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Adam Goodes documentary sparks breastbeating about race in Australia

Unmentioned below is that it is common for footballers to be booed by supporters of the opposing team.  It has been handed down from on high that such booing is "racist". But lots of white footballers have been heavily booed.  For one or two people race may have had something to do with it but the great majority of it was not racist.  Australia has in general remarkable racial harmony.  We even put up with Middle-Eastern Muslims.

Goodes was a crybaby.  And that REALLY wound up the spectators.  Showing weakness just invites further attack.  His onfield antics were rightly criticized as foolish.

What the wise-heads are ignoring is that Goodes was aggressive, confrontational and a whiner.  He has done a lot to make himself unpopular. He once did some sort of Aboriginal war dance on the football field, complete with an imaginary spear thrown in the direction of the opposing fans --  Not exactly the "mature discussion about the state of race relations in this country" that his Leftist supporters called for.

It got to the point that he just had to run onto the field to get booed.  He made himself an oppositional figure.

Adam Goodes’ documentary in which he addressed routine bullying and racism he faced in Australia while playing in the AFL sparked an outpouring of emotion and support for the former Sydney Swans star.

The Final Quarter aired on Channel 10 on Thursday night and showed the booing and abuse Goodes faced over the last three seasons of his career, eventually driving him into an early retirement.

After hosting a special late-night edition of The Project, Waleed Aly penned an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald where he outlined the justification behind people’s booing of Goodes.

“Critics of Goodes loved to point out that there were more than 70 other Indigenous players in the AFL who weren’t getting booed at the time,” Aly wrote.

“That sort of thing is falsely offered as a defence against the charge of racism because it pretends racism can exist only if the prejudice in question applies to every single member of a race; that if something is not exclusively about skin colour, then race is not a factor at all. But that’s almost never how it works.

“More often, racism lives in the double standards that mean someone gets attacked in a way a white person never would, even if they were to behave in the same way.

“Racism doesn’t require a belief that there are no “good” blacks. In fact, it frequently relies on the “good”, precisely because it wants to identify the “bad” ones.”

After leading the discussion, he capped the night off by thanking those involved in making the film and asked a key question about where we go from here as a nation.

“It seems that what began as personal torment for Adam quickly became a national controversy,” he said.

“The question now really is whether it can become a productive national conversation. And the answer to that question rests with each of us.”

As part of the debate, he explained why there were no indigenous voices in the media representatives appearing on The Project — who discussed how the press handled the issue at the time.

“I deliberately didn’t have an indigenous voice, because I felt that we needed to reflect the media as it was, and that doesn’t include indigenous voices,” he said.

Journalist for The Australian Chip Le Grand told the show that one of the most “disturbing” aspects of the documentary is that it highlights how “a lot of us don’t seem to even know racism when we see it”.

He also said the AFL’s failure to step in and help Goodes was “such a failure of leadership”.

“They just needed someone to clearly stand up, and it was Gill McLachlan’s time, in that instance, to just say: ‘Look, yes, it is complicated but, clearly, race is a part of this, it’s a big part of this, it’s ugly and it has to stop’,” he said.

On Thursday morning on Studio 10, director and award-winning filmmaker, Ian Darling said he wanted “everyone to look at (the documentary) with open eyes and an open heart.”

“Just be prepared to think that maybe we didn’t get it right,” he said. “Literally, every single person I’ve shown it to — from Gill McLachlan at the AFL through to schoolkids — have said ‘Wow, I didn’t understand the extent of the booing’ or ‘I didn’t understand the enormity of the media conversation.’”

SOURCE 

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The psychology of Trump hate

The Left routinely pour out anger, hated and contempt towards Republican Presidents. The only near-exception was Ronald Reagan.  He was very hard to hate so they mostly settled on contempt for him.  He actually got all his transformative policies through a Democrat Congress!

And a sentimental Christian gentleman -- George Bush II -- was excoriated as a new Hitler!



But Trump has caused the hate to rise to a new level.  The Left have exploded with hate during his Presidency. Even the tiniest thing Trump says or does is fodder for derogatory mention. The thing that symbolizes the Leftist attitude towards Trump for me is the icecream "affair".  At a small White House dinner for some journalists, Trump asked for an extra scoop of icecream with his dessert.  The media went wild!  How contemptible to ask for an extra scoop of icecream!  Who does he think he is?  Oliver Twist or something?  The triviality of it is mind-blowing.



Much wisdom has been written about Trump hatred but I want to take an analysis of it down to the psychological level. I want to relate it to the basics of the Left-Right polarity. And at its psychological fons et origo the Left Right polarity is very simple.  Conservatives are the contented people and Leftists are the discontented people. Conservatives don't think the world is perfect but they can happily live with it. For Leftists, on the other hand, departures from the ideal burn them up.  So how has Trump affected that?

When you are discontented with something you tend to be angry about it and want to change it. So we have the unending stream of mostly addled Leftist proposals for "reform". What the proposals are varies almost from day to day but there is always that simmering discontent motivating them. The problems at the Southern border, for instance, went from non-existent to a humanitarian disaster almost overnight.

The sad thing is that the Left are mostly up against what philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz pointed out a couple of hundred years ago:  Maybe we live in the best of all possible worlds.  Leibnitz didn't mean that seriously.  He set it as a question that should be asked before we change something. The point being that some bad things are necessary to some good things and vice versa.

Current politics have a rather clear example of that.  It would be good and nice and kind if we could abolish America's borders -- as the Left propose -- and thus give all the poor of Latin America access to a better lifestyle.  How good, kind and noble the Left are to propose such a beneficial change!  The bad thing is that we cannot do that and must have defended borders if America is not to be flooded by people with the attitudes, values  and customs that have made their own countries cesspits of violence and corruption.  America already has plenty of troublesome people within its borders.  The last thing it needs is more of them. Opening the borders (good) would lead to a widespread collapse in civility (bad)

So the Left are usually up against it.  The arrangements that have stood the test of time are pretty much the best we can do.  They are an existing balance that maximizes the good without falling too far into the bad.  So any change will usually disrupt that and cause "unforeseen" bad side effects.

The bad effects are not however really "unforeseen.  Conservatives foresee them regularly and warn Leftists about them.  But the Left are so obsessed with the bad things that they see that they close their ears to any information that might distract them from the "good" that they want to do.  So we have things like the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that made health insurance UNaffordable for many.  Conservatives certainly warned vigorously against it before its enactment and it got not one vote from the Right side of the house.



