Friday, August 31, 2018

Why your power bills are set to drop more than $400: New Energy Minister has 'one goal' for the job - and it's good news for consumers

Household energy bills could drop by as much as $400 under Federal Minister for Energy Angus Taylor's new plan. Mr Taylor set out his priorities before his first speech to parliament today after being sworn into the role.

He will outline the plan, which is focused around better competition, better reliability, a price safety net for consumers, and steps to end price gouging, at a small business summit in Sydney.  

'I'm focused on getting prices down while I keep the lights on. I've got one KPI. I've got one goal,' he told on The Australian on Thursday.

'At the end of the day, we just want to get prices down. We're not going to get ideological about it; we just want to get the outcome. It's very pragmatic,' he said.

Mr Taylor says reducing emissions in line with Paris Climate Agreement targets, which previous plans had said was needed to provide certainty to the industry, is not part of his brief.  'Frankly, I think there is some naivety in the idea that governments can largely eliminate uncertainty, or should even try,' Mr Taylor said.

The price safety net Mr Taylor wants to implement is based around the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's proposed default market price to replace unregulated standing offers, which could save households up to $416 a year and small businesses up to $1457.   

Mr Taylor takes charge of energy after it was broken off from the Environment portfolio by new PM Scott Morrison in a gesture signalling major market reform.

While working as a financial analyst for Port Jackson Partners in 2013, Mr Taylor authored a report that suggested the costs of electricity could be reduced by dropping the Renewable Energy Target. Speaking at an event in 2013, Mr Taylor said dropping subsidies for wind farms would cut energy bills by more than $3billion. Mr Taylor also argued emission targets could still be met and the savings could be up to $300 per household by 2020.

Energy and emissions targets have long been a dividing issue in party rooms with policies going as far back as the Rudd government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme failing to gain consensus.

The latest iteration of the policy, which Mr Turnbull called the National Energy Guarantee, was instrumental in his downfall because the conservative faction in the Liberal Party is staunchly opposed to the plan.

A key point was to legislate a reduction in emissions of 26 per cent, a number in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, but one critics said was pointless if big emitters did not follow suit.

As the new front bench was sworn in on Tuesday, Mr Morrison labelled Mr Taylor his 'most important minister'.

'A tough job, but an extremely important one that has a big impact on so many Australian households and businesses,' Mr Taylor tweeted of the appointment.

Many see Mr Taylor, who has a Master of Philosophy in Economics from Oxford University, as the man to bring sense to the debate.

'The problem with energy policy for years is it doesn't focus on the energy, it focuses on if you are in favour of coal, wind, solar or hydro,' Mr Taylor said. 'What we should be wanting is reliable, affordable power that brings down our emissions.'

The 'Minister for getting energy prices down' as the new PM labelled him when he announced his new front bench on Sunday, has long been a critic of rushing into a transition to renewable energy, particularly the wind farms being built in his electorate of Hume.

'The obsession with emissions at the expense of reliability and affordability has been a massive mistake,' he told radio shock jock Ray Hadley two weeks ago.  


'Would they do this if he was Muslim?' The ABC is slammed for using taxpayer dollars to mock Scott Morrison's Christian faith in axed comedy show

The ABC has been slammed after its comedy show Tonightly with Tom Ballard targeted new Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Christian faith.

The skit, performed on Monday night by comedians Bridie Connell and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd, tried to connect the nation's refugee policy to Mr Morrison's religious beliefs.

A song by the duo, who dubbed themselves the 'Shadow Ministers', featured lyrics such as: 'ScoMo is under the spell of Jesus' charm, and kids are under safety watch for self-harm.'

Other controversial lyrics included: 'We love Jesus, Jesus, but not refugee-us' and 'to do what pleases Jesus, deny them all visas.'

Mr Morrison is Australia's first Pentecostal Prime Minister, and vowed in December last year to fight back against discrimination and mockery of religious groups. In his maiden speech, he said: 'My personal faith in Jesus Christ is not a political agenda.'

However, some have been quick to use it against him.

Many on social media were quick to defend the new Prime Minister, who is less than a week into his term.

On a Facebook response to the Tonightly act, one wrote: 'This is abhorrent editorial garbage. Completely disrespecting the views of many Australians and faith.' 'Would they do this if he was a Muslim?' another asked.

Their sentiment was seconded by Peter Kurti from the Centre for independent Studies.

'The show would probably not mock the ­religious beliefs of Ed Husic, Islam, or Josh Frydenberg, Judaism,' he said, the Daily Telegraph reported.

NSW opposition education spokesman, Jihad Dib said: 'I think once it gets into a personal issue about someone's faith … then I think we're going down the wrong path.'

According to the Daily Telegraph, an ABC spokesman defended Tonightly, saying it regularly satirised 'people in positions of authority, regardless of their race, gender or religious beliefs'.

Tonightly was earlier cancelled after two seasons, with its final show scheduled for September 7.

'Tonightly deliberately pushed boundaries to inform and entertain,' an ABC spokesperson said.


Leftist hot air in Victoria

AN UNDERGROUND rail network billed as the “biggest project in state history” has Melburnians talking about its one big flaw.

IT’S slaps on the back, high fives and “job well done” at the Victorian Premier’s office this morning after arguably his biggest announcement since taking the state’s top job.

Daniel Andrews shocked the electorate and shook up the race ahead of November’s state election with plans to build a $50 billion underground rail network to revolutionise the way Melburnians travel.

The plan, dubbed Victoria’s “biggest public transport project in history”, would include 90 kilometres of new trackwork, 12 new stations and an airport link.

Importantly, it would cut out the need for travel from suburban centres through the city before connecting to other lines — a longstanding bugbear for commuters.

But hold the applause. There’s a giant criticism befitting a project of this magnitude: It’s going to take way too long to build.

Mr Andrews said commuters could expect to take a ride on the proposed line by the middle of the century. Yep, 2050.

Victorians waiting for a faster train trip will have to wait 32 years.

Provided the Labor Party is reinstated in November, work still won’t begin until 2022 at the earliest, just in time for the next state election.

“It’s a fantastic idea, but running 20 years late,” a reader told Others shared that sentiment.

“Many will be dead before it’s built,” a reader wrote.

“Thirty years is a long time for disruptive technologies to emerge that have the possibility of making this obsolete,” another wrote.

The state’s public transport minister Jacinta Allan tried to quell concerns that the project would be outdated by the time the first train departs.

“2050 is not that far off,” she said. “These big projects take time.”

The state opposition lashed the announcement, labelling it “a plan for the next generation”.

“At the moment, the Andrews Labor Government can’t say how much it will cost, how it will be funded or when it will be finished,” the Liberal Nationals said in a statement.

“They have no business case, no engineers report and they won’t rule out more sky rail across Melbourne.”

The Suburban Rail Loop is still in its early planning stage, so it’s normal for some details to remain guarded.

What we know so far is that it would link every major train line in Melbourne and carry an estimated 400,000 passengers every day.

The loop would start near Cheltenham in Victoria’s southeast and travel all the way to Werribee, 32 kilometres south west of the Melbourne CBD.

The loop would link through new stations at Clayton, Monash, Burwood, Glen Waverley, Box Hill, Doncaster, Heidelberg, Bundoora, Reservoir, Fawkner, Broadmeadows, Sunshine and Melbourne Airport.

“The suburban rail loop includes connections to major jobs precincts, universities and TAFEs, hospitals and retail centres,” a promotional video released on Tuesday explains.

“When complete, it will … take thousands of existing passengers off city-bound trains and 200,000 vehicles off congested roads.”

Mr Andrews revealed little when making the announcement on his Facebook page.

“We’ll build an underground suburban rail loop connecting Melbourne’s train lines,” he wrote.

“It will get you where you need to go, wherever you live — and that’s what our growing state needs.”

But he later delivered more detail at a press conference in Box Hill. He said the government had committed $300 million and that “all the geotechnical work, engineering, design and planning will be done beginning first thing next year”.

He said construction will be underway in 2022 “if not sooner, if we can manage it” and the first stage of the project will be to build the 25 kilometre line between Cheltenham to Box Hill.

“We’ve spent the last 12 months … doing the hard work to determine whether this project makes sense,” he said.

“Does it actually stack up? The answer is yes, it does.”

The public response was fast and mostly favourable.

“Mind blown,” one commenter wrote below the announcement.

“About time … we shouldn’t need to travel into the city before we travel to outer suburbs,” another wrote.

However, some were sceptical.

“Dan … the pigs flying past the window are screaming ‘Tell ‘em they’re dreaming’. This will never happen,” one wrote.

One said it was a “great idea” but “kind of seems like a pipe dream” and another said it will be the “most expensive white elephant since NBN”.

Mr Andrews responded: “This is happening. It won’t be finished overnight, but I promise you this: we will start it.”

Ms Allan said the project was required to meet the demands of the city’s booming population. It’s expected 8 million people will call Melbourne home by the time the project is complete.

Public transport is expected to be a major battleground at the state’s November election. Earlier this year, the government revealed futuristic metro station concept designs for the state’s $11 billion Metro Tunnel project.

