Sunday, August 06, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG notes that both Shorten and Turnbull would like to be Australia's first president.

Girls as young as 11 'could be given the contraceptive pill at school without their parents consent' under new regulations

This is typical Leftist authoritarianism:  Designed to divert all authority to themselves.  It goes back to Karl Marx's hatred of the family

Girls as young as 11 could have access to the contraceptive pill without their parents consent under a new school program.

Doctors in Secondary Schools program have updated their guidelines meaning parental consent was not a legal requirement which could mean teachers are able to override a parent's decision for their children not to see a doctor during school hours.

Providing treatment for physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health, the $44 million program involves GP clinics operating once a week in 100 Victorian secondary schools, according to The Australian.

The program is aiming to balance the rights of young people and parental involvement where young people in Victoria are able to give their own consent to their own treatments if a doctor considers them to be a 'mature minor'.

Education Minister James Merlino told the publication the program does not change the current legal requirements in the medical industry.

'Rules around consent are treated in exactly the same way as it would in our community. This gives reassurance to parents and the school that health service being provided is in line with their expectations,' Mr Merlino said.

However, if children are under 14 and listed on their parent's Medicare cards, their parents can access appointment information.

Opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling told The Australian parents should be included in decision making about their own children and it was concerning schools could override parent's consent.


Flirting is part of life, rape culture claims are an abomination

In recent weeks women have been busily debating the ethics of the sex robot, first on Slate’s Double X podcast, then on Mamamia a few days after. Is it dehumanising women? (It’s a doll. Does that mean porn is off bounds too, girls?) Isn’t it just an efficient way of ­deriving sexual pleasure? (Yes.) Does it take rape fantasy over the line? (No, it’s a doll. She’s not real. There is no consent or lack of consent.) All heady stuff if you’re caught up on how sex with a silicon doll is going to change men.

Here’s another way of looking at it: ask not how a silicon sex robot will change men but how real-life women are doing that ­already with their vivisection of men, dissecting what’s bad about them, depicting them as vessels of white, male privilege and likely sexual predators.

Released this week, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Changing the Course report into sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities is a textbook case of the intersection between the foggy world of sexual politics and the crystal-clear aim of activists to propagate hysteria ­despite the facts. The data from the report simply does not support the existence of a rape culture on campus.

That’s the case even with dodgy methodology aimed at boosting the numbers. Ninety per cent of people did not respond to the survey and the report admits the 10 per cent of self-selecting students who did respond were ­“motivated” to do so.

The finding that 1.6 per cent of students were sexually assaulted was taken over a two-year period and included ­assault in “university settings” such as travelling to and from campus. Even the definition of sexual ­assault was expanded to inflate numbers, yet still the data doesn’t support hyperbole that there is a rape epidemic on Australian campuses.

When it comes to episodes of campus sexual harassment, the devil is in the detail. The report ­defines sexual harassment as ­staring or leering, suggestive comments or jokes, or intrusive questions about someone’s private life or physical appearance. That settles it then. We have surely all been perpetrators of sexual harassment.

In the deliciously confusing, often exhilarating yet frustrating flirtations between the sexes, scrutinising a sexual advance is no easy thing. Some stares, jokes, suggestive comments and questions as to whether you’re single will be welcome sexual banter. In which case, enjoy the evening. Some will be misfired sexual advances, an ­inchoate flirtation that simply wasn’t reciprocated. In which case, no harm done and adieu.

How else does a relationship, let alone a casual hook-up, start if not with a lingering look, a suggestive joke, a question about your private life. Human interactions don’t happen in a sterile test-tube laboratory setting. They occur ­between people seeking sex, love, laughs, people full of flaws and emotions where mixed messages are not uncommon. And as sex therapist and author Esther Perel pointed out in a TED talk a few years ago: “Most of us get turned on at night by the very same things we might demonstrate against during the day. The erotic mind is not very politically correct.”

In short, sexual politics are far more complicated than the simplistic findings of the commission’s report and its nine-point plan to stamp out wicked sexual practices on campus. For every claim of sexual harassment and sexual assault, there may be ­another side to the story. If that other side is not sought out or even mentioned as a caveat to the “data”, it exposes the report as propaganda rather than a search for truth.

The collection of the commission’s data was inseparable from the politics of the rape-culture ­activists. Nina Funnell, an advocate for rape victims, claimed that “now we have the data to back up our ­assertions”. And this from ­Sophie Johnston of the National Union of Students: “It broke my heart to read this report … this is a cultural battle we are fighting everywhere.”

