Thursday, November 09, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG has a comment on the debacle over dual citizenship among Australia's politicians

Homosexual community won’t forgive those who voted "no" to homosexual marriage

The homosexual writing below makes large and unwarranted assumptions about other people's motives so it is no surprise that he is filled with hate. He says, for instance, that  the plebiscite on homosexual marriage was a deliberate delaying tactic.  It was not.  It was a buck-passing exercise.  The Liberal party was disunited over the matter so they did the democratic thing and handed the decision to the people. 

He also says that "no" voters were motivated by a feeling that homosexuals are inferior. That may have been true in a few cases but he is totally ignoring that the case for the "No" vote was almost entirely put by Christian organizations.  Nobody could be in any doubt that homosexuality is condemned in the Bible and there are still many people who respect Bible teachings as at least wise.  I do myself, despite being an atheist.  The "No" vote was almost certainly a vote in favour of Christian teachings in most cases.

So he ignores both the virtue of democracy and the teachings of Christianity.  No wonder he is bitter and twisted and full of vindictiveness.  Ignoring reality is never wise.

What about the "hurt" that homosexuals have experienced when they heard their practices condemned?  They can only have felt that if they were previously unaware that people disapproved of them.  Being hauled into an awareness of reality must be regarded as a generally good thing. Political correctness normally inhibits people from speaking negatively of homosexuality so this was an occasion where the truth could come out.  Surely that must be on balance a good thing

FEW things have united the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ voters in the divisive, drawn-out campaign for same-sex marriage.

Mathias Cormann’s suggestion back in August that the postal ballot would be a “unifying moment” for the country now seems utterly laughable.

But if one thing unifies, it’s surely the relief that this postal ballot plebiscite finally ends today. People in both camps have felt injured or insulted over these six long weeks. Many of the public feel fatigued. They just want it to be over.

Make no mistake: this is what anti-equality MPs wanted. The optional, non-binding, expensive, unnecessary postal vote was a delaying tactic to prohibit or at least postpone marriage equality — and certainly to exhaust existing public appetite for it.

Turnbull’s continued insistence that this has been a “respectful debate” isn’t just a lie — it’s offensively ignorant. Trains were defaced with ‘Vote no to fags.’ Two lesbians in Redfern woke up in October to discover that dog excrement had been thrown on their doorstep. Graffiti instructed people to ‘Bash a gay today’. Respectful? This is incitement to homophobic violence.

A ‘No’ voter was sacked from her job for being public about how she’d vote. At Sydney University, food was thrown and threats made to “stomp on the face” of ‘No’ voters, which resulted in the police being called.

This is what happens when you put people’s human rights, basic dignity and simple equality up for debate. People get passionate. It gets ugly. And it was always going to.

Of course, passion makes the headlines. Many, myself included, tried to have the polite, respectful debate Turnbull wanted. I volunteered for the ‘Yes’ campaign, making calls to voters and asking if they’ll, pretty please, consider treating me equally. It was a demeaning exercise — but one I did on behalf of the anxious, upcoming generation of LGBTQI people who deserve to share in the happily-ever-after optimism that every young person does.

A typical response to asking a caller if they’d consider voting ‘Yes’ was offered by one particularly aggravated woman: “I don’t actually think that’s any of your fucking business, do you?”

What I wanted to say was: “Neither is the validity of my relationship with my boyfriend actually any of your fucking business, but you’ve still been invited to have your say on its legitimacy, haven’t you?”

What I actually said was: “No worries madam, sorry for interrupting your evening!” It’s a conversation, through gritted teeth, I had dozens, possibly hundreds of times.

But where did that politeness get me? Even if we win the postal ballot, we lose. A Sky News ReachTEL poll found 64 per cent voted ‘Yes’. But if that’s the case, I still find it devastating to know that over a third of the country have been encouraged to post a letter saying they don’t want to treat me equally.

That 36 per cent have been influenced by a ‘No’ campaign to solidify their gut feeling that I’m inferior to them. They could be my future employers. They could be people whose livelihoods I help fund by buying goods or services from them. And that makes me very uncomfortable.

