Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Teenagers enjoying girls' night party claim notorious Apex-linked gang 'Menace to Society' gatecrashed their apartment on night 19-year-old girl was stabbed to death

A group of girls enjoying an all-night birthday party have claimed members of the Apex-linked 'Menace to Society' gang gatecrashed their party on the morning their 19-year-old friend was stabbed to death.

Police have been told by party-goers at the event that they recognised the intruders as members of the notorious gang, reports The Herald Sun.

Kenyan-born Laa Chol was killed on July 21 at 5am when a group of young African-Australians crashed the party, held in a rented apartment in Melbourne's EQ Tower.

The witnesses claim that Ms Chol was trying to get the intruders to leave when she was stabbed. Two boys have been charged over Ms Chol's death.

A  17-year-old boy was arrested on Monday and charged with her murder. He is being held in custody while police prepare evidence including CCTV footage and witness accounts.

A 16-year-old was arrested on Wednesday as an accessory and has been charged with assault.

The Menace to Society gang has become notorious in Melbourne's west after run-ins with police.

The Ecoville Community Park centre in Tarneit was found trashed in January this year and some of the walls tagged with MTS initials.

In December last year, a Werribee Airbnb property rented by four girls was gaetcrashed and trashed by the gang. 

The Ecoville Community Park centre in Tarneit was found trashed in January this year

Ms Chol was partying at a $125-a-night apartment on the 56th floor of a block with a group of young African-Australians in their late teens and early 20s.

A second group crashed the party and a fight broke out, leading to Miss Chol's stabbing around 5am.

A police spokesman said detectives 'do not believe the second group was invited by either the person who booked the apartment, or the deceased.'

About 12 people are assisting police with their inquiries.

It comes after the Homes Affairs Minister released a statement calling for a crackdown on Sudanese gangs in the wake of the death. 'This is a tragic and needless loss of a young life,' he said.

'There is a major law and order problem in Victoria and more people are going to be hurt until the rule of law is enforced by the Victorian Government.

Mr Dutton accused Victorian Premier Dan Andrews of failing to acknowledge the issue of Sudanese gangs. 'He is out of touch and more people will get hurt or worse until the problem is fixed,' he said.


Security guard left with bloodied face as 16th birthday party in suburban house is 'invaded by African gang'

A security guard was left with a bloodied face after she was violently attacked when a boy's 16th birthday party was gatecrashed.

The event was being held at a home in Edwardes Street, Reservoir, in Melbourne's north, on Saturday night when a group of uninvited youths stormed a back fence.

The gatecrashers were of African appearance, according to witnesses who spoke to the Herald Sun.

'We saw people going in, they started hitting people,' partygoer Salz said.

'They were all guys, there was a lot of them. They had dark skin.'

Police said there were four gatecrashers but witnesses reported there were 20.   

A female security guard at the event who asked the gatecrashers to leave was attacked and suffered injuries to her face. A male security guard was also injured.  

Police were called about 8.30pm, with the gatecrashers fleeing the scene.

The party, which had about 70 teenagers, was being held at the home of a friend of the boy's mother.

The property owner told The Age the gatecrashers smashed down her back fence which adjoined a park.

She said they were at the property for about 10 minutes and appeared to be about 14 to 16-years-old.

'I don't know how many there were, everybody was just scared and they all ran out,' she said. 

Police are continuing to investigate the incident. 

'Police remained in the area and monitored the behaviour of party goers as they left with no further incidents,' a police spokeswoman told the Herald Sun.



Navy nailed to the wall for PC post

A bearded Australian naval officer holding up his painted pinky finger­nail in hot lolly pink was an absolute money shot for the 100 Days For Change campaigners.

Yet when the Australian navy posted photos of the unlikely poster boy across social media, it didn’t go down well with the troops.

Navy was pilloried for being ­focused on a “politically correct” campaign rather than focusing on the defence of the realm.

The 100 Days For Change campaign was launched this month by Women and Leadership Australia to promote a ­nationwide push among companies for gender ­equity in the workplace. Journalist advocate Tracy Spicer is the public face of the campaign.

NSW RSL president James Brown said last night the navy should never have been dragged into such a loaded political exercise.

“Navy has made great progress in making sure women aren’t unfairly treated,” he said. “But ordering uniformed personnel to join social-activism campaigns is a step too far and risks politicising the defence force.”

Lauding the aims of the campaign on the official navy website, Deputy Chief Mark Hammond said 21.3 per cent of the navy’s workforce was female, “a statistic navy can be proud of, but more needs to be done”.

Rear Admiral Hammond said the navy needed to look at a range of measures — from supporting women’s sporting events to ­reviewing procedures for unconscious gender bias.

“We must do this as one navy, regardless of age, rank, race, ­religion, sexual orientation, ability or gender,” he said. “We cannot afford to leave anyone behind.”

The Defence Department tweeted that the navy had recently become involved in the campaign. “To encourage gender equality and diversity in the workplace, personnel in Sydney painted their pinky fingernails pink as a visual indication of support,” the department said.

The campaign partners include the not-for-profit Australian Gender Equality Council and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, an Australian government statutory agency.

“What I love about this campaign is the focus on practical change, from the grassroots to the top end of town: action, not words. It will be exciting to see what we are able to achieve,” Ms Spicer said of the campaign.

There are various pledges for change on the campaign website, including from Warrant Officer Gary Wight of the Royal Australian Navy. “I will focus on the strength and increased capability we gain from a truly diverse and inclusive workforce,” he said.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham let loose yesterday. “THIS WILL SCARE THE ENEMY,” he screamed on his Facebook and Twitter feeds. “Sadly, this is not a joke. It is the Australian Defence Force under Marise Payne and Malcolm Turnbull.”

On Mr Latham’s Outsiders Facebook page, it was open ­season. Phil said: @Bullshit! Really! This is the limit! … The services (navy, RAAF, army) need men and women who will fight for our country with devotion and guns, not dresses and hair dryers.”

Rob said: “When I was in the army 30 years ago we thought the navy wore pink nail polish anyway.”

Mr Latham told The Australian the 100 Days For Change campaign was another doomed “PC project”. “These guys are fighting for their country … why engage in pathetic virtue signalling?” he said.

The office of Defence Minister Marise Payne did not respond to inquiries.


Left struggle with fundamental truths concerning energy debate

Groupthink seems to be preventing many journalists at left-wing media outlets from realising they have been on the wrong side of the renewable energy and power prices story for a decade.

This newspaper argued as far back as the Howard years that a ­renewable energy target was ­incompatible with a carbon trading system designed to produce a market for cost abatement. Then prime minister John Howard and opposition leader Kevin Rudd both took limited trading schemes to the November 2007 election.

Not long after, journalists from Fairfax Media and the ABC began taking issue with The Australian’s criticism of rooftop solar subsidies. We said these would do little to reduce carbon dioxide output from baseload power stations but would dramatically lift prices to consumers too poor to pay for rooftop sets.

Now there is independent proof the left media was wrong. This month the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Mar­ket Operator released reports that show The Australian has been right about the effects of ­renewables.

Remember the outcry against the “Carbon Cate” stories by The Sunday Telegraph about the Sydney Theatre Company’s instal­lation of a $4.5 million rooftop solar system at the Wharf Theatre when Cate Blanchett’s husband, Andrew Upton, was director of the STC? Blanchett went on to campaign with other actors in television commercials about ­renew­­­­­­­­­­­­­- ables in 2011 under then prime minister Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.

Today, around the world, rooftop solar feed-in tariff concessions are being unwound, even in Germany, long the poster child for green warriors but a massive user of imported Australian coal and Russian gas to ensure reliable base­load power.

Climate change hysteria reached its peak in the Gillard years. Academics and journalists wrote that as editor-in-chief of this paper I should be charged with crimes against humanity for pointing out the facts: renewables would send industry offshore and play havoc with electricity prices.

Well, power-intensive industries have been sent offshore, where they add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than they would here because power here is mainly generated from higher-quality, less-polluting coal.

AEMO, distinctly pro-renew­ables, said on July 17 that the nat­ional power market would need to rely on baseload coal-fired power for at least another 20 years and called for policies to extend the lives of power stations nearing the end of their normal operational timeframes. The ACCC report ­released on July 11 said renewables had pushed out dispatchable power and made the network less reliable. Household solar subsidies had been paid for in higher prices to other consumers and business. It backed contributing economics editor Judith Sloan on “the gold plating of electricity networks” by state governments.

But at Fairfax, The Sydney Morning Herald economics editor Ross Gittins was lamenting on May 29 that he really should confine all his columns to discussions of government inaction on climate change. Ignoring the ACCC on coal on July 16, he assembled all the reasons Indian company Adani’s proposed Galilee Basin project in Queensland, which would be the world’s biggest coalmine, would not create jobs.

The Herald’senvironment editor, Peter Hannam, at least reported the ACCC’s findings fairly, but in a comment piece he criticised it for focusing on power prices rather than climate change. Yet Fairfax does not come close to our ABC for renewables evangelism.

ABC Radio National’s Saturday Extra stand-in host Andrew West interviewed ­finance blogger Mich­ael West on July 21 about Adani. Michael West claimed, unchallenged, that the mine would not be economically viable, despite coal prices at six-year highs. India was leading the world in adoption of green power and would be at 55 per cent renewable power by 2030, he claimed.

