Monday, June 26, 2017






ZEG

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is trying to figure out how the Greens will cope with the anti-terror bollards springing up in Sydney and elsewhere





Greens report Lee Rhiannon over education deal

Rhiannon is a nasty old Trot (revolutionary communist) from way back so is a cuckoo in the nest of the Greens.  What she was opposing was that school funding be "needs-based", something Leftists would normally support.  So it was just anti-government bloody-mindedness behind the opposition from the Green/Left



GREENS senator Lee Rhiannon has hit back after a letter signed by her colleagues complaining about her behaviour was made public.

All members of the Greens federal parliamentary party, including leader Richard Di Natale, have reportedly signed a formal complaint against NSW senator Lee Rhiannon.

Fairfax Media says the nine have sent the letter to the Greens national council, accusing Senator Rhiannon of attempting to derail them over the Gonski schools funding negotiations after she distributed a leaflet against the deal.

The material was dropped in letterboxes in Sydney’s inner-west this week as the Turnbull government finalised its negotiations on the overhaul of school funding.

“We were astounded that Senator Rhiannon was engaged with its production and distribution without informing (the) Party Room at a time when we were under enormous pressure from all sides as we considered our position on the (school funding) bill,” Fairfax quoted the letter as saying.

The senators said the material clearly had the potential to damage negotiations about securing “billions of dollars of additional funding for underfunded public schools”.

A spokesman for Senator Di Natale told AAP the party room would meet “shortly” to discuss the matter. “We’re extremely disappointed that the letter was made public,” he said.

The leaflet, a copy of which was posted on Twitter, urged residents to call senators and demand they “take a stand for public education”.

Senator Rhiannon hit back on Sunday, insisting at all times her actions on education have been faithful to Greens policy and process.

“My work did not impact on the Greens negotiations with the government,” she said in a statement. “It was the Turnbull government’s decision to do a deal with the crossbench senators that killed off negotiations with the Greens. I had no role in that.”

The leaflets she authorised were a “good initiative” of Greens local groups and highlighted the negative impact the Turnbull government’s plan would have on their public schools, she said.

“I was proud to stand with branches of the Australian Education Union, particularly as the Turnbull school funding plan favoured private schools.”

A spokesman for Senator Di Natale told AAP on Saturday the party was extremely disappointed that the letter was made public.

It broke down “proposed funding cuts” to local public schools and stated that the party remained committed to the full, original Gonski plan.

The government threw an extra $5 billion into the plan to win over the crossbench, taking the package to $23.5 billion over the next decade.

Labor and the Greens voted against the package, but the government secured the 10 crucial crossbench votes needed to get its funding shake-up over the line.

The Gonski 2.0 package will ensure underfunded schools reach funding targets in six years instead of 10 — an amendment Labor and the Greens supported on Thursday night.

SOURCE




School funding package passes Senate, as Coalition takes big win

He's very low-key but Turnbull does get a lot through a very difficult Senate

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said attention must now turn to improving student outcomes after his Government's landmark $23.5 billion funding package passed the Senate.

After a marathon debate extending into the early hours of this morning, the Gonski 2.0 plan passed with the support of Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party, the Nick Xenophon Team and crossbench Senators Derryn Hinch, Jacqui Lambie and Lucy Gichuhi 34 votes to 31.

While the Coalition was quietly confident it had the numbers, it had been on tenterhooks waiting for the final vote.

Mr Turnbull said this morning that the vote was "an outstanding result for Australian schools, students and parents".

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the deal would deliver about $2,300 per student to schools in the next few years.

"That's really critical because it flows fastest into the schools who need it most, delivering fairer funding for all Australians according to the Gonski needs-based principles," he said.

Labor, the unions and the Catholic education sector spent much of yesterday trying furiously to sway Senator Lambie's vote but she made it clear to the chamber that she "strongly supported the legislation and would not be persuaded otherwise".

Lower House MPs were recalled to approve the amended bill and those on the Coalition side clapped, cheered and whistled as Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne hailed the passage of "the most significant reform to school education in Australia's history".

How 'Gonski 2.0' will affect schools

The Government's proposed needs-based system will benefit some schools more than others.

The changes will replace the 27 separate school funding deals with different states and sectors, with a nationally consistent, needs-based funding model.

In a bid to win over the crossbench, Senator Birmingham agreed to spend an extra $5 billion, on top of the additional $18.6 already announced, rolling out the funding over six years instead of 10.

This morning, Mr Turnbull acknowledged his Government would need to find an extra $1.5 billion to pay for that concession over the forward estimates.

The Government also agreed to set up an independent body to monitor the way the money was spent.

While Labor remained firmly opposed to the plan, the Greens had been on the verge of supporting it and heavily influenced the compromises Senator Birmingham eventually made.

But once the Coalition secured the 10 crossbench votes it needed, the Greens announced they would oppose the package, citing "special" transitional arrangements put in place for Catholic schools.

With their votes no longer critical to determining the fate of the bill, intense internal pressures were instantly relieved.

The party was in fact on the verge of splitting, with the NSW Greens heaping pressure on Senator Lee Rhiannon to vote against the Bill even though the party's leader Richard Di Natale and Sarah Hanson-Young wanted to back it.

School funding wars continue

In settling on the needs-based funding model, the biggest loser was the Catholic school system, which says it will be billions of dollars worse off.

Public schools catering to special needs will also be winners in the new education deal. For Giant Steps and 26 other independent special schools like it, raw numbers tell the story.

The National Catholic Education Commission believes there has been a breach of faith by the Government because it claims it was not properly consulted about the changes.

It has vowed to campaign against the Coalition all the way to the next election and, in a foretaste of that, it launched a robo-call campaign in four marginal Liberal seats in Victoria.

But the win is important for the Coalition on a number of fronts, not least because it shows it can govern with the fractious Senate that it had a hand in delivering with the 2016 double dissolution election.

The Government will argue its education plan is both good policy and good politics; delivering funding to the schools that need it most, while helping to settle education as an issue.

Labor has promised to continue campaigning on education and will have strong allies in the Catholic Education Commission and Australian Education Union.

But the Coalition is hoping their arguments may lose some of their bite once the money begins to flow to state schools.

SOURCE





The Leftist obsession with group identity

They categorize people relentlessly and mercilesly, apparently because dealing with individuals constructively is too hard for them

Clementine Ford, a columnist at Fairfax newspapers, proudly reminded a live television audience this week that she had called News Corp columnist Miranda Devine a c.... It was a trademark shock moment from her; all heat, no light.

Her original term actually was “f..king c...” and it was just one of a string of obscenities she has hurled in public debate before being in­vited, again, to join an ABC debate. Ford has slighted Iranian-born commentator Rita Panahi with a racist barb: “No matter how hard she tries, she’ll never be a white man.” None of this seems to disqualify her as yet another spokeswoman for the left.

Our public debate is becoming increasingly coarsened and superficial and, as I argued last week, this is partly because digital splintering of media is shrinking the shared public square. What few are prepared to point out, perhaps for fear of sounding plaintive, is that the poor standards and green-left jaundice of the media/political class are also largely to blame.

Abuse, vulgarity and ad hominem attacks have become standard weapons of the so-called progressives. Such transgressions are not unheard of from the right, of course, especially the hard right, but in mainstream political debate, the aggression comes primarily from the left.

This tendency also leaves many on the left with a blind spot for transgressions against conservatives. ABC radio host Jonathan Green tweeted this week that “there may well be a moment (soon?) when the hate and anger licensed by social media and fanned by politics will play out in physical reality”. Staggeringly, he shared this thought days after conservative commentator Andrew Bolt was attacked by leftist activists on a city footpath. Just a week earlier, near Washington, DC, a gunman who hated Donald Trump asked whether the politicians he was watching train for a charity baseball match were Republicans before he opened fire on them. We can only presume these examples of “hate and anger” that did “play out in a physical reality” escaped Green’s attention because they didn’t fit the narrative he had in mind.

Since Trump’s victory sent the left into a funk we have seen pop star Madonna cheered for proclaiming she thought about blowing up the White House, comedian Kathy Griffin pose Khaled Sharrouf-like with Trump’s decapitated head, theatre­goers in New York treated to Trump being stabbed to death in lieu of Julius Caesar and actor Johnny Depp applauded for joking about assassinating the President. We can only imagine the reaction of the media/political class if such monstrous contributions to public debate had targeted Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Back on our shores, CFMEU Victoria boss John Setka, told a rally his union would track down government officials charged with enforcing workplace laws and harass them so that they “will not be able to show their faces anywhere” and “their kids will be ashamed” of them. He has attracted less condemnation from the commentariat than Tony Abbott did for not noticing some cranky pensioners with a “ditch the witch” placard a few years ago.

