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Brainless do-gooders to make Aboriginal crime problem worse

What is their solution to the high rate of Aboriginal crime?  To reduce the penalties!  They want to abolish jail for fine defaults, for instance.  Do they know nothing about human behaviour? Basic psychology tells us that to reduce the undesired behaviour you need to INCREASE the penalties, not reduce them.  But Leftist "solutions" almost invariably worsen the problem so this ideological claptrap is nothing new.  They are trying to signal their own big heartedness, not help Aborigines

Australia has reached "crisis point" when it comes to the rate of indigenous people being sent to jail - especially women, lawyers say.

Federal and state governments are facing calls for urgent action as the latest statistics show Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders continue to be "alarmingly" over-represented in prison.

In a report tabled in federal parliament on Wednesday, the Australian Law Reform Commission says Indigenous Australians are 12.5 times more likely to be in jail than non-indigenous people.

Indigenous women, who make up more than a third of the country's female prison population, are 21.2 times more likely to be incarcerated than their non-indigenous sisters.

"The cycle of incarceration will continue devastating families and communities if we do not remodel our approach to criminal justice," Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT chief executive Lesley Turner said in a statement.

The Law Council of Australia labelled it a "national crisis" that requires immediate action.

It has called on governments to adopt the ALRC's 35 recommendations and not shelve them - like many from the 1991 royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody report were.

"The ALRC's recommendations offer a renewed roadmap to end disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in incarceration," president Morry Bailes said.

The commission has suggested establishing a new body to redirect resources from the criminal justice system to community-led initiatives to address the issues driving crime and imprisonment.

It also wants all levels of government to repeal mandatory sentencing that disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, amend bail laws to ensure they're culturally appropriate, and scrap jail terms for unpaid fines.

On top of that, it has recommended a national inquiry into child protection laws and processes affecting indigenous Australians and specified national targets to reduce the rate of incarceration rates and violence against them.

SOURCE

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And the Lord was praised

I rarely go to church these days but for good Friday I thought I should make an exception.  Anne likes going to church so she came along too. We went to St John's Presbyterian at Annerley



So why did I go?  I went for the same reason that most go:  To praise the Lord.  I am immensely thankful for the truth and wisdom I find in the Bible and am as such clearly a product of the Protestant Christian tradition.

Would I still have been the same person without my years of Bible study?  Perhaps.  But I am sure that Bible teachings have helped me to live a wiser life.  I was 17 in 1960 and the 60s are now legendary as a time when many young people cast off all restraints, often harming themselves and their relationships in the process. But Christian ideas of self-restraint protected me from all that. I not only took no drugs but I was even teetotal, in the best Presbyterian way. So you see that I had a lot to be thankful for when I went to church this morning and my going there was an expression of appreciation for that.

And it did feel like coming home.  St John's is very much a traditional Presbyterian church -- right down to the fact that there were no pictures or statues of anything on display and not a single cross to be seen.  As Exodus 20:4 says:  "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."  That could hardly be clearer and Presbyterians take their Bible seriously.  In theology they are iconoclasts.

Yet the interior of the church is beautiful. It does have colour -- some very attractive patterned leadlights -- but the main point about the decor is all the old polished wood.  You can smell old polished wood when you first walk into older Presbyterian churches.  It is a very sentimental smell to me and tells me I am in the right place.  The whole well-kept interior generally tells me that:  The pipe organ centrally placed at the focus of attention and lots of small details. It gives me the feeling that I am among my own people ("My ain folk", as the Scots say). The shot below gives you a general idea of the decor.



Presbyterians are an independent lot so each church has its own traditions and each minister does things a little differently.  The minister on this occasion seemed to do more prayers than usual and yet did not at any stage lead us in the Lord's prayer, which was unusual. And he did not speak extempore in his sermon at all.  He just read out his sermon from a prepared text. It was a perfectly good and devout sermon but would have been a lot more engaging if it had been delivered as a talk.

A couple of other oddities:  In the long prayer at the beginning of the service it is customary to pray for "the Queen and all the members of the Royal family". He left that out.  Another customary part of that prayer is to pray for the conversion of the Jews. I was glad that he left out that bit. Jews are already a holy people. I suggested to him afterward that a better prayer in today's world would be to pray for the safety of the Jews.

My Good Friday visit to St John's pleased me enough so that I will probably go there again for my next church visit -- at Christmas.

When we got home at about 10am, Anne and I breakfasted on hot cross buns.  And for much of the rest of the day I watched and listened to lots of Bach on video.  In particular I listened to the John passion right through.  A very appropriate thing for good Friday.

Then that evening, Jenny put on a good Friday dinner for a few of us -- featuring fish. Jenny is a very good fish cook. Some of us were of nominal Catholic background so Jenny was respecting that, I guess.  Food regulations are not part of the Protestant tradition.  It's the booze that bothers us.

As Kate works in psychology, we got to talk quite a bit about psychological assessment -- with me being very skeptical about most current methods of psychological assessment.  Probably a bit unkind of me but dispelling illusions has to be kind in the end and psychometrics is my special field.

UPDATE: One thing that invited universal hilarity in the discussions we had was the idea that Russians were responsible for everything bad.  There were a variety of political opinions present but this media nonsense about the Russians evoked a lot of hilarity among us all. If anything dubious came up in the conversation, "It must have been the Russians" was the response. I imagine that the hardy inhabitants of Rossiya (which is what Russians call their country) are rather pleased about the great powers that the American media attribute to them.

A musical update: Anne did not accompany me to Jenny's dinner as she had a prior arrangement to go to the cathedral for a Good Friday concert with her sister.  And that worked out a bit amusingly. 

During the day, for part of which Anne was present, I had actually listened to Bach's John passion right through twice.  So what was the program at the cathedral?  It was the John passion! So Anne got the John passion that day willy nilly.  Lucky she likes it.  The performance at the cathedral appears to have been competent but would have been much enhanced by the venue.  The great  stone arches of the Metropolitical cathedral of St John give a brilliant sound and of course are particularly suited to sacred music.

So what did I put on for music when Anne got back to my place that night?  The Passio Secundum Johannem!



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A tale of woe but not a whisper about its cause

The figures below about ever-growing traffic congestion in the Boston area are quite distressing.  One wonders where it will end up.  Sadly, such jams are not unique to Boston.  There are similar tales in many parts of urban USA. And the waste of people's time is huge. Instead of sitting for hours in traffic, people could be doing productive or at least congenial things.

So the story below is eloquent in setting out the problem but where is any attempt to find its cause? As the article is from a Leftist paper, the major cause of the problem is just too incorrect to discuss:  If you keep taking in millions of immigrants, most of them are going to end on the road in cars.  That's how America works.

So what are millions of extra cars going to do with a relatively fixed amounts of road-space?  There will be no room for them and traffic will jam up.  Governments will endeavour to build extra road space where they can but where so much land is already built on, that is going to be a slow and limited process.

How long will commutes have to be before Americans put the blame for delays where it belongs -- on immigration.  With some commutes already taking two hours each way, something has got to give soon


Barbara Mayer, a nurse from the South Shore, has been making the same drive to and from the Longwood Medical Area for five years. Today, the trip takes her a good 15 or 20 minutes longer than it used to, an hour and a half compared with 70 minutes, and that’s if there’s no Cape traffic.

“I used to have time to water the flowers when I got home,” she said.

It’s the same story on the North Shore, where the drive into Boston to meet clients sometimes takes etiquette consultant Jodi Smith two hours, twice as long as it did a decade ago. West of the city, in Waltham, the MBTA’s Route 505 morning rush bus to the Financial District is now allotted 63 minutes to arrive. It was allotted 47 minutes in 2007.

Even in a city that has long known traffic headaches, congestion in recent years has extended commutes to lengths that approach a breaking point, encroaching ever deeper into the lives of workers who say they have less and less time to spare.

With Boston’s commutes ranked among the nation’s most stressful, employers increasingly must woo workers by allowing them to work from home or at off hours, according to the global staffing agency Robert Half. Some workers are simply electing to quit rather than lose more time to the road.

Joel Richman of Boxborough left his job and started working from home when a company move from Newton to Boston stretched his drive to two hours each way.

“You end up planning your entire day around your commute,” he said. “I’d leave at 4:15 and everyone else was still cranking away. By the time I got home it would be almost six. I’d try and spend a few minutes with my daughter and then log back on to the computer.”

Even real estate agents are having to adapt, by changing the way they market their properties. “We used to say ‘20 minutes into Boston,’ ” Waltham broker Gary Rogers said, “but we don’t give the time anymore — it’s too dangerous. You don’t know if there are going to be delays.”

There are a few ways to measure how bad traffic has gotten. You can look at numerous studies showing that commuters are spending more time stuck in traffic than ever. One found the average Boston-area driver spending 60 hours stuck in traffic in 2017 — two more hours than in 2016.

