Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Lion Helmet has had his chips

Former senator David Leyonhjelm's state political career is over before it even began, with the NSW Electoral Commission's final count revealing the Liberal Democrats did not win an Upper House seat.

Two weeks ago Mr Leyonhjelm prematurely claimed victory when he published a blog post titled "a manifesto for a crossbencher" and announced it was "evident" he had been elected.

After preferences were distributed this morning, it was confirmed he had not made the cut.

He also changed his Twitter bio, which had read "NSW MLC for the Liberal Democrats" to "former senator for the Liberal Democrats".

The Coalition won eight seats, Labor seven, two each for the Greens and One Nation, and one each for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and Animal Justice Party.

Mr Leyonhjelm quit federal politics in January this year to contest the NSW election as he wanted to work on "nanny-state issues"

The final results for the Upper House end a three-way race between Christian Democrat MLC Paul Green, One Nation's second candidate Rod Roberts and Mr Leyonhjelm.

The Liberal Democrats secured 0.46 of a quota, or just under half the votes they needed to win a seat in the Upper House.

That meant Mr Leyonhjelm was relying on preferences to make up a full quota.

The Animal Justice Party's Emma Hurst was the surprise winner, securing an Upper House seat on preferences.

The party received just under half of the votes needed to secure a seat before the final count.

It is likely the Sydney-born animal advocate party will side with the two Greens MPs in an unofficial progressive voting bloc.

The Coalition gained an eighth seat with the re-election of NSW National Wes Fang.

Labor's seventh seat went to Electrical Trade Union organiser and former Sutherland Shire Councillor Mark Buttigieg.

One Nation won a second seat on preferences, electing the party's number two candidate Rod Roberts.

Former federal Labor leader Mark Latham was first on One Nation's ticket, and had been assured of a spot for weeks.

Fred Nile's Christian Democratic Party failed to secure a seat — although he was not up for election this time and will now be the party's only Upper House representative.


Recycling:  Another failed Greenie idea

It costs money to make something useful out of rubbish -- so most of it is just burnt.  But they are not allowed to burn it at home -- so it is shipped overseas for that.  We pay them to burn it

We all think we’re doing something decent for the environment when we recycle — but the truth about where it ends up might shock you.

Most of Australia’s plastic rubbish ends up being stockpiled in warehouses or shipped to South-East Asia to be illegally burned.

This means that, instead of being recycled, mountains of it is being dumped, buried or burned in illegal processing facilities and junkyards in Southeast Asia.

Sunday’s night’s episode of 60 Minutes explores the contentious practice and it argues it began when China closed its doors to Australia’s plastic waste just over a year ago.

It argues that, for more than two decades, our plastic recycling industry was reliant on China — who we sold our mixed and often contaminated plastic waste, and they melted it down into new plastic goods to sell back to us and the rest of the world.

However, much of it is now just stacking up in the yards and warehouses of Australian recycling companies — as we don’t have the facilities to reprocess it ourselves.

“I think most people in Australia feel lied to, I think they feel disappointed,” Plastic Forests founder and owner David Hodge told 60 Minutes. “Ninety per cent of people do want to recycle, and they need to be enabled to be able to do that.”

Since China stopped buying our rubbish, India — which was the fourth biggest import for Australia’s waste — followed suit last December.

As a result, Australia’s recyclable rubbish is now being dumped in Indonesia, Vietnam and, in particular, Malaysia, which received more than 71,000 tonnes of our plastic in the last year alone.

Mr Hodge told the program the worrying trend has come about as a result of a lack of planning in Australia. “We haven’t built the infrastructure. We haven’t thought ahead,” he tells Bartlett. “Now we’re here and we’re drowning in plastic.”

Analysis of our waste exports commissioned by the Department of the Environment and Energy stated that several Asian countries, including Malaysia have proposed crackdowns on waste imports.

“If Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand enacted waste import bans similar to China’s, Australia would need to find substitute domestic or export markets for approximately 1.29 million tonnes (or $530 million) of waste a year, based on 2017-18 export amounts,” the analysis warned.

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) chief executive officer, Gayle Sloan, has taken aim at the Federal Government — saying it has done “done nothing” since China shut us off.

She told ABC, the 1.2 million tonnes of recyclable materials households are producing could be turned into jobs and investment if the circular economy can only take off. “We’ve had meetings, we had more meetings, and then we’ve had more talk, and we had no action,” she said. [In other words it costs money to recycle]

Now, Mr Hodge’s company is hoping the exposure of mainstream media coverage will make the government and the public take notice.  “Recycling only works when people, corporates and government buy products made with recycled content,” the company wrote on its Facebook page this week.