And they wonder about the “shy Tory” factor. This is the tendency of conservative voters not to declare their allegiance or inclination in surveys or public forums, thereby leaving pollsters and pundits exposed when elections show higher than expected conservative votes. We saw the latest example just this week when, in a by-election seen as a referendum on Trump’s presidency, Republican candidate Karen Handel delivered a victory that disrupted the accepted media narrative of Trump’s premature demise.

Anybody who tries to argue publicly for, say, tough border protection or cuts in government spending knows these are not easy rows to hoe, no matter their merits or broad support.

People arguing so-called progressive cases tend to be aggressive and personal. To disagree with them, apparently, is to cede moral authority. Why risk abuse for defending the integrity of our immigration system when you can just nod your head and deal with it in the privacy of the polling booth?

Most people tend to go with the flow, accept the generally left media narrative and take the path of least resistance, at least publicly. Pointing out the futile self-harm of our emissions reduction targets or saying Clinton was the appalling candidate that gave Trump his chance will ruin the dinner party consensus and have people switching to less divisive topics such as State of Origin deciders.

The flip side of this socialised conservative timidity is that it shelters the left from robust debate. Whether they are at a barbecue or on ABC’s Q&A, they are surrounded by affirmation.

Unpractised as they are in civil debate and basking as they do in their moral superiority, they seem to feel entitled to attack the character of anyone who disagrees with them. And surrounded by agreeable peers, they are seldom pulled up for their ad hominem indulgences. Imagine, for instance, if Bolt or Sky News’s Paul Murray denounced a feminist commentator as a c... — they certainly wouldn’t be inundated with requests to appear on the ABC.

It is this double standard, this sheltering from personal responsibility and public accountability that helps to cheapen and degrade public debate. There should not be different rules depending on what side you are on.

When activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied spoke at the Australian National Univer­sity this week, rather than engage in debate about her political posturing over Anzac Day she assumed victim status and blamed media and political organisations. “Those sorts of power, those institutions of power are geared against people like me,” she said, “because they see votes in it and because fear is so much easier to sell.”

It was a lazy effort, as it was when she suggested our parliamentary democracy “doesn’t represent anyone” yet rejected the idea she should give it a go. “You know how to get to office,” Abdel-Magied said. “I have to go to preselection, which works really well, and I have to go through all these other systems which for women and for people of colour are actually biased.” What a cop-out.

Also this week, Australian Press Council chairman David Weisbrot resigned because he couldn’t stomach the controversy over appointing a GetUp! campaigner as a member. Rather than fix the mistake (GetUp! is an activist group that is the antithesis of what journalism aspires to be) Weisbrot exited the stage. Is it real­ly that hard to stand up to self-serving arguments from the left?

Ford’s crassness, Abdel-Magied’s laziness, Green’s myopia and Weisbrot’s cowardice should not cut it in public debate. But when are they corrected or contested except in a column such as this, pricking their bubble from another universe? Too much of the debate is caught up in identity. Ford and Abdel-Magied promote themselves almost entirely on who or what they are rather than on the power of any ideas or arguments they may proffer. Green is one of a breed of middle-aged white men who win plaudits from the green left for their sense of shame or self-loathing. “Our political leaders must surely have some sense of this country’s deep, and growing, incapacity to service its sense of self,” writes Green. We don’t know exactly what he means but we know it is supposed to be bad.

So debate is characterised by echo chambers on the left and right, diminishing quality of conversation in the mainstream clearance houses, moral superiority feeding personal aggression from the left and a resort to profanity over plain speaking. We are in an age where people are retreating from those things that connect us and create a sense of community; fewer join churches or other community groups, increasingly we shun mainstream media, and the memberships of major political parties are in decline.

The growing tendency is to target a foe by virtue of their presumed identity — male or female, gay or straight, black or while, Muslim or Christian, left or right — and give them both barrels. We need to do better.

SOURCE






Nice work for a Greenie

QUESTION: Where can you get a job where you only have to turn up to the office one day a week and don’t have to produce any tangible work?

Answer: The Greens.

That is the extraordinary claim at the heart of a court case where a top former Greens officer is suing the progressive pro-worker party for sacking her and withholding her entitlements after she raised concerns about another senior official who didn’t appear to do anything.

Apparently, according to a sensational legal claim obtained by news.com.au, not doing anything in the Greens can get you a promotion and a shot at parliament.

In a statement of claim filed in the NSW Supreme Court, former NSW Greens executive officer Carole Medcalf says she was hired in 2014 to “professionalise” the party’s management and “introduce policies of corporate governance”.

However she says her position became untenable after she raised concerns about Planning and Environmental Law Officer James Ryan, who was later promoted to campaign coordinator.

Ms Medcalf claims she was terminated so that Mr Ryan and NSW Greens co-convenor Hall Greenland could spend the party’s taxpayer-funded election monies without proper scrutiny – something the party denies.

She said both her and the Greens agreed that she would leave with a termination payment of over $90,000 only to have the party later accuse her of “serious misconduct” and withhold the payment. She is now suing the party for wrongful dismissal as well as aggravated damages to express the court’s “disgust”.
Former Greens executive officer Carole Medcalf is suing the party for wrongful dismissal.

Former Greens executive officer Carole Medcalf is suing the party for wrongful dismissal.Source:News Limited

In a statement of claim tendered to the NSW Supreme Court — largely disputed by the Greens — Ms Medcalf said Mr Ryan worked only three days a week, including two days from home.

He was supposed to produce monthly performance reports on what he actually did, but did not produce any, the claim alleges. Nor did he produce any “reports, memoranda, notes or other documents” to demonstrate any of his work.

However the Greens deny that Mr Ryan’s work was inadequate or that he failed to properly report to Ms Medcalf.

Comment has been sought from Mr Ryan.

In late 2015 Mr Ryan was promoted to “Campaign Coordinator” for NSW ahead of the 2016 federal election, at which the Greens Senate vote in NSW went slightly backwards and where they failed to win any lower house seats.

In her statement of claim, Ms Medcalf says Mr Ryan “failed to properly manage his role and the activities of those beneath him … adequately, or at all” and would tell staff he had delegated other tasks and functions “when he had not done so”.

And when he was made campaign coordinator, Ms Medcalf had deemed it unnecessary to fill his previous position because Mr Ryan had not actually done anything in it.

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, June 25, 2017



ZEG

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is horrified at Canada's now speech crime laws





Bar gets raised for terror sentencing
   
The Victorian judiciary condemned as "contempt of court" criticism by politicians of their light sentencing for Jihadis. From the report below it looks like they now have contempt for their own past sentencing practices! One for the politicians, I think


The sentencing landscape for terrorism offences across the country has been transformed after Victoria’s top judges yesterday signalled a tough new direction more in line with NSW by ­imposing longer sentences on two would-be jihadis.

The significant shift was heralded in two Court of Appeal judgments delivered yesterday that overturned and condemned initial prison terms given to the two men last year as being out of step with community expectations.

Eminent legal figures said the judgments showed a clear shift in emphasis towards protecting the community through tougher sentencing ahead of considering ­offenders’ personal circumstances, including rehabilitation prospects.

Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, with judges Mark Weinberg and Stephen Kaye, found the original sentences for Sevdet Besim and a teenager known as MHK were manifestly inadequate and increased them both by four years.

In separate terror plots, Besim had planned to publicly behead a police officer on Anzac Day while MHK was building a pressure-cooker bomb in his bedroom with plans to explode it at a Mother’s Day event.

The decisions will significantly realign the sentencing guidelines for terror sentences in Vic­toria, which are closely examined by judges in other states, and comes amid plans for a review of the country’s counter-terrorism laws in the wake of the Brighton attack this month.

Highlighting the shift, the judges yesterday noted the revised sentences for Besim and MHK were harsher than those imposed on Abdul Nacer Benbrika’s conspirators in 2009 for plotting terrorist attacks with mass casualties including at the MCG and Melbourne’s Crown cas­ino. “Those sentences may have been regarded as within range at that time,” the judges said. “However, having regard to the scourge of modern terrorism, and the development of more ­recent sentencing principles in this area, they seem to us to have been unduly lenient. No such sentences would have been imposed today.”

Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula welcomed the judgments, declaring a tougher regime appeared to be in place.

Former NSW prosecutor John Anderson, now an associate professor at the University of Newcastle law school, said the Victorian judgments showed a change in direction in favour of community protection. “We are moving towards probably a much tougher approach to terrorism sentencing,” he said. “It looks to me like from these judgments there has been a shift maybe that’s been influenced by what’s going on more broadly in the world.”

Former NSW Supreme Court judge Anthony Whealy QC said community protection had not been overlooked in Victoria but rather “not sufficiently emphasised” compared with NSW. “I think in the past Victorian sentences have tended to emphasise the hope of rehabilitation for people involved in terrorism ­offences,” Mr Whealy said.