Johnston is right that there is a cultural battle under way across society but not in the way she has imagined. This report is more ­evidence that the gathering of knowledge has been bumped aside in favour of the accumulation of power. Here is postmodernism ­unplugged and its belief that truth is a tool of oppression. Hence the hyperbole from rape-culture ­activists that the data confirms their narrative when it does no such thing.

And the years of bullying by rape-culture activists has been ­rewarded. Universities Australia donated $1 million to fund the ­report, human rights bureaucrats have produced the perfect make-work report for themselves and university administrators, too frightened to be advocates for the virtues of truth and reason, have capitulated to the postmodern bullies.

That’s a shame because much is at stake. Not just the reputation of the Australian Human Rights Commission, which sorely needs a boost, or the standing of university administrators who immediately agreed to all recommendations with no analysis of the data. Much more is on the line, too. Like the future of feminism and the wellbeing of women.

As Laura Kipnis, author of the ­recent book Unwanted ­Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, has said: “If this is feminism, it’s feminism hijacked by melodrama. The melodramatic imagination’s obsession with helpless victims and powerful predators is what’s shaping the con­versation of the moment, to the detriment of those whose interests are supposedly being protected, namely students. The ­result? ­Students’ sense of vulnerability is ­skyrocketing.”

Kipnis has spent years calling out the false sanctimony and feminist paternalism that conflates bad sex (a common thing on campus) with “rape culture” and treats students as “trauma cases waiting to happen”.

In her 1992 book, Sex, Art and American Culture, libertarian feminist Camille Paglia encouraged young women to reassess assumptions about sexual politics.

“We need a new kind of feminism,” wrote Paglia. “One that stresses personal responsibility and is open to art and sex in all their dark, ­unconsoling mysteries. The feminist of the fin de siecle will be bawdy, streetwise and on-the-spot confrontational, in the prankish Sixties way.”

It’s 2017 and it still hasn’t happened. Instead, there is a sterilisation of the sexes by rape-culture activists and aided and abetted by the taxpayer-funded human rights industry and nervous university vice-chancellors. This motley crew of morality police had better be careful what they wish for. Their 21st-century narrative of women as feeble carries a hefty price at a time when lagging ­self-esteem and insecurities are ­already presenting as serious ­mental health problems.

Overreach hurts even the best cause. Following an alleged case of sexual assault by a male student against a young girl this year, a teacher at an elite private school addressed a group of senior boys during assembly about respecting women.

He told the boys not to use the word moist because it was ­offensive to women. Talk about sweating the small stuff.

Inevitably, many of the boys, well-versed in the Australian art of piss-taking, found a new liking for a word they rarely used. The autumn air was moist. So were the canteen sandwiches. And so on. A teacher made fun of it, too, using the forbidden word in class, much to the delight of the boys. It was a lesson lost on the senior school head that overreach doesn’t help a cause: it undermines it. Reason, on the other hand, is persuasive precisely because it cannot be dismissed as nonsense.

That’s the most wicked part of a report that lumps together real cases of rape and sexual harassment with otherwise warm and messy, complicated interactions that happen between men and women.

Rape is a heinous crime and ought to be punished by the full force of the law. No ifs. No buts. Crying wolf, diluting definitions, confusing bad sex with non-consensual sex, pretending rapists roam campuses only ­deflects the focus away from seeking justice for genuine victims of rape.

The demasculinisation of men, making them feel guilty for being different to women, is equally heinous. Labelling them as perpetrators of sexual harassment if they look at a woman, tell a dirty joke or ask a personal question may lead us into a sexually disinfected world we no longer recognise or wish to live in.

Henry Kissinger wisely predicted that “no one can win the battle of the sexes. After all, there’s too much fraternising with the enemy.” And long may the fraternising continue, rather than featuring in junk data collected by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the warped narrative of rape-culture feminists.

If there is a boom in the sales of smiling, voice-recognising sex ­robots, don’t ask how sex with a silicon chick will change men. Better to ask what we did as a society that men might prefer that to sex with the real thing.



Four current reports below

Hundreds of thousands left in the dark as Adelaide suffers ANOTHER blackout

Ain't "renewable" power grand?

Parts of northern Adelaide are without power with police calling on motorists to take care as lights are out. Power is out across the city and early morning commuters are facing delays due to a number of traffic lights not working in the area.

Images have been posted to social media of baristas attempting to make coffee using the lights on their phones as they wait for power to return.

Motorists are advised to avoid O'Connell Street which is without working traffic lights, with Main North Road, Barton Terrace and Chapel Street also affected, South Australian police say.

Street lights are also out in the area, causing extremely dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians travelling in the area.

Major traffic delays are expected while the power problem is resolved.

The outage was first reported around 5am on Friday and has left approximately 268 properties without power.