That project includes new stations at North Melbourne, Parkville, Royal Melbourne Hospital, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac.

Construction is well underway on that project with the Metro Tunnel and it’s new stations expected to open to passengers in 2025.


Sudanese mother and son who were stealing $440,000 a WEEK from taxpayers at height of childcare scam are jailed over $6M fraud

Another example of how Africans thank you for helping them

A South Sudanese mother and son defrauded the Australian government of $440,000 a week at the height of a childcare scam that pocketed them $6million dollars.

Rosa Riak and Kuol Deng were both sentenced to four years in jail at Melbourne County Court on Wednesday for making false subsidy claims through different childcare businesses.

Riak's daughter Achai Deng was also sentenced to 18 months in jail, but released immediately on a good behavior bond.

The court heard claims were made for children who were never cared for at their centres - with some of the staff abroad or in a different state at the time.

One business claimed just $45,000 over 12 months before being bought by the Deng's - but in the next year claimed $6.2million.

Justic McInerney said $950,000 of that amount had been falsely claimed.

Deng spent $165,000 on a Range Rover, and asked his mother where he should store $80,000 in cash - according to Channel 7.

The trio told the court they were 'ashamed' for defrauding the country which gave them citizenship in 2006. They had fled from a Kenyan refugee camp in 2004.

According to The Australian, the judge said Deng had called investigators 'stupid' and indicated they weren't smart enough to catch them.

He said: 'Your community has undergone unjustified vilification in recent times - you have added to the trauma your community must endure.

Justic McInerney also criticised the Commonwealth Department of Education - questioning how Deng and his sister were able to start various businesses after a previous one had been closed.


National educational testing under attack because it exposes the truth

The latest skirmish in the never-ending war against NAPLAN is being fought on the grounds of "comparability". According to American consultants commissioned by the NSW Teachers’ Federation, this year’s NAPLAN results “should be discarded” because around 20 per cent of students completed NAPLAN online while the rest used paper and pencil. The consultants claim that “enormous” differences between the two test formats make any comparison between them misleading.

Curiously, the offshore consultants reached their conclusion without any reference to the 2018 NAPLAN results. Instead, they relied on a few studies of other tests, including some 30-year-old ones — what sort of computers were around then? — their own opinions, and some gratuitous comments about the incompetence of Australian statisticians.

The consultants’ report is riddled with errors. Despite the report’s claims to the contrary, students sitting the online test can in fact go back to review and change answers to previous questions. More importantly, there are numerous examples of large-scale assessments like NAPLAN that have been able to draw valid comparisons between online and paper results. These include the Program for International Assessment, or PISA, and the Trends in International and Science Study, or TIMMS.

ACARA has now released this year’s results and they clearly show that the online and paper and pencil tests are indeed comparable.

This does not mean that the paper and pencil and the online test are identical — they are different — but they are comparable because both measure the same underlying skills: numeracy and literacy. Comparing NAPLAN scores across testing modes — or across years, for that matter — is like comparing length using centimetres and inches. They are different, but they can be compared because they both measure the same thing (length).

As it turns out, there was a difference between the paper and pencil and the online version of NAPLAN, but it was not one that the union’s consultants predicted. Based on a 1992 study, the consultants claimed that typewritten essays receive lower marks than handwritten ones. The year 9 NAPLAN results showed just the opposite — students who completed their writing tests online scored higher on the average than those who wrote by hand. This result reflects older students’ experience with writing on computers and the ease with which computer writing can be reviewed and edited.

The ability to write clearly is a vital skill; it is essential to success in practically all lines of work, yet this year’s NAPLAN results show that writing scores are at their lowest level since NAPLAN testing began. Because students are more likely to review and edit their work when writing on a computer, online writing has the potential to improve both instruction and assessment. Instead of criticising word processing and online writing, we should be harnessing this technology to improve writing skills.

The online version of NAPLAN offers numerous benefits. Results will be available much earlier in the school year to facilitate earlier intervention, and they will also be more precise. In contrast to the present one-size-fits-all paper test, NAPLAN online is tailored to the abilities of each student. Teachers receive a more precise picture of each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, for the first time, NAPLAN will be able to be tailored to the individual needs of students with disabilities.

Like the legendary Rorschach inkblots used by psychiatrists, NAPLAN elicits radically divergent responses from different observers. Depending on whom you ask, the tests are too short, too long, too soft, too difficult, too narrow, too broad, too frequent or too rare. And now we are told that they cannot be compared. None of this is true.

NAPLAN exposes the truth. This year it exposed a persistent lack of improvement in writing in the 10 years since the assessment started, with one in five Year 9 students failing to achieve the minimum benchmark. Without NAPLAN we would be in the dark about these parlous education outcomes, which risks seeing our students continue to fail.

NAPLAN holds teachers, principals, schools and governments accountable. And it ensures the transparency of education results — allowing parents to be well informed. Many people find this uncomfortable, so they attack the assessment using every argument that they can mount.

It is time for parents, policymakers, and community leaders to make their voices heard. This battle will likely not be the last skirmish in the war on NAPLAN. But if the battalions that are attacking NAPLAN win, it is our students who will lose.


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, August 30, 2018

You CAN write at length and yet still tell only half the story

Under the heading "It’s OK To Be Right, But Careful What You Wish For Lauren Southern" there is an article in the far-left "New Matilda" by Dr Petra Bueskens, a Melbourne feminist, who offers several criticisms of Lauren Southern.  Her article is very long-winded, like most offerings in New Matilda, but I will try to pick out a few salient passages to reproduce below.

She has obviously been collecting for a long time examples of female assertiveness going well back into history and she spends a lot of time giving us those examples.  She uses those examples to claim that feminism is not a new thing and that it has always been influential in the development of Western civilization.

But there are two problems with that. The examples she gives are NOT representative examples of thinking in those times so any influence they had is purely conjectural.  The second problem is that she assumes that her feminine protesters in the past were similar to feminists today. I would argue that they are a totally different ilk.

Female protest througout history was protesting about formal rules and customs that limited the opportunities for women to show all their talents.  They protested discrimination against women.  Modern-day feminists are not like that.  They achieved equal opportunities long ago.  Testimony to that is the fact that there are now more female graduates than male coming out of our universities.

So modern day feminsts, having overcome discrimination, now discriminate against men.  They want equal numbers of males and females in all walks of life and are not at all slow to discriminate against men to achieve that.  If there is, for instance, a vacancy on a company board, feminists clamour for a female to be appointed, even if there is a male available who is better qualified for the post.  It is now males who are denied opportunities to show all their talents. Females are a privileged caste.

So modern-day feminists are hateful bigots.  And that is what Lauren protests about.  Dr Bueskens says Lauren cuts her nose off to spite her face when she criticizes feminists.  She does not.  She simply dissasociates herself from a gang of angry Harpies.  Females do perfectly well without the "assistance" of female haters.

And the follies go on.  Dr Bueskens says that the emergence of successful colonial societies such as Canada and Australia proves that multiculturalism is a good thing. It does not.  It proves that SOME immigrants can form an integrated society.  But that was never in question.  What disturbs many conservatives is that all immigrants are not equal and that some immigrants -- mainly Africans and Muslims -- just create problems for society while contributing little that is positive.  A big majority in the two groups mentioned are welfare dependent so do not even contribute their labour.

All men are NOT born equal nor are all immigrants . And all societies that I know of have criteria for who can be admitted and who cannot.  So Lauren is not going far in arguing that "indigestible" groups should be excluded where possible and their influence minimized.

Dr Bueskens sees Lauren only though the lens of her conventional Leftist prejudices, blindnesses, and contestable assumptions and therefore misses the real person.  I could go on to challenge more of her assertions but I am  in no doubt that I will never be able to clean out the Augean stables. But I think I have shown that, despite her lengthy article, she leaves out a lot of the relevant arguments and considerations.

Southern arrived in Australia wearing an ‘It’s okay to be white’ t-shirt, designed purely to stir controversy and point out what she identifies as an asymmetrical discourse on race. Her core message on this tour is that “multiculturalism doesn’t work”, with little attention to the fact that colonial settler societies like Australia (like her home country of Canada) were built on immigration.

One of the key platforms of Southern’s videos is that the discourse of “political correctness” has become an orthodoxy shutting down free speech, and that the left should respond with ideas and debate rather than with protest, aggression, public take-downs and no-platforming. On this we can agree!

It is something the globally famous intellectual Jordan Peterson has forcefully put on the map in the last two years. However, I invoke Peterson not because of his position on free speech or because, like Southern, he is a “darling of the alt-right”, rather it is to point out something he often says about people at the very beginning of adulthood: you know nothing!  While I am not in full agreement with him on this (I have a daughter Southern’s age), it is clear, for all her defensive protestations, she knows nothing about the history of “western civilization” and nor, for that matter, do Peterson or Molyneux if they cannot see feminism as an integral part of it. 

From Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies to the Querelle de Femme, from Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies to Mary Wollstoncraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, from the bluestockings to the fight for the Married Women’s Property Acts, from the Seneca Falls Convention to J.S. Mill and Harriet Taylor’s The Subjection of Women, from the suffrage movement and the New Woman to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex; from Betty Friedan’s ‘problem with no name’ to Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch we have the clear articulation of a feminist voice invested in reason and rights that is the very epitome of free speech marshalled against the prevailing orthodoxy.

In Southern’s infinite wisdom – though here she is following the ignorance that characterises the alt-right’s approach to feminism – she assumes that feminism had nothing to do with the creation of “the west”, by which she is mostly referring to the transformations in society and culture associated with the European Enlightenment. In fact feminism was an integral and defining voice! You weren’t anybody unless you were invited to Madame de Staël’s salon and all the well-known philosophes, with the notable exception of Rousseau, were “feminists” (though this of course was not a term in use at the time).

The other assumption – again commonplace on the right – is that feminism is anti-rationality and illiberal. This is patently absurd since it was the desire to have “Woman right” (as it was then called) and the vote enshrined in law that was central to early modern feminist campaigns, as was the desire to own property, including property in the person, and enjoy equal civil rights. 

It is interesting to me that Canada is producing so many of these social media stars: people who were once on the left or saw themselves as liberals and have now undergone a YouTube conversion and seen the alt-right light  – Jordan Peterson, Janice Fiamengo, Lindsay Shepherd and Karen Straughan, as well as more established stars such as Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux. In the US there is Sam, Harris, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro and, more recently, Candace Owens.  The so-called “intellectual dark web” of left-to-right converts (as well as left-to-critical left converts) is growing apace.

In any event, the twist in this narrative is that with the institutionalisation of progressive agendas, the new right emerge as the “radicals”, the one’s “shaking the joint up”.  Conversely, those shutting down free speech, the supposed progressives, become the face of the establishment, the arbiters of what is and what is not allowed to be said.  Hence the concerns – that I too share – about the left’s more recent propensity to shut down free speech on contentious issues.


New immigrants will be forced to settle in regional areas for FIVE YEARS under plans to stop all foreigners moving to Sydney and Melbourne

New immigrants would be forced to settle in regional areas instead of metropolitan cities for up to five years under a federal plan to ease congestion in Melbourne and Sydney.

A decision on the time period for mandatory settlement was due to go to the Turnbull cabinet last week, but the leadership spill put that discussion on hold, The Australian reported on Wednesday.

The proposal has yet to be put to Scott Morrison's new cabinet, and the prime minister's office would not comment on the development of the policy.

It is understood a new visa class would apply to the skilled and family migration program but could also apply to refugees.

Almost 90 per cent of new migrants are settling in metropolitan areas such as Melbourne and Sydney.
Video playing bottom right...

A population package put before Government before last week's leadership spill included the proposal for new migrants to be settled in regional areas for a period of up to five years - after this migrants could choose to relocate.

The newly appointed PM has created a separate portfolio of population to be lead by former Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge.

Department of Home Affairs figures revealed by The Australian showed that of the 112,000 skilled migrants that arrived in the country over the previous financial year, 87 per cent settled permanently in Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Tudge has previously said that the number of incoming migrants was not the only factor in growing population pressures, but rather where these migrants were settling and the distribution being focused in major cities.

'If the population was distributed more evenly, there would not be the congestion pressures that we have today in Melbourne and Sydney,' Mr Tudge told a forum in Melbourne. 'Nor would there be if the ­infrastructure was built ahead of demand,' he said.


It was climate policy that sank PM Turnbull

Turnbull was a Global Warming believer.  Most of his party were not

Chris Kenny

Readers of The Australian will not have been surprised that Malcolm Turnbull ran into internal strife over climate and energy policy. The media voices Turnbull and his supporters blame for fuelling moves against him surely were the ones warning him. His handicap was not in having critics but in ­ignoring them.

Political commentary is abuzz as journalists, especially from the public broadcasters, offer the absurd proposition that this crisis was about nothing, came out of nowhere and failed because Peter Dutton, the original challenger, didn’t get the leadership.

As with any leadership coup, a range of factors was at play, including resentment, ego, polling and ambition. Turnbull failed the Newspoll test he set, making him vulnerable from the day he lost his 30th in a row. The Longman by-election, where a Liberal National Party primary vote below 30 per cent put the fear of obliteration into Queensland MPs, supercharged anxieties.

All the while, Tony Abbott and his loyalists had worn their sense of injustice like blue ties pulled too tight around their necks. With flushed faces and bursting veins, they were always going to erupt if an opportunity arose.

In this climate, Turnbull must have known he needed to avoid provocations. Yet he walked into this conflagration in the most predictable way. A party voted into office largely on a pledge to repeal costly carbon emissions reduction policy (axe the carbon tax), led by a man who previously had lost the leadership for trying to do a deal with Labor on climate policy and was trying to bed down another costly emissions reduction plan by striking a deal with Labor — this was ­always going to end in tears.

This is not hindsight. On radio, television and in the pages of The Australian, Turnbull was warned his national energy guarantee would test internal accommodations. The NEG was conceived in the wake of such a fright, almost two years ago, when environment and energy minister Josh Frydenberg floated an energy intensity scheme. Turnbull had to move quickly to repudiate it and reassure MPs.

Editorials in The Australian have long warned of potential disruption over the NEG. “The prime minister and his team must act decisively to put solutions in place — which, to be fair, they are working towards — as they battle disunity within the Coalition on this issue,” the paper said in April. In July concerns were raised about the leap of faith involved: “Regardless of the former prime minister’s personal motivation, it is alarming but true, as Mr Abbott said on Monday, that the Turnbull government will be relying on the support of Labor states to back its national energy guarantee at next month’s crucial COAG meeting.”

Early this month I wrote that the Coalition was in dire strife and that “government MPs are torn between enjoying the ride as they go over the cliff and mustering the courage to do something about it”. The main problem was obvious. “In a twist of self-harm difficult to believe given Turnbull’s history on the issue (in 2009 he lost the leadership over climate activism), the Coalition is shrinking from a ­potential contest with Labor over climate and energy; preferring to appease the gods of Paris rather than reclaiming the nation’s cheap energy mantle.”

Turnbull’s media boosters at the ABC and elsewhere either didn’t see the looming problem or underestimated it because they supported the policy — wishful thinking. My columns were not informed by any plotting but, rather, assessments of policy and political trajectories. Given I worked for Turnbull when he lost the leadership in 2009 over climate policy, perhaps I was more sensitive to the dynamic. But a clutch of commentators was vigorously attacking the policy and Abbott and his backbench ally Craig Kelly were openly opposing it.

As far back as April 7, I wrote: “The prime minister has been given an opportunity to retreat in the name of common sense, economic sanity and political advantage. But he stands in a no man’s land of stranded coal assets and stored hydro schemes where he risks another insurrection on the same futile battleground.”

Nine days before he called last week’s first spill, my column said Turnbull would “face open revolt over his national energy guarantee; the outstanding questions are how widespread it will be, whether it derails the policy and/or his prime ministership”. A week later I wrote about the “climate and energy debate that is so volatile it could yet destroy Turnbull’s prime ministership and/or the Coalition government”.

On that day this newspaper’s editorial warned: “Malcolm Turnbull needs a circuit-breaker to rescue his national energy guarantee, revive his government’s direction and protect his leadership … The Coalition was elected in 2013 largely on a promise to defend electricity prices from conceitful climate gestures. (Turnbull and Frydenberg) will abandon that policy and political ground at the grave peril of their own positions and that of the Coalition.”

Turnbull and his cabinet persisted with the policy too long. Even after the Coalition partyroom approved it a fortnight ago, MPs’ concerns deepened as they realised Australia would become the only country to write the Paris targets into law. It became an issue of economic sovereignty.

The policy fell apart and on ­August 20 Turnbull effectively shelved it, saying he would not put the legislation to parliament, ostensibly because it wouldn’t pass but more likely because it might pass with Labor support while a dozen or more government MPs crossed the floor to oppose it.

Announcing this capitulation, the prime minister looked broken and a challenge suddenly appeared inevitable. Until a few days earlier, it had been all about changing the policy, not the leader. Now it would be both.

This week the ABC’s Media Watch portrayed the event as a media-driven panic. Host Paul Barry failed to mention the critical energy conflict that triggered the crisis or report the detailed warnings about Turnbull’s perilous path. Barry, in line with much of the gallery, drew other lessons that entirely missed the point. “Well, one is not to let a cabal of conservative commentators persuade the Liberal Party to do something the public hates — knifing an elected prime minister.”

This is an extraordinary distortion. Media Watch argues loud ­voices antipathetic to Turnbull from the moment he seized the prime ministership from Abbott — Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, Peta Credlin, Ray Hadley and others — killed off a prime minister by spooking his party. Other commentators have promoted media conspiracy theories. This not only insults the MPs and grossly exaggerates the role of open and honest opinion, it also ignores the majority of media voices at the ABC, SBS, Fairfax Media, commercial TV and radio, online publications and many in News Corp papers who have been supportive of Turnbull and sympathetic to his energy and climate aims. Turnbull’s problem was not (admittedly aggressive and relentless) conservative commentators polluting the minds of his MPs but green-left journalists insulating him from reality.


