Sunday, June 02, 2019

Wealthy white parents are turning away from selective schools because they fear their children will be an ethnic minority

This is mainly a NSW concern as only NSW has much in the way of government funded selective schools.  It is also about Chinese students -- who star in selective schools -- which can be demoralizing for all but the very smartest white kids. In some years ALL the top students are Chinese, many from selective schools.  Their combination of hard work and high IQ is unbeatable.  Their talent makes it easier for them to get into selective schools in the first place.  So they get a high quality education for free.  Why would they go elsewhere?  White parents are more aware of the important social advantages of private schools

Wealthy white parents are avoiding sending their kids to selective schools because they fear they will be an ethnic minority, according to an expert. 

Christina Ho, a social scientist from the University of Technology, says Anglo families were choosing to send their kids to private schools while migrant families are choosing selective schools. 'We do have this self-segregation going on,' Dr Ho said.

And part of the reason appears to be based on the fear of being a minority.  'A lot of Anglo families are saying, 'I would be a minority if I went to a selective school,' Dr Ho said.

The same concern impacts the schooling choices of rich migrant families, who previously preferred private schools. As with Anglo families, they were now choosing selective schools because they were worried about being a conspicuous minority in private schools.

'We do have a lot of wealthy migrants in this country who are living in the eastern suburbs and north shore, who could potentially afford to send their kids to private schools but they are not.' said Dr Ho.

In NSW, more than 80 per cent of students in fully selective schools came from language backgrounds other than English (LBOTE).

Of the 99 schools with fewer than 10 percent LBOTE students, over half were private and in affluent areas.

Dr Ho's research indicates that the process of self-segregation is leading to a wider problem across Sydney where many schools are more ethnically divided than the suburbs in which they are located.

'The increasing diversity of our communities is not reflected in our education system,' Dr Ho told  

The process of self-segregation worries Dr Ho who argues that when schools no longer reflect their local communities, students have less opportunity to develop cultural understanding.

She adds that the reason for the ethnic divide lies in policies that encourage parents to shop for schools, over selecting their local school.

Pranay Jha, the son of Indian migrants, had the choice of attending a selective school or attending the King's School in North Parramatta on a scholarship.

His parents decided on the private school option, and Mr Jha, admits he felt isolated, and suffered from some cultural shame. 'I was surrounded by white people, and so to socially succeed in the school you needed to play down your ethnicity a lot,' he said.

Mr Jha also remembers being racially abused while playing sport and believes that if there had been more diversity at the school it would provide students from migrant backgrounds with a greater sense of solidarity.

However, the ethnic make-up of The King's School has changed since Mr Jha's graduation in 2015. At that time 31 per cent of students were LBOTE. By 2018 the number had risen to over 40 per cent


Our annual coffee scare

We seem to get these around once a year -- generally followed by a glut.  See here (Scroll down)

Australian coffee-drinkers could soon pay $7 for a flat white because coffee farming has become so unsustainable, one industry expert has claimed.

Mark Dundon, 57, co-owns Seven Seeds cafe in Carlton, an inner-north suburb of Melbourne, and has been a part of the cafe scene for 18 years. He says climate change is making it harder for farmers in South America and South-East Asia to grow coffee and once they sell their product to major companies, the price they receive is often below the production costs. 

He believes the price of coffee could explode because producers are abandoning the industry for better work. 'Coffee is going to become really expensive - maybe $7 a cup. There'll be a shortfall, prices will spike and cafes will go out of business,' Mr Dundon told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Dundon believes people will be forced to change their coffee habits to drinking two cups a week rather than two or three a day. He said the entire coffee-drinking culture is likely to change and cafes will employ less staff to help cut costs.

The cafe boss said climate change is making it extremely difficult for farmers who are turning away from the industry in droves. 'They will look at avocados, bananas, coca, depending on where they are, or they'll just walk off the farm and sell cigarette lighters in Bogotá,' he said.

Most coffee is grown in poor countries with the biggest producers being Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia. Out of around 25 million coffee farmers, the vast majority, are small and own only a hectare or two of trees.

The biggest importers of coffee from these countries are the US and Germany, who purchase the product for well under the production cost.

Companies within the US and Germany, such as Nestlé and Starbucks Corporation, dictate the price they will pay for the coffee leaving farmers struggling to survive.