In fact, India is at 16 per cent ­renewables today and is building 132 new coal-fired power stations according to research by the Australian parliamentary library. Its prospects of ever reaching 55 per cent renewables are remote, as Germany is finding out, struggling to meet its 30 per cent ­reduction target.

At The Drum nightly on ABC TV spruikers for renewables — particularly prominent renewables investor John Hewson and the University of Melbourne’s Simon Holmes a Court — are always given precedence over commentators with rational points about the power market. And for some reason a parade of people who know nothing about electricity generation are regularly given a platform to display their “correct” feelings (rather than facts) about coal and renewables.

Jane Caro flapped her hands wildly on July 9 and pronounced “any suggestions of any new coal-fired power stations is a criminal act”. Do people who say such things know coal is the ­nation’s biggest export earner and 1600 new coal-fired power stations are under construction worldwide this minute? For a historical perspective on the importance of coal to ­hum­anity, Caro could read a piece by global warming believer Bjorn Lomborg in this paper on July 20: “For the well off in both rich and poor countries around the world, lives are enriched by plentiful ­access to energy that provides light, fresh food and clean water … Yet there is a disturbing movement in the West to tell the 1.1 billion people who still lack these myriad benefits that they should go without.”

Taking care of the poor used to be central to the politics of the Left. No more. This is an issue where left-wing journalists always side with the wealthy, like the merchant bankers around the world who invest billions in the government-guaranteed and subsidised global wind power scam.

Anyone who doubts it is a scam should look at why wind subsidies are being dismantled in Europe. This paper published a two-part analysis on the issue by veteran Herald-Sun finance journalist Terry McCrann on July 14 and 21.

McCrann’s first piece analysed prices for wind-generated power the previous weekend in South Australia. Almost all SA’s power that weekend was from wind because it was blowing hard. At one point the price of power hit zero (something that happens regularly in Germany). Across the weekend power averaged $44.89 a megawatt hour. Then the wind stopped and by Monday the price hit $14,000/MWh, “the maximum allowed” in the national market. Across that whole day it averaged $700.60/ MWh.

Wrote McCrann: “How can you build a system on prices which fluctuate from day to day by over $650 a MWh?”

Lomborg wrote here on July 14 outing major nations around the world for announcing heavy greenhouse gas cuts but falling far behind their targets. He argued that even meeting the Paris Agreement global emissions reduction target would mitigate only 1 per cent of forecast global warming this century.

And by 2040, “even with carbon being taxed, the International Energy Agency estimates that ­average coal will still be cheaper than average solar and wind ­energy”. More than $100 billion was being spent globally this year alone on subsidies for solar and wind, “yet this technology will meet less than 1 per cent of the globe’s energy needs”.


Why students aren’t prepared for life after school

THERE’S a point in adulthood where many of us step back and go, “Christ, I am not prepared for any of this.”

And a lot of it falls on our schooling. We spent years learning to measure the angles of a triangle, but navigating our taxes remains a nightmare. We memorised quotes from every Shakespearean tragedy ever written, but networking events can put the fear of God in us.

The narrative goes that if you study hard, get high scores and land a spot at a good university, you’ll breeze into a decent job.

But worrying research shows this is definitely not the case — and it’s the next generation of workers that face a big struggle.


Concerning new research has found students are not adequately equipped to brave the workforce, due to an emphasis on school tests like NAPLAN and the ATAR results.

The Mitchell Institute report stresses the importance of teaching about life after school, saying “trade-offs within the curriculum will be necessary”.

The report suggested a key issue was focusing on scores that could be numerically measured, like the National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) tests, rather than the workplace.

“Narrow proxy measures of academic achievement are made a priority — as demonstrated by the emphasis that many schools place on lifting NAPLAN results and Australian Tertiary ATARs.”

As a result, many young people are disengaging from learning, and failing to hone the life skills necessary for the world outside of school.

News.com.au approached around a dozen university students to ask what they wish they’d learnt in high school.

Lazarus, 23, who is studying a Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Technology, Sydney, said he wished he had learnt more about networking, and knowing the right way to approach prospective employers.

His friend Daniel, doing the same degree, added that he wished he’d been taught how to finetune resumes before starting university.

While most students felt confident doing their taxes, they said “money management” was a big thing they wish they knew, including how to save and what to invest in.

Mitchell Institute Policy Analyst Kate Torii stresses the importance of learning “real world” skills like networking.

“Exposure to the world of work provides opportunities for students to build connections with professionals outside their usual family networks, and to learn by “doing” in real world contexts,” she wrote in The Conversation.

“This offers some valuable benefits — enriching school learning, building students’ employability, and helping them develop the capabilities (such as problem solving, collaboration, and resilience) that we know are valued in work and life.”


This isn’t the first report to address concerns about how we’re failing our students.

Last month, research by Year13 found high school students were focused on picking subjects as a means of maximising their ATAR score — at the expense of expanding their skill sets.

Saxon Phipps, founder and director of Year13, told news.com.au young people believe they can gain a higher ATAR result by choosing easier subjects.

For example, a student who should be doing Extension Mathematics might do the easier General course as a means of scoring higher in that subject.

“There’s a huge societal pressure,” he said. “Even if they don’t use their ATAR score, they’re doing it for the glory that comes with a higher mark.”

In addition to contributing to mental health issues, this meant students weren’t adequately prepared for the outside world upon graduating high school.

And to what benefit? The university dropout rate is higher than ever, with recent Federal Government figures showing that students packing in their degrees has reached its highest levels in a decade.

At the same time, only 71 per cent of graduates were able to secure a job straight out of university, while almost 15 per cent were still unemployed four years after graduating.

In 1986, it took university graduates an average of one year to gain full-time employment. It now takes almost five years.

Earlier this year, Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel called for a broader discussion into how the skills students learnt in school could be applied to real life when they graduated.

“The total percentage of people studying advanced mathematics has almost halved between 1992 and 2012, from 16 to 9 per cent,” Dr Finkel told news.com.au. “Maths in particular is a core enabler of all STEM subjects. It’s the language of science.

“There could be some misinterpretation here, but it seems kids are consistently being told to pick subjects that maximise their ATAR rankings.”

He also said every single parent, teacher, student and careers adviser needed to at least understand how the ATAR system worked.

“We want young people to study the most advanced studies they’re capable of, and for the doors of opportunity to remain open,” Dr Finkel said.

“Every time a kid gets the wrong message, that door slams shut.”

A review of the curriculum is expected by 2020.


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

Monday, July 30, 2018

Extra 539,000 now call Australia home as migration hits a record high

This is plainly unsustainable

More than half a million migrants came to Australia in the last financial year, new figures from the Bureau of Statistics show.

While 539,000 people arriving was the highest number of overseas migrants ever to come to Australia's shores in one year, the figure was offset by 276,000 leaving.

Factoring in departures, 262,000 migrants moved to Australia – below the record number of 300,000 in the 2009 financial year, said Myles Burleigh, migration statistics director at the bureau.

But internal migration – those moving from one state to another – hit its highest level in 13 years.

Victoria had the largest population gain from interstate migration of any state, just ahead of Queensland.

Over the year, almost 87,000 people moved from another state to Victoria and 68,500 left – producing Victoria’s highest ever net gain, Mr Burleigh said.

"Queensland was just behind, with a net gain of 17,800 people."

Of the 539,000 people who migrated to Australia over the year, 315,000 arrived on a temporary visa – including just over 150,000 international students, more than 50,000 on a working holiday, and 32,000 workers on temporary skill visas.

Migration to Victoria among those on temporary visas reached a 12-year high, driven by increasing numbers of international students. Almost 97,000 people on temporary visas arrived in Victoria – about half of them students.

Over the same year about 34,000 people on temporary visas left Australia, resulting in a net increase of about 63,000. The year before, net migration on temporary visas was about 50,000.

Economist Terry Rawnsley said the population boom placed great strain on Victorian infrastructure.

“The trade-off is that the big number coming for higher education," said Mr Rawnsley, from SGS Economics and Planning. He said education exports accounted for $9 billion worth of Victoria exports in the 2016-17 financial year.

"This is almost 20 per cent of total Victorian exports. This is compared to $1.8 billion for dairy exports and $2.4 billion of meat export," he said. Education exports had tripled over the past decade, he said.


More than 900 foreigners move to Australia on spousal visas EVERY WEEK - amid fears 'mail to order' Russian brides are leaving their partners as soon as they're let into the country

More than 900 foreigners who start a relationship with an Australian citizen overseas or online are granted spousal visas every week.

The figures equate to about 48,000 foreign wives - and occasionally husbands - being allowed to move to Australia each year after being granted a partner visa by the Department of Home Affairs under the family migration category.

The rules on spousal visas haven't changed since 1996, when the Howard government introduced a two-year waiting period before foreigners could be accepted.

One of the country's most respected population experts has called for tighter rules to ensure those granted the visas can speak English, integrate into the country and work.

Dr Bob Birrell, the head of the Australian Population Research Institute, said the existing rules were open to abuse.

'My main concern is just how weak our rules are on spouse migration,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'They could have arrived yesterday and there's no evaluation at all on the financial capacity or the financial security of the spouse, or to provide for the spouse. 'It's just quite extraordinary, really.'

Dr Birrell, a former Monash University academic and immigration policy adviser, said the existing system also allowed the unemployed to bring a spouse over.

'They don't have to have a job, they could be on welfare. That is not taken account of,' he said.

