Tricky Triggs report hopelessly emotional

February 19, 2015

“Wild accusation, colourful paraphrasing and repetitively themed doomsday imagery are the hallmarks of political emotionalism, a persuasive doctrine that undermines realism as the evidentiary standard in Western academe, law and government. It is accompanied by the use of anecdote and emotion in the place of objective fact and causal reasoning.”

Jennifer Oriel.

An outstanding analysis of Australian Human Rights Commissioner Jillian Trigg’s report on Children in Detention should be read, marked learned and inwardly digested. It is scandalous that something so shabby and biased gets produced with such fawning approval by the ABC and Fairfax.

Apart from the plain political bias and intention to embarrass the Abbott Government when it has vastly improved the situation of detained children from the ALP disaster, the emotionalism, methodology, and generally superficial nature of its analysis is laid out clearly in Oriel’s stringent criticism.

In the absence of a scientifically valid method to demonstrate causality, the inquiry yields data that is largely known, namely that some people report ill health during immigration processing and some commit harm to themselves or others.
The most serious allegations of child physical and sexual assault receive curiously little attention, with a note that they have been referred to a government department. If child abusers are in the general population of immigration centres or have been given residency in Australia, why doesn’t the commission recommended their deportation?

Suggestive but fallacious implications about ill health and abuse are made:

The research indicates complex causality underlies reported ill health among aspiring immigrants, which may include experiences before arrival. It also may include vested political interests, as we learned from recent reports refugee advocates were coaching self-harm among immigrants in detention centres. The inquiry did not study complex causal pathways, and the systemic statistical bias arising effectively nullifies the validity of its conclusions.

In conclusion, this is not a pursuit of justice:

It is clearly unacceptable that emotionalism should supplant impartial inquiry and objective truth in the pursuit of justice. The National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention fails the test of scholarly objectivity, political impartiality and public reason that distinguishes the free world of liberal democracy from its tyrannical counterparts. In so doing, it fails the Australian public, genuine refugees and children who deserve so much better than to be used as political fodder in a tired old game.

PC hypocrisy gone mad

February 12, 2015

The blood hounds out for Abbott are relentless.

As if we didn’t know, it is one thing to be disappointed about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s performance, but another to hypocritically and gleefully go him when he uses the very same word as Paul Keating, Bob Brown, Scott Ludlam, and even John Howard. When these others used it there was of course not a ripple from the fetid media pond.

Abbott hanged for what the gallery forgave Keating and Bob Brown.

Economics of optimism

February 11, 2015

Or how the UN, government bureaucracy and the wicked word ‘sustainability’, along with no less than 1,000 NGOs, can undermine good work and waste money

Bjorn Lomborg, working with his Post-2015 Copenhagen Consensus group, is refining his daring idea of working out what projects gives the world the best bang for each dollar spent on global development for the poor. An article republished on his own website from the Economist quotes Belland Melinda Gates on just how much progress is being made in a world of seeming total pessimism.

“THE lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else’s.” So predict Bill and Melinda Gates in their annual letter, published on January 22nd. The wealthy philanthropists expect the rate of infant mortality to halve by 2030, from one child in 20 dying before turning five to one in 40. They also forecast the eradication of polio and perhaps three other deadly diseases. Improvements in agriculture will mean that Africa will be able to feed itself. Financial security will improve as the 2 billion people who do not have a bank account start storing money and making payments using mobile phones. And affordable online courses will open up huge educational opportunities for poor people, especially girls.

That’s the good news. However, the United Nations is introducing what it calls “Sustainable Development Goals”. The dreaded S word in the title with its massive baggage of ideology, guarantees billions of wasted money, myriad targets and no accountability.

On January 17th action/2015, a coalition of over 1,000 NGOs and celebrities, began a campaign for SDGs that are inspiring, properly financed and monitored with good data—sound principles, but ones that will not help much in winnowing down the number of goals and targets.

However, the one change that would improve poverty reduction by a factor of up to one hundred for each dollar spent over other targeted spending, is simply free trade.