MHK was initially sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment with a five-year non-parole period after he began building the pressure-cooker bomb in his bedroom with instructions from an al-Qa’ida propaganda magazine. The 19-year-old has been resentenced to serve 11 years, with an eight-year, three-month non-parole period. Besim, 20, had received a 10-year sentence, with a 7½-year non-parole period for the Anzac Day plot. He has been resentenced to 14 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 10½ years.

“The sentence did not accord with community expectations, and did not meet the requirements set out by various intermediate ­appellate courts throughout this country as to the principles that govern sentencing for terrorism offences,” the judges said in Besim’s case. “The aggravating factors present in this case, including the fact that a police officer was targeted for beheading, that the killing was to take place publicly, and on Anzac Day, and the respondent’s willingness to kill other innocent civilians if at all possible, made this an extremely serious ­example of a terrorist offence. The principles of general deterrence and protection of the community must be given substantial, if not primary, weight.”

The court’s decisions came after hearings this month in which Chief Justice Warren and her ­colleagues noted a sentencing ­disparity between NSW and Victoria on terrorism offences, describing it as a problem that needed to be resolved. An ABC report of the hearings contained comments by the judges that prompted federal ministers Greg Hunt, Michael Sukkar and Alan Tudge to accuse the bench of ­“endorsing and embracing” shorter sentences for terror offences as part of “ideological experiments’’.

Those comments and others attacking the judges as “hard-left activists’’ who were “divorced from reality’’, reported in The Australian, have since been withdrawn by the ministers, who yesterday sent an unreserved apology to the court. Lawyers acting on behalf of The Australian have also apologised for publication of the article.

A full transcript of the appeal hearings, released this week, shows the judges were acutely aware of the sentencing disparity and concerned by it.

“We’re dealing here with commonwealth legislation, commonwealth ­offending, and we are dealing with behaviour in which there is a national interest,” Chief Justice Warren said at the time, highlighting the need for consistency between states.

Justice Weinberg said a terrorist act in NSW could attract a sentence of 20 to 25 years but under 10 years in Victoria. “We have an ­apparent and obvious disparity, it seems to me, in the way that we’ve approached these cases,” he said. “There is a problem.”

SOURCE






Great white shark debate: Lifting protection hinges on scientific population finding

The Liberal Party federal council has unanimously moved to lift protection of great white sharks if the CSIRO’s forthcoming population study finds the species is no longer endangered.

The council is the party’s highest forum for debating policy. More than 100 delegates, including MPs, voted for the motion, proposed by Anthony Spagnolo, WA Liberal Party vice-president.

The motion said the “federal government should remove the white shark as a vulnerable and threatened species from the EPBC Act should the finding of the CSIRO study prove that the species is no longer endangered.”

Speaking from the council meeting in Sydney, WA senator Linda Reynolds told The Australian the vote “reinforces that there are other opinions than those held by environmentalists”.

“It starkly illustrates the divide between the far left and mainstream Australia, who think human life always comes first,” Senator Reynolds said.

She said that relying on the CSIRO was “unequivocally the right course of action”.

“We want to base any future measures on scientific evidence, not emotional rhetoric.”

Last week, former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott told The Australian that lifting protection and restarting commercial shark fishing would “ensure that we have a stronger economy and a safer society”.

“They’ve been protected now for 20 odd years. Every fisherman knows the numbers are exploding. They are not an endangered species.”

Federal Environment minister Josh Frydenberg this month said he expected the CSIRO population study to be delivered this year.

South Australian Liberal MP Nicolle Flint said it was time to start protecting Australians.

“We must protect our swimmers and surfers and hard-working Australians like abalone divers from being attacked or killed by sharks,” she said.

“In an era when rates of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are at an all-time high, we should be encouraging more, not less, people to be active. This means keeping them safe from shark attacks along our coastline.

“I strongly support the Liberal Party’s Federal Council Motion today moved by the WA Division. We need evidence-based decision making and management of great white shark populations.”

SOURCE





'Teachers are emailing us saying Pauline Hanson is RIGHT'

Sunrise host David Koch has questioned the education minister about how children with disabilities will receive the attention needed in mainstream schools following Pauline Hanson's controversial comments.

Pauline Hanson refused to back down on Thursday following her comments in parliament that children with autism are putting a strain on classrooms in schools and Koch put the dividing question to Education Minister Simon Birmingham.

The host claimed even though Pauline Hanson's comments seemed confronting, teachers have emailed the network claiming they do struggle to seamlessly include children with disabilities into the classrooms due to a lack of funding.

'Whenever Pauline says anything it's like using a sledgehammer and we all react against her because we all want inclusion in our schools,' Sunrise host Koch said on Friday morning.

'But a lot of teachers emailed us and said Pauline is right, because we don't have the funding and we don't have the teachers aids to be able to integrate kids with disabilities into the classroom. We want more funding.'

While disagreeing with the way the One Nation leader expressed her opinion, Mr Birmingham does accept there needs to be more support in mainstream classrooms.

'Well I don't agree with the way Pauline put her comments at all, but I do accept there is a need for additional support for schools, teachers and classrooms to be able to support all students with disabilities, including the number of students with autism,' the education minister said.

'What Pauline did last night to her credit and a number of minor parties, with the Turnbull Government's leadership, was back fairer funding arrangements for students with disability.'

The education minister said thanks to One Nation and other parties backing Gonski 2.0, it will provide funding to schools to help students with disabilities - especially children with higher needs - while still remaining in the school environment.

Walled Aly, The Project Host on channel 10, said the One Nation leader missed the mark and that funding for teacher's aids would go a long way to helping autistic children thrive in the classroom.

On Thursday, Federal Labor MP and proud mother Emma Husar fervently demanded One Nation leader Pauline Hanson apologise to children with autism.

The mother-of-three, with a son with autism, claimed Hanson's comments were 'ill-informed' and she owed parents of Australia an apology.

SOURCE






'Move to an Arab dictatorship': Angry immigrant senator calls for Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied to LEAVE Australia

A Liberal senator is so incensed with  controversial Muslim youth activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied that he wants her to move to an Arab dictatorship where child brides and female genital mutilation are common.

The 26-year-old Sudanese-born former ABC presenter has this week declared that Australia's system of parliamentary democracy 'does not represent anyone' because it's biased against women and racial minorities.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, who is also a migrant, is so outraged by her remarks he had suggested she move to an Arab dictatorship.

'Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s attacks on our democracy, calling it a 'neo-liberalist capitalist project' and effectively backing Arab dictatorships where forced marriages, female genital mutilation and sexuality-based executions are legal are reprehensible,' the former Abbott government minister told his Facebook followers.

'If Ms Abdel-Magied thinks our system of government is so bad perhaps she should stop being a drain on the taxpayer and move to one of these Arab dictatorships that are so welcoming of women.'

Egypt and Yemen are the only Arab nations on the World Health Organisation list of 30 mainly Muslim nations where female genital mutilation is practised.

Ms Abdel-Magied, who is on the taxpayer-funded Council for Australian Arab Relations, has the backing of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, putting her at odds with her Liberal colleague Senator Abetz, who was born in Germany.

The founder of Youth Without Borders also went on a 11-day tour of the Middle East to promote her book last year, costing taxpayers $11,000, but she failed to raised the issue of female genital mutilation in her native Sudan.

But despite receiving many platforms to air her views, she rubbished a suggestion from former Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans that she could run for parliament if she wanted to change things.

'Look at the photo of the House of Representatives. It does not represent anyone,' she told the Future Shapers conference at Canberra's Australian National University on Wednesday night.

'It doesn't represent me and it doesn't represent the people that I know.'

She added that Australia's political parties were biased against women and racial minorities.

This is despite the fact federal parliament has a black, Kenyan-born senator, a Muslim woman, a Muslim man, three indigenous women, two Aboriginal men, a senator who fled Iran as a boy and a prominent Malaysian-born lesbian.

Her remarks were also made on the same night that South Australian independent senator Lucy Gichuhi delivered her maiden speech to parliament as the nation's first black African federal member.

'Do you know how to get to office? I have to go to preselection, which works really well, and I have to go through these other systems which for women and people of colour are actually biased,' Ms Abdel-Magied said.

Mr Evans, who was a Hawke government cabinet minister in 1991 when Ms Abdel-Magied was born, said people like her needed to be involved in parliamentary politics to effect change.

'Yassmin, I am making an unequivocal plea for engagement in traditional politics, parliamentary politics as well as all the other social dimension politics you're talking about,' he said.

'Because unless you do, you abdicate the field to the Brexiteers.

'You opt out and you just play the GetUp! game or the social media game and don't do the serious parliamentary game as well, you're missing a very important vehicle for actually getting decent policy.'

Ms Abdel-Magied's Australia Wide program on ABC News 24 was axed in May.

The decision came after the national broadcaster had rejected calls for her to be sacked for a controversial Anzac Day tweet which said: 'Lest. We. Forget. (Manus, Naura, Syria, Palestine)'.

In February, she sparked outrage as a guest on the ABC's Q&A program for suggesting Islam is the 'most feminist' religion.

