Friday, September 29, 2017

Is subjecting people to speech free speech?

One would think not -- quite the contrary -- but the Left have always used free speech as a justification of anything they say.  In line with that, a plan to subject football fans to pro-homosexual propaganda is being defended as free speech. 

The pro-homosexual song concerned has been very widely aired so has not in any way been restricted speech but should people who dislike the sentiments of the song be forced to listen to it?  In their usual authoritarian way, the Left are answering "Yes" to that. They are having the song sung at half-time during a football match in spite of the fact that many fans there will find it objectionable. 

Mere good manners would usually ensure that an objectionable song is not sung on such an occasion but Leftist propaganda is far more important than bad manners, of course.  Interesting though that political correctness is often claimed to be just good manners and refraining from offending people.  More evidence of Leftist hypocrisy

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has backed a call from same-sex marriage opponents to ban American rapper Macklemore from performing his pro-gay song Same Love at the NRL grand final.

Former player Tony Wall, who played first grade briefly in the mid 1990s, is petitioning NRL boss Todd Greenberg to halt the half-time performance and "take a neutral position on the question of same-sex marriage".

The Coalition for Marriage, the official "no" campaign vehicle, seized on the petition on Wednesday, demanding the NRL ban the song despite making "freedom of speech" one of its central campaign tenets.

Spokesman David Goodwin said the grand final was "not a PC lecture theatre" and it was "bizarre that the NRL would choose to use its half-time entertainment to push a message which it knows millions of Australians disagree with".

Mr Abbott backed that call, tweeting: "Footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!"

But the NRL stood firm on Wednesday, with Mr Greenberg telling 2GB radio the LGBTI anthem was just one of four songs Macklemore was scheduled to perform, and reiterating the code's support for same-sex marriage.

"He's playing four of his biggest hits, one of those will include that song and we're very comfortable with that," Mr Greenberg said.

He conceded the song could be seen as a political act but said "we're an inclusive game" and "it would be a little hypocritical for us to have inclusiveness as one of our values and not actually deliver on it".

The song Same Love, which reached No.1 in Australia in 2013, is critical of homophobia in rap music and includes the lyric: "No freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it."

Mr Wall said he and his family, and other NRL fans who did not support same-sex marriage, would feel uncomfortable watching the grand final if the song were to be performed. The petition had gathered 2100 online signatures as of Wednesday evening.

The NRL formally announced its support for same-sex marriage just over two weeks ago, saying the league had a duty to back up its policy of inclusion with action.

The AFL has also encountered blowback for its long-standing support for marriage equality, with commentators and some Coalition MPs upset over a decision to temporarily replace the logo outside its Melbourne headquarters with a "yes" sign.

Both codes have resisted attempts to shut down their advocacy, arguing they are entitled to a point of view but respect those who disagree.

The Coalition for Marriage and supporters have made "freedom of speech" a central tenet of its campaign, claiming free speech wold be under threat if same-sex marriage were to be legalised.

"Freedom of speech is a central issue in this campaign," the Coalition for Marriage said last week following the Abbott headbutt.

"It is absolutely crucial that people are able to speak up and participate in a national conversation about marriage in a respectful and peaceful manner."

In a 2GB interview on Wednesday, Mr Abbott continued his campaign for a "no" vote, saying it was "the best way of stopping political correctness in his tracks".

"We have seen political correctness run riot on a whole host of issues, but this is the first time that the Australian public have been asked to cast their verdict on all of these developments," he said.


Priest SPAT at in the street in the latest violence linked to gay marriage supporters

A priest claims he was spat at and called a ‘f**king no voter’ while walking in the street just because he was wearing his collar. Father Morgan Batt said he was walking along Queen Street Mall in Brisbane on Wednesday when he was stopped.

He took to Facebook to express his disappointment at the treatment he received. ‘I was stopped – spat at – and called a ‘f***king no voter,’ he wrote.

‘Smile and move on was all I could do. Let’s pray for healing. Australia this really not us.’

The priest’s claims come as a mass weekend text telling millions of people to vote ‘yes’ reportedly turned people off, and increasingly confrontational appears to drive some non-aligned voters towards either a no vote or even apathy.

Polls still indicate a majority of Australians will vote 'yes' on the gay marriage postal survey. 

While there have been disappointing incidents on both sides, some have called the behaviour of 'yes' activists violent, elitist, snobbish and off-putting.

'I had always intended to vote yes but the more liberals use these tactics the more inclined I am to vote no,' said one online commenter.

'I am not engaged in this debate, I have had other priorities in my life - we all have something we are fighting for - but after seeing the low tactics of the 'yes' campaigners I'm considering voting, and it will be no,' said another.

Their sentiments were echoed across social media, with people declaring they have had enough of the violence, the threats and the abuse, calling the behaviour 'feral'.

'Yes voters aren’t helping their cause are they? It's really sad that a few disgusting individuals might end up ruining this opportunity for the LGBT community' wrote a Facebook user.

The most recent Newspoll shows 57 per cent of Australians support redefining the Marriage Act, down from 63 per cent in August.

Following the headbutt assault on Mr Abbott by a 'Yes' badge-wearing anarchist DJ in Hobart, activists held up banners saying 'Headbutt homophobes'.


One in five Australians believe global warming is a hoax

Essential Research has surveyed about 1000 Australians on various beliefs to reveal some eyebrow-raising results.

It found 21 per cent believed global warming was a hoax perpetrated by scientists - with 9 per cent strongly believing in the statement and 12 per cent somewhat believing. Another 11 per cent were not sure.

One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts has been among those to doubt climate change science, with a senior NASA official last year rejecting his claims the agency had falsified data to exaggerate warming in the Arctic.

And in June, after being asked by Senator Roberts whether it was important for scientists to keep an open mind, chief scientist Alan Finkel agreed: "But not so open that your brain leaks out."

Griffith University Climate Change Response Program director Brendan Mackey said climate change was an established scientific fact backed up by hard data.

"We have a really solid scientific basis for knowing and understanding the way the climate is changing rapidly," Professor Mackey said. [Like what?]

"I find it interesting as a scientist when people say they don't believe in science because science is not a matter of faith - religion is a matter of faith.

"It's really a matter of having a scientific understanding or explanation in relation to the cause and effect."

Professor Mackey said many people had never been taught about climate change science so found it difficult to understand.

And he said it was not something you could look out the window and see or experience, such as using an iPhone.

"The technology [for smartphones] comes from scientific understanding about quantum mechanics," he said.

"There's hardly anyone who understands about quantum mechanics but the iPhone works and they're happy their phone works and they're not worried about the reason why.

"People don't say 'I don't believe in gravity' because they can feel the effect of it.

"Climate change is a more abstract concept so part of it is people don't have that direct personal experience of climate change."


Now you can't say 'MUM' at work: Politically correct activists warn employers referring to 'sexist' gender roles could offend staff

Politically-correct activists are charging workplaces $1,800 an hour to teach employees about apparently harmful and sexist words - like 'mum'.

Former army chief David Morrison appears in a Diversity Council of Australia video where he confronts a memo next to dirty dishes in a work kitchen with a younger, female colleague.

'Clean up after yourself. Your mum doesn't work here,' it says.

With a stern expression, the retired lieutenant-general and 2016 Australian of the Year pulls out a highlighter and adds the word 'dad' to the poster.

The Diversity Council of Australia, which Mr Morrison chairs, charges workplaces $3,600 for two-hour sessions on 'inclusive leadership'.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham slammed the whole idea of workplaces paying to be lectured on politically-correct language. 'That's so pathetic it's laughable,' he said on his weekly Mark Latham's Outsiders program on Wednesday.

'Imagine being a corporation with so much money you can afford thousands of dollars to send your staff to learn about dirty coffee cups and a sign, "It's all wrong, it's all terrible, it's the end of the world".

'Your biggest corporate challenge is, "Your mum doesn't work here" and you've got to change it to, "Mum and dad".'

The Diversity Council of Australia declined to address Mr Latham's attack on its Words At Work program, launched last year.

But it referred Daily Mail Australia to its June 2016 media release which said 'non-inclusive language contributes to and continues stereotyping'. 'Non-inclusive language harms people who witness it as well as the intended targets,' it said.


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

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Academic says people who are against legalising gay marriage are 'not intelligent enough to take part in meaningful debate' (?)

But he says so on the basis of a survey question that did NOT mention gay marriage! A fuller report of the research is here.  It is in general carefully done but I am surprised that the results are reported as a trend.  That would normally be used for a time series. The more usual presentation would be in the form of a correlation coefficient. When correlations between beliefs and IQ are examined on other occasions, the correlation is found to be very weak.  That may have been the case on this occasion but has been covered up by the unusual analysis.

Concern must also be expressed that attitude was measured by just one very general question.  Psychologists normally use multi-item scales precisely because answers to a single question can be very misleading. And in that connection one must note that the question did NOT refer to marriage. It was just a general rights question.

That is of particular concern when we note that the answers to the question were from two years ago, long before the marriage debate became as well-defined as it is now. The same question might well be differently understood now.

The author has clearly overgeneralized from his finding. Insofar as the finding means anything, I see it as just another iteration of the general finding that high IQ people have a weak tendency to be more Leftist. They think they know it all and so do Leftists. It also means that more intelligent kids are better at picking up and absorbing the lessons drummed into them by our Left-dominated educational system.

An academic has suggested opponents of gay marriage are less intelligent.

Dr Francisco Perales, a senior research fellow with the University of Queensland's Institute for Social Science Research, argues those opposed to redefining marriage struggled with processing complex ideas.

