Wednesday, October 12, 2022

A hate-filled curriculum

It has not taken long for Prime Minister Albanese to weigh into the culture wars, even though the lefty progressive types insist that they are a figment of our imagination. Last week, our new PM sent up a rallying cry for what he termed as ‘fair dinkum’ history to be taught in Australian schools. By ‘fair dinkum’ he meant that children need to be taught about the atrocities committed by people of British descent upon indigenous people.

It is clear that the PM has not read the latest version of the national curriculum. If he had, he would have known that according to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Aboriginal’ are now verboten because they are terms of oppression. We now must use ‘First Nations Australians’ or ‘Australia’s First Nations Peoples’. Keep up, Albo!

He would also know that the singular narrative currently taught to Australian children in the history syllabus is that Australia was founded on racism, and that the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 resulted in dispossession and genocide.

In Year 3, teachers will explain that ‘people have different points of view on some events that are commemorated and celebrated; for example, some First Nations Australians regard “Australia Day” as “Invasion Day”’. In Year 4, students will learn about the ‘effects of contact with other people on First Nations Australians and their Countries/Places following the arrival of the First Fleet and how this was viewed by First Nations Australians as an invasion’.

As part of a classroom activity, they will look at ‘paintings and accounts by individuals involved in exploration and colonisation to explore the impact that British colonisation had on the lives of First Nations Australians; for example, dispossession, dislocation and the loss of lives through frontier conflict, disease, and loss of food sources and medicines, the embrace of some colonial technologies…’.

In Year 9, they will study ‘the impact of colonisation by Europeans on First Nations Australians such as frontier warfare, massacres, removal from land, and relocation to “protectorates, reserves and missions”’. They will also investigate ‘the forcible removal of children from First Nations Australian families in the late 19th century and 20th century (leading to the Stolen Generations), including the motivations for the removal of children, the practices and laws that were in place, and experiences of separation.’

We are all for talking about the mistakes of the past. Nobody is suggesting that they should be ignored. No one is saying that there was no violence between white settlers and the indigenous populations. Quite the contrary. These are important aspects of the history of modern Australia that all children should know.

But this discussion has nothing to do ‘fair dinkum’ history, or even unfair dinkum history for that matter. What Australian children are being introduced to in the classroom is pure post-modernist theory, specifically post-colonial theory. They are being schooled in the ‘settler colonialism genocide’ paradigm which sprang from the febrile imagination of Australian historian Patrick Wolfe in the 1990s.

Wolfe famously declared that settler colonialism was a structure, not an event and that it was premised on the elimination rather than exploitation of the native population. According to Wolfe, how settler colonialism disrupted the indigenous relationship to land was a profoundly violent attack on their very being, which violence continues with every day of ‘occupation’.

Our education bureaucrats are motivated by the belief that European expansion was a capitalist and racist attempt to replace indigenous people with more productive non-indigenous populations, even at the cost of genocide.

Wolfe’s paradigm has been embedded into every single subject of the national curriculum, not just history, via the Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Cultures and Histories cross-curriculum priority. The ‘organising ideas’ of this priority are worth reproducing in full. Namely, that:

First Nations communities of Australia maintain a deep connection to, and responsibility for, Country/Place and have holistic values and belief systems that are connected to the land, sea, sky and waterways.

The occupation and colonisation of Australia by the British, under the now overturned doctrine of terra nullius, were experienced by First Nations Australians as an invasion that denied their occupation of, and connection to, Country/Place.

The First Peoples of Australia are the Traditional Owners of Country/Place, protected in Australian Law by the Native Title Act 1993 which recognises pre-existing sovereignty, continuing systems of law and customs, and connection to Country/Place. This recognised legal right provides for economic sustainability and a voice into the development and management of Country/Place.

If Prime Minster Albanese was really concerned about truth-telling in history, he would make sure that the history syllabus desists from propagating historical inaccuracies, such as the mythical notion that the British were warmongering, genocidal invaders. He would make sure that the positive aspects of how modern Australian history came into being were taught to children. He would start explaining to young Australians why this country has been the safe haven for millions of people fleeing from all over the world.

