Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Australian comedian is banned from Facebook for 'hate speech' and 'racism' - for bagging New Zealanders' ACCENTS

The Kiwi accent is certainly unusual.  They have lost an entire vowel.  They say "fush n chups" instead of "fish n chips".  Losing a consonant is not uncommon.  Outside Scotland all English speakers have lost the guttural "ach laut", as in the Scottish "loch".  We still have it in our spelling -- as in "night" but we no longer pronounce the "gh".  And Cockneys have lost Theta.  They say "wif" instead of "with".  The Kiwis however seem to be the only group to have lost a vowel.

But the big issue is that the comments were just jocular.  There is no hate involved. Australians and Kiwis are of the same stock so hate would be absurd. There are small cultural differences but they evoke only humour.  Though Kiwis are undoubtedly tired of Australian jokes about sheep.  And Australians in New Zealand must never mention underarm bowling in cricket

An Australian comedian has taken to social media to share his thoughts on the age old rivalry between Australia and New Zealand.

It's one of those classic questions - like Ali or Frazier, Lennon or McCartney, and Ford or Holden - that anyone who has set foot in this corner of the globe will be more than happy to share their opinion on.

In the video, which has more than 324,000 views on YouTube, Mr Butterfield takes aim at what he sees as the many differences between the countries.

In the video titled 'The Actual Difference Between Australia and New Zealand,' posted in response to video by YouTuber 'How to DAD,' Mr Butterfield says the NZ national icon, the kiwi, is 'small, hairy and boring,' and that at least the koala 'has a little bit of personality'.

He says the country is known for 'some small budget movie ten years ago' and is also not a fan of the Haka, saying that Australia has its own version - quality players, but did concede that the All Blacks were 'very, very good at rugby.' 

Referring to the many adventure activities available across the ditch, Mr Butterfield said if he had a choice between jumping off a bridge with a rope or trying to understand NZ locals at the pub, he would choose the bridge minus the rope.

The video has incurred the wrath of not just New Zealanders but also of Facebook's powers-that-be.

Mr Butterfield said in a Twitter post the video was 'removed by Facebook for Hate Speech and 'Racism which is the most ridiculous response that I could ever imagine.'

The touring stand-up comedian in his early twenties also revealed that he was suspended from Facebook for seven days following the video removal.

'I understand Facebook is a private company and they can do whatever they want but… this is a humungous public forum and they are censoring it,' he said in a follow up YouTube video.

Youtube comments to the original video appeared to be free of any seriously offended remarks with one commenter stating, 'I'm from New Zealand but I found this video hilarious.'

Another commenter to Mr Butterfield's Twitter post revealing the ban said that, 'the video was comedy not hate speech… FB just doesn't understand kiwis and strayans.'

During Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before the US Congress on April 10, the Facebook CEO said that he could see artificial intelligence taking a front line role in automatically detecting hate speech on Facebook in five to 10 years.

'Until we get it automated, there's a higher error rate than I'm happy with,' he said.


'I'll set that church on fire': 'Australian Army veteran' leaves deadly threat online after Anglican minister posted Yassmin Abdel-Magied's controversial Anzac Day post on his church sign

Muslims get pretty irate at disrespect for their religion so why should not an Australian army veteran get irate at disrespect for our war-dead?

An Anglican minister who supported Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied by putting her controversial Anzac Day message on his church's billboard has revealed the terrifying threat an Army veteran sent him.

Father Rod Bower of the Gosford Anglican Church, north of Sydney, knew he would cop a lot of abuse after putting up the controversial message.

However, Father Bower did not expect to have his church threatened to be burnt down by a man dressed in a Australian Defence Force uniform.

The controversial minister reposted the man's threat, which read: 'I'll set that church on fire'. 

'This is the first time a member of the Australian Defence Force has threatened to burn our church down,' Father Bower wrote on Facebook. 

'We have had other occasional threats of arson, always from the extreme right of our nationals political spectrum.

