop them being heard, in front of cameras, with no shame over the illiberal antics. Complaints about cultural appropriation are aimed at authors such as Lionel Shriver, a fiction writer, on the grounds a white woman should stick to her own white story. Where would this leave Shakespeare? On it goes, the push in one direction to shame those who express different views and to shut down debate we once took for granted in a liberal democracy.

The same virus is closing down Australian minds. Last week the University of Sydney Union board withdrew funding to show a documentary called The Red Pill. Young filmmaker Cassie Jaye was researching rape culture when she came upon a website for men’s rights activists. The feminist, who had previously reported on issues such as single motherhood, LGBTI rights and marriage equality, had her own preconceptions challenged. The result is a thought-provoking exploration of issues that confront men, from ­unequal custody outcomes to male suicide rates, from male deaths in the workplace to inequalities in the criminal justice system, from dismal health statistics affecting men and more.

The film takes its title from the red pill reference in The Matrix where the protagonist is given a choice ­between taking the red pill that opens the mind to explor­ation or the blue pill where the story ends. Clearly the USU board chose the blue pill. And why wouldn’t it? It seems Dendy Cinemas may have swallowed a blue pill too, apparently telling organisers last week they were cancelling a screening of the documentary in Sydney’s Newtown theatre. Dendy have gone curiously quiet, perhaps hoping it will fly under the radar.

The most compelling parts of The Red Pill are Jaye’s video diaries where the filmmaker thrashes through the strictures of her own feminist training. Here on film is the opening of a young feminist mind — precisely what most frightens the feminist ideologues and the cultural Marxists. Having lost control of the economic ­debates, the left’s shift into the cultural sphere has been underway for more than four decades. Daily assaults on basic freedoms, such as the freedom to speak, attest to their domination of this sphere.

Parroting the dogma of feminist academics who admit they haven’t seen The Red Pill, the USU board justified its decision by ­arguing the film promotes “sexual violence”. No one who has seen the film could make such a ridiculously dishonest claim. The film does no such thing. It explores ­issues affecting men.

Today’s cultural dietitians seek to control debates by slapping a nasty label on those with different views, repeating it over and over again, regardless of whether it fits. The aim of using vile labels is to strip opponents of credibility and, even better, censor their views.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard labelled her then opponent Tony Abbott a “misogynist” when her own power was under threat, providing zero evidence of such an evil claim. To coin a phrase from Helen Garner’s nuanced look at sex and power in The First Stone, Gillard had a grid labelled “misogyny” and she resolved to apply it to the broadest possible field of male behaviour. The late Bill Leak was labelled a “racist” by critics to delegitimise and shut down his cartoons about dysfunction in some indigenous families. Enlightenment thinker and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali was ­a peddler of “white ­supremacy” for challenging sharia law and demanding a reformation of Islam for the sake of Muslims.

By all means, review Jaye’s documentary. Critique it, pan it if that’s your view after seeing it. But banning it is another chapter in the left’s cultural strangulation of liberal values.

This is a return to another era when puritanical ­hysteria banned DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Back then the objection was to words deemed too rude to publish. The modern puritans treat different views as rude enough to censor. Opposing views have become the newest taboo. Sydney University screened The Hunting Ground documentary about sexual assault of women on American campuses, even though 19 Harvard professors challenged some of its claims. The same university refuses to finance the airing of a documentary raising serious issues afflicting men.

The same pusillanimity was on show last year when The Palace Kino cinema in Melbourne banned The Red Pill, making Australia the first country in the world where it was banned. That move led Ultima Function Centre manager and businessman Nick Georgiades to show the film. ­Online protests ­attacked his business, a death threat was made against him, yet Georgiades aired the film, pointing out that those trying to shut down the film were “proving the very point the director is trying to make”.