'Nor is there any evaluation of the sponsored spouse capacity to integrate in Australia: does he or she have any English, have any skills?'

Lawrence Shave, a 74-year-old Pentecostal evangelical pastor from southern Perth who is twice divorced, five years ago found a Ukrainian woman to be his bride. Unfortunately for him, Oksana left him for another man.

Last year, he advertised for a Russian bride aged between 20 and 44 via the SingleBridesAgency.com dating website, which specialises in eastern European women.

The church minister, who ran as a One Nation state election candidate in 2017, sought a Russian woman who shared his Christian faith. 'I am still looking for my special Christian partner that has old family values,' he told Daily Mail Australia last year. 

Meanwhile, Australia is set to gain 11.8 million residents over the next 30 years, with the population ballooning to 36 million by 2046.

The overall population is growing faster than the U.S., U.K. and Indonesia, with migration accounting for almost two thirds of the country's growth, and is set to surpass the 25 million milestone in the first week of August.

If Australia's immigration intake continues as it is, Melbourne will have eight million people by 2051 and leapfrog Sydney as Australia's largest city.

Sydney is predicted to grow to 7.4 million people by 2046 and Brisbane and Perth's population will both double to four million.

More immigrants settling permanently in Australia since the turn of the millennium were born in India than anywhere else.

Census data revealed nearly 300,000 permanent migrants arrived from the country between 2000 and 2016.


Australia gains as Britain loses its appeal for foreign students

Australia is about to overtake Britain as the second most popular destination for international students.

It is likely to have already outstripped Britain in the number of overseas students from outside Europe, according to research based on international enrolment figures from across the world and suggests the UK's spot as the leading destination for European students is "about to be decimated by Brexit".

The paper by Simon Marginson, director of the Centre for Global Higher Education at University College London, draws on data from Unesco and the Higher Education Statistics Agency. It concludes that Australia may have surpassed Britain in 2018 and, if not, will almost certainly do so in 2019. The US is the top destination.

Unesco figures on incoming international students from all parts of the world appeared to show that Britain was comfortably ahead of Australia in 2015, with 431,000 overseas students compared with 294,000.

The research says the gap has narrowed substantially with international student numbers growing by 2.6 per cent between 2011 and 2015 in the UK and by 12.1 per cent in Australia over the same period. National data obtained by Times Higher Education magazine, which reported slightly different figures, suggests that these rates of growth have continued in 2016.

Professor Marginson said the government was "running a post-study work visa regime that is much less attractive than that in Canada, Australia and, until recently, the US".

"It is this, not Brexit, which will ensure that the UK moves down to number three in the global student market in 2018 or 2019," he said. "Later, however, Brexit will compound the decline." If EU students are charged international student fees post-Brexit, "then it is impossible to imagine anything other than a substantial overall drop in EU students entering the UK, and that will erode the UK's already declining global market share."

He added: "After more than half a decade in which migration politics and Home Office regulation have conspired to hold international student numbers in a flatline trend, the UK is the world's leading nation in educating international students from Europe at tertiary level, but its position is about to be decimated by Brexit's effect on tuition prices."

Australia has six universities in the global top 100 ranking, published by the magazine. The highest ranked this year was Melbourne University, which was 32nd. However, Australia is perceived as more welcoming in some countries, particularly India where numbers studying in Australia have soared.

Britain is perceived as less welcoming to international students than some other English-speaking countries. This year it emerged the Home Office may have falsely accused 7,000 foreign students of faking their proficiency in English and told them to leave.

Simon Birmingham, Australia's minister for education, put a video on YouTube in which he says students from more than 180 countries are very welcome in Australia which is a "safe and friendly place to live and study". After graduating, Australia invites international students with a qualification relating to a key occupation to apply for an 18-month visa. A post-study work stream gives extended options, with a visa of two, three or four years.


Senior figures in the Turnbull Government have told the ABC they believe the United States is prepared to bomb Iran's nuclear capability, perhaps as early as next month, and that Australia is poised to help identify possible targets

The ABC has been told secretive Australian defence facilities would likely play a role in identifying targets in Iran, as would British intelligence agencies.

But a senior security source emphasised there was a big difference between providing accurate intelligence and analysis on Iran's facilities and being part of a "kinetic" mission.

"Developing a picture is very different to actually participating in a strike," the source said.

"Providing intelligence and understanding as to what is happening on the ground so that the Government and allied governments are fully informed to make decisions is different to active targeting."

The top-secret Pine Gap joint defence facility in the Northern Territory is considered crucial among the so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence partners — the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand — for its role in directing American spy satellites.

Analysts from the little-known spy agency Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation would also be expected to play a part.

Canada would be unlikely to play a role in any military action in Iran, nor would the smallest Five Eyes security partner New Zealand, sources said.

As Israel faces off against Iran and its proxies in the Middle East, all eyes are on Donald Trump's next move.
Any US-led strike on Iranian targets would be fraught for a region bristling with tensions. Israel would have reason to be anxious about retaliation, given Iran rejects Israel's right to exist.

That said, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April invoked the so-called "Begin Doctrine" that calls on the Jewish state to ensure nations hostile to Israel be prevented from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

"Israel will not allow regimes that seek our annihilation to acquire nuclear weapons," Mr Netanyahu said.


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, July 29, 2018

Diversity worship only divides us further

“BBC CHIEF STUNNED BY SECRET SEX SURVEY.” The headline blaring from Britain’s Mail on Sunday one balmy morning in London a few weeks ago was irresistible. And the news report didn’t disappoint. “Can someone have a guess at how many people we’ve got who have disclosed they are transgender at the BBC? Ten? Anyone else? Twenty?” asked the BBC’s director of diversity at a social policy forum last month.

“I’ll put you out of your misery. We’ve got 417 people within the BBC who have said they are transgender, almost 2 per cent of the ­organisation.”

Using personal information from staff, diversity bean counters at Britain’s national broadcaster found 11 per cent of its employees are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Diversity executive Tunde Ogungbesan says that while the number of transgender people is “very, very high”, the broadcaster needs more lesbians.

The real misery is that we count this stuff at all. Extrapolating from the diversity director’s comment that “what gets measured gets done”, the next advertisement for a BBC job will logically need to seek a candidate with the following qualifications: must be able to write, have proven reporting skills, work effectively in a small team and be a lesbian. And how do they check the veracity of a candidate meeting that last stipulation? If only this were a facetious ­scenario.

A few days later, on July 4, former US president Bill Clinton tweeted: “E pluribus unum — out of diversity comes a deeper strength and unity rooted in the timeless ideals that we celebrate today. It’s ‘We the People,’ not ‘Us vs Them’…”

If only that were true. Instead, we are being sold a lemon every time someone says diversity makes us stronger and unites us.

Diversity, the new buzzword, has much in common with its older sibling, multiculturalism. The celebration of diversity and the daily condemnation of white male privilege has morphed into a project that divides us. When anchored to group identities, this new diversity project becomes the antithesis of the liberal model that emerged from the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment. The timeless ideal that all individuals are revered as equal regardless of colour, creed and gender is being turned on its head.

To be fair to the BBC, by crunching the numbers about the sexual identity of its staff, the diversity bean counters are simply doing their bit, as disciples of this new project. But it didn’t need to unfold this way. Respecting diversity is admirable because it unifies us. Worshipping diversity as some kind of new age god in a secular world is destructive.

The more we label and encourage people to join smaller identity groups defined by being transgender or black lesbian or Muslim gay, the “other” — the outsiders — grow larger in number. There are more people outside the group to be suspicious of, to fear and even loathe.

People gathering in groups, associating with tribes, preferring their own kind, is as old as the history of mankind. As English philosopher Roger Scruton said as he watched the 1968 Paris protests — when middle-class students turned out to protest without really knowing what they supported — craving membership is “a deep adaptation of the species”.

Whereas people in previous centuries joined or were born into religious communities, in the modern secular West the search for meaning is leading people to seek out different group identities. It raises the real threat of a new and different form of sectarianism as politics and policies, even if well-meaning, encourage people to be defined by smaller and smaller group identities, fracturing along sex, sexual identity, race, colour, creed or other such traits.

Group identities don’t unify people, they build walls between people. Loyalty to the tribe, for example, means members are less likely to publicly countenance divergence from group orthodoxy even if they disagree in private. Tribal loyalty explains why it’s harder for an indigenous man, such as Warren Mundine, or an indigenous woman, such as Bess Price, to diverge from indigenous orthodoxy on anything from welfare to family violence to education and employment.

It explains why feminists within the #MeToo movement cling together, even if they harbour private reservations about trivial complaints about bad sex that have formed part of the ­movement.

Tribal loyalty explains why so few Muslims will say what Ayaan Hirsi Ali dares to say about aspects of Islam. Only the bravest speak up, understanding that they will be cast out as apostates, joining the ranks of “other” — people beyond the group — who are treated with suspicion, and worse.

Tribal loyalty explains how the heartbreaking case of Nia Wilson has given identity politics a new battleground. Last weekend the teenager was changing trains with her sister in Oakland, California, when a white man stabbed her in the throat. Police are exploring a race-hate motive. When I typed Wilson’s name into Google, up popped actress Anne Hathaway’s thoughts on white privilege. Not a news piece about what happened to Wilson.