As for the UN push for data development — think bureaucrats — there is increasing scepticism. Lomborg points out:

gathering data is hugely expensive, at around $1.5 billion per SDG target; measuring all 169 proposed targets would eat up 12.5% of total international development aid.

Naturally, Lomborg and his team question money for climate change as being virtually useless in the context of development targets, but the idea of 169 targets “is like having no targets at all”.

ARAB OIL ERA OVER ?

February 8, 2015

The Arab oil era is over, and so is the destructive power of the Persian Gulf ‘s oil dictatorships. 

So much rubbish has been written about peak oil, like most predictions by environmentalists about our future.  Just the other night we saw the three wise men, Tim Flannery, David Karoly and Will Steffen, offering their gold, frankincense and myrrh, peddling their alarmism. Always there for a free pass on the Their ABC, does anyone really believe these empt vessels any more?

Not only did peak oil not happen — I remember Bjorn Lomborg showing a graph of peak oil alarms going back to 1920 — he also made the insightful remark that the bronze age did not come about because the stone age ran out of stones.

Now a barrel of oil is basically half the price it was just a few months ago. This is a radical game changer overlooked by most commentators. It could well be a profound game changer equivalent of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

An interesting editorial appeared in an Israeli paper, which looks at the magnitude of what might be happening.

 The most dramatic news in 2014 almost went unnoticed: The United States lifted the restrictions on American oil exports, and as of the first day of the new year it has begun exporting oil to the world.

No one believed this would happen so fast, but the US is already the world’s biggest oil manufacturer, bigger than Saudi Arabia , thanks to the oil shale technology which changed the world of energy ……

This means that oil prices will continue to drop, as the US is already competing against other manufacturers. As a result, Russia will be crushed, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf states will fall flat on their face, the cartel will collapse, and all the dictatorships which were mainly based on oil – like Iran – will face a gloomy future …

The Arab oil era is over, and so is the destructive power of the Persian Gulf’s oil dictatorships. These dictatorships have disgracefully controlled the failing Europe: Buying politicians, bribing companies, taking over the economy and gaining political power which was also used against Israel …

It seems too good to be true, but let us hope the geopolitical equation is changing.

Extreme Greens dangerous

February 4, 2015

No one but the Greens could want to decriminalise hard drugs and yet outlaw pâté.

I thought the Australian Greens were pretty unrealistic and were in the habit of taking their fantasies for reality, but the Brits are not bad either.
From wanting the society to become poorer, to being the worst in managing local councils, and wanting to cut back on defence spending whilst making membership of ISIS legal, this British Party, headed up no less by an Australian, seems even crazier than our Greens.

Yet,  even with policies that will deliberately make society poorer, the British Greens appears to be the fastest-growing party in Britain.

The litany of madness is as boundless as is their total misunderstanding of how the world works. An editorial in the Spectator observes that the three main parties have been happy to cast accusations of extremism at Ukip, yet they have missed the real extremist party in their midst.

[The Green’s website states] that the party wants to pay every-one a ‘Citizen’s Income’ — which has since been put at £72 a week — in order to allow ‘current dependence on economic growth to cease, and allow zero or negative growth to be feasible without individual hardship should this be necessary on the grounds of sustainability’ …

Brighton, the one council they run, languishes at 306th out of 326 English councils for its recycling rate. Only a quarter of its rubbish was recycled in the last year, compared with two-thirds for the best authorities. For a supposedly green party, this is an astonishing failure.

It is a proud aim of the party to reduce international trade, something which absurdly they seem to think can be done without harm to developing countries.

Only the Green party could propose to shrink our armed forces, end the arms industry and simultaneously make it legal to be a member of Isis or al-Qaeda. No one but the Greens could want to decriminalise hard drugs and yet outlaw pâté.

A splendid article worth reading.

Australia Day 2015

January 25, 2015

This is our flag. We love it

oz flag 1901
I need to say I love the Australian flag.

I grew up with this flag as have all Australians since Federation, give or take a few points on the stars.

I grew up as an anglo-saxon with strong connection to the United Kingdom. Indeed, living in France for ten years led me to a profound understanding of what it is to have this connection.

