Tuesday, March 21, 2017

‘Stick to your knitting’: Dutton tells CEO’s to stay out of gay marriage

Why would an airline involve itself in homosexual marriage politics?  The boss of Qantas is himself homosexual, that's why

In an extraordinary spray, immigration minister Peter Dutton has singled out Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce in a fresh assault on the involvement of some of Australia’s largest companies in the marriage equality debate.

Mr Dutton warned CEO’s to “stick to their knitting”, and said the Turnbull government “would not be bullied” into changing its stance on gay marriage.

“It is unacceptable that people have used companies, and shareholders money, to try to throw their weight around in these debates,” he told reporters in Cairns following his address to the Liberal National Party’s state council.

He used his address on Saturday to accuse chief executives of using shareholders’ money to drive a personal agenda.

In particular, he took aim at Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, a strong advocate for marriage equality.

“Alan Joyce, the individual, is perfectly entitled to campaign for and spend his hard earned money on any issue he sees fit, but don’t do it in the official capacity and with shareholders money,” he told the meeting.

“And certainly don’t use an iconic brand and the might of a multi-billion dollar business on issues best left to the judgment of issues and elected decision makers,” he said to applause.

Mr Dutton’s comments come after the chief executives of 30 of Australia’s largest companies, including Telstra, Holden, Wesfarmers and the Commonwealth Bank, urged the government to take action on marriage equality.

Dutton, one of the most prominent conservative voices in the Turnbull government, also claimed some companies had been coerced into supporting the marriage equality campaign.

“The reality is that some companies are morally coerced into supporting campaigns in fear of being extorted by an online social media push to boycott their product,” he said.

Qantas quickly returned fire, saying the company would continue to support gay marriage and “other things we believe in”, the ABC reported.

“Qantas speaks out on a number of social issues from indigenous recognition to gender diversity and marriage equality,” a spokesman said in a statement.

“We do so because we believe these issues are about the fundamental Australian value of fairness and we’re the national carrier.

“We respect the fact that not everyone agrees with marriage equality, but opinion polls show the majority of Australians do, as do many of our employees.”

Social media reaction to Duttons words ranged from the critical, to the supportive and the hilarious.

“There goes his Chairman's Lounge access,” tweeted Ian Soloman.


Homofascist censors don’t want us thinking for ourselves

JENNIFER ORIEL writes as follows:

In their campaign for gay marriage, some activists have developed a regrettably totalitarian strategy. It is to target dissenters, gay or straight, and silence them through persistent bullying. It is a strategy where the ends justify the means. The ends are not the formal equality of homosexuals and gay marriage. It is absolute conformity to radical queer ideology.

Like many columnists, artists and voracious consumers of the late Bill Leak’s art, I have wondered what he might have made of the past week’s events.

In a discussion of Leak’s cartoons on Monday’s Q&A on ABC, panellists praised polite speech in contrast to his politically incorrect art. The prim thought police did not deem impolite the audience member who smeared Leak as a “racist” only three days after his death. At times like these, you need Leak on the illustration and Baudelaire on the caption.

In the following days, a draft letter on same-sex marriage was leaked to the press. The corporate chiefs who signed it apparently wanted the Prime Minister to abandon his pre-election commitment to a people’s vote on same-sex marriage.

Some queer activists have celebrated the idea of politicians snatching the plebiscite vote away from the people. They seem to ­believe that denying people freedom of thought is the constitution of equality. As a justification, they imagine some hypo­thetical harm that might result from fellow citizens exercising ­independence in a free vote on the matter of marriage. We are used to hearing the PC nonsense that free and civil speech causes harm. Now sections of the activist class contend that democracy too is harmful. They are unlikely to find accord among dissidents in totalitarian states.

In the same week, Islamophobia propagandists tried to stop ­enlightenment advocate and freethinker Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at events across Australia. She too has been criticised as harmful by people whose sense of self, status and taxpayer-funded careers rely on cultivating and maintaining a victim identity.

Just as the PC naval-gazers looked like they had reached peak narcissism, along came an outrage to outrage them all; a video of civil conversation between beer-drinking blokes. If not for the gallows of political correctness, the story could rival Springtime for Hitler in hilarity.

Consider the context. The scene is set on a balmy, late summer day. Two high-profile politicians from the political right — men in the prime of their lives — want to talk marriage. They have arranged to meet on none other than Valentine’s Day at, wait for it, Queen’s Terrace. Their brief, polite conversation is filmed by a fellow who recently has come out of the closet in Newtown, a Sydney suburb brimming with students, activists, lesbians and gays. Unfortunately, he has come out as a Christian and conservative in Newtown, which is something akin to staging a drag cabaret in the Kremlin.

