Monday, April 30, 2018

Inside Australia's growing neo-Nazi youth movement

Leftist anti-white discrimination has bred its reply

Around the nation a secretive group of white supremacists who salute Hitler and call for a white revolution are plastering hate speech across cities and universities.

The Antipodean Resistance are a group of radicalised neo-Nazis who describe themselves as 'the Hitlers you've been waiting for'.

To join the men's chapter, you have to be white, straight, young, monogamous and only interested in dating other white people. 'Racial treason is not tolerated,' members told Daily Mail Australia.

The group, which began in Melbourne in 2016, is spreading to cities and towns across the country.  They recently opened a women's chapter to give women 'a  choice to live their lives in accordance to their natural roles'.

Over email an anonymous representative for the group told Daily Mail Australia that their 'activists come from all walks of life'. 'Our ranks are made up by men and women from every corner of the workforce. Our members have families. Some have wives and children that they seek to protect,' they said.  

'We are telling you that we are all around you. We build your houses, we cook your meals, and we keep your shelves stocked.'

The groups main targets are Jewish people, homosexuals and non-white immigrants. 'We oppose substance abuse, homosexuality, and all other rotten, irresponsible distractions laid before us by Jews and globalist elites.' 

They accuse homosexuals of being 'defined by their own hedonism, and by virtue of their own perversions deprived of the natural capacity to reproduce'.

They also refer to Jewish people as 'social parasites'.

'We recognise that there is a fundamental truth to all of reality and that reality is governed by this natural law, whether human beings acknowledge it or not,' the representative says.

The group, which claims to have 300 members, first emerged in 2016 when they put up posters in Melbourne showing the shooting of a gay man, and the text 'Get the Sodomite filth off our streets'.

Since then they've carried out over 40 'hits' as they call them, with their propaganda appearing across the country. Usually conducted in the dead of night they'll plaster streets and universities with hate speech. 'Stop the hordes,  N*****s, Ch***s, Dunec***s,' one poster reads. Others call for the murder of Jewish people.

Last year they put up flyers at Melbourne university which were written in simplified Chinese characters. They said Chinese people were not allowed into the building, otherwise they would be deported.

Posters bearing the name of a notorious neo-Nazi group which claim to be 'the Hitlers you've been waiting for' were plastered over the walls of Sydney University in 2017

'The policy of anonymity within the organisation is a pragmatic choice, as it is the most effective way to establish a political movement in the current climate,' their representative says.

'We also have no need to stroke our egos by putting our identities out on record for the world to see. We stand by our principles regardless of whether our identity is known or unknown.' 

Not much is known about the group but researchers and left activists have been monitoring their actions.

Julie Nathan, a researcher at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, has been investigating the group since they first emerged.

'The typical profile of a member is male, of white European background, aged from late teens to late twenties,' she tells Daily Mail Australia. 'Members are secretive about their identities, concealing both names and face'

'Some of them are stereotypical Hitler-saluting neo-Nazi thick-heads. But a small number of them appear to be tertiary-educated and the dominant figures.'

The neo-Nazi's have also been monitored by ASIO, out of fear the extremist group could turn violent. 

'Members of these groups are diverse and have different agendas, including extreme right-wing and extreme left-wing ideologies,' ASIO said to a parliamentary review into the expenditure of security agencies.

'A few small subsets of these groups are willing to use violence to further their own interests.'

When asked if the group was was willing to use violence the group denied it.  

'Antipodean Resistance does not believe that violence is the correct path to achieving victory,' they said.

But authorities aren't convinced. Ms Nathan says her research has shown the group has a connection to overseas terrorists organisations.

'Antipodean Resistance was one of several neo-Nazi groups which were incubated via the Iron March website (a notorious far right website shut down in 2017). The groups have maintained contact with each other.'

She says they are inspired by National Action in the UK, a white supremacists group, which was listed as a terrorist organisation in December 2016.

The group denied any affiliation with terrorists. They say their fight is about creating a society based on 'natural law.'

'When we preach our ideal future, we speak not of some Utopian post-scarcity society. We strive for something far purer, and far more realistic.'

'We strive not for an equal society, but for a one that exists in harmony with natural law, rather than in conflict.'

Ms Nathan says their end game is total domination and their membership is growing. 'The group has been able to distribute its hate propaganda across cities and towns across Australia, and organise martial arts training in remote regional areas,' she said.

'The group’s leaders have no illusions about AR becoming a popular mass-based organisation. Their dream is to impose their own Nazi dictatorship on Australia.

'Even a small group of brainwashed fanatics who co-ordinate their actions and have no moral compass whatsoever can cause immense harm.' 


Channel Nine faces $50,000 fine for using 'Anzac' as code word in Today Show cash giveaway

Channel Nine has breached a law that protects the word 'ANZAC' from inappropriate commercial use when it used it in one of it's cash giveaways.

The Today show used the word ANZAC as a code in it's daily cash give away, which is a breach of the law and carries a penalty of up to $51,000.

The popular morning show runs daily $10,000 cash giveaways where audiences text in code words advertised on the previous day to enter.

For the commemorative public holiday, the code word was ANZAC.

The minister for veterans affairs administers the protection of the word and have said they were not approached by the show.

Their approval is needed for it's use in connection with 'any trade, business, calling or profession or in connection with any entertainment or any lottery or art union or as the name or part of a name of any private residence, boat, vehicle of charitable or other institution, or other institution, or any building.'

Even the biscuits are monitored and can only have the word ANZAC attached to them if they are the traditional recipe and shape.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs told Fairfax media that the use of the word was not approved by Minister Darren Chester.

'Even if they had approached us, we wouldn't normally grant them the use of the word Anzac in this manner,' she said.

While the spokesperson said 'no decision had been made' as to if they would escalate she stressed that there were significant penalties for breaching the law. Under the Crimes Act of 1914, a penalty of up to $51,000 may be imposed 

When deciding on the appropriateness of attaching the word to a commercial context the Minister considers the views of the ex-service community, the intent of the legislation and any commemorative links.

The controversy came just after the show's host Karl Stefanovic blasted cinemas for releasing the film Avengers: Infinity War on ANZAC day. In an impassioned speech he argued that it was 'a grubby cash grab' and questioned what it taught children.

'There might be some legitimate reason why the Avengers is opening on ANZAC day but I haven't seen on earth are our kids supposed to breathe in the significance of ANZAC day?' he said. 

Channel Nine acknowledged its use of a word in a giveaway was a poor choice


Must not notice that Aborigines have dark skin

IT WAS supposed to be a nice way to bid farewell to their friends, family and followers on social media, but one comment in a video message has landed Married at First Sight’s Troy Delmege in trouble.

The reality TV star took the controversial clip with his lover Carly Bowyer before leaving Melbourne International Airport to jet off to Bali yesterday.

Uploaded to Instagram stories, the surprise couple known on the show for their goofy antics revealed how excited they were about their getaway.

However, giddy Delmege started talking about how tanned they planned on becoming when he made a strange comment about indigenous Australians.

“Couldn’t be more excited,” he said in the video. “Can’t wait to get the tan on, get some heat on me after being in Melbourne for a few weeks.” He then pointed at his Bowyer before adding: “I’m going to be dark, (but) she’ll be darker, like an Aborigine!”

The video then abruptly ends and it appears that Bowyer quickly cut the clip.

Indigenous activist Tarneen Onus-Williams, shared the video on Twitter and branded Delmege’s comments “disgusting”.


Australian jihadi's Sydney high school was a 'religious hothouse that made him ashamed of his heritage' - before he fled to Syria to join a terror group

An Australian government school is a hothouse of Sunni Muslim  preaching???

The father of an Australian jihadist jailed for travelling to Syria to join an Islamist terror group says his son's secular high school was a 'religious hothouse' that made him ashamed of his heritage.

Mehmet Biber, 25, who flew from Sydney to the Middle East in 2013 to join Jabha al-Nusra, was sentenced on Friday to at least two-and-a-half years jail after pleading guilty to entering a foreign state intending hostile activity.

During sentencing, the court heard of his father's concerns about Parramatta High School in Sydney's west, where his jailed son was a student.

'We were very happy Australian public schools were totally secular and glad we sent Mehmet to one. We were misinformed... We came to learn it was a religious hothouse,' the court heard, according to The Daily Telegraph. 

The court heard Biber's father, Gaven, believed religious practices were 'a constant feature' of education at the school, and that teachers thought they were being were being 'culturally sensitive' by encouraging it. 

The court heard the father believed Biber was made to feel ashamed of his Alawite heritage, a branch of Shia Islam.

'Visiting mullahs and prayer groups and school employed emirs were a constant feature of education there. All of them it seemed legitimising a strain of Sunni fundamentalism,' the court heard.

The father tried four times to alert authorities before his son travelled to Syria. He later went to Turkey himself to persuade him to come home.

Outside court on Friday, Mr Biber said Mehmet posed no risk to the community and just wanted to get on with his life.

'We did everything in our power to stop him but, unfortunately, the authorities gave us no assistance whatsoever,' he said. 'Any parent would have done the same thing that I did.'

Justice Christine Adamson on Friday jailed Biber for four years and nine months with a non-parole period of two and a half years.

During a NSW Supreme Court hearing last week, Biber insisted he never went near the front line because his hosts - from the moderate Ahrar al-Sham group - were protective of Australians.

However, he conceded he would have tried if allowed. Justice Adamson accepted part but not all of his evidence.

She considered his offending 'well below the mid-range of seriousness' for the charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Biber's youth and naivety at the time of the trip were mitigating factors, the judge said.

