Friday, April 19, 2019

The term 'disabled' is insulting and should be replaced by 'Access Inclusion Seekers'

Mark Tonga is a tetraplegic as a result of a football accident

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is considering a plan to normalise the term 'Access Inclusion Seekers' when referring to disabled people. 

The City Council is revamping their disability policies, with the council's inclusion expert advisory panel now claiming the 'd' word may soon be as offensive as the 'n' word.  

One on the panel, Mark Tonga, said using the term 'disabled' portrays people as having 'less capacity and less ability,' The Daily Telegraph reports. [Because they do]

'Disability is a subliminal pejorative for many. It's negative. Perhaps sooner than you think, the "d" work will be as offensive as the "n" word is now,' he said. 

But Dr Jeremy Sammut, Centre for Independent Studies research fellow, disagreed. He claimed that policing the language people used was unnecessary and argued issues about inclusion had been dealt with in the past.

'Social attitudes to disability have already changed and almost no one stigmatises and diminishes what people with disability can and should achieve,' Dr Sammut said.

'This is the reason why there is national support for the NDIS... the term "Access Inclusion Seekers" would be very patronising surely when these people think of someone "disabled" as being someone like... Dylan Alcott,' he said.

A council spokeswoman said Mr Tonga was a valuable member of the advisory panel and that they would consider his submission.


How the wheels have suddenly fallen off "shifty" Bill Shorten's campaign after a series of embarrassing stumbles

The man who is the overwhelming favourite to become Australia's next prime minister has had a horror 24 hours on the election campaign trail.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, whose Labor Party is ahead in the polls, badly tripped up when it came to explaining his climate change and superannuation tax policies.

The Labor Party has also removed from its website detailed explanations around its plans to wind back negative gearing tax breaks for landlords and deprive share-owning retirees of tax refunds.

Mr Shorten had testy exchanges with not one, but two, reporters on Tuesday as he campaigned in the marginal Liberal-held electorate of Boothby, in Adelaide's southern suburbs.

The Labor leader repeatedly refused to rule out raising taxes on superannuation contributions, despite being asked the same question twice by Sky News journalist James O'Doherty. 'We have no plans to increase taxes,' Mr Shorten told reporters.

When asked again if he could guarantee there would be no tax increases, the Labor leader repeated what he had just said. 'We have no plans to introduce any new taxes in superannuation,' he said.

Finance Minister Matthias Cormann exploited the exchange to accuse Mr Shorten of telling fibs when it came to raising taxes. 'Bill Shorten yesterday lied to the Australian people,' he told Sky News on Wednesday morning.

Hours later, Mr Shorten admitted in Perth had he failed to answer O'Doherty's question.

'I was answering a question which I thought I'd been asked and I accept that it was a different question asked,' he told reporters on Wednesday, before clarifying the winding back of a tax concession on super was not the same as increasing taxes.

In the same Tuesday media conference at Bedford Park, 10 News First reporter Jonathan Lea became frustrated when Mr Shorten declined to provide detail on how Labor's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent within 11 years would affect the economy.

'When can voters expect to learn more about Labor's emission reduction target, how you're going to get there and the cost to the economy?' Lea asked.

Lea said Mr Shorten's reply to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's budget was 'focused exclusively on health', a claim Mr Shorten took exception to.

'First of all I haven't spoken exclusively about health... I don't know what private conversations you have with people or what you want to reveal, but let me go to the record,' Mr Shorten said.

Adding to Labor's woes, the party was accused of hiding its policies from voters after its website removed details of plans to scrap negative gearing tax breaks for future purchases of existing properties, and halve the capital gains discount from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.

Labor is also proposing to stop share-owning retirees, who don't pay income tax, from receiving tax refunds, also known as franking credits.

A brief fact sheet about this policy, unveiled last year, was still on the party website, as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Opposition initially released its negative gearing policy in early 2016, ahead of the previous federal election.

It had earlier argued its plan to scale back of franking credits and wind back negative gearing would save almost $80billion during the next decade, but Labor argued it needed to update its costings.

When the subject of the website was raised on Wednesday, at another media conference in Perth, Mr Shorten deferred to shadow treasurer Chris Bowen.

Mr Bowen explained the party's national secretary Noah Carroll was updating the online content. 'All the policies will be put there which hasn't been the case in every other election that all the polices are outlined on the website,' he told reporters.

'Some of them were taken down to be updated some time ago. 'They are being updated, they will be on the website, all our policies.'

Mr Bowen, who previously served as treasurer in 2013 when Labor was last in government, said details of the Opposition's three-year old policies needed to be updated. 'Some of the policies we announced in 2016, this is the 2019 election, those pages need to be updated and it will happen,' he said.

A Newspoll released this week had Labor leading the Coalition Government 52 to 48 per cent, after preferences.

