Friday, March 24, 2017

Muslim ban to solve terror problem, says Pauline Hanson

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has gone from offering sympathies to the people of London after a deadly terror attack to slamming the city's mayor and pushing her bid to ban Muslim immigration.

Four people, including a policeman, died in the lone-wolf attack near London's Houses of Parliament overnight.

London mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to PC Keith Palmer who he said "was killed doing his duty - protecting our city and the heart of our democracy from those who want to destroy our way of life".

But Senator Hanson focused on Mr Khan's comment in The Independent newspaper last September that terror attacks were "part and parcel of living in a big city".

"It's amazing that the Muslim mayor over there has come out and said terrorists' attacks are part and parcel of a big city," she said in a video posted to social media today.

"Well, no, they're not, they don't have to be, they never have been in the past, and that's something I never want to hear or see here in Australia from any mayor in any city."

Senator Hanson said sending sympathies under the PrayForLondon hashtag was futile and offered up her own hashtag to solve the problem - Pray4MuslimBan.

"That is how you solve the problem. Put a ban on it and then let's deal with the issues here," she said.

"I'm grateful for the ASIO and the police and what they're trying to do, but they can't keep an eye on everyone."


Victorian high school students given option to select 'gender X' instead of 'male' or 'female' on official exam papers

High school students who do not identify as male or female will now be able to list themselves as 'gender X' on official high school documents.

In the ruling made by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), students sitting their VCE and VCAL examinations will have a third option when it comes to listing their gender identity.

The move comes as Victorian transgender and intersex pupils feeling marginalised by the lack of identification on personal I.D forms, voiced their concerns to the education body.

But the decision has come under staunch opposition with some describing the it as a threat to 'bathroom usage.'

In announcing their ruling, VCAA expressed that their decision came with the support of schools and that the well-being of students was their priority.

'The inclusion of Gender X in student records is of importance to the health and welfare of individual students who do not identify as male or female.'

The rule would allow the VCAA to use gender X statistics to categorise a new subset of children - as young as 15 - as non male or female when it comes to VCE results. 

Education Minister for Victoria James Merlino supported the move arguing that it was a reflection of every student.

Opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling however called on Premier Daniel Andrews to stop: 'pushing his radical gender and sexuality theories onto other people's children.'

Dan Flynn, Victorian director of the Australian Christian Lobby, also strongly opposed the decision, expressing concern that it could create safety issues within school bathrooms and change rooms.

'Boys are boys and girls are girls and there would be a fractional category of people who are truly intersex. We are also opening the door to say 'I don't want to be a male or a female, I want to be something else,' Mr Flynn told the Herald Sun. 

Adding that by having a third sex, same-sex sports teams would also be among those affected and that the decision is in direct contrast from the expectations of parents and the community. 

However executive director of Transgender Victoria Sally Goldner lashed out at Mr Flynn's comments that a 'gender X' would risk safety in toilets, describing it as a non-existent argument.

'There has never been a proven case (of misconduct) in Australia involving transgender people … in bathrooms. I really have to express my frustration that we keep having this 'nothing' debate,' she said.

Transgender Victoria however disagreed having the third option as 'gender x', rather calling on I.D forms to have four options: male, female, 'other please specify', and one allowing pupils to not answer.


Senate carpets Gillian Triggs over Bill Leak testimony

Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs is expected to front the Senate ­tomorrow for a determination of whether she “misled” the chamber over the Bill Leak case and after an allegation by Attorney-General George Brandis that her organisation had turned into “some sort of Orwellian chamber”.

A special spill-over session of Senate estimates was arranged after several Coalition MPs ­expressed concern about Professor Triggs’ testimony to a parliamentary committee in Feb­ruary, when she claimed Leak’s lawyer had failed to respond to requests to justify his provocative cartoon, that was the subject of complaints under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

She said then that if “at least a simple statement” had been made, a four-month investigation into his cartoon — depicting an indigenous boy being handed over by the police to his father, who is drinking beer and has forgotten his son’s name — would have been “terminated much earlier”.

