Thursday, April 21, 2022

Grace Tame hits out at Scott Morrison for his thankfulness about not having disabled chidren

Like Ms Tame, I am a high-functioning autistic so perhaps I can make a useful comment here.

The big problem in this "discussion" is overgeneralization. Leftists are very prone to overgeneralizations so that is no great surprise. Morrison's words were taken as having greater generality than he undoubtedly intended. He was construed as saying that all non-normal children were not a blessing -- which is not what he said at all.

And the "replies" to him were equally over-generalizing. Shorten's claim that ALL chidren are a blessing is plainly false. Fervent Christians may sometimes be able to convince themselves of that but many severely disabled children are undoubtedly a burden to their parents.

In the case of high functioning autism, the child may indeed be blessed in some ways -- e.g. be good at music, some schoolwork etc -- but even there handicaps arise -- principally some difficulty in understanding other people's feelings, which is a considerable social handicap.

So the generalizations extracted by the Left from Morrison's statement of a particular case are the sort of nonsense that we unfortunately have to expect of them

Tame's view that high functioning autistics can more easily spot a phony was interesting however. I was not previously aware of such a generality but, on reflection, it is true in my case that I have never remotely been taken in by any fraudster. I get scam phone-calls almost every day but I usually hang up on them within seconds. So Ms Tame may have a point in some cases

Grace Tame has taken a swipe at Scott Morrison after the Prime Minister said he and wife Jenny were 'blessed' their children were born without disabilities.

Mr Morrison made the comments - which have since been heavily criticised by Labor MPs and left wingers on Twitter - during the first election debate on Wednesday night.

The Prime Minister was asked about removing funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme by Katherine, a mother of autistic four-year-old boy Ethan, who said she'd heard stories about families losing funding under the scheme.

'I have a four-year-old autistic son, we are grateful to receive funding under the NDIS. I have heard many stories from people having their funding cut under the current government, including my own,' Katherine said during the debate.

'I've been told that to give my son the best future, I should vote Labor. Can you tell me what the future of the NDIS looks like under your government?'

Mr Morrison replied: 'Jenny and I have been blessed. We've got two children who haven't had to go through that.

'So parents of children who were disabled - I can only try and understand your aspirations for those children. And then I think that is the beauty of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.'

Following the debate, Ms Tame, who has high-functioning autism, shared a photo of her and Mr Morrison from their frosty encounter at this year's Australian of the Year morning tea at The Lodge and didn't hold back in her caption.

'Autism blesses those of us who have it with the ability to spot fakes from a mile off,' she wrote.

She wasn't the only one unhappy with his comments about children with autism on Wednesday night.

Labor frontbenchers Senators Kristina Keneally and Katy Gallagher led the criticism, with Ms Gallagher pointing to the example of her own autistic child.

'I am 'blessed' to have a child with autism. She teaches me things every day. Our lives are enriched by her,' she wrote.

Ms Keneally retweeted her post, sharing her apparent outrage at Mr Morrison's choice of words.

'Unbelievably, Scott Morrison just said he was 'blessed' not to have a child with a disability. Parents of children with a disability are blessed too,' she wrote.

Bill Shorten, Labor's NDIS spokesman also weighed in, saying: 'ScoMo says he is 'blessed' to have two non disabled children. Every child is a blessing.


Another defence equipment blunder

One of the most important tasks for the winner of the May 21 election will be to find a way to end Australia’s foolish commitment to spend around $US46bn on nine frigates, which modern warfare has turned into potential death ships.

The ALP’s shadow defence minister Richard Marles has had the courage to say the frigate contract will be reviewed.

Peter Dutton no doubt understands the potential disaster, but so far remains mute.

The war in Ukraine has confirmed what the US has been telling Australia for some time – future wars will be missile to missile games.

The devastation of the Russian tanks, the sinking of the Moskva and the Russians missile attacks on Ukraine are illustrations of modern warfare.

Neither Marles nor Dutton will find reversing the frigate disaster easy because, almost certainly, it was indirectly part of the UK free trade negotiations.

Key defence decisions are too important to be mixed up in trade negotiations.

In explaining the technology behind the frigate disaster, I am indebted to the material assembled by a former chief engineer to the fleet commander of the Royal Australian Navy, Paul Greenfield, and Jon Stanford, a former senior official in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, writing in the Strategist publication.

When defence officials began the task of replacing our Anzac-class ships, the initial specification was for a lightly-armed warship that specialised in anti-submarine warfare.

The British use surface ships to track submarines in the Atlantic and to protect their ballistic missile submarines.

By contrast in the Indo-Pacific, the US uses aircraft and submarines as the main assets to track hostile submarines.

Americans say deploying a frigate to engage a submarine is like sending a chicken to kill a fox.

Yet we chose a ship being designed for the British way, ordering a Type 26 Hunter class vessel believing it could be adapted it to our oceans by adding the American Aegis, missile systems and Australia’s CEA radars.

These systems had never before been integrated on a British warship, so not surprisingly serious problems soon emerged.