I’m ashamed to say that before seeing The Red Pill, I wondered whether the documentary was ­really one for me. But as the ­mother of a teenage boy on the cusp of manhood, I should have been more curious. This is a brilliant documentary that touches on so many issues that may one day confront our sons. Too many of us think we know enough, or at least we are comfortable with what we already know about certain issues. Worse, the USU decision shows stubborn and ideological blindness to information that challenges preconcieved positions. The consequences of the closing of young minds won’t be healthy, given that this generation will shape society in a few short years, which is why fighting against every episode of censorship is a worthy battle.

The Red Pill, with the help of an organisation called Fan Force, will be screened across Australia if enough people sign up on its website to see it. And why shouldn’t we be curious to learn about Jaye’s journey to a more open mind? Why shouldn’t we explore the pressures on boys and men, consider their vulnerabilities and ask how they are faring in a world where women’s issues attract most of the attention? What on earth are we afraid of?

SOURCE 





Brakes put on young hoons with new laws to crack down on motorists evading police

A CRACKDOWN on drivers who evade police will target youth offenders with plans to treat them as adults before the courts.

The State Government will urgently table the legislation this week, labelling the problem — set to balloon to 1700 police evades this year — an “epidemic”.

The new laws come 14 months after the tragic death of Sarah Paino, who was pregnant when her car was struck by a youth driving a stolen car and evading police. Despite Ms Paino’s death, surgeons miraculously delivered her 32-week-term baby.

Police Minister Rene Hidding admitted being “deeply, deeply affected” by the crime.

“As a Police Minister who got the phone call in the middle of the night as to what took place … that’s clearly in our minds,” he said.

“But it’s not safe to keep that in the front of your mind. When you’re forming legislation, you have got to deal with every particular circumstance.”

Mr Hidding also signalled potential changes to youth bail provisions which were “a factor” in Ms Paino’s case.

“What happens now, particularly younger people in fact, drive around in a car often stolen trying to bait police into chasing them because they enjoy the notoriety of getting away,” he said.

“The message to anyone: ‘When the blue light goes on, you’ve got a choice between the accelerator and the brake. You choose the accelerator and you’re going to be in a world of hurt’.”

The new legislation hits offenders with minimum jail time, fines of up to $38,500, vehicle seizures and gives police greater powers to arrest drivers up to a month after they evade cops.

It will also amend the Youth Justice Act to include evading police as an offence for which a youth may be dealt with as an adult.

Causing injury to others while trying to flee police would attract a stiffer penalty.

Police chiefs backed the changes while the union has given in-principle support.

“Things are happening and hopefully the community will be a safer place at the end of the day,” Police Association of Tasmania president Pat Allen said.

But the crackdown has drawn criticism from the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

“These reforms are inconsistent with fundamental human rights,” alliance president Henry Pill said.

“The situation of young people involved in the justice system is often complex and it is vital that they have access to a system which recognises that.”

SOURCE

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



Wednesday, April 19, 2017



ZEG

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is celebrating the demise of the "Safe Schools" program in NSW




Homosexual promotion project to lose Tasmania funding too

Following NSW

Tasmania will scrap support for the contentious Safe Schools program, opting to focus on a comprehensive anti-bullying scheme for the schoolyard.

Tasmania’s Education and Training Minister Jeremy Rockliff has confirmed that his government would not fund the program — which has so far been adopted by 22 Tasmanian schools — once federal funding stops mid-year.

“The Tasmanian government is committed to providing a safe and inclusive school environment to support student learning and wellbeing, which is why we have invested $3 million over four years as part of the Combating Bullying budget initiative,” Mr Rockliff said.

“It is up to each Tasmanian school to make their own decisions about the programs used in their school, and government schools are encouraged to use the Department of Education’s own program.

“Given the significant investment in our own anti-bullying ­initiative, the state government has no plans to take over funding for the federal program.”

Tasmania’s defection follows the weekend’s announcement from NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes that his government would introduce a broader anti-bullying scheme to replace Safe Schools, leaving support for the La Trobe University-developed program resting largely with the Labor-governed states.

Financial support for Safe Schools was a key part of West Australian Labor’s successful election campaign last month, while a spokeswoman for Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones said yesterday that there were no plans to ditch the program.