She also clashed with independent senator Jacqui Lambie by suggesting Sharia law to her was praying five times a day as a Muslim.

SOURCE




Citizen test overreaction

Any sovereign state can decide who it will admit as citizens. The Turnbull government now wants to beef up the test permanent residents must take if they want to become Australian citizens.

The proposed test for which permanent residents will need to take time to prepare is set to include questions about Aussie values as well as English skills.

Some say this will make it harder for some people to become citizens, and that by ‘excluding’ them the Australian government is guilty of xenophobia. But that is an overreaction.

In our discussion on Monday night’s Q&A, panellists took different views about the importance of English proficiency with some emphasising the importance of English for integration.

Our open, multicultural society is proof of Australia’s success in integrating people from many cultural and ethnic backgrounds over a long period of time.

We enjoy great cultural diversity in our country and have always resisted any attempt to enforce cultural integration requiring people to forego their heritage.

But social integration is something quite different. Common mores and principles, such as a commitment to the rule of law and the liberty of the individual, underpin our society.

We are also bound together by a common language which enables people from very different cultural and ethnic backgrounds to communicate with one another.

You don’t need to have the linguistic proficiency in English of a Les Murray or a Clive James to be able to take part in Australian society, but you do need some degree of proficiency.

A common language allows for integration in a common society, and helps to overcome the danger of social isolation that can result from not being able to communicate with other Australians.

Social stability depends on us having a sense that we belong together. English is part of the common bond that unites Australians from all walks of life into a country of which we can be proud.

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, June 23, 2017







Labor MP claims it's UNFAIR for new immigrants to have to learn English as opposition looks set to reject stringent language test plan

I am inclined to agree. Learning a new language to native standard in adulthood is impossible for most people

A senior Labor politician has slammed federal government plans to make migrants sit a more stringent English language test if they want to become Australian citizens.

Linda Burney, a senior Opposition frontbencher from the Left faction, suggested stricter exams would be unfair on refugees or people fleeing persecution.

Her invention on the ABC's Q&A program came ahead of a Labor caucus meeting on Tuesday morning, which looks set to reject Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's proposal.

The MP from Sydney said it was unfair to require prospective citizens to pass university-level English when vocation training group Australia Education, Training and Employment Services only taught English to high school level.

'This test, we believe, is requiring people to have level six or university English,' Ms Burney said on Monday night.

'Now, is that really fair for people who are escaping terrible situations to be able to only get citizenship if they have level six when AMES only teaches to level four?’

U.K.-born author and academic Rachel Botsman slammed the idea of testing potential citizens on Depression-era cricketing legend Donald Bradman. 'Knowing Donald Bradman's batting average is not actually a useful thing,' she told the panel.

Ms  Botsman also revealed she was studying in preparation to sit the test this week and was shocked by some of the questions.

Ms Botsman said she was surprised to discover questions about cricketers and even Australian cakes in the practice test.  'Knowing what an esky or lamington or who Donald Bradman is, I don't think they should be in the booklet. 'I do think certain things need to be changed.'

Ms Botsman also voiced concern about the English proficiency test. 'What it is saying is that you have to speak English to respect society and live in Australia,' she said.

'I came from a family of immigrants and I don't think they could speak the language when they fled, and they still made a positive contribution to society.'

Victorian Liberal Senator James Paterson, who also appeared on the show, defended 'a tough English language requirement'. 'If you are seeking to become a citizen, which will be after at least four years as a permanent resident, you should be able to speak English,' he said.

'And it's important to be able to communicate with your neighbours and colleagues and co-workers and friends in order to integrate successfully in society.

'It's not just good for the society but it's good for you as an individual as well.

Senator Paterson also argued the test should screen for values.  'Always as a country we've screened migrants for their skills and other things but one thing we haven't screened is values and I think that is an important part of coming here and wanting to be a citizen,' he said.

He said a values test would focus on issues like domestic violence. The Victorian senator said domestic violence was 'completely unacceptable' and it was non-negotiable that Australian citizens understood that.

'I don't think it's xenophobic to expect and require new migrants to abide by that,' he said.

'Respect freedom of speech or freedom of religion or equality before the law.

'These are principles we week to uphold and maintain in Australia and we'll find that much more easy to do if all the new migrants seeking to become citizens share those values.'

Peter Kurti, a research fellow from the conservative Centre for Independent Studies think tank asked: 'Who determines what the values are?'

'I have no idea who has decided what the values are for us as Australians, but that would be an interesting question to ask,' he said.

'Is it up to the First Peoples?'

Ms Burney, the first indigenous woman to elected to the House of Representatives, said: 'I don't know if any Aboriginal people, First People, have been consulted in terms of what those values are'.

SOURCE





The REAL cost of dole bludgers: How the long-term unemployed are costing taxpayers a staggering $222,000 EACH

The average taxpayer would need to work for 14 years to pay the $220,00 welfare bill racked up by a single long-term dole bludger.

Over 100,000 welfare recipients are taking hardworking Australians for a ride, failing to turn up to job interviews and reaping the benefits of generous dole schemes.

The latest figures were released by Social Services Minister Christian Porter ahead of introducing a suite of changes to the welfare system to parliament on Thursday.

The widespread changes to the welfare system will include a two-year program to drug test 5000 new recipients of Newstart or Youth allowances in three locations.

'If you are part of that group of 100,00 people who persistently don't turn up to job interviews, you stay on welfare for much longer,' Mr Porter told The Daily Telegraph.

'An average person on an average wage is going to work for a great number of years to support someone in the welfare system who isn't doing the right thing.'

The new legislation will target 'non-compliant' welfare recipients - people who consistently fail to show up for job interviews or welfare appointments.

'Too many people are not meeting the requirements attached to their welfare, such as attending appointments, and most suffer no penalty,' Mr Porter said.

'This not only puts a burden on taxpayers who face a higher long-term cost to meet these people's welfare bill, but does nothing to help them achieve self-reliance by securing work.' 

The Turnbull government insists its proposed trial to drug test people on welfare is not about stripping payments off vulnerable Australians.

'This trial is not about penalising job seekers with drug abuse issues, it is about finding new and better ways of identifying these job seekers and ensuring they are referred to the support and treatment they need,' Mr Porter told parliament on Thursday.

It was part of a range of measures announced in the May budget.

The reforms would make the system simpler, more sustainable and focused on supporting people to move from welfare into work, Mr Porter said.

Central to that is a new single JobSeeker payment, to be introduced in 2020, replacing or consolidating seven different payments.

'The bill demonstrates that the government is completely committed to improving the integrity of the welfare system and ensuring that recipients receive the necessary support incentives to address barriers to employment, to look for work and take a suitable job when it's available,' he sai

SOURCE





Bill Shorten must show the sort of leadership Bob Hawke did

Bill Shorten must show leadership on the CFMEU or else thuggery will become an acceptable part of Australian politics.

The latest demonstration of intimidation by the union — via its Victorian boss John Setka — is the final straw for a union which appears to act as a law unto itself.

Mr Shorten’s response to Setka’s threats was appallingly weak — “that’s not the way to advance your cause.”

Why doesn’t Mr Shorten refuse to take the union’s money? Surely that would show strength of character and leadership.

After all, Labor’s greatest living former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, showed such leadership in the 1980s when he deregistered the Builders’ Labourers Federation.

The BLF had been acting and speaking exactly the same way that the CFMEU are now.

It’s one thing for Mr Shorten to condemn the latest outburst — sort of — but surely the real test of what you think of someone is whether you are prepared to take their money.

Such a bold move by Mr Shorten would win him enormous goodwill among the Australian public.

John Setka has clearly crossed the line of acceptable political discourse when he threatened to reveal the home addresses of inspectors from the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

The “we know where you live” threat is one normally used by organised criminals and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Let’s understand exactly what he was saying — he is making clear that the inspectors from a government body established by the national Parliament should not feel safe in their own homes.

“Let me give a dire warning to the ABCC inspectors: be careful what you do,” he told a rally in Melbourne. “They have got to lead these secret little lives because they are ashamed of what they do. You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to expose them all.

“We will lobby their neighbourhoods. We will tell them who lives in that house. What he does for a living, or she. “We will go to their local football club. We will go to the local shopping centre.”

Setka then crossed a second line — by bring children into the debate. There’s generally a consensus in Australian political discourse — usually observed also by the media — that children are off limits when it comes to what their parents do. But not for John Setka.

“They will not be able to show their faces anywhere. Their kids will be ashamed of who their parents re when we expose all these ABCC inspectors.”

Setka confirmed yet again the intimidation mentality of the CFMEU.

Labor giants such as Bob Hawke — himself, like Shorten, a creature of the union movement — can see the cancer that is the CFMEU.

As Mr Hawke told this paper last year, in reference to the CFMEU: “The unions need to clean up their act and get their house in order. “It is just appalling. I mean, I wouldn’t tolerate it. You know what I did with the Builders’ Labourers Federation — I would throw them out.”