Something unforgivable has occurred here. MPs were widely warned a plebiscite would unleash a Pandora’s box of harm. Gay people warned it’d give licence to homophobia and further ostracism. We pleaded with MPs to think of the suicide risk to vulnerable young LGBTQI people. Rainbow families travelled to Canberra to warn of the harm this’d do to their young kids. Bill Shorten listened, and reversed his initial support for the plebiscite.

Not only did Coalition MPs ignore and dismiss these warnings, they fought them at the High Court — and won. Look what happened. As Tanya Plibersek said on last night’s Q & A, gay people were distraught to discover members of their own family would be voting ‘No’.

I’ve seen gay people asking anyone on Facebook voting ‘No’ to de-friend them: from cousins and acquaintances to those they thought were their friends. Employers have been encouraged to turn against their staff for voting a different way. I’ve even seen divisions within the gay community itself emerge as a debate rages about how much tolerance or acceptance we should offer those who don’t want us to have equality.

With all this grimly predictable polarisation, I can think of one unifying moment for the LGBTQI community. It’s a reclaiming of power too often denied us, and one of the greatest powers of all: the withholding of forgiveness.

If gay people are angry that they’ve been pitted against each other and against their friends, family and colleagues, they have the power to punish at the ballot box — not just at the next election, but for a lifetime.

I’m hoping it galvanises LGBTQI people not just to vote for any other party than the LNP, but to join one, and campaign for one.

Why should we trust or forgive MPs who’ve ignored us, dismissed our legitimate concerns, made us beg for equality?

The real unifying moment is that the gay community now knows who has our backs. If you’re gay, and now consider voting LNP in your lifetime, shame on you.


Pauline Hanson criticizes high taxes on alcohol and declares her trip to India 'opened up her eyes to stopping further immigration'

Pauline Hanson likened Australia's alcohol taxes to rape after she landed back in Brisbane from India.

During a stopover in Singapore, the One Nation leader used a rather controversial comparison to slam the difference between duty-free prices and what Australians pay after tax for beer and spirits.

'I'm just in transit at Singapore looking forward to being home,' she told her 214,000 followers on Sunday. 'Anyone want some duty free?

'It's times like this you realise how much money the government are reaping (or raping, depending on which way you look at it) from Aussie consumers on alcohol.'

While travellers are able to bring in up to 2.25 litres of alcohol into Australia duty free, pure alcohol is taxed at more than $34 a litre if full-strength beer is sold in a 48-litre keg.

Beer sold in small containers, such as bottles, attracts excise of close to $49 a litre.

However, Senator Hanson didn't mention Australia's excise during a media conference at Brisbane airport on Sunday with her supporters.

Instead, she used her parliamentary study trip to India, which is home to 1.3 billion people, to hammer her message about the need for Australia to cut back its annual immigration intake.

'It was a fantastic trip going to India but just to open up my eyes and why we have to stop further immigration in this country until we get our construction and everything right,' she said.

She was greeted by One Nation's only MP in the Queensland parliament Steve Dickson, a defector and former minister from the Liberal National Party.

Her arrival came a day after a Galaxy poll showed her party's support had risen from 15 per cent to 18 per cent during the past three months.

Backing for the major parties had fallen since the January 2015 election, with the LNP dipping to 32 per cent and Labor down to 35 per cent.


Google Not Feeling So Lucky Over Australian Defamation Case

A recent decision in the Supreme Court of South Australia is a warning shot across the bow of publishers of online content. Hannah Marshall and Daisy Von Schoenberg from Marque Lawyers explain.

The latest defamation case about Google’s search engine results has just come out. It’s a warning to search engines and online publishers generally, and a nod to defamation litigants everywhere to pursue them.

It all started when Dr Janice Duffy, a medical researcher, consulted some online psychics about her love life. After the psychics’ predictions didn’t eventuate (shock!) Dr Duffy posted negative reviews about the psychics on a website called the Ripoff Report (who’d have thought psychics might be a rip-off?).

The psychics responded with posts labelling Duffy a “psychic stalker”.

