Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Much news from Bettina Arndt (as of 16/11/2019)

Feminist flack misfires

I have been getting no end of flak from feminists over my little post last week, which I wrote after watching hours of media stories showing firefighters battling the blaze engulfing so much of our country.

This is what I said: “Our media is full of images of brave men fighting the ferocious fires. As always, it's usually men who do the really dangerous, difficult work protecting everyone else. Give thanks for the good in men.”

As you can imagine, female commentators everywhere hated my comment. Predictably, The Guardian responded with photos of female firefighters, but somehow failed to mention how many of the 20,000 firefighters involved in the current fires are actually women. I have some firefighters who have written to me who are trying to track down the numbers. Looks like less than 20% of volunteers, and about 5% of professional firefighters. Overwhelmingly male, as expected. 

Hilariously, Moira Rayner, the former Victorian equal opportunity commissioner, retweeted my comment with the caption “That’s a woman firefighter,” referring to the photo I used to accompany my tweet. It was “liked” over 600 times.

“I know my topic,” Rayner told BuzzFeed. “Bettina didn’t and her tweet was presumptuous, disrespectful to the specialist and the countless numbers of local community volunteers, and a little bit foolish.”

Well, then a reporter at BuzzFeed, Cameron Wilson, tracked down the firefighter in my photo, who turned out to be male - Dennis Wamsley, a volunteer with the Gloucester Rural Hearth Brigade.

What a hoot! Moira Rayner has been taking regular, very nasty potshots at me. This former “equal opportunity commissioner” has revealed her true colours, demonstrating why her former organization and others like it, have no interest in justice or fair treatment for men.

Family Court abuses

Exciting interview exposing the truth about our Family Court.

I have a rare interview for you today, with a brave, extraordinarily honest family lawyer from Sydney. I was delighted to discover Ezequiel Trumper, a very experienced lawyer who was willing to tell the truth about what’s going wrong with our Family Court.

In our interview Ezequiel doesn’t hold back. He exposes the way our court system is now weaponized to allow women to use false allegations to destroy men’s relationship with their children. He’s forced to explain to his male clients that they are absolutely up against it. They face a court which won’t enforce its own orders, where parental alienation is rewarded and perjury is rife.

This is a really important interview, particularly in the current climate where so much of mainstream media is pushing the feminist narrative decrying the need for a new inquiry and claiming women never lie.

Here’s the link to the new video -


Please help me do everything possible to get people to see it.

Our mad feminists attract international attention

Robert Franklin from the US-based National Parents Organization has been writing an excellent series of blog posts about the way the Australian feminists are “howling like banshees” over the focus of this new inquiry:

“I’ve read article after article all aimed at the same thing – casting doubt on the latest Australian Governmental review of family law and courts in the Land Down Under. Those who oppose children having full, meaningful relationships with their fathers post-divorce don’t like the new review for the simple reason that they fear the truth may at last come out.”

Franklin points out that the previous review, by the Australian Law Reform Commission, was much more to the feminists liking. He’s written very detailed blogs about what was wrong with that review - and why the women’s groups were so keen on it. Franklin’s forthcoming blog will expose misinformation and distortions included in a dreadful article by Griffith University law lecturer, Zoe Rathus, published recently in The Conversation. Rathus’ title says it all: “Parental alienation: the debunked theory that women lie about violence is still used in court.”

Former WA Law Reform Commissioner, Augusto Zimmerman, has published an excellent Spectator Australia article: "How abuse of violence orders corrupts our family law system". Zimmermann points out there is an undeniable correlation between apprehended orders, false claims of domestic violence, and parental alienation. He mentions an analysis of NSW court files, which reveals that these domestic violence cases, on average, are dealt with in less than three minutes – a shocking statistic proving that absolutely no attempt is made to investigate whether such allegations have any validity. For the woman alleging violence the system is fool proof, with no risk at all that her lies will be exposed.

Comeuppance for Sarah Jane Parkinson’s corrupt boyfriend

Remember the corrupt policeman boyfriend of Sarah Jane Parkinson, who helped stitch up Dan Jones? (Here’s the video I made about Parkinson, who was imprisoned in January for false rape and violence allegations.)

NSW Snr Constable White, now the imprisoned Parkinson’s husband, will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on Dec 18 on perjury and weapons offences. Let’s hope the sleazebag gets his comeuppance.

Meanwhile, the Jones family is awaiting news regarding Parkinson’s application for early release. The decision of the Sentence Administration Board has been adjourned for a second time as Parkinson tries to manipulate the system yet again.

The family is also no closer in their quest for compensation for the over $350k they spent defending Dan from the false allegations. They have another legal team working on that but face further legal fees. Generous folk might like to contribute to the gofundme fund-raiser.

