Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bob Katter accuses a journalist of being racist for saying his granddad is Lebanese - as he defends his anti-Muslim Senator

Katter's grandfather was from the Lebanese Maronite (Christian) community but Bob is heavily focused on assimilation and the fact that his grandfather assimilated readily to Australian society (most Maronites do) meant that to Katter his grandfather was Australian.  Katter in other words has a cultural definition of who is Australian and was angered by the racist definition used by a journalist

Bob Katter has slammed a journalist who suggested his grandfather was Lebanese - describing it as a 'racist comment'.

Mr Katter defended his party's senator Fraser Anning's maiden speech in which he used the Nazi term 'final solution' while proposing a plebiscite on immigation, saying the address was 'magnificent'.

Mr Katter also said a reporter who referred to his grandfather as Lebanese was 'racist'.

'No, he's not. He's an Australian. I resent, strongly, you describing him as Lebanese. That is a racist comment and you should take it back and should be ashamed of yourself for saying it in public,' he said. '

Mr Katter's grandfather Carl was born in Bcharre, Lebanon, in 1982.

Reacting to Mr Anning's speech, Mr Katter said it was 'solid gold'.

'You don't have to be Albert Einstein to see that we, as a race of people, we Australians, are being buried by a mass migration program to line the pockets of the rich and powerful.

'The (Labor Party), and more particularly, the (Liberals) are bringing 630,000 people from overseas, from countries with no democracy, no rule of law, no... egalitarian traditions, no Judaeo-Christian, 630,000 a year and they don't go home.

'We do not want people coming in from the Middle East or North Africa unless they're the persecuted minorities. Why aren't you bringing in the Sikhs? Why aren't you bringing in the Christians? Why aren't you bringing in the Jews?'

Mr Katter said Mr Anning wasn't aware of the connotations of the term 'final solution'.  Addressing outrage over his use of the term, Mr Anning said it was taken out of context by the 'thought police'.

Mr Anning said on Wednesday morning he simply wanted the Australian people to be able to decide what kind of immigrants the country accepts.

He later compared Muslim migrants to poisoned jelly beans and stood by his call for Islamic immigration to be halted altogether.

'All I'm calling for is a plebiscite and a vote for the Australian people to see who they want to come into the country,' the Queensland senator told the Today show.

In his maiden speech Mr Anning said 'the final solution to the immigration problem is of course a popular vote'.

The term 'final solution' was used by the Nazis as part of their plan to murder the entire Jewish population of Europe which resulted in mass genocide.

Mr Anning denied making a deliberate reference to Nazi Germany, but refused to apologise for his choice of words.

'If people want to take it out of context that's entirely up to them. It was never meant to denigrate the Jewish community,' he said.

Mr Anning also stood by his claims the majority of Muslim immigrants do not work [Only 18% have jobs] and are on welfare and over-represented in criminal activity.

When asked why he had singled out Muslim immigrants in the speech, Mr Anning said it was because 'they mean us harm'.

Mr Anning said he agreed the vast majority of Muslim were hardworking and law-abiding, but claimed a small minority 'want to kill us'.

'I don't want those people in this country. I think the vast majority of Australians agree with me. No-one wants to put it to a vote,' Mr Anning said.

Speaking on talkback radio later on Wednesday morning, Mr Anning likened accepting Muslim immigrants to poisonous jelly beans.

'If you can tell me which ones [Muslims] are not going to cause us harm then fine, that'd be great,' he told Alan Jones on 2GB.

'Unfortunately if you have a jar of jellybeans and three of them are poison you're not going to try any of them.'

The speech to parliament was widely condemned by politicians from both major parties, and the Greens.

After his speech was attacked by Mr Di Natale and senior Labor frontbenchers Tony Burke and Chris Bowen, Mr Anning released a statement dismissing their criticism.

'Some in the media and left wing politicians are simply afraid of the Australian people having a say on who comes here,' Mr Anning said.

'As I called for a plebiscite on the immigration mix, this baseless and ridiculous criticism is simply an effort to play the man and not the ball.

Mr Anning said it was ironic that he was being criticised by politicians from Labor and the Greens who had voted against his pro-Israel proposals in the past.

'[They] are the same people who refused to support my efforts to stop Australia funding the Palestinian Authority who finance terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli women and children,' he said.

His proposed plebiscite would allow people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the third world, he said.