Citing comprehensive demographic data, he said those planning to vote 'No' in the same-sex marriage postal vote were unlikely to be persuaded by the facts.

'This may shed some light on why those who stand against equal rights may not be persuaded by evidence-based arguments in the ongoing same-sex marriage debate,' he said in an opinion piece for the ABC on Tuesday.

'This applies, for instance, to the scientifically unsupported claim that children are worse off in same-sex households.'

The Brisbane-based academic, who specialises in 'gender and sexual identity', said opponents of changing the Marriage Act lacked the cognitive ability to process complex ideas, discern facts from speculation and critically engage with new or diverse viewpoints.

'Specifically, there is a strong and statistically significant association between higher cognitive ability and a greater likelihood to support equal rights between same- and different-sex couples,' Dr Perales said.

He added older people and those from non-English speaking backgrounds were more likely to oppose gay marriage.

'Some population groups — older people and those from non-English-speaking backgrounds, for example — may be more opposed to equal rights and also perform worse in cognitive ability tests,' he said.

'For the former group, this may be due to cognitive decline, and for the latter it may be due to English not being their first language.'

He argued the 'No' case were relying on arguments unrelated to same-sex marriage, such as religious freedom or gender theory in schools, to persuade socially conservative voters.

'These results may thus shed some light over why some on the 'No' side may be failing to offer or accept evidence-based arguments, or why they keep relying on philosophically, historically or empirically flawed ones,' Dr Perales said.

With former Liberal prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, along with socially conservative politicians like Bob Katter, leading the 'No' case, Dr Perales didn't suggest all opponents of gay marriage were less intellectual.

'The findings do not mean that all who intend to vote 'no' in the marriage ballot have a low level of cognitive ability,' he said. 'Nor do they mean that all those who intend to vote 'yes' have a high level.'

However, he concluded opponents of gay marriage were more likely to be less intelligent, citing data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia annual surveys of  17,000 people.

'People who stand against equal rights for same-sex couples are less likely to have cognitive resources that are important to participating in meaningful debate,' he said.

His intervention into the gay marriage conversation comes as voters return ballots from the Australian Bureau of Statistics as part of the $122 million voluntary postal vote on redefining the Marriage Act.

Opinion polls, including Newspoll, show the 'Yes' having majority public support.


Batshit crazy: Two female Australian University lecturers BAN maths students from using the word 'marriage' as it might cause offence

Lecturers at a leading university have been telling students not to use the word 'marriage', as it might cause offence.

Associate professor Catherine Greenhill and Dr Diana Combe from the University of New South Wales were referring to Hall's marriage theorem, which dates back to 1935.

According to Sean Lynch, a 21-year-old honours student, his lecturer told students to leave 'marriage' out of the name of the theorem in an assignment.

'The reason why was because the canonical example has homophobic implications, at least in [Catherine Greenhill's] eyes,' Mr Lynch told Sky News.

Another student has come forward to confirm similar demands were made by Dr Combe in the past.

His thesis - which contained an example of male female matchmaking similar to Hall's - was returned and marked as 'offensive', The Daily Telegraph reported.

Mr Lynch, who founded UNSW student group Free Thinkers, said he was shocked when students were told the word marriage was offensive in a lecture.

'I've heard much about these issues in the humanities and to see it come into this discipline, which I pursued because of its objectivity, is amazing,' he said.

English mathematician Philip Hall proved the theory in 1935, and it uses the example of monogamous heterosexual couples in matchmaking with variable sets.

Senior lecturer and UNSW academic advisor Dr Thomas Britz called the actions of the staff members involved 'too forceful and inappropriate'.

Dr Britz said he would speak to the staff involved, but called on students to be respectful of their peers.

Mr Lynch claims gay marriage was not mentioned during the lectures in question, but believes the divisive issue is behind the lecturers' actions.


'In other faiths we call it paedophilia': Peta Credlin slams 'feminist warriors' for failing to stand up for Muslim girls forced into arranged marriages

Media commentator Peta Credlin has slammed feminists for failing to speak up about a Muslim man in his mid-thirties marrying a 14-year-old girl.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott's chief-of-staff is outraged at the political left's silence on child brides, less than a week after a refugee was sentenced to one year in jail for taking part in the Melbourne mosque wedding last year.

'In other faiths we call it paedophilia but not when it comes to Islam,'  she told Sky News on Tuesday night.

'Their failure to speak up for these girls is because the left's silence on the crimes of Islam trumps any voice for the victim.'

Ms Credlin's impassioned critique of left-wing feminists comes six days after Rohingya refugee Mohammad Shakir, 35, was formally jailed for one year for marrying the 14-year-old girl at the Noble Park mosque, in south-east Melbourne, on September 29, 2016.

'We shouldn't even call it child brides. These young girls are being raped by much older men under the cover of a religious ceremony against Australian law and against Australian values,' she said.

Shakir had pleaded guilty to going through with the ceremony and tearfully told the County Court of Victoria he thought he was 'rescuing' the child bride.

The criminal, who will be returned to immigration detention after his sentence, was the first man to appear before an Australian court prosecuted with marrying a child, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of five years.

Ms Credlin said it appeared the feminists, the political left and Muslim groups were more obsessed with 'so-called Islamophobia' than speaking up for child brides.

'They don't like it and they won't admit it,' she said.

'Quiet too are the many Islamic organisations that are quick to attack so-called Islamophobia but are silent non the rights of young, Muslim girls.'

Former Muslim imam Ibrahim Omerdic was spared jail last month after being found guilty of unlawfully solemnising the marriage.  He was sentenced to two months' prison, but immediately placed on a two-year recognisance release order, meaning he won't serve time in jail.

Omerdic was an imam of the Bosnian Islamic Society and Noble Park Mosque but was later sacked and had his celebrant licence revoked after his arrest last year.


No campaign’s unlikely secret weapon: A young lawyer with a human rights background

IN THE past few weeks, a new star has emerged to add a touch of glamour to the No campaign’s battle to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Karina Okotel is a 37-year-old Australian lawyer who has volunteered for charities in Thailand and Africa and made a documentary about refugees and child soldiers. She lives with her Ugandan husband and three children in Melbourne and her parents were Sri Lankan immigrants. She’s not a person you’d immediately expect to be fronting a campaign to stop gay and lesbian Australians from having the right to marry.

But Ms Okotel is not only those things. She has been a member of the Liberal party since 2010 and vice president since June. She is a devout Christian, meeting husband David while working on farms for Baptist World Aid. She is in fact more conservative than many in her party, with Malcolm Turnbull, Liberal president Nick Greiner and her local Liberal MP Tim Wilson all in favour of same-sex marriage.

Ms Okotel decided to come out of maternity leave — her youngest daughter is just 10 weeks old — to throw her weight behind the Coalition for Marriage. And her star has been rising ever since.

“Members felt they were being ignored,” she told “We had passed motions of traditional marriage, especially in Victoria.”

On September 1, she wrote an emotive opinion piece for The Australian about “our freedoms” — of speech and religion. She debated the issue on ABC Radio national with Liberal gay rights supporter Christine Forster, who confronted her on how changes to civil marriage law — on divorce, for example — previously took place without affecting religious schools.

But it was after Ms Okotel gave a dramatic speech opposing same-sex marriage at the National Press Club two weeks ago that she really started gaining attention, with Fairfax Media dubbing her “the ‘bleeding heart’ lawyer who opposes same-sex marriage” and Crikey noting that, “Unlike Lyle Shelton, she has come seemingly from nowhere to become one of the faces of the No campaign”.

And unlike the white, male Australian Christian Lobby chief, she may have a bigger impact in hammering home the “OK to vote no” slogan across the community.

The mother of three used her Press Club speech to read out shocking examples of online abuse towards No supporters.

When she speaks to, she is eager to share stories of racist and sexist abuse she has endured, as well as listing the examples we know. “I’ve received a lot of support and encouragement but now I’ve got trolls,” she says. “There are a lot of derogatory comments, the c-word, telling me to go home, a lot of sexual comments ... It’s quite strange.

“I was campaigning even out on the streets, holding signs and someone said, ‘Yes to marriage equality, no to immigrants.’”

Ms Okotel was with two fellow campaigners of Chinese and African descent. “We thought that was very strange,” she repeats.

She sprinkles her conversation with references to the importance of “caring” and “compassion” in her life. “I hope I am a person who is compassionate, I try to be someone who is caring and that’s really important to me,” she says. “[The No campaign is] not a campaign that’s uncaring or unkind, it is caring about the impact of future generations, religious freedoms, kids and freedom.”

The young lawyer, who has worked at a soup kitchen and pro-bono health centre in Victoria, is perfect for the benign image the No campaign wants to project, although her arguments are nothing new.

She focuses closely on freedom of speech, potential effects on education and the effects on children of same-sex parents who will never know a biological parent — despite the fact that gay couples can already have children.

“What I understand from the Left’s view is that marriage is all about love,” she says. “That’s a red herring. It was never just about that. “In Sri Lanka, you see arranged marriages, they work. Marriage has always been about family and a stable environment for kids.”

Her goal is simple — to be calm and measured while painting ‘Yes’ advocates as rabid and aggressive. It’s a tactic that has been proving increasingly successful for the Coalition for Marriage following weak support in the polls for its viewpoint.

Ms Okotel appears to be just the character the No campaign needs, with the determination to match.

Last year, she wrote an article describing herself as a lawyer who had worked in family violence calling for more regulation of advertising, because “all advertisements visible to children in public should demonstrate respect for women and not sexual objectification.”

