Sunday, March 17, 2019

Cardinal Pell And Australian Conservatism

John Tomlinson is a welfare academic.  In the far-Left "New Matilda" he writes:

"I have always had a grudging tolerance for the classical conservative position with its defence of the established order, a belief in the imperfection of human beings, the necessity of privilege and leadership. Associated with the conservative position is adherence to traditional values (such as the primacy of the extended family), the importance of work and of sexual restraint, the sanctity of private property and an abhorrence of utopian social change." 

That's not a bad definition of conservatism.  The thing he leaves out of the definition, however, is the key to his whole attack on Australian conservatism.  He leaves out the importance of individual responsibility.  He clearly believes instead in social responsibility.  He sees no problem in taking money off people who have earned it and giving it to people who have not earned it. Conservatives do see a moral problem there but in a classical conservative way resort to compromise:  Do it but limit it as far as possible.  Tomlinson is clearly uninterested in limits to redistribution.

He seems in fact to be uninterested in balance of any sort. Take his comments on Cardinal Pell.  That anybody might take a nuanced view of His Eminence fills him with rage.  He writes:

"Amongst those who gave court character references there was a ‘Craven’ vice chancellor of the Catholic University, an ex-‘socially conservative’ prime minister who had a track record of being reluctant to sack ex-Governor General, Peter Hollingsworth (who had previously been an Anglican Archbishop, who was, at the time, enmeshed in his own scandal).

It takes a particular style of myogenous, misanthropic troglodyte, with a total commitment to turning away from the obvious towards the promotion of arch-conservatism to stand where these men found themselves. They can’t claim to have been blinded by God, and fear and light – it is just that they have lost sight of any sense of right.

Then, of course, there were the trainee galahs in the media such as Andrew Bolt and Janet Albrechtsen who despite, the twelve and true finding Pell guilty of five counts of child molestation, declared the Cardinal innocent.

Howard, Craven, Albrechtsen and Bolt are all part of a right-wing putsch determined to drive out decency and humanity from our nation. But are they conservatives in the classical meaning of the term? In Howard’s court reference for Pell he writes:

“I am aware he has been convicted of those charges; that an appeal against the conviction has been lodged and that he maintains his innocence in respect of these charges. None of these matters alter my opinion of the Cardinal.

“Cardinal Pell is a person of both high intelligence and exemplary character. Strength and sincerity have always been features of his personality. I have always found him to be lacking hypocrisy and cant. In his chosen vocation he has frequently displayed much courage and held to his values and beliefs, irrespective of the prevailing wisdom of the time.”

I suppose that when Pell was rabidly denouncing gay sex, same sex marriage, abortion, divorce, adultery and environmentalism Howard considered him to be “displaying much courage and holding to his values and beliefs, irrespective of the prevailing wisdom of the time”. Clearly as the same sex plebiscite established, Pell was neither reflecting the general will nor the wisdom of the time.

The schmozzle of ideas professed by Pell, Howard, Craven, Albrechtsen and Bolt seem to have little to do with sexual constraint or conservatism generally but rather more to do with a particular reading of a neoliberal, protofascist conception of conservatism.

That anyone should doubt the guilt of His Eminence can only be due to foul motives in Tomlinson's view.  The thought that His Eminence might be the victim of a wrongful conviction cannot apparently be allowed into Tomlinson's mind. If Tomlinson had any kind of balance in his mind he might have considered the prosecution ongoing in Britain at the moment of the fantasist "Nick" -- a man who did immense damage with his lies.  His Eminence was convicted on one count by one accuser.  Could that accuser also be a fantasist?  His story was certainly replete with improbabilities

And wrongful convictions generally are a dime a dozen.  Black men are exonerated of serious crimes in the USA on an almost weekly basis.  Are Catholics seen as negatively to some people in Australia as blacks are in America?

