Friday, August 23, 2013

Insane ruling by Labor party apparatchiks

This is the sort of destructive ruling that many feared from Kevvy's "Fair Work" regulator.  Low pay is the incentive for tradesmen to take on apprentices.  This will drastically reduce the availability of apprenticeships

Employers may look to bring in more overseas workers after a landmark Fair Work Commission ruling that will see apprentices receive massive pay rises of as much as $100 a week.

The change was needed because many apprentices are much older than they were in previous generations, the commission ruled.

The decision will revolutionise a regime that employs more than 500,000 apprentices and trainees across Australia.

Employers lashed the ruling saying it would destroy the apprenticeship system and hurt tens of thousands of businesses.

And one employer group said the decision would lead to more overseas workers being brought in, because of the expense of local apprentices.

As part of the decision, pay rates for a typical first year apprentice who had finished high school will rise from about $304 to nearly $400 – an increase of almost a third.

Electrical apprentices with Year 12 qualifications will get an extra $109 a week, while a first-year hairdresser will get an extra $145 a week.

In its decision the commission said apprentice wage rates had not kept with changes to the workforce and society.

Current wage structures were set when most apprentices were 14, 15 or 16 years old when they began, the ruling said.

"Many are now 17 or older and have completed Year 12 schooling, and are already undertaking part-time or casual work with higher wages than they receive under an apprenticeship," the decision said. "Increased [pay] rates may assist to improve the attractiveness of apprenticeships compared to other training or employment options for young people."

The decision will be phased in over 18 months to existing apprentices, but will apply in full to new apprentices starting in January 2014.

Lower rates will remain for apprentices who have not finished high school.

The ruling said that the improved pay rates could assist in many more apprentices completing their qualification – only about half do so at present.

About half of the nation's new apprentices are now 21 or older.

Employers reacted on Thursday with outrage to the decision.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Peter Anderson said the ruling was a body blow.

"Australians wanting to tackle youth unemployment should view this decision with grave concern ... Dramatically increased employment costs will cruel the capability of employers to take on apprentices in an affordable way," he said. "Increasing the costs of employing an apprentice not only impacts employers, but destroys the opportunities for many young people want to develop a career in the trades.”

Master Electricians Australia workplace relations manager Jason O'Dwyer also said the ruling was a "significant blow" to productivity and the economy.

“This will force Australia to rely heavily on importing qualified tradesmen from overseas to fill the gap left behind by apprentices. Other countries such as Ireland commence apprentices at 30 per cent of the tradesman rate," he said.

The ACTU however welcomed the decision and said it would boost workforce skills.

“This is a great outcome for current and future apprentices and for the broader economy,” ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said.   "Current wages see apprentices barely able to meet living costs; they are considerably less than other job options and barely more than the Newstart allowance.”


Amusing.  Empiricism without evidence?

The article below by Australian socialist Andrew Hunter appeared in a major newspaper under the heading:  "Empiricism must be defended".  Fair enough.  I am an unrelenting empiricist and have 200+ published academic journal articles to prove it.  But Hunter shows no evidence of being an empiricist at all. 

Empiricism means "going by the facts" or "respecting the data" or "going by what our senses tell us".  Yet in his diatribe in defence of "climate change" below, Hunter mentions not one climate fact or data point.  He prefers airy waffle and vague generalities.  He gives an appearance of erudition while displaying zero erudition concerning the theory he defends.  The best he can do is an appeal to authority at one point.  Strange empiricism indeed!  I must confess that Mr Hunter's amusing lack of self-awareness has rather made my day.

One rather doubts his sanity -- except that saying one thing and doing another is typical Leftism.  Barack Obama take a bow

Alan Jones stood in front of the nation's seat of government in June to generate public concern about wind turbines, and to publicly demand the renewable energy target be scrapped. The lack of empirical evidence in support of his position did not deter him. Jones and other prominent conservative public figures in Australia appear determined to erase the legacy of the Enlightenment.

The continuing legacy of the Enlightenment period constitutes one of the most creative strands in the fabric of Western civilisation. While some prominent ideas of the Enlightenment were misappropriated to justify odious events, such as the Terror in France and later colonisation, it also bestowed to future generations an important intellectual legacy.

A heterogeneous discourse, the European Enlightenment was stimulated by contact with the great non-European civilisations of China, India and Russia. It grew out of the Renaissance, itself essentially a rediscovery, re-evaluation and extension of scientific and cultural traditions of classical antiquity.