Future coffee traders are looking to lock in low prices for coffee before the small farmers have had a chance to grow it, so they are already far behind before they've started production.

The current system hugely benefits large corporations by maintaining a supply of cheap, mass-market coffee.

Small farmers are finding the coffee industry unsustainable and they don't have the power to set their own prices or access companies who will pay more for better quality coffee.

'The price is the lowest it's ever been. Farmers don't see a future in coffee. If farmers don't get more for their efforts, the industry is at risk,' Mr Dundon said.    


Folau’s faith compelled him to shout a warning: repent

Israel Folau criticised several groups in his Instagram post, but only one of them has complained.  Guess which one

On April 10, Israel Folau posted on his Instagram account the following message: “Warning: Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators: Hell Awaits You. Repent! Only Jesus Saves.” Next to this big, bold statement was the message: “Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.”

This eye-catching text was from the Bible, a loose paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

If someone else had posted this it would almost certainly have slipped under the radar. But Folau was being watched. Partly this is because of his brilliance as a footballer. He holds the record for the most tries scored in Super Rugby. In 2007 he won rugby league’s Dally M Rookie of the Year award for having scored the most tries in his debut year. In that same year he was the all-time youngest international player (he was 18 at the time).

But it looks as though Folau was also being watched for an opportunity to punish him for being a Christian; indeed, for being a blunt defender of the classic, conservative Christian faith.

The attack on Folau provoked an unexpected reaction: many Aussies were unhappy. They flooded open-line radio with calls in support of the right of Folau to hold and express his faith. This support was not limited to the 52.1 per cent of Australians who called themselves Christian in the 2016 census. A bucket load of callers took the line of “I don’t support what he said or the way he said it, but, hey the bloke’s obviously sincere so why is he being bashed up like this?”

Whether articulated or not, the underlying feeling of much of this response was: Australia is a free country. There was a distinct unease about the possibility of losing at least some degree of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of belief and freedom of religion in this wide, brown land.

Tone deaf to the electorate Bill Shorten came down on the wrong side of this debate in the election campaign. Ignoring section 116 of the Constitution, which says there shall be no religious test for public office, Shorten demanded to know where Scott Morrison stood on the “gays/hell” issue. This blunder won him no friends (apart from the inner-city crowd, who were already on his side).

For Rugby Australia this is a lose-lose debate. The religious test they applied to Folau’s employment looked so unfair to him that he bypassed their internal appeal process as pointless and announced his intention to test them in the courts. So Rugby Australia now will either lose the court battle or lose its major sponsor. It has already lost its best player.

This is no storm in a tea cup: this is central to Australia’s character as a nation and raises three questions:

 *  Why should there be penalties for defending classical Christianity?

 *  Why do the rights of one group trump all other rights?

 *  What is the actual content of the view he is defending?

Let’s tackle them. First, why should there be penalties for defending classic, conservative Christianity? It’s not as though Christianity is an eccentric, minority belief system. It’s the largest faith on earth with 2.3 billion followers.

Some will say people can believe what they like in private but the views of classic Christianity do not belong in the public arena. The problem is that Jesus ruled out that option when he said: “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

So according to Jesus there is no such thing as private Christianity — there is only whole-of-life Christianity (public and private). Being a Christian means speaking about it. The Christian faith is part of our community and not a private matter.

Some politicians will say, “Well, we have to balance the rights of Christians to speak their faith aloud with the right of homosexuals not to be offended.” But from the words of Jesus it is clear that telling Christians they are not permitted to speak their faith aloud is telling them they are not permitted to be Christian.

Which brings us to the second question: why should the rights of one group trump all other rights? In this case it appears that the right of homosexuals not to be offended trumps the right of Christians to be as Christian as Jesus intended. It is especially interesting to note that Folau included eight groups in his post — none of the others has complained.

Surely the issue is that none of those seven other groups is demanding approval from everyone. On the whole, drunks, adulterers and the rest don’t care whether you approve or disapprove of them.

The homosexual community, however, appears not to be willing to accept disapproval. They may say all they want is tolerance. But that’s looking increasingly like a dishonest claim. They won’t, it seems, settle for anything short of complete approval.