Our language, our institutions, our dress, our architecture, our food, our ABC (aka BBC, ha ha), our media and its newspapers, the ugly thick mugs we drink tea out of around the country in universities, schools, city offices, workshops, farms, mines come from England and our mood and temperament does too. Yes, of course we are wonderfully multicultural too, full of Asians, Africans, and Indians —and I married a Sri Lankan — but I don’t know if you have noticed, so is everywhere else in the world, England included !!

And I love all of that too.

However, I resent the obsession, starting with the Bulletin one hundred years ago through to Jonathan Green and guests this very day from six o’clock this morning on their ABC, banging on about the flag, republicanism, mocking the new year’s honours — no mention of leftist barristers scrambling back to QC status — the monarchy, and somehow wanting to continue their adolescent hissy-fit about Australia needing to grow up and becoming more independent and confident when we already have and already are.

A few years ago, I went out and bought an Australian flag cooking apron in protest against the obnoxious decision by the Waverley council not to fly the Australian flag over the Bondi Pavillion in case it made certain people feel unwelcome.

All I want to say is get over it. Jonathan Green, get over it. The ABC get over it. The ALP, get over it. Be proud of our heritage, be proud of our flag. Perhaps you might all prefer to learn to speak Esperanto.

Have a Happy Australia Day.

Dreaded backlash ??

January 24, 2015

“What happens when those imported cultures involve more than mere fancy dress, when they arrive with their own power relationships, their own political ideologies and a parallel legal system, all of which is incompatible with Australian norms and traditions? What happens when new arrivals have no intention of relinquishing these features of their cultures and integrating into the mainstream? What happens when the intent is first to modify the host culture and, ultimately, to replace it?”

FRANK PLEDGE : The Left’s Unholy Alliance with Islam

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Yet another clarification concerning the Islamisation of the West has developed in the recent “backlash” — yes, at last — with protests in Germany and Denmark in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations.

We might call it the ‘long feared backlash’ announced and dreaded by the sensitive “i’ll ride with you hashtag” Left and the ABC who announced their fear of the rise of the European right  as being a more dnagerous than plain good old Islamic fascist murder.

This backlash of anti-immigration protesters, who call themselves PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) in Germany, apparently claimed simply that they wanted protection for German culture, and felt that asylum-seekers from Muslim regions were abusing Germany’s welcoming policies toward refugees.

The censorious commentators piled in.

“This is truly a vicious cycle,” explains Brian Forst, a professor of justice, law, and criminology at American University. “Anti-immigration sentiments aimed primarily against Muslims in the West breed alienation among Muslims, and alienation breeds extremism and acts of terror, which only aggravate anti-Muslim sentiments and behaviors…Terrorism succeeds when the victim reacts badly.”

Really? This is after the West has clamped down on free speech and where the media dare not utter a single truth, the truth that is standing in front of us in plain sight. 

In Aarhus in Denmark, where a similar protest took place, it was met with a predictably violent attack from the Left in the name, of course, of tolerance and diversity.

Police said about 200 to 300 people from Denmark, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Poland took part in what was billed as a “European counter-jihad meeting” to protest what they called the Islamization of Europe. They were met by a 10-times larger counter-demonstration by left-wing groups under the banner “Aarhus for Diversity.”
The anti-Islamic rally started with a moment of silence for the seven people killed by an al-Qaida-inspired gunman in France.

Both demonstrations were peaceful until a group of black-clad, mask-wearing youth from the counter-demonstration tried to break through police lines, but officers in riot gear held them back.
After the rally finished, protesters hurled rocks and bottles at a bus carrying the far-right sympathizers as police vans escorted it out of the city center.

The violent Left always reminds me of the excellent book by Nick Cohen I reviewed several years ago concerning the Left’s love affair with fascistic Islam.

Cohen’s message is blunt: the left, through its uncompromising hatred of America and self-loathing for Western democracies, has managed to back and support Islamic clerical fascism and other vile regimes around the world that would have been anathema to the left in earlier times

Throughout the book he asks why the left supports fascists ‘who believe in the subjugation of women, the killing of Jews, homosexuals, freemasons, socialists and trade unionists’. He asks … why Palestine is a cause for the liberal-left but not China, Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Congo or North Korea. In short, ‘why is the world upside down?’

