Sunday, June 03, 2018

What crisis? Citizenship doom turning to boon for Coalition
Initial high court ruling on section 44 looked bad for the government but eight months later it’s a different story

When Malcolm Turnbull made a bold prediction of what the high court “will so hold” in relation to the citizenship crisis, the Coalition was furiously arguing for a more lenient interpretation of the constitution to save the then deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

When the high court bucked the prediction, its black-letter approach to section 44 of the constitution looked like a disaster for the government.

But eight months later, the Coalition has seen Joyce and John Alexander re-elected at byelections, the citizenship wrecking ball swinging back in Labor’s direction and, on Monday, it gained a new senator in Tasmania’s Steve Martin [replacing Jacquie Lambie].

With byelections in Rebekha Sharkie’s seat of Mayo in South Australia and Labor marginals Braddon (Tasmania) and Longman (Queensland), the Coalition has a good chance of taking at least one seat.

Although the Senate maths is still daunting for the Coalition, Martin’s defection means it now needs eight out of 10 crossbench senators to vote with it to pass legislation, as opposed to nine out of 11.

When you add in Bob Day’s successor, section 44 hasn’t worked out too badly for the Coalition.

The toll of the citizenship crisis can’t be precisely defined by seat movements, though. There were intangible harms: reduced faith in politicians, chaos in parliament, the government’s agenda being derailed for months by surprise landmines and costly byelections. Nobody would want to get back on this ride.


Hatred of high income earners holds us back

It is difficult to find anyone in politics willing to make a case for income tax cuts for anyone considered a ‘high’ income earner. That would be understandable if no such case existed, but there is a strong case on both economic and moral grounds.

The reality is that in a climate of debate dominated by warped views of inequality and fairness, even those who recognise the case for higher income tax cuts — with a few notable exceptions — run a mile from it and would rather join in the slanging match about distribution.

Thus, we have government spokesmen insisting the budget tax cut plan is one for low and middle income earners, based on improbable claims as to what a middle income will be in six or 10 years’ time. At the same time, the opposition paints it as a gift to the better off. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between.

The latter stages of the tax cuts — if they ever occur — will deliver benefits at high incomes as well as low and middle incomes. However, the package as a whole does not benefit high earners disproportionately. Whether this group is defined as the top bracket or the top 20% of taxpayers, their gains will be no greater than the (very high) share of total income tax revenue they currently account for.

In fact, the share of income tax paid by the top bracket will go up under the government’s plan, as will the proportion of taxpayers in that bracket. It is a matter of arithmetic that as long as the top marginal rate stays at 47% (as the government proposes) the dollar benefit flowing on to top bracket taxpayers from cuts further down the scale will be capped and decline in percentage terms as income rises.

More to the point, why does the debate have to be fixated on distribution and why don’t we hear more about the economic benefits from easing the crushing burden of income tax on those who pay most of it?

Will we ever again see a treasurer get to his feet on budget night, make the case for an income tax cut for high earners and lower the top rate from 47%? A single rate of 34.5% from $41,000 to $200,000 is good as far as it goes, but not as good as a single rate of 34.5% from $41,000, period.


Teaching kids to read still based on failed methods

L3 is used in hundreds of schools across NSW and is a core component of the NSW Department of Education’s Early Action for Success strategy. L3 is supposed to provide early literacy intervention for all students including the most disadvantaged groups in order to reduce the number of students needing intervention in later years of schooling.

A primary concern with L3 — as outlined in our Research Brief —  is that it is based on the same constructivist pedagogy as the Reading Recovery program.  A recent longitudinal analysis of Reading Recovery found the long term impact to be limited for the vast majority of students — and even negative for some — so from 2018 the NSW DoE no longer provides system support for Reading Recovery.

One would think that the L3 program would have been evaluated carefully to make sure it is achieving better results, unfortunately, this is not the case. An evaluation of L3 was promised for 2017, but to date this has not been carried out. With $340 million invested in EAfS in 2017-2020 alone, we should expect improvement in student outcomes, but an evaluation of the literacy and numeracy strategy, of which L3 is a key component, has not improved NAPLAN results.

This is not surprising given L3 content does not reflect the evidence base for effective reading instruction in the early years of school, as identified by the NSW Government’s own research unit. A critique of the L3 program by Dr Roslyn Neilson and Dr Sally Howell found that it does not teach the five key components of early literacy systematically or explicitly.