Via email from Bettina Arndt: Bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au

Chemicals in plastic could be harming our health

Groan!  This old scare has so often been debunked in the past that it is a pain to see it still popping up. Briefly, the toxicity is in the dose and the dose people are getting of these two compounds is regularly shown as too low to be harmful

Plastic is everywhere. We use it to carry our food, eat with, we drink out of it, buy our cosmetics in it and even cook with it.

While Australians have embraced plastic and its many uses, there is growing concern about what it’s actually doing to our bodies.

News.com.au has launched its series What a Waste to coincide with Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week, highlighting the impact single-use plastics have on the environment and encouraging readers to reduce their personal waste.

In September, there was a warning about the use of plastic kitchen utensils.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, which advises the German Government on issues related to product, chemical and food safety, released an advisory that recommended people limit the exposure of their polyamide utensils when dealing with hot food.

It said components called oligomers from plastic cooking spoons, spatulas and whisks could migrate from into food and be eaten.

While these utensils have not been proven to have negative health impacts on humans, the organisation said at high doses the compounds could cause adverse effects in the liver and thyroid.

It recommended consumers keep their utensil’s contact with food as brief as possible, especially at high temperatures above 70C.

There is also growing evidence on the impact of compounds found in plastics on fertility.

Dr Mark Green is a lecturer in reproductive biology and is studying the impacts of certain chemicals on people’s fertility.

He told news.com.au that chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to make some types of plastics, is one of the most studied endocrine disrupting substances.

BPA can be found in takeaway containers, plastic bottles, the lining of takeaway coffee cups as well as polycarbonate (hard) plastics such as baby bottles.

It’s also used in the lining of cans to stop the food coming into contact with the metal, and is even found on the shiny coating of cash register receipts.

BPA is so common, about 95 per cent of people have detectable levels in their urine.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has decided it does not pose a significant human health risk for any age group, despite finding BPA at very low concentrations in some foodstuffs.

Other countries have taken a different stance. France has banned it and the European Union has removed its use in baby bottles.

The Federal Government did announce a voluntary phase-out of baby bottles containing BPA in 2010.

Dr Green said scientists had so far found a “strong correlation” between BPA and obesity, and recent research also suggests it increases people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

There’s also evidence in fertility clinics that it may affects the number of eggs a woman produces, and there’s an increasing link to miscarriage.

Compounds such as BPA are considered endocrine disrupters and can “mimic” oestrogen, which impacts people’s hormones.

“We have gained a lot of knowledge and data on the effects of BPA from animal studies” Dr Green said.

“But we are never going to run a human study in which we expose people to BPA, as we know how harmful it is, which is why it’s hard to show causality, hence we can only show association.”

Phthalates are another class of chemicals for which there is a growing body of evidence to support detrimental effects on our health. These are used in soft plastic fishing lures, shower curtains, vinyl upholstery, adhesives, floor tiles, food containers and sex toys made of so-called jelly rubber.

It’s also an endocrine disrupter that may impact male fertility, including semen quality and the quantity of damaged DNA in sperm.

Dr Green said a chemical’s impact on the body might vary depending on how long people were exposed to it and how long it’s been in their system.

“It’s very hard to measure many of the chemicals that have effects on our endocrine systems,” he said. “Generally these can be at low levels in the environment but these levels are often high enough to have an effect on our bodies.”

Other factors such as exercise and poor diet could also influence people’s health.

“This area is quite hard to work in because we often study the effects of just one compound at a time, but we live in a soup of multiple environmental pollutants,” he said.

This is one reason why studies in different areas sometimes produce different results, as different compounds could be working with or against each other.

“If there is a mixture of compounds, it could be about how they work together to have a particular effect on the body and people’s health.”

Dr Green said these chemicals were so pervasive in our surroundings it was hard to avoid them, however he recommended people minimise their contact with plastic, especially if they were trying to conceive.

There are many simple ways people can easily reduce people’s exposure.

For example, people should avoid drinking or eating food out of soft plastic containers. This includes takeaway containers and especially plastic bottles, which he describes as “lethal if left to heat up in a car”.

“You are basically drinking water and a sizeable dose of BPA,” he said.

“Use glass or aluminium drink bottles; they are more sustainable.

“With a takeaway coffee cup, the lining is BPA, not to mention the plastic in the lid.”

However, looking for plastic products that are “BPA free” may not be safer as some manufacturers have begun replacing BPA with other similar chemicals that could be just as bad for us.

Avoiding plastic when possible is safer, while also being better for the environment.

“There are a lot of common messages around recycling or sustainability, but there is also the added benefit that it’s better for your health,” Dr Green said.

“It’s better for the environment and better for us, so why not do it?”