In South Australia, the government is weighing up whether to take over funding the program, in much the same way the Victorian Labor government has done.

“We see value in having a specific program to support schools to tackle bullying against LGBTI ­students,” said a spokeswoman for the SA Department of Education and Child Development. “We expect to make an ­announcement shortly about the future of the safe schools program.”

While Victoria has committed more than $2m to roll out the program to all state schools by the end of 2018, questions are being asked about the level of its commitment following the decision to sever ties with La Trobe and run Safe Schools directly from its own Education Department.

Previously vocal supporters of the program Premier Daniel ­Andrews and Education Minister James Merlino have lately left the job of defending it to departmental staff and media advisers. And following widespread criticism over Safe School’s promotion of contested gender ideology and sexual politics, the department has taken to describing the program as a “pledge” or a “policy” to create a safe and inclusive environment, with schools having discretion over how “this commitment is ­realised”.

Victoria’s opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling said it was time for Mr Andrews to “admit he got it wrong on this discredited program”.

He said the Liberal Party would scrap the program if elected and ­replace it with a program “that teaches kids the importance of ­respecting people of all appear­ances, sexuality, gender, religion and ethnicity”.

“Daniel Andrews is very naive if he thinks school bullying is only confined to sexuality and doesn’t include appearance, religion, ­ethnicity or gender,” Mr Wakeling said.

A spokeswoman for Safe Schools Coalition Australia, which is convened by the Foundation for Young Australians, declined to comment on the NSW decision, other than to say the organisation ­remained committed to supporting LGBTI young people.

SOURCE





Shark attack: conservation policies value sharks over human life

Our insane shark-conservation policies have cost another life, this time a 17-year-old girl who was attacked in front of her parents and siblings.

I would like to say that this incident will be the turning point in this debate, that our politicians will finally realise we need to reduce the increasing number of aggressive, lethal sharks in our waters, but this is unlikely.

The forces against such action are deeply entrenched in all our major organisations. For example, Surf Life Saving Western Australia, where yesterday’s attack occurred, recommends six responses to sharks: research, education, surveillance, communication, preventive action (“shark barriers”, which can be built only in placid waters) and emergency response. It does not recommend the reduction of sharks, despite many fishermen in the state saying the size and abundance of large sharks, especially great whites, off WA are alarmingly high.

Researchers and academics whose careers depend upon continued funding into the behaviour and fragility of these “apex predators” long ago convinced politicians and large sections of the community that to reduce the number of sharks in our waters would be an ecological disaster.

So a teenage kid, doing what Aussie teenagers have done for more than a century, has died instead. She won’t be the last.

The Senate’s environment committee, chaired by Green Tasmanian Peter Whish-Wilson, will coincidentally hold public hearings into shark mitigation strategies in Perth on Thursday. If, when the hearings begin, the committee expresses sympathy for the latest victim’s family, it will be an act of breathtaking hypocrisy.

As reported in The Australian this month, the committee has already reached a conclusion that its job is to help revive the number of sharks in our waters, downplay the dangers they pose, dismiss methods that have proven successful in Queensland and Sydney, and educate the public about these “wonderful” and “extraordinary” animals.

Its priority is the safety of sharks first, people second.

Of the six people invited to the Perth hearings, two are conservationist academics (UWA professors Shaun Collin and Rebecca Meeuwig); one is selling an unreliable personal electronic deterrent (Shark Shield); one advocates the immediate abandonment of drumlins and nets in Queensland, the presence of which has coincided with an almost complete absence of fatal attacks for 50 years (Sea Shepherd); and another is SLSWA, whose timid six-point plan is outlined above.

The committee’s hearing in Sydney last month repeatedly heard witnesses say that surfers and other ocean users must accept the risk of entering the water. Even surfers are spouting this line these days.

“Real surfers understand that sharks are extraordinary beasts and that we are in their environment,” Surfrider Foundation representative Brendan Donohoe, from Sydney’s North Narrabeen beach, told the committee during its Sydney hearings last month.