Rachel Cargle, who describes herself as the “Beyonce of Academia” created an Instagram post exclusively for people of colour to share their feelings about Wilson. “No white women, no men,” she wrote. She asked people to tag their favourite white feminists who had yet to talk about Wilson.

The misguided Beyonce of Academia is building walls. Separating feminists according to skin colour creates more otherness, more fear, more suspicion. It does not help black women. It creates “us vs them”.

Worshipping diversity also has led to more victimhood, not empowerment. Just as tribes compete, grouping people according to sex, sexual identity or other human traits fuels a marketplace of outrage. Different groups vie for top billing as the biggest victims, to attract public attention or policy responses or both.

Over at Meanjin, a left-wing artsy publication, a few indigenous women were outraged when, on the last cover, editor Jonathan Green decided to cross out the indigenous title of the magazine, replacing it with #MeToo. How dare white feminists trump indigenous women. Green confessed his sins and apologised profusely for his white, male privilege.

The diversity cult is not breaking down barriers by encouraging intellectual sharing of ideas and experiences between people. Instead, it’s constantly searching for malfeasants guilty of the new sin of for cultural appropriation.

This month, Scarlett Johansson pulled out of playing a transgender man in Rub & Tub, a movie about Dante “Tex” Grill, who ran brothels in 1970s Pittsburgh. Her first response to claims that a “cisgender” woman should not play a transgender man was to direct the complaints to media representatives of Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman, three cisgender actors who won rave reviews, awards and nominations for playing transgender women.

Inevitably, Johansson succumbed, saying she was grateful that the casting decision sparked a conversation about diversity. But it wasn’t much of a conversation. It came down to a stifling and one-dimensional, simplistic story that only a transgender man can play the role of a transgender man. And when journalist Daniella Greenbaum wrote a piece for the website Business Insider defending an actress who was hired to act in a role as a transgender man, her column was spiked by editors for “violating editorial standards”.

Respecting diversity should encourage us to step into the shoes of someone else, to empathise with their stories that define them as human beings. Instead, in the Age of Diversity, we are told a single story about people premised on their sex, sexual identity or skin colour.

In a TED talk some years ago, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke superbly about the danger of the single story. She recalled one of her professors telling her that one novel “was not authentically African”.

“Now I was quite willing to contend that there were a number of things wrong with the novel,” said the author of Half of a Yellow Sun. “But I had not quite imagined that it had failed at achieving something called African authenticity. In fact, I did not know what African authenticity was. The professor told me that my characters were too much like him, an educated, middle-class man. My characters drove cars, they were not starving. Therefore, they were not authentically African.”

Adichie confessed to falling for single stories about others. Growing up in Nigeria, she saw the family’s house boy only through a prism of poverty. When she visited the boy’s home she was startled to see a beautiful multi-coloured basket woven by his brother. “It had not occurred to me that anybody in his family could make anything,” she said. “Their poverty was my single story about them.”

When people choose to define themselves according to a single identity, they encourage a single story about their sex, or their sexual identity or their skin colour with a focus on negatives. Black Lives Matter tells a tiny, incomplete, story about black people in America. A dance performance last month, Where We Stand, suffered the same flaw because a dance student thought it clever to force whites to stay in the lobby while people of colour, brown people, indigenous people and members of the Asian diaspora were invited to enter the theatre.

Revering diversity encourages an ugly backlash, too, attracting opportunist grandstanders such as Canadian woman Lauren Southern, who arrived in Australia wearing a T-shirt that read “IT’S OK TO BE WHITE”. It’s not smart to answer toxic identity politics with tit-for-tat toxicity, where people treat their pale skin as a badge of honour. Southern’s white identity politics marks a low point of the new sectarianism. We are regressing further and further from the liberal project that treats all ­humans as equal regardless skin colour.

As Adichie said, telling one story based on negatives about people flattens their experience. “The consequence of the single story is this: it robs people of dignity — it makes recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasis how we are different rather than how we are similar.”

In a recent podcast, Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, recalled the 1934 experiment by American psychologist Richard LaPiere when he researched whether people were more racist in practice or theory. LaPiere took a Chinese student to a restaurant that had a sign saying they did not serve Chinese. At a time of growing American resentment towards Chinese, the student and the psychologist ordered and ate their meal without a hitch. LaPiere took the Chinese student, and his young Chinese wife, on a road trip across America, visiting 251 establishments, bars, bowling alleys, hotels and ­restaurants. The couple was denied service once. When LaPiere returned to his campus office, he sent questionnaires to each place — “would you serve members of the Chinese race?” More than 90 per cent said no.

Defining people according to race elicits divisive reactions, whereas a name and a face is a human story that attracts respect and empathy. As Brooks said: “Stories unite. Identities divide.”

Remember that next time an overpaid corporate executive or public bureaucrat champions diversity using a set of numbers based on gender or sexual identity or race.


Queenslanders are one step closer to making hepatitis history but more work is needed - News release

Over 82,000 Queenslanders are missing out on lifesaving treatment that can halt serious liver disease, simply because they are unware of new treatment options or are too afraid to ask. 

Speaking ahead of World Hepatitis Day, held annually on the 28th July, Hepatitis Queensland, CEO, Michelle Kudell said that around 150,000 Australians are still missing out on new Government funded cures for the hepatitis C virus, and nearly 200,000 Australians who are living with hepatitis B are missing out on vital care that can provide timely information on when to intervene to prevent liver damage, liver cancer and liver failure.

“World Hepatitis Day was founded to improve the lives of people living with viral hepatitis, so it is heartbreaking that 350,000 Australians living with the viruses are still missing out on basic medical care and life saving treatment,” she said. 

“Liver cancer is now the fastest increasing cause of cancer deaths in Australia. Those missing out or not coming forward for vital treatment put themselves at risk of liver cancer and serious liver disease.”

“We are using the lead up to World Hepatitis Day to encourage people who are living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C but haven’t spoken to their doctor to ask the simple question – can I speak to you about hepatitis B or C?,” she said.

Australians from all walks of life can have hepatitis B or C. Hepatitis Queensland is aiming to raise awareness amongst those affected by the viruses, but also family, friends and support networks who can help spread the word that help is available.

Michelle said that there has “never been a better time to speak to your doctor about hep B or hep C. If we get on board with treatment for hep C we have a very real chance of eliminating the virus as a public health threat in Australia”. 

A range of medicines for hepatitis C which have very few side effects are curing around 95% of people after only a few months. Your GP can prescribe this treatment which is funded under PBS. A record number (50,000) Australians have now been cured of hepatitis C but we need to continue with the momentum as  there are still an estimated 150,000 people who have not received treatment or are aware they are living with hepatitis C. 

Experts believe that people are not coming forward for a number of reasons including being diagnosed decades ago, not prioritising their own health care or treatment and/or misinformation regarding the effects of treatments. The new treatments are easy, tablets taken once daily with minimal side effects.

Michelle said that the number of people with hepatitis B who are missing out on medical care is alarming. In Australia, 38 per cent of people with chronic hepatitis B are unware they have the virus, while only 12 per cent of Australians who know they have hepatitis B are receiving antiviral treatment.   

A vaccine that protects against hepatitis B is readily available through the National Immunisation Program, but a significant number of people from communities where the virus is common have not been vaccinated.

“If you think you’ve been exposed to hepatitis B or C, or if you’ve already been diagnosed, we urge you to talk to your doctor about treatment options, or call the national helpline on 1800 437 222. It could save your life,” she said.

Everyone can play a part in making hepatitis history and it’s easy.  

World Hepatitis Day 28th July - Join us at The Redcliffe Volunteer hub from 12pm – 2.30pm and raise awareness of viral hepatitis.

Want to know more information about hepatitis B or C – visit our website www.hepqld.asn.au 

Think you might have been exposed to hepatitis B or C? Call our National hotline (confidential service) 1800 437 222 or speak to your GP

About hepatitis B:

Hepatitis B is a virus transmitted through blood-to-blood contact or unprotect sexual contact. Approximately 240 000 Australians are living with chronic B and more than 1 in 3 of people do not know they have it.

1 in 4 people with hepatitis B who go untreated develop liver cancer

While vaccination rates are high among people born in Australia, they remain low among many people born overseas. Hepatitis B is endemic in Asia Pacific and Africa and in some remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The best protection against hepatitis B is to get vaccinated, or for those living with chronic hepatitis B, regular monitoring and treatment when indicated is the best protection against the development of liver disease and liver cancer.

About hepatitis C:

Hepatitis C is a virus transmitted through blood-to-blood contact

Approximately 200 000 Australians are living with chronic hepatitis C, and around 80 per cent of current infections are likely to have been contracted through unsterilized injecting drug use in the past. Around two-thirds of people living with chronic hepatitis C do not currently inject drugs. It can also be contracted through unsterile medical, tattooing and body piercing practices, particularly overseas.

There were 605 deaths and 73 liver transplants in Australia related to hepatitis C in 2016.

There is no vaccine to protect against hepatitis C but it can be cured with treatment.

New generation antiviral medications are available on the PBS to treat and cure chronic hepatitis C, these medications are over 95 per cent effective and have very few side effects compared to older medications. 

Via email from Jessie Badger [Jessie@hepqld.asn.au]

Know-nothing journalists

JOURNALISM graduates are leaving university "almost comically underprepared" to work in the real world, according to a local newspaper editor.