The Victoria Legal Aid employee is firmly behind the Government’s hard line immigration policies — speaking passionately about deaths at the hands of people smugglers.

She has dire predictions for what will happen if the ‘Yes’ campaign succeeds, but if it happens, she won’t be going anywhere. After a running as a Victorian Senate candidate last year, she may be ready to aim high once more.


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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is unimpressed by Bill Shorten's trip to Korea

Same-sex marriage supporter's racist rant

A SAME-sex marriage supporter has been captured on video in an expletive-ridden rant against a “Vote No” campaigner in Sydney.

The clip, which has now gone viral on Facebook after it amassed more than 53,000 views, shows a young man pointing his finger yelling, “It’s people like you in the country, are what are bringing this f**king country down.”

It comes after a group of “No” campaigners were handing out ‘It’s OK to vote No’ pamphlets at Chatswood on Sydney’s North Shore.

Shocked bystanders watched as the man said, “You’ve come here, we’ve accepted you into this country.”

When a woman hit back saying “we’ve accepted you into this country too” the man fired up saying “I’m Australian — my parents are Australian. I’m not being racist! I’ve got Aboriginal family. I’m not being racist at all.”

“You’re just being a f**king d***head by voting ‘No’. F*** you. F*** you. Respect people’s rights you gronk,” he yelled as he walked off.

A social media user uploaded the footage to the public on Facebook with the caption, “Your weekly dose of tolerance.”

“This man approached one of our team members and started yelling,” he wrote online.


Snowflake bikies?

THE Hells Angels claim their feelings have been hurt, and they are “distressed” by their fearsome bikie logo appearing on hipster T-shirts and have called in the lawyers.

It is the seventh time the Browns Plains-based Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation (Australia) — declared a criminal organisation by the Queensland Government in 2013 — has sued a retailer or manufacturer since 2008.

Six cases were launched in the past year by the club’s corporate entity, which is wholly owned by Brisbane president Mark Nelms.

On September 29 the gang sued a Melbourne company that sells T-shirts online emblazoned with their trademarked “death head” logo, or the phrase “Hells Angels”.

In its statement of claim lodged in the Federal Court in Brisbane, the Hells Angels claim three T-shirts and one poster they purchased from Redbubble last year are in breach of their intellectual property.

They point to a $31 T-shirt with the Hells Angels crest on it, a “Hells Angels Maths Club” T-shirt and a “Hells Angels Movie” T-shirt, and a poster of a bikie wearing his colours sitting with a young girl.

“Redbubble’s conduct has allowed non-members of the Club to wear indicia reserved for the members, thereby causing anger, hurt feelings and personal distress,” the club claims.


Opinion: Tony Abbott in firing line because his ideas pack a punch

IT SEEMS everybody’s trying to knock out Tony Abbott these days. Whether being headbutted in Hobart by some thug, or flayed alive (yet again) by some lefty journalist, it seems every day is Open Season on Abbott Day. Yet Abbott soldiers on. The lip may be swollen, the ego may be bruised, but the battler in Abbott refuses to be knocked down.

It’s hard to know who fears Abbott the most. Is it the bunch of miserable “bed-wetters”, those Liberal MPs who were so keen to tear Abbott down and replace him with Malcolm Turnbull on the laughable promise of a massive improvement in the opinion polls? Or is it the hardheads of the Labor Party, who know through bitter experience that if Abbott were let loose on them their ghastly fantasy of a Bill Shorten prime ministership would be cactus? Clearly, somebody out there is terrified of Abbott.

The luvvies in the Liberal party (yes, sadly there are plenty of them) would have you believe that Abbott is a human wrecking ball hellbent on laying waste to the Turnbull Government. Yet if this analysis was correct, which it isn’t, by their own logic these individuals must recognise that the smartest tactic would be to redirect this potent weapon of mass destruction where it is most needed – at obliterating Labor. Put Abbott in charge of energy policy, or give him his old job back.

Labor has been riding high in the polls for more than a year now, to the extent that Turnbull is rapidly approaching the loud ping of “30 Newspolls in a row” which he himself set as the moment his time is up. Clearly, it would be beyond hypocritical for Turnbull to attempt to remain leader past that point. “Post-30”, a Turnbull government would have zero credibility, and the landslide that would sweep Labor into power at the next election would wipe out a generation of talented Liberals and Nationals. Worse, the policies that a large-majority Shorten government would foist upon us would hurtle our country towards being an economic socialist basket case riddled with the madness of identity politics, political correctness on steroids and sinister class and race divisions.

But Tony Abbott is not the thing or person that is damaging the Liberal Party and the prime ministership of Malcolm Turnbull. It is the Government’s own stubborn refusal to change direction on climate change policies. Rather than being destructive, all Abbott has done is offer policy suggestions for how the Libs can beat Labor.

The Hazelwood coal-fired power station is a classic example. When this critical part of Victoria’s power generation was being shut down, Abbott urged Turnbull to intervene to keep it open. But Turnbull sided with the energy vandals. Now, six months later, Turnbull is belatedly saying about NSW’s Liddell station exactly what Abbott said about Hazelwood.

My guess is that what Abbott has been saying for months about freezing subsidies to renewables and scrapping or lowering our targets will be ideas that Turnbull is forced to adopt.

This is because of the so-called “culture wars”. One critical battle of the culture wars is very real and is being fought in every ordinary household and business premises across the nation – every time an electricity bill lands in a letterbox. You either believe Australia can solve climate change (which is impossible) or you believe Australians should have cheap, reliable energy. That’s it. Pick a side. If you want to pretend you are tackling climate change, vote Labor. If you want cheaper energy bills vote… oh, hang on! Turns out Turnbull’s and the bed-wetters’ obsession with climate change is almost as bad as Labor’s. Oops.

Soon it will dawn on Turnbull he must scrap his commitment to green ideology and fight for blue-collar jobs, families and values if he is to save himself.

Only by making a dramatic gesture can Turnbull prove to the public that he intends to fight Labor on climate change, rather than copy them. Ironically, the most effective way Turnbull could knock Abbott out of the ring is by stealing all his ideas.


Fake news on Newtown Liberals

Swallowing the bait from Sam Dastyari, the media has latched onto a photo of the Newtown/Sydney Young Liberals hosting Tony Abbott this week.

The critics are up in arms about the apparent lack of women in the photo, mocking the branch with statements like ‘the ladies sat outside, of course’; declaring the Liberals can’t attract women and predictably calling for quotas.

This is awkward because I organised the event. I am a woman. The senior branch executive who signed in the guests was a woman. The official photographer for the evening, another fellow Party member, was a woman. And you can take it from us, there were many other Big-L Liberal women in attendance on Tuesday.

This story is fake news. Those running it have not looked beneath the surface because it fits the narrative that women cannot possibly support the Liberal Party.

Wrong. Now I’ve set the record straight, it would be insincere to continue running these criticisms. Frankly, it takes away from the hard work of the women who made the event happen.

We joined the Liberal Party because we believe in freedom for the individual, opportunity for those who seek it and a democracy we can take pride in. Newtown/Sydney Young Liberals see more socialists than most would care to, and this exposure invigorates us to advocate for our ideas.

Talk of quotas is nonsense. If we wanted to embrace identity politics, we’d join the Labor party. We refuse to jump on the bandwagon of hating white males.

In the end, it’s ideas that make people join a cause. Women join for the same reasons as men do; for the ideas. To think anything else is needed is patronising. Expect to see many more Liberal Party events organised by both the women and men of Newtown/Sydney Young Liberals. For the record, Tony Abbott is welcome back anytime.


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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Police officer allegedly ‘hit teen in face’ while bodycam was switched off

A cop switching off a body camera during a confrontation is prima facie evidence of conscious ill intent.  One hopes that this is treated as a matter of great gravity.  The testimony of the officers concerned should be disregarded as corrupt

Queensland’s corruption watchdog has reportedly been asked to investigate an alleged case of police brutality after claims a Brisbane senior sergeant punched an intoxicated teenager in the face while his body camera was turned off.

A senior constable had been questioning a 19-year-old boy about a brawl at a Brisbane railway station in May last year when the sergeant allegedly appeared and confronted him, The Courier-Mail reports.

Bodycam footage obtained by the newspaper shows the officer swearing at the teen before he allegedly deactivates his body camera.

“What are you looking at me for? What’s your problem?” a voice can be heard asking.

“Why are you looking at me?” another voice responds.

“Because you’re a f----- idiot, that’s why I’m looking at you,” the first voice answers.

Officers claim that within the minutes of the constable’s body camera being turned off, the boy threatened to bite the sergeant and was then hit by the sergeant.

The teen had been arrested after his involvement in a brawl with a group of men at Boondall train station on May 4 last year.

The Courier-Mail reports a complaint has since been lodged with the Crime and Corruption Commission Queensland by barrister Allistair MacAdam.

A police spokesman told the newspaper the matter was with the corruption watchdog and “it would be inappropriate to comment further”.


Honest cop to run at upcoming Qld election

The former Gold Coast officer, who was ordered to stand trial this month over claims he leaked footage of police beating a handcuffed man in the basement of a station in 2012, made the announcement on Facebook on Saturday.

He will contest the seat of Southport, which is currently held by LNP incumbent Rob Molhoek.

Flori said he had decided to run after other people suggested he should make a career change and venture into politics. "I've had some lengthy thoughts about it, I've discussed it with my family," he said on the social media video. "We've come to the conclusion today that it's probably an option that I'd like to take up."