By “throwing them out”, Hawke had the effect of ensuring that unions which took BLF members had to adhere to a higher standard of governance.

It had a positive impact as unions realised that Hawke — a former chief of the ACTU — was no pushover.

My sense is that unions at the moment regard Shorten as a pushover.

Hawke took action against one of his own constituency because the BLF were acting and speaking like thugs. The CFMEU are the “new BLF.”

The bottom line of all this is quite simple: unless Shorten acts, the expected victory by Labor at the next election will be underwritten in part by the CFMEU.

Which poses the question: should there be a Shorten government, exactly what will the CFMEU want in return for their money?

There should be no doubt: under a Shorten Government John Setka would be a man of even greater power than he is now. Is that what this country wants?

SOURCE






The growth of bullshit jobs

The resources boom may have petered out but Australia is still riding another — the decades-long expansion of well-paid jobs whose value is hard to pin down.

London School of Economics anthropologist David Graeber shot to fame in 2013 by drawing ­attention to what he called this "bullshit jobs" phenomenon in rich countries. "Huge swathes of people in Europe and North America spend their entire working lives performing tasks they ­secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound," Graeber wrote.

The growth is equally acute in Australia, as a recent deep dive into the Australian Bureau of ­Statistics’ quarterly employment data reveals.

The collapse of repetitive manufacturing jobs has paved the way for service jobs that ­improve our quality of life. Massage and beauty therapists, aged and disabled carers, fitness ­instructors and "personal care consultants" are among the 19 fastest growing jobs in Australia since 1987 — those whose share of the Australian workforce has more than ­tripled.

But Graeber’s "bullshit" jobs figure prominently, too, underpinning much of the celebrated growth of "professional services and management". Take the 23,000-strong army of "policy ­analysts", for ­instance; their share has almost quintupled since 1987 despite ­debatable progress on ­actual policy. "Nurse managers" and "nurse educators" have grown about four times as fast as the number of nurses in that period. "Advertising and marketing professionals", whose output Nobel laureate Simon Kuznets in the 1930s quaintly thought should be ­excluded from gross domestic product, have grown 252 per cent.

Like obscenity, these jobs are hard to define but you know them when you see them. The spending of other people’s money is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition. For a start, they often pay extraordinarily well. Human rights commissioners and National Australia Bank’s head of "thought leadership and insights (corporate and institutional banking)" are archetypical examples.

More general clues include: would anyone realise or care if the occupation went on strike? Practitioners in these jobs can never take industrial action. Imagine the consequences if the nation’s 49,000 "human resource managers" (their share of the workforce has jumped 260 per cent since 1987) declared a wildcat strike. Or if the other 64,000 "human ­resource professionals" (up 191 per cent) decided to work to rule.

"Say what you like about nurses, garbage collectors or mechanics, it’s obvious that were they to vanish in a puff of smoke, the ­results would be immediate and catastrophic," Graeber wrote.

Are the words strategy, innovation, engagement, development in the job title? Is the occupation called a "role" or a job? How many meetings are required? More ­abstractly, these dodgy jobs tend to thrive where the people ultimately paying for them are least able to influence the people doing the spending, which tends to be in large organisations such as governments, their agencies and in large oligopolistic public companies.

In government, think the federal departments of innovation, environment, health and education. In the private sector, think financial services, where compulsory superannuation and a raft of direct and indirect subsidies have induced a level of bloat unthinkable even a generation ago.

In fact, last week’s national ­accounts showed the financial ­services sector crept up to 9 per cent of GDP in March, the highest share ever (double its share in the 1970s), and by far the largest of the 19 sectors the Australian Bureau of Statistics tracks (more than retail and wholesale trade combined). Given almost $1 in every $10 spent now goes to banking, it’s no surprise that ­financial brokers, dealers and ­investment managers are among the fastest growing occupations since the 80s, more than tripling their shares of the workforce. In an earlier, more discriminating era, it might have been thought odd, even problematic, that the part of the economy meant to be an intermediary had grown so huge.

Poor old "arts and recreation", one of the sectors that might ­actually provide some satisfaction, has managed to increase its share by only 0.1 percentage points of GDP since the 70s ­increasing to 0.8.

"We have seen the ballooning not even so much of the ‘service’ sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations," Graeber wrote.

Indeed, despite remarkable ­advances in technology that should curtail administrative costs, health information managers’ and records managers’ shares of the workforce have surged 350 per cent since 1987. The ­nation’s management consultants, now almost 60,000 strong, have seen their share almost triple while musicians’, florists’ and journalists’ have dwindled. Real estate agents, solicitors and economists have roughly doubled their shares as high school teachers’ have fallen about 30 per cent.

"I’m not sure I’ve ever met a corporate lawyer who didn’t think their job was bullshit," Graeber said.

Perhaps we should be grateful for such jobs. With them, the unemployment rate is about 6 per cent. Imagine if government and big business were run efficiently, in the interests of shareholders and taxpayers rather than managers and politicians.

But the phenomenon can be insidious too, making a mockery of the idea of work, and eroding confidence in the link between pay and people’s perceived economic contribution. People without these flimsy jobs are still the ­majority, and they vote.

Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt called bullshit the ­sali­ent characteristic of our age in his 2005 critique. "Everyone knows this … (but) we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves," he ­bemoaned. Journalists, for one, are swimming against an increasingly powerful tide: the ratio of public relations and corporate affairs professionals to journalists has soared to about 12, by my calculations.

Whatever its value, the bullshit boom hasn’t yet peaked. The share of the economy subsidised and regulated looks set to expand, which only will weaken further the competitive forces that once would have eroded such economic flab.

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, June 22, 2017




Chief Scientist Dr Finkel accidentally exposes the lie of Australia’s climate policies that are de-industrialising Australia




   


W.A. Premier Mark McGowan has slashed his skilled migration list

An interesting move from an ALP man.  Pauline was a big issue in the recent State election.  Sounds like he is protecting himself from her issues

THE State Government has released an updated version of the WA skilled migration list, slashing it to just 18 eligible occupations.

The list, which used to carry 178 occupations including bricklayers, engineers and nurses, was torn up on Labor’s first day of government in March.

Premier Mark McGowan said the 18 occupations on the list were mainly in the health sector where there was a genuine need, including midwives, psychiatrists and several classes of registered nurses.

Mr McGowan said in the current economic climate it did not make sense to give jobs to migrants ahead of West Australians.

"In the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever that we maximise employment opportunities for Western Australians," he said.

"Our policy will ensure that, whenever possible, Western Australians will be given first preference on WA jobs. It doesn’t make sense to fast-track workers from overseas when there are unemployed Western Australians who are capable of doing the work.

"Our economy has changed dramatically since the height of the mining boom and we need to do everything we can to get Western Australians back to work."

Mr McGowan also confirmed the Federal Government agreed to remove Perth as a region from the regional sponsored migration scheme, which provided an additional pathway to obtain a visa to work on WA.

SOURCE






Pauline says autistic kids should be removed from mainstream classes

ONE Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson announced this morning that her party will back the Federal Government’s $18.6 billion school funding package.

But she also said "we need to get rid of" autistic children from mainstream classrooms, arguing teachers had to spend too much time with them at the expense of other students’ education.

She said parents and teachers had raised the issue with her of children with disabilities or autism in mainstream classrooms.

"These kids have a right to an education by all means, but if there’s a number of them these children should actually go into a special classroom, looked after and given that special attention," she said in the Senate this morning.

"Most of the time the teacher spends so much time on them they forget about the child who wants to go ahead in leaps and bounds in their education, but are held back by those.

"It’s no good saying we have to allow these kids to feel good about themselves and we don’t want to upset them and make them feel hurt. "We have to be realistic at times and consider the impact that is having on other children in the classroom. "We need to get rid of those people because you want everyone to feel good about themselves."

She said it was difficult for One Nation to come to the position of supporting the $18.6 billion in extra funding for schools. "I hope this will improve our educational standards if it is addressed in the classroom," Senator Hanson said.

She criticised Labor for not supporting the bill, as the Opposition wants a further $22 billion to match the original Gonski funding proposed by the Gillard Government. "I think it’s a good start, $18.6 billion. That’s a start, why can’t you work with the government with regards to this and then build on that," she said.

"Stop opposing things just because you’re on the opposition. It’s about working together for the future of this nation. I just get so frustrated with the whole lot of you."

SOURCE






Rogue union referred to police

Victorian construction union boss John Setka has threatened to reveal the home addresses of ABCC inspectors, and lobby their local shopping centres and football clubs to ensure their "kids will be ashamed of who their parents are".

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said last night she would refer the threats against Australian Building and Construction Commission inspectors to police, escalating the battle between the Coalition and the union ­movement.