If replicated at the May 18 election, the government would lose 12 seats to Labor, with a swing of 2.4 per cent against them.

Sportsbet still had Labor as the favourite to win the election, with short odds of $1.18 compared with $4.75 for Mr Morrison's Liberal-National Coalition.

Shorten’s carbon costs to hit $25bn

All in pursuit of a chimera

Australian businesses could be forced to spend more than $25 billion on international carbon credits to meet Labor’s 45 per cent emissions reduction targets by 2030, jeopardising one of Bill Shorten’s fundamental election pillars, which he declared would have no cost to the economy.

Threatening a repeat of their 2010 scuttling of Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme, the Greens yesterday warned they could block Labor’s use of international carbon permits in the Senate over concerns that the policy was overly reliant on international permits to meet the 1.3 billion tonnes of carbon abatement needed in the next 10 years.

The Labor leader yesterday came under fire after being unable to explain what the cost of the ­policy would be, given carbon permits are set to play a key role in meeting the target.

Experts believe the price of international carbon offsets could hit $62 a tonne over the decade but, allowing for an average of $50 a tonne, the hit on businesses would be about $25bn to meet Labor’s target.

This is based on an assumption that more than 500 million tonnes of abatement would have to come through either the purchase of international carbon credits or further land-clearing controls and reforestation, which would prove politically explosive in the bush.

A day after refusing to answer questions on the cost to the economy of Labor’s climate policy, Mr Shorten yesterday declared a 2015 report by economist Warwick McKibbin showed “our 45 per cent reduction, including international offsets, has the same economic ­impact as the Liberals’ 26 per cent”.

Mr Shorten seized on the McKibbin report’s forecast that economic growth would continue at more than 2 per cent under ­either scenario through the 2020s to dismiss suggestions Labor’s policy would be a hit to the economy.

“I don’t accept the characterisation that it is a cost,” the Opposition Leader said. “We’re going to grow. And we’re going to grow ­because we are going to move to a lower carbon pollution economy.”

The McKibbin study, conducted for the Abbott government, showed that a 45 per cent carbon emissions cut on 2005 levels — the same as proposed by Labor — would strip about 1 per cent of GDP by 2030, compared with 0.6 per cent under the Coalition’s 26 per cent cut.

By offsetting nearly half the necessary cuts with international carbon offsets, which Labor has committed to doing, the McKibbin study found the GDP hit from a 45 per cent emissions reduction could be slashed to 0.6 per cent — the same cost as under the ­Coalition.

The study did not factor in the government’s use of carried-over credits from over-achievement in the Kyoto climate agreement, which Labor had elected not to use — a move that will further push up the cost of its policy.

Professor McKibbin cautioned that the modelling assumed a carbon price mandated by the government at the time of $US5 a tonne in 2020, rising to $US10 in 2030. “If the price of offsets in the world is higher than we assume, that effect is gone,” he told The Australian yesterday. “We don’t know what the price of offsets will be in 2030. These numbers are not precise in any sense.”

The price of carbon permits on the EU market has more than tripled in the past year due to reforms to curb oversupply. Permits for delivery in December traded at €26.86 ($42.22) per metric ton on Tuesday. Modelling by former government scientist Brian Fisher, an author on the Inter­governmental Panel on Climate Change and now head of BAEconomics, has estimated the international carbon price will be $62 a tonne by 2030.

A Labor campaign spokeswoman said yesterday the party was yet to determine how much of its 45 per cent in emissions cuts would be delivered through purchasing international permits.

Greens climate change spokesman Adam Bandt said the minority party would resist the use of international permits in any Labor scheme, threatening a Senate showdown with a future Shorten government.

“International offsets are like paying someone to go on a diet for you while you stay at home eating burgers and pizzas,” Mr Bandt said.

“I’m confident climate laws can pass the new Senate, but Labor is going to have to give up on international offsets and accept a plan to quit coal. Greens and Labor worked together and compromised in 2011 to get real climate ­action and we can do so again.”

The Greens under Bob Brown sank Mr Rudd’s carbon pollution reduction scheme, arguing it wasn’t ambitious enough. The party backed Julia Gillard’s carbon tax the following year.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said yesterday Labor needed to tell voters and the business community how much would have to be paid to international carbon offset brokers under its policy. “Australians need to be informed about the amount of money that is going to be paid to other countries as part of this scheme,” Mr Taylor said. “If international credits average $50 over the decade, if they have to achieve 500 million tonnes, that’s $25bn going offshore.”

He said Labor was also yet to explain what emissions target ­industry would face, how fast would emissions be brought down, how its emissions trading scheme would work, and how it would treat emissions from the heavy transport fleet.