But the Prime Minister is not interested in a true account of history, he is interested in spin and politics. The left wing of the Labor party, of which Albanese is a product, sees power in the division of society, which is why it so strongly believes in multiculturalism and in undermining unifying symbols such as the Crown, Australia Day and the parliament.

Right now, the Albanese government is committed to dividing Australians by race by way of creating a parallel system of representative government comprised of indigenous Australians to the exclusion of all other Australians. Albanese and the left-wing political parties will use education to continue to inflict guilt and shame upon the nation until such a time that their ideas are accepted as fait accompli.


False predictions fuel climate ‘consensus’

In its 2020 State of the Climate report the Bureau of Meteorology informs readers, ‘Observations, reconstructions and climate modelling paint a consistent picture of ongoing, long-term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability’. Such vague prognostications, even when technically correct, are essentially worthless. Surely for half a billion dollars a year taxpayers deserve better than that?

Specifically, the Bureau predicts ‘Further sea-level rises along with the likelihood of more frequent and severe bleaching events in coral reefs ….’ Really? Eighty per cent of Pacific islands and atolls are stable or growing and GPS satellite observations tell us the Australian continent is sinking. Moreover, a recent Australian Institute of Marine Science report finds that coral coverage on the northern and central parts of the Great Barrier Reef is at its highest level since monitoring began 36 years ago.

But then, grim forecasts are in the Bureau’s DNA. Its long-range forecaster, Andrew Watkins, predicted in November 2019 that, ‘Summer is looking hot for most of the country and dry for the east. The highest chances of it being drier than normal, unfortunately, are in those drought areas through central New South Wales, southern Queensland and eastern Victoria’.

A month on, the prophesy became, ‘February to April has roughly equal chances of being wetter or drier than average for most of Australia’. Take your pick. Two weeks later an extreme deluge hit south-east Queensland and northern NSW dumping up to 325mm in a few hours, triple the monthly rainfall.

Undaunted, and contrary to American forecasts, the Bureau declared ‘the 2021-2022 La NiƱa season is finally over.’ After three months it changed to, ‘will last through to 2023’. Who knows?

Lest Mother Nature should suggest cooler, wetter, the Bureau is there to enlighten us. Even if the 2022 winter seemed colder to some, those who shivered through it were reassured that the national mean temperature was still 0.36 degrees Celsius above the 1961 to 1990 average, which includes a decade of 0.20 degrees cooling.

And should people washed away by the east coast floods think this was wetter than normal, they get comfort from the knowledge that, ‘the nationally averaged rainfall data has not threatened any records’. It matters not that the national average for a continent the size of Australia is meaningless.

But, for the BoM, the medium is the message, so it is important to frame a narrative which aligns aberrant weather events to its catastrophic global warming thesis. By targeting policymakers and the public, it hopes to create a permanent feedback loop.

But it can be a tough gig keeping temperatures rising. It may mean remodelling the record three times in nine years and ensuring things are warmer than thermometer readings had previously measured. This is difficult when more reliable UAH satellite observations record a ten-year pause in Australian temperatures.

Respected scientist and long-time Bureau critic, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, despairs. She says, ‘I have shown repeatedly, including in peer-reviewed publications, that without scientific justification historical temperatures are dropped down, cooling the past. This has the effect of making the present appear hotter – it is a way of generating more global warming for the same weather.’

The public was alerted to these practices through the Climategate emails, and similarly in Australia the BoM’s lack of transparency, unscientific practices and appalling quality control were exposed. Weather-stations continue to be discovered in heat traps. Record low temperatures have been underreported or ‘lost’ and a much touted ‘hottest-ever’ day had to be quickly retracted when it was demonstrated it wasn’t.

It’s easy to dismiss these criticisms as carping. After all, Australia is a big place and weather forecasting is fraught. But surely the most benevolent analyst would conclude that global-warming politics, not science, predominantly drives people and culture at the BoM. Indeed, it is an active member of a global political consensus which is intent on weaponising the climate to achieve social change. Within this coven there is no room for agnostics or dissenters.

