Friday, June 28, 2019

Some Leftist bile over free speech

The angry Jacqueline Maley, complete with forced smile

Jacqueline Maley of the SMH exhibits the angry, abusive Leftist mind very clearly.  Below are some excerpts of what she wrote about Bettina Arndt.  It would be called hate speech if a conservative had written it. It reeks of hate.  A comment about it received from Bettina Arndt below:

" Signs of desperation from journalist Jacqueline Maley in her extremely nasty, personal attack on me last week in the Sydney Morning Herald. The feminists are clearly worried that I am winning a few rounds."

Maley starts out on an hilarious note.  She seems to think free speech was alive and well when the Riot Squad had to be called to enable Bettina's talk to go ahead.  She is clearly just a Leftist bigot determined to think that the coercive Left can do no wrong

And, most ironically,  after her explosion of bile directed at Bettina she ends advocating "civility, and the will, to listen to each other respectfully".   She clearly is in deep denial about her own behaviour.  Freud would find her mental defences fascinating

It is largely because of publicity around a talk Arndt gave at Sydney University last year that federal Education Minister Dan Tehan called a review into free speech in universities.

The Arndt talk was part of what she called her "Fake Rape Crisis Tour". She was invited by the university's Liberal Club. About 40 students, led by the women's group on campus, protested against the event. Police were called when some tried to block the entrance and disrupt the talk. They were unsuccessful - it went ahead. Arndt was free to spread her views.

Somewhat awkwardly, the independent review into campus free speech, conducted by former High Court chief justice Robert French, found that "claims of a freedom of speech crisis on Australian campuses are not substantiated".

Not having got what they wanted - confirmation of a crisis they asserted existed - the usual voices in the conservative media, and Dan Tehan, have focused instead on French's recommendation that universities adopt a Model Code to promote free speech on campuses.

In the conclusions of his report, French mentions the idea of "intellectual rubbish", and notes, rather drily, that "there certainly is an abundance of it".

As French puts it: "The question may be asked whether a higher-education provider should be obliged to host any intellectual rubbish that wants to cross its threshold."

The answer is probably yes, as long as the content of the speech is not unlawful.

For my money, Arndt's views fall into that category. They are laughable, as Bolt demonstrated, but also dangerous because they promote misogynistic and incorrect claims about women.

But probably the best antidote to Bettina Arndt's ideas being promulgated is Bettina Arndt.

The more she speaks the more it becomes clear she is floating, weightless, in some sort of fact-free space-void, hoping for a Mark Latham or a Milo Yiannopolis to come and lend her some true notoriety of the kind that might help her sell a few books.

Perhaps Arndt could join with union boss John Setka for a speaking tour - the ultimate intellectual odd-couple, they seem to share some views on men's rights. Call it "Betts and Sets" and watch the tickets sell themselves.

As Sydney University Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence has pointed out, our entire culture is becoming more polarised and tribal in its views, and we are losing the civility, and the will, to listen to each other respectfully, or admit when we have it wrong.


Two prominent conservative commentators defend Folau's right to advocate Bible values

Israel Folau continues to divide the nation in his fight against Rugby Australia, but it hasn't stopped the donations from flooding in.

Shortly after 8pm (AEST) on Wednesday evening the donations to Folau surged past $2 million on the Australian Christian Lobby fundraising page. He is now less than $1 million away from his goal.

Speaking on his 2GB show this morning, radio host Alan Jones said "we should all be doing our little bit because Israel Folau is fighting the battle for all of us".

Jones described Folau's fight as "one of the defining cases of our time" and called for people to donate.

"These are essential's a bit like the Mabo case, these are significant changes that must be made to the way we run our society if we are free and democratic," Jones said.

But despite calling for Australians to donate to Folau, Jones admitted he found the debate "utterly self-defeating".

"Why can't we simply say that as a world we treat people as we find them. The business of marginalising people because they're gay is appalling," Jones said.

"All we need to do here is to teach young people to respect people for who they are and what they are. We need to teach them to obey the law but beyond that we should obey our own sense of decency."