We have certainly seen other instances of wrongful convictions that seem to have arisen from a jaundiced view of a group to which an innocent  person belongs.  Take the notorious case of Welsh footballer Ched Evans.  Evans spent a couple of years in jail and had a couple of unsuccessful appeals before he was finally exonerated.  So how come?  Evan was convicted of rape under the leadership of a gaggle of feminist officials even though the alleged rapee had consented and had never lodged any complaint about Evans.  The big mistake Evans made appears to have been being a typical footballer -- a type anathema to feminists.  The one male involved in the prosecution thought Evans had no case to answer.

The two examples I have just given are from Britain but Australians will remember the quite notorious case of Lindy Chamberlain -- where a devout Christian woman -- wife of a Pastor -- was convicted of murdering her baby -- on precisely zero evidence.  She was however a Seventh Day Adventist and a redneck jury apparently saw that as "weird" and making the woman capable of anything.  She spent some years in prison before she was finally exonerated.

So conservatives -- such as myself -- are simply being cautious until we know the outcome of his Eminence's appeal. Could he have been convicted not because of anything he did personally but because of the evil deeds of others in his church?  Being cautious is very conservative, after all.  It may even be definitional of conservatism.  The foul motives that Tomlinson attributes to conservatives in relation to Cardinal Pell in reality reveal the foul and bigoted mind of John Tomlinson.

Australian government urged to shut down Milo Yiannopoulos after Christchurch massacre

This is a typical despicable Leftist attempt to blame uninvolved others for the deeds of one man.  It all hinges on the Leftist inability to see people as individuals.  Leftists see people only as group members and reserve to themselves the right to say who belongs in which group.  It would not be stretching their logic too far to say that Tarrant was born in Australia so  therefore all Australians (including members of the Labor party!) bear a responsibility for his Christchurch attack. 

I wouldn't be surprised if some Leftists do assert that.  They might say (they do say) that Australia is racist and Tarrant was therefore simply expressing Australian racism

The claim below that what Leftists call "hate speech" leads to terrorist acts such as Tarrant's is an empty assertion untethered to any evidence.  David Hume pointed out a couple of hundred years ago that to identify a cause you have to have constant conjunction between the cause and the effect.  And there is no conjunction at all between what Leftists call "hate speech" and  acts of terrorism by whites.  Tens of millions of whites have heard words such as those by Yiannopoulos so where are are the acts of terrorism connected to them?  The usual reaction to Yiannopoloulos is no reaction other than, perhaps, a nod of the head. 

If there are ten million instances of a "cause" NOT leading to an alleged effect, that destroys the causal claim.  The effect needs something else to cause it.  In Tarrant's case, he seems to have seen a lot of the effects of Jihadi attacks during his extensive travels and that has enraged him.

The Australian government has been told it must cancel the visa for far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos following the Christchurch terrorist attack, with opposition frontbencher Tony Burke saying far-right extremism should be treated in the same way as other forms of terrorism.

The immigration minister, David Coleman, personally approved Yiannopoulos’s visa last week, against advice from the Department of Home Affairs, which earlier told Yiannopoulos he may fail the character test to enter Australia.

Burke, who is Labor’s spokesman for citizenship and multiculturalism, said rules around banning people who could be seen as supporting terrorism should be applied to all extremist ideologies.

“If someone wants to come to Australia and we know that they’ve been speaking in support of values that have given rise to other forms of terrorism, we don’t give them a visa,” Burke told ABC24.

“Only a few days ago, the government intervened against the department to provide a visa for someone to have a tour here in Australia to whip up hatred against Muslims. I would be stunned if the government goes ahead with that visa.”

The department has the ability to block a visa from a person on character grounds if it perceives there’s a risk they will commit a crime, harass people, vilify a segment of the Australian community or incite discord.

Recent speaking tours of US whistleblower Chelsea Manning and British conspiracy theorist and anti-semite David Icke were blocked after their visas were rejected on character grounds.

“We knock back people all the time with respect to other forms of hatred that have been consistent with what has resulted in terrorism actions,” Burke said. “We need to make sure the full force of the law treats this as the same as any other form of terrorism.”

Guardian Australia contacted Coleman’s office to ask if Yiannopoulos’s visa would be revoked after the Christchurch attack and did not receive an immediate response.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has called Friday’s massacre a “violent, extremist, right-wing terrorist attack” and also condemned comments from Queensland senator Fraser Anning, saying that “blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting”.

“Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian parliament,” Morrison said.

The Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman, Penny Wong, said Anning did not represent Australia.

Burke also criticised Anning’s comments but said: “the normalisation of bigotry is something that is not only confined to him.”

He said the use of hate speech was connected to violence and extremism and should be taken more seriously.

“There’s been an attempt in Australia by many people to normalise hate speech,” Burke said. “We get told, ‘Oh, it’s just freedom of speech’.”

He said that view had been pushed by “some [television] networks” and said the normalisation of hate speech was “not the whole story of what’s happened, but there is no doubt it is part of it”.

The Australian man charged with murder over the Christchurch attack was not on a terrorist watchlist, and Burke said it was possible that “up until now, many people would not have viewed this form of extremism as being as dangerous to people as every other form of extremism”.

“Anyone who had that doubt, that doubt finished yesterday,” he said.


Australia’s other border security problem: visa overstayers

There’s been plenty of discussion lately about the challenges of onshore protection claims from people arriving in Australia by air. Last month, I wrote that air arrivals were Australia’s most pressing immigration border security issue.

The argument is simple enough. In 2016–17, 18,290 applications for protection visas were lodged by people who arrived by air, 1,711 of which were granted. In 2017–18, the number of claims jumped to 27,931, 1,425 of which were granted.

Another dimension of the migration debate now finding its way into the public discourse is the problem of Australia’s visa overstayers, who are officially known as ‘unlawful non-citizens’.

The Department of Home Affairs’ 2017–18 annual report states that 99% of the 8,694,048 people granted temporary visas in that year maintained their lawful immigration status while in Australia. However, an estimated 86,940 people who entered Australia in 2017–18 breached their visa conditions. Many of them quickly left the country, but as of 30 June 2017, there were 62,900 unlawful non-citizens residing in Australia—a number that has remained roughly constant over the past few years.

Finding publicly available data on how long this cohort of unlawful non-citizens has been in Australia is difficult. In 2017, the then Department of Immigration and Border Protection provided the Joint Standing Committee on Migration with the most recent detailed (correct as at 30 June 2016) data on the issue (see graph below). That same year, the department reported that the majority of these unlawful non-Australians arrived on visitor visas, nearly 15% of which were student visas.

The graph above clearly illustrates that over 50% of unlawful non-citizens had been in Australia for five years or longer. While popular media might portray the majority of ‘visa overstayers’ as European or American backpackers, remaining in Australia for five years or more hardly constitutes an extended holiday or gap year.

Australia’s response to these immigration challenges has been carefully developed. It’s based on a conceptualisation of the border as a ‘continuum’ and uses a layered approach. Under this model, Australia’s border protection measures start long before anyone boards a plane.

The forward edge of immigration border security begins with some of the world’s strictest visa requirements. The next level of security measures is undertaken in collaboration with air carriers that operate services to Australia’s international airports.

Airline check-in counters perform initial checks to confirm travel documentation and forward passenger details to Australia to support the Australian Border Force’s risk-based framework for processing overseas arrivals. Australia’s use of financial sanctions against air carriers that allow passengers to arrive in Australia with false or incorrect travel documentation—passports and visas—makes this an effective mechanism.

To further enhance collaboration, the ABF has deployed 28 airline liaison officers to 19 key airports in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific region. Officially, the officers ‘work with airlines, airport security groups and host government authorities to facilitate genuine traveller movements and to identify and manage threats and risks’. The program has been an overwhelming success in enforcing migration rules. In 2017–18, the liaison officer network was responsible for preventing the arrival in Australia of:

205 travellers with counterfeit or fraudulently altered passports, imposters and those holding bogus or fraudulently obtained visas (up from 174 the year before)

555 travellers suspected of attempting to travel to Australia for purposes other than what they had declared.

At the border, the ABF has further enhanced its risk-based targeting, and in 2017–18 refused immigration clearance to 4,584 travellers, up from 4,132 the previous year. Most of these people are turned around and sent back to their last port of departure, or temporarily accommodated in onshore migration detention until the next available flight.