His decision to leave behind his pregnant wife in Australia and pose for photos during the trip with a group of men holding assault rifles were indicative of his immaturity.


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

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Identity politics traps the minority mind in cycle of grievance

Stan Grant, a light-brown man, puts together below a lengthy essay which argues against the Leftist push to divide us into groups rather than having a national consciousness. I have read the articlein full, and on my reading, he says group consciousness is fine as long as it does not attack a larger loyalty to our liberal civilization.  He sees a national or civilizational consciousness as a way-station to world citizenship. 

He is right about the evils of dividing us into tribes defined by grievance but his dream of world citizenship founders on the rather awful state of many parts of the world today. Would we want to be fellow world citizens with the brutal religious maniacs of the  Middle East, for instance? 

But in my view national unity is a highly workable goal. Both the USA and Australia had achieved a large measure of it until recent times. Most Americans could feel patriotic towards their country regardless of their ethnic origins or religion.  The recent loud Leftist obsession with race, sex, class and religion is however eroding that

What would my grandfather make of our world today? I have wondered about that lately. What would he make of this age of hyper-identity? I doubt he ever uttered the word identity. I doubt he ever considered what it meant to identify with anything. Cecil William Henry Grant was an Aboriginal man. He would have said a Wiradjuri man. He lived among Wiradjuri people, he married a Wiradjuri woman and raised his children to know what it was to be Wiradjuri.

He was an Australian, proudly so. Defiantly Australian, at a time when he was told he wasn’t. When war came he signed up: he became a Rat of Tobruk. My grandfather fought not to prove his worth but because he believed himself already worthy. He came back and told his children of the world he had seen. He told them that this world was theirs, that no one could shrink their horizon but themselves.

He was a Christian; his faith was founded in a belief in justice and equality. He would have heard that same message in the words of a black preacher from the segregated south of America, who dreamed of a day when we would be judged not by our colour but our character.

When I think of Martin Luther King Jr, I think of someone who represented everything my grandfather, Cecil William Henry Grant, stood for. Yes, he was Aboriginal — that was his heritage, his family. To be Aboriginal was as natural as breathing. But it was who he was, not all he was. Like the great majority of Aboriginal people, he was what we clumsily call “mixed race”: he had an Irish grandfather. He found a world beyond his own in books and a love of knowledge. He wrote short stories and poems. I am told he kept by his bed the works of Shakespeare and our own bards, Lawson and Paterson. My father still has my grandfather’s old Bible, nearly half a century since the old man passed away.

My grandfather lived the words of the ancient Roman playwright Terence — a man bought and sold as a slave: Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto: “I am human, nothing that is human is alien to me”.

He was a man of sacrifice and courage; a man born on the margins, who endured harsh poverty, bigotry and state-enforced discrimination, but who never wavered in his dignity and hope for his country. A man locked out, yet who looked for a way in.

In 1966, towards the end of his life, my grandfather nominated as a candidate to be elected as an Aboriginal representative of the Aborigines Welfare Board. I found his campaign pitch in an old edition of the welfare board magazine Dawn, distributed to Aboriginal communities across NSW. There was no mention of blame, shame or victimhood — just an unflinching belief in our basic human dignity.

Reading the pitch, I can hear his voice: it is the voice of a preacher, his cadence distinctive, his inflection rising and falling:

“Anyone claiming that Aborigines are not humanly equal to other people seems to lack knowledge of the common ingredients of which all human beings are made. For instance, all mankind is blessed or plagued with egoism, irrespective of the pigmentation of the skin. We are also subject to the influences of various other elements such as the physical, natural and Divine influences — all of which are evident in all men. Thus far we are humanly equal and should be regarded by all as such.”

Today those words may seem quaint. They are so at odds with the spirit of our times. These are angry times. He campaigned for equality and justice, but today we are likely to hear more of resentment and vengeance.

My grandfather fought for inclusion. Today we talk a lot more of separatism and exclusion. We are more likely to define ourselves by what we are not: whom we are against rather than what we share in common.

We have lost the art of moderation. We are quick to take offence, too readily wounded and too reluctant to forgive or understand. As French philosopher Simone Weil put it: “Modern life is given over to immoderation. Immoderation invades everything: actions and thought, public and private … there is no more balance anywhere.” She was writing more than a half-century ago, yet her words continue to resonate. These are times of passion more than discretion. And as another French thinker, Raymond Aron, said: “Passion automatically goes at a gallop.” In a time when we are wealthier and healthier, paradoxically we are also fearful and vicious.

Consider the Australia of my grandfather’s life, and the world I enjoy. Then, Aboriginal kids often were locked out of schools; today we have more indigenous university graduates than at any time in our history. Once, my grandfather and so many like him were denied the vote; today we have indigenous people in our parliaments. My grandfather lived on Aboriginal missions, among those rounded up and forced off traditional lands; today we have won rights to our land, our courts recognise native title. My grandfather lived in the great Australian silence, indigenous people written out of our nation’s history; today our stories are celebrated in film and music and art and literature. This is the world he dreamed of, the world he fought for: “We are humanly equal and should be regarded by all as such.” Indeed.

This is the world dreamed of by Aboriginal heroes who were often, like my grandfather, people of deep faith: Bill Ferguson, Doug Nicholls, William Cooper. They and those who followed — everyone who marched, carried a flag, raised a voice or pitched a tent for the struggle — are part of our folklore. They helped make Australia better.

Yes, there is much to do. The possibilities and promise of this country remain out of reach for far too many. The most impoverished and imprisoned in our nation are the First Peoples. My grandfather knew that too well. It was the struggle to which he dedicated his entire life. But I am sure he would recoil at the rancour and bitterness of modern politics. He believed in an inclusive citizenship; today we cleave to our difference.

It is one of the pitfalls of identity politics that it requires a permanent, unchanging enemy. At its worst it appears less motivated by justice or reconciliation than vainglorious struggle for its own sake: grievance without end.

Lately, I have sought refuge in the words of my grandfather. I have returned to the writings of great thinkers who shaped our world. My grandfather would not have read the likes of Immanuel Kant, John Locke or John Stuart Mill, yet the teachings of those Enlightenment philosophers found their way into his world view.

The belief in a shared humanity, in the fundamental worth of each individual, is the cornerstone of the liberal democratic order. Think of Kant’s ideas of liberty — the foundation of Enlightenment is that we should strive to live “free of the ball and chain of an everlasting permanent minority”. He urged us to have the courage to think for ourselves, to “make use of our own understanding”.

Or Mill, who asked we find that elusive centre to “soften the extreme form to fill up the intervals between us”. These philosophers challenge me to look outside of myself, to cast off certainty and test my ideas. The Enlightenment placed reason above superstition, disrupted conventional wisdom, reimagined society and challenged old hierarchies. It asked humanity to look beyond parochial affiliations — to, in the words of Rousseau, “cast away the yoke of national prejudices”.

These thinkers were also products of their times. Some of their views, particularly on race, are hard for me to read. Some were apologists for slavery, the architects of empire and colonisation. The same Kant who spoke of our shared humanity could say black Africans were “stupid”.

Yet, for all its faults, the Enlightenment is my inheritance, too. Its legacy is universal. Richard Dawkins says liberalism is a meme rather than a gene: it transmits across bloodlines and cultures. To French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, Western civilisation is “like a jailer who throws you into prison yet slips you the key”. Tyranny, racism and colonialism are part of the Western tradition, yet that same tradition holds out the tantalising possibility of freedom.

Liberalism, born of the Enlightenment and centred on the principle of the rights of the individual, has proved remarkably resilient. Yet, across three decades in journalism, I have seen old divisions of race, religion, tribalism and nationalism reassert themselves. The end of the Cold War — the great ideological battle between liberal democracy and communism — promised liberation. Old borders were coming down. US political scientist Francis Fukuyama proclaimed “the end of history”. Liberal democracy, he wrote, constituted “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution”.

But history has returned. Borders are going back up, democracy is in retreat. The strongman is back: Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey; Viktor Orban in Hungary; Rodrigo Duterte in The Philippines; Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt; Vladimir Putin in Russia; Xi Jinping in China; and, in his own way, Donald Trump in the US — each riding a wave of resurgent populism. This is a frustrating, mad­dening time. As father of conservatism Edmund Burke wrote, “The wild gas, the fixed air is plainly broke loose.” We don’t look for common ground; we dig in and shoot from the trenches. It is politics as civil war: words are weapons. We don’t disagree, we abuse.

We don’t debate, we yell.

Paradoxically, when social media gives us greater means to offend each other, we try to silence those we find offensive. Liberalism is under siege.

American political scientist Mark Lilla has condemned the growth of identity politics as a cancer on democracy. He considers himself a liberal (progressive in American political parlance) but fears his fellow liberals have become dangerously obsessed with identity and exclusion, and are sacrificing the idea of shared citizenship. In his book The Once and Future Liberal (Harper, 2017), he despairs at how “identity liberalism banished the word ‘we’ to the outer reaches of respectable political discourse”.

Lilla’s book grew out of an article he wrote in response to Trump’s election. It was the most widely read opinion piece in The New York Times in 2016. He argued that the fashionable idea of celebrating difference was a “disastrous foundation for democratic politics”. He said the US was in the grip of a “moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message”; it impedes progressive politics becoming a unifying force.

Lilla believes it cost Hillary Clinton the presidency and propelled Trump to the White House. He has been tracking this trend for years. In an earlier book, The Shipwrecked Mind (New York Review Books, 2016), he captured the resurgence of populism.