'Ironically, the threats come from the very same people who warn that Muslims will 'burn your churches down'.

'A Muslim has in reality, never threatened me in any way.'

Father Bower acknowledged the negative and destructive behaviour by nationalists who caused a woman to flee her own country.

'The kind of nationalism that drives a woman from her own country with threats of rape and violence is truly frightening.

'Also when members of our own defense force threaten to turn on Australian Citizens simply for questioning the direction in which our culture is heading.

Father Bower concluded his post by saying he has the greatest respect and admiration for the courageous men and women who serve the nation. 

In the Facebook post before revealing he was threatened, Father Bower honoured the war veterans who served and protected, including some of his own relatives, before acknowledging the refugees and asylum seekers. 

'We must remember what we are doing to Refugees and Asylum Seekers on Manus and Nauru along with the harm we continue to cause the First Nation people.'

Father Bower's billboard stunt came a year after Yassmin Abdel-Magied tweeted then apologised for her controversial post.

'Lest. We. Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine),' Ms Abdel-Magied wrote in 2017.

A few days before Anzac Day, the Sudanese-born former ABC presenter, 27, called on her supporters to tweet '#lestweforgetManus'.

The threat was investigated by the Australian Federal Defence and it's been confirmed the person who threatened the church is not a current member, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Father Bower said the issue has been passed on to the state police to investigate.  


Australian steel and aluminium remains exempt from US tariffs

The US is continuing tariff exemptions for Australian steel and aluminium producers.

A White House statement says President Donald Trump's administration has reached an in-principle deal on the tariffs with Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

It says the details of that arrangement will be finalised shortly.

Mr Trump announced in March that the US would impose a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10 per cent tax on aluminium.

Shortly after that, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia would be exempt. But uncertainty remained because Mr Trump set a May 1 deadline for deciding whether that exemption would be permanent.

Today the President announced that he had struck a deal with Australia, Argentina and Brazil, but also warned that under certain circumstances he could reimpose the tariffs.

He has announced South Korea would be exempt from the tariffs because it had struck a deal to reduce the amount of steel it sends to the US.

Mr Trump has given himself another month to decide on whether the EU, Canada and Mexico would be exempt from the tariffs. The EU has threatened to retaliate if it is not exempt, which has raised fears of a trade war.


Governments at work: Australia’s billion dollar infrastructure boondoggles

AUSTRALIA is being buttered up for a multi-billion dollar infrastructure bonanza in next week’s budget. Road and rail projects are expected to be showered with taxpayer funds courtesy of Canberra.

But economists have warned that grand infrastructure projects can become billion-dollar wastes of money.

One highway upgrade in Victoria has returned just 8c for every dollar of public money invested in it. A proposed rail link could cost a motza and still be slower than the bus.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the Federal Government would chip in half of the $10 billion cost of a rail link to Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport.

“The time for talk is over … Melbourne is still waiting for a service almost all of the world’s great cities take for granted,” he said on April 12.

But for Grattan Institute transport expert Hugh Batrouney, it is still not certain that a Melbourne airport rail link is really worth it.

“My first reaction (when the announcement was made) was to look at whether the project was included on any of the infrastructure bodies’ priority lists and then to have a look to see if a detailed business case had been prepared,” Mr Batrouney told

“The answer to both of those questions was ‘no’.”

On the most recent priority list drawn up by Infrastructure Australia, a government body that assesses big projects, the rail link barely rates a mention. Infrastructure Victoria said the link wasn’t needed for 30 years.

Amazingly, the billions spent could actually make travel to the airport worse.

Infrastructure Victoria has said an alternative plan, of spending up to $100 million on traffic priority measures, could speed up trips on the existing SkyBus to just 20 to 25 minutes. In contrast, the expensive new train would take 30 minutes to go between Southern Cross and Tullamarine.

But the urge to build is hard to resist.

“The issue, particularly in Melbourne where there is such strong population growth, is there’s a perception the city is under developed in infrastructure. There’s a feeling we need to make up for that perceived infrastructure deficit,” he said.