Anti-Catholic bigotry from the Australian Human Rights Commission

Catholic schools have attacked the Australian Human Rights Commission for mischaracterising exemptions to anti-discrimination laws and suggesting religious communities were seeking to operate outside modern-day standards.

As debate ramps up around the federal government’s religious freedom bill, the National Catholic Education Commission has taken issue with “assertions” made by the commission in a ­recent policy document and its framing of exemptions as an “impediment” to human rights.

In a sharply worded letter to AHRC president Rosalind Croucher, Catholic commission executive director Jacinta ­Collins said the organisation ­rejected the AHRC’s characterisation of exemptions as “freezing in time community standards”.

“The statement is … with ­respect, a misstatement and suggests a lack of appreciation about the purposes of exemptions in anti-discrimination laws,” she writes. “We are concerned this language has the effect of ‘othering’ those with religious beliefs. It suggests that religious believers and communities which may rely on these exemptions sit apart from society and operate outside community standards.”

Othering refers to singling out a minority on the basis that their culture and beliefs are fundamentally different and therefore a risk to the majority.

The Catholic Church and education sector, which includes almost 1800 schools across the country, have been lobbying to retain their religious rights, currently afforded via religious ­exemptions to anti-discrimination law. For schools, exemptions enable them to operate in ­accordance with their faith, including preferencing enrolment of baptised students and hiring staff who support their teachings.

As the Attorney-General seeks to introduce religious discrimination laws by the end of the year, the AHRC has run a concurrent inquiry into the status of human rights, examining religious freedom protections and the operation of exemptions to anti-discrimination law.

A discussion paper outlining the AHRC’s priorities for reform, released last month, argues that “permanent exemptions have the effect of ‘freezing in time’ community standards in relation to sex, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity”.

“Accordingly, what was appropriately exempted from the operation of discrimination law 35 years ago … may not be appropriate today,” it said.

“The commission considers that all permanent exemptions need to be considered in light of the overall purpose of discrimination law to promote equality and fair treatment.”

Ms Collins’s letter points out that, in the absence of other legislation protecting religious freedom, the exemptions were effectively “balancing clauses … crucial to ensuring the freedom of all to act in accordance with religious beliefs and mission”.


Inherit the Wind

Tony Thomas

It’s good to know that wind turbine blades are a bird’s best friend, or something like that. I’m citing “fun facts” on the website of Synergy, Western Australia’s state-owned electricity generator. Synergy operations include half a dozen WA wind farms, mostly coastal. Synergy claims, correctly, that its fun facts “may blow your mind.” Fun Fact No. 9 is illustrated with a pic of Sesame Street’s Big Bird, pop-eyed with delight about wind turbines’  blade-and-splatter prospects. The caption reads (author’s emphasis)

Wind technology is now much more bird-friendly. Earlier versions of wind farms, such as the ones first launched in the US, had thousands of small fast-spinning turbines. Not so good for birds. Now, wind farms have taller and slower-moving blades which are much nicer for our feathered friends.

I don’t know about those “slower moving blades”. Tip speed of a 75m blade for a giant 6MW turbine can be 290km per hour. Despite my blown mind, I also managed to look up Greens Tasmanian stalwart Bob Brown and his objection last July to a company’s plan to put 120 wind towers, each 270m at tip height, on Robbins Island. He doesn’t agree with Synergy that turbines are “nice for our feathered friends”. He wrote instead, “For which of these species will the wind farm be the thousandth cut?”[1]

This is by-the-way, just stuff I came across while looking into what happens to wind farms when they get to their use-by date. National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer tells Quadrant Online, “Some farmers have not got the best legal advice before entering agreements. The industry is new and the decommissioning clauses will be tested in the coming years as older wind farms reach the end of their economic life. These clauses are incredibly important if you are a landowner.” [2]

 Germany now has 29,000 wind towers. The nightmare of scrappage and decontamination has already started, with 250MW decommissioned last year. Close to 10,000 towers must be decommissioned by 2023. One tactic has been to ship the toxic parts and rubble to corrupt African states to deal with. As for the US, it will have more than 720,000 tons of blade material alone to dispose of by 2040, blades being a particularly enduring space-age construct.

Overall, the wind industry is blowing cold. Australian wind operators’ so-called Clean Energy Council bemoaned last September a “collapse” in renewables investment in the first half of 2019. Late last year investors had signed on for 4500MW of new renewables, but this surge “has since collapsed to less than 800MW in each of the first two quarters of 2019”. The Council blamed “lack of federal energy policy certainty” (translated: ‘We want more subsidies!’), saying that “regulatory challenges” made investor confidence fragile. The Council made the useful point that if the states keep shutting down coal power while renewables stop growing, Australia is heading for insecurity and higher power prices. Conversely, one could add, more coal power and less “unreliables” would raise security and lower the bills to households. As federal resources minister Matt Canavan says, the country urgently needs an upgrade to Vales Point, NSW’s coal-powered generator, and a new one at Collinsville, Qld. Thousands of manufacturing jobs are at stake.