The shipwrecked mind, Lilla says, is the mind of the reactionary: it is the mind of the person turning away from change, who sees “the debris of paradise drifting past his eyes”. The shipwrecked mind is nostalgic for the glorious past lost. As Lilla writes: “Hopes can be disappointed. Nostalgia is irrefutable.” Yes, things were better back then.

We see the politics of nostalgia in the pledge to make America great again, or the Brexit campaign’s lament for “Little Eng­land”. Putin appeals to the longing for the glory of the Soviet empire; Xi stokes Chinese nationalism with references to the 100 years of humiliation by foreign powers.

The shipwrecked mind is the political Islamist, European nationalist, the American alt-right fascist. In Australia it could help explain the lure of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. These groups may speak about liberation but, like purveyors everywhere of identity politics, depend for their survival on a “permanent enemy” and an army of “endlessly aggrieved” foot soldiers.

Indigenous politics is not immune. We have our “shipwrecked minds”. These are people who would like to imagine themselves as the radicals, disrupters and truth-tellers. In fact, they are the most stifling reactionaries: chain­ed to tradition, they fetishise culture, reject pluralism and shut their ears to discussion.

I thought of these people when reading The Economist last December. The feature article probed the rise of identity politics and resurgent nationalism. It drew on the work of Polish social-psychologist Michal Bilewicz, who separates what he calls “altruists” from “narcissists”. Politics in this way becomes a civil war, with everything boiling down to loyalty. The two groups are categorised thus:

Look to the future / Rake over the past
Positive-sum / Zero-sum
Share / Exclude
Work together / Gang up
United by values / United by race and culture
Opponents complement / Opponents are traitors

We know these narcissists all too well: they are the avatars of resurgent populism. They are the most successful politicians of our time. History is the pulse of populist identity politics. This is history as betrayal. It is the narrative of loss, of being robbed of inheritance. This history looms over the present, obscuring progress; the past frames the present and denies the future.

Lilla calls this the “apocalyptic imagination”: “The present, not the past, is a foreign country … all that was left was memory of defeat, destruction and exile.”

This has become a powerful narrative for many indigenous Australians. It is a history I was raised on: the story of invasion and dispossession, racism and segregation, passed down through the generations of my family. These stories are painful and vivid. They have marked me — at times, I have felt, indelibly. History is where we locate ourselves; it is the foundation of identity. It can help explain so much ongoing suffering and injustice. But it can become a crippling narrative. It has been my struggle — the struggle of all of us — to move beyond it. Not to ignore it or airbrush the worst aspects but to lift its weight from my shoulders. I have no desire to be bound to a history of misery — or, worse, to revel in it.

Historical truth can be elusive, particularly when it is filtered through memory. Friedrich Nietzsche warned us to tread warily; where remembrance is concerned it is worth recalling his words: “There are no facts, only interpretations.” Memory is unreliable and selective; as we have seen, it can be a powerful and destructive political weapon. In the words of French historian Jacques Le Goff: “Memory, on which history draws and which nourishes it in return, seeks to save the past in order to serve the present and the future.”

In his 2016 book In Praise of Forgetting (Yale University Press), journalist and philosopher David Rieff challenges the adage that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. “Thinking about history … is far more likely to paralyse than encourage and inspire,” he warns. He says we risk turning it into a “formula for unending grievance and vendetta”.

French historian Ernest Renan was grappling with this idea of history and identity more than a century ago, saying in an essay that nations seek a “collective identity”. Nation, he wrote, is “a soul, a spiritual principle”. But how to form a nation out of the conflicting stories of our past? Renan looked beyond history. His words are an antidote to today’s obsession with remembrance: “Forgetfulness, and I would say historical error, are essential in creating a nation.”

Nations — peoples — do this all the time. We elevate one event over another, we celebrate particular historical figures, we commemorate victories and find glory in defeat. We are always editing history — what philosopher Homi K. Bhabha calls “narrating the nation”. The stories we tell ourselves are what we become. We have to ask: what is it that we want to be?

Identity can kill. Think of Hutu versus Tutsi in Rwanda, Hindu pitted against Muslim in India, Catholic and Protestant in Ireland, Palestinian and Israeli, the blood feud between Sunni and Shia. Identity spawned in history and nourished on violence can exert a deadly hold.

Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen has warned against what he calls “solitarist” identities. He says it can be a good way of misunderstanding nearly everyone in the world. When we divide ourselves, he writes, “our shared humanity gets savagely challenged”.

At its worst, the politics of iden­tity appears to me like that line from Franz Kafka: “A cage went in search of a bird.” It is rigid and conformist. It is policed by self-righteous moral and political guard­ians. Identity has its own ortho­doxy, it imposes its own tyranny.

Cosmopolitanism appeals as a counter to these forces. Its embrace of hybridity rejects identity politics that turns “we” into “us and them”. Kant described this idea of cosmopolitanism as a loyalty to universal humanity. Cosmopolitanism demands that I think harder about identity. It challenges me to find a better answer to the question: who am I? This is a new frontier for indigenous Australians. There has been a tendency to cling to ideas of identity purity or authenticity. This is understandable: historically, indigenous identity has been heavily politicised.

What it means to be indigenous — who is recognised or classified and who is not — has been in an almost constant state of flux. The Australian Law Reform Commission counts 64 separate definitions of Aboriginal. Indigenous (Yiman and Bidjara) academic Marcia Langton once wrote: “For Aboriginal people, resolving who is Aboriginal and who is not is an uneasy issue, located somewhere between the individual and the state.”

Today, communities often determine who is recognised as indigenous or not. Individuals can be required to obtain a letter certifying “Aboriginality”. There is a wariness of hybridity, that someone can hold overlapping or layered allegiance or affiliation.

But how do people with mixed ancestry define themselves? What about an urban-dwelling, univer­sity-educated, relatively privileged middle-class person of Aboriginal heritage? They won’t necessarily belong to any exclusive indigenous community, let alone look to it for recognition. They may have communal connections, perhaps to ancestral country, but also may trace their roots back to Italy, China or Lebanon. This is the way of our world; indigenous Australians should be no different.

It is fraught terrain. Identity is the third rail of indigenous politics. Yin Paradies is a scholar who has sought to escape what he calls a “prison-house” identity. Paradies is an example of someone with indigenous heritage who chafes at orthodox interpretations of what it means to be Aboriginal. Paradies — blending indigenous and Anglo-Asian heritage — says he represents both coloniser and colonised: black and consummately white. For this, he says, he has endured personal attacks. He has been labelled a “coconut” (brown on the outside, white on the inside) or a “nine-to-five black”. This hostility comes from a history of suspicion of people “passing as white” or “selling out”. Paradies doesn’t deny what he too calls a “deplorable history of marginalisation, discrimination and exclusion”, but that alone does not define him.

Paradies, like me, is in every way a cosmopolitan. As a journalist, I have reported from more than 70 countries. Mine has been a life spent in the world. Apart from China and Britain, I have spent enough long stretches in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel to feel equally at home in each. I can tell you where to find the best dumplings in Shanghai or the best chicken meal in Amman; I could help you buy a guitar in Kabul or tell you where to catch an art movie Tel Aviv. I count among my dearest friends colleagues from Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, China, Canada and South Korea.

All of this has shaped me. It has given me a glimpse into worlds I once could barely have imagined.

I live an admittedly privileged life — and that is one of the criticisms of cosmopolitanism, that it is the identity of the rich. But cosmopolitanism is also carried on the winds of trade and war. Every refugee fleeing tyranny on a leaky boat is taking what Bruce Robbins and Paulo Lemos-Horta poetically describe in the opening to their book Cosmopolitans (New York University Press, 2017) as “the long, exhausting and perhaps endless journey toward invisible others”.

For indigenous Australians, that journey began — for better and worse — with the arrival of the First Fleet. We took on new names, our skin lightened and we spoke in new languages.

Cosmopolitanism is not always a matter of choice. It has been a colonial project.

Cosmopolitanism asks a tough political question: is there a place for group rights? Does identifying as an indigenous person give me a unique or special claim on the state? If so, under what circumstances? Who decides?

Political theorist Jeremy Waldron has argued there is no place in cosmopolitanism for indigenous rights. To the extent that rights are acknowledged, Waldron says it should be more about contemporary discrimination and disadvantage than historical injustice.

Historian David Hollinger says historical events have “destabilised identities”, weakening political solidarity. Groups are not permanent or enduring; Hollinger says there is too much emphasis on homogeneity. Some may make a case for group right — but don’t ask who actually belongs to the group.

Do I, as someone who lives a privileged life and identifies as indigenous, have an equal claim on programs to close the socioeconomic gap in Australia? Despite identifying with the African-American community, Barack Obama, the first black US president, said his children should not benefit from affirmative action. Cosmopolitans value fluidity and hybridity; they embrace change and prioritise multiple affiliations.

So, where does that leave someone like me? Yes, I am indigenous, but this is not an exclusive identity; it is not unchanging, permanently fixed in time and place. Identity is personal choice, a social construct — but it can also have political implications. We see this around the world in the push for separatism or self-determination based on ethnicity, culture or religion.

Hollinger does not support minority nationalism or group rights that privilege some citizens over others; he says society is stronger by breaking down barriers between groups and increasing “shifting, multiple and hybrid identities”.

Cosmopolitans are accused of downplaying historical injustice and ignoring the causes and impact of economic inequality. Political scientist Michael Ignatieff has identified one of the critical flaws of cosmopolitanism: that it is aristocratic, “the privilege of those who can take their own membership in secure nation-states for granted”. While cosmopolitans may prefer to eschew parochialism or nationalism, their rights are tethered to nation states.