Australian student writing standards plummet to a new low: One in three Year 7 students are still learning to read and almost half of 15-year-olds need help to construct a sentence

Students have recorded the lowest ever scores since NAPLAN testing began - and the alarming slide has experts calling for urgent classroom reforms. 

The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) are a series of basic skills tests given each year to Australian children.

A third of Year Seven students are still learning to read and almost half of 15-year-olds need help constructing sentences, according to this year's test scores.

A staggering 20 per cent of Year Nine students in New South Wales failed the writing test, the Daily Telegraph reported.

About 40 per cent of Year Nine students across the state need help from a teacher in putting a sentence together as they only just met the minimum standards for writing.

The performance of NSW students has been getting worse since 2011.

Writing results in Year Five and Year Seven were also below those when testing began.

Students who are unable to reach minimum standards - 22 per cent in NSW - may require 'additional assistance' from teachers, according to the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority.

Pete Goss of the think tank Grattan Institute said the results were disappointing, and added schools should be focusing strongly on teaching students how to write well.

'National benchmarks are not set very high and that's just not good enough,' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'In a typical to slightly disadvantaged secondary school, one-third of Year Seven students are still learning to read, they're reading at a Year Three or Four level,' he said.

University of Technology Sydney education professor Rosemary Johnston said the poor results were due to a lack of practice.

'I don’t think it matters if it is handwriting or written on a computer, we need children to read more and to write more, otherwise it is a skill that is going to be lost,' she told the Daily Telegraph.

Students are given a picture or phrase in NAPLAN tests and are asked to write a 'persuasive or narrative' text in 40 minutes, which is then marked against ten criteria including vocabulary, spelling and sentence structure.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes defended the state's results, saying it performed above the national average when numeracy and reading were included.


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, August 29, 2018

Release of NAPLAN 2018 summary information

I am not convinced that the improvement over base year is real.  Having "experts" say it is, is a laugh.  What about a proper validation test?

The NAPLAN summary results issued today include combined data for online and paper student cohorts.

“Overall, the NAPLAN results for 2018 show that since 2008 there have been statistically significant gains in a number of domains and year levels, particularly at the primary level,” ACARA CEO, Robert Randall, said.

The national summary preliminary NAPLAN results for 2018 show:

Compared with the base year:

The performance of Australian students in Years 5 and 9 numeracy, Years 3 and 5 reading,Years 3 and 5 spelling, and Years 3 and 7 grammar was significantly above the NAPLAN 2008 average.
The writing test results in Years 5, 7 and 9 were below those observed in the base year (2011).

Compared with 2017:

Results were stable, with no statistically significant changes compared with last year in any of the NAPLAN domains. “This was the first year in which some students took NAPLAN online and the transition was smooth, with feedback from schools at the time of testing stating that students found the online assessment engaging,” said Mr Randall.

“The NAPLAN Online platform performed well and 99.8 per cent of students were able to complete the assessment online.”

Prior to release, NAPLAN results are reviewed and endorsed by independent measurement advisory experts.

These measurement experts have confirmed that the results for online and paper NAPLAN have assessed the same content and can be placed on the same NAPLAN assessment scale. While NAPLAN results can be compared between assessment modes and years, individual student experiences for any single test may differ due to a range of factors, including the mode of delivery or a student’s performance on the day.

For example, this year’s results for Year 9 students who completed writing test online were, on average, higher than the results of students who completed writing test on paper. The independent experts have confirmed the results are comparable; however, this difference appears to be a result of the test mode. The difference may be due to students at this year level having greater confidence writing online than on paper, as well as students’ ability to readily review and edit their work online in a way that is not possible with a paper test. This reinforces the benefit of moving to NAPLAN Online, which will give teachers, students and parents more information about what students know and can do, and where additional support is needed.

NAPLAN assesses the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy, with the data provided used by families, schools and education systems to ensure Australian students are supported in their learning. As always, NAPLAN provides a snapshot of a child’s assessment at a point in time and individual student results should be considered together with school-based assessments.

Via email:

‘It’s victim-blaming’: Lauren Southern tour organiser refuses to pay $68,000 bill from Victoria Police

The police are already paid by the taxpayer to protect people from attack.  They are trying to have a second bite of the apple if they want to charge people for the protection they give.  It is in fact a protection racket.  Al Capone would be proud of them

THE company behind right-wing Canadian commentator Lauren Southern’s Australian tour has refused to pay a $68,000 security bill, accusing Victoria Police of “enabling the thugs’ veto”.

Axiomatic Events was sent an invoice for police services after violent left-wing protesters targeted the Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux Live event in Melbourne on July 20, closing roads and assaulting officers.

A similar bill was sent to Penthouse magazine after violent scenes outside a Milo Yiannopoulos event in December last year. That bill has also not been paid.

In a statement on Monday, Axiomatic Events director Dave Pellowe said he was concerned paying the “crippling” bill would create a dangerous precedent. “The Andrews Government has the gall to call this ‘user pays’ policing, but the reality is that it’s victim-blaming,” Mr Pellowe said.

“Our event was a normal-sized crowd in a venue that routinely hosts such crowds. We broke no laws and went above and beyond to co-operate with police, and greatly appreciate the work they do.

“But if Police Minister Lisa Neville is looking for creative ways to fundraise for Victoria Police she can keep looking.

“The fair and just way to go about it would be to issue a $1000 fine to every thug who blocked the highway, who abused and intimidated the mums, dads and kids who came along, who damaged private property and turned Melbourne into a Berkeley war zone.

“Sending us the bill for their lawlessness appears to be simply enabling the thugs’ veto.”

Axiomatic Events said members of Antifa-associated groups “spat, screamed and uttered abuse at the men and women boarding and alighting from the buses” and that “a number of male members of the … groups displayed their genitals to people boarding and alighting the buses”.

In a letter to Victoria Police on Monday, Axiomatic Events’ solicitor said any attempt to recover the fee “will be vigorously resisted”.

“The imposition of fees for the performance of essential police purposes is unlawful,” the letter said. “The role of Victoria Police is to serve the Victorian community and uphold the law so as to promote a safe, secure and orderly society.”

Victoria Police had previously argued it was acceptable to charge organisers of a commercial event for security, but the letter argues it is “the ordinary discharge of a core police responsibility”.

“That such events have commercial aspect in no way deprives citizens attending them of an entitlement to have recourse to police protection if they are threatened,” it said.

“The victims of politically motivated violence and intimidatory conduct at public events are no less entitled to proper police protection merely because they purchased a ticket to participate in an event.”

It said “extremist groups” such as Antifa “follow the same the strategy each time political conservatives gather to listen to speeches by other conservatives”.

According to the letter, that three-part strategy is first “to announce an intention to organise violent street opposition to the holding of a particular public event and enlist support for that opposition from the media”.

Two, “to elicit a fear on the part of those arranging the public event that the safety of participants and attendees may be at risk and cannot be guaranteed without police protection”.

Three, “to rely upon the police to impose massive financial penalties upon those arranging such events so that those events that have been scheduled are cancelled and those that are in planning are abandoned”.

“If Victoria Police is obliged to be complicit in this strategy that is a matter of serious concern,” it said. “It is subversive of public confidence in the rule of law.”

Mr Pellowe said he was aware of other political groups changing their plans to specifically avoid a “$68,000 police bill”.

“The effect this has on important public debates is devastating,” he said.

“We cannot let this stand. I implore Premier Daniel Andrews and Police Minister Lisa Neville to commit to upholding the peace at future political events without blaming the victims and to reconsider the comfort they’re inadvertently lending to the thugs’ veto.”

It comes after fellow Canadian right-wing commentator Gavin McInnes predicted similar protests when he tours Australia in November, warning “people will show up and if they want to fight, I’m happy to fight”.

In a statement sent to, a spokesman for Victoria Police said it had the right to charge any event organiser for the use of public resources.

“The invoice has been forwarded to the Victorian Government Solicitor for advice. From here any unpaid invoice will be forwarded to Corporate Finance for a decision to be made regarding the civil recovery for the outstanding debt,” the statement said.


'Send them to Nauru': Minister calls for the 20 'asylum seekers' on the run in crocodile country to be rounded up and deported straight away

Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo said asylum seekers on the run in crocodile country should be sent to offshore immigration detention on Nauru.

Fifteen foreign nationals have been detained and authorities are searching for at least five more who abandoned an illegal fishing vessel that ran aground in the Daintree in Far North Queensland.

'Those people if we can find them, they should be taken into custody, so to speak, and they should be sent to Nauru,' Mr Ciobo told Sky News on Monday.

More than 20 illegal immigrants are on the run after the fishing boat they were on ran aground in Far North Queensland

Mr Ciobo said that if Labour were in power that the potential illegal immigrants would be put into the community.

There are more people who were on the boat but have not been found by investigators.

A spokesperson for The Department of Home Affairs told Daily Mail Australia that the investigation of what they believe to be an illegal fishing vessel is ongoing.