Because of this, a Google search of her name started returning results with extracts of the articles calling her a psychic stalker, and its autocomplete function offered the words psychic stalker after her name.

Dr Duffy asked Google to remove all that. Google refused. Litigation ensued.

This latest judgment was Google’s appeal of the original judgment, in which it lost and Dr Duffy won $115,000 in damages.

You might think that a payment of $115,000 would be immaterial to a multinational tech company like Google, but the broader implications for its business and other online intermediaries were huuugggeee.

The legal question was whether Google was a publisher of the search engine results in a way that makes it liable for defamation. Here’s the short version of the appeal court’s answer.

Google said it was not a publisher of the defamatory results because its algorithms automatically produce results at the request of users, performing over 100 billion searches every month.

The court accepted this, and found that Google was not liable for the results prior to it being made aware that they were defamatory. However, the court also said that once Dr Duffy notified Google of the defamatory material, its failure to remove the results amounted to further publications of the defamatory material.

This largely reaffirms the position of secondary publishers like search engines, or hosts of user generated content like chat rooms, Facebook page operators, or any news or other sites with user comments.

Once you know, or should reasonably know, that material is defamatory, then you can be liable for publishing it.

What happens now? Keep your eyes and ears peeled for a High Court appeal by Google. Our bet is that the mega search engine is not going to roll over on this decision lightly.

In the meantime, if we were Google we’d be reviewing our complaints handling procedures very carefully.


Universities offering new and specialist courses to combat crowded job market

SPECIALISATION may be the key to unlocking a career in an increasingly crowded job market.

Year 12 exams began this week and in between studying many students will be thinking about their next life-shaping level of tertiary education.

Prospective students have until January 4 to apply for main round university offers and experts advise they spend some of that time considering niche or emerging fields where demand outstrips supply.

Recognising some of these shortfalls, Perth universities have responded with a range of lesser-known courses that did not exist five years ago.

Edith Cowan University student Sharon Cooke is halfway through completing a Masters in Infant Mental Health, a course ECU has only offered since 2016.

“It is a funny name, but what they are trying to capture is really the relationship between the caregiver and the infant,” Mrs Cooke said. “In the first few years of life it’s vital the child feels safe, loved and understood, which acts like a vaccination protecting them from future adversities.”

Tired of working in an IT helpdesk role with limited prospects for career advancement, Enzo Zito enrolled in a Bachelor of Science specialising in cyber forensics and information security at Murdoch University.

With practically every aspect of modern-day life intrinsically linked to the internet, Mr Zito said there was growing demand for cyber security professionals both in Australia and around the world.

“It would be an exciting and rewarding opportunity to be able to work with companies to safely expose vulnerabilities and subsequently secure their networks,” he said.

Like many West Australians, Edward Swinhoe landed a job in the booming resources sector straight after high school.

When his work as a field ecologist dried up after the mining downturn, he turned to university and is now close to completing a Masters in Biosecurity at Murdoch.

“As an environmental consultant with experience in chemical capture and vertebrate pest management I’m finding myself inundated with work from property developers, primary producers and wildlife groups,” Mr Swinhoe said.

“I’m happy to say I think I picked a winner with this course.”

Aeromedical evacuation, data science, food security and electrical engineering degrees with a focus on renewables such as wind, solar and hydro are among the other courses established in the past couple of years.

ECU senior deputy Vice-Chancellor Arshad Omari said it was challenging for universities to predict future job markets and that it took a minimum of 18 months to develop a new course.

“In deciding to launch a new course, we look at social trends, changes in the workplace and we also engage with industry,” Professor Omari said.

Adzuna chief executive Raife Watson advised prospective students to look at fields with in-demand niches where they could stand out.

“Health is a good example because it is such a wide and growing area with dozens of sub-specialities,’’ he said.

“Demand for anything age-care related, in particular, is exploding.”

Hays Australia and New Zealand managing director Nick Deligiannis said “soft skills,” such as relationship building and critical and creative thinking, were also highly sought after


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

1 comment:

PB said...

You are absolutely right. "Buck passing". Would that they would have such concerns for our opinions on so many other, more relevant things.