So the Left are constantly in a state of frustration. The "good" that they try to do almost always rebounds against them and causes them to become unpopular instead of popular -- and loses them votes. Obamacare undoubtedly helped put Trump in office.  Would anybody suddenly hit with $10,000 deductibles vote Democrat?

But the Left have gradually got some of their way over the years,  despite the generally impoverishing effect of their policies. They have, for instance, got America to bow down before the false God of global warming despite the huge and futile cost of windmills, solar panels etc.  Had all that money been spent on repairing and upgrading America's roads, bridges and highways, everybody would have been much better off.

And the Obama/Clinton regime gave them hope of a lot of progress towards their imagined ideal world.  Americans were regulated within an inch of their lives.  The stage was set for the emergence of a new "sustainable" Eden.  Obama had generated much ecstasy and Clinton was clearly committed to continue the march towards that new but elusive Eden where we would all be ants in a great Leftist anthill.  From Hegel on that has been the Leftist vision.

But what they were up against was the wish of many Americans not to be antlike robots obeying every addled command from on high.  The ever-changing enthusiasms of the Left were far from universally shared.  And when Leftists see "racism" under every bed they certainly depart from how most Americans see things.

One thing that has changed little over the years is the Leftist  obsession with race.  Before WWII, they were for the white race, now they are against the white race but they remain racists.  With "affirmative action" and "diversity" it is all about race for them.  Almost comically, however, they deny being racists and constantly accuse everybody else of being racists. They explain their race consciousness as an attempt to do good so, in their simplistic way, any other thinking about racial differences is bad.

And they extend their intolerance of any groupthink other than their own to all sorts of groupthink by others.  In particular they are very wary of patriotism and the idea that America is particularly admirable or exceptional.

Obama put it politely when he said during an April 2009 press conference: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism”.  Coming from an American President that is remarkable. Most Americans love their country or are at least proud of it and expect to hear that echoed in the words of their President.  Obama could on occasions bring himself to praise American ideals but praise for America as such was in short supply.



The above picture was from a 2007 political rally where the national anthem was being played. An ABC News video showed that Senator Obama did not salute at any time during the anthem and that everybody else on the platform did.  His ignoring of the anthem was widely criticized so he learned from that and was  more careful when he became President.  But it is clear that his heart was just not in it.

Obama was noted for his politeness but most Leftists are not polite at all about any praise for America.  They call it "racism".  Leftist Howard Zinn's widely used textbook A People's History of the United States is a catalog of America's failings, real, exaggerated and imagined. As America is a famously patriotic country, Leftists do at election times make some pretence of patriotism but the frequency with which they prescribe Zinn's textbook for the schools they control shows what they really think.

It is clear enough why anybody would be careful about racism.  It is "good" to avoid excesses such as Hitler's  -- but extending "racism" to include all forms of group consciousness is egregious.

So by the time of the election that brought Trump to power, many Americans had grown very tired of being lectured to and restricted by the Left.  What to the Left were the first steps towards a new Eden were to many Americans an attempt to make them into something other than what they naturally were -- and they were in a mood to rebel against it.  And in particular they disliked the constant parade of accusations and condemnations about how "deplorable" America and Americans were.

So the election of Trump was to his followers a return to normal -- a return to how they naturally felt and thought.  They simply threw off the ever-tightening Leftist straitjacket that was trying to force them to be something that they were not.  And because of their natural patriotic feelings they LOVED the man who liberated them to express that loudly and proudly again.

So now we can see why the Left hate Trump beyond all bounds. All their attempts to right the wrongs of the world as they see them have always failed. The Soviet attempt took a painfully long time to fail but it too in the end failed.  But through their "long march" through American institutions it had begun to look as if  they might now be building a lasting approach to a new Eden.  And the Obama presidency seemed to be a culmination of that --bringing a clear victory to them at last.  After lifetimes of failures they finally seemed to be getting there. Their dreams were on the brink of being realized.

Then Donald Trump took it all away.  He destroyed their last great hope of permanent "reform". He liberated people to be what they wanted to be rather than what the Left wanted them to be.  And from the moment he became the Republican candidate his vigorous patriotism signalled that.  He was clearly from the world that Leftists deplored. And almost as soon as he came to power he did the unthinkable by removing America's obeisance to global warming -- by withdrawing from the Paris "treaty".  The "treaty" was mostly just an empty gesture but Trump took even that away.

Thanks to the traitorous John McCain, Trump did not manage to get  Obamacare abolished but he broke its backbone by getting the mandatory levy abolished. Obamacare ended up as no triumph anyway, as we see from the way that most of the current crop of Democrat presidential candidates are pushing "Medicare for all".  So there is nothing left for the Left.  What should have been their great triumph lies as a shattered ruin at their feet.

So if someone had destroyed all your dreams just when your dreams seemed likely to be realized, would you not hate with a passion the man who snatched those dreams away?  The Left are great haters so after what he took away from them, they hate Trump with all their  being. Nothing that he does is forgiveable.


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Worse than Chernobyl? Radiation in parts of Marshall Islands is far higher, study says

All this fuss about radioactivity is premised on the conventional assumption that any level of radioactivity is bad for you. In fact, only  exceptionally high radiation exposures are dangerous and the exposures in the islands were not measured against that standard.

Take the case of Japanese travelling salesman man Tsutomu Yamaguchi.  He was badly burnt after exposure to the Hiroshima blast during WWII.  So he went home to have his wounds looked after -- to Nagasaki.  So he copped the Nagasaki blast as well. So he died immediately, of course.  He did not.  His burns healed and he lived to 93.


Yamaguchi

What Leftist scientists just will not acknowledge is the reality of hormesis.  Radiation is such a great thing to scare people with that they won't let it go.  Hormesis occurs when exposure to low levels of something dangerous will often strengthen you against higher levels of that thing. And the effects of ionizing radiation are often strongly hormetic. Even medium doses can be protective. 

There is a review article here in an academic journal which finds that hormesis fits the facts much better than the conventional assumptions


Think of the most radioactive landscapes on the planet and the names Chernobyl and Fukushima may come to mind.

Yet research published Monday suggests that parts of the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific, where the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests during the Cold War, should be added to the list.

In a peer-reviewed study, Columbia University researchers report that soil on four isles of the Marshall Islands contains concentrations of nuclear isotopes that greatly exceed those found near the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plants. On one isle, those levels are reported to be 1,000 times higher.

