Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Australia Day trolls target indigenous activist over support for existing commemoration

Leftist hate never stops. It's Leftists, not Aborigines who want the Australia Day date changed

Former Northern Territory politician Bess Price has hit out at anti-Australia Day activists for fuelling cyber hate towards her daughter after she pushed to keep the national holiday on January 26.

The Australian revealed this morning that Indigenous Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price has been targeted on social media since she helped former federal Labor leader Mark Latham launch a “Save Australia Day” ad campaign against those arguing it should be moved to a less contentious date.

In a Facebook post, Bess Price said the online vitriol directed at her daughter for “having a different opinion to those who want to remain in their victimhood mentality” was “disgusting”.

“I’m appalled,” she wrote. “All the ‘Welcome to Country’, all the ‘smoking ceremonies’ and all the made up bullshit rituals about ‘pay our respects to elders past and present’ is just one big lie! Shame shame shame!”

She criticised indigenous Australians for bringing their fellow countrymen down, taking aim at former deputy NT chief minister Marion Scrymgour.

Ms Scrymgour has suggested Jacinta Price is preparing to enter federal parliament to replace Nigel Scullion as an NT senator, and stressed that opposing voices “shouldn’t be quiet”.

“The voices in the communities that she continually bad mouths should have a voice too. She is a dud and our mob can see through that,” Ms Scrymgour said in a Facebook post.


Jacinta Price has been subjected to a torrent of vile social media abuse from anti-Australia Day activists over her push to keep the national day on January 26, including wishing her a “painful death” and insulting her disabled nephew.

The Alice Springs councillor said she had been “disgusted to my core” by the online messages she had received, and blamed “middle-class” Australians with indigenous backgrounds for fuelling the cyber hate.

Jacinta Price said the majority of Aborigines living in remote areas did not care about the date of Australia Day nor hold grudges against “white Australians”.

Indigenous leader Warren Mundine described the abuse levelled at Ms Price as “disgraceful” and said the public debate over Australia Day was not a first-order issue for Aboriginal communities.

Greens leader Richard Di ­Natale yesterday stepped up the minor party’s opposition to celebrating the national day on January 26, describing it as his top issue this year and saying he had told more than 100 Greens councillors across the country they would have his full support to launch campaigns aimed at moving celebrations to another date.

Senator Di Natale said he hoped to build on the momentum of the Greens-led Yarra and Darebin councils in Melbourne and the Fremantle council in Western Australia, all of which shifted Australia Day celebrations last year.

Mr Mundine, who personally believes the date should be changed, described the Greens’ ­renewed push to change the date of Australia Day as a joke. “I’m with Aboriginal communities every month and changing the date isn’t number one, two, three, four, fifth on their agenda,” Mr Mundine said.

“It is education, jobs, it is to get business activity happening, and to get better healthcare.

“If the Greens were fair dinkum they would concentrate on these issues rather than something that is not going to make a difference to anyone.”

Malcolm Turnbull said yesterday said he was disappointed by growing calls to change the date of Australia Day, as the government vowed to ban citizenship ceremonies in council areas that would not hold them on January 26, the date the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour.

“A free country debates its history, it does not deny it,” the Prime Minister said. “I’m disappointed by those who want to change Australia Day, seeking to take a day which unites Australia and Australians and turn it into one which will divide us. Australia Day is a day to come together and celebrate what unites us, what inspires us, what gives all of us reason to be proud that we are Australian.”

Ms Price said she had received at least 80 abusive comments after posting about Australia Day on Facebook, including a message which said: “how bout you f..king die a painful death u sell out cocanut (sic)”.

She told The Australian: “A lot of them are likely to be middle class, they are definitely not from the Territory; they are from other parts of the country and it really exposes the amount of hatred and disdain that I think is hindering progress for Aboriginal people.

“It displays the divide between those that claim to be Aboriginal and Aboriginal people in remote communities. “Bush mob just wouldn’t ­behave or talk in such a way.”

