Friday, April 21, 2017

Melbourne's black terror goes on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Teacher flaws stifle students, say principals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Organic 'greenwashing' prompts push for tighter food labelling laws

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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