Devout Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, atheists, Christians or Calathumpians don’t expect you to approve of them. They think they’re right, and if you believe differently you’re wrong — and they’re quite happy to debate this with you. But they don’t demand that you be legally compelled to approve of them, and legally silenced and punished if you disapprove.

Which brings us to the third question: what is the actual content of the view Folau is defending? Is it simply a system of morality? Folau lists eight behaviours that with the support of the Bible he says are proscribed — unacceptable to God — so it could certainly look like a question of morality.

In part this is a problem created by the brevity of social media posts, which don’t allow for nuance. But Folau himself is pointing beyond simple moral judgment when he writes that “Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him”.

He is drawing attention to the fact that classical Christianity is certainly about judgment, but it is also about sacrifice and forgiveness. For 2000 years Christians have been calling it “good news” because the news that God loves you despite your behaviour and offers forgiveness can only count as very good news, indeed.

This good news Folau is talking about addresses the fact of death. The Christian world view says “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

The point is that life is a journey and, like every journey, it has an end. It would be intelligent to give some thought to how and where the journey of life might end. You might protest: but we can’t know! It’s not possible to know what death will be like and whether we might survive it, and, if so, what that survival might be like.

Picture it as being like a group of travellers walking down a long country road. They fall into an argument about where the road will end. One of them may claim it ends at a steep cliff face and that’s it. Someone else may suggest it ends at a railway station where a train is waiting to take you back to the beginning so you can do the journey all over again. Yet another may suggest the road of life ends in a garden and, just like Christmas, everyone will get gifts and be happy. Another may argue there are two cities at the end of the road: a comfortable one (“heaven”) and a bleak one (“hell”) and that we can be switched from the bad option to the good option as a free gift because the lord of the road loves the travellers and has paid for the gift.

That is pretty much the state of the debate in the modern world, and that brings us back to Folau’s warning that we should avoid hell.

Cartoonists have had a lot of fun will hell through the years, picturing comic demons in red tights with pitchforks prodding hapless condemned souls into furnaces. However, all the amusing things, or silly things, that have ever been said about hell, or thought about hell, spring from our reluctance to seriously consider death — what it is and what it means.

Here’s a practical definition: death really means separation.

For a start, death is the separation of the mind (or soul if you prefer) from the body. Most human beings who have ever lived, from Plato to now, have believed that the mind (or soul) will survive this separation. If it doesn’t, then that answers our question of destination. But if it does it means we are on the right track in thinking about death as separation.

But there is another separation that counts as death: separation from God. In classical Christianity separation from God is spiritual death. This separation from God shows itself in a wide range of behaviours, including the eight behaviours listed by Folau in his Instagram post, but not limited to those eight. Because, according to the classically Christian world view, we are designed to function plugged in to God; once we are unplugged (separated) we are like an unplugged appliance — we don’t function properly or we don’t function at all.

That’s the danger Folau believed he was warning people against. He thought he was warning his followers that those people who ignore God, choose to be separated from God, are sending a message; are saying to God, “just leave me alone”. The danger is God will take them at their word: they will be cut off from God forever.

That being “cut off” is what hell is. Not the funny cartoons of demons with pitchforks but being cut off, isolated, exiled, expelled, separated. When Jesus himself pronounces judgment on people the words he says are “depart from me”, adding, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).

But as Folau’s short post indicates, there is more to the story. Here’s the completion of those words from the Bible quoted above: “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:27-28).

There is the offer of God’s love and forgiveness and restoration: switching at life’s end from the bad option (separation, isolation, “hell”) to the good option (connection, community, “heaven”) as a free gift. From the point of view of classical Christianity, Folau saw people in danger and shouted out a warning. In other words, the intention of his message was the exact opposite to how it has been portrayed. And for that Folau is being punished.


That's pretty good theology above. In Matthew 25:46 the word translated as "punishment" is in the original Greek "kolasin" and it simply means "cutting off". It is the word a Greek gardener might use to describe the pruning of a tree. So it would be a superior translation to say that the goats would be cut off and thrown away -- and maybe burnt -- like the unwanted branch of a tree. So, when properly translated, we see that Christ was, as usual, offering the alternatives of life and death, not heaven and hell -- exactly as he does in John 3:16. The sheep get eternal life and the goats get eternal death


'Watch your back': Deb Knight warns Anthony Albanese that the 'ghost' of Shorten may haunt him - as Bill's excuse for losing the election is slammed as 'pathetic'

In Turnbull's memorable phrase, Shorten is a "miserable ghost"

Labor's new leader Anthony Albanese has been warned to watch his back amid suggestions Bill Shorten wants his old job back.