You can think about the fact that Millennium Partners is proposing a $100 million gondola to fly workers over the clogged streets of the Seaport.

Here’s another way to see the change: Compare old bus schedules with today’s schedules, and notice that it takes buses — and cars driving on the same roads — a lot longer to cover the same number of miles than it did a decade ago.

“We had to revise the schedule to reflect reality,” said Colin Johnson, a vice president with DATTCO, which runs a commuter bus from Fairhaven to Copley Square.

Ten years ago, DATTCO’s 6:50 a.m. bus from Fairhaven hit Back Bay around 8:20, a 90-minute ride. Today’s commuters are on that bus for 130 minutes and don’t get to Copley until 9 a.m.

It’s a similar story from Southern New Hampshire. In 2008, the 7:30 a.m. Boston Express bus from North Londonderry, N.H., to South Station arrived at 8:35, a 65-minute trip. Today the express gets in at 9:10, 100 minutes after departing.

The MBTA has also changed its schedules, a reflection of the growing traffic and unpredictability of that traffic, according to the agency. In 2017, the morning express routes from Brighton and Watertown and Waltham took an average of 39 percent longer than they did in 2007.

With rush-hour traffic growing exponentially, every commuter interviewed spoke about the impacts on their lives and jobs, and the dreaded math of Boston traffic, in which a small delay in departure time can cost dearly in extra time on the road.

“If you leave five minutes late, it could take you 20 minutes longer to get to work,” said Mayer, the nurse. “Every once in a while, I’ll forget that I need to stop and get gas, and I’ll think, ‘Oh my God, I’ll never get there on time.’ ”

Just as we’re experiencing more extreme weather events these days, anecdotal evidence shows that the increased volume of cars on the roads is leading to more extreme traffic events.

The smallest thing — rain, construction, a game at Fenway, an accident on a feeder road — can cause a tie-up.

That makes people afraid to go to work in bad weather, for fear they’ll never get home in time to meet family obligations.

In Sudbury, on a day when one of the recent nor’easters was heading our way, new mom Jordan Haywood worked from home rather than head into the financial district. Her infant’s day care was closing early, meaning Haywood would basically go to work and turn right around.

“If you’re a half an hour late [for day-care pickup] it’s $7,” she said, mentioning that she’s still breast-feeding, and that when she runs late, not only does it cost her money, but her milk begins to build up, adding extra urgency.

Some of her fellow working and commuting mothers pump in the car while they’re driving, she said. “They say it’s a timesaver. They are multitasking.”

As the drives get longer, living in or close to Boston is becoming farther out of reach financially for average workers. An analysis of single-family home sales found that prices are rising much faster in or near the city compared with prices in far-flung towns, according to Timothy Warren Jr., chief executive of the Warren Group.

He looked at the prices of single-family homes in 285 Massachusetts communities and found that in only 10 have prices surpassed what they were in 2005 — a peak in the market — by 50 percent or more. Nine of those 10 communities were in or near Boston.

“Some of those communities were previously considered blue-collar and affordable, including South Boston, Jamaica Plain, Somerville, and Charlestown,” Warren said in an e-mail.

“Others in the top ten (Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, and Lexington) have always been high-priced, but have become dramatically more so in recent years,’’ Warren said.

This pricey housing means many people are forced to live far from work, a situation made more painful by the growing commute times.

Michelle Collins and her fiance settled in Saugus after not being able to afford anything closer to their jobs. She works as a lab technician in Newton. He’s a warehouse manager in Natick. That means an hour’s commute each way for her and sometimes a two-hour trip for him.

“No matter what time you leave you can hit these weird pockets of traffic,” she said.

If Collins doesn’t build in a cushion, she might arrive late and, she said, have minutes deducted from her pool of vacation, personal, and sick time.

“I’d rather spend the time on vacation than sitting on Route 128 southbound,” she said.

SOURCE


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How important is Aboriginal culture?

The writers below agree that abuse of Aboriginal children is rife in Aboriginal communities and that protrecting the children concerned is difficult.  They write primarily to argue that  placing Aboriginal children in white foster homes is not the solution.  They give no reasoning for that however.  Instead their article is suffused with an assumption that Aboriginal children must be brought up amid Aboriginal culture.

But what is so good about Aboriginal culture? Is extensive alcohol abuse, brutal attacks by Aboriginal men on women and children and a widespread incapacity to be economically self-sufficient a good culture?  One would think not.

The plain truth is that Aboriginal culture is a failed culture.  It fails Aborigines by not giving them lessons they need to thrive in the modern world and instead gives them lessons in dependency and incompetence.

It is true that there are elements in Aboriginal culture which would be considered admirable by some whites:  Their emphasis on sharing with one another anything they have, for instance.  They are as near to a permanent Communist society as there is.

I think the main thing that talk of Aboriginal culture is about is the group feeling among Aborigines.  Aboriginals need to have other Aboriginals around all the time.  If you arrest an Aborigine and lock him in solitary confinement his distress will be so great that he will almost always use any means possible to commit suicide.

You see the same thing when an Aboriginal community concludes that one of their members has committed a grave offence.  They will"sing" the man to death.  It works every time because the "singing" tells the offender that he is rejected by that community and can no longer live among them.  He must go somewhere else alone. And he will rapidly die of despair at that prospect.

Let me add a personal anecdote to the two well-known generalizations above. Some time ago, I was the proprietor of a large guest house in a lower socio-economic locality -- Ipswich. Showing how "racist" I am, I used to accept accommodation requests from Aborigines and Maori. In many jurisdictions, acceptance of minority tenants has to be compelled by law but I did it voluntarily. Guest houses are not covered by landlord & tenant legislation in the State of Queensland.

One day a perfectly pleasant Aboriginal man came to the door and asked:  "Is Lenny home?".  Lenny was an older and much respected Aboriginal man who had lived there for some time.  Lenny was out so I told the visitor that.  The visitor then said:  "Are there any of my people there?".  He meant other Aborigines.  I told him no, as it happens.

So you see that ANY Aborigines would have met his need for company at that time. Aborigines CANNOT be alone for long.

So the "culture" concerned is the very strong "we" feeling among Aborigines.  That must not be disturbed.  Any attempt to disturb it threatens death.

So I think I see the Aboriginal side of the argument but I cannot agree that their culture is admirable or worth the cruelty that it includes.  If the children grow up in white families and miss out on that overwhelming "we" feeling, something may have been lost but the gain will be some of the individual independence that has enabled white people to be innovative, entrepreneurial and emotionally strong.  They will fit in better with a white environment and culture which has many faults but which will nonetheless serve them better.

I could say more about the unhappy state of Aborigines and why they have such problematic lifestyles but I think I should leave it there for today.  There are things to like in Aborigines but they are their own worst enemies


Recent comments by Federal Children’s Minister David Gillespie, that we need not hesitate to place ‘abused’ Aboriginal children into adoption arrangements with ‘white families’, have been widely reported in the media, prompting both outcry and support among Indigenous and non-Indigenous commentators.

Gillespie’s argument that we need not be concerned about creating another Stolen Generations is completely unsound. What has failed to rate a mention in the coverage of this issue is the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are already placed in care with non-Indigenous families in large numbers.

Australia’s child protection systems are among the most risk-averse in the world. The state intervenes often into the realm of family to ensure the protection of Australia’s children, investigating 119,173 cases of suspected child abuse or neglect last financial year (2016-17).

More than 36% of all Australian children living in care are Aboriginal, and a sizeable proportion are being looked after by non-Indigenous carers. As one example, in Victoria a 2016 report by the Commission for Children and Young People stated that almost 50% of all Indigenous Australian children in care are looked after by non-Indigenous carers, many of whom lack cultural awareness training.

While placement in care may be necessary for children’s immediate safety, separation from family, community, country and culture places Indigenous children at risk of unstable and culturally inappropriate childrearing, cultural disconnection and subsequent social and emotional problems.

Recent findings from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse also highlight the fact that children are not always safe in care. Of the 257 survivors who shared their painful histories, 66% stated that they had been abused in home-based care with either a foster or kinship carer, while 37% said they had been abused in residential care.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being removed from their families at inordinate rates; Indigenous Australian children are nearly 10 times more likely to be removed from their families and placed in care than non-Indigenous children. This disproportionality is nothing less than a crisis. In fact, the Secretariat for National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) expects that the population of Indigenous children in care will more than triple by 2036 if the increasing trend of overrepresentation is not stopped.

But Gillespie is right on one point; something must be done about Aboriginal children living in families where they have been harmed or where there are strong indications that they are likely to be harmed. We all feel the necessity and urgency of doing something transformative. But reductionist and simplistic solutions such as adoption by white families, no matter how well-intentioned, will not achieve the results we desire. Indeed, policies such as this are likely to make the situation worse.