Whish-Wilson jokingly responded: “I would be more scared of the locals at North Narrabeen than I would be of sharks.”

Mr Donohoe also told the committee that “there are a lot of morons around”, by which he meant there were many people who blamed governments for the shark crisis currently affecting Australia. “The idea that it is someone else’s fault is astounding to me. Everyone knows the risk, and the risk is not statistically lessened by anything we do.”

Committee member Lee Rhiannon responded by saying: “Thanks very much. It is a really interesting discussion.”

Rhiannon’s concern was not reducing the increasing number of aggressive sharks in our waters, but making surfers “alert to the environment”.

This is another example of how dramatically this debate has shifted towards shark, not human, safety. Originally, the opposite was the case.

In 2000, the CSIRO’s chief great white researcher, Barry Bruce, told the ABC he was conducting research that hopefully would “predict the areas where encounters… are more common and understand more about their populations”.

He said something similar in 2006, that his research might predict “where sharks are likely to be” so resources for “looking after people” could be “better targeted”.

Researchers, including Bruce himself, last year conceded that such predictions are impossible. A report for the WA Department of Fisheries, co-authored by Bruce after conducting one of the biggest shark tagging and tracking projects in history, found that great white behaviour is “highly variable” and “not consistent”.

Similarly, Bruce’s counterpart in NSW, the Department of Primary Industries’ Vic Peddemors, compared shark movements to a dropped bag of marbles - “they go everywhere”.

The focus among researchers and politicians now is to find ways that minimise attacks without killing sharks or other marine creatures. Many of these methods are astonishingly expensive and mostly unproven.

All this research and inquiry has achieved little for beach safety. Meanwhile, Australia’s international reputation as a great coastal tourist destination is dying. So too are our formerly happy coastal surfing towns.

It would be encouraging if the Senate committee shifted its focus towards reducing the number of sharks off our waters, but the signs suggest this is extremely unlikely.

SOURCE






Leftist leader's stance on new coalmine doesn’t stack up

Just because you’re spending other people’s money doesn’t ­excuse you from making choices.

Should the government lend $900 million to help lay 189km of heavy rail track in central Queensland capable of transporting 60 million tonnes of premium thermal coal a year?

Or would it be better to splash out on a 12km tram line to convey beret-clad Canberrans between coffee shops on Northbourne ­Avenue?

The carbon fearmongerers are implacably opposed to the first ­option but are crazy about the Gungahlin tram, a green vanity project adopted by the ACT Labor government that will fleece an ­estimated $937m from taxpayers during its lifetime.

It is the type of project that ticks all the boxes for the modern Labor Party, satisfying the romantic yearnings of its progressive base and the anti-competitive tendencies of its union sponsors. Construction work on Capital Metro is effectively a Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union closed shop — inflated pay packets, fanciful allowances and abundant rostered days off.

Fixed point-to-point transport projects are unlikely to “stack up”, as Bill Shorten would put it, in a city with a population 12 times smaller than Melbourne and one of the highest car ownership rates in the country.

Even on the most optimistic ­assumptions the line is expected to generate less than $340,000 a month in revenue across its first 20 years, meaning that for every dollar a passenger pays, the taxpayer will be throwing in a tenner.

If there were a prize for egregious public investment, the Gungahlin tram, cruising at a stately 29km/h across broad acres of Canberra’s median strips, would be hard to beat.

Enter Shorten, the leader of what was once called the workers’ party, who raves about public transport but is unsure if the business case for the Adani Carmichael line “stacks up”. “I am not convinced the taxpayer of Australia should underwrite the risk of the project through a billion-­dollar loan,” he told reporters in Brisbane last week.

Shorten’s decision to align himself with the fanciful claims of the fruitcake fringe and against the interests of private industry is a seminal moment for the ALP.

Labor’s ideological journey from a socialist party that merely wanted to take over the means of production to a deep green party that wants to close down the whole lot is complete.

Construction of the Carmichael mine would boost sluggish ­regional economies from Gladstone to Townsville, lifting wages and employment. A concessional government loan for the rail link would mean that up to five more mines might follow.