Fellow conservative commentator Andrew Bolt offered a similar opinion this morning, admitting that while he doesn't agree with what Folau said, he does not agree with the way the rugby player was punished. And the big mistake was to turn on Folau's wife Maria.

He said Folau's comments were "vile", but the bullying he and his wife had received "should alarm us all".

"Just when I was feeling bad about defending gay-damning Israel Folau, some idiot at the ANZ bank decides to bully Folau's wife," Bolt wrote in his Herald Sun column.

"Seriously? How brainless are these bankers to so misread the public mood?"

Bolt touched on ANZ's involvement in last year's banking royal commission. "I doubt a bank would recognise an ethical line if it was tied around its fat neck, but ANZ apparently believes it now knows ethics better than does the Bible," Bolt said.

The Herald Sun columnist sarcastically called Folau's Instagram post "charming" but said it still qualified as free speech. "Is this really what free speech means? The right to say things that hurt some people, including, in this case, people I love? Er, yes. That's indeed what it means," he said.

"If I defended only free speech I liked, I would not be arguing for a principle. I'd be arguing for my own convenience."

Folau states he is in the "fight of his life" after Rugby Australia terminated his multimillion-dollar contract in May after he posted a controversial social media message.

The post said "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" would go to hell unless they repented.

As the saga continues to roll on, the pressure has only amplified on Folau with his wife, Maria, now facing the heat after two major netball partners issued negative statements about the New Zealand and Adelaide Thunderbirds star.

But it hasn't stopped the donations, in fact it may have only amplified the matter. Folau's original GoFundMe campaign reached $750,000 over four days.

The alternative fundraising site was established after Folau's original campaign on GoFundMe, asking for donations to help fight his legal battle, was taken down.

After his page was pulled down on Monday morning, the ACL had set up the new fundraising page by Monday evening and in less than 24 hours it had surged past the seven figure mark.

The raised funds are to go towards Folau's legal fight against RA over unfair dismissal which he believes could go all the way to the High Court.

After days of remaining silent, Folau responded to the astonishing generosity with a message on his Instagram account. He also stated he held no "ill will" towards people who have criticised him.

In a video released on Tuesday night, ACL Managing Director Martyn Iles called for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to make a stand.

"It's time for our politicians to lead. It's time for Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese to outline in detail how they will protect people of faith and the important principles of freedoms that are raised by Israel's case," he said.

"This sort of public lynching is unacceptable in a supposedly tolerant and ethnically and religiously diverse country like Australia and our politicians cannot simply wash their hands like Pontius Pilate."

At the rate the donations are rolling in, the goal of $3 million could be reached by Thursday evening. Of course the website won't close once the target has been hit.

Mr Iles said he could "not go into detail" about where any money above the $3 million mark would go.

Asked by the Today Show host Deborah Knight about the potential excess donations, Mr Iles said: "It will be distributed in a way that is consistent with ."

Knight interrupted: "Distributed where though?"

"It will go to different causes that are completely consistent with the intentions of the original donors," Mr Iles replied.

Pressed for where that will be exactly, Mr Iles said: "I am not able to go into the detail at this stage."


Gender reassignment surgery could soon be ILLEGAL in Tasmania under sweeping changes to protect intersex children

The Tasmanians get something right at last

Tasmania could become the first state in Australia to make sex-assignment surgery on intersex children illegal.

The Tasmania Law Reform Institute (TLRI) seeks community feedback on a controversial proposal to criminalise gender normalisation surgery without the consent of the child.

Doctors only need parental consent to conduct the surgery on children, babies and children born with intersex variations under current laws.

The institute is particularly keen to hear from medical professionals and the broader community on the 'complex' issue of sex-assignment surgery.

The bold proposal is part of a TLRI Issues Paper examining the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage and Gender Amendments) Act 2019, ('the JRL Act') passed by the Tasmanian Parliament in April.

Making gender optional on birth certificates was among the landmark laws passed.