Paul Mitchell, group editor of the South Australian Riverland paper The Murray Pioneer, said six young hopefuls during the paper's recent recruitment process were "completely clueless", unable to answer a series of basic politics, current affairs and general knowledge questions.

The 23 questions included head-scratchers such as "Who is Australia's Treasurer?", "What does NBN stand for?" and "Which political party does Donald Trump represent?" Only two of the six knew the name of the federal opposition leader, while one confused him with the PM.

"This isn't just a bad batch of candidates," Mitchell wrote in an editorial last week. "The Pioneer has been running basically the same test for many years, only altering the handful of current affairs questions included on the list.

"The abysmal results have been consistent, and if anything are slowly getting worse. What do the poor general knowledge and current affairs results say about our schooling system, and more specifically, our university system?"

Try your hand at the full quiz below. "If you get 10 correct, you're doing better than most of the allegedly news-hungry and switched-on job hunters fresh out of their journalism courses, ready to `tell people's stories' and take on the world," Mitchell said.

Mitchell told news.com.au the editorial, which included sample responses from the six candidates, had "generated a lot of feedback" from people in the local area. He said most who took the test themselves scored in the 20s.

"Most people were a bit shocked at the responses we got to the test," he said. Asked whether he blamed the quality of the university courses or graduates' reliance on social media for their news, he said it was a "combination of both".

"When they've completed their studies and they get these type of results, that makes me scratch my head a little, but equally if these young people are serious about careers in media and journalism you'd think they'd be a little more switched on," he said.

But he didn't pin the blame for lack of preparation on a sense of entitlement, saying he hadn't picked that up from candidates. "Some of them are just generally clueless," he said.


'It's an African gang problem': Tony Abbott slams government for allowing violent Sudanese migrants into the country who are 'difficult to integrate'

Tony Abbott has voiced his opinion about the 'harsh realities' which Australia faces due to African immigration. The former prime minister said Australia 'stores up trouble for ourselves' by allowing violent Sudanese migrants into the country who are 'difficult to integrate.'  

'So there is a problem,' he said on 2GB radio, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. 'It's an African gang problem, and the Victorian socialist government should get real and own up to the fact that there is an African gang problem in Melbourne.'

Mr Abbott's comments follows the death of 19-year-old Laa Chol, as well as recent crime figures revealing Sudanese people living in Victoria are 57 times more likely to commit violent robberies than the general population.

Mr Abbott questioned why Australia allowed 'difficult' African migrants into the country in light of the problems faced by law enforcement in Victoria.

'I guess the big question though is: why do we store up trouble for ourselves by letting in people who are going to be difficult, difficult to integrate?' he said.

'And this is why I think all credit to Peter Dutton, who is doing his best to manage our immigration program in our national interest - not in the interests of all sorts of people who might simply want to come here.' 

His comments come after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there was a 'major law and order problem' with Sudanese gangs following the death of Ms Chol.

Ms Chol was allegedly stabbed to death when a gang of young African-Australians crashed a party in Melbourne on Friday night.

Police deny there is any link to Sudanese gangs over the killing.

Since her death, police have charged a 17-year-old boy with her murder, as well as a 16-year-old boy with being an accessory to murder and assault.

'There is a major law and order problem in Victoria and more people are going to be hurt until the rule of law is enforced by the Victorian Government,' Mr Dutton said in a statement to Fairfax.

'We don't have these problems with Sudanese gangs in NSW or Queensland.'


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, July 27, 2018


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is looking forward to a Labor party loss at the by-elections this weekend

Union tells school principals: Back ALP


The Victorian branch of the education union is calling on school principals to flout departmental policy by helping it promote the Labor state government ahead of the November election. In a letter to principals last week, AEU Victorian branch president Meredith Peace praised the Andrews government for its progress towards "truly making" Victoria an "education state", while suggesting the Liberal opposition had made no significant commitments to education so far.

Ms Peace said one did not have to look too far to see examples of how Liberal governments - state and federal - had "penalised public education". "As principals, you are in a unique position to help this conversation flourish in your school community," Ms Peace said. "This will be a big term with everything to play for. The future of public education is at stake, but I know that when we work together we make a formidable team." Under the Department of Education and Training's politcal activities policy, employees of the Victorian teaching service have a right to freedom of association, including joining a trade union, however they must ensure that political activities do not create a conflict of interest with their official duties. Principals and teachers are permitted to conduct political activities outside of working hours, provided they are clearly undertaken in a private capacity, and must apply for a leave of absence if they wish to conduct political activities in working hours.

They are not, however, permitted to solicit students to become agents of any organisation, including a union.  In addition, the Education Department this month released information for schools about caretaker conventions and obligations for all staff, which include guidelines to ensure the public service remains politically neutral during the caretaker period leading up to the state election. During that period, which is expected to run from October 30 until the November 24 election, employees "must not use their position to support particular issues,  parties or candidates in an election campaign".

Ms Peace declined to comment about her plea to principals, which comes as the union is waging a nationwide campaign over funding for public schools ahead of the state and federal elections. In her letter she warned that polling was close and it was "unclear whether the Andrews government will be returned to office". Opposition education spokesman Tim Smith yesterday accused the union of "trying to politicise classrooms".

Article not previously online.  Appeared in "The Australian" of July 26. p. 5.

Dutton signals pullout from UN migrant deal


Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has declared the Australian government will not sign up to a major UN agreement on migration "in its current form" despite the fact Australia helped negotiate the deal. The Australian revealed this week that the Turnbull government had left open the door to withdrawing from the Global Compact for Migration, which so far only the US and Hungary have failed to sign.

Some conservatives such as Eric Abetz and One Nation's Pauline Hanson believe Australia should quit the deal, and Senator Abetz said the government should be "robust" in "defending our gold-standard border protection policies". "Why we give tens of millions of taxpayers' money to the UN for these feel-good exercises that end up criticising ourselves is beyond me," he told The Australian.

But Mr Dutton's suggestion that Australia might not sign up has infuriated the Greens and refugee advocates. "Now (Peter Dutton is) threatening to deconstruct international co-operation on migration," Greens immigration spokesman Nick McKim said. "There are no depths Dutton will not trawl to try to make race and refugees into election issues and pander to Hanson's supporters."

Labor has so far refused to take a position on whether Australia should sign the agreement in the lead-up to this weekend's by-elections. Opposition immigration and border protection spokesman Shayne Neumann said the UN compact was a matter for the government of the day, and Labor MPs who have been vocal on other asylum-seeker matters declined to comment when contacted by The Australian.

While the US dropped out in December, the government of Hungary's anti-immigration nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced last week the country would also quit the pact.

Asked on 2GB by Alan Jones whether Australia would sign up to the agreement, Mr Dutton said "Not in its current form. We've been very clear about that.  And we're not going to surrender our sovereignty. I'm not going to allow unelected bodies to dictate to us, to the Australian people ... They do not want us to go soft on borders."

UN member states, led by Mexico and Switzerland and including Australia, helped negotiate the UN compact. Former Australian Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg said Australia had been advocating for a new global migration compact since 2014 and signing would be important for Australia to maintain its "middle power credibility".

Article not previously online.  Appeared in "The Australian" of July 26. p. 7.


The fruits of his controversial private talks with Putin may become clearer before long


Was it all really about Iran? One of US President Donald Trump's worst stylistic weaknesses is that he is either expressing contempt, sometimes blatant and sometimes wearing the thinnest disguise, or he is expressing lavish and at times absurd praise. His bizarre tweets and rambling press conferences make interpretation of him very difficult.

But this should not remotely lead us to think that Trump is a fool. He is astonishingly ignorant about some aspects of international affairs and history. But he is also plainly very smart. As John Lee argued on this page yesterday, Trump alone is not the measure of America. Still, he is the President of the most powerful nation in the world, and our indispensable ally, and we need to try to understand what he does.

The two hours with Vladimir Putin without officials present were ridiculous in terms of any-thing remotely resembling good process, but nonetheless they may have had a real purpose. Perhaps the international statesman with the biggest influence on Trump is Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu. He is a tough guy like Trump would like to be, he is supported by almost all of Trump's supporters in the US and he flatters Trump shrewdly and effectively.

In Syria, the Western interest is the same as the Israeli interest -to end the wholesale bloodshed, to keep out the worst of the Islamist jihadists, to restore some semblance of stability and to limit the influence of Iran and Hezbollah. These aims constitute the strategic interests of Israel; they also constitute the basic aims of human decency in Syria. The civil war in Syria has been a humanitarian catastrophe, with perhaps 400,000 dead and six million people displaced. All the main actors have behaved at times with shocking, indiscriminate cruelty.

However, it is now clear that Bash-ar al-Assad has effectively won. And the most important strategic reason for this is Russian intervention. Assad has been guilty of shocking war crimes in Syria. However, at the time the Arab Spring broke out, by the standards of Arab dictators, Assad was not particularly bad. He was no democrat and had no respect for human rights, but minorities lived peaceably in Syria, the place was stable internally and on its borders, economic development was proceeding slowly. Syrian expats in Australia and elsewhere could go visit without being in fear of their lives.

It is a doleful reflection, these several years later, that the US in-tervention in Syria has been fitful and pretty well ineffective. A lot of outside forces have intervened, including the Turks, the Iranians, the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Russians.