Yet Shorten is content to let the green reactionaries triumph and leave the Galilee Basin coal ­reserves untouched. The interests of the workers are sacrificed for environmental populism.

Labor’s flirtation with the green movement began in the early 1980s when Bob Hawke ­decided to stand with Bob Brown in opposing the Franklin Dam. It was a popular move on the mainland, where Hawke won the 1983 election with a 4 per cent swing. There was a 4 per cent swing against Labor in Tasmania, however, where the dam meant pro­gress and jobs.

Hawke’s finance minister, Peter Walsh, warned that no good would come from trying to satisfy the insatiable demands of ecological activists. Labor, he wrote in his memoir, had knowingly put Tasmanian blue-collar workers out of work “to appease the bourgeois left and middle-class trendoids in the gentrified suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne”.

What Walsh and others did not predict was that the workers would eventually be squeezed out by the middle-class trendoids, just as they were squeezed out from the workers’ cottages in inner-Sydney Chippendale.

Nor could anyone have foreseen in 1983 that the kayak-paddling nature lovers blockading the Franklin would spawn a protest industry with a nine-figure turnover, or that demonisation of dams would be eclipsed by the ­demonisation of coal, a combustible sedimentary rock that gave us modernity.

By the mid-1980s, the green movement, radicalised by its own success, was congratulating itself on locking away every hectare of untamed wilderness and was looking for new targets for its righteous anger.

The marginal, drought-prone pastures of the Galilee Basin ­became a cause worth fighting for once the Greens had succeeded in portraying coal as public enemy No 1.

The anti-coal campaigners met their match in Gautam Adani, a university dropout from India’s Gujarat state who set up his own diamond brokerage at 20 and traded his way to become a multi-billionaire.

The Adani Group’s stubborn refusal to let green spoiling tactics stop its plan to open Australia’s largest coalmine makes its tenacious chairman a true Aussie hero.

There is far more at stake in this fight than the fate of one coalmine, just as more rested on the Franklin campaign than the ­future of one dam. It is a test of strength between ideology and pragmatism, a choice between deep-green dogma and progress.

If the environmentalists were to win this fight it would put an ­effective moratorium on the ­expansion of coal for the next 30 years, just as Franklin put a stop to large-scale water storage.

By ­refusing to offer material support to the project, Shorten, on behalf of Labor, has effectively thrown in the towel. He presumes to know better than private sector ­investors prepared to risk billions of dollars of their own capital in the project by declaring that the project doesn’t stack up.

He is prepared to fight Malcolm Turnbull over the allocation of money from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility, controlled by an independent board charged with offering concessional loans to projects that pass a public interest test on which they can reasonably expect a return.

In his 2016 book, For the Common Good, Shorten dismissed the future of thermal coal and instead declared his ambition to make Australia a “clean energy superpower”. The growth in mining ­exports is fading, he declared. ­Renewable energy is “the biggest business opportunity in the history of business”, and Labor, in time, will be shown to be “on the right the side of history”.

Now that Shorten has revealed his intention to put the kybosh on Adani, the portent of his extravagant rhetoric is a little less opaque.

SOURCE






Two Vic cops in court on assault, perjury

Two Victoria Police officers who allegedly assaulted a pair of teens and lied about it are expected to front court in Melbourne.

Senior Constables Simon Mareangareu and Dennis Gundrill face charges of assault, false imprisonment, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice over an altercation involving two teenage boys near a Vermont convenience store on Christmas Day 2014.

The pair are expected in Melbourne Magistrates' Court for a committal hearing on Tuesday.

Court documents allege the officers deleted a video and audio recording from a mobile phone belonging to one of the teens, made a false statement and compiled false evidence against the teenage boys.

Among seven witnesses listed to testify is the father of one of the boys.

Mareangareu, 52, and Gundrill, 58, were initially charged with assault, but conversations between the OPP and Professional Standards Command found it would also be appropriate to lay other charges, police have previously said.

SOURCE

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