It is the latest in a string of power failures in Adelaide, as the city seeks alternative energy systems including Musk's megawatt battery.

Diesel generators are being rushed to be installed in the city, but The Advertiser reported the nine 'state-of-the-art' turbines will lose 25 per cent of their capacity in extreme heat.

Premier Jay Weatherill said Tuesday the generators would be operational by December, but will lose a quarter of the 276MW production when temperatures exceed 40 degrees.

The forced blackouts Adelaide experienced in February this year were the result of a 41 degree day. South Australia went through a state-wide blackout in September last year.


Queenslanders blame renewable energy for rising power prices, Galaxy Poll finds

QUEENSLANDERS are blaming renewable energy for their surging power prices, forcing them to cut spending on holidays, dinners and clothes to cover the costs.

Most Queenslanders have also backed a proposal for a new coal-fired power station in the north of the state to help drive economic opportunities and bring down prices.

The findings from a new Galaxy Poll, commissioned exclusively for The Courier-Mail, are a bitter blow for the Palaszczuk Government which has hotly pursued a 50 per cent renewable energy target and condemned the costs of new coal-fired power.

Ahead of a crisis meeting on prices next week with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, energy retailers yesterday blamed the lack of a coherent national policy for forcing up costs.

The Reserve Bank also warned the rising price of electricity and gas would put pressure on inflation, hitting households with higher bills as well as increased costs passed on by business.

Queensland’s standard electricity tariff has surged from 14¢ per kWh with a $5.40 a month service fee to almost 26¢ per kWh and 87¢ a day over the last decade.

A typical Queensland customer will pay almost $2000 for power in 2017-18 while small businesses will pay $2550 after rises of 3.3 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.

The Palaszczuk Government spared households from further price pain by absorbing the $770 million cost of the solar bonus scheme’s 44¢ feed-in tariff over the next three years. However, the high-priced home-produced power was forecast to add $4.1 billion to power bills overall.

The Galaxy Poll found 47 per cent of voters believed renewable energy was driving up their prices, while just 14 per cent thought solar, wind and other sources were keeping costs down.

It found 28 per cent believed renewables were having no impact.

One in three of Labor’s own supporters were critical of renewables.

Opposition was strongest at 62 per cent among One Nation voters, the key group both major parties are desperate to appeal to ahead of the looming state election.

The poll found 50 per cent of voters supported a coal-fired power station in north Queensland while 40 per cent were opposed. Support was strongest in regional Queensland and among LNP voters.

Respondents were also asked about the impact power bills was having on their spending. Voters identified little luxuries (43 per cent), holidays (42 per cent), eating out (37 per cent) and purchasing new clothes (33 per cent).

The impact escalated as household income declined, however those on more than $100,000 were also cutting their spending.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her Government had kept the electricity assets and increased concessions. “We kept our power generators in public hands and we are attracting new private sector investment in large-scale projects because we have energy security,” she said.

“The LNP liked coal-fired generation so much, they wanted to sell them off to overseas interests and those returns would have gone offshore as well.”

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls blamed recent wholesale power price spikes on Labor’s decision to load up Government-owned generators with debt.

“Queenslanders know Labor’s headlong rush to a 50 per cent renewable energy target will just drive up prices even more, not to mention the risk that we will do a South Australia and battle to keep the lights on,” he said.

Australian Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren insisted the best way to put downward pressure on power prices was to introduce a “coherent national energy”.  “Recent power price increases are the result of old generators closing and the lack of a consistent plan as to how to replace them,” he said. “This is a national policy failure that has been a decade in the making.”

In its latest statement on monetary policy, the RBA also blamed a lack of investment caused by policy uncertainty for impacting prices. “Along with the direct effects on household utility bills, there will also be indirect effects on inflation as a result of rising business input costs,” it said.


ANOTHER coal mine in central Queensland has been given the green light

Meteor Downs South project had been given the go ahead by Sojitz

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the Meteor Downs South project had been given the go ahead by Sojitz Coal Mining and U&D Mining. It follows the green light for the $1.7 billion Byerwen project by QCoal and the restart of the Isaac Plains mine, the Blair Athol mine and Collinsville.

The project, about 45km southeast of Springsure, would be operated by Sojitz Corporation subsidiary SCM which also owns and operates the Minerva Mine, and is expected to generate 40 to 50 full time jobs for the local community when fully operational.

“The decision by Sojitz and U&D is more positive job and economic news for central Queensland communities,” he said. “This investment of more than $30 million represents another vote of confidence in our state, as we continue to see the sustainable development of our resources sector.