While legal amendments relating to recording sex and gender information on birth certificates were consistent with international trends and human rights obligations, the issue of consent to invasive medical procedures on children remains unresolved for the TLRI.

Paper co-author Dylan Richards said many concerns raised in earlier debate were addressed in the final Act or can be resolved through minor amendments or administrative procedures.

'However, non-consensual medical procedures performed on intersex children, often with long-term adverse physical and psychological impacts, remain a concern to the intersex community,' Mr Richards said.

'There are increasing calls from international bodies for legislation to protect the rights and dignities of intersex children.'

The institute has also called for a specialist tribunal be set up to oversee all operation performed on an intersex child with the exception of emergency surgery.

 Mr Richards said Tasmanians are still confused about the recent amendments.

'We hope that the clear explanation in the Issues Paper will provide a basis for an informed community conversation about the issues the JRL Act was designed to address,' he said.

Community feedback is open until August 20.

The Institute hopes to deliver its final report to Attorney-General by the end of September, which is due to be publicly released by the end of October.


How to Create a Country with no Heart

By Viv Forbes

What happened to Australia's once-bipartisan policies favouring decentralisation? Why is every proposal to develop an outback mine, dam, irrigation scheme or a real power station now labelled "controversial" by the ABC and opposed by the ALP/Greens?

This coastal-city focus and the hostility to new outback industry (except for wind/solar toys) has surely reached its zenith with the recent state budget for Queensland.

The population of coastal and metropolitan Queensland is surging with baby-boom retirees, welfare recipients, grey nomads, tourists, overseas students, migrants and winter refugees. But the outback is dying with lagging industry and many aging farmers retiring to the coast. We are creating a country with no heart.

The growing urban and seaside population needs power, water and food.

However two critical power-water-food infrastructure projects that have been on the drawing boards for decades did not even rate a mention in the state budget - an expansion of coal-fired power at Kogan Creek and a water supply dam at Nathan Gorge.

The current policy of all major parties is cluttering the countryside with piddling subsidised intermittent power producers like solar panels and wind turbines plus their expensive network of roads and transmission lines. This is inflating electricity prices, and future generations will see this bi-partisan energy policy as a disastrous blunder. It is also a mistake to encourage or subsidise private electricity cartels and put politicians, not engineers, in charge of power generation.

The Kogan Creek power station with its adjacent coal mine was opened in 2007. It is connected to the National Grid and integrated with local gas-fired and solar supplies. It was always planned to add another generating unit at Kogan Creek, but twelve long years have passed with no action.

Kogan Creek is crucial to maintaining a stable power supply to eastern Australia. This was demonstrated recently when a fault temporarily shut down Kogan Creek. The National Grid was barely maintained for about 30 minutes by the battery in SA until other base load generators could be started. With the likely 7 month closure of one damaged generating unit at Loy Yang power station, East Australian electricity supplies are now even more precarious.

Moreover, with the complete failure of the $105M Kogan solar booster and delays to other solar plants in this area which were to be connected to the grid, the duplication of Kogan Creek is urgently needed.

Coal produces reliable low-cost electricity from a concentrated area with less real environmental damage than gas, wind or solar. These low density energy sources need much more land to collect equivalent continuous energy from a wide area of bores, pipelines, turbines and solar collectors plus their backup generators, connecting roads and transmission lines.

Most CSG wells also need to pump salt water from each bore before the gas will flow. Even if costly processes are used to extract fresh water from this salt water, brines are left behind and must be stored safely. This evil-genie of salt should be left in its underground lair and disturbed as little as possible.

It is becoming clear that that CO2 does NOT drive global warming. Even if it did, when careful life-of-project studies are done for all of Qld energy sources, coal and hydro look likely to have the lowest carbon footprint with the least environmental harm (and they do not slice, dice or fry birds and bats).

The surface disruption from an open cut coal mine is 100% and it shocks the senses. However, it recovers 100% of concentrated energy from a small area of land - far less than is permanently sterilised by roads and schools, and there is no intention of restoring them. Even if the open cut was abandoned at the end of mine life, slow but relentless natural healing would immediately start. However, instead of treating the final void as an expensive liability to be refilled with overburden, it should be seen as an asset to be contoured as a pleasant lake or used for burial of the growing mountains of urban waste.