Safeguarding Aboriginal children is full of complexity, uncertainty, dilemmas and tensions. The fact that people who care deeply about this issue cannot agree on a way forward demonstrates the difficulty of the challenge we face. Real and lasting change will only happen if change agents are willing to embrace and work in complexity.

Successful long-term strategies do not come from one individual, but emerge from the continuous, purposeful interaction among people. This means families, communities, professionals, researchers and policymakers must work together purposefully and with a clear vision of the future we want for Aboriginal families and communities in distress. This is to understand and change the deep causes of family and community dysfunction and the deficits in our systems for protecting children.

Three key principles need to guide us in this work. They are Aboriginal self-determination, prevention and early intervention (to avoid harm to children and prevent them from entering the child protection and care systems), and protection of the cultural rights of Aboriginal children already in care.

The latter can be achieved by upholding the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle (Aboriginal children placed with Aboriginal carers) and by:

ensuring that workers and carers are culturally competent;
that the fundamental importance of culture is better understood by workers placing children in care;

enhancing collaboration between Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and non-Indigenous agencies; and, ultimately, by acknowledging family as pertinent to the development of a strong cultural identity and connection to Indigenous heritage.

A national Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People in care may provide appropriate monitoring, direction and oversight to improve culturally-responsive practice with Indigenous children in the future.

SOURCE

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Made In Indonesia: ‘Aboriginal Art’ Company Lands In Federal Court Over Alleged Misleading Conduct



I am one of those dreadful people who think most "art" is BS.  So I am rather amused by this.

A whole lot of "art" is bought for things other than its appearance.  When a famous painting is shown to be a fake, its value drops to about 1% of what it was.  Yet the painting remains the same. Which shows that the previous buyers were buying the thing for the name on it, not its appearance. They bought it for essentially snobbish reasons.  They can't say they bought it "just because they liked the look of it".  If they really did like the look of it, they could just as well have bought a quality print. And it may be that they didn't like the look of it at all.

So in the case below many buyers would have been snobs who were deliberately ripped off.  They bought it for its origins, not its appearance. But I am not too sorry for them. They got what they saw. Those who bought it for its looks however, lost nothing. Its looks remain unchanged


With a highly distinctive ‘Aboriginal art’ style , you’ve probably seen Birubi products in tourist shops all over the country. Everything from ‘hand-made’ and ‘hand-painted’ boomerangs and didgeridoos, to bull roarers and even drink coasters.

And you probably thought Aboriginal artists were behind them.

Today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced it’s launching Federal Court action against the company behind the brand – Birubi Art Pty Ltd (Birubi) – alleging it spent years making misleading claims about Aboriginal art.

Between July 2014 and November 2017, Birubi allegedly “contravened the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations that some of its products were made in Australia and/or that Aboriginal people had made or hand painted them, when in fact they were made in Indonesia”.

ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said the products displayed a combination of words and artwork including ‘hand painted’, ‘handcrafted’, ‘Aboriginal Art’, and ‘Australia’.

“We allege that Birubi’s conduct is damaging as it is likely to mislead consumers into thinking they are buying genuine handmade Aboriginal art when they are not. This has the potential to undermine the integrity of Aboriginal art and negatively impact Indigenous artists, including by undervaluing their authentic works,” Commissioner Court said in a written statement.

“We allege that over 18,000 of these Birubi products were sold to retail shops in key tourist spots around the country.

“In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month, with tens of thousands of tourists visiting Australia, this action by the ACCC is a timely reminder to traders to ensure that products they are selling as Indigenous cultural objects or art are authentic.”

The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, injunctions, corrective notices, compliance program orders, and costs.

Ironically, Birubi claims to be a “proud licensed supplier of many items featuring the copyright Aboriginal Flag image designed by Mr Harold Thomas”.

The website adds: “So please, when purchasing Aboriginal flag items, ensure they are authentic licensed products….”

SOURCE



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Scientists say Australia is getting so hot people could DIE just going outside - and warn the nation could be hit with more violent storms and disease

This is just prophecy from people who have never got a prophecy right yet, so deserves no attention.  It is in any case absurd as Australia has a huge North to South reach so you can always choose your place of residence to get the temperture range that suits you.  In Tasmania the climate is like England -- but with less air polution in Hobart than there is in Muslim-run London

It's true that Darwin is already very hot but I have lived there and people simply use air-conditioning.  The "itinerants" (Aborigines) who live there use natural air-conditioning by camping on the beach

Deaths from "heat waves" are unknown in Australia.  We are acclimated to hot summers.  Temperatures that cause mulitiple deaths in Europe are just another hot day for the average Australian.  In much of Australia, every summer is a "heat wave" by European standards


The number of days that Darwin has reached temperatures of over 35C has increased to 20 days a year in the last five years, according to the Australia Institute.

That figure is up from 5.6 at the beginning of the 20th century.   This temperature, paired with 70 per cent humidity, is considered dangerous.

Darwin sees a considerable number of days with that level of humidity.

The report detailed that between March 2017 and February 2018 in Darwin there was a total of 60 days with 70 per cent humidity before 3pm, with 46 of these days falling in the first three months of the year.

This weather would result in more heat-related deaths, avoidance of general life tasks and interrupted sleep.

Environmentally it would create harsher storms, more rainfall and change the way diseases spread.

The Australia Institute, the think tank who released the paper, referenced the fact that places such as Russia, India, Europe and Pakistan 'have all experienced heat waves resulting in mass death events where thousands of people died sitting in their homes'.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation projects that if there isn't a drop in greenhouse gas emissions Darwin's 35C days each year will hit 132 by 2030.

Liz Hanna, from the Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at Australian National University, told NT News: 'This puts a real challenge on how people function. Can we work in a world as we know now in terms of going out shopping, working, picking up the children without putting lives at serious risk?'

SOURCE

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Teachers' union backs call for comprehensive approach to education

This is another shot in the long war between those who want education to lead to jobs versus those who see education as a general cultural experience.  It seems clear to me that if the taxpayer is paying for it, it should be useful in some way.  I see only three options there: education for jobs, education for citizenship and English language education, where that includes instruction in reading and writing, which in turn includes spelling and grammar. Education for citizenship should cover primarily history and how the political system works.

I see no role for literary education or foreign language education.  Literature and language can be left to adult education courses and other evening courses.  There are already in the country people of many ethnic origins who grow up bilingual so foreign language education seems particularly useless


The Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch has welcomed comments from NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes calling for a balanced approach to education, with no extra emphasis on any one discipline.

Stokes said on Wednesday that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects must not be preferred over the arts, sports or social sciences.

IEUA NSW/ACT Secretary John Quessy said providing a comprehensive education was the best strategy to create adaptable and employable adults.

“All disciplines, whether it be languages, sport, arts or science can and do contribute to greatness in Australian society,” Quessy said.

“It is important that teachers from all disciplines are supported and provided with professional development that enhances the education they can provide to students.

“While we totally support and understand the need to encourage the study of STEM subjects, students should never be discouraged from studying other disciplines.

“Everyone needs to be allowed to find their niche and be given a chance to shine.”

Media release sue@ieu.asn.au

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Are Liberals High On Dopamine?

An interesting hypothesis below.  The motive behind political correctness has always seemed clear to me:  It is just another form of Leftist destruction, destroying customary speech.  But it is proposed below that PC has another motive:  Creating a sense of belonging in the PC individual. By being correct you ally yourself with the predominant view and against foolish and uncaring old-fashioned people.  You place yourself among an approving community of the good and the wise.

There may be something in that but if the motive is to be part of a comforting group, wouldn't that wish be better served by identifying with the unreformed majority?  Politically correct speech is the province of a small minority, albeit a minority that the intellectual elite approve of

I have no doubt that being PC evokes warm feelings of righteousness but does that arise from feeling part of a group or from something else?  I think it arises from the usual Leftist egotistical motive of wanting to appear wiser and kinder than "the herd".

Leftism is fundamentally egotistical. You have to be quite an egotist to think that you know how to change the world for the better but it is REALLY egotistical to think that you and your party are entitled push your vision through by force or coercion. You have to think very highly of yourself to believe all that



I am reading an excellent analysis of PC behavior by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD, entitled How I Escaped Political Correctness And You Can Too. She says that biology drives PC behavior:

I looked for answers that fit reality as I’d lived it. My search led to amazing research on the social behavior of animals. This showed me that political correctness is biological. The brain chemicals that make us feel good are inherited from earlier mammals. They reward us for behaviors that promote survival in the state of nature. Political correctness stimulates your reward chemicals in primal ways.

I’m not saying we’re hard-wired. On the contrary, our neurons are not connected at birth. We connect them from life experience, and these connections make us who we are. Early experience wires you to expect rewards and pain in ways that happened before. Political correctness wires you to expect rewards and pain in specific ways. It’s hard to re-wire yourself after the neuroplasticity of youth, which is why people cling to political correctness even when they see its flaws.