As tens of thousands of unionists yesterday staged ­capital city protests against the Turnbull government, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union Victorian secretary told a rally that Australia was "built on defying bad laws" and "we can withdraw our labour anytime we like regardless of what the laws of the land say".

Labelling the nation’s leading builders as "corrupt", Mr Setka told 20,000 union protesters in Melbourne the ABCC inspectors were "f..kers trying to take us to court and jail us".

"Let me give a dire warning to the ABCC inspectors: be careful what you do," he said, claiming that many did not have their names on the electoral roll.

"They have got to lead these secret little lives because they are ashamed of what they do," he said. "You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to ­expose them all.

"We will lobby their neighbourhoods. We will tell them who lives in that house. What he does for a living, or she. We will go to their local football club. We will go to the local shopping ­centre.

"They will not be able to show their faces anywhere. Their kids will be ashamed of who their parents are when we expose all these ABCC inspectors.

"If they think they are going to walk around and desecrate construction workers, take away our rights, and then ride off into the sunset, and there’s going to be no consequences, well, they’re in for a big surprise."

Addressing the Melbourne rally, Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary Luke Hilakari read out a letter of support for the protesters from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in which he wrote "it’s time to stand up and fight back".

Declaring the CFMEU to be "out of control", Senator Cash said she would be "referring the matter to police given her concern about the threats to the safety of government staff".

ABCC commissioner Nigel Hadgkiss saidhe would also refer the matter to the "appropriate authorities" as he took the "safety of my staff ­seriously".

Mr Setka also accused the ­Australian Federal Police of being a ‘‘political police force" over its unlawful raid on the union’s ­Canberra offices in 2015, and described its officers as "Turnbull’s henchmen".

Senator Cash said the conduct of Mr Setka and the CFMEU yesterday was "absolutely disgraceful". "The CFMEU think nothing of breaking the law," she said.

"Today they called the federal police ‘henchmen’ and a ‘political police force’. They also directly threatened building inspectors and their families."

She said the CFMEU’s "thuggery and intimidation shows why our building industry reforms are so important".

"Bill Shorten and Labor must stop taking donations and sever ties from these thugs," Senator Cash said.

Master Builders Australia chief executive Denita Wawn said the comments by Mr Setka demonstrated the union’s "brazen thuggery and its utter contempt for our community".

"Attempts to whip up hysteria about the ABCC are one thing; threats against ABCC inspectors and their families are unacceptable, totally out of step with ­community standards and show why the ABCC is essential and must be maintained," Ms Wawn said.

Plumbers Union Victorian secretary Earl Setches attacked the laying of blackmail charges against Mr Setka and his deputy, Shaun Reardon.

He said the government was using criminal law instead of industrial law in a bid to "take out the trade union leaders to f..k over the unions".

"Now where I come from blackmail means you’re getting f..king money for yourself or you are blackmailing someone for your own needs," Mr Setches said.

"These boys have been charged with that disgusting word blackmail, using industrial relations to fight for their union and their membership.

"It’s a disgrace and it makes me sick in the guts."

Raising the arms of Mr Setka and Mr Reardon as they stood ­before the crowd, Mr Setches told the assembled media: "Get a photo of this, you f..kers."

Mr Hadgkiss has written to the CFMEU warning that union members faced legal action if they attended yesterday’s protests without the written permission of their employer.

But Mr Setka dismissed the threat, describing Mr Hadgkiss as a "no good for nothing oxygen thief".

Mr Setka attacked the Andrews government over the use of non-union enterprise agreement and the employment of temporary visa workers on Victorian government projects.

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, June 21, 2017



"Global coral bleaching event that has lasted three YEARS has finally ended - but reefs are still fighting for their lives"

Nonsense all round.  The Indian ocean was not affected so the event was not global.  And it is admitted below that the effect was largely due to El Nino, not anthropogenic global warming.  They say that El Nino and anthropogenic global warming together had an additive effect but -- even conceding that CO2 causes anthropogenic global warming -- there was no CO2 rise in the relevant years so there was clearly NO rise in anthropogenic global warming.  To put it semi-algebraically:  El Nino + 0 = El Nino. 

And corals are at their most diverse and abundant in warm tropical waters so the claim that warm waters are bad for them is fundamentally perverse.  In Australia's case a sea-level fall was almost certainly the cause of bleaching in warm tropical water off the Far North Queensland coast

And both the extent of the loss and the difficulty of the recovery have been greatly exaggerated.  Do I need once again to mention the coral reef at Bikini atoll which was once the target of a thermonuclear blast -- but which is now again thriving?

 It's just all baseless assertion below.  Correlation is asserted as causation.  Factors like sea-level fluctuations are almost certainly involved but no attempt is made even to look at that.  One doesn't look to Warmists for a balanced account of anything -- which reveals them as fundamentally unscientific.  A scientific paper will normally look at all the possible causes of an event and evaluate them against one another. Warmists know just one cause for everything, ignore all else and assert it "ad infinitum"



A mass bleaching of coral reefs worldwide has finally ended after three years, U.S. scientists announced Monday.

About three-quarters of the world's delicate coral reefs were damaged or killed by hot water in what scientists say was the largest coral catastrophe.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration first announced a global bleaching event in May 2014.

It was worse than previous global bleaching events in 1998 and 2010.

The forecast damage doesn't look widespread in the Indian Ocean, so the event loses its global scope.

Bleaching will still be bad in the Caribbean and Pacific, but it'll be less severe than recent years, said NOAA coral reef watch coordinator C. Mark Eakin.

Places like Australia's Great Barrier Reef, northwest Hawaii, Guam and parts of the Caribbean have been hit with back-to-back-to-back destruction, Eakin said.

University of Victoria, British Columbia, coral reef scientist Julia Baum plans to travel to Christmas Island in the Pacific where the coral reefs have looked like ghost towns in recent years.

While conditions are improving, it's too early to celebrate, said Eakin, adding that the world may be at a new normal where reefs are barely able to survive during good conditions.

Eakin said coral have difficulty surviving water already getting warmer by man-made climate change. Extra heating of the water from a natural El Nino nudges coral conditions over the edge.

SOURCE






Parents' outrage over Aboriginal 'sorry' mural children were forced to paint at their school

It's a perfectly reasonable point to say that Aborigines deserve no apology.  Up until the Leftist Rudd government of 2007, all Australian Federal governments had taken that view.  It is true that Aborigines were dispossessed of most of their land but they obtained substantial compensatory benefits in the form of extensive welfare and modern services.  As a result it appears that their population has never been higher than it now is. 

It is also a reasonable and once universal view that conquest takes away the rights of the incumbent.  Most countries today have at once stage been subjected to conquest and a loss of rights by the incumbent so why should Australia be different?

Not everybody agrees with either of those views but it is sheer arrogance and authoritarianism to coerce the utterance of a contrary view



A primary school has been slammed over an artwork saying 'sorry' to the Aboriginal Stolen Generations, with parents claiming it's making their children feel 'guilty'.

Coburg North Primary School, in Melbourne's northern suburbs, recently put the art showing an arrangement of hands spelling out the word 'sorry' up in its schoolyard.

But while the mural containing cut-outs of their hands was intended to continue the message then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd started in 2008, it has caused a stir among parents, 3AW reports.

On each of the hundreds of red, yellow and black hands arranged in the art, students had written the word 'sorry'.

Radio host Tom Elliott said it was inappropriate for schools to make children feel at fault for Australia's sins - comparing it to German kids apologising for the Holocaust.

'I don't like it. I don't mind kids learning history and that can mean some of the darker parts of Australia's history,' Elliott said.

'But at the same time, the idea that a five, or a six, or a seven-year-old now feels that he or she has to go and say sorry - I think it's wrong. 'It's like saying every young German should be taught if they ever see a Jewish person to go up and say sorry to them.'

A local parent said that despite not having children at the school, the artwork hadn't sat well with him. 'I don't think it's a primary school's responsibility to make young children feel guilty,' the man, who gave his name only as Joel, said.

The school also regularly holds 'welcome to country' and smoking ceremony rituals, Coburg North Primary School's principal told 3AW.

In 2008, Mr Rudd apologised to the Aboriginal Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian public, giving a speech to parliament which was broadcast nationwide.

SOURCE






Gillian Triggs: Just another lying Leftist

CHRIS KENNY

I noticed a fresh outbreak of the not uncommon and always inane Twitter abuse coming my way. It had been sparked by an article in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald by Michael Gordon lauding the outgoing president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs.

The article contained the usual attempted deification of Professor Triggs and the now predictable glossing over or censoring of her errors, contradictions, failings and misstatements. But it also contained a sharp and accusatory quote from Triggs about me.

“He keeps swirling the same facts over and over again and they are not true for a start — and that’s all he’s got,” Triggs reportedly said. “I’ve never met him. He’s never phoned me or made any attempt to understand anything. It’s just been a full-on attack.”

