Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Dracula runs the blood bank

Bettina Arndt

Do survivors of unwanted staring really have trouble passing exams? Well, that’s the inherent assumption in a submission from End Rape on Campus to the Federal Government objecting to their Job-Ready Graduates legislation which proposes to remove government-funded loans from students who can’t pass half their subjects.

The submission claims to be advocating for survivors of sexual violence, suggesting they fail or drop out of most of their courses while dealing with the universities complaint processes, and can’t support themselves through regular employment due to the effects of the trauma. “EROC Australia believes that the measures relating to academic performance would have a devastating impact on the ability of students who have experienced sexual violence to gain an education.”

Note the careful use of the term “sexual violence.” End Rape on Campus deliberately uses this umbrella term to cover both sexual harassment and sexual assault, while implying they are only talking about rape victims. Sharna Bremner, founder of EROC Australia, actually tweeted this week that the government legislation would “punish student survivors for being raped” but her use of language in the submission is far more slippery.

It was the Australian Human Rights Commission which latched onto the term “sexual violence” to cover up the disappointing result of their million-dollar survey into what was widely called the “campus rape crisis.” They found 99.2 % of students surveyed reported no sexual assault. Most campus victims turned out to be survivors not of assault but low grade sexual harassment which the survey found to be mainly unwanted staring.

So unwanted staring is actually at the heart of the campus crisis but naturally EROC activists are reluctant to admit their case rests on proving a leering male gaze can derail a student’s education. So they fudge things by throwing in a few points about the special trials faced by actual sexual assault victims – which are no doubt very real – midst sweeping claims about the shattering impact of “sexual violence”.

These are very tricky operators. That’s why Bremner and her cronies have not only managed to hoodwink most of the mainstream media into taking seriously their claims about a campus rape crisis but also have become major players in tertiary education policy.

Dracula running the blood bank

Amazingly, Sharna Bremner is fourth in the list of 13 authors on the recent “Good Practice Note ” on sexual assault and harassment recently issued by our university regulator TEQSA.

This alarming document encourages universities to keep adjudicating rape on campus, showing a total disregard for last year’s Queensland Supreme Court decision which determined these kangaroo courts to be illegal and thumbing its nose at Education Minister Dan Tehan’s instruction that these matters should be handled by criminal courts.

So, our major regulatory body with oversight of our vast tertiary sector sees no problem in proudly acknowledging this activist is instrumental in steering our universities still further into the illegal quagmire of our kangaroo courts. And it was her lobby group that was largely responsible for persuading the tertiary sector to buy into the manufactured rape crisis in the first place. Talk about Dracula running the blood bank.

It speaks to the extraordinary arrogance of TEQSA which sees no need to show any semblance of objectivity as they continue to lean on universities to ensure they usurp criminal law to appease the feminists.

And Bremner still isn’t satisfied. This week, EROC was on twitter arguing more needs to be done to force the universities to get more active in this area.

Australian feminists leading the way

This all dovetails neatly with my thinkspot conversation last week with Diana Davison, who is working in Canada helping falsely accused men in rape cases. Diana has a group of lawyers involved in her Lighthouse Project, trying to restore due process for the accused.

Here’s the video of our discussion: I hope you will make time to listen to our fascinating chat.

Diana has been tracking the incredibly successful efforts of feminist lawyers in Canada to tilt laws towards ‘believe-the-victim’ justice, undermining normal legal protections for accused men to ensure more rape convictions.

Diana revealed that Canadian feminists are working with law academics in the UK, USA and Australia, drafting new legislation and using the media to lean on politicians and law makers to enact laws to further this mighty enterprise. Interestingly she has evidence showing that Australia often leads the way in pushing these desired changes into law, which are then monitored by the feminists in the other countries before following suit.

We can observe this process in action in the current push for affirmative consent laws. Look at this revealing article in The Conversation, published late last year by Rachael Burgin, Executive Director of Rape and Sexual Research and Advocacy, who has conducted research on getting affirmative consent standards into law. In her article she proudly tracks the progress of this feminist endeavour to tilt the law to redefine normal sexuality so that every stage in every sexual encounter must be accompanied by constant checking for a green light.