Finally, after decades of deceit and denial, mass delusion is colliding with reality. Months before winter’s onset, gas and electricity prices in Europe are ten times higher than usual. Fertiliser production is down 70 per cent and the metals sector faces an existential threat. Nationalisation beckons.

True, Russia is a significant contributor, but the real pain is self-inflicted and comes from irresponsible emissions-reduction policies which have exposed populations and economies to the mercies of Moscow and the weather with no Plan B.

Predictably the poor and infirm will pay the highest price. More people die of cold than heat and for many this winter it will mean choosing between already unaffordable heating and, skyrocketing food prices.

The perpetrators of this disaster will use it to demonstrate how, ‘Capitalism has run its course and must yield to environmental concerns’. Unsustainable growth has long been pushed by the Club of Rome and the climate collective as an existential threat and Malthusian authoritarians now largely control the agenda.

This is not conspiracy theory. A recently leaked IPCC report argues the current capitalist model must be discarded ‘to avoid exceeding planetary limits’. In other words, unless growth is abandoned, global warming will cause more frequent catastrophic weather events and millions more will die of heat and starvation.

Yet, despite rising emissions, the UN’s own World Food Program reports the planet is producing enough food to feed one and a half times the present population. The problems are storage and distribution. The anti-capitalists don’t explain how limiting economic growth and making energy unaffordable for refrigeration, transport and cooking, assist in delivering nutrition to the needy.

Well, ours is not to question. The anti-growth consensus knows best and is re-setting capitalism to become the ‘sharing economy’ of the future. In this utopia ‘you will own nothing and you will be happy’. What could possibly go wrong?


Who will defend the white Christian male?

Did you hear about the Muslim who got the sack because of his Islamic beliefs and the Indian who was similarly dismissed because he was a Hindu?

How about the Aborigine who was shown the door because of his traditional beliefs?

You didn’t because these events never occurred and if they had, there would have been shrieks of outrage while accusations of Islamophobia, racism and religious intolerance echoed around the nation and social media erupted in an explosion of condemnation.

If, however, you happen to be a white Christian male with conservative views that don’t align with the woke-Left view of the world and you have your employment terminated because of your religious beliefs, then sorry, mate.

Suck it up. It’s your fault for being a holy-roller and not running with the mob.

My late father once told me that when he was growing up in Brisbane in the 1930s and looking for work as an apprentice, it was not uncommon to see advertisements offering employment, which carried the qualification that “Catholics Need Not Apply”.

Bigotry was entrenched back then and thankfully we now live in a more enlightened age, one in which inclusiveness has become the mantra of the times. Sexual and gender preferences of every alphabetic combination are welcomed.

Corporations laud their inclusiveness and point proudly to their ongoing pursuit of gender balance and a multicultural workforce, but what happens when a white bloke gets the chop because he belongs to a particular Christian church?

Not much, as Andrew Thorburn discovered when he was forced to resign as chief executive of Essendon Football Club the day after he was appointed when the AFL club discovered that the church to which he belonged preached that homosexuality was a sin and was anti-abortion.

Professional football clubs, of course, are paragons of virtue unless you count the revelations of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse and public affray in which their players so regularly feature.

I’ve no brief for Thorburn. He was forced to step down as head of the National Australia Bank after a royal commission blasted the bank for charging customers $650m in fees for which there was no service.

The issue, however, is not about the man’s business ethics, but about being a Christian in today’s society.

Former prime minister Scott Morrison was regularly lampooned because he openly practised his Christian faith, as was former PM Tony Abbott.

When Dominic Perrottet became NSW Premier, the focus was not of his qualifications for the role, but that he was a Catholic and had six and now seven children.

Had he been a Muslim with a large family, it would have gone unremarked. Rugby player Israel Folau suffered the wrath of the woke Left and paid a price for standing up for his beliefs.

Essendon thought Thorburn, a passionate and long-time supporter of the club, was the right person for the job, but then in a heartbeat, it didn’t. It folded at the first hint of faux outrage.

Thorburn’s church, the City on a Hill, is hardly the only one to have unfashionable views.

