Wednesday, July 18, 2018


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is amazed at the ACTU importing  a Hollywood personality to star at their congress

Australia's ABC panned over Paul Bongiorno's Uncle Tom slur

This is a bit hard to sort out, but it seems that Bongiornio found an ABC panel show to be boring.  He attributed that to the  fact that the participants were all Leftists and "Uncle Toms".  Whether that was true or not, his usage of the term "Uncle Tom" was greeted as politically incorrect.  In the original novel about him, Uncle Tom was a good guy.  But Leftists hate that

Warren Mundine [An Aborigine] has slammed a “hypocritical and disgraceful” response from the ABC after it distanced itself from commentator Paul Bongiorno and his reference to the indigenous businessman with the racial slur “Uncle Tom”.

In a statement provided to The Australian yesterday, the public broadcaster said: “Mr Bongiorno is not an ABC employee; his Twitter account is not an ABC ­account; any tweets are Mr Bongiorno’s own.”

It came a week after Bongiorno tweeted on July 8: “As many ‘righties’ on Dky (sic) after dark panels … and that includes ‘Uncle Tom’ lefties craving relevance.”

Mr Mundine told The Australian last night the tweet was written in clear reference to him, and described the ABC’s reaction as unacceptable. “Any organisation that reacted in this way would deserve to be pilloried for their pathetic, weak response,” he said.

Bongiorno apologised last night for causing offence and said he never intended to use a racist slur but he objected to Mr Mundine calling for the ABC to sack him.

“I am an independent commentator and journalist, currently on holidays; it is passing strange that the only reaction to some who take offence is to demand one of my employers sack me,” he tweeted.

“My tweet was in response to an attack on the ABC for only having ‘lefty’ panels. I made the point that there is plenty of evidence to show Sky has ‘rightie’ panels or acceptable ‘lefties’, which was my intention using the term ‘Uncle Tom.’ ”


Turnbull says there is ‘real concern about Sudanese gangs’ in Melbourne

Malcolm Turnbull has said there is “real concern about Sudanese gangs” in Melbourne and defended earlier remarks by Peter Dutton suggesting people were afraid to go out for dinner in the Victorian capital because of the fear of “African gangs”.

On Tuesday, Turnbull defended the home affairs minister’s remarks in January, while insisting his government had “zero tolerance for racism”.

The prime minister’s comments come amid escalating campaigning by the Coalition on immigration and crime in the lead-up to both the super Saturday byelections on 28 July and the Victorian state election later this year.

On Monday, the Liberal senator Dean Smith used the fact Australia’s population will soon tick over to 25m to call for an inquiry into population growth, while Dutton injected the immigration debate into the byelection campaigns in Longman and Braddon by boasting that permanent migration has fallen on his watch.

Turnbull picked up on that theme in an interview on 3AW radio on Tuesday, noting that permanent migration of 163,000 people in the past financial year was “the lowest its been in a decade”.

Despite describing immigration as an exercise in “recruitment” of the “best and brightest” to Australia, the prime minister suggested it was “good that it’s down, on the basis we’re not taking any more than we need”.

Business and industry groups have blasted the reduction, noting Australia has taken 12,500 fewer workers on skilled visas in the past year and warning of labour shortages in areas outside Sydney and Melbourne.

On Tuesday, the Infrastructure Australia chief, ­Philip Davies, told the Australian the country lacked “national-level, long-term planning” about population growth and had been “lazy” in planning for its infrastructure needs.

Turnbull said it was “not right” to claim there was no planning around population levels, citing intergenerational reporting started by the former treasurer Peter Costello, and arguing the level of skilled migration “responds to the demands of the economy”.

“Where there has been a massive failure is in terms of infrastructure,” he said, adding there was “real concern about congestion, in particular”.

Regional Australia had “different concerns” because “in many places they want to see more migration”, he said. Turnbull said his government was considering how to encourage people who come to Australia to work in regional areas to remain by adding conditions to their visas.

On Saturday the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive, James Pearson, told Guardian Australia the government was pursuing a “contradictory policy approach” by attempting to encourage more workers to the regions while lowering the overall migration intake.