All four of the islands are currently uninhabited, and three of the four — Bikini, Enjebi and Runit — are in atolls where nuclear testing took place. But one of the islands, Naen, which measures less than an acre, is in Rongelap Atoll, nearly 100 miles away.

Researchers found concentrations of plutonium-238 on Naen, raising the possibility that the island was used as an unreported dumping ground. Plutonium-238 is a radioisotope associated with nuclear waste and not generally with fallout, said Ivana Nikolic Hughes, a coauthor of the research and an associate professor of chemistry at Columbia.

The only other place the team detected this isotope was at Runit, where the United States entombed nuclear waste from bomb testing under a leaking concrete dome.

“We can’t say for sure that [dumping on Naen] is what happened,” said Nikolic Hughes, who directs Columbia’s K=1 Project — a multidisciplinary program dedicated to educating the public about nuclear technology. “But people should not be living on Rongelap until this is addressed.”

The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have reignited debate on the U.S. government monitoring residents’ health in the Marshall Islands and its assurances that locals face little risk from radioactivity.

Some researchers have declared Rongelap safe for re-habitation. But the Columbia study suggests that, for now, people not return to Rongelap or Bikini atolls, where Naen and Bikini are located, until certain areas have been more thoroughly cleaned. More than 600 people have already returned to parts of Enewetak Atoll — where Runit and Enjebi are located.

“We are concerned about what is being consumed on Naen and at what level,” said James Matayoshi, the mayor of Rongelap Atoll. He said he didn’t like the idea of people collecting food from Naen and the islands near it, because he doesn’t know what kind of risk that poses for his constituents’ health.

Others are not so sure the study’s results are valid.

Terry Hamilton, the U.S. Department of Energy’s lead researcher on Marshall Island radiation issues, said although the Columbia team’s approach seemed reasonable given the costs of pursuing such research in a remote part of the world, he was concerned their methodology and equipment could have overestimated the radiation they were detecting.

Both Nikolic Hughes and her husband, Emlyn Hughes, a Columbia University particle physicist and co-director of the K=1 project, rejected claims their methodology was flawed. The intent of their studies, they said, was to provide the Marshallese with an independent assessment — research not considered suspect because it was conducted by a government responsible for the contamination.

“The work provides valuable background information for local policymakers,” said Jan Beyea, a retired radiation physicist who has worked with the National Academy of Sciences but was not involved with the research. He added the results could tip the question of resettlement either way.

“Implicitly, I think these results might caution efforts to return, because of the readings found,” Beyea said. On the other hand, he noted, information that only certain uninhabited islands have levels that exceed agreed-upon safety standards could mean “the return to some places might be made easier.”

More HERE

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"Digger"

The term "digger" in Australia is a word for an Australian soldier.  It is a respectful term, originating from an awareness of the hardships of the troops in trench warfare etc.  Our forces have often had to "dig in".

It is one of Australia's nicer customs that the term is frequently used to address frail and elderly men.  If you want or need to say something to a man who looks as if his life is pretty much over, you address him as "Digger" -- as in, "Do you need any help with that, digger?"

Use of the term implies an assumption that although the man may not be good for much now, he served his country honourably in his youth so still deserves respect for that.  It is a respectful form of address.

Australia has been involved in lots of wars -- mostly as allies  of the Americans or the Brits -- so an assumption that an old man was involved in one of them will often not be astray. Nonetheless many of the men addressed as "digger" will not in fact have served in the armed forces --  but the term is used to convey that the man was once much more than he now is.  It is respect for the elderly generally.

I myself normally used the term in addressing elderly men but now  I find that I too am on occasions addressed that way if I get into some sort of a pickle.  At age 76, I am in fact pretty frail these days so I appreciate that respect and the eagerness to help that goes with it.

And I am even one of those who have some claim on the term.  I did reach the rank of sergeant during my time in the Australian army.

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Heightism?

I suppose it is regrettable in some ways but sexual attraction is well rooted in our evolutionary past -- and it is unrelenting.

And the reality is that both sexes are very physically oriented.  Men like a woman to have some approximation to an hourglass figure and women want a man who is tall and well-built.  A man of 6' and around 200lb just has to have a nice smile for something like 90% of women to find him attractive. A man only 5' tall  will only be attractive to about 1% of women, most of them fatties.

So our hero below is rightly aggrieved.  But he is fishing in the wrong pool.  He evidently wants an attractive woman. He should be realistic and look for a fatty


The bagel shop customer who left a larger-than-life impression after he went on a rant about being vertically challenged claims he is the 'Martin Luther King' of short people.

Chris Morgan says he's enjoying his newfound notoriety since video of his meltdown at a Long Island, New York, bagel shop went viral.

In a rambling interview with DailyMail.com, Morgan said that he felt pushed to breaking point by discrimination against short people.

The five foot tall 45-year-old, of Long Island, even said he saw himself as a 'prophet' and 'modern day Martin Luther King' for people of his height as he called for equality for smaller men.

'I got to the point where I'd had enough,' he added. 'The girls hate me, they don't like me, that's fine,' he added. Now I have a mission. 'I'm not stopping and the world is going to hear me. I want equality for everybody. '


He does look rather ridiculous amid much taller people

But in the same breath, the divorced cleaning company owner, who has no children, said he resented all women, branding them 'gold diggers' because they kept dumping him 'because of his height.'

He said: 'I'm sick of getting constantly lied to and used on dates. And then they dump me. They tell me I'm too short,' he explained. 'They don't have a job, or a job as good as mine. They don't have a car. They are more overweight... and they are judging ME?

'Whatever happened to the love of the 60s?' he asked. 'When people loved each other for themselves?'

Morgan, who got married in 2007 before getting divorced five years later, clarified that he was 'tired of the immaturity.' And while he was seen in footage being the aggressor, he asserts that he just wants 'justice.'

'I'm just not tolerating this any more,' Morgan declared. 'Some of those girls found it funny. That's why I have resentment towards women. I find them all to be stupid, gold digging liars.'

But he claims that since video of him screaming and ranting about how the world treated 5ft-tall men, that women have been unfathomably throwing themselves at him.

The incident began yesterday at the Bay Shore bagel when Morgan claims the girl behind the counter struggled to understand his order.

'The third time I asked, she smirked with her friends,' he shared. 'She was laughing and talking with her friends, putting her hand over her mouth and laughing, like girls do when they reject me on a date.

Morgan has a history of confrontations, as seen on his YouTube page which is inundated with clips of him getting in fights with gas station employees and mothers. Some videos even contain racist language. Others do show him playing with a bird and fishing.