The weight added to the ship to accommodate the Australian requirements necessitated extensive redesign. The extra weight slows the Hunter’s speed so it will need significantly more gas turbine power to keep up with the fleet.

Constant use of its gas turbine will compromise both the ship’s vaunted stealth abilities as well as its range.

A ship of the Hunter’s size should have two gas turbines in case of failure or battle damage. The Hunter has only one.

It’s true that the combination of the American missile systems and our radar provides world class weaponry.

But on the Hunter, there are only 32 missiles cells. Rival ships have three and four times that number.

By contrast, with the Hunter and similar vessels, once missiles are fired the ship must return to port to be reloaded.

In a battle where rival ships have many more missile cells, the Hunter has a dangerous disadvantage. It may be forced to struggle home hoping that its one gas turbine is still working.

The distances in the Pacific and Indian oceans are much greater than in the Atlantic.

Not only are we buying a vessel where the odds are stacked against it in the missile game, but we’re paying an exorbitant sum for an inferior vessel.

The best way to calculate the cost of buying frigates is to calculate the price of each missile cell. The cost of one missile cell on the new US frigates is $US22m, compared with $US119m for Australia’s frigates. Australia is paying five times the US for an inferior vessel.

The South Korean Maya class is even more cost-effective than the US.

There are lots of solutions around to overcome the frigate problem.

But one avenue seems obvious.

BAE Systems have reputable people who must be unhappy about receiving pots of cash for a frigate with defects that they know may cost lives.

BAE also make the British nuclear submarines and maybe it’s possible to swap the contracts.


Morrison promises no mining and carbon taxes

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will attempt to wedge Labor on taxes and support for the mining industry in Western Australia as he tries to win over voters in the resource-rich state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morrison suffered his first major gaffe of the election campaign while on the hustings in Perth on Monday, incorrectly stating the rate of JobSeeker.

But he will shift the conversation to taxes in a speech to the WA Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, saying the government knows how to keep a lid on them.

“That’s why if the Coalition is returned at the forthcoming election, I can assure you there will be no mining tax,” Morrison is expected to say. “There will be no carbon tax. And there will be no adverse changes to fuel tax credit arrangements.”

The Coalition is at risk of losing up to three seats in the state, with Western Australians overwhelmingly backing their Labor premier Mark McGowan’s border closures during the pandemic which effectively cut them off from the rest of the country for two years.

The Coalition is expected to use previous comments from Anthony Albanese from as early as 2018 supporting a price on carbon and an emissions trading scheme to argue Labor cannot be trusted to make the same pledge.

Morrison will say that his government never takes the resources sector in WA for granted and that Australia needs to back its traditional strengths “from iron ore and gold to gas and coal”.

He will also promise to continue investing in critical minerals, mining regions and cutting-edge research and technologies.

“The resources sector has been and remains central to our economic plan that has led us through this crisis and setting our opportunities for the future,” Morrison is expected to say.

Geo-politically and economically, Australia have entered a period of renewed tension and turbulence in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Morrison will warn.

“On top of the economic fallout from the global pandemic, we now face the biggest energy and commodity price shock since the oil shock of the early 1970s,” he will say.

Morrison will say that critical shortages in energy have led to widespread increases in prices in recent months.

“While the economic consequences of Russia’s war of aggression are still playing out, sanctions applied to Russia are affecting commodity supply chains, and further sanctions are in prospect,” he will say.

“Commodity market dislocation and supply chain stresses have pushed up inflation around the world. Australia is not immune from these pressures.”

Morrison will pledge to “keep investing in mining regions”.

“Australians in our capital cities have long been the beneficiaries of visionary investments to develop the Pilbara, going back more than 50 years,” he will say.


Olympic hero's defiant take on trans debate

Australia's most decorated Olympian of all time, swimming superstar Emma McKeon, has made it clear she's against transgender athletes competing in women's sport, declaring "it's just not fair".

The trans-in-sport debate raging in Australia is more intense than ever because of the federal election campaign by Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, who's copped backlash for comparing her activism for women's sport to protesting against the Holocaust.

McKeon weighed in on the debate at Griffith University's A Better Future for All seminar this week. "I personally wouldn't want to be racing against someone who is biologically a male, so that's a concern," McKeon said.

"It's not a new thing, but it's new in that sport, swimming, are going to have to deal with it."

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard sparked debate when she competed in women's weightlifting at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

More recently, Lia Thomas of the USA became the first known transgender athlete to win an NCAA swimming title when she took out the 500m freestyle.

On Australian shores, the AFL hasn't allowed Hannah Mouncey to compete in the AFLW, resulting in the former Australian men's national handball player taking the AFL to court.

McKeon says she doesn't think she'll race against transgender athletes in her career but admitted it had become a major point of contention. I don't think it's going to come to that point," McKeon said.

"But now that it's a growing thing, the sport has to think about how to handle it and how to deal with it, because you do want to be inclusive, but you don't want to have females racing against swimmers who are biologically male, because it's just not fair."




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