It’s pretty funny how blatantly Burgin reveals her disappointment that Victoria’s changes to the laws haven’t come up to scratch in making it harder for alleged rapists to prove they had consent and her eagerness to bully NSW into line.

Terrible mistakes of feminism

Yet this is an endeavour which some feminist scholars now see as one of the “terrible mistakes” of the otherwise laudable project of entrenching feminist power.

In our conversation Diana recommended a powerful new book, Governance Feminism which offers a very frank assessment of the prevailing culture where feminists “walk the halls of power.”

“One can get a job in the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Criminal Court, the local prosecutors office and the child welfare bureaucracy for espousing various strands of feminism,” say Janet Halley and co-authors in their introduction. The authors see this as cause for celebration yet are refreshingly willing to properly examine who wins and who loses from feminism in governance.

There’s a brilliant chapter by the late London School of Economics law professor Helen Reece, which exposes the way feminists have found their way into the Crown Prosecution Service, or Judicial Training Board, allegedly not to propagate feminist propaganda but simply to instruct lawyers and judges on how to avoid “rape myths.”

Reece writes most entertainingly about an incident where UK television presenter Judy Finnigan dared to suggest on a TV discussion show that a rape involving professional footballer Ched Evans having sex with a woman too drunk to consent was not the most heinous form of rape.

Finnigan’s words: “The rape, and I am not, please, by any means, er minimizing any kind of rape, but the rape was not violent. He didn’t cause any bodily harm to the person. It was unpleasant, in a hot room, I believe, and she was, she had far too much to drink. And you know, that is reprehensible, but he has been convicted and he has served his time.”

Reece dissects the extraordinary outrage that greeted this remark, with the media running the “rape is rape” narrative denying that some rapes are more serious than others, and Finnigan eventually forced to apologise after being firmly told, “You can’t say that.” It’s a valuable expose of the censorship that now controls all public discourse on such matters.

Reece is also frank about flaws in the affirmative consent argument: “The problem is some women do like to indicate their consent to sex through subtle aspects of their behaviour.”

Young women, as well as young men, need to be taught to see consensual sex more responsibly, Reece argues. She suggests this might require “challenging the normative acceptance of entering into sexual relations with partners one hardly knows, of seeing alcohol as an integral part of a sexual encounter and misleading the partner about one’s sexual intentions.”

There’s much more of interest in this challenging book but useful indeed to see eminent scholars acknowledging that the feminist success in gaining power has come at considerable costs for society.

Email from Bettina Arndt:

La Nina summer expected as ‘inland seas’ form in Queensland outback

What happened to global warming? Global warming caused by increasing levels of CO2 was said to explain the droughts. So have CO2 levels dropped? They have continued to rise – so can they cause opposite effects? In the dream world of the Greenies maybe they can. But nobody can say how

The old truth that Australia is a place where “droughts and flooding rains” naturally alternate is what is really going on but the Greenies don’t want to know that

Minor flood warnings have been issued for the Bulloo, Thomson and Barcoo, and Diamantina rivers.

It comes as Australia braces for a La Nina summer, the same weather event that brought drenching conditions to Queensland between 2010 and 2012.

Graziers Andrea Curro and Peter Magoffin said over 80mm of rain has fallen on their property southwest of Longreach since Friday, forming vast flooded areas. Aerial pictures show vast areas of their property now inundated.

It’s the most rain they’ve seen in over a year, and is potentially drought-breaking for them. “It went from literally being a barren wasteland to 3.5 inches of rain,” Ms Curro said. “We’ve had nothing since January.”

“For a couple of days it just looks like an ocean,” she said. “It sets you up for summer,” she said.

It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a La Nina for Australia’s east coast over summer, bringing the possibility of rainfall well above average.