So, is there not a clear choice: to shut up and say nothing, or speak up and be accused, incorrectly, of bigotry. Where is the balance?

Up until now, adding to the frustration and backlash, has been of course the obsequious nonsense about Islam being only a religion of peace that all our leaders sing out in unison, or perhaps Renaissance polyphony, at each and every atrocity. It is this dhimmitude and cowering that has produced the frustrated backlash, not the standing up to it.

Surely the claims of the protesters are understandable. It has been exactly what has been on the minds of most people in Western democracies for several years now and of course it is building.

The hardening of the voices against unreasonable demands on Western culture, whether through creeping sharia, the failure of so many to integrate, or the many international surveys showing persistent retrograde and intollerant anti democratic values held by often a majority of our new immigrants, can only get louder.

And the sooner the better. This can only be healthy for debate.

Is Europe falling apart?

January 24, 2015
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” The European Union, with 503 million people, has seven per cent of the world’s population, yet spends 50 per cent of global welfare expenditure”.

An extraordinary and very worrying summary of the tensions arising in Europe is put forward clearly and concisely by Paul Sheehan in the SMH.

He gives a compelling list of problems which, when put together, looks very much like a slow motion train crash.

His outline includes: less democracy, more autocracy; Switzerland delinking from the Euro as the European Central Bank starts to print one half to a trillion extra Euro, UKIP and Le Front National parties topping recent elections over all other parties in both the UK and France, seriously unsustainable welfare, an imminent election in Greece, and, as icing on the cake, the little problem of the religion of peace:

 The year that started with a massacre in Paris, followed by deadly combat between Islamists and police in France and Belgium, is going to deliver a rolling salvo of shocks for the great experiment of European unification.

Read on and be worried. Or, it all might just be a bad dream
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[Thanks to reader Andrew]

PRETZEL LOGIC

January 14, 2015

fallible, twisted or circular resaoning that when dissected is wrong, does not make sense or does not explain the situation rationally.

The denials of reality by President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron and most shamefully, of French President Hollande in the very city where the slaughter of the Charlie Hebdo 12 took place, along with several Jews for being Jewish in a Jewish supermarket, have been well answered by George Packer of the New York Post,

The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in the Middle East, or the American invasion of Iraq before that. They’re not part of some general wave of nihilistic violence in the economically depressed, socially atomized, morally hollow West—the Paris version of Newtown or Oslo. Least of all should they be “understood” as reactions to disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists.

This article is a refreshing read on the current, fashionable politically correct pretzel logic. Packer concludes:

But the murders in Paris were so specific and so brazen as to make their meaning quite clear. The cartoonists died for an idea. The killers are soldiers in a war against freedom of thought and speech, against tolerance, pluralism, and the right to offend—against everything decent in a democratic society. So we must all try to be Charlie, not just today but every day.

Are we really all Charlie?

January 10, 2015

No, no and shamefully no, says Andrew Bolt

Following the horrific events in Paris there has been a massive amount of commentary on the West and its continual appeasement of Islam.

There is much agreement that the Western media, our politicians and the Left commentariat are in a continual state of dhimmitude, starting with the White House which issued a statement that the attacks in Paris on Charlie Hebdo were not Islamic followed by the obligatory “Islam is a religion of peace”.

These events clarify just how political correctness and timidity over the years has got us into this mess. Remarkably, a few months ago, Tony Abbott performed an incomprehensible back-down on his promise to scrap our anti-freedom of speech laws just at a time when our freedoms to express honestly held opinions are most under attack. This muzzling encourages precisely the very extremism that the political elites deplore and against which they all vainly protest.

Gerard Henderson is lucid as always on the successful aim of the terrorists:

The jihadists in our midst do not want to provoke us. Rather, they want to silence us — from winding back freedom of expression to changing foreign policy with respect to the Middle East and on to the eventual establishment of Sharia law …

Just as fear spreads, Henderson also calls out the stupidity of journalists who are more worried about the growth of right wing parties in Europe rather than the Muslim extremists with the Kalashnikovs who actually brutally kill citizens.