The question of group versus individual rights — indeed, the rights of individuals within those groups — is an enduring dilemma of liberal democracy. It is an ongoing process of litigation and negotiation.

Cosmopolitanism appeals to me, even as I struggle with it. Perhaps that is the point: it is meant to make us uncomfortable, posing as many questions as it answers. One of the great cosmopolitan thinkers, Kwame Anthony Appiah, concedes: “There’s a sense in which cosmopolitanism is the name not of the solution but of the challenge.” Appiah himself is a living example of what it is to be cosmopolitan: Ghanaian father, British mother; an internationally acclaimed academic, multilingual, multicultural. He is, like me, at home in the world.

Appiah says cosmopolitanism begins with the simple idea that “we have obligations to others, obligations that stretch beyond those to whom we are related … or even the more formal ties of a shared citizenship”. It isn’t an argument for homogeneity. Appiah may dream of a world beyond race, but he also concedes that is unlikely. Difference, Appiah says, matters, but it need not define or divide us.

My children live in the world Appiah imagines. Just last Christmas my youngest son was in the US on a basketball tour, mostly in Texas along the Mexican border. We had met him in Los Angeles and now had come to New York for Christmas. There we were, huddled together on the New York subway, bound in puffy jackets and scarfs wrapped tightly around our necks. Our jaws were still clenched against the biting cold; we hadn’t yet thawed out in the warmth of the subway.

The day before we had been in sunny California: the Los Angeles winter was proving warmer than summer back in Sydney. We were far from what I suppose we would call our home, yet feeling right at home anyway. This has been the pattern of our lives, moving from one country to another.

What does it mean for my children to call themselves indigenous Australians? They have a rich heritage and they embrace it. They have deep kinship and cultural ties. They are part of a community and they enjoy the easy friendship of people just like them.

Appiah asks, “Do identities represent a curb on autonomy, or do they provide its contours?” My children will walk through the world as indigenous Australians, but hopefully not bound to any ­stifling conformity or identity orthodoxy. They are free to be what they wish to be.

They come from a hard history, but it is not a burden my children should feel compelled to carry. They are not defined by poverty or disadvantage. They are, in fact, like so many other indigenous people today: privileged, urban dwelling, racial and cultural hybrids. They are cosmopolitans.

This is the future my grandfather would have dreamed for us. It is a world he fought for. My children live in extraordinary times. Globalisation has changed us all. Our world is smaller. We move more freely across borders.

We are richer. We carry more computer power in our pocket than NASA required to send man to the moon. We have enjoyed the longest period of global peace the world has seen.

Yet there is a blowback. Terrorism can strike us anywhere. Old religious hatreds have returned. Democracy is in retreat. The political strongman is back. We fear the stranger. Inequality is growing. Robots are taking our jobs.

Who we are increasingly defines what we believe, whom we call enemy or friend.

Australia is swept up in these global currents. Like people everywhere, we live with the wounds of history. As a nation we have to answer the question of Renan: what are we — indigenous and non-indigenous — prepared to forget?

We have those among us who would feed on endless grievance. We have our shipwrecked minds attached to a militant nostalgia. We have our populists who, like populists everywhere, need fear, suspicion and division to stay alive. And like populists everywhere, they spin a compelling tale.

The politics of identity, of separation and exclusion, is not the cure for populism — it is the root of populism. It is dangerous; it has made the world inflammable. Identity is important, the need to belong is instinctive. A sense of belonging gives the world meaning, but it also can distort the meaning of our world.

Liberalism demands vigilance. Calling out injustice and racism, closing the poverty gap, ending mass imprisonment, graduating more kids from school and university, creating jobs: these are Australia’s challenges. We have inherited a history, a history that indigenous people carry heavily. But as a nation we can choose to be altruists and look to the future, or narcissists and rake over the past. We can choose to be united by values or divided by race and culture.

The liberal democratic order that emerged from the great Enlightenment thinkers — those who sought liberty, reason and freedom — has triumphed over repressive ideologies. It has not delivered the end of history but it may still be history’s best chance.

I think that’s what my grandfather was saying.


Hate is all that the Left have

They want to divide us into warring tribes

In May 1968, Parisian students took to the streets smashing windows, lifting cobbles from streets to lob at working-class people, wearing police uniforms and damaging cars along the way. Exciting, to be sure, but this was not a genuine rebellion for it lacked the essential ingredients of rebels with a cause. Instead, here were students playing out a look-at-me psychodrama, against a phantom enemy, and with a very real attachment to the politics of hate.

On the 50th anniversary of the Paris riots, not much has changed — except that no students today would dare protest under the sassy style of May 1968 slogans such as “Unbutton your brain as much as your trousers”. Sadly, today it’s likelier to be students screaming “Button your brain as much as your trousers”.

But there is an unmistakeable line to be drawn, starting with the confused, self-indulgence of French students in Paris in May 1968 and ending with the very unfunny and very angry Catherine Deveny tweeting her miserable missives 50 years later in Melbourne. Deveny’s wacky, look-at-me anger, which explodes at regular intervals, most recently this week when she attacked Anzac Day as “bogan Halloween”, is the wretched end point of the same attention-grabbing, nihilistic hatred that burst forth from Nanterre University and the Sorbonne a half-century ago.

Sitting at an apartment window above the fray that erupted on Paris’s streets was a young Roger Scruton, who these days is known as “the most accomplished conservative since Edmund Burke”. The author of 50 books, including How to be a Conservative, was born into a Labour-voting family in Lincolnshire in central northeast England, but his politics turned.

“The thing that most struck me about those students in the street was the sentimentality of their anger,” Scruton said during an interview last year.

“It was all about themselves, it wasn’t about anything objective. Here they were, the spoiled middle-class baby boomers who’d never had any real difficulty to cope with, shouting their heads off in the street, burning the cars belonging to ordinary proletarians, who they pretended to be defending against some imaginary oppressive structure erected by the bourgeois.

“The whole thing was a complete fiction based on the antiquated ideas of Karl Marx, ideas that were already redundant in the mid-19th century.

“They were enacting a self-scripted drama in which the central character was themselves.”

Indulged attention-seekers unable to articulate what they are for, only what they are against — a faux bourgeois enemy? Talk about deja vu in 2018. What Scruton has called the culture of repudiation has grown only stronger, flourishing at universities in particular. Students scream accusations of racism against those who have long fought against racism, label others as traitors for not buying a ticket to their puritanical feminism train and howl down as Islamophobia any mention of the cultural challenge between Islam and the West.

Such drama-laden angst has teamed up with identity politics. The craving for membership which is, as Scruton says, “a deep adaptation of the species”, means the culture of repudiation attracts more and more members whose wide-ranging animosities neces­sarily mean a narrowing sphere of obligation to others.

When you hate people, rather than merely disagree with them, you show them little consideration and certainly feel no obligation towards them as fellow human ­beings.

Here is a new culture with its own conformity, “a culture of defiance, a belonging in rejection that will provide a new and bold identity in place of the old”, says Scruton.

At a personal level, Deveny doesn’t deserve attention, but what she represents does. She has become the “useful idiot” who proves how easily an unthinking culture of repudiation can lead to the politics of hate.

Her Facebook missive this week: “As it gets closer my head feels tighter and tighter and I feel more and more nauseous. I blame the collective cognitive dissonance seeping in. I abhor Anzac Day and can’t wait til it’s over. I am so delighted to hear the chorus increasing every year saying ‘Anzac Day is bullshit. It’s a Trojan Horse for racism, sexism, toxic masculinity, violence, homophobia and discrimination.’ ”[Her list of hates]

Born in the same year as those tumultuous protests in Paris, Deveny is the middle-aged version of French students lobbing angry verbal missiles, minus the humour. Like the 68ers, who at least could fall back on the Shakespearean ­excuse of the salad days of youth, Deveny fails to articulate what she is for because that requires tedious intellectual work. She is too busy listing what she is against, and it is an easy and empty imaginary foe of isms and phobias.

Then, on the morning before Anzac Day, Deveny tweets this: “Why do people in the armed ­forces use the word ‘serve’ to ­describe their work despite it being no more dangerous or prone to upheaval than many other jobs? It’s just a job and work. Throw the term ‘serve’ in the bin. It’s part of the fetishisation of war and ­violence.”

Deveny has the great fortune to live in a liberal democracy where she has the right to say what she wants. Instead of starting a thoughtful debate about the fetishisation of war, Deveny exercised her freedom with a crass tweet aimed at those who served and fought, and continue to serve and fight, to defend our freedom.

Deveny’s attack isn’t bad manners. It represents the nihilistic end point of the politics of hate, ­attacking an institution, the ­military, the soldiers who serve our country and the honour we show them on Anzac Day for their service. There is no clue from Deveny where we would be without men and women who fought, and continue to fight, for our freedoms. Being against something — the military — without pausing to consider what happens in times of war is anti-intellectual drivel.

And, of course, Twitter, with its limited characters, has become the perfect platform for this kind of stilted thinking.

To juxtapose Deveny’s politics against Scruton’s may seem like lining up a third-grade softballer against Donald Bradman. But hang in here because Scruton explains why some left-wing “thinkers” are destroying intellectual life.

“Conservative thought is difficult,” he said in an interview for Spiked Online a few years ago.

“It doesn’t consist of providing fashionable slogans or messages of hope and marching into the future with clenched fists and all the things that automatically get a following. It consists of careful, sceptical rumination on the near-impossibility of human existence in the first place.”

Critically, conservatism is not an ideological attachment but a pragmatic endeavour to preserve institutions, ideas and values that continue to serve us well. When repudiation teams up with pre-emptive surrender, we enter more dangerous territory again.