Turnbull left the door open to a parliamentary inquiry into population, suggesting the joint standing committee on migration was “always open” to review the issue.

Asked about alleged fears of “Sudanese gangs”, Turnbull said that he had “heard that from people in Melbourne”. “I’ve heard people – colleagues from Melbourne – say that there is real anxiety about crime in Melbourne. It is a real issue. “There is certainly concern about street crime in Melbourne.”

On Monday, the Victorian equal opportunity and human rights commissioner, Kristen Hilton, warned against “racially divisive statements” after a resurgence in race discrimination complaints.

Asked whether Dutton had provoked racial hatred with his comments, Turnbull said it was “nonsense” to suggest that, adding he was “simply seeking to do the best job” as the minister for home affairs, responsible for domestic security and migration.

“There is real concern about Sudanese gangs,” Turnbull said. “You’d have to be walking around with your hands over your ears in Melbourne not to hear it.”

At a later press conference in Baxter to announce an upgrade of the Baxter to Frankston line, Turnbull said “not everyone is frightened of street crime, but a lot of people are”.

“You have to be honest; there are Sudanese gangs in Melbourne. No one is making any reflections about Sudanese migrants, Sudanese [people] in general.”

Last week the Victorian Liberal opposition was labelled “nasty and bigoted” by the state Labor government for releasing a pamphlet warning of “gangs hunting in packs”.

Overall crime rates in Victoria are down, including youth crime. Sudanese-born people are disproportionately represented in some offence categories such as violence and affray, although experts argue this is due to a higher incidence of other factors that are associated with a high crime rate, such as poverty and a lack of engagement in work and school.


My Health Record: privacy, cybersecurity and the hacking risk

Health bodies say the digital record will improve care but privacy advocates say it is an ‘uncontrolled’ data dump

From Monday, Australians will have three months to opt out of a new digital medical record that can hold on to information for up to 30 years after they die.

The digital record, called My Health Record, will be automatically set up for every Australian unless they opt out before 15 October.

It will track Australians’ allergies, medical conditions, previous or current medication, test results and anything else that is uploaded by your doctor – and share it between medical providers.

Doctors say it will improve the quality of care but others are urging people to opt out due to privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

So what are the pros and cons of My Health Record?
The positives

My Health Record has the backing of all of Australia’s peak health bodies, including the Australian Medical Association, the Royal College of Australian GPs, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and others.

The president of the AMA, Dr Tony Bartone, said it would improve the care that patients receive.

“It will assist in reducing unnecessary or duplicate tests, provide a full PBS medication history (thus helping avoid medication errors) and be of significant aid to doctors working in emergency situations,” he said.

“My Health Record will support practitioners, particularly those who may be seeing a patient for the first time, to have access to the information they need to best care for the patient.”

Currently, 5.9 million people already use My Health Record and 6.46 million medical records have been uploaded to the system. A total of 6,498 GPs, 3,273 pharmacists and nearly a thousand hospital organisations have used it.

Bartone said privacy concerns were understandable and patients should make an informed decision whether to opt out.

“Health information is highly sensitive and we, as doctors, understand that,” he said. “My Health Record gives individuals absolute control over what data is in their record and who is able to view it. This will go a long way to allaying concerns about privacy.”

A spokeswoman for the Digitial Health Agency, which is overseeing My Health Record, said it was a myth that newborn children would be automatically signed up.

Parents can exclude their current children under 18 from My Health Record when they opt out and are given the choice with newborn children. New immigrants will also be given the opportunity to opt out.
The privacy problem

But privacy advocates say that, even with the safeguards, the system takes too much information, stores it too simply and shares it too freely.

If you cancel your record, any information already there will be retained for 30 years after your death or 130 years after your birth (if the date of death is unknown).

Any person who downloaded and stored your record will be able to still view that version of it after you cancel your record.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn, from the Australian Privacy Foundation, described it as an “uncontrolled, uncurated, data dump”. He said sensitive information could be shared with irrelevant people.