Mr Anning said Australia was entitled to insist migrants were predominantly of 'European Christian composition'.

He also called for the government to ban all welfare payments to migrants in the first five years of living in Australia, labelling many asylum seekers as 'welfare seekers'.

'Ethno-cultural diversity - which is known to undermine social cohesion - has been allowed to rise to dangerous levels in many suburbs,' Mr Anning said.

'In direct response, self-segregation, including white flight from poorer inner-urban areas, has become the norm.'

Opposition leader Bill Shorten responded to the speech by saying he will move a motion praising the dismantling of the White Australia policy.

Mr Shorten's motion will recognise bipartisan support for the former Holt government's moves to end the policy, and the resulting national and international benefits to the country.



WA uni refuses to ban  realistic endocrinologist

A US pediatric professor, who says the transgender movement is based on ideology rather than science, will speak at the University of Western Australia despite pressure to ban him.

A student petition with more than 6000 signatures is protesting the appearance on Friday of pediatric endocrinologist Quentin Van Meter, who is on a national tour sponsored by The Australian Family Association.

Dr Van Meter has said that using puberty blockers for children with gender dysphoria was akin to child abuse.

"Transgender is actually a delusional disorder," he said. "It's a state of mind with no biologic basis for it that can be found."

Dr Van Meter is president of the American College of Paediatricians, which is known for its opposition to marriage equality, gender reassignment and abortion.

A UWA spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday that while the university did not endorse the opinions of its speakers, cancelling the event would "create an undesirable precedent for the exclusion of objectionable views" from the university.

"The views which have been expressed by the speakers in the past, particularly with respect to transgender people, are at odds with the university's values of respect for human dignity and diversity," they said.

"That respect, in relation to LGBTIQA+ people generally, has been evidenced by the Rainbow Flag, which has flown for some months at the front of the UWA campus."


Token battery being installed to back up wind power

This is just a stunt for propaganda purposes.  If the wind stops blowing the battery will be capable of filling in only for a matter of minutes

Wind power producer Infigen Energy will add battery storage to its Lake Bonney wind farm in South Australia to better be able to respond to industrial customers wanting renewable energy but without risks around intermittent supply.

The $38 million project, including $10 million in state and federal funding, will see a 25 megawatt, 52 megawatt-hour Tesla Powerpack battery installed adjacent to the 278.5 MW wind farm in the state's south-east near Mount Gambier.

It follows the landmark 100 MWh Tesla battery, the world's largest lithium battery, installed at the Hornsdale project in SA last year after a bet between billionaire Elon Musk and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Infigen last year ramped up its efforts to seal electricity sales contracts directly with commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, signing up Adelaide Brighton for supply from Lake Bonney.

Chief executive Ross Rolfe said the battery investment would enable Infigen to expand that side of the business, as well as providing other benefits in cutting costs for frequency control services and for grid stability in the system more broadly.

"We have already contracted a proportion of our Lake Bonney output into the C&I customer market in South Australia and this enables us to contract more of that capacity and manage the intermittency of production risk associated with that," Mr Rolfe said in an interview.

Stabilising the grid

He said that after deciding in 2016 to diversify its products, Infigen had examined alternative options to firm up intermittent wind generation, including pumped hydro storage and accessing fast-start gas generation. It decided that a battery was the best option, at least for South Australia, which is heavily dependent on renewables supply.

Ivor Frischknecht, chief executive of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which is providing $5 million for the project, said battery storage is becoming a key component of transitioning to a renewables-based energy system. ARENA is also helping fund a battery soon to be brought online in Dalrymple, South Australia, and two grid-scale systems under construction in western Victoria.

"It is clear that grid scale batteries have an important role in stabilising the grid," Dr Frischknecht said.

South Australian energy minister Dan van holst Pellekaan said Infigen's battery project is "welcome news to businesses in the state as it will increase the competitiveness of electricity prices for customers with high energy demand".

Mr Rolfe noted that the project wouldn't have been economic without the $10 million of taxpayer funding.

"The price of batteries still needs to decline, in our view, further before it's possible to look at batteries without some form of support," he said.

"No doubt in due course it will get there, we just don't know when that will be."

Construction is due to start next month on the storage project, which Infigen said would allow it to "firm" at least an additional 18 MW of power.