Now, I think that crew of creepy right-wingers in the US and Australia who think Putin is a great friend of Western civilisation are just about crazy. Putin has destroyed Russian civil society and engaged in serious international crimes, including supporting unspeakable atrocities in Syria and, incidentally, authorising his proxies to shoot down an innocent civilian plane carrying 298 people including 38 Australians. But in strategic policy, in the real world, the choice is often between the evil and the even more evil. Russia's presence in Syria may have produced something somewhat less horrible than its absence would have produced.

Look at the other main actors in Syria - Islamic State, Iran, Hezbollah. They are all worse for humanity in Syria, and worse for Western interests, than Russia has been. For whatever its many sins, Moscow has played the role in Syria that the West once played in troubled countries - it has restored order.

It is an open question whether the West can ever again effectively intervene in a hot civil war anywhere with its own troops. In the end, the West is too morally fastidious to be effective. It can intervene now only by proxy. Russian motivation in Syria is not inscrutable. It wants to keep its one remaining important ally from the Cold War days, namely Damascus. It wants to show that being its ally carries strategic benefit. It wants to keep its port in Syria. And perhaps beyond even all that, Russia wants to be as near as it can to a peer strategic competitor with the US.

It can never really be that. Its economy is only about the size of Australia's. But it wants to compete with the US, to be a big power internationally and to be strategically impossible to ignore. It has achieved all those objectives in Syria.

Having done that, Moscow is being quite careful about respecting Israel's interests. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was in Israel a few days ago and offered the Israelis an agreement under which Moscow would keep Iranian forces at least 100km away from Israel's border. Jerusalem naturally wants Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria and it certainly doesn't want them on its Syrian border. The potential for a very big military clash on the Israel-Syria border remains quite strong, and only yesterday the Israelis "shot down a Syrian war-plane that had flown into their air-space but was probably aiming at regime enemies within Syria.

Putin, a little like Trump, seems to respect Israeli strength. Muslims within the Russian Federation give him nothing but trouble and his co-operation with Iran is entirely tactical. And although Russia has a capable, indeed powerful, military, by the standards of the old Soviet Union it is not particularly big.

Moscow wants to keep its strategic gains in Syria with a minimum of continued military engagement. That means avoiding the enormous danger and complication that any clash, even an accidental one, with Israeli forces in southern Syria would inevitably bring.

Meanwhile, for the Trump administration reducing Iranian influence is a key strategic objective. In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech explicitly asking for Australia's support against Iran. At the AUSMIN press conference this week, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis again spent time denouncing Iran.

The Trump administration is right to repudiate the pathetically weak deal Barack Obama did with Iran. Trump wants to enforce the red lines Obama once had for Iran - no uranium enrichment, no ballistic missiles and so on. Canberra should support this.

Given renewed US sanctions, there is no prospect for big Australian trade with Iran. Similarly, there is no prospect of Iran taking back failed illegal immigrants from Australia. Now that we are not running operations in Syria, there is no need to deconflict our forces from Iran's forces there. Canberra is therefore in a bit of a policy paralysis regarding Iran. Trump does good as well as bad. We should explicitly and publicly support US policy on Iran.

Article not previously online.  Appeared in "The Australian" of July 26. p. 12.

Letting kids be kids: Schools remove the cotton wool and encourage pupils to take risks when they play - and the benefits are stunning

Public schools are giving students the opportunity to build resilience by adopting the 'anti-cotton wool' approach.

Schools across Perth are letting students zip around on bikes and scooters, slide down ramps in crates and climb trees.

There is believed to be many benefits to the approach, resulting in more focus in the classroom, ABC reports.

Schools that encourage physical activity say that the students are happier and healthier, and are able to play more creatively and cooperatively.

With the current 'obesity epidemic' and children being captivated by screens, schools are hoping to get children out and about on the playground.

Honeywood Primary School in Perth's south has implemented weekly 'Wheels on Wednesday', where students are allowed to bring scooters, bikes and skates to school.

As long as students follow conditions of wearing a helmet and having signed permission from parents, they're allowed to ride around the school grounds during recess and lunch.

Principal of the school Maria Cook said that the program was very popular with both parents and the students.

'We've had kids who hadn't been able to progress past their trainer wheels suddenly being able to go without training wheels, because they get lots of practise just riding around this one-way track,' she said.

Ms Cook believes that teaching the kids to manage some risk is positive and thinks that 'cocooning' them isn't a good idea.

There are also trampolines at the school that they encourage the students to use, allowing them to do flips and tricks.

The program is teaching students to be active and improves their skills while having fun with their friends.

Ms Cook also said that the children head back to class focused and ready to learn due to using lots of energy.

West Greenwood Primary School in Perth's north is another school that has implemented the 'anti-cotton wool' approach.

The school has introduced a program called 'Loose Parts', where students have the ability to use their creativity with items such as milk crates, giant wooden spools and timber.

Principal Niel Smith said that nature play is highly important and the school wanted to do something that was 'slightly different and cost effective'.

'We encourage students to be creative, to take risks, to analyse those risks. We've got kids building pulley systems, climbing trees, making swings, see-saws,' he said.

They ensure that the children are being safe by teaching them to analyse risks.

The program has proven to work well, as teachers are seeing an increase in students' cooperative skills, teamwork, sharing and negotiation.

Due to the program keeping children busy, students are less likely to make a fuss complaining about injury and they're becoming more resilient.

He has also opened up a creative space for children with interest in art, creating a mural wall for the kids to create artworks with chalk. 

Researcher from the University of Western Australia, Karen Martin, said that the 'anti-cotton wool' trend is a positive.

She believes that society became too over-protective of young children.

It's important for the children that don't do too much physical activity outside of school to have that active time on the playground during school.

'I think what's happened is we've started to realise that wrapping kids up in cotton wool isn't beneficial for them at all,' Ms Martin said.


Trump's top men hail US-Australia ties as `rock solid' in meeting with Julie Bishop

DONALD Trump's senior representatives hailed the ties between the US and Australia as "rock solid" during talks with Julie Bishop in California.

"The US and Australia both know we can rely on each other," said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

He and Defence Secretary James Mattis told of America's desire for a stable and free Indo-Pacific and said the US will not push Australia to conduct freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea.

There have been questions about America's commitment to Australia and Pacific allies since the election of Mr Trump, who has spoken out against allies and was a highly reluctant supporter of Australia's asylum-seeker deal.

Mr Pompeo and Mr Mattis wrapped up two days of AUSMIN (Australia-US Ministerial Consultations) with Australia's Foreign Minister Ms Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne at California's Stanford University on Tuesday.

"The US and Australia will walk the walk in the Indo-Pacific," Mr Mattis said. The general, however, said it was up to Australia if it embarked on freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea where China has constructed and militarised islands. "That's a sovereign decision by a sovereign state," he said.


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, July 26, 2018

Weather catastrophe: Farmers crippled by the 'worst drought in 100 years' are facing another TWO YEARS of scorching temperatures and no rain

On past form, one has to expect that this is another long-range prediction that the BoM will get wrong.  On principle I predict substantial rain some time over the next summer.

It's not only form, however that makes this an odd prediction.  We have just had an El Nino over 2016/2017 and there is normally at least 10 years between them.  Secondly, El Nino brings warmer water to the East coast and warmer water means MORE rain, not less. So, farmers:  Don't sell your farm yet.

An El Niño event has been predicted for the end of the year, leaving farmers already struggling with a devastating five-year drought facing disaster.

The Bureau of Meteorology announced the odds of an El Niño system forming this year are now twice as high as normal.

El Niño events often result in severe droughts, bringing higher temperatures, lower than average rainfall and increased risk of bushfires, lasting as long as two years.

If an El Niño does form in the latter half of 2018, it could prove catastrophic for parched Australian farmers who have been crippled by a years-long nationwide dry spell which some are describing as the worst drought in 100 years.

BOM senior forecaster David Crock said on Wednesday there is typically about a 25 per cent chance of an El Niño pattern developing.

The likelihood of one forming is now at 50 per cent, approximately double the normal probability.

'During El Niño, rainfall in eastern Australia is typically below average during winter–spring,' the Bureau of Meteorology stated.

'Daytime temperatures are also typically warmer than average for southern Australia. A neutral ENSO phase has little effect on Australian climate.

'Most international climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest the tropical Pacific will continue to warm.

'Five of eight models indicate this warming will reach El Niño levels in the southern hemisphere spring, while a sixth model reaches El Niño levels in December.'


UNSW tops Australian universities in world rankings

This may be of some small help if people want to evalute my past association with Uni NSW, both as a student and as a teacher.  People outside Australia find it hard to rank Australian universities.  Uni NSW started out as a university of technology so that could be misleading, though MIT is a counter-example to that.

UNSW Sydney has swept ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2018, scoring the most subjects ranked first in Australia and the highest number of subjects ranked in the top 100 in the country.

With 38 subjects ranking in the global top 100, 24 in the top 50 and three in the top 10, UNSW continues its climb up the rankings, having the most subjects of all Australian universities in the prestigious league table.

Nine UNSW subjects – Civil Engineering, Finance, Instruments Science & Technology, Library & Information Science, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Remote Sensing and Water Resources – rank first in Australia. This is almost double the number of UNSW subjects ranked first in 2017.

ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects has published the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) by academic subjects since 2009. The rankings assess more than 4000 universities across 54 subjects in natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences, and social sciences.

UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Nicholas Fisk felt it was a clean sweep for UNSW Sydney.