Behind the Australian border, the ABF conducts operational activities to identify unlawful non-citizens, especially those working illegally. However, most of the unlawful non-citizens (73% in 2017–18) who get in contact with the Department of Home Affairs do so voluntarily to resolve their status.

While the success of Operation Sovereign Borders and offshore processing in constricting the flow of irregular maritime arrivals may be fragile, it’s clear that the more pressing issue is the challenge that air arrivals present to maintaining the integrity of Australia’s borders. The graph below provides a comparative analysis of the breadth and scale of this challenge.

To respond to the issue, the Australian government needs to strengthen the border continuum to reduce temporary visa non-compliance. The temptation here is to make small policy tweaks, especially with respect to risk-based decision-making. While this might result in some initial success, what’s needed is a long-term investment in integrating Home Affairs’ information systems, including those that process Australia visas. Attention needs to be given to developing the department’s capabilities in the risk-modelling and big-data analytics that inform visa and border decision-making.

The cases of the 30,000+ unlawful non-citizens who have lived in Australia for five years or longer also need to be considered. Home Affairs has already sought to address the problem by raising employers’ awareness of the need to ensure that non-citizens have a legal right to work. Any additional efforts that are undertaken in the future need to carefully take into account the possible impacts on social cohesion.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

'How dare they': Mum told by her son’s teacher to STOP putting homemade biscuits in his lunchbox - 'unless she makes them for every child in the class'

"All men are equal" gone completely insane

A mother has been left furious after she was told not to pack her son homemade biscuits in his lunchbox - unless there's one for everyone in his class.

Australian mother Joanne said the uneaten cookies were sent home from the school with a handwritten note after her little boy wasn't allowed to eat the treat.

The note read: 'Dear mummy, can you please avoid sending cookies unless there is one for everyone. It's difficult for the other children when one has treats. Thank you.'

Taking to Facebook, Joanne said she was shocked by the comment but she wanted to see the teacher the next morning to get an explanation.

'I got this note sent home in my son's lunchbox because he had homemade biscuits in his lunchbox. I was horrified but didn't lose sleep over it, I figured I'd talk to the teacher the next day and see what she meant,' she said.

But when she met with the teacher, she was 'gobsmacked' by her response.

'She said it was "policy that homemade goods aren't encouraged unless there was enough to share with everyone". I questioned why and tried to talk to her openly but she said that it wasn't encouraged,' the mother said.

'I asked "if a pack of Tiny Teddies or Shapes would be okay and she said "that would be fine". So... I questioned how a homemade biscuit with four ingredients isn't encouraged, but a processed packet supermarket option was okay?

'She just kept saying it was policy and that the parent committee runs the policies so I'd need to take it up with them.'

The mother - who runs an additive-free living business - said she even suggested to the teacher she could come in to talk to the parents about the appropriate foods to pack in children's lunchboxes.

'She shut me down and questioned why I was feeling so passionate about this. I got nowhere,' Joanne said.

Despite the outcome, Joanne said she has since taped the blue note on her office wall as 'motivation' to remind her of the healthy lifestyle she already follows at home.

She clarified the incident happened in early 2017 but she later shared it to her Facebook page, which has since been met with outrage from fellow parents.

One woman said: 'That is madness! You are doing an amazing job at educating others. Keep going one family at a time and the ripple effect will catch up. Some are slow learners.'

Another said: 'This is rough! I was asked to stop sending sultanas in my child's lunchbox as it was deemed too unhealthy but packaged muesli bars, cakes and roll ups are fine. Sigh.'

Another woman suggested: 'Surely he wouldn't be able to share with everyone, what about the allergies issue?'

And one said: 'That is absolutely ridiculous! How dare they shut down a parent supplying their child with decent food! As a teacher I am constantly battling the opposite way, I can't imagine discouraging home baked goods. Keep fighting the good fight.'


 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


Paul said...

I assume Penny Wong thinks that she represents Australia.

Paul said...

Good to know that our schools are in the vanguard of the fight for biscuit justice.