“As we know, the options to send our waste or a misallocated resource overseas will come to an end.”


European and English-speaking migrants back immigration cuts and fear Australia is losing its identity

European and English-speaking migrants are more likely to back immigration cuts as they fear Australia is losing its cultural identity.

Migrants from these nations are less likely to support those born in other countries, with 58 per cent agreeing immigration should be cut, a survey by the Australian Population Research Institute has found.

However, two-thirds of Asian migrants favour an increase in migrant numbers and disagree with the idea that Australia's identity is disappearing.

Report authors Dr Bob Birrell and Dr Katharine Betts also found non-graduates are more likely to support the cuts compared to university graduates.

There were 67 per cent of graduates who supported an increase in immigration.

Dr Birrell and Dr Betts told the Herald Sun that second-generation migrants are more skeptical about immigration. 'These migrants have become an important part of a voter base worried about immigration,' they said.

However the survey also found that 58 per cent of Australian-born individuals agreed Australia was in danger of losing its identity and 47 per cent of voters supported 'a partial ban' on Muslim immigration.


Thinker Mark Bauerlein:  An academic who approves of Western Civilization

Where to start with Mark Bauerlein? He is a thinker whose time has come. He recently wrote that the boxing gym is the most civil and courteous place he has been. The 60-year-old professor of English plays Fortnite with his son, the game Prince Harry wants banned. And he is in Australia this week as a guest of the Institute of Public Affairs, to tell us why the great books of Western civilisation matter. And why the Left won’t cede an inch of control over campus.

He made a splash with his 2008 book, The Dumbest Generation, decrying the digital age for producing a society of know-nothings. During lunch on a warm autumn day in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, I suggest he’s too hard on millennials; mine at home don’t fit his thesis. Happily, he is more curious than querulous. And he laughs a lot. Bauerlein was a Left-liberal for most of his life; a secular, militant atheist, too. He grew up in California, after all.

Then he looked around at the people, the ideas, the predictability and grew bored. So he read other stuff, found the locus of freedom in conservative thought. Now he is a Catholic and writes for First Things, a leading American conservative magazine.

He defends Milo Yiannopoulos and Donald Trump, and thinks Bernie Sanders is a much bigger threat than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He has worn a Make America Great Again T-shirt under his buttoned-up shirt on campus at Emory University where, for decades, he taught.

His English students learned the greats: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Hen­ry James, TS Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens. And Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Heideg­ger, Derrida and Foucault featured in his philosophy lessons. He retired from teaching a few months ago and is back working in Washington, DC.

Outside the boxing ring, Bauerlein packs a punch, too. Here’s a snapshot from a two-hour rumination over why Western civilisation matters and why the Left is a place for misery guts.

The perfect segue, then, into the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. “Ramsay asked for this little tiny piece of ground in this big university, just a little sliver for us to do our Western civ thing. Uhhh. No, said the activists. We’ve got 100 acres and we’re not going to give you a square foot. We don’t want you around.

“They know where these kids are going if they have the choice between a course on queer theory and cross-dressing or a course on Macbeth or King Lear.

“Kids know they are entering into the adult world, into the monumental, the historic, the sublime, the great books. Here we have Lady Macbeth walking up and down the hallway rubbing her hands clean, saying: ‘Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?’

“They want moments like when Dido piles up all the furniture that she and Aeneas make love on, and Aeneas has taken off with his buddies in the night, and she has this moment of great rejection and kills herself.

“It’s flattering to be told: ‘We’re teaching you the epic, the grand, the momentous occasions.’ ”

Why identity politicians are uninspiring. “They have trans­lated the campus into their own strange therapeutic method. In the identity politics classroom, you can act on your resentment because your father was a jerk or life hasn’t turned out so good. They know they can’t compete with the colossus of civilisation, so they’re not gonna give you anything. These are not pluralistic souls, these are minor league totalitar­ians.”

But understand the temptation. “Identity politics produces a very emotionally satisfying moral drama. In a chaotic world, you know who the good guys and the bad guys are. You have a whole script about the past and the present, about politics. Everything lines up very nicely. It is a place to put resentment, disappointment, struggle, victimhood.”

Beware young revolutionaries: “They are much more dangerous than old revolutionaries. The strongest accusers in the Cambodian revolution were the young.