The Australian Border Force is on the scene and is being assisted by the Queensland Police Service.

The spokesperson said: 'We can confirm that a number of potential unlawful non-citizens have been located.

'The ABF and Department of Home Affairs will undertake the necessary border processes to establish circumstances around the arrival.' As investigations continue the department declined to comment further. 

Footage emerged of two of the suspected illegal immigrants being detained earlier today. One of the men can be seen sitting in a car while officers stand around the vehicle. The men were walking across the waterway towards a ferry with a third man, according to the Cairns Post.

A third man was later arrested at 9.20am, according to The Courier-Mail.

If those in custody are confirmed as asylum seekers, the boat arrival would mark the first suspected illegal entry vessel on Australian land since 2014.

Some politicians, including MP George Christensen, used the vessel as an opportunity to call out the government's border patrol practices. 

'Qld borders need to be made more secure esp (especially) given proximity of PNG & Indonesia, considering level of radical Islamism in Indonesia, Malaysia & Philippines,' Mr Christensen tweeted.

'With Peter Dutton back as Home Affairs Minister, I suspect this incursion will be dealt with swiftly and that there will be more focus on border security in North Queensland,' he later posted to Facebook.


Green groups want to send water out to sea rather than give it to drought-hit farmers

Environmentalists have lashed Barnaby Joyce's call to divert water to drought-stricken farmers, labelling the special drought envoy's "kneejerk" plan as ill-informed.

The former Nationals leader made a splash as he kicked off his new job, calling for environmental water from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to be used to grow fodder for stock.

"You either accept this is a national emergency and you're going to do something distinct to deal with it or you just say 'no, no, we really like the pictures of starving cattle'," he told ABC radio on Tuesday. "The water that is going to the environment is going past the irrigation properties that grow the fodder to keep cattle alive."

But the Australian Conservation Foundation's Paul Sinclair said the Murray-Darling river system was also suffering through the drought.

"Mr Joyce's kneejerk and ill-informed reaction risks the health of flood plains, wetlands and wildlife, not to mention the communities downstream that rely on a living river for their livelihoods," Dr Sinclair said.

He said water clawed back from irrigators cost the government billions, and needed to be used to make sure everyone could benefit from a healthy river.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young slammed Mr Joyce's plan, saying he should ask his "corporate irrigator mates" to help drought-affected farmers. "Barnaby Joyce has used his first day on the job to go back to his old tricks - trying to rip water off of the environment," Senator Hanson-Young said.

Nationals cabinet minister Matt Canavan said the former agriculture and water minister's plan should be considered. "It's almost like he was born for this role to be the drought envoy," Senator Canavan told reporters in Sydney.

Mr Joyce insists he's not eyeing off a return to the front bench after being handed extra responsibility. "I really want to get stuck into this, not because of some ulterior plan, because the drought is there," Mr Joyce said. "I'm going to do my bit to help them with that and if that's where it stops that's where it stops."

Mr Joyce was deputy prime minister until February when he was forced to quit amid a storm of controversy surrounding his affair with a staffer.

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison made him drought envoy on Sunday as he announced his ministerial team.


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

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Chilling moment 130kg rugby player, 18, is handcuffed by police just metres away from dying building manager, 64, he is accused of beating to death

Why do we have to have these moronic dregs in Australia?  He appears to be a Fijian.  Why is he here? Fiji is peaceful and reasonably prosperous so he is not a refugee. Why do we not screen all immigrants for low IQ and mental illness?

Confronting footage has emerged of the moment police arrested a teenager across the road from where he allegedly bashed a woman to death outside her home in Sydney's south-west.

Sprawled in the gutter and held to the ground, a handcuffed Imaueli Jone Degei has no way of escaping police following a short pursuit on the streets of Carramar, despite the rugby player's 130 kilogram frame.

The Airds man 18, is accused of murdering Kristina Kalnic, who died from critical injuries in the driveway of her Sandal Crescent unit complex on Saturday. He was charged with one count of murder on Sunday.

Chilling footage has also emerged of police and paramedics frantically trying to save the life of a motionless Ms Kalnic but to no avail.

The court heard Degei needed medication for mental health issues when he appeared in Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday.

He didn't apply for bail, which was formally refused by Magistrate John Crawford until his next court appearance October 22 at Fairfield Local Court, The Daily Telegraph reported.

It's since been revealed Ms Kalnic had lived at the unit complex with her husband for 20 years and had been the building manager at the unit complex for almost a year,

She was well-liked in the area and led a quiet life, according to shocked neighbours, who laid floral tributes in the well-tendered garden Ms Kalnic took pride in.

'Why happened with her? Why she. People need her,' a distraught Bhakti Panchal told 9 News.

Neighbour Ula Naitokatoka, 21, was at home when she heard Ms Kalnic's screams added: 'She's a nice lady.'

Another man told 7 News: 'I've lived here for five years and nothing like this has happened before ever, so it's a bit of a shock.'

Marina Manic studied psychology with Ms Kalnic at Western Sydney University five years ago.  'She was so wise and I learned so much from her,' Ms Maric told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'She was an incredibly intelligent woman and she never stopped learning, ever. That's what she wanted to do, her whole life was about that.'

A NSW Police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia that the alleged incident wasn't domestic related and that no weapon was used in the alleged attack. 

It's unknown whether Ms Kalnic knew her alleged attacker as some residents told The Daily Telegraph they had seen Degai in the area previously.

Strike Force Bilba has been formed to investigate the death and inquiries are continuing.


The Victorian ALP is driven by personal ambition and nothing more

The Victorian ALP observed from up close

by Dr John Fahey

The Victorian ALP has recently been in real disarray and now has a surreal air about it. The factional battle in Victoria between the Socialist Left (Kim Carr), Labor Unity (LU) (Bill Shorten/Stephen Conroy), now split into two factions, the Adem Somyurek (who is he?) Moderates, the Shoppies (SDA) and the renegade industrial left (CFMEU) faction, was getting out of control, with the more feral elements of all the groups tearing up stability pacts.

The ALP factional culture at work.

Because of that undermining and worries about the media “Kill Bill” campaign, and the usual all-in brawl over state and federal pre-selections, the Albanese challenge was well under way. However, Bill “won” the Super Saturday by-elections, which has saved his skin for the time being.

A temporary truce was brought about by the ALP National Executive taking over the pre-selection of ALP candidates for parliaments, at Bill’s request, but at the expense of local party democracy. One National Executive member told me that whatever Bill wants, Bill gets; which prompts the question, why have a National Executive?

Now the Red Shirts rorts scandal has hit the fan, adding to the unease about Victorian Labor’s chances in the Nov­ember state election, although Labor has hit back by referring a case to the Ombudsman regarding Liberal Party shenanigans somehow tied to the a former Victorian Liberal Party state secretary being in jail for fraud.

However, and above all, none of the factions can ever discount the ability of any of the others to plunge itself into self-inflicted madness given the internal hatreds based on next to nothing. Plain and simple, the fights are driven by personality clashes, historical animosity, vengeance and ambition.

As a member of an ALP faction – the Kim Beazley Snr faction, or “The cream of the working class” faction – I just love watching a good old factional fight between other ALP factions.

No one seems to want to explain why branch stacking and the other shenanigans occur. One glaring example is “the Somali Stack”, where the Heidelberg ALP branch membership leapt from 13 to 325 over a number of years. This phenomenal increase is largely made up of Somalis, with many “living” at just one or two addresses.

In Jagajaga, where this stacking took place, a person who joined the party only one week before and was not an SL faction member defeated a local SL activist for pre-selection. A non-faction member being endorsed by a faction over a faction member! Work that one out if you can.

In days of old, factions clearly had distinct philosophies regarding how to achieve a largely classless society. Those factions were largely the Fabians, the Catholic Right, the multitude Communist Party of Australia (CPA) members/fellow travellers and the various dissident groups, factions breaking away from the CPA, the ALP Socialist Left (for example, “Baghdad” Bill Hartley and co), the pro-Whitlam “Intervention”, moderates and so on.

Nowadays, given that there is no discernible difference between the ALP factions. They exist only as grubby job-creation schemes for those within the factions who would, metaphorically speaking, kill their own mother to become an MP and from there a millionaire or multimillionaire.

To get on in a faction, one has to learn the dark arts of politics, such as branch stacking or simply no promotion, and remember that there are many factional opportunists but too few opportunities, such as safe seats, so consequently the massive bloodletting prior to selection for a safe seat.

The next step up in proving your worth to a factional warlord is to come up with schemes such as the Red Shirt rorts. After that, and once you are an MP, rorting your travel allowance is the next step. Nothing energises an MP’s research skills more than researching travel allowances. Many Labor MPs are multimillionaires, often via the defined benefits superannuation scheme.

Remember also, if branch members want a say in pre-selection of MPs, the factional warlords will simply refer the matter to Labor’s National Executive, who will then rubber-stamp the warlords’ preferences. ALP members such as myself should ask why a handful of factional warlords is allowed to divide up the cake between them but then expect the 50,000 ALP members nationally (real members plus stacks) or 16,000 members in Victoria to do all the grunt electoral work, such as door-knocking, staffing the booths and so on so that a small number of factional lackeys get jobs as MPs and then be in the top 1-3 per cent of income earners in Australia?