At the core of these traditions, in all of their immense complexity, was the principle of seeking truth - truth about the nature of the cosmos, truth about the fundamental nature of the human race, truth about the organisation of society. Truth discovered through a commitment to empirical research, based on careful observation and the logical analysis of verifiable facts.

Jones acted in the knowledge that a concerted campaign in the mainstream media will often overwhelm positions based on science, evidence and reason. This has been made abundantly clear in the climate change debate. Public debate in Australia (and elsewhere) is now increasingly dominated by often unsubstantiated positions devoid of empirical basis.

Other traditions have always existed. The history of Western society has been marked by periodic swings of the pendulum. There were periods when the spirit of inquiry has been in the ascendant, as well as long centuries when this spirit has been eclipsed and replaced by faith in religious authority, dogma or unsubstantiated personal beliefs. It appears we are witnessing another such swing of the pendulum.

As did Jones, Coalition Senator Cory Bernardi recently asserted on Q&A that climate change is not influenced by human activity. Although every national scientific body in the world, including the Australian Academy of Science, appears to be of the same accord, Bernardi insists there is no consensus within the scientific community.

Bernardi's arguments draw heavily on his personal beliefs. Later on the Q&A program, he referred to his commitment to protecting "Western values" that he asserted were based on the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Bernardi extolled the virtues of reciprocity. He inferred that reciprocity concept was unique to the Christian ethic, which in turn constituted the very foundation of Western civilisation and the Western values system.

He might have convinced some viewers but his assertions would not have stood up to even modest interrogation. The concept of reciprocity is central to most religions and ethical systems that have survived through time - if only for the reason that it is critical to a harmonious, functioning society.

The role of secularism was another core value of the Enlightenment. In a functioning democratic society, tolerance of different religious beliefs sits comfortably alongside a commitment to science and evidence-based public policy. Bernardi is able to practise his faith in Australia - and Ed Husic his - because we live in a secular, rational society. An equally rational approach should inform our environmental policy.

If public figures in a secular society have a values system based on faith, they should not hide from it. There is much beauty, wisdom and peace to be found in the scriptures. Personal values that inform public policy, however, should be considered alongside a profound reflection about the human condition, a dispassionate study of history and rational thinking.

To claim an ethical and intellectual tradition supposedly common to Western nations has come from a single source is intellectually unsound. So far as a common philosophical or ethical tradition exists, Western thinking is the product of a continually evolving sum of a vast range of influences.

Christian teachings have made an enormous contribution to the civilisation of the West but it also owes as much to classical Greece and Rome - in turn deeply influenced by Egypt, Persian as the other ancient societies of the Middle East, the pre-Christian Celts and Germans - and to the brilliant civilisation of mediaeval Islam. Conservative champions of Western values would benefit greatly from some knowledge of history.

Bernardi has apparently written a book, The Conservative Revolution, that explains how the "pillars of Western civilisation" are "under threat". Its integrity may unwittingly prove its underlying thesis.

Science, rationality and empiricism, once pillars of political discourse in Western democracies, have been weakened of late. Unfortunately, the instincts of most modern politicians often militate against a necessary resistance to this unfortunate tendency.

On issues of enduring importance, strong political movements must occasionally sacrifice political ground over the short term to win the long game. Those who have sided with populist, unsubstantiated personal positions on climate change in recent years will be judged poorly in the future.

A public naturally resistant to change will be disinclined to support action on climate change until all doubt is removed. Conservatives have successfully cultivated doubt that action is necessary, and have benefited politically.

Labor has a legacy to protect in the immediate period - a task that will be made easier if it grasps every opportunity to express indignation at the intellectually weak positions of Jones, Bernardi and many of their conservative allies.

We must fight to ensure empiricism remains central to policymaking and political discourse. To do so would benefit the national interest. It would also protect a critical tenet of the Enlightenment: the role science and reason plays in our understanding of the world.


Black racist murders Australian sportsman

[Video at link below]

THE teenagers charged over the murder of Melbourne man Chris Lane will be isolated from one another and other inmates in an Oklahoma jail as long as they are there.

District Attorney Jason Hicks said yesterday that it could be months or longer before the three - James Edwards, 15, Chancey Luna, 16, and Michael Jones, 17 - would face trial. It was too early to say whether they would be tried separately or together.  Their next hearings are in October.

It comes as Edwards, who has been charged with first-degree murder, posted racist tweets saying he hated white people in the months before the shooting.

Edwards posted statements on his Twitter feed including a comment on April 29 where he tweeted "90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM".

Edwards also weighed when George Zimmerman was acquitted over the death of Trayvon Martin.

"Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:) lol sh*t ima keep sleepin sh*t! #ayeeee."