“For locals and families in towns like Springsure, Rolleston and across the surrounding region, this is a real shot in the arm.”

Dr Lynham said preliminary onsite activities for the project were expected to commence later this year, with construction expected to start in January 2018. “Once Meteor Downs reaches the production stage, the mine is expecting to export coal via the Port of Gladstone,” he said.

The mine will have an annual capacity of more than 1.5 million tonnes when fully operational and a mine life of about 10 years


Cut power prices or business will go bust, says Glencore boss

The nation’s biggest coalminer and copper producer, Glencore, has called for the abolition of the renewable energy target and suggested delaying Paris climate commitments as Australian industry struggles under the weight of rising power costs.

And in comments backed by big manufacturers, Glencore says Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s proposed clean energy target will not be enough to save heavy industry, which needs pricing concessions from policies designed to tackle emissions reductions.

Speaking in Sydney yesterday, Glencore’s senior Australia-based executive, its global coal chief Peter Freyberg, said 10 years of poor policy development was coming home to roost.

“Electricity prices have got to a level where many industries, both large and medium, are either suffering or are becoming uneconomic because of high energy prices,” he said. “Either we intervene now to protect those businesses or we let them go — that’s a government decision.”

He said the RET, which was put in place with bipartisan support, and state-based renewable targets needed to be abolished and a national energy policy that allowed exemptions for heavy industry put in place.

“All we have is a renewable ­energy target that is seeing billions of dollars chucked into ­renewables and baseload power being shut down,” he said. “We are seeing the consequence of that in elevated energy prices and businesses going out of business.”

He said that if something had to take a back seat in solving the so-called energy “trilemma” of ­affordability, reliability and emissions reductions, it should be emissions.

“Let’s get energy and affordability right and then work emissions reductions into that in an orderly way,” Mr Freyberg said.

“That way we can achieve emissions reductions by sustaining the economy rather than achieving it by destroying the economy.”

If exempting heavy industry from emissions targets meant a delay in meeting Paris climate accord commitments, that should be looked at, he said.

Glencore makes almost all its coal profits from exports so is not overly exposed to reductions in the nation’s coal-fired power use.

But its Australian electricity bill is about $400 million a year and power is a third of the costs at its Mount Isa copper smelter and Townsville copper refinery.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott, who has called for a freeze on the renewable energy target at 15 per cent, said low power prices were critical for industry. “You can’t run a business, you can’t produce a great product and can’t employ people without energy and without power,” Mr Abbott said yesterday. “We need affordable, reliable power and policy has to change.’’

Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the Turnbull government was committed to the RET. “The government remains committed to the renewable energy target, as legislated in 2015, recognising that it was the Coalition that ensured a 100 per cent exemption for emissions-intensive trade-exposed businesses,” Mr Frydenberg said.

He said Mr Freyberg was “absolutely right” that affordable, reliable power must be the number one priority.

“We support his call for the abolition of state-based renewable energy targets which only create inefficiencies across the system,” he said.

The Coalition and the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council have supported 49 of the 50 Finkel recommendations.
But the last, the CET, has not cleared the Coalition partyroom, where there is concern it will push up prices by discouraging coal-fired generation.

The Glencore boss said Dr Finkel’s CET was not enough on its own to take care of energy policy, no matter where the target was set and whether or not it encouraged cleaner coal technologies.

“There are a number of unanswered questions in terms of the modelling and analysis in the review, such as ‘what is the assumed make-up and nature of Australia’s industrial base — and, just as importantly — what are the policy recommendations around future energy affordability’?” he said.

This was backed by Manufacturing Australia, which represents the chief executives of 10 of the nation’s biggest manufacturers, including BlueScope Steel, Brickworks, CSR, Rheem, Dulux and Incitec Pivot.

“The Finkel report had some good recommendations with regards to security and emissions, but it really misses the mark on affordability, or internationally competitive prices,” MA chief executive Ben Eade said.

Targets had been recommended for emissions, through the CET, and reliability, through obligations for reliability, but none for prices, he said.

“If success is measured in getting electricity prices down from $120 a megawatt hour to $100 a megawatt hour, that’s not going to be good enough for heavy industry,” Mr Eade said.

“We need a grown-up discussion about what an internationally competitive energy price is for heavy industry and we think it is in the $60 to $80 range.”

Rio Tinto’s global chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques, who has railed against the impact of power prices on his Queensland aluminium assets, said affordability was key.

“What we want is an affordable and reliable source of energy, we want to make sure that Australia is globally competitive,” Mr Jacques said.

Mr Freyberg last week increased Glencore’s Australian coal presence by taking a stake in Rio Tinto’s Hunter Valley coalmines.


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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