The need to conserve more water is also urgent. Nathan Gorge has been known as an ideal dam site for 50 years, but still nothing is done. The site and catchment make it likely to be a high-yielding, cost-efficient dam. It is vital to the continuing development of the Surat and southern Bowen Basins and its water could be used for irrigation, power generation or fed into the Condamine/Darling River in droughts.

Kogan and Nathan are decentralising projects that could provide community insurance for blackouts, floods and droughts.

It is the outback that produces most of Australia's food, minerals, energy, water, exports and jobs. And it produces serious income for state governments addicted to ever-rising taxes and royalties.

Anti-development policies, land-use sterilisation, climate alarmism and green law-fare are destroying the future for our kids and grandkids. Current policies will stack-and-pack the coasts and major cities leaving a depopulated outback to uncontrolled floods and droughts, lantana and woody-weeds, wild cats and dogs, wild fires, feral pigs and the occasional park ranger or tourist bus.


Bernardi pays price for staying on right track

Cory Bernardi and his now -defunct Australian Conservatives have been both a symptom and a cause of the drift and correction on the conservative side of politics through the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison period.

The former Liberal senator can claim credit for helping to redirect the Coalition from outside, while simultaneously moderating other right-wing breakaway parties, in a way that has essentially done him out of a constituency.

If Scott Morrison and the -Coalition had suffered a heavy election defeat it would have precipitated a bitter falling out between the moderate and conservative wings of the Liberal Party, as well as within the Nationals and between the Nationals and Liberals. This fracturing would have enlivened the Australian Conservatives, sending some members their way, as right-of-centre politics went through another period of recrimination and realignment.

Instead - partly because of the policy influence from Bernardi from outside - the Coalition under Morrison began a reset to the right, to the mainstream of national affairs, which was enough to win another term. And this has rendered the Australian Conservatives redundant. The party won barely more than 100,000 votes nationally in the Senate election, far less even than the first preferences won just in NSW by Liberal senator Jim Molan in his solo, below-the-line campaign. With all the advertising from Clive Palmer's United Australia Party, all the star power and controversy around One Nation, and the Coalition's return to the mainstream, Bernardi's "common sense" conservatism was completely overlooked.

One Nation and UAP between them won 10 times more votes than Australian Conservatives, the lion's share of them electing another One Nation Queensland senator. Australian Conservatives are left on the sidelines electorally, and even in the Senate, where One Nation and Centre Alliance are likely to hold a pivotal balance-of-power alliance.

Bernardi, to be sure, has cooked his own goose. He was elected under the Liberal banner in 2016 as a disgruntled conservative backbencher, ditched the party to start his own breakaway organisation and wasn't up for re-election this year. So he sits in the Senate courtesy of Liberal Party votes and -remains, therefore, a rat to the party - even if he has been its most reliable crossbench vote.

And he faces a choice between political mortality or asking the party to accept back its prodigal son.

Yet Bernardi is anything but disappointed or needy. He is satisfied with what he has been able to achieve, phlegmatic about whether the Liberals want him back and torn between a thirst for the staying involved in the crucial policy debates that will shape the future of the nation and his long-held belief that he would be ready to move on from politics by the time of his 50th birthday. He turns 50 in November.

If Bernardi retires from politics before the election his place goes to a Liberal Party nominee. So the government will do just as well on the Senate floor to see the rogue senator retire as return. And even if he stays in the Senate as an independent, his vote can be counted on for anything other than the most unexpected Coalition intervention.

His future matters more when it comes to the shaping of -Coalition policy and the national debate. His contribution has been more influential than most would give him credit for and his departure would see the loss - at least from parliament - of an articulate, reasonable and relatively youthful voice for traditional conservatism.

Back in 2017, soon after launching his party, Bernardi spoke about "bursting the Canberra bubble" and included the title in his policy manifesto.

Sound familiar?