Under its policy, the Coalition has to cut 328 million tonnes of carbon emissions to meet its 26 per cent reduction under the Paris target by 2030. Labor has to cut about 1.3 billion tonnes. Government analysis of Labor’s policy suggests it will deliver just 815 million tonnes of abatement by 2030 without significant controls on land clearing and the purchase of international carbon credits. The 45 per cent reductions in the energy sector would lead to a reduction of 247 million tonnes, while emissions controls on cars would ­deliver a reduction of 59 million tonnes, according to the former Climate Change Authority.

Agriculture is exempt from Labor’s policy. The expansion of the safeguard mechanism on the business sector, which will cap carbon emissions for companies that produce more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon a year, is estimated to lead to a reduction of 509 million tonnes. This leaves 511 million tonnes still to be taken out of the economy that would have to be largely met through the purchase of international carbon permits.

The debate yesterday came amid new evidence of a surge in employment in the renewable energy industry, with new ABS figures showing 17,740 renewables jobs in 2017-18, up by 28 per cent on the previous year.


Is the Budget really sexist?

Apparently, the women of Australia were short-changed by the federal budget last week — as it contained “no strategy or vision” for the advancement of Australian women.

Indeed, one article even claimed the budget process is clearly “failing” Australian women and lacks a ‘gender lens’ — and what Australia needs is a ‘women’s budget’.
But these assertions are ridiculous for two reasons.

First, women are stakeholders in the economy just as much as men. Women work hard, pay their taxes, run their own businesses, and invest in assets. Women are also consumers in the economy just like men: they are affected by house prices, power bills and transport congestion.

So it seems bizarre, if not downright condescending, to pretend that women don’t care — or have no reason to care — about a healthy economy, more efficient taxes, better infrastructure, or good fiscal management.

After all, millions of women will benefit significantly from the government’s tax cuts announced in the budget (if the tax cuts are ever legislated, that is) – including more than two million women who earn above the median income. Why do women’s advocates ignore or downplay this?

Secondly, using a ‘gender lens’ is a reductionist way to evaluate the Budget. We should be cognisant of the impact of government policies on women. But equally, that should apply to policies that are more likely to affect men, children, the elderly, disabled — or any other demographic group.

Regardless, public calls for the budget to focus more on women often prove to be a thinly disguised call for more government spending. This not only undermines the credibility of the idea but sits at direct odds with many Australian women who believe in responsible government.

And that relates to a further point: women are not a homogenous group when it comes to their views on policies. They are free-thinking individuals. Women have different values, political opinions and priorities, which will inform their opinions on the budget.

Clearly, the budget isn’t sexist. But suggesting that women should only care about a pre-defined set of ‘women’s issues’ certainly is.


Vegemite helps prevent miscarriages and birth defects

Like it or loathe it, but marmite [and Vegemite] could help prevent millions of miscarriages and birth defects around the world.

A landmark study in Australia has found Vitamin B3, a lot of which is found in the divisive yeast extract spread, can treat critical molecular deficiencies in pregnant women.

The ground-breaking results were announced after 12 years of research by scientists at Sydney's Victor Chang Cardia Research Institute.

“The ramifications are likely to be huge. This has the potential to significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world and I do not say those words lightly,” lead researcher Professor Sally Dunwoodie said on Thursday.

Every year 7.9 million babies are born with a birth defect worldwide and in the UK, it's estimated that one in six pregnancies end in a miscarriage.

Greg Hunt, Australia's Health Minister, hailed the study as a "historic medical breakthrough".

"Today's announcement provides new hope to the one in four pregnant women who suffer a miscarriage," Mr Hunt said Thursday, citing Australian data."

The scientists used genetic sequencing on families suffering from miscarriages and birth defects and found gene mutations that affected production of the molecule, NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide).

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found a deficiency in that important molecule can harm the development of the baby and its organs in the womb.

“Now after 12 years of research, our team has also discovered that this deficiency can be cured and miscarriages and birth defects prevented by taking a common vitamin,” Prof Dunwoodie said.

This supplement is vitamin B3, also known as niacin, which is found in various meats and green vegetables - as well as marmite and its Australian equivalent, Vegemite. A single serving of the black stuff contains 36pc of your recommended daily allowance of of B3.

Scientists made the breakthrough after investigating the effect of vitamin B3 on mice embryos that had the same genetic mutations as families that had experienced multiple congenital malformations.

Those mothers who were not given additional vitamin B3 went on to have a miscarriage or the babies were born with birth defects.

After adding the dietary supplement, however, all the offspring were born healthy.

Prof Robert Graham, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute executive director, compared the "profound" breakthough to the discovery in the previous century that found folic acid supplementation can prevent spina bifida and other neural tube defects in babies.

"This will change the way pregnant women are cared for around the world," he said.


 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...

Access inclusion seeker?

Isn't that what all men of dating age are?