Mr Mundine, former chairman of the Prime Minister’s indigenous advisory council under Tony Abbott and Mr Turnbull, said he had also received abuse from “academic, educated people sitting in Sydney and Melbourne” because of his views on indigenous issues.

“It is totally disgraceful,” Mr Mundine said. “This is coming from people who claim to be against racism, who claim to be against all this bigotry and yet they come out with the most bigoted racial taunts you will see.”

Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge said it was extraordinary that the Greens had made the date of Australia Day a priority, describing the party as being out of step with mainstream Australia. “Last year elements in the NSW Greens were advocating the burning of the Australian flag,” Mr Tudge said.

“On Australia Day we rightly celebrate the three core features of Australia: our indigenous heritage, our British foundation and our multicultural character.”

Mr Abbott tweeted yesterday: “There are 364 other days a year for the Greens to be politically correct. Why can’t they just ­accept that Jan 26 is the best available day to celebrate all that’s good about life in Australia.”

Bill Shorten, who previously said he would not support changing the date of Australia Day, yesterday would not comment on the Greens renewed push.

In the West Australian surf and wine region of Margaret River south of Perth, Greens mayor Pamela Townshend ­refused to follow Senator Di Natale’s request and impose an alternate date for Australia Day.

Ms Townshend said she had listened to the views of local indigenous men and women — the Wadandi people — as part of preparations for the council’s reconciliation action plan and so far she did not sense that changing the date of Australia Day was their priority. “They haven’t said ‘You have to change the date’; I haven’t felt a big groundswell about this,” she said. “I don’t have a big political agenda over it.”

Ms Townshend will attend three free Australia Day barbecues on January 26 in the Augusta-Margaret River shire.

Ms Price said she had also been targeted by Facebook page Shut Down Australia, following ­reports she might enter federal parliament if Nationals senator Nigel Scullion left.

“This would mean that the modern-day blacktracker would use her comprador white ­supremacy agenda on Blackfellas Australia wide,” it said. “This would place thousands of our people’s lives at risk. Genocide Alert!” [Note the use of Marxist jargon: "comprador"]


End of a free ride for electric cars?

In 2018, Australia's roads are plagued with problems: the long-term decline in the road death toll has slowed, congestion is tipped to increase and long commutes are linked to poor mental health.

And now a multi-billion-dollar road funding black hole looms.

It's caused by the growing popularity of fuel-efficient cars, prompting a multi-generational reset to national roads policy which will change how you pay to drive.

For the people who rely most on their vehicles, that means trouble.

Australians are big users of roads, and they pay for the privilege … even if most don't know exactly how.

Car is by far the most common way to get to work. About two out of three travel to work this way. And that number is increasing — it's up by more than half a million since 2011.

Behind the wheel, pulling out from your garage onto the street, it might seem like access to roads is free.

But the average vehicle is actually charged more than $1,300 by state and federal governments each year, according to information from the Productivity Commission.

That's on top of fees paid directly for toll roads or parking.

The largest component is fuel excise — the tax paid on every litre of petrol, of about 40 cents — which goes to the Federal Government.

All up, governments spend approximately the same amount of money on road infrastructure as they receive from drivers.

At more than $12 billion of new engineering work done for the public sector per year, it's greater than the spending on energy, telecommunications and water combined.

But even with today's road outlays, the cost of congestion — which covers environmental, health and social impacts, plus what you could be spending your time on otherwise — is tipped to increase more than 5 per cent annually over the next 15 years in a recent report by Deloitte.

Fuel excise means — for most drivers at least — the more they drive, the more they pay.

However, low-emission vehicles are letting some drivers get away charge-free.

The CSIRO has predicted revenue coming from fuel excise will drop by almost half by 2050.

Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher argues the current road funding system has "some features that don't seem very fair".