Sources within the Labor Party have confirmed to Daily Mail Australia Mr Shorten still has ambitions to be Opposition Leader again, although he has strenuously denied this.

A day after being unanimously endorsed by the Labor caucus, Mr Albanese appeared on the Today Show. Host Deborah Knight suggested his job was already in danger.

'And you better watch your back too because reports this morning that Bill Shorten has told allies he wants to return as Labor leader,' she said.

Ms Knight reminded Mr Albanese of the period between June 2010 and June 2013 when Kevin Rudd was replaced as prime minister by Julia Gillard, only for him to return to his old job.

Mr Shorten was behind both leadership coups as a Right faction powerbroker from Victoria.

This led to Mr Albanese becoming deputy prime minister in 2013 for three months in the second Rudd government.

'You were there for the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years,' Ms Knight said. 'How can you lead effectively, Albo, with a ghost of leaders past haunting you like this?'

Mr Albanese said the Labor caucus had elected him unopposed.  Look, we will be a united team. I've been elected unanimously by the Labor Party to lead,' he said.

Mr Shorten's office described any suggestion he wanted to return to the Labor leadership as 'bulls***', even though Labor figures have suggested to Daily Mail Australia and Nine newspapers he still had ambitions to be prime minister.

The former Opposition Leader tweeted a denial on Friday morning.  'The report in the SMH and the Age today is just wrong,' he said.

'As I said yesterday, I have and will work hard every day to keep our party united and make the case for Labor under Albo's leadership at the next election.'

Addressing the Labor caucus for the last time in Canberra on Thursday, Mr Shorten blamed corporate interests for the Opposition's surprise election loss.

'Obviously, we were up against corporate leviathans, the financial behemoth, spending unprecedented, hundreds of millions of dollars, advertising, telling lies, spreading fear,' he told the party room meeting at Parliament House in Canberra.

'They got what they wanted. Powerful, vested interests campaigned against us through sections of the media itself.'

Asked about Mr Shorten's comments Mr Albanese, who hails from Labor's hard Left faction, agreed with the sentiment. 'There's no doubt that vested interests did play a role but we also have to accept our responsibility that some of the policies that we put forward clearly didn't connect with enough people,' he said.

Following the May 18 election loss, Mr Albanese criticised the Shorten Opposition's plan to stop share owning retirees, who receive dividends, from receiving franking credits.

Labor was also punished electorally for vowing to scrap negative gearing tax breaks for existing properties, from January 2020, and halve the capital gains tax discount from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.

Influential Sydney radio 2GB breakfast broadcaster Alan Jones slammed Mr Shorten for blaming Labor's election defeat on vested interests and suggested he should have apologised to voters on election night.

'Bill, sorry mate, if you really wanted to get people back on side you'd say a simple thing,' he said. 'You'd say: "Can't argue with the electorate, they rejected us. They rejected me. So, this is what we've got to do. I think we have to change direction. '"I think the electorate said we're going up the wrong road and I've taken us up the wrong road and I'm sorry about that. '"We’re going to turn back and change the road we’re travelling on".

'People would have said: "How good is that?"' 

Mr Shorten this month became the first Opposition Leader to lose two consecutive elections since Kim Beazley in 2001.

However, Mr Beazley returned to the Labor leadership in 2005, after Mark Latham lost the 2004 election. Mr Rudd overthrew him in late 2006, and went on to win the 2007 election.


‘They never learn’: Why senior figures believe Labor’s factional system is broken

While Labor should be licking its wounds from an embarrassing election defeat it didn’t see coming and reflecting on how it can rebuild, the party instead is at war with itself, insiders say.

Senior figures tell that they’re fed up with the latest illustration of the Opposition’s toxic factional system, which has seen infighting for almost two weeks over the leadership and the frontbench.

And the party’s New South Wales branch is at the centre of their ire, where the powerful Right faction has been attempting to spark a civil war since Bill Shorten’s failed campaign. “Labor never learns,” one prominent figure said in frustration. “The party is broken — especially in NSW.”