This was an extraordinary comment and I was immediately surprised that Gordon had not contacted me. Ethical journalistic practice would ensure that such a damaging claim would be put to the subject for a response. I could have very quickly demonstrated that Triggs’s allegation was untrue.

Let’s look at Triggs’s claims. Yes, my reporting has been replete with facts and yes I have repeated them — guilty. Most of those facts simply have been direct quotes from Triggs to various parliamentary inquiries. The facts that she says I keep “swirling” are words out of her mouth that have been contradictory, inconsistent, wrong, untrue or, sometimes, all of the above.

And the president should not be able to get away with saying the facts “are not true” because their truth is what makes them facts. Ipso facto.

So, let’s go to some more facts. The clear imputation of the rest of Triggs’s quote is that I have not given or tried to give her the opportunity to answer criticisms against her. She is right to say we have never met nor spoken on the phone but that has been her choice. And it is not for my want of trying.

Within minutes of reading the Gordon article I was able to dig out numerous requests on my iPhone. “Angela,” I had emailed her media assistant on November 24, 2014, “I wonder if you could please again forward a request to Professor Triggs for an interview.”

On February 26, 2015: “Angela, I am very keen to speak so that I can put some questions to the president as soon as possible …. Happy to chat with the president if possible.”

There have been phone calls to her office over the years, always shunted to her media assistants, and other emails where I passed on detailed queries and sometimes received AHRC statements in response.

On October 20, 2016, my producer at Sky News emailed the AHRC media team: “Chris Kenny is hoping Professor Gillian Triggs can join him on his Viewpoint program this coming Sunday or Monday evening for a discussion of the HRC’s investigation into Bill Leak’s cartoon, the Racial Discrimination Act & recent events surrounding the Nauru detention facility.” The approaches were rejected and my producer passed on a standing interview offer anytime that suited.

In the interim I became so frustrated by Triggs’ refusals (and the lack of forensic questioning when she spoke to so-called progressive journalists) that I sent direct questions to her on Twitter and mentioned from time to time on my television show that she was welcome anytime. “I’d love to have an interview with Gillian Triggs but she won’t turn up,” I said on Sky News Viewpoint on April 24 last year.

Later that same month I tweeted directly to Triggs’ Twitter account my “standing interview requests” for her, Sarah Hanson-Young and Bill Shorten who are two other public figures who have rejected multiple requests (I added a lighthearted wishlist of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and k.d. Lang — perhaps I’ll have more luck with them).

The point of these tedious but incontestable facts is that they demonstrate beyond doubt that the clear inference and everyday meaning of what Triggs had to say in the Gordon article was wrong — and she must have known it was wrong. She was willing to attack my integrity by pushing a line she knew was untrue. This fits into a terrible and unfortunate pattern of incorrect and self-serving public statements from the AHRC president.

Naturally, today I sent a detailed list of questions to the AHRC in response, demanding to know whether the requests were never passed on to her or why she would say things that are “demonstrably untrue” and asking her to correct the record. It solicited a response which gives the game away. “Statement from President Professor Gillian Triggs,” was the rather grand heading.

“I stand by my comment that I have never met or spoken to Chris Kenny,” Professor Triggs said. “The Australian Human Rights Commission has responded on my behalf to questions from Mr Kenny, and we have provided comment and interviews to a number of journalists at The Australian and Sky News.”

How disingenuous. Triggs knows she has rejected numerous requests from me so skirts the issue, rather than apologise for the incorrect imputation she promulgated.

She has failed to point out a single factual error in the many thousands of words I have written on her tenure or related issues.

Oh, in case you were wondering, my email repeated the longstanding request for an interview. Her statement was silent on that question. Don’t hold your breath.

SOURCE






How long for Australia?

Although free for so long from the scourge of political and religious terrorism, in the long term, Australia can hardly avoid a deadly Islamist attack such as occurred in London or Manchester.

But these were not acts of ordinary, politically motivated terrorism. Jihadists have no political or social objectives they seek to achieve. Forget negotiating politics with them.

Many of our politicians thinks it’s simply a matter of decisively stamping out extremist Islamist ideology. But what does getting tough on extremism really amount to?

For one thing, it means changing the way we think about religion — something many still refuse to take seriously, insisting it is a private matter for the individual.

We often assume that if a religious person has to choose between pursuing religious ideals and political ideals, they will choose the political — and always endorse secular norms.

But this betrays a failure to understand religion. Believers often place the highest stakes on obeying their God’s law — an event when the religious and the political come into conflict.

When that happens, given the eternal nature of the believer’s relationship with God, it should not be a surprise to find that religious demands almost always take precedence over political ones.

Secular liberals refuse to take such beliefs seriously because they have long since lost the ability to distinguish between the sacred and the secular. Their response is to denounce all religion.

But simply denouncing religion — especially extremist Islam — will not work, even though religion may at times make unreasonable or even outrageous claims.

When believers are committed to the precepts of a religion, it is not enough to say they are all hopelessly misguided. What committed believer will agree with that?

Instead, unreasonable religious claims must be challenged on religious — not secular — grounds. The freedom openly to discuss religion, engaging support of community leaders is also essential.

Confronting religious violence requires an unfailing commitment to defending the principles of an open, liberal society. But we must learn to take religion seriously — just as believers do already.

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




Tuesday, June 20, 2017



"A tide of privatization"?  A prejudice in search of some facts



Emma Rowe (above and below) makes a huge effort to be objective but in the end she breaks down and lets her hatred of private schools peep out.  She writes for a webzine called "The Conversation" which claims "Academic rigour, journalistic flair". I guess they do have some journalistic flair, whatever that might be, but the "academic rigour" was a laugh from the beginning.  I would call it Leftist propaganda with an occasional nod to conservatism. I guess that nod is rigour from a Leftist viewpoint.


A condensed version of  Emma's article: "Since 2010, the average independent school has increased its share of enrolments from 18% to 18.39%. That constitutes a disturbing tide of privatisation in our secondary schools" 

The poor woman is completely obsessed if she sees such a trivial change as "a disturbing tide."  An eddy, perhaps, but no sort of tide.

And to get her "tide" she had to ignore primary schools and concentrate on secondary schools only. She plainly wishes to find that private schools overall are unfairly favoured by the government but has to ignore half the facts to make her attempted case.  But Leftists are good at cherrypicking and selective vision.

And what about the fact that Australian parents contribute more towards the education of their children than parents in many other countries do?  Many would see that as a welcome reduction of the burden borne by the taxpayer.  But not Emma.  She says: "This is clearly problematic for those families with less capacity to pay."  Classic Leftist envy obliterates all other considerations. All must have prizes.  The Left must know that their pursuit of equality is pissing into the wind but their devotion to it is relentless and merciless.  Procrustes is their idol



You may have heard recently that public schools in Australia have experienced increased enrolments. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that public schools in Australia have increased their share of enrolments, “reversing a forty-year trend”.

A spokesperson from the Australian Bureau of Statistics stated that it was a “reversal of the steady drift” towards private schools. This is misleading, for two reasons:

First, the overall population in Australia has increased, which has resulted in increased enrolments for many schooling sectors. In total there are 1.28% more students (full-time) enrolled in schools.

Second, while enrolment in public and independent primary schools (excluding Catholic schools) has increased, enrolment in public secondary schools has decreased.

We have one of the highest levels of private school enrolment within the OECD, and our country also maintains the highest levels of private expenditure towards schools (contributions from households).

It is untrue that there is a reversal of the steady drift if we look at secondary schools.

As the more expensive constituent of schooling, and also the gateway to higher education, it is the secondary school where politics truly come to the fore.

When it comes to debates about funding and privatisation, the secondary school sector is far more entangled in the politics of choice.

When we are told that our public school enrolment is increasing, this may lead you to believe that our public schools are strong and healthy. This disguises the ugly truth that many of our public secondary schools are struggling, mainly due to an ongoing stream of policies that have attacked and undermined our public secondary schools.

By how much as public secondary school enrolments decreased?

Since 2010, the public secondary school has decreased its enrolments from 60% to 59.13%.

Since 2010, the average independent school has increased its share of enrolments from 18% to 18.39%.

These changes seem very minor, and when regarded in the context of population increases, are relatively insignificant.

However, when taken with a more longitudinal analysis, it is evident that the independent secondary school in Australia has continually bolstered its enrolment share.

The independent secondary school sector has experienced the largest proportional increase in enrolment from 1990 to 2016 (6.39%).

The government (public) school has recorded the largest proportional decrease during this same period (8.87%).

Evidently, there is a consistent pattern of growth within the independent sector and a consistent pattern of decline, in terms of enrolment levels, within the public sector.

It would be simplistic to argue that this is simply a matter of demand, rather than complicated by many other factors including economic, social and cultural shifts.

As education reforms bolstered funding for the private sector, enrolment levels in the private sector increased at a similar rate and time period.
Encouraging private school choice

The government has always played a role in encouraging particular consumer choices. This is no different for schooling.