Independent senator Derryn Hinch also lodged a complaint with the committee’s chair, Liberal senator Ian Macdonald, when Leak’s lawyer, Justin Quill, rejected her evidence and produced correspondence detailing several defences The Australian’s editorial cartoonist wished to establish under section 18D of the act.

“This is the third occasion on which we’ve had to ask Professor Triggs to return and explain ­apparent misleading information,” Senator Macdonald said.

“I’m disappointed we have to do this again but it is clear from the evidence we have that there was a misleading of the Senate and I want Professor Triggs to explain.”

Her scheduled return to parliament, which could be delayed if the Senate continues to sit ­tomorrow to debate the government’s omnibus and childcare bills, comes as Race Discrim­ination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane acknowledged section 18D, which provides ­exemptions for artistic work produced in the public interest, should have protected Leak.

But he said Leak’s lawyers did not put in a “submission” to the commission on 18D and instead “wanted only a public hearing”.

Mr Quill said Dr Soutphommasane was “distancing” the commission from Professor Triggs’ earlier “misleading statements”.

“Here at least we have them ­accepting that we responded,” Mr Quill said.

Dr Soutphommasane has denied soliciting complaints against Leak’s cartoon but Senator Brandis yesterday declared the “evidence is there for all to see” that he was “encouraging” people to do so.

At the time, the commissioner asked Aboriginal Australians who had been racially offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the cartoon to “consider lodging a complaint”.

Senator Brandis said the government’s proposed reforms to the AHRC’s processes would ensure complaints could not be “pre-judged”.

“If only the Australian Human Rights Commission would do what it was set up to do and be a champion of human rights rather than allowing itself to become some sort of Orwellian chamber in which people get persecuted for holding opinions. That’s what people expect them to do,” Senator Brandis told 2GB radio.

“If you go out and say ‘please make a complaint to me and then I will adjudicate the complaint’, how is that adjudication going to be fair?”


Look out when science and politics tell us the future

A growing mood of catastrophism is enveloping our more serious newspapers as the cost of anthropogenic change to the business climate bites.

A decade of ill-judged environmental and energy policy has exacted a terrible toll on the national economy. There is little chance of the investment needed to rid South Australia of its basket-case status while the government is unable to guarantee a stable power supply. Across the country, household electricity prices have more than doubled in less than a decade, and gas is running out on the eastern seaboard.

A decade ago, Australia enjoyed an efficient and reliable energy market and some of the cheapest power in the world. Hubristic government intervention has changed that and the damage could take decades to repair.

The politicisation of the global warming debate began almost 30 years ago with the 1988 climate change conference in Toronto. It was the start of a series of international gatherings, each larger than the last, with escalating apocalypticism and ever more strident demands for action.

The hyper-dramatisation of the millennial drought and the release of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth set the stage for Kevin Rudd to declare climate change our greatest moral challenge.

“There are two stark choices,” Rudd said in an extraordinary speech in late 2009, “action or inaction.” A pedant might describe it as a single choice constructed around a false dilemma, but his rhetorical point was made.

His government, naturally, would choose action since in modern progressive politics the urge to do something is stronger than the imperative to assess the likely consequences of the thing they are intending to do.

Time has helped illuminate the dewy-eyed naivety of the climate change policy Rudd took to the 2007 election. Ineffectiveness is one thing; the damage caused by the unintended consequences is quite another.

By setting a 20 per cent renewable energy target for 2020, the government privileged the suppliers of intermittent energy — wind and solar — over sources of energy capable of producing a reliable supply.

The costs of the scheme were seriously underestimated. The myth was allowed to percolate that renewable energy was free.

If we thought we’d been let off the hook when the Abbott government scrapped the carbon tax, we were wrong. The collective weight of government interventions, large and small, driven by compassion for the planet, has made us poorer than we would otherwise be. The Garnaut report in 2008 spoke of the massive economic transformation required to adapt to a carbon-constrained future but greatly underestimated the cost.

Its logic was obscure and its economic modelling so ambitious that it was frankly unbelievable. Treasury had forecast Australia’s gross national product for the next 92 years, yet one has only to read old budget papers to realise that their modelling breaks down over four.