… on ABC radio’s The World Today, Australian-born journalist Annette Young, described a possible growth in support for the National Front, and its leader Marine Le Pen, as the “big worry” following the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

UK commentator David Aaronovitch raises a very clear point on the role criticism plays in the context of tolerance for religion:

The same tolerance that allows Muslims or Methodists freedom to practise and espouse their religion,” he wrote, “is the same tolerance that allows their religion to be depicted, criticised or even ridiculed. Take away one part of the deal and the other part falls too. You don’t like it, go somewhere else.”

AYAAN HIRSI ALI  tells the ABC on ABC television what it is failing to do:

You are still continuing to self-censor because you have not published or republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. You have not honoured Charlie Hebdo the way they need to be honoured, which is they took a risk, they took a risk to stand up for the core values of Western civilisation. And you, the media, are letting them down. You have drawn and published caricatures of the terrorists, but you have not published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Brendan O’Neill spells out what freedom of speech entails and how it has been captured by the politically correct:

Tragically, many in the West, including those who call themselves liberal, had forgotten the importance of free speech, and the benefits of blasphemy itself, long before this week’s horrific assault.

Across Europe over the past 30 years offensiveness has been turned into a crime. In every European country, hate-speech laws have been introduced to control and punish the expression of certain beliefs.

…It’s just that where politicians think offensiveness is only an imprisonable offence, theCharlie Hebdo killers think it deserves capital punishment.

So the barbarism in Paris has not taken place in a vacuum. It occurred on a continent where anti-offensiveness is written into law and stamped into many campaigners’ hearts, and where liberals all too often side with the offence-takers over the offence-givers, the speakers or writers who have uttered the unutterable.

Incandescent with rage and frustration is MARK STEYN about useful idiots like President Hollande — and like President Obama and British PM Cameron — who claimed against all the evidence that “those who committed these terrorist acts have nothing to do with the Muslim religion”.

Yeah, right. I would use my standard line on these occasions – “Allahu Akbar” is Arabic for “Nothing to see here” – but it’s not quite as funny when the streets are full of cowards, phonies and opportunists waving candles and pencils and chanting “Je suis Charlie.” Because if you really were Charlie, if you really were one of the 17 Frenchmen and women slaughtered in the name of Allah in little more than 48 hours, you’d utterly despise a man who could stand up in public and utter those words …

They tested the foe again this week: They assassinated the senior editorial team of the only publication not willing to sign on to the official “No Islam to see here” line. And they were rewarded for their slaughter with the président de la république standing up in public insisting there’s “No Islam to see here.

And here to finish is an outstanding piece by Andrew Bolt that covers all the various points raised above and more. Unless something turns around, it would appear that things will only get worse:

The West’s political leaders have already told Muslim leaders they agree that mocking Islam is a sin, and have even passed laws — in France, too — making it unlawful.

They have attacked the very few journalists and politicians who dared warn against the Islamist threat.

Anything for peace, even if it means submission.

And for all the protests this past week, submission is what you must expect.

 UPDATE

Yet another wonderful piece by Henry Ergas in today’s Australian:

The reality is that there is a problem with Islam. To say that is not to deny Islam’s immense diversity, impugn the millions of Muslims who abhor the horrors being wreaked in their name, or dispute the enduring value of religious faith in a secular age.

But it is undeniable that Islam’s distinctive features make it especially vulnerable to being used to incite religiously motivated ­violence.

Those features include the glorification of battle, with Mohammed mounting 65 expeditions against unbelievers in his decade-long rule in Medina, and personally commanding nearly half of them; the duty to wage jihad and “terrify the enemies of God”, fighting unbelievers until “the religion is God’s entirely”; the aspiration to impose Sharia law and restore the caliphate, an Islamic concept without parallel in the other Abrahamic religions; and the cult of martyrdom, with Mohammed himself being quoted as longing to be killed in jihad only to be resurrected and then killed fighting again.


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