Throughout the 1990s and beyond, public schools were consistently closed or merged across various states and territories. This undoubtedly establishes a sense of instability and volatility for the consumer.

Among the reasons cited for these closures was lack of enrolment numbers. Unlike private schools, public schools must consistently prove their economic feasibility. (This reason was strongly refuted by the public. In Victoria in the 1990s, it was described as “the biggest battle over education in more than a decade”.)

While the overall number of full-time secondary students grew, by 2011 the availability of public schools had declined.

The total percentage of public schools in Australia has decreased by 2%. On the other hand, the percentage of private schools has increased by 1% of the total number of schools.

We tend to widely accept privatisation of our schools. In Australia, the overall proportion of students in private schools is 35% ( but 41% in secondary school). This far outweighs the average OECD country, where 18% is the average number.

Compare this to the US, where approximately 8% of students attend private schools. In Canada, this percentage is even lower (approximately 6%), and lower again in countries such as New Zealand, Finland or Sweden.

We also have one of the highest percentages of private expenditure within the school sector. What this means is that we rely far more on a “user-pays” system than the average OECD country.

This is clearly problematic for those families with less capacity to pay.

This was noted in the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2016 report. When it comes to secondary schooling, for the majority of OECD countries, 90% of expenditure comes from government funds. But this wasn’t the case for Australia, Chile and Columbia, which “rely on over one-fifth of private expenditure at this level”.

While many other OECD countries do fund their private schools, they are also subject to a host of regulations.

When it comes to the funding private schools, Australia is classified as a “high funding and low regulation” country. In comparison to other OECD countries, private schools have little accountability in terms of how they spend their money.

Add to this a dominant cultural narrative around the superiority of private schooling, and you have a disturbing tide of privatisation in our secondary schools.

This tide of privatisation will only further entrench equity gaps for students from families who cannot afford to pay. It will also add to the household burden for those families struggling to pay their private school costs.

SOURCE






Over 64,000 people are living illegally in Australia including one immigrant who has avoided authorities for 40 YEARS

Immigration Department figures have identified more than 64,000 'unlawful non-citizens' who are living illegally in Australia.

Statistics show that at least two thirds of those people overstayed in the country for more than two years after legally entering Australia.

It is understood there is at least one person, who is quite possibly deceased by now, who has dodged immigration officials for roughly 40 years, the Courier Mail reports.

Numbers reveal Malaysians as the worst offenders with 9,440 citizens of the southeast Asian nation here on expired visas as at June 30.

China showed to have the second highest statistic with 6,500 overstayers which was followed by the US and UK citizens.

The list also included Indonesia, India, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand who had between 2200 and 2800 people overstaying in Australia.

Germany, France, Japan and Fiji citizens were also singled out. 

Just under one third of the people living illegally are believed to be working.

The number of unauthorised residents in Australia has increased by six per cent, compared to five years ago.

Approximately 70 per cent of the illegal residents are in the country on expired visitor visas with 15 per cent on student visas.

Working holiday visas make up about three per cent of the figure.

An Immigration and Border Protection spokesman said they were to use 'targeted field compliance' to track those who breach their welcome.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the number outlined was 'less than one per cent of the 6.5 million temporary entrants to Australia each year' with some immigrants only overstaying their visa allocation by a few days. 

SOURCE






Australians should show 'sensitivity' to migrants whose cultures 'don't value women's and child's rights' claims new domestic violence study

A taxpayer funded study has made the audacious claim that Australians need to show 'cultural sensitivity' towards migrant men who physically abuse their wife and children.

The study conducted over a three year period was funded by the Australian Research Council and points out that some human rights affect migrants' integration and 'successful settlement in Australia', specifically those in relation to women and children.

The study refers to some refugees claiming that these rights 'contravene the cultural values, norms and mores' of their ethnic groups, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Yet the study has faced strong resistance in the shape of federal Minister for Women Michaelia Cash who has stated Australia is categorically against family violence.  'Violence against women is unacceptable in any circumstances,' Ms Cash told The Saturday Telegraph.

The study has however called for 'cultural sensitivity and understanding of the impact on male refugees' who suffer a sense of separation and an overwhelming feeling of disappointment when their views are repulsed by society.

The report did point out refugees' appreciation for the factors of Australian life such as healthcare and education that were not available to them in their home nations, yet a 'major point of contention' was the differing views on women's and children's rights.

What was most upsetting for many refugees was the strong stance Australians had when it came to domestic violence. 

It will be this Australian ethos that will repel the study's findings with many in union with Prevention of Domestic Violence Minister Pru Goward who insists wife beaters must 'change their ways.'

A recent example of the nation's position on the matter was its reaction towards Sydney primary school teacher Reem Allouche telling the women's arm of hardline political group Hizb ut-Tahrir that men are permitted to hit women with sticks.

The practice was widely condemned across Australia with Ms Cash again denouncing the violence.

The research has come at a time of migrant change, where Malcolm Turnbull's government has tightened immigration by implementing an 'Australian values' test for hopefuls in search of citizenship.

The government has been accused of 'racial profiling' after grilling prospective citizens on domestic violence and forced marriage, with The Settlement Council of Australia raising concern.

The study which was orchestrated by UNSW that the issue of domestic violence could be worsened if male refugees are ignored.

It also argues that women and children who do make attempts to adopt an Australian way of life and its values will be 'cruelly punished'.

Many migrant victims of the abuse are oblivious to the support they can receive or avenues they can take to rectify their problems such as divorce according to Shakti migrant women's support group national co-ordinator Tamana Mirzada. 'Often they don't have the capacity­ to leave,' Ms Mirzada revealed.

She also pointed out seeking help indicates weakness in a marriage, something which is strongly frowned upon within their community.

Ms Cash did reiterate the constant efforts to provide ongoing support for migrant women who need it.

SOURCE






Queensland 2017-18 budget shows an additional 6000 public servants

The previous conservative government cut out 14,000 bureaucrats for no evident harm but Leftists love bureaucracy

Queensland's public service is set to increase by about 6000 in the next 12 months, on top of the 210,970 employed in the December 2016 quarter, budget papers released on Tuesday show.

In 2014-15 and 2015-16 the number of fulltime public servants grew by 4.3 per cent – or by 8764 – between 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years.

It then grew by 3 per cent (6350 public servants) in the 2016-17 year, mostly in the senior levels of A08 or above. "Full time equivalent jobs are estimated to increase by around 6000, or 2.8 per cent in 2017-18," the papers showed.

"Around 82 per cent of the increase is attributable to growth in health and education.

"These additional fulltime equivalent positions will continue to reduce the number of patients waiting longer than the recommended times, will relieve pressure on class sizes and continue to student outcomes."

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said a 2.5 per wage increase policy had already been factored into the forward estimates and $300 million was set for 2017-18 year to cover additional public service wages.

In his budget speech, Mr Pitt said the government had restored frontline public servants during 2017-18 and would now operate under a new fiscal discipline requiring 1.7 per cent fulltime jobs growth.

"Population growth will track at 1.5 per cent and growth in full-time employees will be at 1.7 on average over the forward estimates," he said.

Mr Pitt said overall budget expenses would grow by 3.2 per cent over the 2017-18 financial year, with an increase triggered by the $1.1 billion costs of Cyclone Debbie in March 2016.

"Last year we introduced a new fiscal principle related to growing the government workforce in line with population growth, on average, over the forward estimates," he said.

But Mr Pitt said it would be wrong to reduce the workforce to show the impact of a natural disaster on government expenses.

"It would be irresponsible – not just socially, but economically – to slash funding for reconstruction and frontline services every time a natural disaster impacts on revenue," he said.

SOURCE





Clumsy comments about race from an ABC radio personality

He appeared to become flustered when challenged

Red Symons has apologised for insensitive comments he made in a controversial interview during which he asked fellow ABC journalist Beverly Wang: "what's the deal with Asians?"

The broadcaster, host of the breakfast show on ABC Radio Melbourne, offered his "sincerest apologies" on Monday morning. His interview on the ABC podcast 'It's Not A Race', was quickly condemned online and subsequently removed by the broadcaster.

"I came across as racist and I was wrong in the way I conducted the interview," Symons said. "I offer my sincerest apologies. We need to talk about these issues, but be careful how we consider them."

The interview with Wang, host of 'It's Not A Race', quickly took a turn when Symons expressed disappointment as he, too, wanted to host a show on a similar topic.

He said he would instead name it "what's the deal with Asians?"

"OK, let's tackle that. What is the deal with Asians, Red?" Wang replied.

"No, I ask the questions," Symons said. "First question is, are they all the same?"

He followed by asking if Wang thinks she is "yellow" and asking whether she would wear 'yellow' or 'white face'.

The ABC issued a statement apologising for the contents of the interview.

"ABC Radio has removed the latest episode of RN's It's Not A Race podcast and an earlier ABC Radio Melbourne segment," the statement read.

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