I finally ripped off the PC goggles and looked at the world without them. You can say I haven’t escaped political correctness because it’s still there. But I have stopped filtering reality through the lens built by the gatekeepers of political correctness. I have learned to focus on the pleasure of my own choices instead of on solidarity with suffering. You can rip off the PC goggles and enjoy your own choices too. You’ll be glad you did!

So when people act in politically correct ways, as mammals, their brains are stimulated with "happy chemicals" such as oxytocin or dopamine: "mamamals seek safety in numbers because the brain rewards it with oxytocin" ... "The joy of dopamine is released when you approach a reward"..."Political correctness promises new rewards, and shames you for seeking rewards in other ways."

If this is the case, why are some of us not programmed to "get high" off political correctness?" In fact, when I hear people being PC, I feel mistrustful of them for being driven by PCness rather than the truth. Maybe the rest of us who are not PC simply get high from different values: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

SOURCE



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An interesting graphic from NOAA

The unobservant might well look at this graph and say:"There you are!  The sea level is rising, just as global warming theory predicts!

But look at the calibrations.  The graph goes back to 1850, showing that the sea level was rising long before global warming was thought of. And the rate of rise has been smooth, unlike the accelerated rise in recent times that would be expected from anthropogenic global warming


Relative Sea Level Trend:  The Battery, New York

The relative sea level trend is 2.84 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence. interval of +/- 0.09 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from 1856 to 2017 which is equivalent to a change of 0.93 feet in 100 years.

The plot shows the monthly mean sea level without the regular seasonal fluctuations due to coastal ocean temperatures, salinities, winds, atmospheric pressures, and ocean currents. The long-term linear trend is also shown, including its 95% confidence interval. The plotted values are relative to the most recent Mean Sea Level datum established by CO-OPS. The calculated trends for all stations are available as a table in millimeters/year and in feet/century (0.3 meters = 1 foot). If present, solid vertical lines indicate times of any major earthquakes in the vicinity of the station and dashed vertical lines bracket any periods of questionable data or datum shift.

SOURCE 

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An amusing sermon from a true believer, Peter Kraai

He seems to be a passionate believer in global warming but shows zero familiarity with science.  Science depends on numbers and he offers not a single number in support of anything he says. And the things he does say are so vaguely put that you would need a book to critique them all

But one of his assertions that is unambiguously wrong is his claim that only a small part of the Antarctic is melting. Zwally's 2015 study showed that the Antarctic as a whole is cooling, not warming.  And since the Antarctic holds 96% of earth's glacial ice those rising sea levels beloved of Warmists are just not going to happen.  Zwally's findings and many others like them are statistics enough to discredit the whole global warming theory but Mr. Kraai is ignorant of them.  He just believes what suits him.

The way he puffs up his chest as someone concerned for the future of "the children" shows what his motivation is.  He wants to be seen as on the side of the angels and damn the facts.  He is doing virtue signalling, not any serious discussion of the evidence.  His confidence in the truth of his delusions is remarkable, though


To the Editor:

I trust that you have defaulted into printing op-eds from Cal Thomas because you have paid for a contract to do so -- even if the content is tripe or a fable. However, consider the moral of his recent fable ("Apocalypse now and the $6,000 Costco meal," March 15,2018) -- that, despite the decades of massive, peer-reviewed support for anthropogenic climate change, we should listen to charlatans funded by fossil fuel companies and ignore the corrections necessary (and readily available) to provide our offspring with a healthy future. This is indeed immoral.

The book he cites, Marc Morano's "Politically Incorrect Guide To Climate Change," is also scientifically incorrect. Not because there is no truth within, but because it is at least 10,000 respected studies away from the whole truth, and does not contain "nothing but the truth." To say Morano's pamphlet rises to the intellectual rigor of a comic book is to insult comic books; they try to get the science right. Thomas is neither stupid nor uneducated (so he can understand the basic science if he chooses), therefore he must be complacent or venal enough to allow our children's planet to fall further into disrepair.

No competent scientist has ever believed climate change (which, by the way, Cal, includes global warming -- they're not the same) "will destroy all life on Earth." However, neither will any of us deny that, through our obscene and opulent overuse of the world's resources, we have entered into the sixth mass extinction event. Yes, life will continue, but lacking many if not most of the algae, plants, animals and ecosystems that keep our lives viable, beautiful and awe-inspired.

As for climatologists (who interpret multi-year, -century, and -millennia trends rather than tell us what may happen in the sky tomorrow, as Thomas'  meteorologist source John Coleman does), and their predictions, "none of which have materialized":

Ocean acidification, dilution by fresh water, and altered flow of climate-determining currents have materialized.

More flooding from bigger hurricanes (note, Cal, I didn't say more frequent storms) has materialized.

Progressive melting of the great majority of mountain range ice- and snow-caps, glaciers, permafrost and poles (except, Cal, as you stated, a small part of Antarctica) has materialized.

Wars over dwindling water, soil and food have materialized.

Drastically mutated terrestrial growth zones (normally stable for thousands of years) have materialized.

Perhaps most paradoxical about Thomas' indifference to Earth's (and its life forms') chronic degradation is his frequently revisited self-identification as a God-fearing Christian. As God views the destruction perpetrated by fossil fuel apologists on this used-to-be-Eden he created, the Almighty must surely be dusting off his smiting instruments. And I think even Thomas would agree with what Jesus wouldn't do; pat the egocentric and materialistic on the back while suggesting they continue their consumptive ways as the poorest and those least contributory to the global mayhem suffer the most.

But then, I'm only a "climate change fanatic," according to Thomas, willing to set aside my nonessential desires so that subsequent human generations and the other 2 million species can reclaim the unsullied life they also deserve. At least this fanatic can look his children and students in their eyes and truthfully say, "I'm on your side."

SOURCE 

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Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys

The finding is that black boys from well-off families tend to be "skidders" -- people who move to lower social classes than their parents.  There are many possible explanations for that but the fact that black girls in well-off families are not skidders is the revealing finding.  It isolates the cause of the skidding to something that is differentially present in girls and boys.

And that is in fact the pachyderm in the residence.  The article is from the NYT so the pachyderm is ignored.  But it is perfectly obvious what the key difference is and it is perfectly obvious why it brings on skidding.

So what is the unmentionable pachyderm? It is the fact that black males are particularly prone to impulsive violence.  The astronomically high incidence of black on black shootings in Chicago alone should tell you that.  Blacks are much more ready to reach for a gun than are either white males or black females.  And a tendency to impulsive violence will have you rapidly skidding downhill.  You will antagonize people, you will be avoided and you will be locked up.  And prison is the rock bottom of the socio-economic status scale

FOOTNOTE: Given my extensive academic background, I tend to write in a rather academic way. And I am aware that academic writing is easily misunderstood and misrepresented. So I think I should expand on what I said above. I am NOT saying that ALL affluent young black males are quick to reach for a gun. I am simply saying that SOME are and that drags down the average social success for that demographic category. Nor am I saying that skidding is normally brought on by a tendency to violence. It may be brought on by many things



Black boys raised in America, even in the wealthiest families and living in some of the most well-to-do neighborhoods, still earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar backgrounds, according to a sweeping new study that traced the lives of millions of children.

Most white boys raised in wealthy families will stay rich or upper middle class as adults, but black boys  raised in similarly rich households will not.

Even when children grow up next to each other with parents who earn similar incomes, black boys fare worse than white boys in 99 percent of America. And the gaps only worsen in the kind of neighborhoods that promise low poverty and good schools.

According to the study, led by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and the Census Bureau, income inequality between blacks and whites is driven entirely by what is happening among these boys and the men they become. Though black girls and women face deep inequality on many measures, black and white girls from families with comparable earnings attain similar individual incomes as adults.

Large income gaps persist between men — but not women.

“You would have thought at some point you escape the poverty trap,” said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist and an author of the study. Black boys — even rich black boys — can seemingly never assume that.

The study, based on anonymous earnings and demographic data for virtually all Americans now in their late 30s, debunks a number of other widely held hypotheses about income inequality. Gaps persisted even when black and white boys grew up in families with the same income, similar family structures, similar education levels and even similar levels of accumulated wealth.

The disparities that remain also can’t be explained by differences in cognitive ability, an argument made by people who cite racial gaps in test scores that appear for both black boys and girls. If such inherent differences existed by race, “you’ve got to explain to me why these putative ability differences aren’t handicapping women,” said David Grusky, a Stanford sociologist who has reviewed the research.

A more likely possibility, the authors suggest, is that test scores don’t accurately measure the abilities of black children in the first place.