Speaking along with Scruton at London’s Acton Institute in late 2016, art historian Victoria Coates recalled one of the worst recent examples. It happened in Janu­ary that year when the President of Iran, Hasan Rowhani, visited Italy on state business, which included a formal lunch hosted at Rome’s Capitoline Museum by Italian prime min­ister Matteo Renzi.

As Coates said, the Italian hosts went to great lengths to make Rowhani feel as if he had never left Tehran. In among buildings designed by Michelangelo, some of Rome’s greatest treasures were censored.

“They weren’t just veiled,” Coates said during a discussion of the crisis of liberty in the West. “They were erased with plain white boxes, and in a final sad act of capitulation, the Italian prime minister banished that other great staple of ancient Rome and product of modern Italy — wine — from a state dinner to comply with Mr Rowhani’s faith.”

Coates explained in detail what the Italian prime minister had done. “Some 2500 years ago, this area in Rome was ground zero in the fight for freedom.” It was here that Brutus swore a pledge, in bloody circumstances, to rid the city of a degenerate royal family, proclaiming Rome as a free state. This, said Coates, “became the catalyst for the founding of the Roman republic, which turned out to be the most durable attempt at democracy in the ancient world. It lasted centuries longer than that brief, albeit glorious experiment in Athens.”

To honour Brutus, the Roman people erected a bronze statue of the founder of the republic on the Capitoline Hill, the civic and spiritual heart of Rome. Two thousand years later, what was believed to be the head of the bronze Brutus was discovered and placed in the Capitoline museum, which “constitutes sacred ground for the classical origins of Western civilisation”.

Covering the bronze head of Brutus wasn’t a case of good manners, Coates said. Good manners is when we visit a Muslim country and do not insist “on drinking alcohol or dressing like a Kardashian. Good manners would have been Mr Rowhani averting his own eyes from works of art he finds ­offensive and asking for a glass of water.”

Drawing on Alexis de Tocqueville, Coates wondered aloud: how do we enjoy the prodigal wonders of freedom without shirking the apprenticeship of liberty?

Here again Deveny serves a purpose as local proof that the pursuit of politics infused with hate creates anti-intellectual bunkers. Whereas a basic belief in human dignity unites people, encouraging us to find shared values even among people who disagree, the anti-intellectual politics of hate defaults to making enemies.

Earlier this month, US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave a speech at Vanderbilt University in Nashville where she praised fellow Justice Clarence Thomas. She, a left-liberal, was nominated to the bench by president Barack Obama. Thomas is a conservative appointed by president George HW Bush.

Sotomayor said that Thomas was the justice “with whom I probably disagree the most”. Then she said, “I just love the man as a person. He has the same value toward human beings as I have, despite our ­differences.”

From a Princeton-educated Supreme Court judge to the 21st century’s most famous rapper, on Thursday Kanye West echoed the same sentiments, tweeting: “You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”

Immediately, the politics of hate rose up, with Trump haters questioning Kanye’s mental health.

Whatever dragon energy may be, people of good faith and different views can be respectful to one another. And Deveny is a national reminder that when an odium of others takes hold, the results are not pretty.


Are non-government schools really on the way out in Australia?

Federal government modelling suggests demand for non-government schools is going to fall substantially in the next 10 years, according to news reports this week. Only 21% of new students between now and 2027 are projected to enrol at non-government schools,  down from 35% of all students today.

As with most projections of this kind, there are inherent uncertainties, modelling is based on imperfect assumptions, and at best they represent an educated guess.

Last year the proportion of students in government schools rose slightly, from 65.4% in 2016 to 65.6% in 2017, the independent school share rose from 14.4% to 14.5%, while the Catholic system proportion fell from 20.2% to 19.9%.

The past two years have seen a small increase in the proportion of government school enrolments, which bucks the general trend of the past 50 years, where the government school share of all students has declined steadily from 77% in 1966 to 65% today. It is unlikely  this 50-year trend will be reversed in the next 10 years.

But many parents are not satisfied with either non-government or government schools, and so are turning to homeschooling. The number of children being taught at home has increased by more than 80% in the past six years, which indicates school systems have to do more to cater for parental expectations.

One possible reason for this is the transparency of the MySchool website, where parents are able to examine the literacy and numeracy results of local schools, and often are not satisfied. For example, even though some non-government schools charge significant fees, parents can see that frequently the local government school can provide just as good academic outcomes. That is, putting more money into a school doesn’t necessarily lead to better student results.

This shows the prevailing narrative around government schooling is contradictory. Advocates of the government school system, such as teacher unions, consistently make three statements:

* Government schools are just as good as non-government schools.
* Government schools currently get much less money than non-government schools.
* Government schools need much more money.

At least one of these statements has to be false…


Outrage as shoppers find a 'Terrorist Man' costume being sold to CHILDREN

A Melbourne shop has been caught selling a terrorist costume to outraged customers. The 'Terrorist man' costume sold for $34.99 at the JC Plaza in Clarinda, shows a man holding a gun with a long black beard, hat and jacket.

One angry customer said she left the shop in tears when she saw the outfit and told the Herald Sun she was horrified. 'I was shocked and terrified and could not believe my eyes,' she told the publication.

'I wanted to shout out, 'this is so wrong, this is shameful' and it took me a few minutes to calm down and take a photo.'  

Store owner Jin Cai apologised and told Daily Mail Australia the costumes were 'old stock' leftover from the previous owners.

Anti-Defamation Commission Chair Dr Dvir Abramovich said the costume was 'bad taste' and he called on the shop owners to immediately withdraw 'these disgusting outfits' from sale.

'There is nothing funny or cool about dressing up as a murderer responsible for horrific bloodshed and for tragic suffering that have affected so many people around the world,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'Terrorism should never be glorified or celebrated in any way. I have no doubt that this insensitive costume will get the thumbs down from most Australians who will find this sickening and who will condemn it.'

The costume has previously appeared in shops in Brisbane and Melbourne. 


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

Friday, April 27, 2018

Standing on it

General Campbell: Look at those long slim fingers.  They are the fingers of a clergyman or an office-worker, not any kind of manual worker

There’s a saying in the Army that describes in vivid Digger language ‘stupidity’. I won’t finish it here. But it starts like this: the general managed to stand on his own…

I’ll let you work out what the ‘…’ could be, but it appears that we have a general who’s done just that, realised the pain it has caused himself, and is now trying to rearrange his body parts without losing any more dignity or falling over.

I guess that’s because even the left-of-left Defence Minister, Marise Payne, can see that the incoming Chief of Defence Force has done something stupid. From The Australian today:

"But a spokesman for Defence Minister Marise Payne last night revealed commanders could apply for an exemption to the ban on death symbols. He said Senator Payne supported the intent of the Chief of Army’s minute but noted “that applications from unit commanders for exemption of a symbol or icon will be considered on a case-by-case basis”. It was not clear whether that policy was already in place or came in response to anger over the ban."

I guess that’s another way of saying that Lieutenant General Campbell’s directive banning images  is already in retreat.

Along the way, however, it will cause confusion. Units are removing works of military art and morale has taken a hit.

So will the new Chief of Defence Force’s credibility and reputation. The name ‘Care Bear Campbell’ is going to stick.


Victoria University exposed as future teachers found wanting

Victoria University was in franker times Footscray Tech. It still seems to have tech standards

Students of a Melbourne university that has enrolled teaching undergraduates with ATARs significantly below Victoria’s minimum entry prerequisite have performed poorly in a national literacy and numeracy test, with about a quarter failing to meet the standard required for entering the profession.

Victoria University, a major provider of initial teacher education degrees, was one of the worst-performing universities to sit last year’s test, with 27 per cent of students failing the literacy module and 24 per cent failing numeracy, sparking calls for entry requirements for initial teacher education courses to be tightened.

Almost 1000 students from the university sat the test, which aims to assess whether aspiring teachers have literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30 per cent of the adult population.

Nationwide, standards fell slightly in 2017 compared with the previous year, with 92 per cent of 23,000 students passing both components of the test. In 2016, 95.2 per cent passed the literacy component and 94.2 per cent passed the numeracy component.

Victoria University was among 19 out of 52 tertiary institutions to report failure rates in excess of ­10 per cent in at least one component of the test. In contrast, students from the University of Western Australia were among the highest achievers, with 98 per cent meeting the literacy standard and 99 per cent numeracy.

The results, which have been provided to The Australian, are set to reignite a push to toughen university entry requirements for teaching courses. In Victoria, the government requires that students achieve an ATAR of at least 65 — rising to 70 next year — to be admitted to study teaching.

Yet a Victoria University report detailing the profiles of incoming students reveals that the median ATAR of those offered places in Education (P-12) and Physical Education (Secondary) courses this year was 58.45 and 56.65 respectively. The lowest ATAR of a student to be offered a place was 45.3.

The university has recently rolled out a new Bachelor of Education Studies as a pathway course that is not bound by the minimum ATAR score requirement. Students are able to transfer at a later stage into a Master of Education.

Associate professor Anthony Watt, director of learning and teaching in the university’s education faculty, said the ATARs listed were “raw scores” and did not account for “special consideration bonuses” applied to disadvantaged students. He said he was confident that, after adjustments, “every student admitted to study education had achieved an ATAR of 65”.

Dr Watt likened the numeracy and literacy test to testing for one’s driver’s licence: “You don’t always get it first time. We’re keen to support everyone to achieve the benchmark and we’re working with students on that,” he said.

Centre for Independent Studies senior research fellow Jennifer Buckingham said it was concerning that some universities continued to enrol teacher candidates with low ATARs as the results suggested there was a correlation between rankings and poor literacy and numeracy.