Few costs to the success of Australia's universities

I don't like to rain on anybody's parade but Australia's advantage is partly geographical.  Australia is in roughly the same time zone as China and only a short jet flight away (around  $500 one way).  So Chinese can readily flit between the two countries and do so without jetlag

The Australian university system is highly unusual globally in two key areas: the large size of most universities, and the high proportion of international students, particularly from China, now attending them.

The massive growth in international education means it has become Australia's third largest export after iron ore and coal – as Malcolm Turnbull happily acknowledged in a recent speech at the University of NSW.

It's also translates into a not-so-quiet revolution on Australian campuses.

Several of the Group of Eight universities have international enrolments running at well over 30 per cent. In NSW, the percentage of international students at all universities is currently above 37 per cent, in Queensland it is 34 per cent.

The biggest growth, not surprisingly, has been in the Chinese student market, with 125,000 Chinese students at Australian universities as of last May and growing at about 15 per cent a year.

One result is that Australia is on track this year to jump Britain into second place, only behind the US, in the sheer number of international students in its universities. That's even though Britain's population is 65 million rather than 25 million.

On Go8 figures, for example, 38 per cent of the 141,000 students starting at Go8 universities in 2016 were international students. That average figure can only have increased since and is clearly much higher in faculties like management and commerce, engineering and information technology where international students are heavily concentrated.

University vice-chancellors certainly love to promote the academic, cultural and economic value of Australia's approach.

A virtuous circle

Ian Jacobs, vice-chancellor of the University of NSW and also chairman of the Go8 universities, will promote its success in a speech at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

This is part of a push by these older research-heavy universities to persuade the government and the bureaucracy that taxpayer money spent on them should not be seen as a budget cost ever vulnerable to cuts. Instead, they want to persuade Canberra to see it as a vital investment generating a very high return.

According to Jacobs, the growth in the international student market helps that, creating a virtuous circle. He sees the growth as an unalloyed good for Australia in general and for Australian students – generating opportunities and advantages that are far more extensive than the purely financial.

Yet for many domestic students and their lecturers, the price of such success seems to also be increasingly obvious – and accelerating given the universities' business model.

These complaints are largely anecdotal but they are persistent and extremely common across a modern generation of students. Just ask one of them.

One problem is the low level of interaction between most domestic and international students, particularly when international students are in a majority of a course. That's compounded by the large size of lectures and tutorials that limit any sense of individualised attention.

Other frequent complaints involve the insidious pressure on lecturers to reduce quality standards in order to pass international students to ensure the money keeps flowing.

Things could be better

Many domestic students also argue they are required carry more of the load on joint projects in order to compensate for the poor English skills of many international students.

Professor Jacobs concedes there may be "pockets" where things could be better, including the level of cross cultural interaction. He still insists Go8 standards in terms of enrolments, marking and English qualifications remain extremely high and that interaction is definitely increasing to everyone's mutual benefit

Australia, he says, is developing a tremendous reputation for providing "high quality education at scale in a very efficient way" with huge flow on benefits and potential to do even more.

To back this up, Jacobs will cite a new study commissioned by the Go8 on the broader economic benefits produced by Australia's top universities, including the massive dollar value of their research.

According to this study by London Economics, the Go8's total operational costs of just over $12 billion in 2016 were dwarfed by the $66 billion contribution to the Australian economy. That includes the long-term impact of their research activity but also the direct and indirect impact on jobs, wages and increased economic growth to support students, especially the accelerating number of international students.

By this yardstick, the study argues that every three international students at a Go8university generate $1 million in economic impact each year.

Big money

For universities, the huge direct financial hit still comes from the much higher charges for international students over their domestic students. For international students starting at Go8 universities in 2016, the net tuition fee income alone was estimated to be over $3 billion.

According to the study, this fee income supports 43,000 jobs throughout the economy plus more than 29,000 due to the additional spending of international students.

But the large tuition fees from international students also allow universities to cross-subsidise their research work which pushes them up the global university rankings. That in turn means they then attract yet more international students.

According to the latest ABS statistics for 2016, the Go8 invested $6.4 billion in research and development of which just over half was in the form of cross-subsidy from general university funds – those not explicitly tied to supporting research.

That balance will be ever more reliant on international tuition income and numbers to bulk up. Can there be – should there be – a limit? Not according to the Go8.

Although Jacobs says the percentage of Chinese students may diminish in a decade or so as China becomes self-sufficient at education, he sees a wave of students from India, then Africa and Latin America sustaining growth for decades to come.


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

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