Governments composed of the “cream of the working class”, not the “dregs of the middle class” who dream up such rorts, should be the ALP’s reason for existence.


Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility

A current school of thought urges a legal approach to stop public companies becoming involved in politically-contentious social debates via the means of ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) that are only faintly, if at all, related to their business.

The thinking is that company directors and senior managers may be breaching their duty to shareholders under the Corporations Act, and abusing company’s commercial powers and resources, by failing to “pursue only the proper purposes of the company and to maximise profits within reason.”

The first problem with this approach, as explained in my new report Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility: Preventing politicisations – and preserving pluralism – in Australian business, is that (in general) CSR is legal.

Under existing company law, corporate decision-makers have a wide discretion over the consideration of non-shareholder interests, so long as the proper purpose is to protect shareholder’s interests in general.

The second problem is that even if the courts deemed CSR illegal — probably via protracted and expensive litigation — this outcome would be counter-productive.

The burgeoning CSR industry — consisting of the multitude of ‘social responsibility’ managers and consultants employed across the corporate landscape — is pushing for greater corporate involvement in politics, by urging government action to introduce mandatory CSR laws.

Such laws would revolutionise company law and corporate governance, by explicitly defining the competing and conflicting non-shareholder interests that directors could consider.

Such a regime would leave directors effectively unaccountable to shareholders — and would make the current level of corporate meddling in all kinds of social and political debates just the tip of the iceberg. .

The fear is that if a legal challenge to CSR succeeded, this would only fuel the campaign for mandatory CSR laws.

All things being equal in the present politically-correct political environment, this campaign would more than likely succeed, and give the CSR industry what it wants — a license to play politics with shareholder’s money.

Because the legalistic approach to curbing CSR is fraught with danger, this issue can be best addressed through the existing channels of corporate governance.

However, the major problem is that corporate leaders looking to push back against the ‘social responsibility’ trend are not currently guided by any alternative set of principles, policies or institutional framework to counter the well-established CSR doctrines and structures across business.

That’s why my report has proposed introducing a new principle into the language and practice of corporate governance, which would overly qualify existing CSR philosophies.

The ‘Community Pluralism Principle’ would remind directors and senior managers of the need to ensure that company involvement in social debates does not politicise their brands and reputations.

Inserting this principle into company constitutions — or into the Australian Stock Exchange’s good corporate governance standards — would also empower corporate decision-makers to ensure that companies remain pluralistic institutions that respect, reflect and serve the whole community equally

This means ceasing to meddle in politically-charged social issues on which there is no community consensus, in these increasingly polarised times.


'Sydney is being lost to Islam': Right-wing activist Gavin McInnes claims Australian cities risk being overrun by Muslim migrants - as he prepares for speaking tour

A far-right activist has slammed Australia for losing its culture to Muslim extremists and said he is prepared to fight protesters when he tours the country in November.

British-born Canadian comedian Gavin McInnes was banned from Twitter earlier this month for being a 'violent extremist' and has been labelled by critics as sexist, racist and a white supremacist.

McInnes is the founder of the pro-Donald Trump males' rights group The Proud Boys - whose members are notorious for engaging in street brawls with left-wing Antifa protestors.

According to, McInnes said Australian culture was being lost to Islam. 'Look at Sydney, it's being lost to Islam just like West London was. In fact there's parts of Sydney totally indistinguishable from West London,' he told the publication.

'It's exactly the same - the sense of capitulation, discouraging assimilation.'

Census data from 2016 reveals that Australia is religously diverse, though, with Islam making up less than 2.6 per cent of the population - according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The 48-year-old said his goal was not to preach politics during his national tour of Australia in November - billing his trip as a comedy tour.

But the co-founder of Vice magazine said he was prepared to fight against violent left-wing protesters. He said: 'People will show up and if they want to fight - I'm happy to fight.'

McInnes previously described attacks on Donald Trump's 'p***y grabbing' comments as a 'war on masculinity'

He also referred to Australia as 'the last verge of masculinity' and a 'hot Canada'.

McInnes' tour is being organised by magazine Penthourse, who were also behind right-wing provacteur Milo Yiannopoulos' controversial tour of Australia last year.


When will they learn? Footy player sparks outrage after blackface appearance as Kanye West at club function - complete with Kim Kardashian and baby Saint

A footy player has sparked outrage after he attended a charity gala in blackface.

The West Adelaide player attended his club's annual fundraiser dressed as US pop star Kanye West, while his partner sported a Kim Kardashian costume.

The West Adelaide Football Club issued an apology after the picture ended up on their Facebook page in an album showcasing costumes from the iconic couples-themed event.

WAFC chief executive David Grenvold said concerns were raised with the player when he arrived at the venue, but he was allowed to stay and not required to change out of the costume.

'Yes, look, it was inappropriate and not something the club supports. There was absolutely some comments about maybe that is inappropriate,' Mr Grenvold said.

The unnamed player wore a plain white t-shirt with tight denim jeans and a gold chain, and painted his face black for the occasion.

The Kardashian look-a-like wore Kim's standard neutral tones, with a long blonde wig and white baseball cap.

She also held a baby doll in her arms - perhaps imitating one of the couple's children, Saint.

West Adelaide board member and African community spokesperson Joseph Masika said the insensitive move went against the club's culture, Seven News reported.

However, he said he did not believe there was any malicious intent behind the costume. 'It was something which would raise my eyebrows but as I said I believe it was an innocent act because of lack of awareness,' he said.

In response to backlash the club has promised to provide an information session for all players.

The photo has since been removed from the club's Facebook page.


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, August 27, 2018

IT WAS the note that ended Malcolm Turnbull’s political career. Under the list of names were three words that said it all

Warren Entsch effectively ended Malcolm Turnbull’s political career when he added his name to the list of MPs requesting a second party room meeting and, by extension, another leadership vote. It was the last signature Peter Dutton’s supporters needed.

And underneath, Mr Entsch scrawled a deliciously venomous three-word message, twisting the knife in Mr Turnbull’s back: “For Brendan Nelson.”

Dr Nelson was leader of the Liberal Party for such a short and miserable period that many of you have probably, and entirely forgivably, forgotten him.

When John Howard lost the 2007 election, the obvious choice to replace him — Mr Howard’s treasurer Peter Costello — chose not to step forward, leaving Dr Nelson, Mr Turnbull and, before he pulled out, Tony Abbott as the only ones foolish enough to contest the Liberal leadership.

It was precariously close, with a final vote of 45-42, but Dr Nelson emerged with the dubious prize of squaring off against Kevin Rudd, whose true identity as a vindictive weirdo was yet to dent the giddiest honeymoon period in Australian political history.

Mr Rudd proved untouchable, and Dr Nelson’s depressingly low preferred prime minister rating eventually stalled in the teens. But he soon discovered he was being stalked by an even more ruthless enemy within his own ranks — the man he had appointed shadow treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull.

“Turnbull pledged his loyalty to Nelson but gave him absolutely none. He simply refused to accept the decision of the party room, and the undermining began immediately,” Paddy Manning wrote in his biography of Mr Turnbull, Born To Rule.

Just days after the party room vote, Mr Turnbull called Dr Nelson’s chief of staff, Peter Hendy, and told him he needed to “get Brendan to resign in the next few weeks” because Dr Nelson was “hopeless”.

“In his relentless campaign against Nelson, Turnbull took disloyalty to extremes,” Mr Manning wrote.

Dr Nelson was gone within a year, hounded out by Mr Turnbull’s merciless and destructive ambition. “If you had any idea of what he said to me over those 10 months, you would be shocked,” Dr Nelson told Fairfax journalist Peter Hartcher when he quit parliament. “I thought he was demonstrative, demanding, emotional and narcissistic, using his wealth and charm for seduction, and always with a sinister threat just beneath the surface.

“Keating wanted power because he knew what he could do with it for the country. Malcolm wanted position.”

Mr Turnbull played a longer game when Mr Abbott became leader, but again, actively agitated against him. There was never any question he would seek to seize the top job.

This all makes Mr Turnbull’s little performance after he was turfed this week a bit too rich to swallow.

With a smile on his face but cold anger in his words, Mr Turnbull said Australians would be “dumbstruck and appalled” by his colleagues’ disloyalty.

“Many Australians will be shaking their head in disbelief at what’s been done,” he said. “To imagine that a government would be rocked by this sort of disloyalty and deliberate destructive action.

“Peter Dutton, Tony Abbott and others who chose to deliberately attack the government from within, they did so because they wanted to bring the government, to bring my prime ministership down. “If people are determined to wreck, they will continue to do so.”

The architects of Mr Turnbull’s demise do deserve to be condemned, chief among them Mr Abbott, whose infamous pledge not to wreck, snipe at or undermine his successor now reads like a sad joke.

But that staggering hypocrisy has been matched, if not exceeded, by Mr Turnbull himself.