“The literacy and numeracy assessment does actually not set a high bar; it’s really the equivalent of a Year 9 level of literacy and numeracy,” Dr Buckingham said.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said parents rightly expected graduating teachers would have solid literacy and numeracy. “These results highlight that some higher education providers simply aren’t delivering the skills Australians would expect of graduate teachers or are dropping standards too far,” he said.

“The Turnbull government has been crystal clear in our view that students who don’t make the minimum literacy and numeracy standards should never make it into the classroom.”

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino expressed his disappointment. “For too long universities in Victoria have been accepting students with ATARs as low (as) in the 30s or the 40s. It isn’t good enough and it has to change.”


Hero dad or playground villain? Father who tried to CHOKE his step-daughter's 15-year-old bully reveals the final insult that pushed him over the edge

A father who tried to choke his daughter's 15-year-old bully has revealed the final taunt that pushed him over the edge.

Mark Bladen, 53, was giving the boy a 'good old fashioned talking to' when the boy smiled at him, making the father's blood boil.

'Dr Jekyll came out,' he said of the moment he snapped at The Gap skate park in Brisbane last month, recalling the event in a 60 Minutes preview ahead of Sunday's full episode.

His daughter claimed the child had relentlessly bullied her by calling her names and giving her insulting gifts.

'(He) called me names like gorilla and King Kong, he would buy me shaving cream for Christmas so that I would shave,' she told reporter Liz Hayes.

Bladen explained he intended on giving the boy a 'good old fashioned talking to' on the day he ended up physically assaulting him.

'(But) he smiled at me,' the man said, alluding to the moment that pushed him over the edge and into a violent rage.

Chilling footage showed the moment the grown man threw himself towards the boy, who was sitting on a bench at the time, as one of his friends yelled 'get the f*** off him'.

Friends of the father have since praised him for sticking up for his 'princess', with one saying he hoped he 'would do it again'.

'He's got to stand up for his family,' one member of Chermside Darts Club said, as another agreed, saying, 'I would hope that he would do it again, to be honest.'

A woman, believed to be the mother of the bullying victim, defended the father saying, 'he did what any parent would do'.

Mr Bladen pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm and was sentenced on March 20 to pay $1000 with no conviction recorded, and ordered to pay $500 compensation.

His victim suffered bruising to his throat and scratches to his limbs in the fight, which was eventually broken up by his friends. 

Mr Bladen told police he was 'aghast' at his behaviour, and apologised outside court to the victim.

'I'm very sorry for what I did, very regretful and ashamed,' he said. 'Please don't do what I did, I just lost control. It's definitely not the way to handle things,' he said.

In his interview, Mr Bladen said he thought there was too much 'political correctness' evident in current society.

'When I was young you treated a lady like a lady and it should be the same way now,' he said.

'We live in a day of political correctness, and I hate it.'


Australia Set To Have Its Coldest Winter On Record

While we've all been freezing our arses off in the Northern hemisphere over the past few months, folk in Australia have been busy enjoying the summer sun and sticking shrimp on the barbie.

Well, Aussies, it's probably time to invest in some thermals - the land down under is set to be hit by its coldest winter on record, an amateur weather forecaster has confirmed.

David Taylor, who runs the East Coast Weather Facebook page, has said that temperatures and snowfall may be worse than previous years and impact huge swathes of the country, the Daily Mail has reported.

"It will be slightly cooler than normal in the north but the real cold will be in the southern states and southeast Queensland," Taylor told the Cairns Post. "I wouldn't be surprised if there is snow in places where it hasn't snowed for a long time."

Taylor makes his forecast using a formula which considers changes in sunspot activity, Global Forecast System modelling, and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast.

If you're wondering why you should listen to the advice of some bloke off Facebook, Taylor has been right about meteorlogical events in the recent past - putting his success down to his sunspot tracking.

Taylor was the only person to correctly predict the massive weather event that hit Townsville last week which saw the north-east coast hit with 600m of rain on 28 February.

He also predicted that this week a 'decent cyclone' will cross the Queensland coast between Cairns and Gladstone, backing his assertion up by pointing to other forecasters who are saying the same thing. "It's looking pretty scary," he said.

Europe and America have already endured a hard winter this year with huge parts of the world seeing historic amounts of snowfall and freezing temperatures.

Back in January, Storm Grayson battered the eastern coast of the United States, sending temperatures in some areas plummeting to an unfathomable -69C.

The arrival of the 'bomb cyclone' brought with it a massive blizzard, freezing lakes and rivers across the north-east of the US and making -39C temperatures feel twice as cold due to icy winds.

The weather was so cold that it even temporarily froze Niagara Falls, turning the famous waterfalls into giant icicles.

Over the past few weeks Europe's been bearing the brunt of the weather too thanks to the arrival of Storm Emma and the Beast from the East.

The weather was so bad in the UK that the Met Office were forced to announce red severe weather warnings for snow, high winds and ice in some areas - the first time that's happened since 2013.


Border control is key to successful multiculturalism: Malcolm Turnbull

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told a German audience that the “sovereign right” to control a country’s borders is vital to successful multiculturalism, drawing applause for the remark at a time of heightened concern over immigration.

Mr Turnbull told a Berlin foundation that using firm policies to stop people smugglers was important to keeping community support for immigration, as he acknowledged the big growth in the number of Australians born overseas.

The remark came hours before the Prime Minister met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said she expected to discuss migration policy with Mr Turnbull in their formal meeting in Berlin on Monday. “We shall discuss migration policy, an exchange of views on that. Development policy will also loom large on the agenda,” Ms Merkel said before the meeting.

While trade talks figured strongly in the meeting, Fairfax Media understands immigration policy was not addressed directly. Instead, there was a brief discussion of Australia’s population make-up and its links to the Asian region, given the leaders have discussed border control policies before.

Ms Merkel’s controversial decision to allow about one million Syrian refugees into Germany cost her significant popular support ahead of the last election, which resulted in a Bundestag that took months to form a government.

Mr Turnbull delivered a speech on trade and security to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on Monday, just before his meeting with the Chancellor, but found that one of the questions was about how Australian succeeded as a multicultural nation.

“We manage our immigration program very carefully,” Mr Turnbull replied. “We go to great lengths to ensure that when people come to Australia, they, particularly through the humanitarian programs for refugees, they are settled. The settlement services are always a very big part of our immigration program."

The Prime Minister said the government was "absolutely determined" to ensure that people do not come to Australia other than with the consent of the government of Australia.

Mr Turnbull told the audience that Labor had “allowed border protection to slip” and produced the “tragic” story of thousands unauthorised arrivals and 1200 deaths at sea.

“So we know what works and what doesn’t. Migration programs, a multicultural society, need to have a commitment, an understanding and the trust of the people, that the government, their government, is determining who comes to the country,” he said.

“So being in control of your borders is absolutely critical. I think that is a fundamental foundation of our success as a multicultural society, as a migration nation as people often describe us. “You have to exert your sovereign right to control your own borders.”

Those comments drew applause from some in the audience, signalling the concern over questions of migration and settlement in Germany.

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

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A heartfelt day of remembrance

The Left do their best to mock ANZAC day but their influence is just a tiny rock being overflowed by a great stream of national remembrance -- as again happened this year

Australia has always subscribed to the great British tradition of always having allies -- so we never have to fight alone. For example, during WW2 millions of Russians died to help preserve British freedom.  

But as allies we have to join those allies in their confrontations.  So since 1899 (Yes. 1899. Not 1989) Australian troops have joined in just about all of Britain's and America's wars.  There are only short intervals where Australian troops are not fighting in a war or confrontation somewhere on the globe.  So despite its small population and out of the way location Australia has some of the worlds most seasoned troops.

No soldier likes war.  Wars kill soldiers. But when asked to serve they give of their best.  So ANZAC day is NOT a celebration of war or an outburst of militarism.  It is a commemoration of the grit and determination of the men who have fallen -- very often men of our own family.  We take this one day to honour them and hope that we are worthy of them.

A massive crowd has gathered in Sydney's CBD for this year's Anzac Day parade which, for the first time, is being led by hundreds of female veterans.

Rain has not deterred crowds from lining Elizabeth Street to watch more than 16,000 servicemen and women march to commemorate 103 years since troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.

Among those at the head of the parade will be 100-year-old Molly Cummings, who is honouring her many family members who have served for Australia.


ABC regular Catherine Deveny is SLAMMED as a 'bigot' and 'disgusting' after her Twitter rant against Anzac Day

Outrage has flooded social media after "comedian" and ABC regular Catherine Deveny continued her attacks on Anzac Day and Australian soldiers.

Just hours after claiming the dangers faced by soldiers are no different to other jobs, the ex-television joke writer went on the attack again, calling the historic day 'bogan Halloween'.

In response furious social media users bombarded her Twitter with replies, dubbing Ms Deveny everything from an 'attention seeker' to a 'bigot' and even 'un-Australian'.

Ms Deveny first riled up the Twittersphere on Tuesday morning with: 'Why do people in the armed forces use the word 'serve' to describe their work despite it being no more dangerous or prone to upheaval than many other jobs?'

That attack was followed by several more during the day.

In response, Ms Deveny's feed was filled with angry responses from punters, media personalities and ex-service personnel alike.

'My grandad's right leg was torn apart by a Japanese bayonet whilst "serving" on the Kokoda Trail... reminds me of an epic struggle I had with a Microsoft Word document yesterday,' wrote one furious punter.