In one video, Morgan storms into a 7/11 and has a argument with a Pakistani employee who he claims asked how tall he was. He proceeds to scream at the man about how he is from a 'third world country.'

Morgan attempted to get the employee detained by police, but officers refused to file harassment charges.

Shocking video filmed by Diana Reyes, 18, showed the irate customer shouting at staff at Bagel Boss East in Bay Shore, New York, on Wednesday.

Reyes told the DailyMail.com that she and her friend - 19-year-old Olivia Bradley - were waiting in line for their breakfast when the man started mouthing off in front of them to staff.

'He just seemed a little agitated and as soon as the woman turned her head, he started going off,' Reyes said. 'No one provoked him.'

The brief clip shows a woman asking the man why it is OK to 'degrade women.'  The man retorted: 'Why is it OK for women to say "Oh you are 5ft' on dating sites. "You should be dead. That's OK!'

As other patrons point out that no one has said that inside the establishment, the Napoleon-esque man asserts that 'women in general' make the distinction.

The vertically challenged patron then shouted: 'Everywhere I go I get the same fucking smirk with the biting lip.'

A man in the store, who is twice the angry customer's size, tries to get him to calm down.

'Shut your mouth,' he stated. 'You're not god, or my father or my boss.' The little man tells the larger man he isn't scared of him and chest bumps him in an attempt to intimidate him.

But as he continues boasting about his fighting abilities, another man comes and slams him to the ground.

Additional clips show the man storming out of the store as employees try to hand him his bagel.

The 18-year-old also said that the man who tackled the angry customer, immediately letting him get up and walk away.

SOURCE


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Waitrose’s package-free shopping is a PR move that will change little

The article in Britain's "Guardian" below  by a cynical Greenie makes some good points.  He is right that popular Greenie strategies are pissing into the wind.   He wants much more radical Greenie "solutions" but knows he will not get them any time soon.  He has some amusing lapses.  He recommends selling avocados in edible coatings.  But who eats the outside of avocados?  Avocados come in an excellent natural packaging of their own

He sees no reason to explain his aversion to plastic packaging.  But there is no obvious reason for it.  The plastic waste that entangles some birds and fish does not come from Britain.  The Brits carefully gather up their waste and make sure it does not go into the sea. The plastic waste that entangles some birds and fish is put there by third-worlders in  Africa and Asia who just chuck their garbage into a nearby river. Without some action about that, anything Brits do is pointless.  It has negligible effect.

He does however touch on one genuine problem.  Reducing plastic packaging increases food waste.  That plastic packaging is there for a purpose.  It increases the shelf-life of the food item and protects it from contamination of various sorts.  Without the packaging the food will go off faster and have to be thrown out.  And people will get more food-borne illnesses.  Is that good?  Greenies tend to get highly critical of food waste but by  reducing packaging they are creating it.  But nobody expects logic from Greenies. Foot-shooting and panic is their forte.



Waitrose’s experiment in packaging-free shopping is an obvious win for the supermarket chain. Its decision to sell around 200 loose lines to shoppers at its Oxford store – they can now use their own containers to take home rice, pasta, lentils, cleaning products – will be catnip (now dispensed in self-service hoppers, presumably?), to ethical shoppers. The move co-opts the trend for “unpackaged” seen in more radical zero-waste shops and the rise of refillable wine and beer (growler-fills in Waitrose!). It ticks some useful, hip boxes for this rather stuffy middle-class brand.

It is all positive PR and puts Waitrose on par with rival supermarkets who, facing predicted “polluter pay” legislation (more on that later), are suddenly super-keen to prove their green packaging credentials. Market-style loose vegetable aisles are being rolled out at Booths; Asda has removed the plastic wrap from its swedes; Morrisons has unsheathed its cucumbers (for part of the year); and both Iceland and Tesco are trialling schemes to pay customers to recycle plastic bottles (5.5bn worth of which are currently burned or dumped annually). Tesco is even experimenting with collecting and recycling “soft plastics” such as crisp packets, which local authorities generally cannot reprocess.

Waitrose is discounting its unpackaged goods too, a bonus for those of us who shop there (full disclosure: me. I go there and to the Co-op because they are at least employee-owned – all caveats fully acknowledged). Behaviourally, Waitrose appears to be pushing at an open door here, too. A decade ago, when the campaigning group, Wrap, looked at consumer attitudes to unpackaged products, it found that hygiene concerns were less important than the public’s disgust about overpackaging. Ninety per cent of us already happily buy loose fruit and vegetables.

But instead of celebrating this change, it feels to me like another of those fashionable supermarket spasms (trials selling misshapen veg; pushes on unfashionable sustainable fish like mackerel), that will ultimately change little. It will achieve traction with an already self-motivated minority, but then what?

Realistically, how practical is unpackaged for most people? Keeping a bag for life handy at all times is difficult enough (and, such are the unintended consequences that can arise, some worry they have actually increased the total amount of bag-plastic in circulation). But imagine the hassle of planning and carting – by car, inevitably – endless (plastic?) containers to Waitrose. For dry goods, wouldn’t providing heavy-duty, reusable and recyclable paper sacks in-store be more user-friendly? And is any of this a truly sustainable model: driving to Waitrose to refill on frozen fruit because we want to eat strawberries in February? If so, where is the scientific audit, the full life-cycle analysis of all those interlocking energy uses, that proves it?

If you want to reduce Britain’s carbon footprint, surely a far more radical overhaul is needed? One that, for instance, evenly distributes big supermarkets (not local and metro spin-offs), so that, using their economies of scale and logistical might, we all have access to affordable food where we live. Enabling us to shop little and often (using refillables, preferably), without driving. That would go hand-in-hand with a generational schools programme teaching people how to plan meals and shop carefully, to minimise food waste.

Investment in sustainable food packaging, such as Apeel Sciences’ edible coating for avocados, is important, too. Removing plastic is great in immediate pollution terms, but if it leads to increased food waste – Morrisons unpackaged cucumbers have a shelf-life of five rather than seven days – many experts would tell you that, in carbon-footprint terms, food waste causes the greater damage.

That lack of joined-up thinking is most glaring in the recycling market itself where local authorities (or the taxpayer) shoulder 90% of the cost of waste recycling in a system so flawed that two-thirds of all our waste plastic is shipped overseas. Instead of being managed nationally for the greater good, the recycling market fluctuates, driving or curtailing innovation haphazardly and leaving huge technological holes in what can be recycled, where. That is why Costa Coffee is subsidising coffee-cup collections, at £70 a tonne, in an attempt to kickstart the market in recycling coffee cups and their problematic plastic linings.