“To be top in Australia for subjects ranked first, with the most subjects in the top 100, underscores the depth and breadth of UNSW research.

“These subject rankings are a more tangible reflection of a university’s research strengths than the global ranking, and UNSW is a comprehensive university that demonstrates academic and research excellence. ​I want to pay special tribute to all UNSW's hard working academics on this outstanding result.”

Water Resources is UNSW’s highest ranked subject at 5th in the world, with Mining & Mineral Engineering ranking 7th and Civil Engineering 10th.

Globally, UNSW’s best performing subjects are Water Resources (5th), Mining & Mineral Engineering (7th), Civil Engineering (10th), Finance, Marine/Ocean Engineering and Remote Sensing (all 16th), Atmospheric Science and Oceanography (23rd), Library & Information Science (26th), Law, Hospitality & Tourism Management and Transportation Science & Technology (all 34th), Telecommunication Engineering (38th), Energy Science & Engineering (39th), Earth Sciences (40th), Aerospace Engineering (41st), Instruments Science & Technology (42nd), Environmental Science & Engineering (44th), Mechanical Engineering (45th), Electrical & Electronic Engineering (46th) and Geography (49th).

United States universities continue to dominate the rankings, occupying first place in 35 disciplines, followed by China with nine and the Netherlands with three. The best performing institution in the world is Harvard, taking 17 crowns, ShanghaiRanking said in a release.

The methodology to determine the ranking includes the number of papers published, international collaboration and citation impact. The full methodology can be found here.

 Email from l.caldicott@unsw.edu.au

Economic ignorance in the ALP

It’s really hard to believe Wayne Swan was once treasurer.  OK, he was hopeless, but he did hold the position for a number of years. He doesn’t seem to have the faintest clue about how the economy operates, the role of private business or how wages are set.

Yesterday, he delivered a bizarre speech to the ACTU Congress in Brisbane. He spoke as the president of the Australian Labor Party. The whole speech, slides and all, was a lame attack on what he calls ‘‘trickle-down economics’’.

Talk about a straw man — or should that be straw person? — because no sensible economist has ever used the term ‘‘trickle-down economics’’, a point noted by renowned US economist Thomas Sowell.

Here’s the thing, Wayne, it’s best to get your facts straight. The extent of income inequality in Australia has been essentially unchanged for the past 15 years.

After taking into account taxes and transfers, incomes in Australia are much more equal than in many other developed economies. When it comes to low wage growth, we should not think that Australia is alone. Wage growth in this country, at about 2 per cent a year, is actually higher than a number of other developed economies.

And low wage growth has emerged across a large range of wage-setting arrangements. Ironically, it is the US, with its largely deregulated labour market, where wage growth has begun to pick up.

This is one reason the Change the Rules! campaign waged by the ACTU is so pointless. There are systemic reasons why wages are growing slowly, including sluggish productivity growth and the growing dominance of the services sector.

A Labor government might alter provisions of the Fair Work Act but it is unlikely to make much difference. This is not to deny the economic damage some rule changes could have on industries and firms.

The reality is trade unions are political bodies that warehouse officials before they enter parliament or influence who enters parliament. With less than 15 per cent of the workforce signed up, there is no reason to regard them differently from the RSL, CWA or a Rotary club.


'I pay taxes so dole-bludging, oxygen thieving pieces of s*** go from the cradle to the grave with your hand out'

Western Australia has a big problem with Aboriginal crime and the policeman quoted in the heading above has therefore seen a lot of it close up. One can understand his annoyance with Aborigines if not his language

An angry tirade about Aboriginal activists demanding the date of Australia Day be changed has been posted to a Facebook account linked to a police officer.

Western Australian police officer Terry Bodenham is being investigated for offensive comments recently posted to his Facebook account.

In response to an article about the date of Australia Day, a comment posted to the account said: 'I pay taxes so dole bludging, oxygen thieving pieces of s*** like you go from the cradle to the grave with your hand out'.

'You're never satisfied with anything, always wanting more and when you're told no, out pops the racist card.

'I don't know who's worse, the whining black fellas who think the world owes them a living, or the white trash that go along for the ride.'

The tirade continued, with the commenter saying: 'what a pity automatic weapons aren't legal in this state'. 'Oh well, there's always single shot rifles and sharp knives. Your days are numbered.'

An investigation was launched when a member of the public reported the comments to the Western Australian Police. 

Comments posted to the same Facebook account also target the judicial system and Ben Cousins. 'Ben Cousins pleads guilty to a stack of charges, many of which carry penalties in excess of 10 years jail,' he said. 'His penalty - 12 f***ing months and he'll be out in five.

'Obviously if you're an ex footy star you've been kissed on the d*** by a fairy when it comes to criminal charges. 'This is absolutely f***ing pathetic.

'As for the morons who keep leaping to his defence and calling him a champion - f*** off you f***ing idiots need to be shot. He's nothing but a drug f***** waste of space, just like his supporters.'

The rant came after Cousins was jailed and handed a $2,400 fine for drug offences, stalking and breaching a restraining order. The rant was posted to Facebook on March 28, the same day the former footy player was sentenced at the Perth Magistrate's Court last year.

The comments, posted to Terry Bodenham's Facebook page, also called for laws to be changed so off-duty officers and gun owners could carry them freely.

'Do you think it's time the government admitted that the violence in WA is out of control and introduces legislation that allows police officers to carry firearms off duty and licenced handgun owners to covert carry?' the post said.

A WA Police spokesman confirmed a complaint was made and Mr Bodenham was being investigated.

'The officer in question was on extended leave at the time the post was written and the initial complaint was made,' the spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.

'The officer has only returned to duty in recent days, so investigators have not had the opportunity to ask him directly if this is his account and if he made the comments associated with this profile. 'The intent is to conduct these inquiries as soon as possible.' 

WA Police said its social media policy instructed police employees to consider the WA Police Force Code of Conduct when using private accounts. 'Breaches of this policy may be subject to investigation and may result in managerial intervention and/or disciplinary action.' 


Hundreds slam ABC for suggesting we stop using phrase 'It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings' because it's FAT-SHAMING

The ABC has been slammed for hypersensitivity after airing a segment which suggested Australians should stop using a popular phrase.

The saying 'It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings' refers to opera, as the final aria was often sung by a large female performer, but the taxpayer-funded media organisation said it could not be considered as offensive to larger people.

ABC's What is Music presenter Linda Marigliano questioned the 'relevance' of the phrase due to its political incorrectness.

'Considering the fat shaming nature of the phrase, I reckon we should be using the equally confusing but slightly more simple "it ain't over 'til it's over",' Ms Marigliano said.

The ABC video was viewed more than 75,000 times and slammed by hundreds of people who claimed it was 'entirely neutral'.

The phrase was first coined in 1976 during an intense basketball final. Sports information director Ralph Carpenter threw the saying into the commentary at the US game.

The phrase refers to a stereotypically overweight sopranos of the opera. In particular, it is said the term refers to a powerful female figure - valkyrie Brunnhilde - a character in German production Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner from 1874.

'How is it fat shaming? If people said "it ain't over until the short lady sings" nobody's panties would be in a twist. Fat is just an adjective. If you're fat and you don't like being described as fat, you're a pain in the a***,' one person wrote online.

'It's not a fat shaming phrase, it has historical significance ... it isn't going anywhere. If she'd be thin and had red hair and most people didn't know her name it'd likely have been "until the redhead sings",' another shared.

'Shouldn't it be fat person ABC News? Don't assume one's gender,' someone said. 'These days it's hard to know if "fat" or "lady" is the more offensive,' another questioned.


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, July 25, 2018

The figures that lay bare the African gang crisis in Victoria: Sudanese-born people are 57 times more likely to commit a robbery than Australians and 33 times more likely to riot

Sudanese-born people in Victoria are far more likely to be charged with aggravated robbery and riot and affray than their Australian-born counterparts, according to recent crime figures.

Victorian Crime Statistics Agency figures to the end of March reveal they are 57 times more likely to be charged with aggravated robbery and 33 times more likely charged with riot and affray than Australians ,The Australian reported.

Sudanese-born offenders ­accounted for 8.5 per cent of ­aggravated robbery offences and 6.9 per cent of riot and affray ­offences in the year to March - despite only accounting for 0.15 per cent of the state's population.

The highly politicised debate regarding African crime has reignited in recent days following the alleged stabbing murder of Melbourne woman, Laa Chol, who was at a party gatecrashed by African-Australian men early Saturday.

Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton declared Victoria has a major law and order problem following the teenage girl's death, accusing Premier Daniel Andrews of failing to acknowledge the issue of Sudanese gangs.

Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge also entered the debate, claiming the shocking crime levels in Victoria were not seen in Sudanese communities in NSW and Queensland.

'Basically the crime data is kept by country of origin, and what it shows is that typically the Australian-born commit most of the crime, naturally, because three-quarters of Victoria are Australian-born,' Mr Tudge told Sky News.

'But often now, Sudanese-born is No 2 or No 3, despite them being a tiny proportion of the population, so there clearly is an issue going on there, and the Victorian public know this.'

Mr Andrews was reluctant to respond to Dutton's comments on Monday. 'In relation to the very tragic death of Laa Chol, I don't think her family will be getting much comfort from this sort of discussion,' he told ABC Radio. 'I don't think her family, I think they deserve fundamentally better than what they've been given these last 12 or 24 hours.'  