Flori said the support he had received over the past five years had given him the courage to venture into politics. "As my past has shown I don't always follow the crowd, I don't follow or don't need to follow any particular party line or party policy," he said.

"I thought independent was the best way for me to try and approach this so that I can not only receive your thoughts...I can vote with my own conscience and how I feel the public need to be represented, honestly and with some sort of integrity."

Flori said he had some "basic platforms" but he wanted to hear from people in the electorate about the issues they were most concerned about.

Flori is facing misconduct charges over the alleged 2012 leak.
If found guilty at trial he could face jail time.


Free weddings for all same-sex couples but not vfor normals

Come again? I thought this was about equality??

The sky-high cost of a wedding could be slashed for all gay couples wanting to marry in Sydney's inner west if the newly elected mayor gets his way.

Fresh from taking charge of the newly formed council, Labor's Darcy Byrne will soon move to see same-sex couples married in its halls and community centres free of charge should such unions be legalised as a result of the postal survey.

"We have one of the largest and proudest LGBTQI communities in Australia and the inner west must lead the national charge for civil rights," Cr Byrne said.

"I will ask that our newly elected councillors formally endorse a recommendation that we make our facilities available for same-sex marriage celebrations, and that we actively invite and welcome couples wanting to use our halls."

Cr Byrne, previously mayor of Leichhardt, seized the mayoralty of the 15-member Inner West Council this week under a power-sharing deal with two Liberals and an independent.

Labor's five councillors were happy to see a Liberal become deputy mayor and lock the Greens, who hold five seats as well, out of any leadership positions.

The council was formed following a 16-month period of administration after the merger of Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield councils in May 2016.

"On the day that this country finally accepts that love is love, I want couples to know that the inner west will welcome them with open arms if they want to celebrate their marriage in our public facilities," Cr Byrne said this week.

The free venue policy would be in place for 100 days after the successful passage of same-sex marriage legislation through the Parliament.

The average cost of Australian weddings could be as much as $36,000 or even double that, with venue hire accounting for a sizeable chunk of the budget.

The council takes in one of the most left-wing areas of the country and support for same-sex marriage in the inner west is likely to be extremely high.

Nationally, the public debate over same-sex marriage has turned ugly in recent days, with former prime minister Tony Abbott being headbutted in Tasmania, although the alleged assailant said it had "nothing to do" with same-sex marriage.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelled the incident "disgraceful" and "un-Australian" and urged calm and restraint.


Andrew Hastie: Army man, Christian conservative and a rising star of the Liberal Party

Hastie — now a rising star of the Liberal Party and a conservative pin-up boy at the centre of an ideological firestorm over same-sex marriage — is recalling the brutal selection course he endured to gain entry into the Special Air Service Regiment, the Australian Army’s toughest fighting force. The SAS course, held in the remote West Australian bush in the middle of winter, is regarded as the most physically and psychologically challenging of its kind in the world. If you survive it, you can survive just about anything.

Hastie went on to become an SAS ground force commander, fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and conducting anti-terrorism operations in the Middle East. The seeds of his ambition to serve were planted as a boy when his grandfather, Flight Lieutenant Norman Hastie, showed him the bullet wounds he received while rescuing two downed Australian airmen in the Pacific during World War II. Yet by 2015, at the age of 32, Hastie had had enough of the military. “I realised the limitations of nation-building at gunpoint,” he says of his experiences in Afghanistan, where he survived several roadside bombings. “I remember thinking, ‘This is crazy.’ I had real doubts about how much we could actually achieve there.”

During those long deployments, something else had taken hold in the soldier’s mind: a greater appreciation of the conditions that led to the flourishing of Australian society and a desire to help preserve his own country’s institutions and cultural heritage. Hastie, who joined the Liberal Party in 2013, had long harboured ambitions for a political career and held little fear of the vicissitudes. “I’ve often said that warrior politics are much fiercer than federal politics,” he says.

When Don Randall, the long-serving Liberal MP for the federal seat of Canning, died suddenly in July 2015, Hastie grasped his opportunity. He resigned from the Perth-based SAS, giving up his protected identity status, and won preselection — with the backing of West Australian Liberal powerbroker Mathias Cormann — for the poll in Canning, a largely working-class electorate south of Perth. Yet this was no ordinary by-election. In Canberra, it was seen as the contest that would decide the fate of Tony Abbott, who was under mounting threat of a leadership spill from Malcolm Turnbull.

Sniffing blood, the national media swarmed into Canning to get a glimpse of the hitherto unknown Hastie. And it became ­obvious that the Liberals had unearthed a unique candidate. Here was the conservative politician from central casting: a churchgoing, squeaky-clean ex-soldier who spoke about protecting Australian values and Western liberal democratic traditions. He also had a fearlessness uncommon in a political newbie.

Hastie didn’t impress everyone, of course. Where some saw a man of conviction, others typecast him as a Bible-bashing young fogey with antiquated views on topics such as homosexuality. He was ripe for ridicule on social media, where he was also depicted as a warmonger or a brainless beefcake. “The first tweet I ever looked at about myself said, ‘Gee, Hastie looks as dumb as batshit’,” he smiles. He did, however, prove he had substance, quoting chunks of Edmund Burke and ­William Shakespeare to journalists, some of whom were taken aback at the thought that a military man might also be a deep thinker.

He looked good on television, too, quickly earning the sobriquet “Tasty Hastie” and being nominated for the Crikey website’s 2015 sexiest politician of the year. “It’s like a committee of gay men were asked to design a parody of a straight man — muscled, wavy hair, nice eyes, dimpled smile, family man, army uniform, son of a preacher man,” wrote one reader in endorsing Hastie for the title. “Is it wrong that the Christian fundie thing just makes him even hotter to me?”

This curiosity about Hastie only intensified after Fairfax newspapers ran front-page stories during the ­by-election campaign about a soldier under his tactical command in Afghanistan who’d cut the hands off dead Taliban soldiers in the heat of battle in order that they might later be identified through biometric screening. The headline in The Sydney Morning Herald read: “Star Abbott recruit probed for chopping off hands of dead Taliban”. Hastie, who remains vexed that he was accused of being a “war criminal”, had been cleared of any wrong­doing and was elsewhere on the battlefield when the incident took place in 2013. The soldier who cut off the hands was cleared this month after a two-year investigation by the Australian Federal Police.

Speaking for the first time in detail about the incident, Hastie says his initial reaction to seeing the severed hands was to focus on the need to quickly return to base, given the fading light at the time and low fuel loads on the helicopters. “When I saw the hands, my intuition kicked in,” he says. “I thought, ‘That doesn’t seem right’. But the blokes told me that they had been trained to do it. I put it to one side and focused on the task of extraction. Once I got on the helicopter, a whole series of questions flooded my mind on the flight back and that’s when I decided to investigate further upon return. That led to me reporting the incident up the chain.”

The Fairfax story wasn’t the end of what Hastie regarded as unfair media treatment during the campaign. At a press conference a few days later he was grilled over revelations that his father, a Presbyterian pastor, was a Creationist who had dismissed evolutionary theory in his writings. When one reporter asked Hastie if he believed God made the world in six days, he could no longer contain himself: “You’re not hearing me, mate,” he responded, his eyes flashing. “People are sick of this crap. ­People are sick of trying to drag petty issues into public policy discussions.”

Two years later, Hastie remains touchy on the subject. He claims he has been depicted in the media as a “religious nut job” and he’d rather not discuss theology at length. “I don’t want to shy away from it, but in an era of identity politics and cultural Marxism people are looking for every reason to delegitimise someone. So every view I hold henceforth will be seen through the prism of, ‘Oh, he’s just whacking us with a Bible’.”


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

Monday, September 25, 2017


There appears to be heaps of it at the moment.  Below is just a sampling of the reports of it

'Mind your own business!' Voters outraged as their weekend is interrupted by pro-gay marriage campaigners going door-to-door urging them to vote 'yes' in plebiscite

Australians have been left annoyed and outraged as doorknockers encouraging people to 'Vote Yes' descended on homes this weekend.

The nationwide campaign saw voters taking to social media to express their frustration at the 'bullying' tactics, instead asking them to 'mind your own business'.

It came as mobile phones across Australia were bombarded with unsolicited text messages on Saturday from Marriage Equality.

Alex Greenwich from the Equality Campaign said that 'thousands of Australians' had volunteered for the door-knock 'because they want everyone to have the same dignity and respect.'

'The campaign is using every resource available to make sure fairness and equality are achieved for all Australians,' he said.

'The campaign has a responsibility to encourage every Australian to post their survey and we have done this through door knocking, media, advertising, social media and SMS messaging.'

But many people took to Twitter and Facebook to express their anger at the weekend disturbance.

'I cannot believe that there were people knocking on doors today... our answer to them was mind your own business,' one person wrote.

Another added: 'Why is there a door knock campaign for the 'yes' vote on the weekend? Let people make up their own mind in peace. This won't end well.'

However, others said they received an 'overwhelmingly positive response' from the homes they visited.

'Doorknocking to check people had their postal survey today was wonderful. So many people were very supportive, saying yes they'd voted and they'd voted yes,' one campaigner wrote.

Another person added: 'Met some lovely 'yes' voters while doorknocking for #marriageequality today.'

The door-to-door campaign came as thousands of people across the country were sent a message asking them to 'vote YES for a fairer Australia'. 

The move sparked outrage from people online, with many flocking to social media to express their concern about how the campaign had got their numbers.