“Before I arrived in Sydney, I watched a YouTube clip of a panel on your (ABC) Q&A show. A young girl in the audience, about 21 years old, announces she is a young socialist, and she goes on this rant, first about Tony Abbott, she called him a toxic racist, or something, then she rails against Western civilisation for its col­onialism, its racism.

“All the panellists were passive. She had all the force in the room, the rage, the indigna­tion. Identity politics has given her power and confidence to berate them, unfettered by knowledge.”

The loss of humanities is a terrible thing. “History is a permanent instruction in original sin. But kids don’t get that instruction.

“A 21-year-old social justice warrior hasn’t read (those essays by ex-communists in) The God That Failed, or Whittaker Chambers’s Witness, they don’t know what Stalinists did in the Spanish civil war, they don’t know about the assassination of Trotsky or what happened in the French Revolution.

“That’s the advantage of being young, you haven’t seen this happen yet and that’s the advantage of not knowing any history. They don’t know the fate of Robes­pierre. One day you’re leading the charge, next day your head is in the guillotine.”

Why learn the classics? “The great books give you standards of judgment that enable you to filter the good from the bad, the relevant from the irrelevant, the significant from the insignificant.

“It’s really good to have read Plutarch or listen to Mark Antony’s speech over the death of Caesar, or to know the great orators of the past; they give you standards of how to judge the orators of the present, how bad they are. This is what humanistic learning does, it gives you a critical yardstick.”

Why identity politicians don’t believe in greatness: “They suffer from this condition that Nietzsche brilliantly identified as ressentiment, the French term for resentment. Not ‘I resent this or that’. Ressentiment is a general attitude towards the world. They resent great things. Greatness makes them feel their own mediocrity. They don’t believe in heroes because heroes remind them of their inferiority.”

Or heroes. “People with ressentiment want to tear down heroes and statues. They look at a hero like Thomas Jefferson and say: ‘He’s a slave owner.’ But if you don’t suffer from ressentiment, you look at Jefferson and say: ‘Don’t you understand, Jefferson grows up in a slave society, his family owned slaves, his plantation depends on slaves, his material wellbeing depends upon slaves, everything conditions him to be a full-on supporter of slavery.

“Jefferson, in spite of all his conditioning, was able to write the Declaration of Independence that becomes an inspiration for Frederick Douglass, the abolitionists, Martin Luther King, all these oppressed groups. In Europe, European revolutionaries in 1848 loved the Declaration of Independence. If you have ressentiment, you choose slavery guilt over giving Jefferson any credit.”

Why the Left hates Trump: “Guilt is the strongest sociopolitical weapon the Left has had for 50 years. And it didn’t work on Trump. He has no male guilt, no white guilt, no Christian guilt, no American guilt, he’s not going to apologise for anything because he doesn’t feel guilty.”

Why the Left hates Milo: “The Left has a long history of provocateurs, comedians, performers who trash the Right. That kind of ribald humour directed at conservatives did a lot of damage, making them out as old-fashioned curmudgeons. Milo did the same. Only he aimed at the Left. He made people laugh at the feminists, at Hillary (Clinton). He took their weapon and they couldn’t bear to lose it. Now they are the boring puritans.”

Bauerlein returns to where he started, with the Ramsay Centre and how to teach the big touchstones of Western civilisation.

“They are wasting their money,” he says. “I have seen efforts like this in the US for 20 years, trying to establish a beachhead on a college campus. These programs have done nothing to change the ideological climate or the wider curriculum of the campus. Political correctness is worse now than it has ever been.”

But there is hunger among students to learn about our colossus civilisation. Bauerlein mentions other platforms, podcasts, YouTube, new ways for teachers to reach kids about the strength of our great ideas.

Then a final lesson for the afternoon. “Freedom? This is an unusual idea,” he says slowly, with deliberate intonation. “Do you think it came out of thin air? Someone had to develop these ideas. Cultures had to say this is a good idea, and there weren’t many that did that. One of them was Athens. Another was Rome under the republic before the emperors took over. Someone did this. And it can be undone very easily.”

This is not academic chitchat. For years now, the Lowy Institute has polled attitudes to democracy in Australia, finding that about half of Australians aged 18 to 24 do not think democracy is the most preferable form of government. Those dismal numbers tell us that you are not likely to defend what you do not understand. That means we need many more Bauerleins teaching the epic history of liberal democracy.


 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...

The "Animal Justice" Party???

(Its a woman, of course).