If the then outgoing prime minister had any semblance of self-awareness, he would have left criticism of the mutineers to someone else.

Mr Turnbull had no problem with disloyalty when he was the one being disloyal. He voiced no objection to tearing down a prime minister when it served his own ambition. He wasn’t the least bit bothered by wrecking and undermining when he was using those tactics to obtain power for himself.

So instead of whining, perhaps Mr Turnbull should have used his speech to reflect on what he had done to contribute to his own downfall.

There was no mention of his failure to give the government a compelling purpose. Nothing about the policy thought bubbles that led nowhere. Not a word about the bland, rudderless election campaign that reduced his government’s majority to a single seat.  No recognition of the irony that he was calling his leadership “progressive” after years of pandering unsuccessfully to the party’s right wing.

None of it was his fault, because as far as Mr Turnbull is concerned, nothing ever is.

This is not a defence of the rebels, whose stunningly incompetent coup proved to be not only ugly, but utterly pointless. It resulted in the elevation of Scott Morrison, a man who will do little to change the government’s policies or direction. The alternative, Peter Dutton, offered the visage and all the charisma of a potato.

A more honourable man than Mr Turnbull would deserve our sympathy for falling victim to such a gormless mess. This shameless hypocrite should receive none.


GAVIN McInnes is having some fun -- as usual

He is a genuinely funny man but political correctness is the butt of most of his jokes  -- so he is called "Alt-Right"

McInnes, the co-founder of Vice magazine turned right-wing commentator and head of controversial pro-Trump, street-brawling “men’s rights” group the Proud Boys, smells something  rotten in society.

The Marxists and “fat feminists” have taken over everywhere, he says, spreading a “computer virus of rules” — a “war on fun”.

“When did the social justice warriors get so much power?” he asks.  “It happened in the past 15 years. My theory is it started with eradicating bullying and the whole idea of the death of the in-crowd, which I think we can all support — no one likes Mean Girls, the prom king jock — but what happened is the fat feminists gained power and like the proletariat took over.

“Like the Marxists, the oppressed became the oppressors and they are now way worse. It’s not only affecting high schools, it’s affecting the workplace, comedy clubs.”

He mentions a flyer he saw recently being passed around inside New York Comedy club UCB with “some trans-man who looks like your dad in a wig” dictating who can be cast in sketches if the character is transgender.

“Here are these nerds Trojan-horsing their way into comedy clubs,” he says.

McInnes, who has been labelled by critics as sexist, racist, white supremacist, Islamophobic and transphobic, is the latest right-wing provocateur to set his sights on Australia.

McInnes and the Proud Boys were kicked off Twitter earlier this month for being “violent extremists” ahead of the anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While McInnes disavowed the rally, its organiser Jason Kessler was once a member of the Proud Boys — McInnes has previously said Kessler was kicked out for his racist views.

McInnes says he is of two minds about the Twitter ban.

“On one hand as a libertarian I say, oh well, that venue doesn’t want me anymore,” he says. “We don’t have a contract, I was just using it. It’s kind of nice to not have Twitter in my life.

“But we are having lawyers looking at suing them. There’s something grander going on. There’s a war on conservatives because they’re petrified of Trump getting re-elected, they’re in a state of panic.

“Facebook, Google, YouTube, even Snapchat are clamping down on conservatives. It’s the DNC and Big Tech colluding. That is the government colluding with big business. That is not America, that’s not the west — that is Communism and it’s morally wrong.”

A “western chauvinist” and friend of Milo Yiannopoulos and Lauren Southern, whose recent trips Down Under were marred by violent left-wing protests, McInnes says his message is one of “pride”.

“Shame is such a scam,” he says. “There’s this sense of apology and shame with western countries. I noticed this when I was in Israel, they even sort of assume you’re going to come at them so they come out on the defensive.

“They go, ‘Look we had to build this wall, we were getting a terror attack a day.’ I said, I love your wall, I don’t care.

“What Australia built is so incredible. (But) look at Sydney, it’s being lost to Islam just like West London was. In fact there’s parts of Sydney totally indistinguishable from West London. It’s exactly the same — the sense of capitulation, discouraging assimilation.”

Yet Census data from 2016 reveal Australia is a religiously diverse nation, with Christianity remaining the most common religion (52 per cent of the population).

“Islam (2.6 per cent) and Buddhism (2.4 per cent) were the next most common religions,” the ABS said.

“In the 10 years from 2006 to 2016, the proportion of people reporting a religion other than Christianity in the Census increased from 5.6 per cent in 2006 to 8.2 per cent in 2016. “Although the increase was spread across most of the non-Christian religions, the top two were Hinduism (0.7 per cent in 2006 to 1.9 per cent in 2016) and Islam (1.7 per cent to 2.6 per cent).”

But McInnes says his goal isn’t to preach politics when he arrives in November. “I see it as a comedy tour,” he says.

“My goal is to show people that conservatives are funny. In fact we’re the rebels, we’re Animal House. Who got kicked off campus? John Belushi. Milo and Lauren, even Alan Dershowitz are getting kicked off campus. We’re the fun ones.”

McInnes describes Australia as “like a hot Canada”. “I love Australia, I feel a real kinship,” he says. “The only difference between me and my friends in Australia is there’s more masculinity. I’m looking forward to that, just getting pissed.”

He wants to “have some fun, do some comedy and show millennials and everyone else that there’s life outside of this liberal bubble, outside of social justice warriors monitoring every joke and telling you what you can and can’t say”.

And yes, he’s expecting violent left-wing protesters.

“I don’t know why,” McInnes says. “We don’t come to their things. I don’t understand why there’s a problem with free speech. Why is that seen as a threat?

“Even the worst, most right-wing guys like (white supremacist) Richard Spencer, I don’t like their ideas but I’m not scared of their ideas. A 100-pound girl, what are her words going to do to you — start a world war? Why are people so frail?”

McInnes adds “people will show up and if they want to fight, I’m happy to fight”. “Our motto is we don’t start fights but we’re happy to finish them,” he says. “Isn’t that what your dad used to tell you?”

Antifa, he says, are “rich kids who are the sons of professors and they’ve been brainwashed by this Marxist crap their whole lives”.

“There was a time when fighting racist bigots was cool, like the Freedom Riders in the 1960s,” he says. “The problem is the bad guys are gone, there’s no more Nazis — so how about we make Milo a Nazi?

“It’s like a Twilight Zone episode where everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is considered a Nazi. So they get to feel like they’re fighting for justice, like they’re these brave warriors.”

At the end of the day, though, “people in the media tend to overintellectualise this — it’s just the mods and the rockers fighting on Brighton Beach”.

“We’re talking about a few different trends,” McInnes says.

“The street fights outside venues, that’s just mods and rockers playing silly games. It’s not real. That’s why they don’t want to argue with you. That’s why I can’t get them on my show.

“Usually when they brawl, like the punks and skinheads or the mods and rockers, it’s just middle class kids fighting working class kids. The Proud Boys are blue collar.”

The “more insidious” and threatening element is the underlying cultural shift. “The obsession with making sure everyone has equal outcomes, that women are part of all action movies, this computer virus of rules invading everything including art,” he says.

“It’s a war on fun, on colour, where they want every radio station to be playing the same music. How is that different from Stalinism?”


Islam will become ‘indigenised’ with time, Scott Morrison says

To an extent, it has been already. 99% of Muslims cause no trouble. But that is not the point.  The trouble is the Jihadis who emerge from them

ISLAM will become more Australian over time, Scott Morrison said, as debate raged over calls by Coalition MPs for debate about links between Islamic teaching and terrorism.

Mr Morrison, who works with moderate Muslim leaders in Sydney, said all religions went through phases, and he believed Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, would ­become more “indigenised’’.

“I think one of the positive things about Australia is it’s such an overwhelming cultural set of values that those always have an influence over time,’’ he said.

“That’s been the case with other religions. I have no reason to believe it won’t be the case with Islam.’’

His comments come after a string of Coalition MPs, led by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, former SAS soldier ­Andrew Hastie and Victorian MP Michael Sukkar, said there was a problem with Islam and an “honest debate’’ was needed about links between Islamic teaching and extremism.

Mr Hastie and Mr Sukkar also called for a modernisation of Islamic teaching.

The MPs reported positive feedback in their electorates, but some of their government colleagues were furious, saying the comments had alienated almost 500,000 Muslim Australians.

Several MPs also expressed concern that the comments ran counter to advice from the police and security agencies that the Government’s best asset against terrorism was the Muslim community itself.

“It’s unhelpful at best and at worst disgraceful that we’d go against the advice of all the agencies by further marginalising the Muslim community,” one MP said.

Veteran Liberal MP Philip Ruddock, the Government’s special envoy for citizenship and community engagement, took a thinly veiled swipe at his colleagues by reinforcing his view that terrorism was the threat — not Islam.

“I do think we need to have a conversation, and it needs to be a conversation that terror has no place in our society,” Mr Ruddock said.


Pauline Hanson claims Labor will allow 300,000 immigrants a year into Australia if elected - as she throws her support behind Peter Dutton for PM

With the Coalition Government trailing Labor in 38 consecutive Newspolls, Senator Hanson warned about 'unlimited' immigration were Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to become prime minister.