The Australian wind fiasco is the kid brother of the massive downturn in Europe, where 12 countries last year failed to install a single turbine, Germany’s onshore wind installations halved and Britain’s onshore expansion “collapsed”.

To set the scene on decommissioning, Australia has about 95 wind farms, most with turbines of 1.5-3MW. They account for 7 per cent of electricity demand. Only one Australian wind farm has been decommissioned – Salmon Beach Wind Farm, near Esperance. Started in 1987 and scrapped in 2002, it was owned by bird-friendly Synergy. Its six turbines rated at 60KW each were toys by modern standards, where a single turbine generates 4-5MW (when the wind blows at optimum speed, which isn’t often). That’s the output of a dozen entire Salmon Beach wind farms. Dismantling the small Esperance towers was straightforward, and one nacelle and blades was even left in a park as a souvenir.

There’s some public-record material about decommissioning US wind farms, and it’s not re-assuring. In Minnesota, the 10-year-old Nobles Wind farm has 134 turbines of about 1.5MW and is operated by Xcel Energy. Xcel estimates a cost for scrapping each turbine at up to $US530,000 ($A770,000) or $US71 million total ($A103m). Each turbine has a tip height of 120 metres. Just to scrap one 40m blade involves crunching  composite material weighing more than 6 tonnes. The turbines themselves contain a smorgasbord of toxic plastics, oils, lubricants, metals and fibreglass.

As American Experiment points out, even $US71 million doesn’t finance a thorough clean-up. The contracts oblige Xcel to restore the land to a depth of only 4 feet, i.e. about one metre, whereas the foundations go down 5 metres. Moreover, underneath the 56 square miles (14,500ha) of this Minnesota wind farm is 140km of cabling and pipes. The documents don’t say if the cables would stay or go. But Palmer’s Creek, another wind farm in Minnesota with 18 turbines, will be allowed to leave cables in situ below four feet.

As to local terms, the Australian Clean Energy Council says,

"Decommissioning means that the wind turbines, site office and any other ancillary infrastructure is removed from the site, and roads and foundation pads are covered and revegetated, allowing land to be returned to its former use.” Elsewhere the council says, “Typical landowner contracts require that the turbine is removed from its concrete foundation, and that the turbine site is covered in topsoil so that farming activities can continue." (Would government greenies allow a decommissioned mine a similar latitude?).

The Council also suggests that a lease include a simple decommissioning plan at start-up, to be reviewed in final years in order to flesh out the details and updates. I’d read that as “Trust us, we’re wind power providers”. It continues,

"In the unlikely event that the wind farm company doesn’t commence substantial decommissioning and remediation works within 12 months of turbines no longer generating permanently, control of the decommissioning fund or other financial security should be given to the landowners or to an administrator as agreed between the parties to complete the decommissioning."

No Australian wind farm has defaulted to date, but keep your fingers crossed. SA law firm Johnston Withers advised farmers this year,

"What if the Operator goes into liquidation? This is perhaps one of the major potential risks of entering into any wind farm agreement. If the company that you enter into the agreement with (or its successor if they sell the rights) goes into liquidation, then there may be insufficient funds to de-commission the plant, and therefore the items could be left in place, potentially in a state of disrepair. If the equipment had value it would probably mean that it would be removed. There is a real risk however that useless equipment could be left on the property at the end of the Lease."

Others add that landowners have no title over abandoned wind farm material and can’t even sell it to defray their own clean-up costs.

As mentioned above, WA’s power and wind farm operator, Synergy, is state-owned. It has just reported a $657 million net loss for 2018-19 (you read that right), the biggest loss in history for a WA state body. Why? Because the WA Labor government won’t let Synergy put up its prices to households by a necessary 7 per cent. Instead the politicians mandate only a 1.75 per cent rise to save their political hides. “We’ve made it clear by our decisions that we’re not going to allow electricity prices to spiral out of control,” said resources minister Bill Johnston, practising Labor pea-and-thimble economics.

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:
and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
-Proverbs 11:29

Meanwhile a flood of intermittent wind and solar inputs continues to sabotage Synergy’s coal and gas-fired generators. It’s a dazzling example of “clean energy chaos” or maybe, “WA Clean Energy Inc.” Non-state wind farm operators don’t have state treasuries to tap if stuff hits the fan

More HERE 

 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


Paul said...

"Ezequiel Trumper"

Can a name even get any better?

Anonymous said...

What's sociological thinking? Feel can