The chat between the conservative straight politician who supports traditional marriage and the libertarian gay politician who wants same-sex marriage legalised is amicable. It is so civilised and friendly that it enrages activists who view dissenters as an enemy class to be silenced, not ­befriended. They dislike civility and public reason because it ­exposes their intemperance.

Some outraged activists took to Twitter and any social media platform they could find to launch a queer fear blitz on beer.

The video to discuss the meaning of marriage featured Coopers beer that was produced as part of a joint Coopers and Bible Society campaign, “Keeping it Light”. The brewer has a long association with the society and the campaign ­includes a series of beer cartons with inspirational quotes from the Bible. Such quotes shouldn’t be controversial in any country, let alone a Christian-majority nation.

In the past, some wine companies have inscribed bottles with scripture. It appears that the Coopers case became controversial for two reasons. Firstly, the company has a relationship with a Christian organisation (very politically ­incorrect). Secondly, the video cele­brated public reason on the question of marriage, which is an issue the PC class wants to monopolise. It targets dissenters, regardless of whether they are gay, bisexual or straight. The aim is to shut down all debate to create ­absolute ideological conformity.

Several Coopers boycotters were associated with the Greens. Adam Bandt and Christine Milne backed the boycott, as did Jason Ball, who stood as Greens candidate in the last election. On Twitter, Ball wrote: “… conservative Christians buy up cases of alco­hol to smite gay people”. James Brechney, a Mardi Gras board member, led an online petition to boycott Coopers. It read: “Coopers recent alignment with the Bible Society, who are openly against Marriage Equality, is shameful!” Brechney described the conversation on marriage between parliamentary mates Andrew Hastie and Tim Wilson thus: “A video where two Liberal Party MPs discuss the issue of same-sex marriage. It’s horrendous!”

On the Coopers Club forum, some members decried the company’s commercial relationship with a Christian group. However, when a member asked what they thought of Coopers’ halal certification, most declined to criticise the company’s relationship with an Islamic group. It is a double standard. Boycott and divestment campaigns against Christians or Jews are commonly justified while boycotts of Islamic organisations are deemed racist.

Coopers made the critical error of capitulating to PC bigotry. ­According to sources, the legal counsel for Coopers asked the Bible Society to take down the video. It is no longer available ­online. In a filmed apology, Tim and Melanie Cooper looked like a pair of thought reform victims in a re-education camp.

If you want liberty, democracy and Christianity to survive, never submit to the PC mob. In its ­response, Coopers might have stated simply that while the company didn’t finance the video, its ­leadership believes in free speech, freedom of association and a ­vibrant Australian democracy where mates can discuss any issue over a beer.

There was little to learn from the activist campaign against free speech between mates, but irony emerged in its wake. The biblical quote on Coopers’ controversial beer read: “Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (John 3:21).


Bob Brown defiant over Gillian Triggs fundraising speech

UPDATED: Bob Brown has issued a defiant message about Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs’ planned speaking engagement at a fundraiser for the former Greens leader.

Several Coalition MPs have criticised the booking of Professor Triggs at the Hobart dinner at the end of the month, saying she should withdraw or resign immediately from the Human Rights Commission.

Liberal backbencher Eric Abetz said the event appeared to contravene the Public Service Code of Conduct.

Mr Brown responded via Twitter today:  Professor Triggs has agreed to address the $50 per person fundraising event for the Bob Brown Foundation on the topic of “Fighting for our rights – a ‘fair go Australia’”.

Senator Abetz said: “For a senior public official like Professor Triggs to attend a blatant fundraising event for a left-wing political action group like the Bob Brown Foundation just displays once again a very poor level of judgement”.

“Professor Triggs is paid more than $400,000 each year by the taxpayer and is expected to be impartial. If Professor Triggs won’t withdraw then she should resign.

“There is no doubt that Dr Brown still has very deep links to the Australian Greens and that this event could in no way be impartial. As head of the HRC, she should be reconsidering her position.”

Senator Abetz said the fundraiser appearance was the latest in a long line of questionable decisions made by Professor Triggs.

“Between awarding compensation to a wife killer, looking into children in detention several years too late, dragging four university students before tribunals and courts for four years just to be found innocent over a Facebook post, misleading journalists and parliamentary committees and now this blatant political activism – you’ve got to wonder if we could do any worse,” he said. “The Australian people deserve better than this continued saga.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton also called for Professor Triggs to cancel her appearance or quit.

“Gillian Triggs has done enough damage to the office already,” Mr Dutton told The Daily Telegraph. “Surely for the sake of the people she purports to represent she should announce her candidacy for the Greens or step aside from the position.”

Professor Triggs is adamant the dinner is not a political event.

Although Dr Brown is no longer a politician, his foundation conducts activist campaigns with overtly political intentions.