If the NSW DoE is committed to “rigorous evaluation to focus investment and effort on what works” as stated in the 2017-2020 Literacy and Numeracy Strategy then they must carry out a comprehensive evaluation of L3. The DoE should halt any expansion of the program until effectiveness has been established, and assist schools to transition into an evidence based literacy instruction program that reflects the scientific evidence for effective teaching of reading.


Aussie restaurant slammed as racist after launching 'Ching Chong' burger - but the owner says the name was inspired by his Malaysian roots

A burger joint has come under fire for being racist after naming one of its patties with a defamatory term given to Asians.

The 'Ching Chong burger' at Johnny's Burgers in Perth has caused controversy for it's racially insensitive name.

In a Facebook post the owner, Johnny Wong, said the burger had been on the menu for three years and is inspired by his Malaysian roots.

But local Lisa Chappell has stated an online petition to see the name removed, labelling it as offensive. 'Johnny's Burger joint serves up an extra side dish that is frowned upon by many. Racism!' she said. 'The offensively named Ching Chong Burger has sat proudly on Johnny's menu for many years, however enough is enough!' 'Help us stand up to racism and force Johnny's Burger Joint to remove this burger from their laminated menus.' 

Ms Chappell visited the restaurant in April and was disgusted to find 'The Ching Chong' burger on the menu. The mother-of two says she had wanted to leave after she saw it but her children had already opened their drinks.

She spoke to a girl at the counter who apparently apologised for the offensive burger name.

Ms Chappell then got in contact with Mr Wong who refused to rename the burger.

The petition, which was started several weeks ago, has over 80 signatures.

Fans of the burger name have pushed back online claiming that because Mr Wong is of Asian decent he has the right to call his burger 'Ching Chong.'

Some have also made personal attacks at Ms Chappell calling her a 'half wit.'

In a Facebook post the restaurant thanked those who have offered their support during the controversy.

'We've recently received an overwhelming response of awesome messages that has inspired us to keep on doing what we’re doing,' they said.


Sonia versus the Thought Police

According to the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board, saying something that someone may find offensive about Islam can land you in hot water.

A lot of it. As Sonia Kruger is now discovering.

And this is so, even though there are no religious vilification laws in New South Wales. There are, however, racial vilification laws.

For those of you whose brow is now busy furrowing, let me try and explain what is going on.

When we don’t have religious vilification laws (as we mostly don’t in Australian states), Islam is protected because it is a race.

And when we do have religious vilification laws (which will soon be another unwanted consequence of the legalisation of homosexual marriage) Islam will be protected because it is a religion.

And pretty much everyone else can go to hell (I say this with an ironic caveat that will be addressed later in this article).

If you think the anti-discrimination industry will use racial or religious vilification laws to protect a middle-aged white man who expresses a conservative Christian view from being sacked, or vilified, or having his bank account shut down or being told he can’t apply for a uni course then you clearly don’t understand what the purpose of this industry is.

The whole reason it exists is to legalise discrimination against those who express views that support our Western Christian society. It champions the opposite of Christianity, which is man-centred morality enforced by the High Priests of the State.

To make my point a little clearer, answer this: what type of person would derive job satisfaction from sitting in some bureaucratic office all day and processing complaints from activists about people like Sonia Kruger.

Or this: who in their right mind would go home to their boyfriend feeling chuffed that they’ve achieved something useful after rubber stamping the 100th complaint of a serial homosexual activist?

It takes a special person to do this job. One who not only feels that they are the new moral enforcer of Australian society but that they were born for this role.

I can absolutely guarantee you that the Anti-Discrimination Board and every other taxpayer leeching organisation like it is not filled with people like me. Or you. Or Sonia Kruger. Or the plumber who likes to have a beer at the pub on a Friday night.

Normal people would rather gouge their eyes out than burden themselves with determining whether a gay man who called a transgender man ugly has crossed some line (and that, my friends, is exactly what the anti-discrimination industry does).

There never has been and there never will be an institution of state that believes it has the power to make morality that does not also believe it needs more power.

And what may start out with the best of intentions is always perverted. Originally power is required to enforce anti-discrimination laws. But, inevitably, anti-discrimination laws are required to enforce more power.