But the head of police taskforce set up to investigate violent gang crime in Melbourne slammed Mr Dutton for suggesting the stabbing death of a young woman was related to the city's problem with South Sudanese gangs.

Commander Stuart Bateson said the death of Ms Chol, 19, had nothing to do with violent gangs or ethnicity. 'This is not to do with warring factions,' he said. 'The suggestion that Laa Chol, the victim, was a member of a gang just not true.'

3AW's Neil Mitchell agreed, saying that politics needed to be 'taken out of it' and said 'What Peter Dutton has said overnight is just wrong.'

Waleed Aly launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over his views on African gang violence in an eight minute segment on The Project last Thursday.

He admitted that while crimes committed by those of African descent were 'over-represented' and 'unacceptable' in some areas, they account for one per cent of crime, compared to 71 per cent of crime committed by Australian-born people.

'I'm not saying that African-Australians don't commit crime. And I'm not denying that victims of those crimes have a right to feel afraid,' Aly said.

'But it's just a fraction of the crime being committed, and to suggest a city is gripped by a fear of African gangs is just untrue.'


African gangs: It’s not racist to name it for what it is

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

How should we think about recent incidents of violence and anti-­social behaviour by first and second-generation immigrants? Or should we just not think about them at all, for fear of thinking something politically incorrect?

Last Friday Victoria police announced they were investigating the attack and robbery of a 27-year-old man by a group of young people “perceived to be of African appearance” while he paid for a parking ticket in Melbourne’s central business district.

Earlier this month a group of young people, described by their victim as “African”, were reported to have bashed a 73-year-old man living opposite a house in Hawthorn they had rented for an all-night party.

We heard the same story in April when a group of young people — again of “African appearance”, according to police — rented a North Melbourne property online for a short-term stay using a stolen credit card and false identity. They partied hard, trashed the house and, on their way out, were reported to have stomped on police cars and thrown garbage bins at police.

In December, homes in Werribee and Altona as well as a community centre at Tarneit, in western Melbourne were trashed, and police acknowledged an ongoing problem with “a small cohort of African youth”.

This pattern of behaviour is not an aberration. It is a feature of failed integration policies in liberal societies the world over. Illustrative of the problem is the reluctance of police, government and the media to name and shame the community groups responsible.

Integration is a perennially difficult policy question. It’s something I have been researching since I settled in The Netherlands in the early 2000s. Since that time, no matter the reality on the ground, tender-hearted multiculturalists have insisted that immigrants import only positive cultural ideas when they arrive. Liberal democratic societies are expected to turn a blind eye to any problematic cultural behaviour they bring with them, especially if the immigrants have brown skin.

Of course, many South Sudanese immigrants and refugees have settled successfully and adapted to their new lives here. And all-night parties, property damage and assaults are carried out by hooligans of all ethnicities. My concern is only with those immigrants who have adjustment problems. We are living in denial if we do not attempt to identify those values that some bring with them that may have been necessary for survival in their countries of origin but lead to conflict and stunt their opportunities here.

One of those is the glaring difference in attitudes towards violence between Westerners and war-torn communities such as South Sudan. As a migrant from that troubled region of East Africa I was accustomed to the use of viol­ence as a way of life in a society up-ended by civil war. In the communities where I grew up in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, children were taught that might was right and conflicts were resolved by physical force. Hitting a child or wife was how misbehaviour was corrected; it was not seen as a crime. Children were encouraged to fight out peer squabbles and affronts to the clan. If a child was bullied at school, the parents or siblings didn’t complain to the teacher but mobilised relatives to beat up the bully after class.

In communities such as ours, the police were not viewed as a disciplined service maintaining public order. Interactions with police were always bad news. They only showed up to extort, beat or haul people off to prison, not to resolve conflicts at the neighbourhood level. In Australia and other developed countries, by contrast, the state has the monopoly on viol­ence. Citizens are not permitted to exert physical force over their families or anyone else. When I explained this conceptual difference towards the use of violence to my parliamentary colleagues in The Netherlands 15 years ago, one MP remarked that it sounded medieval. It surprised me to hear Victoria police commander Russell Barrett say the Australian Sudanese community was “just as shocked as the broader community in relation to the incidents we’ve seen recently”. He may be shocked but, if they’re being honest, the Sudanese must be reminded of home.

As set out in this newspaper in May, Victorian Crime Statistics Agency data shows Sudanese immigrants are six times likelier to be arrested than those born in Australia. A disproportionately high incidence of violent crime among immigrant populations is not a uniquely Melburnian phenomenon. It is noticeable in many Western regions that have welcomed and then cocooned new immigrants.

Victoria police are taking great pains not to make any connection between culture and violence among South Sudanese youth in Melbourne. A police spokesman stated in May that “the problem is not tied to any particular cultural community, but rather it is young people more broadly who tend to be involved” and that the force has a “zero-tolerance policy towards racial profiling”. Yet they have established an African-Australian Community Taskforce to consult community members about preventing these crimes. This special “African” infrastructure conveys the message that Sudanese immigrants and their children need their own style of policing.

In a twisted way, this approach is truly racist. It is an example of the “poverty of low expectations”, which puts political correctness over cultural realities.

Media reporting on the rising incidence of crime among the Sudanese immigrant community has been portrayed by some commentators as racially motivated discrimination. Politically correct apologists have been quick to point the finger at socio-economic disadvantage and institutional racism. One South Sudanese community spokesman suggested that property owners using Airbnb were partly to blame for the increase in crimes committed by his community’s young people.

Most are concerned that revealing the ethnicity of the culprits could cause a backlash against the South Sudanese community. The Victorian bureaucracy is singing from the same hymn book. Equal Opportunity and Human Rights commissioner Kristen Hilton said: “The majority of Victorians who champion multiculturalism should not have to put up with journalists and politicians undermining their communities and workplaces with racially divisive rhetoric.”

Placing this type of taboo on the cultural factors associated with crime is also a feature of the debates in Sweden, the US, Germany, Austria and Britain, all of which are grappling with the same issue. Authorities and media commentators in Europe also worry that pointing out ethnic or cultural roots of crime will spark backlash and ignite race wars. The Asian “grooming” gangs in the north of England and the mass groping of women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2016 are two examples of stories the mainstream media was reluctant to report.

More HERE 

Trevor Noah completely IGNORES firestorm over racist joke about Aboriginal women on the Daily Show and only vows to 'never to make that kind of joke again' in a sub-tweet

I agree with Mr. Noah. I have never seen a good-looking Aboriginal female either -- though there are some good-looking women of part-Aboriginal ancestry.  The fine features that are seen as beautiful in European women are basically absent in Aborigines

Trevor Noah completely failed to mention the furor over his offensive joke about Indigenous Australians during Monday's The Daily Show.

The popular comedian poked fun at Trump and Putin's close relationship, R. Kelly and 3D printed weapons - yet failed to address the backlash over his comments about Aboriginals, made during his 2013 stand-up show.

Noah had joked he'd 'never seen a beautiful Aborigine' in the recently resurfaced footage.

He went onto joke that attraction was not all about looks, saying that they could 'do special things' before he began imitating the sound of a didgeridoo while inferring oral sex.

Social media erupted with calls for the comedian's upcoming Australian tour, which begins in Melbourne next month, to be boycotted.

The 34-year-old said on Twitter on Monday morning that he's since educated himself and 'vowed never to make a joke like that again'.

But it was too little, too late for many who were outraged that Noah, who has made a name for himself as a comedian willing to tackle institutionalized racism and misogyny, would make such a joke.

'He grossly sexualises and objectifies First Nations Australian women for a 'joke',' Katelyn Jones of the Feminism & Decolonisation Facebook page said. 

'He perpetuated incredibly harmful stereotypes ... that Indigenous women aren't beautiful, that Indigenous women are only good for their bodies; and Indigenous women are over-sexualised sex starved beings,' Ms Jones said.  


All public schools will be FORCED to offer girls the option to wear pants instead of skirts as part of a 'new modern makeover' of uniform policy

Girls will be offered the option to wear pants or shorts instead of skirts and dresses at every public school as part of a statewide 'modern makeover' of uniform policy.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes this week scrapped a 24-page school uniform document in favour of a new two-page policy, The Daily Telegraph reported.

While it had previously been at a school's discretion to allow girls to choose their uniform, the new policy will make it mandatory to offer a shorts or pants option.    

'Parents asked for a better policy and I am proud to provide one. It is important to remember families need to have access to the most affordable uniforms possible,' Mr Stokes said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian supported the move, noting that in her school days there was no uniform option for girls. 'The new modern makeover makes uniforms practical and comfortable for students, with affordability for parents front and centre,' Ms Berejiklian said.

The move brings the state's uniform policy in line with Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia - and promises to protect working families against rising costs. Queensland schoolgirls will be offered the choice to wear pants or shorts from 2019.

'In today's day and age, there should be no reason why shorts and pants aren't made part of the school formal uniform,' the state's Education Minister Grace Grace told ABC radio earlier this year.

That move followed the decision in September which declared girls at all Victoria state schools would no longer be forced to wear dresses and skirts.

Education Minister James Merlino said at the time the changes made 'common sense' and that schools had to provide options 'as far as practicable'.

'It's a relatively minor change to ensure that our expectation is that every school does provide the option of shorts and pants for girls,' Mr Merlino told 3AW.


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