“I have been assured by the organisers that the event is not a fundraiser,” she said. “The income from tickets will be used to cover the costs and any surplus will be donated to charity.”

“It is not a political event, but an annual Hobart oration. I am not being paid an appearance fee and my travel and accommodation costs are being covered by the organisers.”

Professor Triggs, who is supposed to be unbiased, will deliver a speech titled “Fighting for our rights — a fair go Australia’’ at a dinner for Dr Brown’s foundation in Hobart on March 30.


State Premier lies to cover up Greenie folly

His manic anti-coal hatred caused several major blackouts in South Australia

Business leaders have been left stunned after Jay Weatherill, during a debate a year out from the next state election, claimed that Alinta Energy had made no offer to keep the state’s last coal-fired power station open.

This is despite The Australian in August revealing correspondence between Alinta Energy and state Treasurer Tom Koutsan­tonis, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, in which the government rejected a transition plan to keep the Northern power station in Port Augusta open until 2018. The plant permanently shut in May, with immediate price ­surges of ­almost 75 per cent and a wind-reliant grid that has led to a spate of blackouts.

The government is continuing to deny access to 12 documents sought under FOI by the opposition, which are being reviewed by the ombudsman, and will not reveal how much financial assistance was sought by Alinta.

Yesterday, during a pre-election leaders’ debate hosted by Business SA and the Property Council, Mr Weatherill was asked by Opposition Leader Steven Marshall to “tell the 650 people here today” how much Alinta wanted to keep its baseload power station open to help with the transition to renewable power.

“It was put to you, it was put to cabinet, and it was rejected — tell us now whether it was much higher than the $550 million energy plan you’re now putting on the people of South Australia.”

As the audience applauded, the Premier shook his head. “They (Alinta) were never offering to do that, simple as that,” he said. Pressed by the debate moderator, the Premier insisted there was “absolutely” no offer on the table, but later said he would not reveal what Alinta had asked for.

FOI documents show Alinta took a firm transition plan seeking financial support to the government on May 6, 2015. A fortnight later, Mr Koutsantonis rejected the approach, advising chief executive Jeff Dimery that “the support requested would not be forthcoming”.

In a follow-up letter to Mr Dimery, the Treasurer said: “The government considered Alinta Energy’s revised proposal and is unable to accommodate the ­significantly increased funding request.”

Mr Dimery said in June 2015 that despite talks with the government to stay open, its policies to promote high levels of renewable energy generation had forced the power station’s closure.

Mr Weatherill this week recommitted SA to its 50 per cent renewable energy target, saying it had almost been achieved.

Opposition energy spokesman Dan van Holst Pellekaan last night said voters had the right to know what it would have cost to keep the Northern power station operating. He said it was understood the support requested by Alinta was less than 10 per cent of the $550m cost of the Weatherill government’s energy strategy.

“If there was no offer then why is a confidentiality gag in place and why is the government fighting 12 Freedom of Information applications?” he said.

The debate came a day after Mr Weatherill traded insults with federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg at an AGL announcement in Adelaide. Mr Frydenberg labelled the state’s new energy policy as the Premier’s “$550m admission of failure”.

Mr Weatherill on Tuesday said the state would “go it alone” and released a six-point energy plan.


CGT attacks are an example of the tall poppy syndrome
Herman Toh

This week has seen a renewed focus on targeting capital gains tax with the threat that the fifty per cent concession will be cut -- a proposal that rears its unattractive noggin on nearly an annual basis. Essentially, this means there will be an increase in taxes on capital.  Tall poppy syndrome seems to be going into overdrive. What next? A tax only for the rich!

There are several reasons why it would be a terrible idea to increase capital gains tax levels.

First, capital gains tax creates what is called the lock-in effect. Meaning, owners of assets are incentivised to hold onto assets to avoid paying capital gains tax. One example where this is most prevalent is the housing market where investors are taxed on an investment property. This creates a decrease in housing available for sale. With housing affordability as a hot-button issue, any action that causes a restriction on the supply side should be avoided.

Second, capital gains tax inflicts an additional burden on capital that has already been taxed. An example of that would be company shares. Any capital that is first earned by a company is taxed. The issue is that if the company retains the profit, it then increases the value of the company's shares. When the shares are sold, capital gains tax is applied.
The third reason is capital gains tax is not indexed to inflation. Taxing the inflation component increases the effective tax rate on savings above the official tax rate, as argued by the Henry Tax Review. This means capital gains can be overtaxed if there is no inflation adjustment. This works as another disincentive to invest .

Finally, there is a risk in any investment.  To reward the investors for contributing to the economy, a lower capital gain tax would provide incentives for people to invest. We need to stop demonising people for wanting to invest in housing or shares that help them make money. Neither are they cash cows to be milked whenever the government has a shortfall in the budget.


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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