Today the Garnaut report, with its lofty, theoretical arguments, reads like a brilliant postgraduate thesis. As a blueprint for government policy, however, it is dangerously flawed.

Yet by 2008 science and politics had become indistinguishable. Science provided the justification for political action; politics provided the grants that sent science heading along a single track.

Some say the politicisation of climate change picked up where the Cold War left off. There are certainly parallels: Marxism, according to Friedrich Engels, was scientific socialism; its theories supposedly held to an empirical standard, based on the methodical observation of history.

Once you understood — or thought you understood — the rules according to which human beings operated, you could build a perfect society and create economic order from chaos. There was no room for dispute because the science was settled; authoritarianism was its natural consequence.

The science of global warming offered the intellectuals another chance to organise the world as they wanted it to be, to take charge of human affairs and to bypass the irksome process of democracy. It was a global problem that called for global action.

It was an opportunity to settle old scores by re-fighting the lost battle of the Cold War: the fight against free markets. It justified a new technocratic world order, constructed in the spirit of Thomas Paine: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” And they weren’t shy to admit it. As Christine Figuerres, executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, put it in 2015: “This is first time in the history of mankind that we set ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

From the perspective of free-market liberals, this is bound to end in tears. The massive collective interventions that have distorted the energy market are choking the economy in the 21st century, as surely as socialist interventions did in the 1990s.

An ideological commitment to address market failure has resulted in something worse: non-market failure. Australia is running short of baseload electrical power, but the disincentives for investing are large.

So the South Australian government now talks of taking electricity generation back into public ownership. Others talk about subsidising baseload power plants from the public purse, falling back on the industrial welfare habit.

It all makes perfect sense to the technocrats and central planners.


How we house growing families in Australia

Research has uncovered a surprising sociological twist to why so many Australians are facing the choice of either moving to a bigger house or renovating their existing homes to accommodate growing families.

That difficult choice can involve what academic studies call "multi-generation households" with growing numbers of adult members, as well as more traditional Australian families that need more space for the arrival a new baby.

A study by the University of NSW Housing and Urban Research Institute found the number of multi-generation households has grown steadily over the past 25 years, and that almost one in five Australians now live with two or more generations of related adults.

"Multi-generation households are particularly common in our major cities," the report says. "In Sydney, where the practice is most common, almost one-quarter of all households comprised multiple generations."

The decision to move or extend is also driven by soaring house prices. Multi-award-winning Australian architect, Andrew Maynard, says a growing number of clients are choosing to consolidate their wealth in an existing home rather than move.

"Property values are so high people are quite keen to stay where they are," he says. "They're confident in investing significant amounts of money to ensure their modest sized block is doing everything it can to give them a comfortable and happy life.

"We have numerous projects that are resolving that issue, working with a site that most Australians would say is too small and just doing something clever with it to make sure it works for a long-term family plan."

The architect also believes Australians create houses much bigger than they need. "That's something I talk to them about," he says. "Australian houses are the biggest in the world at the moment, and we talk to people about what they actually need."

Housing Industry Association Victorian executive director, Gil King, says families deciding whether to buy or extend should look at the area they already live in to see if it has all the facilities needed for a growing family.

"That would include things like schools, parks and shopping centres," he says. "If all those facilities are in the area it might be detrimental to move, they might already have children in local schools who would need to be uprooted and moved elsewhere.

"If the necessary facilities are not in their existing location, they might need to move somewhere that does have them."

ME's head of home loans, Patrick Nolan, says the decision to move ? or stay put and renovate ? to accommodate a multigenerational family is often made as much with our hearts as with our heads.

"A reason many people like to stay put is emotional, and a home that has been lived in for a long time will carry many family memories ? that in itself is a valid reason to stay," said Nolan.

"Also, moving to a new home can be an expensive process.

"You can renovate to accommodate the extended family adequately, particularly if you are housing older generations who may need facilities like ground floor access or hand rails.

"Either way, it's critical to think about how you will pay for it all. Your home loan is a valuable tool here, offering a low cost source of funds.

"It may also be worthwhile refinancing your loan with another bank. The benefits are two-fold: you can tap into equity to get the funds you need while also giving yourself an opportunity to secure a better rate.


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

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