The government, meanwhile, prevaricates. Plans announced in 2018 to make the food industry pay £1bn each year to recycle the waste packaging it creates (currently councils spend £700m annually on recycling, business just £73m), are out for consultation and years from implementation. It is “too little, too slowly”, said Labour MP Mary Creagh, chair of the environmental audit select committee.

SOURCE

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First our land, now our WATER: How China is the biggest buyer of Australia's most precious resource

This is a totally crap scare.  The Chinese are NOT picking the water up and taking it to China.  All the water concerned is used in Australia on Australian crops. The scare is being generated out of the fact that Chinese investors now own some Australian farms and some of those farms have water rights

It is in fact mainly about Cubbie Station, Australia's massive cotton grower, which is hugely beneficial to Australian trade.  The drought at one stage sent it broke and it was partly Chinese money that rescued it

Australia's water market should be more closely monitored after it emerged China is the largest foreign stakeholder, experts say.

The Federal Government in March revealed that 10.4 per cent of Australian water rights are owned by foreign individuals or companies.

Chinese investors own 732 gigalitres or 1.89 per cent of the water on the market - an amount more than Sydney Harbour which holds 500 gigalitres.

In close second, Americans own 720 gigalitres (1.86 per cent) while British buyers own 414 gigalitres or 1.1 per cent.

A string of investors from countries including Canada, France and Singapore own 0.5 per cent or less.

The figures were revealed in a new ATO register of foreign ownership which was set up to monitor who owns Australia's most precious natural resource.

But as China flexes its muscles on the global stage and seeks strategic influence across the world, experts say we must keep a close watch.

'A total of 10.4 per cent of our water being owned by foreigners is a significant amount,' Professor Quentin Grafton of the Australian National University told Daily Mail Australia. 'As such, it is important that Australians know who is using our water - it's a public resource and it's critically important to the country.

How does the water market work?

Government appointed bodies decide how much water from rivers can be given out each year. Once it is allocated, users can trade their water. There are two main types of water trade: temporary and permanent.

A temporary transfer is a transfer of water specifically for the irrigation season.

If one farmer does not have enough water for his crops, he can buy water from another.

A permanent transfer is the transfer of the water entitlement. The purchaser buys rights to a yearly allocation of water from a river and receives the allocation until they sell.

The Australian water market is not national but split into different sections within each state. The largest market is the Murray-Darling Basin in the south east.

Professor Grafton said foreign ownership of Australian water is not necessarily problematic.

'Investors are not allowed to export the water so it has to be used in Australia,' he said.

Asked if too much foreign ownership of water could be a problem, Professor Grafton said: 'We'll have to wait and see.'

But federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said there was nothing to worry about.

'At the moment, there's a small percentage of water owned by foreign interests and much of that is by one property - Cubbie Station,' he said.

The Cubbie Station is a massive Queensland cotton farm largely owned by a Chinese textiles company.

The station's water storage dams stretch for more than 28 kilometres along the Culgoa River in the Murray-Darling basin - and the station can use up to 500,000 megalitres per year.

SOURCE 


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The recent rise of nationalism among conservatives

There is here a long article in "the Economist" which offers a passable summary of the history of conservatism and goes on to note that a new mood of nationalism has recently emerged among conservatives in both America and Europe.  And it sees that as a notable and alarming break from conservatism as it was. 

And in the USA, Hungary, Italy  and Poland the new nationalistic conservatism now rules.  Donald Trump of course is the most notable exemplar of the new movement.  With an approval rating among Republicans of around 90%, Trump IS the new conservatism.  Conservative parties are often rather fractured internally but American conservatives are solidly behind Mr Trump. The small remnant of "never Trumpers" are just talking to themselves

The piece however offers no clear explanation for this sudden departure from the "good ol' days" of the past. It treats the new movement as something of a mystery.  But it is no mystery.  You just have to be following world events to see that the new assertion of national pride has one very clear and obvious source -- the invasion of Western countries by large numbers of problem people from the Third World.

For the USA it was an accumulation of an ongoing problem with Hispanics and in Hungary and Poland they saw the influx of Muslim parasites into neighboring Germany and Italy and closed their borders in time to escape most of it. In all cases however, it involved a reassertion of the value of the national culture as better than what the invaders brought with them

Conservatives have always been proud of their country, its culture and their past but they are patient and tolerant people so have been little bothered by constant Leftist nibbling at their culture and demeaning the past achievements of their country.

But it got all too much when a flood of illegal new arrivals came in and were pandered to rather than expelled.  It would not have been so bad if the illegals had been expected to assimilate to the host country but the reverse was the case. The host nation was expected to make various adaptations to fit in with the illegals.  A process of undermining the American culture that had served Americans so well got underway. "Dial one for English" was just a token of what was resented.

The most important elements of culture are not its singing and dancing but the attitudes and customs embodied in its people.  And the very radical policies being promoted by the current rash of Democrat Presidential contenders makes it very clear that the attitudes and customs that made America great are far from secure.  It is now conceivable that America could degenerate into a socialist hellhole. And most Hispanics would vote for such a hellhole. They already do South of the border.

And conservative Americans do not at all like that prospect. Because conservatives tend to be interested in the past, they could see it clearly when the inherited culture was being diluted.  And the culture that the illegal arrivals brought with them was far from admirable. Everybody knows what a mess Mexico and most of Latin America is. Who would want to live amid the crime, corruption and poverty if they had some other option.  Mexicans themselves certainly don't want to.  That's why they come to the peaceful, orderly and prosperous USA.  So there is no reasonable way one can deny that the inherited culture of the USA is superior in its results from the cultures of Latin America.

With their crazy belief that all men are equal, Leftists erupt at any claim that one culture can be superior to another and by constant cries of racism and the like they have stood in the way of American cultural assertiveness.  They have suppressed talk  among Americans to the effect that America's traditional ways of doing things are better than what happens in places like Mexico.

But the Left could keep the lid on the pressure cooker for only so long and in America the lid blew off with the election of Trump -- someone who WAS prepared to call America great and defend its values. The shackles of political correctness were largely and joyously thrown off.

So what has happened is that conservative Americans have reasserted their traditional values over the moronic Leftist insistence that all cultures are equal.  American conservatives have always had pride in the unique phenomenon that is America and they now see that they need to speak up for reality.

And they want more than words. They want action to stop the deterioration of what they hold dear.  And a wall is the action that they most want, a wall to keep the bearers of problem cultures out.