If this inequality can’t be explained by individual or household traits, much of what matters probably lies outside the home — in surrounding neighborhoods, in the economy and in a society that views black boys differently from white boys, and even from black girls.

“One of the most popular liberal post-racial ideas is the idea that the fundamental problem is class and not race, and clearly this study explodes that idea,” said Ibram Kendi, a professor and director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. “But for whatever reason, we’re unwilling to stare racism in the face.”

The authors, including the Stanford economist Raj Chetty and two census researchers, Maggie R. Jones and Sonya R. Porter, tried to identify neighborhoods where poor black boys do well, and as well as whites.

“The problem,” Mr. Chetty said, “is that there are essentially no such neighborhoods in America.”

The few neighborhoods that met this standard were in areas that showed less discrimination in surveys and tests of racial bias. They mostly had low poverty rates. And, intriguingly, these pockets — including parts of the Maryland suburbs of Washington, and corners of Queens and the Bronx — were the places where many lower-income black children had fathers at home. Poor black boys did well in such places, whether their own fathers were present or not.

“That is a pathbreaking finding,” said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard sociologist whose books have chronicled the economic struggles of black men. “They’re not talking about the direct effects of a boy’s own parents’ marital status. They’re talking about the presence of fathers in a given census tract.”

Other fathers in the community can provide boys with role models and mentors, researchers say, and their presence may indicate other neighborhood factors that benefit families, like lower incarceration rates and better job opportunities.

The research makes clear that there is something unique about the obstacles black males face. The gap between Hispanics and whites is narrower, and their incomes will converge within a couple of generations if mobility stays the same. Asian-Americans earn more than whites raised at the same income level, or about the same when first-generation immigrants are excluded. Only Native Americans have an income gap comparable to African-Americans. But the disparities are widest for black boys.

For poor children, the pattern is reversed. Most poor black boys  will remain poor as adults. White boys raised in poor families fare far better.

“This crystallizes and puts data behind this thing that we always knew was there because we either felt it ourselves or we’ve seen it over time,” said Will Jawando, 35, who worked in the Obama White House on My Brother’s Keeper, a mentoring initiative for black boys. Even without this data, the people who worked on that project, he said, believed that individual and structural racism targeted black men in ways that required policies devised specifically for them.

Mr. Jawando, the son of a Nigerian father and a white mother, grew up poor in Silver Spring, Md. The Washington suburb contains some of the rare neighborhoods where black and white boys appear to do equally well. Mr. Jawando, who identifies as black, is now a married lawyer with three daughters. He is among the black boys who climbed from the bottom to the top.

He was one of the 20 million children born between 1978 and 1983 whose lives are reflected in the study. Using census data that included tax files, the researchers were able to link the adult fortunes of those children to their parents’ incomes. Names and addresses were hidden from the researchers.

Previous research suggests some reasons there may be a large income gap between black and white men, but not between women, even though women of color face both sexism and racism.

Other studies show that boys, across races, are more sensitive than girls to disadvantages like growing up in poverty or facing discrimination. While black women also face negative effects of racism, black men often experience racial discrimination differently. As early as preschool, they are more likely to be disciplined in school. They are pulled over or detained and searched by police officers more often.

“It’s not just being black but being male that has been hyper-stereotyped in this negative way, in which we’ve made black men scary, intimidating, with a propensity toward violence,” said Noelle Hurd, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia.

She said this racist stereotype particularly hurts black men economically, now that service-sector jobs, requiring interaction with customers, have replaced the manufacturing jobs that previously employed men with less education.

The new data shows that 21 percent of black men raised at the very bottom were incarcerated, according to a snapshot of a single day during the 2010 census. Black men raised in the top 1 percent — by millionaires — were as likely to be incarcerated as white men raised in households earning about $36,000.

The sons of black families from the top 1 percent had about the same chance of being incarcerated on a given day as the sons of white families earning $36,000.

At the same time, boys benefit more than girls from adult attention and resources, as do low-income and nonwhite children, a variety of studies have found. Mentors who aren’t children’s parents, but who share those children’s gender and race, serve a particularly important role for black children, Ms. Hurd has found. That helps explain why the presence of black fathers in a neighborhood, even if not in a child’s home, appears to make a difference.

Some of the widest black-white income gaps in this study appear in wealthy communities. This fits with previous research that has shown that the effects of racial discrimination cross class lines. Although all children benefit from growing up in places with higher incomes and more resources, black children do not benefit nearly as much as white children do. Moving black boys to opportunity is no guarantee they can tap into it.

“Simply because you’re in an area that is more affluent, it’s still hard for black boys to present themselves as independent from the stereotype of black criminality,” said Khiara Bridges, a professor of law and anthropology at Boston University who has written a coming paper on discrimination against affluent black people.

This dynamic still weighs on Mr. Jawando. He has a good income, multiple degrees and political aspirations — he is running for county council in Montgomery County, where he grew up. But in his own community, he is careful to dress like a professional.

“I think if I’m putting on a sweatsuit, if I go somewhere, will I be seen as just kind of a hood black guy?” he said. “Or will people recognize me at all?” Those small daily decisions — to wear a blazer or not — follow him despite his success. “I don’t think you escape those things,” he said.

SOURCE


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Dick Smith has come into his own

Dick Smith was undoubtedly the most popular man in Australia.  As a successful businessman he was known for his sense of humor and the comic stunts he did to publicise his electronics business. From Wikipedia:  

"Smith has also attempted a number of well-publicised practical jokes, including the April Fool's Day attempt to tow a purported iceberg from Antarctica into Sydney Harbour in 1978, a new source of fresh water. Smith appeared in several TV ads on a pogo stick, promoting his business. In the early 1980s, Dick Smith served as the conductor aboard a London double decker bus which jumped 15 motorcycles. The bus, driven by Hans Tholstrup, was a humorous poke at Evel Knievel, who had visited Australia in 1979 and jumped his motorcycle over buses. Dick Smith's presence on the bus was a last-minute decision by himself." 

Additionally, he was often ready with a cheque for people in the news who had fallen on hard times.  He was a genuine philanthropist -- and still is.  When he speaks publicly it is news.

When a few years ago he sold his business to Woolworths for a large sum, his focus changed somewhat.  He had always been a keen patriot -- something else that tended to endear him -- and he now set about doing something about it.  Like Trump, he deplored the  way Australian businesses were being shut down by cheap inports from China and elsewhere.  

Unlike Trump, he can't impose tariffs but he could try to persuade people to "Buy Australian".  And he did.  And to encourage that process, he set up a retail business that exclusively stocked Australian products.  It had some success but struggled.  Dick turned his business brain to the project, however, and came up with various ways of making sales.

Dick advertises his new sandwich spread on his hat

One of his inspirations was to sell "hampers" of Australian-made food products -- jams, sauces etc.  The hampers included quite a lot of different products and came in a nice wooden box with a latch.  I bought one to give to Jenny on her birthday a few years back.  It cost me a bit but it was worth it to see Jenny's glee in getting it.

Eventually, however, most of the business faded away, though I see that Dick has persuaded Woolworths to stock a few of the products he sponsors.  They are dearer than competing lines but the Dick Smith name on them is prestgious and generates some sales.  I suspect that Woolworths stocks them mainly as good PR.

So when Dick saw the problems Australia was having with its high level of imigration, Dick spoke out -- pleading for a pause while Australia built the new roads and houses that had become necessary.  He was ignored.  Some Leftists even called him a racist.  

But he was proved right.  In the absence of much new housing, the price of existing housing stormed up to levels similar to London and Manhattan.  It was a disaster for young Australian couples wanting to get into their own first homes.

Do Dick lost a lot of love over his opposition to high levels of immigration.  For the first time, some people were saying bad things about him.  He was of course greatly hurt to be condemned for trying to help his beloved country to get off an unsustainable path.

Quite recently, however, the excreta has hit the rotating device and former PM Tony Abbott made a speech or two along the same lines that Dick had taken.  He stressed the housing shortage, the traffic congestion and the overstretched public hospitals that the immigration surge has brought about.  The authorities have actually been very diligent in buiding new roads, traffic tunnels and bridges but finding room for such things in already crowded cities was not easy so the traffic jams have lengthened.

And guess what?  Mr Abbott was called an racist too.  But that seems to have been the last hurrah from the abusive Left.  Even the Leftist ABC recently aired a big program pointing out the difficulties that immigration has caused.  And there have been other voices raised that no longer get condemned as racist.  

So Dick has been exonerated.  His warnings are now widely accepted as wise and in need of action.  We may not see much action immediately but there is now a pretty good consensus over the need for action.  


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What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong About Jews

I have reproduced below what I see as a very good reply to  antisemitic thought.  In looking at why Jews tend so strongly Left, however, the authors manage only the most conventional explanation -- that the Jewish history of persecution is the key.  It has made modern-day Jews paranoid about ideas associated with past persecutors. And they associate conservative ideas as the ones that are most reminiscent of the ideas held by past persecutors.