If you are able to buy a $125,000 Tesla, the amount you pay through fuel excise to use the roads is zero.

"If you're buying a 10-year-old Commodore, the amount you're paying is effectively four-and-a-half cents per kilometre."

The Federal Government is looking at ways to more closely link how people use the roads with what they pay.

Mr Fletcher will soon announce the terms of reference of the formal review into this concept, known as "road pricing" or "road user charging", and similar trials for trucks are earmarked for 2018.

The ultimate solution might link how much drivers pay to their car's GPS tracker. Instead of a rough fuel-based taxation method, the result would be accurate to the metre: the further you drive, the more tax you pay.

In a trial in the US state of Oregon, all drivers were charged one-and-a-half US cents per mile — no matter how fuel efficient their car was.

An overhaul of road funding such as this would require support from the states.


Lunch box checks have kids too scared to eat

NUTRITIONISTS are calling for an easing of lunch box policing when school returns next week, claiming the inspections have some children too scared to eat.

With a number of schools around Queensland implementing so-called healthy eating policies to deal with allergies and fight childhood obesity, teachers have been turned into the “food police”, randomly inspecting lunch boxes for items such as lollies, cakes, sweets, chips, nuts and eggs and sending letters to parents who break the rules.

But nutritionists warn the practice has gone too far, with mums and dads stressed out about what to feed their child and children developing fears around food.

“People have been writing in to me on social media saying that their child is afraid to open their lunch box at school because they know the teacher is coming along to inspect the lunch box so they would rather just not eat,” Sunshine Coast nutritionist Tara Leong said.

“The parents are also afraid of what they’re sending to school because they might get a letter home.

“It’s definitely not the way to manage what parents are sending to school in lunch boxes and the health situation in Australia.”

Mrs Leong said labelling food “good” and “bad” could also be destructive to a child’s relationship with food in the long term.

“If the teacher comes along and says, ‘That’s a bad food’, then what this whole ‘bad food, good food’ situation sets up is that the child is then a ‘bad child’ for eating that ‘bad food’ or the mother is a ‘bad mother’ for sending that piece of food, so then there’s this moral link to the food and it shouldn’t be that way,” she said.

Brisbane nutritionist and dietitian Kate Di Prima said schools had gone “berserk” with their food policing, especially when it came to bans of allergy-causing foods.

“To simply fill the lunch box without making everything from scratch has become almost impossible,” she said.

“It’s getting silly because there’s six different allergic (groups), you’ve got nuts, eggs, shellfish, wheat, soy, dairy. Are we going to remove all of that because then we’re left with nothing? Everyone will have a gluten-free, paleo lunch box, which is not balanced for children,” she said.

What does a healthy school lunchbox look like?

The over-policing of lunch boxes and a general confusion among parents over what is healthy has also caused some parents to ditch entire food groups, such as dairy and carbohydrates, from their children’s diets, with potentially dangerous consequences, the experts warn.

“I’m frightened by the amount of children who aren’t being fed carbohydrates,” Mrs Leong said.

“It’s really scary because they need it to be able to think.

“Unless there’s a medical diagnosis that your child needs to maybe eliminate something then there’s no reason to cut it out and doing so can put children at risk of malnutrition.”

Both experts agreed that parents needed to take a simple back-to-basics approach with children’s lunches, opting for fruit and yoghurt for morning tea, and a main meal of healthy carbs, protein and good fats, like an avocado, chicken and salad sandwich.


Becoming a republic is no guarantee of greatness

Slime bucket Keating is so hate-filled that he is driven into irrationality and utterly specious argument

Australia is not a great country says former Labor prime minister Paul Keating. And neither is New Zealand or Canada. Why? Because, according to Keating: “No great state has ever had the monarch of another country as its head of state.”

Millions beg to differ. When Labor last governed the nation, more than 50,000 people risked their lives to arrive, uninvited, on our shores. It’s a fair bet that given half a chance, the rest of the estimated 63.5 million refugees, ­asylum-seekers and internally displaced people would also vote with their feet in favour of Australia compared with the republics from which they are all fleeing.