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What does Russia want?

I have just read a VERY long-winded article in the NYT which tries to answer the question above.  When people write at such length it generally means that they don't have any clear answers but hope that by covering a lot of ground the answer will be in there somewhere.  And such is certainly true of that article.

The answer has to be at the psychological level and some of the senior Russian officials the reporter interviewed did after a fashion tell the reporter what the answer was -- but she hardly seemed to notice it. 

What Russians generally and also their leadership  want is respect and acceptance that Russia is a great and important country. They are the world's largest country, stretching all the way across the Eurasian continent from the Baltic to the Pacific. And they have over the years made colossal contributions to the arts and sciences.   So when Russia lost control over half of the territory that they had controlled in Soviet times they saw that as a humiliation.

So the Russian leadership tries to restore a sense of pride in their own people and gain the international attention and influence it had in the Soviet era.  They do NOT see themselves as a failed state notable only for attempts at influencing  American Federal elections. 

It should not be forgotten that Russia had worldwide influence in the Soviet era.  It even had great influence and respect in the USA. The Democratic party at that time were shills for the Soviets.  The Donks did all they could to support Russia in any political controversy.  They were among Russia's best friends. 

Mr Putin would like some of that back. But instead he finds his country demonized -- criticized and marginalized on many fronts.  Recovering ethnically Russian territory in the Crimea seems a heroic and historic achievement to Russians but America has renewed the cold war on Russia over it.

Mr Putin has been very restrained over events happening in his own backyard (e.g. the independence struggle in Eastern Ukraine) so it is clear that countries further West have nothing to fear from him. He will however take opportunities that present themselves to get Russia noticed. A more cordial atmosphere between Russia and the USA would make such adventures less likely.  If America can remain friendly to the ghastly Saudis, friendship with Christian Russia should be no strain

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Trump is the most open President America has ever had -- by far

Both on Twitter and in most of his speeches to supporters you see and hear exctly what is going through his mind at the time -- no filtering, no censoring, no political, correctness. And you particularly note that he seems to contradict himself sometimes.  He says something, decides it was not quite right and then says a derivative of the original thought that  suits him better.  It is not at all a contradiction, just online editing.  The difference is that he lets you see the whole process of him coming to a statement that he thinks is right.

  He can be a bit hard to follow at times but if you are on his wavelentgth you get his thought well enough.  He is not a policy wonk and is light-years away from having a Churchillian turn of  phrase but he may be the most honest man ever to occupy the oval office.  His ideas and policies are his own and what he really thinks.

Slate are totally contemputuous of his speaking style and have put up some excerpts from a recent speech to his supporters that they think are most contemptible. You can pick at the way he says it but I think he makes his points pretty well.  His comments on his hair gave me a laugh. I reproduce what Slate picks out below.  See if you get what he is saying.  He is focused on censorship by social media:

On the Economy

So I’m thrilled to welcome you here, and we’re all working very hard, and I don’t know if you know but we just had 27,000 on the Dow. That’s the highest in history. We’re up a couple of hundred points today—the highest in history, for those of you that like the stock market.

But the stock market means jobs. I view it as jobs. And I view it as 401Ks. A lot of people say, “Oh, the rich people are getting rich.” But if you look at the numbers, the greatest impact proportionately is blue collar workers, in what’s happened, in this miracle that’s happening.

And people with 401Ks, they’re up 72 percent and 67 percent. And the wife or the husband, whoever is responsible, the other one says, “You’re a genius. You’re a great financial investor. Darling, you’re up 77 percent this year.” So a lot of good things happen. A lot of people are happy, and I think really everybody’s happy. Some people just aren’t willing to admit it. Does that make sense?

Popular in News & Politics

On White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino
We’re delighted to be joined at this summit by someone you know very well, our senior adviser for digital strategy, and somebody that’s been working for me for a long time—for many years—Dan Scavino. Where’s Dan? Stand up, Dan. So, long before we were even doing this, he was at a club. Running a club, and other businesses. And he was okay at doing it. Not the greatest. I wouldn’t say the greatest. But, you know what he was great at? He was always looking at his computer screen. I said, “That guy’s incredible.”

So right at the beginning, I said, “That’s the man.” And there was nobody better at that. And I think Hillary had 28 people, and I had Dan. Right? I had my Dan! And he works about 28 hours a day, and he works very hard. But he doesn’t work. I mean, he loves it. He loves it. And his imagination, and really working with all of you, and many of you. He’ll come up with ideas, and you’ll come up with ideas. And he’ll run into my office, he says, “You got to see this.” And a lot of times I’ll go out, and I’ll spend a lot of money on a concept. I’ll say, “Here’s a concept. Come up with this.” And we’ll hire these companies, and they want a lot of money, and they come back. Just happened the other day, right? I said, “That’s terrible. These guys have no talent.”

The people that have the talent are the people that we deal with. And it’s true, and some of you are extraordinary. I can’t say everybody, but no, but some of you are extraordinary. The crap you think of is unbelievable. Unbelievable.

On the Census Citizenship Question

Can you believe… “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?”

“Sir you can’t ask that question.”

“Why?”

“Because a court said you can’t.”

We have three very unfriendly courts. They fight us all the way. The judges don’t like us too much, I guess. But think of that, Herman, think of that question. “Are you a citizen?” We spend—this is another thing that’s so crazy—$20 billion on a census, $20 billion. They spend $20 billion! I said, “Twenty billion WHAT?” Twenty billion dollars. On a census. They go through houses. They go up. They ring doorbells. They talk to people. How many toilets do they have? How many desks do they have? How many beds? What’s their roof made of? The only thing we can’t ask is, are you a citizen of the United States? Isn’t it the craziest thing? Twenty billion. Pretty amazing.

On What’s Happening

But I’ll tell you, a lot of bad things are happening. I have people come up to me: “Sir, we want to follow you. They don’t let us on.”

And it was so different than it was even six, seven months ago. I was picking up unbelievable amounts of people. And I’m hotter now than I was then, OK? Because you know, you also cool off, right? You do. But I’m much hotter. Especially with a nice, new stock market like it is. Right?

But no. I’m hotter now, and I go to Dan, I say, “Hey, what’s going on here?” It used to take me a short number of days to pick up 100,000 people. I’m not complaining; we’re like at 60-some-odd million. But then we have five different sites. We have another site with 25 million. We have another site with 10 or 12. Then we have Facebook. Then we have Instagram. We have a lot!