It’s not that Melbourne doesn’t need an airport rail link; it just doesn’t need a train right now. And money spent on this train, can’t be spent on a train somewhere else.

Backers of big projects, with close-to-the-bone budgets, say the benefits aren’t just economic. They can enhance safety and revitalise neighbourhoods.

But what other questionable infrastructure projects are being — or have been — built?

Economists have long questioned the financial sense of expensive infrastructure that is not within Australian cities, or provides a link between them.

The A1 Princes Highway duplication in Victoria, which is still being built, does neither. Rather, it connects a regional city, Geelong, to a regional town, Colac.

The upgrade costing $500 million, is not included on Infrastructure Australia’s priority list, and has a return of just 8c on every dollar invested, according to the Grattan Institute. By some measure, over the period of a decade, taxpayers have subsidised every vehicle on the road to the tune of 13.7c per kilometre travelled.

Only the Forrest Highway, between Perth and Bunbury — which went five times over budget — has a higher cost per vehicle kilometre.

“A project can have merits beyond the economic case, there is no doubt about that,” Mr Batrouney said. In the A1’s case, that included easier access for tourists to the Great Ocean Road, the elimination of accident black spots and the opening up of southwestern Victoria. But it’s been a high price to pay for those benefits.

The M7 Tunnel is one of a number of expensive road tunnels, including Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel, that never fulfilled its promise.

The $3 billion tunnel under Brisbane’s CBD saw three times less traffic than was expected and ended up sending its private owner bankrupt.

ACT: The 12km tram project to link the CBD to Gungahlin is well under way with a price tag of about $700m. The Grattan Institute has previously found it will provide no more benefits than an alternative bus rapid transit project but will cost twice as much.

But the ACT Government has said a bus can’t compete with the urban development and property price hikes that a tram line brings.

In Newcastle, where a light rail line is also on the way, the justification is even more dubious. The less-than-3km tram line will cost about $300m and will replace a curtailed commuter train line.

A leaked NSW Government report found its return is expected to be less than one dollar to the dollar. But if the train line had remained in place and development had occurred alongside it, the return would have been $2.40 per dollar invested, Fairfax reported.

According to Mr Batrouney, the proposed western Sydney airport rail link falls squarely into the Melbourne rail link category of building too much way too soon.

The new airport at Badgerys Creek is right at the top of Infrastructure Australia’s to-do list. But a rail link, speeding people from the surrounding areas to the terminal costing as much as $7b, is not. Yet both the federal and NSW governments have signed up for it.

“The airport is due to open in 2026 but the Western Sydney Rail Needs Study found rail wasn’t needed for at least the first 10 years of operation so that puts it out to at least 2036,” he said.

INLAND RAIL: It’s the $9b railway the vast majority of us will never see. Snaking its way 1700km from Melbourne to Brisbane, its backers say it will take masses of freight from congested highways, create 16,00 jobs and pump $16 billion into the economy. But the Grattan Institute said it would “never add up”, that traffic projections were hazy and a cost overrun — likely on a mammoth project — could wipe out any benefits.

EAST WEST LINK MOTORWAY, MELBOURNE: The crowning glory of uneconomical infrastructure, however, is Melbourne’s inner-city East West link, which cost $1.2 billion NOT to build.

The road was controversially signed off by the then Victorian Coalition government weeks before the 2014 state election, after criticism the project did not have a rigorous cost-benefit analysis in place.

Labor, which had campaigned against the project, won the election and cancelled it. But, said Labor, to build would have cost at least $6b.

In a piece for The Conversation, Mr Batrouney said governments shouldn’t splash out on big projects until they had looked in detail at the economic impacts and opened the results up to public scrutiny.

“We shouldn’t be fooled into thinking any spending is good spending. There are many examples where the opposite is more likely true: where poorly targeted infrastructure wastes resources and weakens economic growth,” he said.


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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