'Catherine Deveny doesn't even have a good point or anything... just a poor attempt to be provocative,' said another.

Senator Derryn Hinch joined the disapproving chorus: 'You work. They serve and many died while serving. Deveny, what a disgusting Anzac week tweet.'

One angry ex-soldier asked Ms Deveny how many years she had served in the armed forces, to which she responded: 'You didn't "serve your country", you chose a job in the violence industry'.

'My father... joined up after the fall of Singapore when it looked as if Australia might be invaded and was killed in action... you're a bigot,' she wrote.

In one of her rants, Ms Deveny defended her initial tweet by listing all the professions she believed were just as dangerous as the army.

'Firefighters, paramedics, police, doctors, social workers, nurses, window cleaners, miners, arborists, labours, farmers, construction workers, people who work with those suffering severe mental illness, prison officers, roofers, teachers (in American schools), loggers, fishermen,' she said.

She then went further, suggesting soldiers were 'sucked in with the glamour of war and racism under the guise of patriotism'.

Australia has been involved in a series of major overseas conflicts since the turn of the twentieth century, but its the nation's involvement in the WWI at Gallipoli and in WWII in the Pacific and Europe, that are best remembered on Anzac Day.


Should we be copying New Zealand? More than HALF of Australians think we take in too many migrants - while NZ PM Jacinda Ardern starts to slash their intake

A majority of Australians believe immigration levels are too high at a time when our trans-Tasman neighbour New Zealand begins slashing its intake of foreigners.

The Newspoll survey of 2068 people, published in The Australian on Monday, had 56 per cent of respondents declaring Australia's annual intake of 190,000 was too high with just 28 per cent saying it was about right.

Both major parties in Australia are committed to an all-time high permanent immigration level as New Zealand's minority Labour government, led by Jacinda Ardern, embarks on a promise to slash net immigration by more than 40 per cent.

The small Pacific nation's 37-year-old prime minister campaigned during last year's election to drastically cut the net annual immigration rate from 72,000 to 42,000.

Millionaire businessman Dick Smith, who spends his own money campaigning to reduce Australia's immigration intake, predicted the Australian Labor Party was more likely than the Coalition to slash immigration. 'I have no doubt before the next election one of the parties will astutely announce it's going to have a sensible immigration policy and they'll be elected,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.

'It's most likely Labor because if you bring immigration back to 70,000 - what it was at Paul Keating's time - you can still do any amount of family reunion so that would give them the ethnic vote.

'Most of the ethnic community are concerned about the fact that there's traffic gridlock destroying Australia - they're just as concerned as anyone else.'

During the early 1990s, when Paul Keating was Labor prime minister, Australia's net annual immigration intake hovered around the 20th century average of 70,000.

However, returning to that level would require a 63 per cent reduction to Australia's current immigration pace of 190,000 per annum.

Former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott is the highest profile proponent on the Coalition side of slashing Australia's immigration intake - despite his own record as PM - with no current Labor politicians echoing his call.

'We're adding a city the size of Adelaide to our population every five years and I think that we should very significantly scale it back, at least until infrastructure, housing starts and integration have caught up,' he told Sydney radio 2GB's Ray Hadley on Monday morning.

However, Dick Smith said the conservative side of politics was more swayed by the business lobby's push to maintain high immigration levels in order to boost demand and suppress wages growth.

'The reason it would be harder for the Liberals is they are basically financed by wealthy people and wealthy people are the only people who benefit from more Australians - you become wealthier,' he said.

The electronics chain founder and adventurer said company bosses were under pressure to keep 'enormous immigration' so there was more demand for their products.

'If you're on a board or you're the managing director of a company, you have to have endless growth, endless profit growth or you will get the sack,' he said.

'Overpopulation will destroy Australia.'

Mr Smith said Pauline Hanson's One Nation would pick up votes from the major parties unless they changed their immigration policies.


Government doing nothing to stop violent hate speech

Leading political commentator and columnist for The Australian Janet Albrechtsen is calling on the government to protect our values before it’s too late.

In recent years the government has turned its focus on prosecuting people for “offending or insulting” others but turns a blind eye to speech that actually incites violence.

Ms Albrechtsen gives Alan several recent examples across Queensland and New South Wales that cannot be put up with.

One poster says “legalise the execution of jews” another says “join your fellow faggots” alongside an image of a gay man committing suicide.

“These are words that incite violence and yet the NSW Government has done nothing, even though it’s promised on so many occasions to do something.

“They know that legislation doesn’t work. Because if it did work it would be used on so many occasions to shut down words that incite violence.

“This is not about hurt feelings, this is not about insulting someone, this is about inciting violence.”


Former ASIO officer sues police for $750,000 claiming he was wrongfully arrested, put in a deadly chokehold and told by an officer 'they could shoot him and get a medal'

Gold Coast police again.  They are deep-dyed thugs. No part of this is appropriate police behaviour

A former federal security and police officer is suing Queensland Police for $750,000 claiming he was put in a deadly chokehold in a wrongful arrest.

Paul Gibbons alleges officers were excessively violent, abused him and threatened him on his honeymoon at a hotel in the Gold Coast.

He claimed he was confronted by police because they were allegedly annoyed at him taking 10 seconds to open the locked door to the hotel lobby.

One reportedly told him they could shoot him and receive a medal according to papers lodged to Brisbane District Court show, the ABC reports.

Mr Gibbons, who previously served in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), has taken the State of Queensland to court.

He is claiming damages for assault, battery, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.

Footage from a security camera inside the hotel lobby shows the moment he is wrestled to the ground after police surrounded him when he started filming them on his phone, Mr Gibbons alleges.

The ABC reports Mr Gibbons claims the officers threatened to arrest him for obstructing police, who were at the hotel for another matter.

The former ASIO agent, who also served in the Australian Federal Police, says when he questioned why they required entry, a police officer pointed to his gun saying the weapon was his authority.

The court heard the officer allegedly said: 'When we tell you to do something, you don't ask questions. You f***ing do it. 'Hell, we can put a bullet in your f***in' head and get a medal.'

One of the officers said the recording on Mr Gibbons phone would be 'easily remedied' flashing a torch directly into the camera.

The CCTV footage shows Mr Gibbons handcuffed on the floor while an officer scrolls through the device.

Mr Gibbons said he felt as though his throat would be crushed by one of the officers when they squeezed him during the incident in 2016.

The same officer is alleged to have later said: 'I'm going to kill you c***. When we get you out to the truck, I'm going to smash your f***ing face in c***.'

Part of the claim also includes $50,000 for potentially missing out on selling the footage from his phone to the media after it was deleted.

The state government, who is representing police in the case, has not replied to the lawsuit. A spokesman for the Queensland Police Service said the force could not comment while the matter was being dealt with in court.


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

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why did a police officer give out a woman's address to her abusive ex?

A Queensland Police officer has managed to keep his job after he deliberately and callously leaked the address of a woman fleeing intimate partner violence to the abusive ex-husband she was trying to escape.

Senior Constable Neil Punchard had found Elizabeth’s (not her real name) address using the confidential police database, and directed the man to “just tell her you know where she lives and leave it that”. He then joked with Elizabeth’s ex that she would “flip out” when she realised her ex – who had a string of domestic violence orders against him – had her address and “will explode”.

Sickeningly, SC Punchard is also said to have offered advice to the man in dealing with the Family Court, and offered to liaise with other police officers to assist him in any complaints.

“If she gets the police,” he told the man, “tell them to contact me or give me their names and I will contact them. I won’t hinder the investigation, but I will give them a heads up on what has happened.”

As Elizabeth said back in 2016 when the case was first brought to light, “Knowing an officer had not only aided and encouraged a perpetrator to not only stalk me but many other horrible things, it’s really left me feeling very unsafe and I really would like to know why the police commissioner has not stood this person down.”

In April 2017, Elizabeth received a letter from the assistant commissioner who informed her that an investigation had found “sufficient evidence to support the allegations made by you”, which is to say that SC Punchard had deliberately leaked details that put Elizabeth and her family in fear for her safety. Despite this acknowledgment of fact, Elizabeth was informed that the constable wouldn’t be charged and that, following an internal disciplinary hearing, “the matter has been addressed [and] I do not intend to take any further action and now consider this matter closed”.

Yes, you read that correctly. A senior constable who colluded with her abusive ex-partner to reveal a woman's private location and facilitate further harassment and fear really did just get a little slap on the wrist while being allowed to keep his job. A job, by the way, that places him in the path of other victims fleeing the abusive men he very clearly feels kinship with.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. In February 2017, a woman reported that her ex had been accidentally informed of her address due to an apparent clerical error, despite having breached several intervention orders and having threatened to kill the woman’s children.

As Sherele Moody reports here, “Queensland public servants have handed out women’s addresses to accused DV perpetrators three times in the past twelve months.”

It’s another damning indictment on police services generally throughout Australia, who have presided over a long and sordid history of Aboriginal deaths in custody, police bashings, and who have – in the past month alone – been implicated in situations where disabled members of the community have been beaten and humiliated and an Aboriginal woman has been forced to give birth alone in a police cell.

There are no other words for it. This is an absolute outrage.

Not only has this most recent incident endorsed the practice of boys protecting boys, it has doubled down on that by providing no consequences to a man with the authority to enforce the law who thinks it's funny to terrify a woman in his community. By choosing to handle this internally and continue SC Punchard’s employment, the Queensland Police Service has sent a clear message that they cannot be trusted to protect the community, only to protect the men who command it.

If members of an already male-dominated police force are working against the interests and safety of women victimised by abusive men, how can anyone trying to escape those circumstances possibly look to the institution for help?