We got a lot of people. Way, way over 100 million, but I used to pick them up… And when I say “used to,” I’m talking about a few months ago. I was picking them up, a hundred thousand people every, very short period of time. Now, it’s, I would say, ten times as long. And I notice things happening when I put out something—a good one, that people like, right? Good tweet. It goes up. It used to go up, it would say 7,000, 7,008, 7,000, 7,017, 7,024, 7,032, 7,044. Right?

Now it goes, 7,000, 7,008, 6,998. Then they go, 7,009, 6,074. [Audience boos] I said, “What’s going on?” Now, it never did that before. It goes up, and then they take it down. Then it goes up. I’d never had that. Does anyone know what I’m talking about with this? [Audience screams “yes”] I never had that before. I used to watch it. It’d be like a rocket ship when I put out a beauty. Like when I said, remember I said somebody was spying on me? That thing was like a rocket. I get a call two minutes later: “Did you say that?”

I said, “Yeah, I said that.”

“Well, it’s exploding. It’s exploding.”

I turned out to be right. I turned out to be right. We turned out to be right about a lot of things. But I never had it.

On Setting the News Cycle

I said watch, I’m going to do this. And I said, “We recognize the Golan Heights as being part of Israel.” It was a big thing. I go, watch this: boom! I press it, and within two seconds: “We have breaking news.” John Roberts of Fox was over. He said, “We have breaking news. Please, break it up.” Doesn’t matter what they’re talking about, John does it. He breaks it up.

Now, that’s Twitter. That’s social media. I call Twitter a typewriter. That’s what I really call Twitter, because it goes onto Facebook automatically. And it goes onto Instagram, and it goes on to television—moreso Fox than it does CNN. If it’s something bad, they’ll put it on.

If I have a spelling deal, they will put it on. “Donald Trump spelled the word ‘the’ wrong.” You know? “He doesn’t know how to spell ‘the.’ He spelled it t-h-i.” You know? I couldn’t care… Any kind of a punctuation mistake, they put it on. So I’m very very careful. I, really… I’m actually a good speller, but every once and… The fingers aren’t as good as the brain.

But, but it is true. And it’s incredible what it does. I put out a social media statement, and I was telling Kellyanne the other day. I said, “You know, I used to put out, like, a press release.” Right? And people would pick it up, sort of, you know. The next day, two days, they’d find it sitting on a desk. If I put out… We hardly do press releases anymore, because if I put out on social media, a statement, like I’m going to in a little while on something totally unrelated (but a very important statement—now they’re going crazy, “What is it? Tell me,” but it’s very important), but if I put that out in a press release, I’m telling you, Kevin. People don’t pick it up. It’s me, same. If I put it out on social media, it’s like an explosion. Fox, CNN, crazy MSNBC.

On NBC in General

They’re stone cold crazy. I made them a lot of money with The Apprentice, and I gave them a top show when they were dying on NBC. But they don’t like me too much. They wanted a big extension. They used Arnold Schwarzenegger instead. Big movie star. You know what? He died. He died.

I was there 12… 12 years, 14 seasons, and then they pick a movie actor. And he dies on us.

You know, I own that with Mark Burnett and some people. And I said, they said, “Would you rather have him had been, like, this tremendous massive success? You own it, so you benefit financially. Or would you rather have him die, so that you say you did it for 14 seasons, 12 years.”

I said, “I think I’d rather have him die at it.” That means you don’t need the money. I’d rather have him die at it. Anyway, but with amazing creativity and determination, you’re bypassing the corrupt establishment.

On the Loyalties of Tech Execs

So you know, they’re playing with a lot of minds and they’re playing unfairly. And the funny thing is that, in theory, they shouldn’t be liking the other side. They shouldn’t be liking the other side. They should be really liking our side, because we’re the ones that won freedom. Far more.

You see what’s happening up on the debate stand. You see what they’re doing to each other. You’re seeing the hatred that they have up there, and it’s a very different philosophy. It’s a very different thought.

On Whether There’s a Word Called “Communism”
Because what they’re looking at is pure socialism, or worse than socialism. You know, there’s a word called “communism,” too. There’s a word—they don’t like to use it. Very rarely do you hear that. But there’s a word called “communism,” and they’re trying to get socialism over the line. But these people are… This is beyond socialism, to a large extent. And I think that we’re going to have a tremendous success.

On Types of Weather

We had, on the Mall just the other day, 4th of July, a tremendous success. It was pouring. The weather was just… It was beautiful in one way. They learned it was my real hair that day, because I was drenched. Well, that is the one good thing. I ran, and they learned it’s my hair.

Because I’ve been through every windstorm, sandstorm. Let’s go over here. Let’s go. This one, that one. This desert. Let’s go to this ocean, and get out of the plane, sir. The wind is blowing at about 70 miles an hour. I said, “Boy, it’s gotta be… It’s gotta be mine.”

But, uh, but we’ve seen it all. We’ve seen it all.

On Platform Biases

But we run out of here… Shadow-banned, a hundred percent. You look at what’s going on. You know, I could go… The blocking, just the basic blocking of what we want to get out. The fact that they don’t let them join. They don’t. There was…. There’s no doubt in my mind that I should have millions and millions…

I have millions of people, so many people I wouldn’t believe it. But I know that we’ve been blocked. People come up to me, and they say, “Sir, I can’t, I can’t get you. I can’t follow you. They make it impossible.” These are people that are really good at what they do. They say they make it absolutely impossible. And you know we can’t have it. We’re not going to let it happen.

Josh, we’re not going to let it happen. And you know, if they did it on both sides, if it were done to the other side, to the other group… And I’m representing everybody. I do, I represent everybody. I fully understand liberal. I fully understand Democrat. We want to get along. We want to make sure that everybody loves each other, if that’s possible. And maybe, I really believe it is.

On the Infamous China/Farmer Feud

And you know, the farmers say, “We just want a level playing field, sir.” I love the farmers. They’re patriots. And China, as you know, targeted the farmers, because they think they could get to me by hurting the people that I love and that we take care of. And, it had no impact. I would watch—even on networks that don’t exactly like me—and I’d watch as they interview farmers, and they’d have ten or 12 people sitting. They’d say, “We don’t care. The president’s right. We’ve been ripped off for many years. Somebody has to do… Somebody had to do this.” China made over the last ten years hundreds of billions of dollars, you could say four to five hundred billion dollars a year.