According to the Australian National Imans Council: “From the Islamic standpoint, homosexuality is a forbidden action; a major sin and anyone who partakes in it is considered a disobedient servant to Allah that will acquire His displeasure and disapproval.”

Does this mean that all those who have applauded the actions of Essendon, including, to his external disgrace, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, regard Muslims as unsuitable to hold responsible office?

Andrews is a professed Catholic and the Catholic Church is anti-abortion so how can he justify supporting Thorburn’s treatment?

The answer, of course, is that he is a politician with an election coming up and is trying to curry favour with Left-leaning inner-city electors.

The hypocrisy is staggering. Will Essendon now interview all its players and demand to know their views on abortion and homosexuality, tearing up the contracts of those whose beliefs do not coincide with what is believed to be acceptable?

You know the answer.

There’s an ugly undercurrent tugging at our society, one seeking to sweep away those who would stand up for their right to hold Christian beliefs. If we fail to fight against it, we do so at our peril.

Philosopher John Stuart Mill put it succinctly when he wrote: “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”


Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly downplayed long COVID while justifying end of isolation requirements, medical specialist says

A leading medical specialist and long COVID patients say the chief medical officer (CMO) downplayed the state of long COVID in Australia while justifying the end of national isolation requirements.

Steven Faux, who heads up a long COVID clinic at a Sydney hospital, called the comments "unusual" and akin to "pulling the sheet over your head".

During a press conference last month, when the October 14 mandatory isolation end date was announced, Paul Kelly said health authorities were still assessing the extent of long COVID in Australia. "We're not seeing a major picture of long COVID," he said.

"For the majority of Australians, we were not exposed to COVID before we had at least two vaccines.

"We know that the major risk factors for long COVID are having had infection before vaccination, being unvaccinated, having severe illness and having other types of COVID that were not Omicron."

Professor Faux, who co-directs the long COVID clinic at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, said Professor Kelly's comments did not accurately represent the patients who were presenting at his practice.

"Mostly we're seeing people who got [COVID-19] in December and that's the Omicron wave … and the majority we are seeing are vaccinated," Professor Faux said.

Long COVID still a risk

The rehabilitation and pain physician pointed to international research that showed those who were triple vaccinated and infected with Omicron had a long COVID rate of 5 per cent.

"That's not a major problem, unless you consider that over 10 million Australians have had COVID," he said.

"That's not insubstantial when you consider that the public health services are at maximum capacity."

The St Vincent's clinic has been inundated with hundreds of people seeking help, with some specialists booked out until the middle of next year.

"We've been getting phone calls from Victoria, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland about people wanting to come down and we've been sending them back," Professor Faux said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Aged Care told the ABC that Professor Kelly's comments were based on research conducted overseas and stressed that people who were vaccinated were less likely to develop symptoms of long COVID.

"In addition, studies have shown that infection with the Omicron variant is less likely to lead to symptoms of long COVID than infection with the Delta variant."

Comments not based on data, say advocates

The CMO's comments have been met with sadness and anger by long COVID advocates, who say patients like them are not being seen or heard. "He has no data on which to base those claims," academic Pippa Yeoman said.

"He's making a political statement about how clever they were to close the borders and get everybody vaccinated and saying that means we will be different [to other countries]. If you make a claim, you need to be able to back it up."

Dr Yeoman is a member of the Australia Long Covid Community Facebook group, which has about 2,600 members.

The group has been collecting survey data on its members in a bid to present the information to an approaching parliamentary Inquiry into Long COVID and Repeated COVID Infections.

Members said their preliminary data analysis of almost 300 survey respondents showed that the vast majority were double vaccinated before developing long COVID and were infected during the Omicron wave.

There is no official national data on the number of people with long COVID in Australia and not every state has a dedicated long COVID clinic, making it difficult to quantify the number of people with the condition or the impact it has on their lives.

The Department of Health and Aged Care said analysis of health data had begun in order to help develop a national response to long COVID.

"The Department is also working with states and territories to better understand the prevalence of long COVID in Australia," it said.




No comments: