Monday, January 07, 2019

The far Right and the far Left feed on one another at St Kilda

The Leftist Victorian government and their police have done nothing to rein in epidemic African violence in Melbourne.  That has given far Rightists a legitimate cause to demonstrate about -- drawing in some otherwise uncommitted people. 

I know the far-Right pretty well from experience and I know that one of their chief pleasures is getting pompous reactions from the Left.  That is what the Nazi salutes were about.  They were just provocations, NOT a reflection of any interest in National Socialist ideology

Hundreds of police occupied the St Kilda foreshore to maintain the peace as close to 100 far-right activists clashed with 200 anti-racism protesters throughout the afternoon on Saturday.

By 4pm, three people had been arrested and one man treated by parademics  after he was affected by capsicum spray, but the hostile stand-off never escalated into a riot.

An 18-year-old man from Sunbury was arrested for possessing a dangerous article, reportedly several large fishing sinkers or weights, and an 18-year-old man from Maroondah was arrested for possessing a drug of dependence.

A third man was taken in for breaching the terms of his bail.

Police have been at the popular Melbourne spot for hours in the lead-up to the "Reclaim St Kilda" rally organised by convicted criminals Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson.

The anti-racism protesters were first to the beach, beginning the day by singing Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down.

Erikson arrived around 1.30pm with independent senator Fraser Anning, who recently sparked anger when he cited "the final solution" in his maiden speech.

"The Andrews government is so weak it's not funny," Mr Anning told reporters at Saturday's protest. "And the Police Commissioner and his or her offsider are a joke."

The shouts of anti fascist protesters initially drowned out the rally, but Erikson soon had close to 100 supporters, many draped in Australian flags and some giving Nazi salutes.

One St Kilda resident said the opposing protesters were becoming increasingly angry. "It's gotten really nasty. Fights started on the Upper Esplanade, there were scuffles breaking out everywhere,” said the local whose house overlooks the scene.

"The police have controlled it, but only just … they are just squaring off, shouting and trying to provoke each other,” he said.

Riot police surrounded activists attending the rally as they walked past the protesters who chanted ‘Nazi scum off our beach’ and ‘Africans welcome, racists are not’.

Another group waving Australian flags, including one on a red background, stood behind lines of police near the Sea Baths.

Hundreds more onlookers, some with children and many with dogs, watched on from the Upper Esplanade.

Protesters started shouting at each other as they faced off on either side of a path next to the kiosk. Many were shooting footage of each other on their mobiles.

Police were also shooting footage on video cameras.

A ute laden with speakers drove past on the Esplanade, a man in a microphone inside chanting "Sudanese are welcome, racists are not".

Anti-racism protester Richard said he saw crowds surround the van and remove the generator that powered the speaker.

"These two [men] raced up the bank carrying the generator and then dumped it on the footpath a minute later," he said.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police confirmed that officers were investigating the incident.

By 4pm, Saturday's rally was all over, as the men attending it left the beach and the police force's public order response team was heard giving the order to clear out.

Despite the arrests Tony Silva, the divisional commander for Port Phillip and Stonnington said the protest was largely peaceful.  “To my knowledge there were no injuries, both to any of the public or to the police, so to me that’s a very successful day.”


Totally stupid Leftism about teachers again

It's only by admitting "Uncle Tom Cobleigh and All" that universities can get enough student teachers.  Applying high standards to entry will give you smarter teachers but not very many of them.  It will give you a teacher shortage.  Smart people know how dire it can be to try to teach in today's chaotic State school classrooms so most go on to other occupations.

A big help would be if you could get good teachers to stay on in the job -- but large numbers quit rapidly when they encounter the chaotic classrooms that Leftist "educators" have created.  As it is, any good teachers that emerge are rapidly snapped up by the private schools, who offer a much more rewarding work environment

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has warned universities to toughen their admission standards for teaching degrees or face a mandatory cap on student numbers under a Labor government.

In a hardening of Labor's position – as fresh data again shows a decline in entry scores for teaching degrees – Ms Plibersek promised action to ensure universities are drawing student teachers from the top 30 per cent of high school graduates, amounting to an ATAR cut-off of about 80.

"Labor wants the best and brightest Australians studying teaching. If universities don’t do the right thing and fix this themselves, a Labor government will make them. We hope we don’t have to do this, but we will if we have to," she told The Sunday Age and The Sun-Herald.

"Labor wants our young people competing to get into teaching in the same way they compete to get into medicine. We want young Australians with a track record of achievement, motivation and capability to teach the next generation. We want a career in teaching to be a first choice, not a fallback."

A recent report from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership found far more students with ATARs in the lowest bands were being admitted into teaching degrees than other fields.

The proportion of students being admitted with an entry score of 70 or lower has increased significantly in the past decade, from 30 per cent in 2007 to 40 per cent in 2016, the report found.

There are also fewer students entering teaching degrees with ATARs in the highest band, with only 11 per cent achieving a rank between 91 and 99.95, compared to 27 per cent of students across all university degrees.

The opposition wants universities to move rapidly towards limiting admissions to the top 30 per cent of students, a standard seen across the world's best-performing school systems. If universities did not make the change voluntarily, a Labor government would cap places, as is currently done with medicine.

The move will attract criticism from those who warn it will slash the supply of graduates entering the profession. However, recent data shows an oversupply, with trainee teachers facing tough competition for the full-time positions available.

Ms Plibersek, Labor's education spokeswoman, said Australia needed to boost the "prestige of teaching in our community" to drive long-term change.

"Teachers are respected; ask any parent about the teachers at their school and the vast majority will sing their praises, and everyone can name the teacher or teachers that changed their life. But many teachers feel the profession is not respected as a whole," she said.

She said it was a difficult problem to fix and would require a substantial cultural shift, promoting the "fulfilling aspects" of teaching, and incentivising the best teachers with career progression "based on competency not just on time served".

"And it means examining wages and other related labour-market issues. Pay for teachers starts relatively high but then flattens out, causing some highly accomplished teachers to leave the classroom to pursue high wages elsewhere," she said.

While the federal Coalition government has resisted a national minimum standard for teaching degree admissions, New South Wales has stipulated since 2013 that students must have achieved a band 5 score in at least three subjects. From 2019, Victoria has mandated a minimum ATAR of 70, up from 65. In both states, however, students are being admitted to education degrees with entry scores lower than the cut-off, using various concessions and alternative pathways.

Despite the toughened stance, federal Labor says students who perform poorly in year 12 and don't achieve an ATAR of 80 should still have the opportunity to prove their ability and get into a teaching degree.


Minister in a conservative State government is a Warmist

The Gilets Jaune movement in France, rapidly spreading to other countries, stems from public revolts against the arrogance of the leaders that have been elected. The issue that has galvanised the French is government action to combat climate change, particularly its corollary of politically driven price increases for energy.

Many of these leaders who are the target of the demonstrations share similar career patterns. Starting with political activism at University they seamlessly move into working for a politician, thence into becoming themselves an elected politician, often parachuted into a safe seat, and from then on to ministerial office. All this is achieved without ever having had a real, productive job.

This describes NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin whose political agenda has been dominated by gay rights activism and who, as President of the NSW Upper House, supported a motion that described Mr Trump as ‘a revolting slug’ unfit for public office.

[Harwin has been described as a "sanctimonious windbag".  I like it -- JR]

An associate of lobbyist and political fixer Michael Photios, he applauds the Paris Treaty which is underpinned by the global warming fraud with its failed projections of significant temperature rises, increased incidences of hurricanes, rising sea levels etc. And, grandly calling for his opponents to surrender, he announces, “We need to end the “climate wars” and put science, economics and engineering ahead of ideology”. For good measure, he unselfconsciously adds, “That’s why NSW wants a sensible emissions policy to be embedded in the National Electricity Law, outside the high drama of the “Canberra bubble”.

Above all, in lockstep with the renewables business of his patron’s current wife, Kristina Photios, Mr Harwin is a true believer in renewables, maintaining, in the teeth of factual evidence to the contrary, “the era of baseload coal is coming to an end, fossil fuel plants are not a guarantee of reliability, wind and solar offer the cheapest forms of new generation”. Not only does he mistakenly see renewables as cheap, he also believes that solar and wind, the electricity from which is, by definition “intermittent” and therefore undependable, is more reliable than those coal plants that provide 90 per cent of NSW’s power.