But that is utter nonsense.  It was Protestant and ultra conservative Prussia (in North-Eastern Germany) that legislated to "emancipate" the Jews on March 11, 1812, and the tolerance of Jews in Prussia is why there were so many Jews prospering in pre-Hitler Germany, and why indeed many Ashkenazi surnames are to this day German ones.

And the all-time pinnacle of antisemitic policy, Nazism, was a socialist creed, as almost any reading of Nazi documents will reveal.

So the record of tolerance for the Jews was ultra-conservative Prussia and the record of intolerance for the Jews was the socialist Hitler!  What in that would make Jews attracted to socialism?

It is true that Soviet disinformation has portrayed Nazism as Rightist but I think Jews should be generally well informed enough to see through that.  Jews have strong reasons to want to understand Nazism and even a cursory study of it will inform them where Nazism really lay on the political spectrum.

And discrimination against Jews in the Western world today is a fleeting thing so is a poor explanation for a huge and continuing political bias.

So I think the Jewish attraction to Leftism requires a better explanation than a memory of persecution.

I have no doubt that a memory of an adverse past can be retained for a long time.  In Ulster they still sing about the Battle of the Boyne of 1690 and the Scots still haven't got over Edward Longshanks in the 13th century -- so political memories can last a long time.  What I ask is WHY some memories persist, what need does retaining such memories serve? And I see no reason why fear of conservatives and Christians persists among Jews.

In Ulster each side sees the other as a dangerous rival and in the case of Scottish attitudes towards the English the matter is all too clear if rarely expressed:  The English find the Scots amusing.  And there is nothing more enraging than that.  But what problem to Jews are American Christians and conservatives today? American Christians and conservatives are in fact the bedrock upon which American support for Israel is based. Rationally, Jews should vote for conservatives.  Instead they voted two thirds for Obama, who was no friend of Israel.  It took a strong conservative to give official recognition to Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

But, despite all that, Jewish American support for the Donks remains strong.  Why?

I think there is better explanation for Jewish Leftism, one founded firmly in the present and recent past. It flows directly from the known high average IQ of Jews.  Because of the huge potency of IQ in meeting life's challenges, Jews have risen to the top of most niches in society.  They are an elite people.

And what do we know about the elites? Superior attitudes.  Because they have done well they tend to think that they know it all and are in a far better position to guide society than are the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory -- as Bill Buckley put it.  And the Democrat allegiance of America's present elites has been thrown into sharp focus by the ascendancy of Donald Trump.

So I think Jews are Leftist because elites generally are Leftists.  They have the attitudes of their class.  Marx would understand. That seems to me to be a simple and straightforward explanation and as such has the benefit of Occam's razor.  I have written at some length previously on why elites tend Left, which see.


written by Jonathan Anomaly and Nathan Cofnas

For many on the alt-right, every grievance is, at root, about Jews. Andrew Anglin, host of the most popular alt-right/neo-Nazi website, explains: “the only thing in our movement that really matters [is] anti-Semitism.” If only the Jews were gone, he argues, the white race, freed from bondage, would immediately overcome all of its problems. Where does this attitude come from?

Jews are a conspicuous people, small in number but large in footprint. As Mark Twain wrote in 1899:

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race….Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk….What is the secret of his immortality?

For many people throughout history, the answer to Twain’s question was simple: Jews conspire among themselves to dominate and disadvantage gentiles. This answer fell out of fashion, at least in polite society, after World War II. Since the 1990s, however, the conspiratorial account of Jewish prominence has taken on a new, more meretricious form in the work of (now retired) California State University, Long Beach psychologist Kevin MacDonald, known affectionately among alt-righters as “KMac.” According to Richard Spencer, the inventor of the term “alt-right” and unofficial leader of the movement: “There is no man on the planet who has done more for the understanding of the pole around which the world revolves than Kevin MacDonald.” And: “KMac…may be the most essential man in our movement in terms of thought leader[ship].” To understand the alt-right’s anti-Semitism, we must understand MacDonald’s ideas, particularly as outlined in his most influential book, The Culture of Critique.

According to MacDonald, Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy.” Jews possess both genetic and cultural adaptations (including, on the genetic side, high IQ and ethnocentrism) that allow them to develop successful intellectual movements that undermine gentile society and promote their own group continuity. “Jewish intellectual movements,” MacDonald argues, are led by charismatic figures analogous to rabbis. They attack white nationalism while promoting Jewish nationalism, and use pseudoscience to “pathologize” anti-Semitism, which in reality is a justified response to “Jewish aggression.” According to MacDonald, Jewish intellectual movements include Freudianism, Frankfurt School critical theory, and multiculturalism. These movements, MacDonald claims, taught white gentiles to reject ethnocentrism and accept high levels of nonwhite immigration to their countries while tolerating Jewish ethnocentrism and racially restrictive immigration policies in Israel.

MacDonald’s theory and the anti-Semitism of many on the alt-right are largely reactions to the perceived liberalism of Jews. One of us (Cofnas) has just published an academic paper that examines MacDonald’s most influential book, The Culture of Critique, and finds that it is chock full of misrepresented sources, cherry-picked facts, and egregious distortions of history. MacDonald and the alt-righters are, nevertheless, correct that many liberal leaders over the last hundred years have been Jewish. We’d like to offer an explanation for this phenomenon, as well as determine whether Jewish liberalism is the cause or the result of anti-Semitism.

People who learned everything they know about history from MacDonald’s books may be under the impression that traditional gentile society was marked by “hierarchic harmony” (his term) before Jews began their intellectual assault after the Enlightenment. This is a gross distortion of history. Gentile radicals have been around for centuries, doing exactly what MacDonald thinks is characteristic of Jews. Consider Edmund Burke’s comments on European (gentile) radicals at the time of the French Revolution:

Nor is it in these clubs alone that the public measures are deformed into monsters. They undergo a previous distortion in academies, intended as so many seminaries for these clubs, which are set up in all the places of public resort. In these meetings of all sorts every counsel, in proportion as it is daring and violent and perfidious, is taken for the mark of superior genius. Humanity and compassion are ridiculed as the fruits of superstition and ignorance. Tenderness to individuals is considered as treason to the public.

The French Revolution itself was an entirely successful movement to overturn whatever “hierarchic harmony” had existed in France, and it was led by gentiles and inspired by gentile philosophers. (Many of the gentile philosophers who laid the groundwork for the Revolution, such as Voltaire, were committed anti-Semites.) Radical French thinkers like Rousseau are completely ignored by MacDonald.

MacDonald analyzes the Frankfurt School in great detail and argues that the ideology of the school was constructed to advance Jewish interests by promoting nonwhite immigration and in general undermining white culture. (MacDonald does not mention that, incidentally, many of the Frankfurt School’s fiercest critics were Jews, like Karl Popper, who mocked their work as pseudoscience.) But French existentialism was a movement that was analogous to the Frankfurt School in every important respect…except that the leaders—Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus—were white gentiles.

Sartre was a leading critic of France and America, and strongly supported nonwhite immigrants in France. The French existentialists produced radical critiques of traditional gentile society and, like the Frankfurt School, advanced pseudoscientific ideas (making demonstrably false claims about human nature and refusing to subject these claims to any test).

It is easy to find gentiles independently developing ideas virtually identical to those promoted by “Jewish intellectual movements.” MacDonald quotes Foucault’s statement: “If I had known about the Frankfurt School in time, I would have been saved a great deal of work. I would not have said a certain amount of nonsense and would not have taken so many false trails trying not to get lost, when the Frankfurt School had already cleared the way.” For MacDonald, this shows how influential the Jewish-dominated Frankfurt School was. But it also reflects the fact that, while the gentile Foucault was influenced by the Frankfurt School, he was independently thinking along the same tracks.

Still, in the past hundred years or so Jews have clearly been overrepresented among the leaders of liberal movements. They were overrepresented among communist leaders and revolutionaries, among prominent immigration advocates, and so on. Even if liberalism is not the Jewish invention that MacDonald claims it is, we still should explain why Jews appear to be disproportionately attracted to it. And is anti-Semitism a response to Jewish liberalism?—or could it be the other way around?

IQ, Persecution, and Political Identity

Mark Twain’s explanation for Jewish intellectual prominence was that “Jews have the best average brain of any people in the world.” Though they make up far less than one percent of the world’s population, Jews have comprised more than half of all world chess champions, about a quarter of Fields medalists in mathematics, and more than a fifth of all Nobel Prize winners. Social scientists have found that Ashkenazi Jews score, on average, around 110-112 on IQ tests (compared to a mean of 100).

Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, and Henry Harpending argue that high Ashkenazi IQ evolved during the Middle Ages in Europe due to gene-culture co-evolution. Prohibited from entering many blue-collar occupations like farming, Jews turned to finance, particularly money lending, to survive. Records from around the year 1270, for example, report that almost 80 percent of adult male Jews in Roussillon (what is today southern France) made their living as money lenders. Finance requires a relatively high level of verbal and mathematical intelligence, and the hypothesis is that Jews who could not cut it in business tended to drop out of the community or starve.

On Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending’s thesis, these restrictive conditions selected for verbal and mathematical intelligence, not for the ability to engage in the sort of conspiracy against gentiles described by MacDonald. If Cochran et al. are right, we would expect Jews to be overrepresented in science and in the leadership of political movements, as these are both cognitively demanding activities. There is no particular reason to expect Jews to be overrepresented only in liberal movements.

Indeed, MacDonald and other anti-Semites largely ignore the fact that Jews have been conspicuously overrepresented among the leadership of all sorts of right-wing movements: anti-communists like Herman Kahn, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller; libertarians like Milton and David Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Robert Nozick, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Israel Kirzner; traditional conservatives like Allan Bloom, David Horowitz, and Richard Posner; and Donald Trump’s senior policy advisor and perhaps the most influential anti-immigration activist in the United States, Stephen Miller.

But MacDonald seems to be right that Jews were disproportionately involved in radical leftist political movements in the twentieth century, and in the US Jews tend to vote Democrat. We think this can be explained by the high average IQ of Jews in combination with their being a persecuted minority, which has tended to push them toward political views that emphasize social toleration and the free movement of people. In other words, MacDonald reverses the correct order of causation: rather than Jews inviting persecution by advocating cosmopolitan policies that thwart the interests of Europeans, Jews advocated cosmopolitanism as a predictable response to persecution.

Persecution of Jews began for religious reasons in the Middle Ages and morphed into political persecution as Jews began to climb the social ladder, and political leaders saw them as a useful out-group to use as a scapegoat for people’s economic and social woes. For example, when Italian traders inadvertently brought the Black Plague from Asia to Europe, thousands of Jews were murdered in retaliation when Christian peasants decided that the Jews had deliberately infected them.

George Orwell understood the psychological benefits of directing disdain toward an out-group in order to foster social cohesion among an in-group. In his great novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he gives the character who would receive “two minutes of hate” every day among the proletarians a Jewish name: Goldstein. It is obvious why. Orwell’s implication was that the Soviet Union and other regimes were capitalizing on a human need to have some group to hate in order to foster loyalty and obedience to the leader of the in-group.

There is some evidence in political psychology for a correlation between high IQ and liberal political beliefs. So we might suspect that Ashkenazi Jews, with the highest average IQ in the world, would lean liberal. Interestingly, though, IQ correlates positively with classical liberalism, which emphasizes both social and economic liberty. This seems to be because those with higher intelligence tend to exhibit personality traits like openness to experience and tolerance for different ways of living. But those with higher IQ are more likely to support free-market economic policies (“liberalism” in the old sense of the word). Intelligence is required to understand how trade can be a positive sum game, and how order can emerge from individuals freely interacting with one another.

There are also obvious historical reasons why Jews would tend to gravitate toward liberal and cosmopolitan political philosophies that emphasize the protection of minority rights. In the early twentieth century, socialists rejected natural human hierarchies and urged persecuted minorities to overthrow their oppressors. To many Jews, socialism meant doing away with the legal and social barriers they had faced for more than a millennium. While socialist societies didn’t live up to their promises in practice, the values they espoused were easy for Jews to identify with. The Holocaust reinforced the feeling among Jews that nationalistic movements were dangerous, and that salvation lay in liberal cosmopolitanism.

Can MacDonald Save His Theory?

Popper’s famous criterion to distinguish science from non-science was “falsifiability.” Any legitimate scientific theory, he said, should specify some state of the world which, if it is observed, would make us logically compelled to reject the theory. One of the problems with Popper’s criterion is that there is no such thing as falsification in the strong sense that he envisaged. Any theory can be salvaged in the face of any evidence, though this may require some fanciful theorizing. In practice, we just have to use our judgement to decide which of the competing theories we are considering explains our observations in the most sensible way. As far as MacDonald goes, no single one of the numerous factual errors documented in Cofnas’s paper can be said to “falsify” his theory. Nor can any single example of right-wing Jews or radical gentiles. We just have to use our judgment to decide whether his conspiracy theory is a better explanation of Jewish liberalism than the simpler high-IQ-plus-persecution theory that we advocate.

No amount of evidence can disprove a theory. But as the influential Jewish philosophers of science Thomas Kuhn and Imre Lakatos argued, eventually the number of ad hoc assumptions we have to make in order to sustain a theory in the face of counterexamples becomes so large that the theory shows itself to have no predictive or explanatory value. Maybe MacDonald has an ad hoc explanation for why the most liberal countries in Europe, which in the past few years accepted the largest number of immigrants relative to their population—Sweden and Germany—have a very small number of Jews. Maybe he has another ad hoc explanation for why Jews like Noam Chomsky are the world’s leading critics of Israel. And for why gentiles who were not under the influence of Jews, like Rousseau and Sartre and countless others over the past couple thousand years, have been political radicals. As to whether these ad hoc explanations are convincing, we will have to use our judgment.

We don’t think MacDonald will be able to rescue his hypothesis, built as it is on misrepresented sources and distortions. But for some dishonest alt-right leaders, the literal truth of his ideas is probably not that important. They need an enemy to unify their movement. There is no more convenient a people to play this role than Jews.

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Russian to Judgement

A former Russian agent was poisoned in Britain recently and British PM Teresa May is in a high dudgeon over it. She thinks Russia poisoned him.  Her only evidence: He showed evidence of a particular advanced poison in his blood.  On that slim and unproven basis  she has called for more sanctions on Russia

The Western elites seem determined to have another cold war with Russia.  They must have a boogeyman to frighten people with, apparently.  Vladimir Vladimirovich has been remarkably restrained in response to such provocations so far but if it keeps up he might decide that he has nothing to lose by (for instance) taking control of Eastern Ukraine.  

That would be welcomed by the Eastern Ukrainians but would pump Western leaders up to a frenzy of huffing and puffing.  Fortunately, Mr Trump is too practical to do anything foolish about it


The same people who assured you that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s now assure you Russian “novochok” nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil. As with the Iraqi WMD dossier, it is essential to comb the evidence very finely. 

A vital missing word from Theresa May’s statement yesterday was “only”. She did not state that the nerve agent used was manufactured ONLY by Russia. She rather stated this group of nerve agents had been “developed by” Russia. Antibiotics were first developed by a Scotsman, but that is not evidence that all antibiotics are today administered by Scots.

The “novochok” group of nerve agents – a very loose term simply for a collection of new nerve agents the Soviet Union were developing fifty years ago – will almost certainly have been analysed and reproduced by Porton Down. That is entirely what Porton Down is there for. It used to make chemical and biological weapons as weapons, and today it still does make them in small quantities in order to research defences and antidotes. After the fall of the Soviet Union Russian chemists made a lot of information available on these nerve agents. And one country which has always manufactured very similar persistent nerve agents is Israel. This Foreign Policy magazine (a very establishment US publication) article on Israel‘s chemical and biological weapon capability is very interesting indeed. I will return to Israel later in this article.

Incidentally, novachok is not a specific substance but a class of new nerve agents. Sources agree they were designed to be persistent, and of an order of magnitude stronger than sarin or VX. That is rather hard to square with the fact that thankfully nobody has died and those possibly in contact just have to wash their clothes.

From Putin’s point of view, to assassinate Skripal now seems to have very little motivation. If the Russians have waited eight years to do this, they could have waited until after their World Cup. The Russians have never killed a swapped spy before. Just as diplomats, British and otherwise, are the most ardent upholders of the principle of diplomatic immunity, so security service personnel everywhere are the least likely to wish to destroy a system which can be a key aspect of their own personal security; quite literally spy swaps are their “Get Out of Jail Free” card. You don’t undermine that system – probably terminally – without very good reason.

It is worth noting that the “wicked” Russians gave Skripal a far lighter jail sentence than an American equivalent would have received. If a member of US Military Intelligence had sold, for cash to the Russians, the names of hundreds of US agents and officers operating abroad, the Americans would at the very least jail the person for life, and I strongly suspect would execute them. Skripal just received a jail sentence of 18 years, which is hard to square with the narrative of implacable vindictiveness against him. If the Russians had wanted to make an example, that was the time.

It is much more probable that the reason for this assassination attempt refers to something recent or current, than to spying twenty years ago. Were I the British police, I would inquire very closely into Orbis Intelligence.

There is no doubt that Skripal was feeding secrets to MI6 at the time that Christopher Steele was an MI6 officer in Moscow, and at the the time that Pablo Miller, another member of Orbis Intelligence, was also an MI6 officer in Russia and directly recruiting agents. It is widely reported on the web and in US media that it was Miller who first recruited Skripal. My own ex-MI6 sources tell me that is not quite true as Skripal was “walk-in”, but that Miller certainly was involved in running Skripal for a while. Sadly Pablo Miller’s LinkedIn profile has recently been deleted, but it is again widely alleged on the web that it showed him as a consultant for Orbis Intelligence and a consultant to the FCO and – wait for it – with an address in Salisbury. If anyone can recover that Linkedin entry do get in touch, though British Government agencies will have been active in the internet scrubbing.

It was of course Christopher Steele and Orbis Intelligence who produced for the Clinton camp the sensationalist dossier on Trump links with Russia – including the story of Trump paying to be urinated on by Russian prostitutes – that is a key part of the “Russiagate” affair gripping the US political classes. The extraordinary thing about this is that the Orbis dossier is obvious nonsense which anybody with a professional background can completely demolish, as I did here. Steele’s motive was, like Skripal’s in selling his secrets, cash pure and simple. Steele is a charlatan who knocked up a series of allegations that are either wildly improbable, or would need a high level source access he could not possibly get in today’s Russia, or both. He told the Democrats what they wish to hear and his audience – who had and still have no motivation to look at it critically – paid him highly for it.

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Must not mention child abuse in Aboriginal families

The usual unbalanced response to the issue is coming from the Leftist Aboriginal industry.  The official policy is to leave abused black children with their families and if that does not work the kid is left with other black families, usually relatives. Where all that has been tried the kid may in rare cases be fostered by a white family.

Adoption is usually considered only as a last resort.  Of the four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children adopted between 2016 and 2017, three went to white families, according to government figures.

The protesters act as if the latest call is to place ALL abused black kids with whites, which is not being proposed at all. The proposal is for the most endangered kids to be placed with white families.  There have been deaths among children whom the authorities have simply shuffled around among black families.

A protester below says: "Aboriginal children are being taken away at exponential rates and these rates have grown every year"  --  as if that exonerates the existing procedures.  Surely it in fact shows that the problem is getting worse and in need of fresh thinking

The real driver behind the protests is of course the strange leftist belief that "All men are equal". Mentioning that child abuse if rife among blacks defies that foolish gospel


[TV program] Sunrise has sparked intense backlash after a commentator suggested Indigenous children should be taken from their families

The comments were made on Tuesday morning as part of the breakast show's 'Hot Topics' segment. Samantha Armytage kicked off the discussion by bringing viewers up to speed on assistant minister for children David Gillespie calling for non-Indigenous families to adopt at-risk Aboriginal children.

"It's a no-brainer", Sunrise commentator Prue MacSween supports federal minister David Gillespie's proposal for white families to adopt at-risk Aboriginal children.

"Post-Stolen Generations there's been a huge move to leave Aboriginal children where they are, even if they're being neglected in their own families," she said.

The Sunrise co-host then asked controversial commentator Prue MacSween and Brisbane radio host Ben Davis what they thought. MacSween made headlines last year after she said she was "tempted to run over" former ABC host Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

McSween claimed there was a "fabricated PC outlook" among some people who believed it was better to leave Aboriginal children in abusive homes than have them adopted by white families.

"It's just crazy to just even contemplate that people are arguing against this," she said. "Don't worry about the people that would cry and handwring and say this would be another Stolen Generation. Just like the first Stolen Generation where a lot of people were taken because it was for their wellbeing... we need to do it again, perhaps."

The comments have been slammed as false and misleading by prominent members of the Indigenous community.

South Sea Islander and Darumbal journalist Amy McQuire said the two minute segment was "packed [with] so many mistruths". "The idea that Aboriginal children are not being placed in white families is a lie," she wrote. "The greater lie is that Aboriginal children are not being taken away and are being kept in dangerous situations for fear of a 'stolen generation'.

"That does not gel with the statistics: Aboriginal children are being taken away at exponential rates and these rates have grown every year since Kevin Rudd gave his apology to the Stolen Generations and promised it would never happen again."

Black Comedy's Nakkiah Lui, meanwhile, has accused Sunrise of "bottom-feeding off people's pain". "If you're talking about the removal of Aboriginal children from their families, communities and culture, maybe speak to Aboriginal children, families and adults that have been affected," she wrote. "Not white people who have zero knowledge."

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Integration is key to Australia’s successful migrant story

Alan Tudge, below, is broadly right about the high level of integration of immigrants into Australian society. It is a great success story. But he speaks as if ALL migrants integrate well.  Musims and Africans do not -- and the prospects of improvement there seem slim.

He makes such probably correct statements as "There is almost no difference between the unemployment rates of Australia’s migrants and those born here".  That is largely because our largest minority group by far is Han Chinese.  They are great workers and very enterprising.  Look at the picture for Muslims however and you see heavy welfare dependancy

Blurring of significant distinctions is a form of deception so it is regrettable that a Federal government minister has resorted to it.  Tudge does however seem to be drawing heavily on the latest Scanlon report, which is little more than pro imigrant propaganda.  See here for instance. So Tudge should be more wary of his sources


Australian multiculturalism is different to what is termed multiculturalism in other (particularly European) nations because of our strong emphasis on integration.

That means a person who comes here shares our values, engages in the community and has full rights to government services. In exchange, they must obey the law, participate in and uphold democratic principles, and support other Australians. These things are the glue to building trust between all citizens and consequently help foster social cohesion.

With integrated multiculturalism, there is shared responsibility. The existing population must open its arms to newcomers and the newly arrived have responsibilities to do their best to participate fully in our society.

This model of integrated multiculturalism is different to an “assimilationist” model or a “separatist” model. Assimilation is the idea that we must abandon our cultural and religious heritage and all become the same. We don’t expect or want that in Australia. But where there are conflicts in cultural behaviours, Australian law and values must prevail.

On the other hand, a separatist model of multiculturalism is the opposite to assimilation, and is when people bring their entire practices, languages and cultures and plant them in the new land, with little desire to share or mix with their local community. They live side by side, rather than merged with, the existing population. While not the stated policy intent of Europe, the impact of its policies has been precisely this in some places.

The successful Australian model is one of integration, not assimilation and not separatism.

Our success in integrating people over the decades is evidenced by the 2015 OECD Indicators of Immigrant Integration report. It finds, for example, that we have the third lowest rate of overseas-born unemployment of all 34 OECD countries surveyed.

 There is almost no difference between the unemployment rates of Australia’s migrants and those born here, whereas across the OECD migrants had an unemployment rate that was 2.6 percentage points higher than non-migrants.

Migrants here do better than the Australian-born population in education attainment. Migrant parents want to secure success for their children, in large part through education. Poverty rates among children of migrants are low and home ownership is similar to that of the Australian-born population.

Migrants here have generally participated, succeeded and contributed to our nation.

What is particularly remarkable, however, is that Australia’s success at integration has occurred despite a rate of migration that is much higher than elsewhere — 28 per cent of the total Australian population is born overseas, the third highest in the OECD.

There is, however, no room for complacency. The challenges to successful integration are perhaps greater than in previous decades, and there are indicators we are not doing as well as we once did.

The challenges are greater due to the size of the diasporas, diversity of the migration intake and availability of technology.

In past decades, for example, despite the initial challenges of settling in a new country, new migrants interacted with the existing population through work, school and elsewhere because their diasporas were relatively small.

They tended to maintain less regular contact with their country of origin because of the cost of travel and communications. Today, diasporas can be larger, making it easier for the new migrant to settle initially, but possibly limiting their external interactions.

Technology means a person can communicate easily and cheaply with their birth country or within their diaspora. Today, a person can more easily live here within a language and cultural bubble.

The data also suggests that our success in integrating new migrants has waned. For example, there is an increasing geographic concentration of the overseas-born population. In some respects, there is nothing new about concentrations of newly arrived migrants but the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion report suggests this is getting more pronounced. Further, a very high proportion of those born overseas is often aligned with a considerable absence of English capability.

The 2016 census, for example, shows 24 per cent of the people who arrived between January and August that year reported they did not speak English well or at all. This compared with 18 and 19 per cent respectively in the 2006 and 2011 censuses.

The Scanlon Foundation also highlighted the relatively high level of negative feeling towards Muslims, in part “fed by the reality — and the heightened perception — of radical rejectionism of Australia’s secular democratic values and institutions within segments of the Muslim population”.

These challenges are real and we must be alert to them, but they are not insurmountable. We need to work hard at integration by stamping out any remnants of racism, but also by setting higher expectations for those who want to call Australia home. With rights come responsibilities. Ultimately, this will ensure the migrant has the best opportunity to succeed — and it is essential for the ongoing success of our multicultural nation.

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