The real purpose of this industry is not about making sure that gay people don’t call transgender people fat. It’s about making sure that all of us are under its control.

I might have been caught in the crosshairs of this industry. But, in the long run, it is just as likely to wind up executing Penny Wong as me. We’ve seen the Thought Police in action before. That’s where they always end up and that’s what they do, whether it be in Russia in 1917 or France in 1789.

Both Trotsky and Robespierre, the High Priests of their respective nations’ anti-discrimination industries succumbed to the blade. Or the ice axe. Or whatever happened to be handy at the time.

That might not yet be the fate awaiting Sonia Kruger. She’s one of the early runners who will just be harassed and told to shut up. She’s there to become an example of what not to say.

And what, exactly, did she say. Well, this:

By the way, I do note that only a few days ago an Islamic convert peacefully killed a number of people in Belgium, two of whom happened to be armed female police officers. I could go there today but I won’t – so just read this (later).

However, I will make this point: it’s unlikely someone will convert to Islam unless there are other Muslims around.

So Sonia may be onto something here.

But wait, there’s more. Islam is based around the life of Mohammad. If he did it, Muslims should do it too.

Mohammad was both peaceful and aggressive. He was peaceful when Islam was in the minority. And he was aggressive when it was not.

He also taught that all Muslims should strive to see Islam rule the world. This includes taking all measures that are lawful according to Sharia law to overthrow and replace governments that are not Islamic. And it is lawful to do this by violence because Mohammad did just that when he went to war and defeated the Meccans.

True, in Islamic law there are some qualifications about when violence is justified. One of them, interestingly, is that the violence has to be permitted by a lawful authority.

This is the primary reason many in the Islamic world condemned the Islamic State. The problem was not that that it used violence, but that it did so while there was dispute over its legitimate authority.

Another caveat is that the violence must not cause greater discord than the injustice it seeks to destroy. This is a very subjective matter, which is why some get a rush of blood to the head and others don’t.

And it is also true that of the others who don’t, most of them won’t.

They don’t Islam seriously enough. That is good for us but it is not an argument supporting Islamic immigration.

Out of all of this, one thing is clear. The more Muslims there are in a community, the closer the conditions are to being met justifying violence.

So Sonia may be onto something here as well. Perhaps Islamic immigration is not such a brilliant idea after all.

Unfortunately, the Thought Police don’t care about any of this. All they care about is their power and making sure people live their lives in accordance with its maniacal decrees. Even if it means promoting gay marriage and a religion which condemns homosexuality to death at the same time.

Which is why, as I said earlier, when it comes to religion it will protect Islam and tell the rest of us to go to hell.

Well, almost the rest of us.

The Australian Capital Territory’s anti-discrimination mob have made an exception for Satanists, as reported recently by the Canberra Times:

A NSW-based blogger has been ordered to take down material from his site that described a small and mysterious religious order as a “satanic paedophile cult”. A Canberra tribunal found that the material was archetypal hate speech…

… At the hearing, Mr Bottrill said the Ordo Templi Orientis was about 100 years old and that it had been created out of a collection of Masonic rights in Europe.

“Since about 1912 it’s been the main vehicle for promoting the religion of Thelema … It’s a religion based on revelations given to and then published by Aleister Crowley.”

The UK Guardian also ran an article in 2011 mentioning followers of Mr Crowley. It read somewhat differently:

A former security guard who led a cult from a cul-de-sac in a Welsh seaside town was told he might spend life in jail for committing a series of sex attacks on boys and girls…

… The cult is said to have been inspired by Aleister Crowley, the late mystic and magician nicknamed the Great Beast who in 1904 published a text called the Book of the Law extolling permissive sex.

During the five-week trial the prosecution claimed “the book” formed the basis for Batley’s organisation and he would read from a laminated copy of it while dressed in hooded robes at the start of orgies.

And now, after homosexual marriage has been legalised, it is likely that the Commonwealth will create a federal religious vilification body similar to the one in operation in the nation’s capital. Heaven help us all. Literally. And soon.

Sonia Kruger should not be the focus of the state. Instead, there should be a detailed investigation into the anti-discrimination industry before things get any worse.

It should be put under the spotlight. And then it should be bulldozed into the ground.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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