A spokesperson for Australian Marriage Equality said the messages were sent out to random computer-generated numbers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The messages were sent by 'YesEquality' and stated the survey forms had arrived and that people could 'help make history'.

But those who received the message did not take kindly to the campaign's effort, with Facebook and Twitter users stating they felt 'violated'.

'Excuse me but did anyone else get a 'vote yes for marriage equality' text message? How did they get my phone number? I feel violated,' one person wrote.

Another labelled the message 'spam,' while many users called it an 'invasion of privacy'.

'Not sure how the got my mobile number to test me with a message to vote yes. Not sure if I'm cool with that...' one wrote.

Another angered person added: 'Wish the YES campaigners would back off!'

While one woman said: 'Just received a text message from the vote yes campaign... how dare they force their opinions on me.' 'I didn't give them my number or my permission to contact me. More bullying from the LGBTQI community,' she added.


'Is the yes campaign trying to turn people off?': Radio host Kate Langbroek is left FURIOUS after being 'spammed' a text message from a same-sex marriage group

Radio star Kate Langbroek is not happy about receiving a text message promoting same-sex marriage.

The KIIS FM star was one of the many Australians who received an SMS message from YesEquality on Saturday, reminding her that her postal form had arrived.

Taking to Instagram, she wrote: 'Spammed. Is the 'yes' campaign trying to put people off?' Kate added the hashtag 'delete my number.'

The full text read: 'The Marriage Equality Survey forms have arrived! Help make history and vote YES for a fairer Australia.'

The messages, which are believed to have been sent randomly, have been described by critics as 'harassment' and 'unsolicited.'


Gay marriage supporters hide their faces, chant slogans and wave ‘transphobia kills’ signs as they interrupt a rally against changing Australia’s wedding laws

Supporters of same-sex marriage have been met with a heavy police presence after they interrupted a rally against changing Australia’s wedding laws.

Police attended the ‘straight lives matter’ rally at Green Park in Darlinghurst, Sydney on Saturday after it threatened to spill out of control.

Counter-protestors turned up carrying signs saying 'Nazis GTFO [get the f**k out] of Darlinghurst' and  'transphobia kills'.


Coalition for Marriage's Melbourne launch is gatecrashed by two female protesters who storm the stage and KISS – before being dragged away by security

Coalition for Marriage's Melbourne launch was interrupted by two female protesters who shared a kiss in front of shocked onlookers before being removed by security.

The two women who have yet to be identified ran up to the podium before campaigner and 'parental rights advocate' Cella White was due to speak and embraced passionately.

Security rushed forward and grabbed one of the women's coats before pulling them both off the stage and out of the building.

In the images released from the rally the women appear to have spoken into the microphone in front of the crowd of no-voters before deciding to kiss.

Melbourne campaigner Cella White - accused of falsely claiming her son was told he could wear a dress to Frankston High School - spoke at the CFM event on Saturday night about the abuse she has received since appearing in the group's anti-gay marriage ad.

The sultry kiss wasn't the only disruption that night though with protesters storming the hall with a sign that said 'burn churches not queers.'

Audience members were seen taking pictures of the duo dressed in disguised sunglasses before security was again asked to escort them from the premises.

Australian Christian Lobby chief Lyle Shelton and Keith Mills, the leader of Ireland's unsuccessful No campaign, also addressed the Coalition for Marriage in Melbourne today.

CFM has this week been holding meetings across Australia to convince voters to reject a change to the legal definition of marriage.

Both sides of the marriage debate ramped up their campaigning on Saturday with rallies, door-knockings and text message among the mediums used.

Thousands rallied through Brisbane for the annual pride festival while 'yes' campaigners doorknocked tens of thousands of homes across the nation.

Meanwhile, a smattering of same-sex marriage opponents gathered in Sydney's gay heartland while preparations were made for the Coalition for Marriage's Victorian launch.

Alex Greenwich, who is a NSW MP, urged supporters of the Yes campaign to focus on the task at hand.

'It is so important for the marriage equality campaign that we do not get distracted by the people who are always trying to throw red herrings,' he told AAP.

He said he was heartened by the feedback from same-sex marriage supporters involved in the door-knocking campaign and said there was strong support 'across all demographics, all ages'.


Really dangerous climate change — The next ice age

Prudent Australian farmers take into account past climate events and provide for the risk of potential droughts and floods. No such past climate events have been taken into account with climate models based on theory and assumptions to predict the future. Unfortunately the predictions of  temperature from all the climate models have a record of exceeding the measured temperatures by a large margin for the last twenty years.

Model failures demonstrate the underlying theory and assumptions used are not supported by the results. This conclusion is further supported by evidence that the planet has continued to warm, with interruptions to the trend, independent of CO2 levels since the last Ice Age. For example the planet cooled from 1940 to 1976 while CO2 levels continued to rise. The absence of dangerous global warming is also relevant when past levels of CO2 were at least four times the present level.

The direct effect of higher CO2 levels as shown in the graph illustrates the diminishing global warming impact as CO2 levels increase. Climate models magnify this diminishing effect with a multiplier that results in increasing global warming.

We are at present at the 400 mark

The failure of models to predict future climate however does not support the multiplier assumption.

The dangerous global warming threat from using fossil fuels is therefore not supported either by climate models or evidence from past global climate experience.

As William Kininmonth, former Head of the National Climate Centre of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has observed, regard for earlier climate events is required to understand the future. It is clear from past Ice Ages that the next Ice Age should be the most serious climate event for humanity. During the Ice Age 22,000 years ago there was extensive permanent ice cover up to two kilometers thick. Sea levels fell 126 metres and there was mass extinction of species.

Nor has there been an appreciation that in the past carbon and energy stored in fossil fuels was CO2 and energy from the sun absorbed by various plant forms before conversion into fossil fuels.

There was no dangerous global warming prior to this period.

Accordingly the same CO2 when released from burning fossil fuels cannot be the cause of dangerous global warming as it did not do so in the first place.

Indeed the return of CO2, a plant food, to the atmosphere will benefit the planet with improved plant and forest growth. A benefit which satellites have already detected.

Nevertheless accepting the outcome of failed climate models has brought about policies which have made Australian power unreliable and moved costs from near the lowest to near the highest in the world despite subsidies of more than $3 billion per annum.

Families are struggling to meet their rising electricity bills. Jobs are threatened with industry in difficulty due to the increased cost of electricity.

There is an urgent need to bring power costs down. To do so Australia must follow other countries that are planning and installing 1200 clean high efficiency coal fired plants.

Australian industry will face competition in the domestic and export markets from companies having the significant advantage of low cost and reliable base power from these new plants.


Top unis admit some  China influence

The peak body representing Australia’s elite universities has for the first time acknowledged there have been “isolated” instances of Chinese government interference on campuses but warned mishandling the issue risks the country’s third-largest export market.

In an interview with The Weekend Australian, Group of Eight chief executive Vicki Thomson said the response to China’s influence within universities must be countered in a “measured way” to prevent a backlash and protect the inter­national education sector.

Unprecedented growth in international student enrolments, largely driven by the influx of approximately 170,000 Chinese nationals, resulted in a $22 billion boost to the Australian economy in the 2016-17 financial year — an 18.5 per cent increase on the year before.

In four prominent cases this year, academic staff at Australian universities have been targeted in Chinese social media campaigns after complaints from Chinese international students about ­“offensive” teaching material.

In the case at the University of Sydney, the institution issued an apology on behalf of the lecturer for using a map which did not show the Chinese interpretation of their territory.

In cases at the University of Newcastle and Monash Univer­sity, Chinese consulate education counsellors became involved, sparking debate about academic freedom. The Chinese government also supervises students in Australia through Chinese student and scholars associations ­inside universities.

Prominent think tank China Matters this week called on the Group of Eight and the federal Education Department to set new standards to resist pressure from Chinese government officials to change academic content.

The report also said some ­students were “encouraged to ­engage in intelligence-gathering” and report on their fellow students and teachers.

In June, Australian National University associate professor Sally Sargeson said she believed there were embassy “stooges” ­recording and reporting on what other Chinese citizen students said in classes, stifling freedom of expression.

In her role as chief executive, Ms Thomson represents the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland, the Univer­sity of Western Australia, the University of Adelaide, Monash University and UNSW Sydney. She said while she had not seen “a rapid increase in consulate intervention”, there were cases of questionable behaviour and breaches of conduct.

“Clearly it’s happening at ANU because you’ve got that ­example,” she said. “But anec­dotally we’ve got intelligence that that might be happening to some degree. We don’t want ... domestic or international students in an environment where they can be ­unduly influencing their particular cohort. (But) is it happening in a broad, widespread way? There’s no evidence of that.”

Ms Thomson, who reports to the Group of Eight board, which includes the vice-chancellors from the elite universities, said: “A measured approach needs to be taken rather than thinking that every Chinese student on campus is a spy. You have got to be really careful of the backlash that can create because the fact is we have a lot of Chinese students in Australia and we value them.”

But Ms Thomson conceded the case reported by The Australian at the University of Sydney was “concerning”. “We’re not going to gild the lily and say that’s not a concern,” she said.

Phil Honeywood, head of the International Education Association, said “turning off the tap” would put Australia’s economy at risk. “It would be a major hit to our market,” Mr Honeywood said.

Ms Thomson agreed and said there was a huge reliance by universities on these students for income. “There is a much broader issue and that is we have a very heavy reliance on a particular cohort of students, and that is Chinese students, and that can shift the balance, and that might not be appropriate for them or for us,” Ms Thomson said.