This isn’t a case of men’s rights activists stoking each other’s paranoia in the pub or on Facebook groups – these are men’s rights activists who have access to sensitive information, power and authority.

One of the riskiest times for a person escaping an abusive partner is in the period immediately after leaving. According to social workers specialising in the field, this is when a victim is most at risk of being killed. In Australia, one woman is killed every week by a partner or ex-partner, and a significant number of these domestic homicides are perpetrated following the dissolution of the relationship.

But in addition to the risk of homicide, the victims are also subjected to harassment, bullying, threats, and ongoing attempts to continue to exert control. It’s absolutely vital that support and protection be granted to people who have been brave enough to flee situations like this, and that there are systems in place they can trust to take care of them.


‘Let them display their symbols’

In a fortuitous coincidence, The Australian today published comments from Australian soldiers a century apart in their origins and inspiration, yet surely linked by culture and relevance.

Former sergeant Justin Huggett reacted viscerally to new defence chief Angus Campbell’s ban on “death-style iconography” and other symbols used by army units to identify and motivate themselves. He says the new directive “denigrates morale” for soldiers and this can only diminish their combat power.

“There’s a lot of history with this. There’s the spirit and pride. I’ve had Vietnam veterans tell me about the emblems from Vietnam. This is a tradition that has been around for years. They are going to be lost to history,’’ Mr Huggett told The Australian.

It is difficult to disagree with the soldier’s point of view. We expect — nay demand — our military personnel are trained to kill, in order to protect our way of life, and we expect — nay demand — that they are prepared to risk their own lives in order to do so. There can be no greater expectation.

We send our military personnel into theatres of horror and uncertainty. We cannot imagine the pressures or the difficulties, not to mention the terror and grief they have confronted over recent decades in Afghanistan where Huggett was awarded a Medal of Gallantry and 41 Australian soldiers have been killed.

I have been lucky enough to meet soldiers on deployment in East Timor, Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan — their professionalism, dedication and refusal to ever complain is always immensely impressive. Yet, dug in on a mountain outpost in Afghanistan, or bunkered down against terrorist insurgencies in Iraq, we demand they don’t display symbols of death or camaraderie?! They are in a situation where the choice is to kill their enemies or be killed; yet from the offices of defence headquarters in Canberra our soldiers are constantly lectured on gender diversity and fluidity, inclusive employment targets and eschewing symbols of war.

They are paid to kill and risk their lives on behalf of all of us but, at all times, to watch their manners and be sure not to offend the sensibilities of self-righteous human resources professionals and human rights advocates back home.

The other quotes — dating from experiences exactly a century ago — come from our most celebrated soldier, General Sir John Monash. He is quoted in Paul Kelly’s article today from his own memoir, writing about the character of the Australian soldier. “His bravery was founded upon his sense of duty to his unit, comradeship to his fellows, emulation to uphold his traditions and a combative spirit to avenge his hardships and sufferings upon the enemy,” wrote Monash.

“Very much and very stupid comment has been made upon the discipline of the Australian soldier. That was because the very conception and purpose of discipline have been misunderstood. It is, after all, only a means to an end. It does not mean lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs, nor a suppression of individuality.

“The Australian is accustomed to teamwork. The teamwork which he developed in the war was of the highest order of efficiency. The truest test of battle discipline was the confidence which every leader in the field always felt that he could rely upon every man to perform the duty which had been prescribed for him, as long as breath lasted. A soldier, a platoon, a whole battalion would soon sacrifice themselves than ‘let down’ a comrade or another unit.”

Sir John Monash would know. Our current defence leaders might want to ponder this culture, this legacy.

Our men and women in the battlefield need to be accorded the freedom and encouragement to fight for their values and their comrades rather than have to worry about the equal opportunity goals of their superiors or contemplate how they can mete out the ultimate in violence without ever giving the impression that they might be motivated to employ actual aggression. Let them be. Let them proudly display their symbols of defiance, aggression and teamwork.


University entrance exam should be simplified or even abolished, says chief scientist Alan Finkel

If it discourages STEM enrolment it certainly should be altered

Australia's chief scientist Alan Finkel says the national system for university entry should be simplified or even abolished entirely because it is "completely obscure" and lacks transparency.

The controversial call prompted the head of the NSW committee on HSC scaling to concede it was impossible for the system to be simple and transparent as well as being equitable.

Dr Finkel said the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank "might be fantastic" as a university selection tool but was "very, very poor" in helping students choose their year 12 subjects.

The disagreement arises from concern the ATAR motivates students to pick HSC or VCE subjects based on how well their scores will "scale", or convert, into their final ranking.

Speaking upon the release of his report on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education - first reported by Fairfax Media on Saturday - Dr Finkel said the perception that the ATAR rewarded easier subjects was having a detrimental impact on the take-up of STEM courses.

"For whatever reason – rightly or wrongly – the ATAR is leading to students being given poor advice," he told Fairfax Media.

"It’s completely obscure. As a tool for university selection, ATAR might be fantastic. But as a tool that guides students as to what they should choose, through the consultations we saw that it was very, very poor."

Experts have defended the integrity of the ATAR system but Dr Finkel said that did not matter because "the reality is not what it is but what it’s perceived to be".

"We did not come across anybody who was capable of explaining it to us, and there was no value for us to go and find out from an absolute expert because it doesn’t matter," he said.

"When you make something sufficiently complex – and it is – then the perceptions of it will necessarily be either confused or simplified or completely erroneous."

Dr Finkel's STEM report, which is under consideration by the country's education ministers, urged governments to review the ATAR but did not make specific recommendations.

The chief scientist said he was not certain of the solution but one "extreme" option would be to abolish the ATAR in favour of the US system whereby individual universities manage their own entrance schemes.

Alternatively, Dr Finkel said, "let's at least simplify the ATAR so that every single parent and every single teacher and every single career adviser can understand it".

However, the chair of the Technical Committee on Scaling in NSW, Rod Yager, said complexity was necessary if the calculation of student rankings was to be kept fair.

"Everyone wants us to have a system that is equitable, simple and transparent. Unfortunately those three things are mutually exclusive," he told Fairfax Media.

"In order to be equitable, one has to consider and make adjustments for a whole host of factors that take away the simplicity and the transparency."

The complexity was illustrated by research that found the scaling system had led to lower scores in some language subjects and contributed to the declining popularity of languages.

But Mr Yager denied the ATAR could be "gamed" or manipulated by strategically choosing subjects that were disproportionately rewarded by the system.

"That’s not how it works in reality. There is some perception out there that that’s what happens, and unfortunately people react to that perception," he said.

"Don’t play the scaling game. We work really hard to make sure that there is no advantage from taking one course or another."

But the two men agreed universities had erred by largely abandoning mathematics prerequisites for courses such as science and economics.

"There is no doubt that that has been one of the worst decisions that universities have made, in my opinion," Mr Yager said.


Wind turbines delivering next to nothing to grid despite hysteria

Are we completely insane? Well, almost our entire political class and the overwhelming majority of – self-believing – “clever people” seemingly certainly are.

As I write this Wednesday evening, all those wonderful “clean” wind turbines across Victoria and South Australia are pumping out all of 30MW of electricity.

They are supposed to have the capacity to produce more than 3400MW – that’s 1½ Hazelwoods. They were operating at less than 1 per cent of capacity.

How many times do you have to say and write “when the wind don’t blow (and the sun don’t shine) the power don’t flow” to break through the thick skulls of “clever people” from PMs and premiers, through company chairman and CEOs being paid salaries in the millions and all the way down to academics and media idiots?

If the wind doesn’t blow then no power is generated.

Oh wait, sorry; all those turbines across SA and Victoria have now kicked up to producing 74MW. That’s a much more impressive 2 per cent of capacity.

Supply – more accurately, non supply – of electricity is one aspect of the insanity. The other is price. The wholesale price in SA was running at over $130 a MW hour. Victorians were doing a little better at around $108 a MW hour.

As the wind picked up, the SA price plummeted to $126 a MWh and Victoria’s to $106.

In the “bad old days” – all the way back to around 2000 – when we had wicked old, coal-fired power stations chugging away reliably pumping out electricity, irrespective of wind and sun, we paid $20-$30 a MWh, day in and day out.

It was so terribly boring – there’s so much more excitement, indeed real frisson, when prices can change by as much as that in a matter of minutes, as the wind chooses to blow or not.

And of course back then Gaia was crying tears of blood.

Never mind, as the AFR’s renewables (and Tesla) fanboy Ben Potter breathlessly informed us this week, a mammoth 9691 megawatts of new wind and solar capacity would be added to the national energy market by the early 2020s.

One can assume that Potter is as mathematically challenged as energy minister Josh Frydenberg; that like most of our 2018 “clever people” they’ve never had explained to them that any number multiplying zero still gives you zero.

We now have 3400MW of installed – OK, I’ll go along with the joke and call it – “capacity” – wind in Victoria and SA. As I wrote, that was producing all of 30MW, according to the market operator AEMO.

You can add that mammoth 9691MW, but if the wind is blowing as the same gentle zephyr, you’ll kick the relative output up to all of 115 MW.

Pity, that Victoria and SA alone need around 7500MW pretty much every hour, all day. Although, true, presumably the two states will need less by the early 2020s as more and more factories are shuttered as a consequence of crippling power prices.

To emphasise for Josh and Ben and all the others “clever people”/idiots: if you’ve got 3400MW of wind “capacity” and the wind don’t blow you will get zero or close to zero electricity.

You can have 13,000 MW of wind “capacity” and if the wind don’t blow you will still get zero or close to zero electricity.


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