“Better sharing of health data among health professional is a good thing – as long as it is done in a controlled manner,” he said. “But if somebody has mental health issues, you don’t want that shared with a dentist or someone who looks at your feet.

“An ex-partner or someone stalking a patient could get at that health information. If you’re at risk from someone, that person might access data about you that identifies where you live or what doctor you’re using.”

He added that certain conditions still carried a stigma that made patients vulnerable to their information being misused.

“If somebody has a medical condition that might result in discrimination – specifically HIV or mental health problems – they don’t want their data shared. There’s vulnerable communities – the gay community, the HIV community, mental health sufferers – who feel at risk.”

Ralph Holz, an expert in cybersecurity from the University of Sydney, said it was also an issue that My Health Record was so centralised.

“It would be safe to assume that some attack is going to be successful,” he said. “There will be some data loss. That is inevitable. The contingency plan with how to deal with that is what is important.

“We always see a problem when we keep data in one place, especially if it is data that is a complete profile. There is a saying in computer science: once the data is out, it’s out. You can never get it back. The danger in building such systems is that it’s enough if they fail once.”
My Health patient data will be safe despite Medicare breach, GPs say

Holz said a breach would not affect individual patients but rather the system as a whole – hackers could use the data to hold the department to ransom, or release the data to third parties.
What are the safeguards?

Patients who don’t opt out of My Health Record but still want to control their privacy can ask for specific documents not to be added to the record, or remove them once they are up.

They can also restrict access to their record by setting special codes. One code – a record access code – blocks access to a patient’s entire record unless a user has their four to eight-character code.

Another code can be used to lock individual documents from access.

Users can also track every instance when their record is accessed. Alerts can be set up to flag when this happens.

However, Robertson-Dunn has pointed out that, once your record is downloaded or copied, that new version can be accessed or shared without notifying you.

The Digital Health Agency said any practitioners who downloaded information to their own system were still subject to Australian privacy laws and access was audited by the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Robertson-Dunn said the system should be reformed in two main ways: decentralisation to store information with medical providers rather than the government, and that My Health Record become opt-in, rather than opt-out.

“I wouldn’t give a stuff about my privacy if it helped me get better,” he said. “It is dynamic and it depends on context.”

To opt out of My Health Record, visit


NZ a bolthole for people wanting to enter Australia: Winston Peters

Acting New Zealand Prime Minister Winston Peters says he regrets that his country has allowed itself to be used as a “bolthole” for people wanting to enter Australia.

The New Zealand First leader and Foreign Minister, who is standing in for Jacinda Ardern while she is on maternity leave, said he believed Australia’s relationship with New Zealand had been “patchy” since then prime ministers Helen Clark and John Howard signed an agreement in 2001, denying welfare to New Zealanders living in Australia.

Mr Peters said he acknowledged’ Australia’s right to deport New Zealanders who have been convicted of crimes in Australia.

“We first of all acknowledge the right of Australia to write its own laws where the issue of their sovereignty is concerned, we accept that,” he told ABC radio.

“We’ve got enormous respect for Australia and our special relationship, but things have been somewhat patchy since 2001-2002 when our great relationship was ended under an agreement between John Howard and our then prime minister Helen Clark.

“We regret that, and me personally I regret the circumstances behind that, because back then I was warning New Zealand that we were allowing our country to be used as a bolthole to first of all enter New Zealand, and then go as a right because of our special relationship to Australia.

“I warned of consequences then, and I’m saying to the Australian people, I understand. “We understand that we should have been more careful about that, but we do want the restoration of the relationship we once had, and we both need each other.”

Mr Peters’ views appear to contrast with those of Ms Ardern, who has repeatedly condemned Australia for not accepting her offer to resettle asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island in New Zealand.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has refused the offer on the basis that it would create a “back door” means of entering Australia.

Mr Peter’s comments come as self-styled pastor and New Zealand national Logan Robertson faces deportation after his visa was cancelled over allegedly harassing worshippers at two Queensland mosques last week.

Mr Dutton said Mr Robertson was specifically counselled by immigration authorities about his history of extremist rhetoric when he moved to Australia.


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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