Ms Thomson, who also sits on the Australia-China Council board, said it remained critical to work through a “clash of different cultures” in response to improved international ratings at Chinese universities.

“We’ve got a highly competitive environment where Chinese students are increasingly choosing to study in China because they have such fantastic universities so there is a financial risk factor there for Australia’s universities,” she said.

Craig Whitsed, a senior lecturer at Curtin University’s School of Education, said: “(There are) interesting implications for a sector so dependent on international student revenue for continued viability long term.”

Mr Honeywood said the reputation of Australian universities would be at risk if institutions caved in to demands by Chinese students or diplomats about the content of courses.

“One of the attraction for international students to come and study in Australia is our academic freedom and democratic values, which we are very proud of, and clearly Australia needs to stand up to those values against any foreign interference,” Mr Honeywood said.

Despite calls for a new set of procedures to deal with these challenges from think-tank China Matters, Ms Thomson said the report assumed there was a major problem that was not being dealt with. She said there were already standards in place, and universities were defending academic freedom.


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

Sunday, September 24, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is contemptuous of the  individual with strawberry-coloured hair and facial piercings who asssaulted  Tony Abbott in Tasmania -- as his way of promoting homosexual marriage, apparently

When you have got no answers, abuse your opponent

The Left do a lot of that and it would be amusing if it were not so frequent and so frequently relied on.  We see a classic example of it below -- from the ever-whining "Guardian".  In response to criticism of the BoM using actual temperature measurements, the BoM representative addresses the facts and figures not at all. He mentions not a single temperature measurement.  There is no reasoned debate over temperatures at all.  He just whines how nasty the critics are to the BoM.  The BoM have no facts and figures with which to answer.  The critics have shown their crookedness like it is

Misleading attacks on Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology by climate deniers in the Australian are “debilitating” to the agency and limiting its ability to predict risks and protect the community, the former head of the bureau has told the Guardian.

Rob Vertessy, who retired as director of the BoM in April 2016, said climate deniers’ attempts to confuse the public about the science of climate change were dangerous, in an interview for the Guardian’s Planet Oz blog.

“I was exposed to a lot of it and it took up a lot of my time that’s for sure,” Vertessy said. “I feel for my successor and the team at the bureau having to constantly devote energy to this. It’s really quite debilitating.”

Vertessy was succeeded by Andrew Johnson, who has since had to deal with a barrage of criticism led by the rightwing thinktank the Institute for Public Affairs and expressed mostly in the pages of the Australian newspaper.

Earlier this week, the former Abbott government adviser Maurice Newman accused the bureau of “fabricating temperature records” and said it represented a “smoking gun that threatens the integrity of global temperature records”.

Vertessy said these sorts of attacks were dangerous.

“From my perspective, people like this running interference on the national weather agency are unproductive and it’s actually dangerous,” he said. “Every minute a BoM executive spends on this nonsense is a minute lost to managing risk and protecting the community and it is a real problem.

“As the costs of climate change accumulate in the years ahead, I can see that leaders of this climate change denial movement will really be seen as culpable.”

He said the government had done a “pretty good job” of supporting the bureau and independent experts. But he said politicians’ jobs had been made difficult by the Australian.

“It will just continue and it will limit the ability of the government to focus on more important matters – not just climate ones but all the works of government. It’s distracting for politicians to have to deal with this chatter.”


Another violently intolerant  believer in tolerance

Former prime minister Tony Abbott says he was shocked when a man wearing a "Vote Yes" badge assaulted him after requesting a handshake in a "sign of trust and peace".

He said the man approached him on a Hobart street last night, asked to shake his hand and then headbutted him before running away swearing and saying Mr Abbott deserved to be hit.

"It's a shock to have a fellow Australian seeking to shake your hand turn a handshake into an assault," Mr Abbott told reporters in Hobart this morning.

"Normally a handshake is a sign of trust and peace, it's a sign of two people wanting to deal openly and courteously with each other."

Mr Abbott said his injuries were minor and included a slightly swollen lip.

The attack occurred around 4.30pm, before Mr Abbott attended a Young Liberals cocktail party on Thursday evening.

Mr Abbott said it was "more than a little disturbing that some supporters of same-sex marriage behave this way".

"There is no doubt that there has been some ugliness as part of this debate but I regret to say that nearly all of it seems to be coming from one side and that is the people who tell us that love is love," he said.

Tasmanian police said they had spoken to several witnesses to the incident that occurred on the footpath in Morrison St opposite Custom's House Hotel, and urged the alleged attacker to come forward.

The alleged attacker is described as being approximately 40 years old, of medium build, with spiky sandy, strawberry-coloured hair and facial piercings.

Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz — an outspoken critic of the same-sex marriage push — told ABC News Breakfast the incident highlighted "yet again another example of the ugliness of the Yes campaign".

"Their slogan of 'love is love' is unfortunately shown in practice to be intolerance, not wanting people to be able to have their point of view," he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also condemned the incident and said he rang Mr Abbott to convey his concern.


Free market basics need to be re-learnt

Robert Carling

The twentieth century taught us enough about the limits to government intervention that the Australian energy market debacle — a failure of intervention, not of markets — could not happen. But it did, and it is just the latest and most egregious example of a growing anti-free markets theme in government policy.

The federal government is prepared to slap controls on gas exports. It is trying to strong-arm AGL into keeping the Liddell power station operating against commercial criteria. In the sphere of banking, it has imposed new regulations (the Banking Executive Accountability Regime) limiting banks’ freedom in hiring and remuneration. These extraordinarily intrusive regulations — announced in the federal budget — would have received much more attention had it not been for the accompanying bank tax, which grabbed all the headlines. These are but a few examples of a broad trend back to the interventionism of the past. And this is coming from a government that claims to champion free enterprise and deregulation.

It does seem that the lessons of the twentieth century have been forgotten and that the defenders of free markets have to go all the way back to basics. The economic problem is scarcity of resources (factors of production such as labour and capital) relative to peoples’ wants, and free markets are the best system known to achieve an allocation of resources that comes closest to constrained maximisation of peoples’ well-being.

That is not to say markets are perfect. Market failure exists and it might justify government intervention. But there is also government failure, such as when governments intervene even in the absence of market failure, or when there is market failure but intervention makes the situation worse.

Governments are too eager to intervene. They needs to choose their interventions more judiciously and design them more carefully.


Why we need the Phonics Check

Jennifer Buckingham

The 'Simple View of Reading' conceptualises reading as having two key components -- word identification and language comprehension. Children need to know how to decipher the words on the page, and have a store of vocabulary, factual and conceptual knowledge to give the words meaning. A deficit in either one of these areas means that reading is difficult or impossible.

Pretty much all educators acknowledge that phonics is an essential element in learning to read and write. Phonics is both a body of knowledge and a skill: children need know which letters represent which sounds and vice versa -- and they need to be able to use that knowledge to read and spell.

All children can and should know how to use phonics to decode words. Unfortunately there is good reason to believe many children are not acquiring this fundamental knowledge and skill, thus hampering their ability to become proficient readers.

It was for this reason that the advisory panel I chaired recommended a Phonics Check for Year 1 students -- a simple, five minute, teacher-delivered assessment based on the Phonics Screening Check used in all primary schools in England since 2012. The Phonics Check would identify children who are struggling with decoding at this critical stage in learning to read, and provide schools and systems with immediate detailed data about strengths and weaknesses in phonics instruction that would allow them to respond accordingly.

Objections to the Phonics Check came in thick and fast when the advisory panel's report was released earlier this week, but many were misinformed about the nature of the assessment and the rationale underpinning it.

The loudest protestations against it have been that teachers are already assessing phonics and that 'another test' is unnecessary. However the panel found that -- while all state and territory government schools and all non-government schools are conducting literacy assessments to varying extents -- none of the systemic assessments had a strong phonics component. The phonics assessment items were either too few or were poorly designed. In some cases items listed as 'phonics' were measuring a different skill: phonemic awareness. The best assessment was in the Northern Territory, which is making significant in-roads in phonics.

It is now up to the state and territory education ministers to carefully consider the recommendations of the panel, without being unduly influenced by the teachers unions and a few professional associations that seem to be very worried about what a Phonics Check might reveal. If we can put politics aside and get phonics right in the early years, we may finally see a reduction in the number of children struggling with reading.


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

Friday, September 22, 2017

Are DAMS the solution to "renewable" power?  You've got to be joking!  Dams are the original hate-object of the Greens

Notice that the word "dam" is not mentioned below.  They talk of pumped hydro without saying what the water will be pumped into.  Quite hilarious!  A pumped hydro scheme in fact requires TWO dams.  Is there no limit to deceptive journalism from the Green/Left?

Australia has more than 22,000 sites around the country that could be suitable for pumped hydro storage, according to a study by the Australian National University.

The report, details of which were obtained by Fairfax Media ahead of a public release on Thursday, extends work published last month. That partial study found 5000 suitable sites in Queensland and Tasmania.

The additional data shows that NSW has the most prospective locations in the country, with about 8500 identified by the ANU team led by Professor Andrew Blakers. Victoria had about 4400 sites, placing it second among the states.

Australia would only require a tiny fraction of these sites - for about 450 gigawatt-hours worth of storage - to underpin a 100 per cent renewable electricity system, Professor Blakers said in a statement.

"Fast tracking the development of a few of the best sites by 2022 could balance the grid when Liddell and other coal power stations close," he said, referring to the 1680-megawatt coal-fired power plant the federal government is trying to strong-arm AGL Energy to keep open five years beyond the 2022 scheduled close.