"Woods" is derogatory slang for white people. The feed also contains tweets glorifying violence, guns and gangs.


Adelaide mosque preacher Sheikh Sharif Hussein directs fury at Buddhists, Hindus, Howard and Obama

AN Adelaide Islamic preacher calls for all Buddhists and Hindus to be killed and describes Australian soldiers as "Crusader pigs" in an online video.

Sheikh Sharif Hussein, in a video clip published by the US-based Middle East Media Research Institute, also attacks Jews, former prime minister John Howard, US President Barack Obama, and Australian troops.

“Tens of thousands of women were raped in Iraq, by the American and British crusader troops, aided by the Australian troops,” he says.

“The Australian participation in the Crusaders’ war on Iraq is 6 per cent. This is out of approximately 365,000 Crusader pigs sent to Iraq, during the term of (Mr Howard), Allah’s wrath be upon him.

“Listen, oh Obama, oh enemy of Allah, you who kiss the shoes and feet of the Jews. Listen! The day will come when you are trampled upon by the pure feet of the Muslims.

“Oh Allah, count the Buddhists and the Hindus one by one. Oh Allah, count them and kill them to the very last one.”

The Advertiser has confirmed the translation of Sheikh Hussein’s speech with independent translators.

Sheikh Hussein is known in Adelaide’s Islamic community, used to be connected to the Marion mosque in Park Holme, and has preached at the Islamic Da’wah Centre of SA in Torrensville.

Their website contains clips of other speeches and the disclaimer that “the views expressed in our videos and lectures are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect IDCSA’s management or media policy”.

He could not be contacted for this article.

His comments were quickly condemned as “ravings” and “hate speech”.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Jennifer Rankine said they were “the ravings of someone completely out of touch with the views of South Australians”.

“His disgusting words are not representative of our diverse and multicultural community,” she said.

Liberal South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi slammed the comments as “very disturbing” and called on the Muslim community to denounce them.

“This video and transcript suggest that we can no longer afford to ignore these radical elements within our community and say they don’t exist here because clearly they do,” he said.

“This hate speech has no place in our society and it needs to be publicly condemned by all Australians including members of the Muslim community.”

City councillor and Muslim Houssam Abiad said Muslims owed their allegiance to Australia and Islam was “a religion of peace and tolerance” that taught believers to respect a country’s laws.

“Many have migrated to Australia escaping war and political persecution, unfortunately some people also packed in their bags many ideologies representative of their experiences and brought them with them,” he said.

“As an Australian Muslim … I have survived a war  and I recognise that Australia has given me opportunities that will never be equal to any other in the world, and we should owe our allegiance to this country and what it has given us.”

In response to Sheikh Hussein’s comments, the management committee of the Islamic Society of South Australia  said it wanted to remind everyone that it was difficult to comment on "edited materials without dates or any other specifics relating to the actual material".

"The Islamic Society of South Australia and the Muslim community of South Australia represent a peaceful multicultural sector contributing to the wonderful and varied fabric of the wider Australian community," it said in a media release.

"It must be noted that Islam’s overwhelming message is that of peace.

"The Islamic Society of South Australia would therefore NOT support any comments made either locally, nationally or internationally, which are not in accordance with this message."


Another story about the real Rudd

Consistent with much else that has been said about him before by his staff and others

A MAKE-up artist who says she smoothed the complexions of Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott ahead of last night's people's forum has hinted that the Prime Minister was rude to her.

Lily Fontana, a Brisbane make up artist, took to Facebook after her encounter with the leaders, praising Mr Abbott but saying one of the men had treated her terribly.

"Just finished doing Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott's makeup for the People's Forum at the Broncos Leagues Club," she wrote.

"One of them was absolutely lovely, engaged in genuine conversation with me, acknowledge that I had a job to do and was very appreciative. The other did the exact opposite! Oh boy, I have ever had anyone treat me so badly."

Ms Fontana has since removed the post writing: "Didn't think my personal page/opinion of my day would get so much attention. What a lesson to learn. I've removed the post and regret making the comments I did."

Her Facebook page is currently showing a "sorry, this page isn't available" message, though it's not clear if the issue is a technical glitch or if the page has been removed from the site.

An ALP spokesperson said no one from the Labor Party has been in touch with Ms Fontana.

Mr Rudd has denied he was rude to the make-up artist who prepared him for last night's debate, claiming to was a "misunderstanding".


1 comment:

Paul said...

"Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:) lol sh*t ima keep sleepin sh*t! #ayeeee."

Maybe I just don't speak gangsta so well, but it sounds like he's already long passed his potential as a human being.