Because although Keating might not have noticed, of the major source countries of refugees there’s not a monarchy among them, their own or borrowed.

In first place, the Syrian Arab Republic (5½ million refugees), then the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (more than 2½ million), the Republic of South Sudan (almost 1½ million) and the Federal Republic of Somalia (more than one million); in the less than one million category, the Republic of Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Eritrea (a ­single-party presidential republic), the Republic of Burundi, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of Iraq, the Republic of Colombia, the Republic of Rwanda, the Ukraine (another republic), the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Mali and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

As for economic migrants, Australia and Canada are two of the top destinations, so much so that 28 per cent of our population is foreign-born as is 22 per cent of the population of Canada.

And the top source countries? All republics — the Republic of India (15.6 million), the United Mexican States (12.3 million), the Russian Federation (10.6 million), the People’s Republic of China (9.5 million) and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (7.2 million).

What makes these republics so great compared with constitutional monarchies, which include Labor’s social democratic pin-ups — Sweden, Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands?

Aha, you might say, the country that has accepted more migrants and refugees than any other is the greatest republic of them all, the United States of America. But that would not gladden Keating, who warns that a popularly elected president would be “a disaster”.

“We could end up with a Don­ald Trump personality as the singular presidential person in Australia,” he wails.

“The mere fact that that person is the only person popularly elected will draw all of the political power. The position of the prime minister and the cabinet will be mightily diminished.” Indeed.

But a former Labor prime minister should be able to see that a head of state appointed by parliament is also fraught with danger. Under such a model, Gough Whitlam could have appointed John Kerr president rather than governor-general, and perhaps been dismissed even more readily, since the president of a new Australian republic might be less likely to feel bound by law and would not be constrained by the weight of convention or precedent since there would be none.

Republics are less stable than monarchies precisely because they are not bound by tradition. France, one of the more successful, has had five republics since the revolution as well as the First and Second French Empires, the Bourbon Restoration and the ­ignoble Vichy regime.

Germany’s Weimar Republic succumbed all too quickly to fascism. As have most of the republics of Latin America and Africa, except for those that have been set up or taken over by communists or other despots who haven’t bothered with an ideology to justify their tyranny.

Keating’s objection to the British monarchy may be rooted, like that of many Australians of Irish descent, in a visceral antipathy towards the English, whom he has railed against for various sins including that during the darkest days of World War II, they “decided not to defend the Malaysian Peninsula, not to worry about Singapore, and not to give us our troops back to keep ourselves free from Japanese domination”.

Keating pays scant regard to the threats Britain was facing — London had been blitzed, the French had surrendered, even the Channel Isles were under the jackboot. Nor does he mention Ireland, “the land of his ancestors”, which cared so little as to whether Australia was invaded, or who won the war, that they didn’t even bother to fight. Indeed, when Hitler committed suicide, the Irish prime minister offered his condolences to the German embassy.

If Australia becomes a republic, there is every reason to hope that it will continue to prosper, thanks to strongly entrenched British institutions. If the nation has not opted for change to date, it is probably thanks to that great Australian principle: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Republicans, on both sides of the political divide, seem determined to ignore that advice rather than focus on the tasks that we elected them to tackle — cutting waste, ending the debt and deficit, keeping the lights on without sending us broke.

In that respect, Keating was right when he said that without a sensible economic policy, Australia will end up being a third rate economy, “a ­banana republic”. Amen to that.


Rising cost of Government services putting the squeeze on households

Government-led costs are squeezing household budgets much more than the private sector, with prices of essential ser­vices such as health and education far outstripping near-­record low inflation.