"We found so many good potential sites that only the best 0.1 per cent will be needed," he said. "We can afford to be choosy."

Interest in pumped hydro has increased in the wake of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's much-publicised twin visits to the Snowy Hydro scheme since March.

The ANU study, though, highlights the possibility of many alternative, smaller projects that could be completed sooner than the Snowy upgrade. Such ventures may also be less challenging than drilling many kilometres of tunnels under the Snowy region.

"Instead of propping up dirty old coal-fired power stations like Liddell, Malcolm Turnbull should be investing in energy storage now," Adam Bandt, Greens spokesman for climate change and energy, said.

"Snowy 2.0 is years away, but there are plenty of sites for smaller, flexible dispatchable pumped hydro that could be up and running in a couple of years if [he and energy minister] Josh Frydenberg showed some real leadership," Mr Bandt said.

Of the other states to be revealed in the new report, Western Australia has about 3800 prospective pumped hydro locations, and the Northern Territory 1500. Queensland has about 1770 and Tasmania 2050 and South Australia 185.

Fairfax Media sought comment from Mr Frydenberg's office, which declined to release the ANU report.

A spokesman pointed to comments made by the PM earlier this month, saying that keeping Liddell open for another five years would give time for Snowy 2.0 - with its proposed 2000 MW capacity - to come on line.

Making 100 per cent possible

With pumped storage, water is kept in an upper reservoir and run through a turbine at a lower altitude to provide electricity during periods when supplies are otherwise low. The water can later be pumped uphill from a lower reservoir when electricity supplies are in surplus.

Typically, the height difference between upper and lower reservoirs measured for the prospective sites was at least 300 metres.

"All the potential sites we have found are outside national parks and urban areas, and like all hydro power can go from zero to full power very quickly," Professor Blakers said in August when the initial study results were released.

That partial research, funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, identified pumped storage sites with capacity ranging from 0.9 to 100 gigawatt-hours – or as much as 1000 times being proposed for a giant battery being built for South Australia by Tesla.

At the time Professor Blakers said batteries also had the disadvantage of lifetime use of eight to 15 years at current technology, compared with 50 years for hydro plants.

Pumped hydro is one of the possible technology solutions to firming up renewable energy for when the sun is not shining or the wind blowing.

The Finkel Review identified the need to provide back-up capacity as one of the potential road blocks hindering much greater penetration of clean energy as a share of national electricity supplies.

The extended atlas of sites will build on the partial study of the states to reinforce the view that Australia could shift to 100 per cent renewable if enough pumped storage is made available.

 "About 3600 hectares of reservoir is required to support a 100 per cent renewable energy grid for Australia, which is five parts per million of Australia's land mass," Matthew Stocks from the ANU Research School of Engineering said in August. "Annual water requirements would be less than one per cent of annual extraction from the Murray River."


'I'm against same-sex marriage and I'm gay': Angry clash at university as teenager voting 'No' is shouted down and accused of 'internalised homophobia'

This is the moment a young, gay man opposed to same-sex marriage was viciously heckled at a university campus rally.

Wilson Gavin, 19, was shouted down as he fronted a 'No' case rally at the University of Queensland in Brisbane this week on the gay marriage postal vote.

'I support what marriage really is and I'm gay,' he said, standing on a retaining wall next to supporters holding placards with the words, 'You can say no.'

'I'm against same-sex marriage. You will see the effects it will have on the family, on schools, on politics, on churches.  'These people hate us. They call us Nazis, bigots and homophobes.  'Where's the real hatred here? Where's the real hatred coming from in this debate?'

The confrontation escalated when Mr Gavin said: 'You can't call me a homophobe.'  'The entire way they're going about their debate is shouting us down. They are trying to shut us down,' he said.

A young man heckled: 'How do you spell internalised homophobia?'

Internalised homophobia is a term often applied to homosexual men who make anti-gay comments so people think they are straight.

Mr Gavin continued by saying that gay marriage legalisation will pave the way for the contentious Safe Schools gender-theory program being rolled out in every school.  'They want to introduce radical gender theory,' he said.

At this point, the heckling became nasty with one man shouting at him, 'You have a mental problem.'

Seconds later, the male heckler who had earlier interrupted returned serve by suggesting Mr Wilson was sexually attracted to a conservative, former Liberal prime minister who is campaigning against gay marriage.  'Does Tony Abbott turn you on?,' he said.

In an interview played on the Mark Latham's Outsiders program after that rally, Mr Gavin said 'Yes' campaigners were particularly nasty to gay people opposed to changing the Marriage Act. 'They hate me because I'm a conservative and they hate me more because I'm a gay conservative,' he said. 'I'm not a homophobe. I love gay men. You can't call me a homophobe just because I'm opposed to same-sex marriage.'

Mr Gavin's interview also forms the basis of a 'No' case television ad.

Angry scenes have erupted at university campuses as the Australian Bureau of Statistics mails out same-sex marriage postal votes to households, with citizens given until November 7 to return them.

A rally this week at the University of Sydney, urging students to vote 'no' in the same-sex marriage survey, turned violent after hundreds of 'yes' campaigners launched a counter-protest.

The ugly scenes unfolded after a stall was set up by the university's Catholic society, with some holding signs which read: 'It's OK to vote ''no''.'

But the dozen or so 'no' campaigners were quickly outnumbered as a large crowd gathered and began shouting pro-gay marriage slogans into a megaphone, and smearing homemade hummus.


Liberal MP called 'one of Hitler's children' after posting a photo saying it's OK to vote 'no' in same-sex marriage ballot

Half-Asian politician racially abused

A conservative Liberal Party MP has been called 'one of Hitler's children' and subjected to vile abuse online after declaring his intention to vote against same sex marriage.

Ian Goodenough, a politician from Perth, posted a photo to Facebook on Tuesday after placing his survey into a postal box ahead of the marriage equality vote.

'As a supporter of traditional marriage I posted my "No" vote in Joondalup today,' he captioned the photo, reminding his constituents to vote before the deadline.

But the 42-year-old was berated with countless insulting comments labelling him a 'd***head', 'w***er' and 'backwards homophobic idiot'.

The politician, who has been outspoken about his stance on same-sex marriage in the past, was even insulted about his ethnicity and physical appearance.

'You are a deplorable human being. If laws based on the same ignorance were in play in 1984, you wouldn't even be able to vote,' wrote one woman.

'Then it's OK to surmise you are a backwards homophobic idiot,' added another.

One angered social media user used the racially-charged insult 'chink' in his criticism of Mr Goodenough's opinion, while another made fun of the shape of his eyebrows.

The post attracted over a thousand comments and almost two-and-a-half thousand likes in just one day, dividing opinion within his electoral division of Moore.

Mr Goodenough appeared on the ABC earlier this month to explain his position on the upcoming postal vote. 'I believe in retaining the current definition of marriage, because I believe it involves the commitment between a man and a woman for the purposes of raising a family.'

'Children are best adjusted having a male parent and a female parent; a mother and a father.'  'It gives a balance, there are attributes which either gender bring that will help their development to the various roles within contemporary society.'


Public fury after Big W removes the word CHRISTMAS from its replica Christmas trees

Discount department store Big W has removed the word 'Christmas' from boxes and signage in the lead-up to the holiday season.

The decision to remove references to the Christmas tradition from product lines in their Australian stores has baffled and infuriated shoppers.

Big W's Facebook page has been inundated with posts accusing the store of bowing to political correctness and 'banning Christmas'.

'You are joking,' wrote one disgruntled consumer. 'Banning the word Christmas. Hang your head in shame.'

Fabian Iuele, owner of Christmas Tree Farm, called the move 'disappointing' and said the store was ignoring both history and tradition, The Herald Sun reported.

'That's really sad. It ignores the religious element and history of the holiday which is still important to people,' he said.

'We get people from other religions purchasing our trees regularly but they always know that they're called Christmas trees like everybody else does.'

Renamed trees include the Black Forest [Christmas] Tree, White [Christmas] Tree, Emerald [Christmas] Tree and Mayfair [Christmas] Tree.

Cameron Harrison, a Big W Highpoint customer, said the store was overreacting and using the word Christmas is not a problem.  'Christmas did have a religious meaning but we are not a religious country. I think it’s more of a tradition these days,' he said.

Facebook has filled up with furious customers claiming they will be shopping elsewhere for Christmas.

'Big mistake Big W, how many people decorate their houses with trees just for the sake of it? It is Christmas CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS stop the ridiculous wording on your CHRISTMAS trees,' wrote one irate shopper.

'I will be shopping elsewhere from now on! One completely offended (former) customer.'

'If you don't want to acknowledge Christmas, don't sell it! Lost this customer. Plenty of other places to spend my money,' wrote another.

The Big W website still has trees listed under their original names, and spokeswoman told The Herald Sun the chain was proud of its line of trees this year.


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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"I’m Not As Okay With Being Gay As I Thought I Was"

Below is an excerpt from a homosexual who reports that he has on many occasions experienced disapproval for being homosexual. I believe him. He had become rather inured to that but has now been shaken by the debate over homosexuality that the same-sex marriage plebiscite has aroused.  The many public comments about same sex marriage being wrong have upset his self-confidence and repose.

But who is to blame for that?  It is the frenetic demand for sexual licence from the Left.  They never shut up about homosexuals and they have kept up the pressure for legal recognition of homosexual marriage for years now.

Conservatives could see the case for giving homosexual couples  legal rights similar to heterosexual couples and in most places enacted civil partnership laws to achieve that.  That should really have been the end of the argument.  Nothing tangible is achieved by going any further. 