Another, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was “purely a miracle” that Labor hasn’t imploded over the past fortnight, adding: “This is why so many voters hate us.”

It’s been up to a small number of individuals to take it upon themselves to act as peacemakers between brawling rival factions, it’s understood.

Labor’s political corpse was barely cold when a war began over who would replace Bill Shorten as leader, with opposing sides posturing for their man to succeed. Former Treasurer Wayne Swan, in his new capacity as federal president of the party, instructed Chris Bowen to put his hand up to see someone from the Right prevail.

He was then supported by Mr Shorten, who was accused of plotting against long-time foe and Left faction powerbroker Anthony Albanese, in a bid to firm support for Mr Bowen.

A Labor MP told that concern started to build just days after the leadership contest commenced that a two-horse race would lead to a month of savage fighting. “It was clear that Bowen’s camp should try to do a deal with Albo to see off what would be four week of chaos,” the source said.

Had two candidates run, a ballot of the rank and file membership would be required, due to changes to rules about electing a leader that were implemented after the disastrous Kevin Rudd-Julia Gillard revolving door.

After an energetic effort from a handful of battle-wary MPs, Mr Bowen eventually decided to quit the race, leaving Mr Albanese as the sole candidate. But there was no time to breathe a sigh of relief over avoiding an embarrassing cannibalisation, with a new fight erupting over who would sit in the shadow Cabinet.

While the average punter would assume it’s the new leader’s prerogative to choose his team, it is — of course — the factional powerbrokers who throw their weight around to call the shots.

Kristina Keneally was an obvious choice to many, given her front-and-centre role in the campaign and effective media performance.

But Senator Keneally’s own Right faction was against her receiving a frontbench position, seen as retaliation for her endorsement of Mr Albanese’s leadership over Mr Bowen, from her side.

Mr Albanese was adamant that the former NSW Premier sit in his shadow Cabinet — partly to hit gender parity and partly because of her high public profile. “That there was push back against Kristina from her own supposed allies tells you everything you need to know about NSW Labor,” one party figure said.

An all-out scrap was only avoided when western Sydney MP Ed Husic, also from the Right, fell on his sword and asked not to be considered for the frontbench so Senator Keneally could take his spot.

“While I’ve loved being a Shadow Minister, I won’t be running for re-election to that role,” the popular Chifley member said.  “Instead I’ll be backing my great friend Kristina Keneally for that spot. We need to ensure someone of Kristina’s enormous talents has the opportunity to make a powerful contribution on the frontline, in the Senate.”

The loss of Mr Husic has been felt widely by his colleagues, with Joel Fitzgibbon describing him as “potentially a future leader of the Labor Party”. “He took one for the team yesterday but there is not one person elected yesterday who is a better performer than Ed Husic and on that basis, he will be back, I have no doubt,” Mr Fitzgibbon told 2CC radio today.

Even yesterday, after outgoing deputy leader in the Senate, Don Farrell, also took one for the team so Senator Keneally could replace him, her foes were backgrounding media.

A report in The Australian today described her as “Teflon Keneally” and implied she has a “kiss of death”, given her stunning state election defeat in 2011 and failed bid to win the seat of Bennelong in 2017. “Why do we see the resurrection of Saint Kristina again and again?” a Labor MP told the newspaper.

On top of all the drama, reports emerged today that Mr Shorten has told allies that he still holds ambition to be leader one day — a claim he has since denied.

But it all paints a picture of a party more concerned with its own longstanding rivalries and grudges than with figuring out a path to be a viable alternative government in three years.

The frustrated senior figure summed it up to, saying: “At the end of all this, we’ve lost real talent in Farrell and Husic because of the bullsh*t system that once again does little more than damage our image … as a viable alternative.”

The figure said that Labor’s election campaign platform of strong unity over the Coalition’s several years of infighting and chaos was now “deeply ironic and depressing”.

Yesterday, addressing Caucus for the first time since the election, Mr Shorten said Labor should continue to be the “party of progress”. “We in Labor are not going to waste time feeling sorry for ourselves because we are not in it for ourselves,” he said.

After the past fortnight, many inside Labor believe that sentiment has never rang more hollow.


 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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