It is worth pondering the -moment Bernardi found himself estranged from his party - the moment when he would argue the party moved away from him rather than vice versa.

It happens to be the same moment that reanimated Pauline Hanson and One Nation, as well as creating the environment for the revival of Clive Palmer's United Australia outfit.

It was when Malcolm Turnbull challenged and defeated Tony Abbott in 2015. Bernardi had been made an opposition frontbencher and forced to resign on separate occasions by his leaders over a thinly veiled swipe at Christopher Pyne under Turnbull and a colourful rhetorical version of the "slippery slope" argument on gay marriage under Abbott.

The South Australian senator never hid his antipathy towards Turnbull and while he was frustrated at times by Abbott's prime ministership, he was shattered by the coup. From that moment on he was likely to defect; but it didn't happen for almost two years, after he conveniently won another term under the Liberal banner at the 2016 election.

The fear of Bernardi and many Coalition voters was that Turnbull would take the party to the left. Indeed, the very fact and manner of the former Australian Republic Movement chief's ascension confirmed that move to many supporters.

Hence One Nation was resurrected, Bernardi's cultivation of an "Australian Conservatives" forum was successful and morphed into a political party, and Palmer decided to start throwing his weight and money around.

All this activity and fracturing on the conservative right of politics was a direct reaction to the moderate coup in Canberra.

The only way for Turnbull to succeed was to recognise this and keep faith with the conservative constituency.

He failed to do this in rhetorical and economic terms, and eventually surrendered his leadership by pursuing his decade-long dream of a bipartisan climate deal with Labor. Understandably this period created greenhouse conditions for One Nation, Australian Conservatives and Clive Palmer; they thrived.

Yet Bernardi's contribution was always more measured, intelligent and intellectually consistent than that of the Queensland figureheads. He became the sensible voice of conservative debate, helping to lead the debate on lower taxes, smaller government and non-discriminatory but reduced immigration.

Bernardi pushed for reductions in foreign aid, which have occurred, and a serious examination of -nuclear power options, which is being pursued. He also had a motion passed declaring the path to surplus involved curbing spending rather than increasing taxes. Without overstating how much credit he is owed (many other players and factors were involved), his intercessions not only helped to lead the Coalition down a better policy path over time, they also helped to moderate the other minor parties. Even Hanson dropped her blanket Muslim immigration ban in favour of a security-based argument modelled on Donald Trump's policies and -advocated by Bernardi.

The Australian Conservatives helped to take the xenophobia out of the immigration debate, highlighted deep-seated concerns about freedom of speech that have proven alarmingly prescient, and relentlessly argued for smaller government and lower taxes. This was a fruitful and entirely productive role in national affairs - even though he was using a platform provided by Liberal voters, he was pulling back on the -Coalition's drift to the green left and encouraging a more tolerant and sensible approach from the right-wing breakaway parties.

Then Turnbull self-destructed on climate policy and Morrison ended up as prime minister. The Paris-driven climate elements of the national energy guarantee were scrapped, and the Coalition set about reconnecting with the mainstream.

Morrison understood what was required, walking the party back on climate invective and immigration levels, while Kerryn Phelps and Bill Shorten gifted him additional differentiation on border protection. Together with Josh Frydenberg he offered a short, medium and long-term path to lower income taxes.

With the Coalition back on the right track (pun intended), at least partly a result of Bernardi's manoeuvrings, and One Nation and UAP winning attention through personality, lunacy and advertising, the Australian Conservatives became electoral roadkill.

So Bernardi has reached a crossroads.

Had he kept his party going and run under its banner in 2022, perhaps Bernardi would have won a Senate seat - but probably not.

Chances are we will never know, because Bernardi is likely to go one of two ways. He could be lured back to the South Australian Liberal Party fold where he would be a strong contributor from within (former minister, factional powerbroker and Bernardi's arch-enemy Pyne might have something to say about that). Or, perhaps more likely, he could resign from parliament, return to the Liberal Party the Senate spot he owes it, and find another way to influence public affairs from outside the Canberra bubble.


 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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