'Do you think I'm going to support the Labor Party who wants to have immigration, probably 300,000 - plus unlimited? They won't even discuss that,' she said.

'They even shut down me having that debate on the floor of parliament on my private member's bill to give the people the right to have a say about the immigration numbers.'

When Labor was last in power, under Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, net annual immigration soared above 200,000, or triple the 20th century average of 70,000 a year.

The high immigration numbers continued under Liberal prime ministers Tony Abbott and his successor Mr Turnbull, who deposed him in September 2015.

Mr Dutton, however, reportedly recently argued in cabinet to trim Australia's net annual immigration pace by 20,000 a year, from 190,000 to 170,000.

This level is significantly short of the 70,000 per annum level advocated by Senator Hanson, which hasn't consistently been government policy since the late 1990s.

In the first week of August, Australia's population surpassed the 25 million milestone, 24 years earlier than predicted in 2002 by the Howard government's first inter-generational report.


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, August 26, 2018

My comment on the recent ructions in the Liberal party

Everybody except those involved seems to think that the dumping of Mr Turnbull as PM was a great mistake. Turnbull presented very well and he would have soon restored his lead over Shorten.  But his party was very divided over climate policy so there was great restlessness among them.  So Turnbull's slight backdown in deciding not to set a specific CO2 target set off a furore which became an excuse to unseat him.

Scott Morrison is a good man but he has no charisma.  Something good could have come of it all if Julie Bishop had been elected PM.  She is very popular and would undoubtedly have taken the party to a victory over Shorten.  But it would appear that she did not have enough friends in the party to make that happen.  The good of the party was clearly not at the forefront of the minds of its politicians

Turnbull gave an excellent farewell speech. It is worth listening to.  There is a substantial excerpt from it below -- JR

The latest global warming fraud

There a lot of versions of the graph below online but I could find none that included calibrations. It's a thoroughly dishonest piece of work as, for any graph to be interpretable, it has to include calibrations.  I have in fact never before seen a graph without calibrations. 

It would ruin the Warmist story if calibrations were included because what is not mentioned is that the differences in temperature between the time periods illustrated are in mostly in hundredths of one degree only, which is practically meaningless.

There HAS been overall warming over the last century or so but it has been only in isolated spurts and is in total less than one degree Celsius. IF such warming continues it would cause as little trouble as the warming we have had so far. It is trivial

IS IT a work of art in a gallery? A chart? It’s neither and both, and it shows a big change in Australia.

IT LOOKS like a piece of art. Or maybe a very brightly coloured barcode. Or even a duvet cover. But the striped image is a visual representation of Australia’s average temperature each year over the last century.

A climate scientist from the UK has released a series of images that depict the warmest and coldest temperatures since records began places all over the globe.

University of Reading climate scientist Professor Ed Hawkins calls the pieces “warming stripes”. He has created them for parts of England, Germany, Toronto, Australia and the world as a whole.

“Each stripe represents the temperature of a single year, ordered from the earliest available data to now,” Prof Hawkins on the website Climate Lab Book.

The coldest years recorded are a dark blue and the hottest a deep red with everything in between a different shade depending on whether it’s over or under the long-term average.

If the average temperatures regularly fluctuated from hot to cold, you could expect to see red and blue stripes relatively evenly distributed.

In the graph for Vienna, for example, which covers a period from 1775 — 2017, the first half of the image seems to be fairly random with lots of reds and blues. But in recent years, the Vienna chart is mostly red denoting hot years.

For the stripes showing the annual global average temperatures, it’s a smooth transition from dark blue to dark red; from record cold years to record hot years.

There’s less data to go on for Australia as records only go so far back. But there’s still a century or so to compare.

Prof Hawkins took Bureau of Meteorology data from 1910 — 2017: “The colour scale goes from 20.7°C (dark blue) to 23.0°C (dark red),” he said.

The lowest annual temperature was recorded in 1917. The highset, more than 1C above the overall average, was in 2013.

In the last 20 years in Australia, only three years have seen annual temperatures dip below average. And during those years it’s dipped only slightly below the line.

But many of the most recent years that have seen above average temperatures that have soared over the line.


Inner-Sydney primary school bans SOCCER BALLS - to make the playground 'safer'

Parents have been left outraged after their children's primary school banned soccer balls and limited students access to the oval.

Summer Hill Public School, in Sydney's inner-west, sent a letter to the parents of more than 800 students this week to announce the new rules.

Natalie Bamback said her active seven-year-old son Nash Cazilieris was devastated he could no longer play his favourite sport at lunch time. 'He loves playing with the ball... I suppose he will get used to the new rules, but he doesn't like it,' she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Under the new rules, Summer Hill Public School students will not be allowed to bring anything bigger than a tennis ball in to school.

Parent Michelle Vasconcelos said the new rules were overzealous. 'I understand why they're doing it, because there's a lot of kids that are getting hit – and teachers – with the balls. But at the same time they are kids, they should be coming to school, playing, enjoying the playground,' she said.

The school, which has has two main play areas - a basketball court and an oval - also stipulated changes to children's play time on the oval. Under the new rules, each grade will be banned from the oval one day a week, to 'alleviate overcrowding'. The school said the rule would make the oval safer for all students.

Summer Hill said oval time would be staggered to prevent younger children being injured by older students as they played side-by-side.

Opposition education spokesman Jihad Dib said overcrowding was a huge issue in schools, but he said the problem should not be passed on to the children.

'What you don't want to have is a situation where it's becoming so overcrowded that kids have to sit down at playtime and not do anything,' he said.

Summer Hill Public School, while popular for its successful NAPLAN results, is about 96 per cent full, the publication reported. Anywhere between 80 and 100 per cent is efficient.

A spokesman for the Department of Education said the new rules were not prompted by a lack of space, instead introduced to prevent conflict between the children. 


Leftist thuggery in Australia too

From the French Revolutiom onward, the Left have always been as  violent and vicious as they can get away with

The office of leadership challenger Peter Dutton has been targeted by vandals who hurled bricks through glass windows and doors.

The pavers were thrown with such force they left gashes in the walls of the former Home Affairs Minister's office after being propelled through the glass.

Despite smashing holes in reinforced glass windows and two glass doors, the vandals did not enter the office, in Strathpine, north of Brisbane.

Vandals also spray-painted anti-Dutton slogans on bike paths in the former Home Affairs Minister's electorate, including one reading 'deport Dutton'.

The 1.45am attack occurred just hours after Mr Dutton declared he had the numbers to challenge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership.

Police are investigating the attack, but no arrests have been made over the attack, which left an estimated $10,000 worth of damage.

'Police are investigating significant damage caused to an office overnight in Strathpine,' Queensland Police said.

'Police were called to the Gympie Road address by a member of the public, to find brick pavers had been thrown at the windows causing extensive damage.'

Mr Dutton, a former Queensland police officer, tendered his resignation from Cabinet after challenging Mr Turnbull in a spill on Tuesday.

A former immigration minister, Mr Dutton has been targeted by Labor and the Greens for his hardline policies on asylum seekers.

The attack comes after the Strathpine office was hit by pranksters who used post-it notes to alter the words on the sign on the window.

Then on Thursday the flag outside Mr Dutton's office was hung upside down, making the international symbol for distress while leadership dramas unfolded in Canberra.

An office employee turned the flag around after the blunder was discovered.


Hundreds attend March for Men event in Melbourne

SHE calls herself an anti-feminist and regularly speaks about how Aussies are “demonising” men. Today, she marched with hundreds of supporters.

SYDNEY Watson regularly preaches to her thousands of social media followers about how Australia is “demonising” men.

And today, the self-described anti-feminist has taken to the streets of Melbourne for her ‘March for Men’ to show that “men matter too”.

More than 700 people said they’d attend the Federation Square event on Facebook with 2600 more interested.

A counter-protest, called ‘Stand up for equality: March against Men’s Rights Activists’, was also held in the same location, at the same time.

Close to 500 people said they’d attend the counter-protest while 1300 more expressed interest.

Victoria Police promised a heavy presence at the event and warned anyone attending they’ll be conducting weapon searches and will immediately eject anyone who hides their face.

Two people have reportedly been arrested at the protest.

Ms Watson, who studied journalism before moving into conservative commentary, regularly posts piece-to-camera videos for her burgeoning YouTube audience.

In a video announcing the march, Ms Watson said the march was not going to be about “vilifying each other”.

“As many of you know over the last number of weeks, it’s felt like there has been an assault on men collectively. I want Australians to rally together for masculinity for men’s rights and just to demonstrate that we know that men matter too.

“The purpose of this rally is not to hate on women, diminish women’s rights or make any negative statements about women

“What we’re trying to do is show that we care about the men in our lives and the issues that affect them

“This is about men and women standing shoulder to shoulder to show that we’re here for each other,” she said.

Via Facebook, the counter-protest’s organisers the National Union of Students Women’s Department and the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, encouraged people to attend to “publicly maintain a counter-narrative”.


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