The Left were however not satisfied with compromise.  They go for total victory.  It is their intransigence that led to the plebiscite.  They alone are responsible for it.  So they alone should be blamed for the pain caused to the writer below

The ironical thing is that Leftists often warned that moves to allow homosexual marriage would ignite a debate that could upset homosexuals -- but they still went on with their campaign anyhow.  Rather than drop their campaign because it might harm those they were allegedly "helping", they just kept up the pressure.  So that is yet another demonstration that beneath the ostensible Leftist desire to "help" lies a hunger to hurt

For many people of my generation, the same-sex marriage postal survey is our first taste of active state-sanctioned discrimination. We’re dealing with this whilst still coming to terms with our identities, and what it means to be queer.

“If any of you boys came home and told me you were gay, I’d probably disown you,” says Mum casually as we are watching the Sydney Mardi Gras on TV, her brow furrowed in mild disgust.

I am 13 and think I might be gay; her words are like a bomb going off, the ringing in my ears drowning out the TV.

“We love you, no matter what. And who knows? Maybe it’s just a phase.” My grandfather embraced me after I told him I was gay.

“What?” Mum’s eyes widened and her hands jerked the steering wheel of the car, sending us swerving. “I’m never going to have grandchildren…” she later cried.

“Faggot!” someone screamed from a passing car. I pretended I didn’t hear, but thought about it for weeks after. Sometimes I still think about it.

“Since when did you start sounding so gay?” my best friend laughed, having not seen me for a few months.

“I don’t like him – he’s a poof,” quipped my brother about a boy he doesn’t like at school. “What’s wrong with being a poof?” I quipped back.

“Marriage should be between a man and woman! Being gay is unnatural!” reads a comment on an online article. I clicked on the woman’s name, and discover she lives in my hometown.

She’s Facebook friends with members of my family.

I had probably been with Mum down the main street as they smiled at each other in passing.

“You can never be too careful,” said a boy I dated once, after he snatched his hand from mine as we were walking down the street.

“I’m not as okay with being gay as I thought I was,” admitted the boy I like, my shoulder wet with his tears.

He’s been out for less than a year. His mother, for religious reasons, is voting “no” in the marriage survey.

He loves her, and I have no doubt that she loves him. It’s complicated.

Above are a just a few of the words said to me over the course of my life. They hold a prominent place in my history in that ambiguous way certain words said at certain times do.


'I don't think I should have been fired just because I have an opinion'

The woman who was fired over an 'it's OK to vote no' post regarding same-sex marriage has broken her silence, calling her dismissal 'unfair'.

Madeline, who has not revealed her surname, told triple J's Hack that while she believes 'everyone should have equality' she could not vote yes based on her religious views.

The 18-year-old was let go from Canberra businesswoman Madlin Sims' children's party business this month, after her profile photo was updated with a Coalition for Marriage filter.

Ms Sims messaged Madeline after being made aware of the post, writing that the profile photo 'really bothered me'.

She took to Facebook on Sunday to announce she had sacked the contractor, saying she had a responsibility to protect the vulnerable people they work with.

'Voting no is homophobic. Advertising your homophobia is hate speech. As a business owner I can't have somebody who publicly represents my business posting hate speech online,' Ms Sims wrote.

Defending her decision to vote no on Triple J, Madeline said she was a Christian with gay friends and family, but that her religion played a strong part in her choice.

'I have been raised a Christian my whole life and in the bible God clearly states that a man and a man, and a woman and a woman, are not to be together,' she said.

'I love everyone, I'm not a hateful person at all and I do believe everyone should have equality, but to vote yes to me is something I can't do.'

Speaking on The Bolt Report Tuesday, she added that she did not believe her job should be taken away over her opinion. 'This is a democracy and we were given the options and asked as Australians to vote yes or no and it is my opinion to vote no,' she said. 'I don't  think that my job should be taken away from me just because I have an opinion that someone disagrees with. I don't think I should have been fired.'

Madeline told The Australian she was following her Christian upbringing and that she had not discriminated against anyone.

'When it comes to tolerance, I find that people who are religious, we have to tolerate everything and anything thrown at us,' she said. 'But other people don't have to tolerate Christians.'


Abbott threatens to cross floor on energy

Tony Abbott has warned he'll vote against the coalition government if it tries to legislate a clean energy target, with up to six backbenchers tipped to follow him. "He has let the government know his position. He won't vote for a clean energy target," a government source told The Australian on Wednesday.

In an opinion piece, Mr Abbott argues the recommendation by the chief scientist for such a target should be dropped.

"It would be unconscionable for a government that was elected promising to scrap the carbon tax and to end Labor's climate change obsessions to go down this path," he writes.

Mr Abbott claims it is bordering on absurd for a country with the world's largest readily available reserves of coal, gas and uranium it should have some of the world's highest power prices.   "But that's what happens when policy is driven by wishful thinking and green religion."

On Tuesday, Mr Abbott told 2GB the Turnbull government could send a strong signal to AGL by dumping all subsidies for renewable energy and encouraging coal-fired power.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants to keep the company's NSW Hunter Valley power station Liddell open beyond its planned 2022 closure.


AGL may turn to gas, as power units fail

AGL may consider converting its Liddell power station to gas as its coal-fired generation units fail in future years.

The potential of the re-purposing of the existing plant was highlighted during a media site visit on Tuesday to a plant that has become a focal point for the increasing toxic energy policy debate.

AGL chief economist Tim Nelson said "repowering'' was an option for the site, due to its access to transmission services, adding that this could include gas or biomass.

Kate Coates, AGL Macquarie general manager, also said the best option for Liddell was to consider how to repurpose the site.

The AGL board had previously said it would consider installing gas-fired turbines to replace coal at the plant and, in its recent power generation infrastructure rehabilitation document, the company did outline plans for potentially repowering Liddell.

It cited the example of using coal to gas as an example of how it might change the nature of power generation at the site.

Ms Coates said the cost of converting to gas would be high but could not say if it would be greater than the cost of rehabilitation.

She added that a number of similar projects had been carried out in Britain.

During the tour, AGL Macquarie head of operations Kevin Taylor outlined the importance of the site's existing transmission infrastructure as one reason that repurposing or repowering was a strong potential option.

Energy industry pundits are split on the likely future of Liddell beyond 2022. Most believe the company is unlikely to relent to the government's request to extend the operation beyond its closure, but many are forecasting a shift to repurposing the site.

"A gas installation at Liddell is a real alternative," an unnamed energy industry insider told Fairfax Media. "These conversions have happened in a few places around the world. We've seen it happen before with the Tallawarra Power Station."

Tallawarra operated as a coal-fired plant from 1961 to 1989 in Shellharbour, in NSW.  A new gas-fired plant was rebuilt on the site to ensure energy reliability to the region.

The move came as Opposition leader Bill Shorten slammed the government's position on Liddell and gas. "The energy crisis we're facing right now is bigger than one power plant – it's a national problem that demands a national solution," Mr Shorten said.

He called on Turnbull to "pull the trigger" on gas export control, and to improve the Australian Energy Market Organisation's gas pricing information, as recommended under the Finkel Review.

Doing so will help ensure more Australian gas, above and beyond Santos' dedicated 30 petajoules, stays in Australia both to solve the growing energy crisis, and improve market conditions for Australian manufacturers looking to secure long-term energy contracts. "What on earth are they waiting for?" Mr Shorten said.

"They have had the power in their hands for months now and has done nothing.  We need Australian gas for Australian jobs - and the Turnbull government is letting it go overseas."

AGL operates the 50 megawatt Hunter Valley gas-fired power station and the Newcastle Gas Storage Facility (NGSF), about 120 kilometres south-east of Liddell. Tallawarra is capable of processing up to 66,5000 tonnes of LNG a year. AGL also operates the Torrens facility, the largest gas-fired power station in Australia.

The energy insider said, if Liddell became gas powered, it would mean AGL would retain control of the entire chain, which could also create a headache for regulators.

"They'll produce the gas, send it to themselves, then generate power for the end consumer," he said. "Only week ago – after meeting with Andy Vesey – the Commonwealth Government announced it had directed the AER to 'make sure electricity generators are playing by the rules'.

"If there is a suspicion that AGL is currently gaming the system, then having it gain control of another part of the supply chain, such as the gas supply to a large, AGL-owned gas-fired plant at Liddell, would seem to invite more opportunities for price manipulation."

This was dismissed by the ACCC, which did not believe AGL closing its upstream and downstream supply for power generation and retail would be anti-competitive under the Competition and Consumer Act.

AGL has previously tried to expand its gas operations in the regions surrounding Liddell through its coal seam gas assets in Gloucester, as well as in Camden, south of Sydney. But the group announced a decision to halt all coal seam gas exploration and production in the face of sustained political and community opposition.

Gas has been targeted by the government as a potential resource to bridge the expected shortfall in energy supply.

The Turnbull government has already arranged deals with oil and gas companies such as Santos to divert up to 30 petajoules of LNG next year to ensure the reliability of supply.

During the visit, half of the station's four units were offline and the two remaining units were running at a reduced capacity.

One unit was offline for maintenance while the other was out of service due to an unknown failure.

An AGL spokesman said the two functioning units were only providing power to the nearby Tomago smelter, which usually accounted for a large percentage of energy generated at the site.

"The demand of Tomago on the system is essentially the sum of our output today," the spokesman told Fairfax Media.

It is understood the smelter alone accounts for more than 10 per cent of NSW's entire energy 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