In the run-up to the energy ministers meeting in Adelaide yesterday, Mr Harwin sought to resurrect the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) with its barely hidden tax on coal and additional subsidy to renewables. In doing so he scored an op-ed piece in the Australian Financial Review and a doe-eyed supportive piece by that paper’s resident climate alarmist, Ben Potter. Mr Harwin claimed the NEG and a pie-eyed proposal for zero emissions in 2050 would give investors certainty. He is right in saying that a further round of the subsidies inherent in the NEG would help propel further investment in renewables but, like all other advocates of this poor-quality source of electricity, he cannot explain why, if it is cheaper, that it needs a subsidy.

Mr Harwin had proposed that energy ministers meeting in Adelaide ask the Energy Security Board (ESB) to develop a national pathway to lower emissions. That would hardly have come out of the blue – the Minister would be acutely aware that the ESB (which devised the NEG’s regulatory carbon tax) shares his group-think about the coming, if not already arrived, competitive edge allegedly held by wind and solar. Its report would lend some pseudo-authoritative support for preferred direction.

Having failed to get his way, in what has become the familiar pattern of a Liberal Party riven with the climate wars and associated subsidies for renewables, he lashed out at the federal Liberals. He publicly excoriated his fellow party members, telling them that they should reconsider their positions, ”We want Australia to move forward on climate change. Not stand still.”

Renewable energy subsidies have poisoned the Australian electricity industry, converting it from the cheapest to among the dearest in the world. It will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to unwind the effect of this act of political vandalism on the economy. The ALP is openly promoting further such action and there is no sign that the Liberal Party’s “broad church” can accommodate the differing views and interests on energy which would allow it to make a start in reforming the damage of previous policies. 


Western civilization course to be progressive, include 'marginalised voices'

The architect of Wollongong University's controversial Western civilisation degree has urged critics not to "judge a great books course by its cover", saying the course would be progressive and include marginalised voices.

Philosophy professor Dan Hutto will design and run the degree, which has become the first in Australia to be funded by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation despite widespread opposition from UOW academics.

Professor Hutto said the course would be philosophically-driven, with some subjects focusing on historical periods, such as the works of ancient Greeks, and others exploring wider, enduring philosophical questions.

In those broader subjects, he was looking "absolutely to bring in the non-Western perspective in a number of places, to ensure that marginalised and under-represented voices are captured," he said.

"[I'm planning a course that] makes comparisons and links to other non-Western traditions. One that makes sure that in bringing in modern-day research, you make sure that you have a good distribution of female voices, and minorities.

"My interest there is to make those links, not to avoid them."

A unit on the philosophy of religion, for example, would compare relevant passages of the Bible and Koran. "Buddhism is another natural point of connection," said Professor Hutto. "We'd have a course down the line on the nature of the self."

Professor Hutto said course material could even include the public debate around their own degree,  in which critics have argued a Western civilisation degree is backward-looking and Eurocentric, while other say it is an important field of study.

"People are saying it's going to be an ideological brain wash," he said. "It couldn't be further from that. The questions that are being played out will make amazing fodder for students, to see why these thing matter."

The Ramsay board - which includes former conservative prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott - would not be able to influence teaching, even though they would be allowed to observe classes from time to time. "Nobody is going to tell me what to do in this course," said Professor Hutto.

Professor Hutto, who will head the new School of Liberal Arts set to house the course, said the curriculum was still being developed, and would be influenced by the expertise and views of academic staff hired over coming months.

It would also have to conform to the university's curriculum design principles, which involved connection with Indigenous perspectives. He asked the course's many critics at UOW to suspend judgment until they knew more about it. "You shouldn't judge a great books program by its cover," he said.

The so-called Ramsay Scholars - who would receive scholarships of up to $27,000 each - would not only need ATARs of at least 95.

"[They will need] intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to embrace these questions," Professor Hutto said.  "I hope they become articulate, erudite, ask reflective questions. They will be critical and creative thinkers, just the kind of people who can make a reasoned response to every kind of question.

"We are actually teaching them how to think, not what to think. It gives them very general and very desirable [skills] ... to speak well, write well, to articulate, and make a rational and civil argument, they are pretty valuable in today's world."

The Ramsay Centre is also talking to Sydney and Queensland Universities about funding courses there.


 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

1 comment:

Paul said...

You're right. "NAZI" salutes are pure Hollywood, and about as hollow but they still have the desired effect. Pavlov was right.

The message though seems clear: Africans may do what they want because diversity and oppression, but anyone guilty of noticing will feel the full force of the Law.