Outlays on childcare have doubled in the past six years, while primary and secondary education costs for the typical household are up 50 per cent, detailed household budget figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

Overall, households are spending 23 per cent more on ­essential services, with prices influenced by government, than they were five years ago, while spending on goods and services with prices set by the market is up by 15 per cent.

Analysis of the ABS household expenditure survey shows that where essential goods and ser­vices are provided purely by the market, their cost has been held down by the same forces that are keeping inflation below 2 per cent.

Intense competition among supermarkets has kept household spending on food to an increase of 15 per cent over six years, while households are spending almost exactly the same now on clothing as they were in 2009-10.

The household expenditure survey, which is conducted by the ABS every six years, shows spending on income tax rose 45.7 per cent between 2009-10 and 2015-16.

Consultant economist Saul ­Eslake says households are being helped by globalisation, which has brought price reductions for many goods, but are being hit by the escalating cost of services such as health insurance, which act like a tax, at a time when income growth is weak.

Household spending on health insurance has risen 50.7 per cent over the past six years.

Mr Eslake said the rising cost of essential services was hurting households, which are no longer getting any real income growth.

“It is absolutely clear that real income growth has been much flatter since 2012,” he said. Rather than handing out tax cuts, governments have since then been seeking to wind back benefits.

The cost of living has become a hot political issue over the past year, inflamed by the 20 per cent rise in electricity prices and the continuing escalation in the cost of childcare at a time of weak ­income growth. Scott Morrison has vowed this year’s budget will be about reducing living costs while Bill Shorten has attacked the government for its failure to control the cost of ­essential services and says Labor’s policies would rein in rising health, education and housing costs.

Analysis by The Australian of the ABS survey shows there are some areas of discretionary spending that have risen strongly, highlighting choices households are making about how they spend their income. Spending on holidays, for example,­ has risen 46.9 per cent, with overseas travel rising 70 per cent. Eating out at restaurants has risen 38.4 per cent. The ABS has introduced a new category for takeaway coffee, on which households spend an average $4.20 a week.

Households are spending 24.2 per cent less on gambling but 35 per cent more on sports fees and health and fitness charges.

National Australia Bank chief markets economist Ivan Colhoun said if the economy were performing poorly, people would not be lifting spending on holidays or restaurants, but he added budgets were still under pressure.

“If you’ve got the essentials that are government-related growing quickly and discretionary items that people are, for lifestyle reasons, spending more on, by definition what is left would be getting less of the pie.”

Overall households are only spending 6.4 per cent more on recreation than they were six years ago. Where households can, they cut back when prices rise ­excessively.

Mr Eslake noted that households have cut back their use of electricity. Although electricity prices doubled over the six years between the ABS surveys, total spending on electricity rose by 21.4 per cent.

One government-influenced cost that has not risen is mortgage rates, which follow the benchmark set by the Reserve Bank. Spending on mortgage interest has dropped by 1 per cent over the six years, but repayment of principal has soared 43.5 per cent.

“The benefit of lower interest rates has been more than offset by the effect of bigger mortgages. The fact that you need more income to service those mortgages forces people to outsource things like childcare that used to be done in the home,” Mr Eslake said.

Childcare has been the fastest growing item in the household budget, partly reflecting the significant increase in salary and staffing numbers dictated under legislation passed under the former Labor government.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham yesterday defended ­reforms to childcare arrangements that take effect from July 1, which will increase the subsidies to childcare centres and abolish the cap on the childcare rebate.

Labor has claimed, on the basis of documents obtained under freedom of information, that the reforms would leave hundreds of thousands of households worse off.

Education costs, which reflect both government and private sector influences, have risen rapidly. Households are spending 50.5 per cent more on primary and secondary education than they were six years ago, while they are spending 30.5 per cent more on tertiary education.

Health costs are taking 25.6 per cent more of the household budget than six years ago. One area where government influence has brought cost control is pharmaceuticals. Households are now spending 5.4 per cent less on medicines and therapeutic appliances than they were in 2009-10.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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