Bureau of Meteorology mapping shows rainfall totals of between 50 and 100mm of rain fell across vast areas of Queensland’s interior, with the system expected to impact the state’s southeast corner later today.

Longreach resident Jenna Goodman said the rain was “quite heavy at times.” “I think outside of town got more than we did in town which is nice,” Ms Goodman said. “Not a flood by any means, but hopefully we get some good follow up rain!”


Senator says Tasmania’s anti-discrimination laws pave ‘road to tyranny’

Victorian Liberal Senator James Paterson has written an opinion piece for The Australian published today, entitled Silencing dissent – now that’s a road to tyranny.

The article is a response an anti-discrimination complaint made against his Tasmanian colleague, Senator Claire Chandler, who has been called before the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission after complaints were filed over her recent article arguing against trans women’s inclusion in sports.

In the piece for the Hobart Mercury, Senator Chandler spoke against ‘cancel culture’, and shared her view that transgender women should not be allowed to participate in women’s sport, access change rooms or women’s toilets. Speaking in the Senate the politician said being called before the commission was an example of free speech being eroded in Australia.

Senator Paterson agreed with Senator Chandler’s sentiment in today’s opinion piece for The Australian.

“The anti-discrimination complaint against Tasmanian Liberal senator Claire Chandler is the latest example of the threat to free speech posed by Australia’s state and federal anti-discrimination laws, and the bodies tasked with enforcing them,” Senator Paterson wrote.


Why working from home could be a disaster for Australia’s electricity grid this summer

Air conditioners could send Australia’s power grid into meltdown this summer, as roughly one third of the workforce do their jobs from home, experts have warned.

But warmer weather has come with a warning that increased use of air-conditioning in homes could lead to more blackouts and higher electricity bills.

“Air-conditioning is what drives our maximum demand in Australia,” said Peter Dobney, the former founding chairman of the Energy Users Association of Australia.

“We can expect higher prices, in fact, I think that’s a certainty.”

Last summer was Australia’s second-hottest on record and spring temperatures have already been warmer than average in many areas, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

Dr Paul Bannister, an energy efficiency expert from consulting services company Delta Q, said that did not bode well for the months ahead.

Blackouts can be sparked when electricity infrastructure is overwhelmed by demand. When that happens, energy providers have to choose areas of the grid to turn off, Dr Bannister explained.

“And with more people working from home there will be a higher load in the residential areas,” Dr Bannister said.

“But there won’t be a comparable drop in the commercial load, because most of the buildings are still operating.”

Some companies, like Optus, have opted for socially-distanced floors in their Sydney headquarters, with rosters allowing 50 per cent of staff in the office.

Others, like ANZ, sent around 95 per cent of their workforce home at the beginning of the pandemic, and have flagged that some employees may never return to Melbourne and Sydney offices.

“It’s very clear there is a risk here, with the air-conditioning running in the home and in the building at the same time,” Dr Bannister said.

“And cooling a house, it’s not as well insulated as a building, and the home may be less energy efficient.”

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Energy politics in Australia has been divisive in recent history.

A storm-stricken South Australia experienced a statewide blackout in 2016, and a stoush erupted in the aftermath as some politicians blamed the incident on renewable energy sources they argued were unreliable.

The blackout led to Tesla founder Elon Musk building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery to store power for the state.

Meanwhile, AGL Energy had to turn off its Tomago Aluminium Smelter in NSW — which is responsible for using roughly 10 per cent of the state’s power — for several days in January in a bid to stop blackouts.

A woman plays with her son in the ocean.
The Bureau of Meteorology has already forecast above-average temperatures this summer.(Supplied: Scott Veitch)
Mr Dobney said there were other ways households could help, including going without air-conditioning for 15 minutes every hour in peak periods.

Some power companies offer a service where customers can order them to automatically turn off air conditioners.

It’s known as “load shedding”, and some large corporations already do it lower power costs.

“It would get the demand down by 20 per cent or more in those residential areas,” Mr Dobney said.

“And this idea would mean the grid could keep up with demand.”


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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