On Having Conversations with Silicon Valley CEOs

So one of the advantages of being president is, when you ask for a meeting, you get it generally. I don’t know. I can’t think of too many I haven’t gotten. And you say, “I’d like to see in the Oval Office…” Or you have somebody call “Oval Office.” I’ve been with all of these people, at the highest level, one-on-one. Just recently with Google, just recently with Twitter, the top. All right? And you talk to them, and you swear, they’re like your best friend. “Oh, sir. No. We believe. We… Freedom of speech. Oh yes. Absolutely.” And we go…

So, it’s very interesting to see that. And and the level of, you know, you look at them… The sincerity! And I say, that’s fantastic. And they’ll leave, and then I’ll realize, three or four weeks later, it’s worse. It actually got worse. Because I say, look, I believe in technology. I believe in free markets. I believe in freedom of speech. I believe in all the things. And, and they are super genius. […]

But I tell you what, technologically, it’s unbelievable what they think up. Even Dan and I, when we sat with you-know-who, at Twitter. Number one. We talked about certain things. He said, “Yeah, well we could do this, this this.” I said, that’s really great. You know, this is incredible stuff. China will admit there’s nobody like these brains. But they’re not using that brilliance and they’re not using what we gave them fairly. And they have to do that.

And we don’t want to stifle anything, we certainly don’t want to stifle free speech, but that’s no longer free speech.

On What Else Doesn’t Count as Free Speech

See, I don’t think that the mainstream media’s free speech, either. Because it’s so crooked. It’s so dishonest. So to me, free speech is not when you see something good, and then you purposely write bad. To me, that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech. Somebody came to my office, I won’t say who, but a very big person. And I said OK, you don’t like the term fake news, which I think I get credit for. But I’m sure, if I said I get credit, they’ll say, “Thirteen years ago somebody came up with a term.”

I think I get credit—I’d be very proud to take it.

But I think I get credit. Now by the way, the worst fakers of all are using fake news. I saw the other day, on CNN—total fakes—I see on CNN, they go, “Fake news media has reported…” No, no, THEY’RE fake news media. They’ve turned it around. They’ve turned it around.

SOURCE 

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New Boston schools superintendent says her focus is on racial equity

Boston Leftists are doing their best to destroy an historic school.  Boston Latin school was established in 1635, making it both the oldest school in America and the first public school in the United States. It still has a reputation for academic excellence, partly because applicants have to show a high level of academic ability before they are admitted.  The achievements of its past pupils make it very prestigious so many parents seek admission for their kids but few are chosen.

That selectivity jars with the Leftist dogma that all men are equal.  It particularly jars with the claim that blacks and whites are academically equal in potential. The academic achievements of black students are abysmal throughout the United States but Leftists manage to draw no inferences from that.

So they want more blacks in Boston Latin school even though few blacks can handle its academic standards.  The ones there already struggle and complain.  There just isn't much high level academic talent among blacks so bringing in more of them will tend to produce more dropouts and pull down standards across the board as the teaching is dumbed down to give them a chance of graduating.  Eventually it will be just another low standard multiracial school.  Its specialness will have been destroyed.

You can only have a high standards school if the students are capable of handling high standard teaching.  The pressures described below show no recognition of that.  Only skin color seems to matter


Boston Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said Thursday that she is committed to helping disadvantaged students succeed, speaking a day after a civil rights group accused her of being out of touch with the issues many black and Latino students encounter in trying to secure seats at the city's exam schools.

"I think talking about equity is always a sensitive topic," said Cassellius, who is African-American and noted that she grew up in poverty. "It is my hope the community will come together and put children at the center, so we can create great schools in every neighborhood."

Lawyers for Civil Rights said Cassellius missed the mark on Wednesday when she expressed shock on a radio program over the high cost of administering the Independent School Entrance Exam - $140 per student. In the WGBH interview, she questioned whether there was a less expensive entrance exam the city could use for Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and the O'Bryant School of Math and Science.

The civil rights group, which is pushing Cassellius to change the admission requirements, contends she should have focused instead on the inherent inequities in relying on an admission test that is not aligned with the school system's curriculum. The group says affluent families have an edge because they can spend thousands of dollars on private test preparation programs.

The controversy has underscored the perilous local politics awaiting the superintendent as she learns her way in a new job. Who gets admitted to the city's exam schools - and how - has been an incendiary issue in Boston for several years, and one that has eluded public consensus.

In an interview with the Globe Thursday, Cassellius said she has no immediate plans to explore replacing the exam. But she added that discussions will eventually come up because the contract with the vendor for the ISEE expires this year, and the school system will need to go on the market to seek a new round of bids, a move that could result in a different test.

The school system expects to spend about $600,000 this year administering the ISEE to both public and private school students who live in Boston and who are seeking exam-school admission. The system also is planning to spend about $200,000 on programs to help students do well on the exam.

Cassellius said she has a duty as superintendent to ensure that every dollar is spent appropriately and noted that the per-student cost of the ISEE is three times more expensive than the college placement test used in her former state of Minnesota. But she said she is not immediately recommending replacing the ISEE.

She also said that it was premature for her to respond to a letter the NAACP and Lawyers for Civil Rights sent to her three weeks ago asking her to make specific commitments to change the exam school admission requirements. The groups wanted a response last week and are now exploring legal options.

"These issues are deep and complex and require a lot of thought, and I haven't had an opportunity to meet with everyone in the community and understand the community's needs and desires," said Cassellius, who started the job on July 1. "I have been promising authentic community engagement."

Neil Sullivan, executive director of the Boston Private Industry Council, a nonprofit focused on youth labor market development, said he empathizes with the predicament that Cassellius is in - having to address a controversial issue like exam-school admission policies less than two weeks on the job under a cloud of potential litigation.

"I just fear that litigation will actually stifle public conversation and the potential for collaboration and compromise," he said. "We need to give our new superintendent the space necessary to lead."

Many activists and political leaders said the time is right to talk about change.

"If we truly care about equity and we truly care about eliminating the opportunity and achievement gap, then we have to be willing to have conversations about changing the admission policy," said City Councilor Kim Janey. "We know the admission policy is not serving students of color well, and there are good policy recommendations on the table and we should be exploring those."

The civil rights groups have put forward several ideas, including guaranteeing admission to the top-performing students from every ZIP code or every elementary and middle school and relying on more holistic measures that would include a student's special skills in such areas as the arts or athletics.

None of those proposals has the support of the Boston Latin School Association, although the influential alumni group is open to exploring a change in admission tests.

"The association believes a test is a critical component for merit-based access to the exam schools but regards the ISEE as just one among several tests that may be used for determining the students who are the best candidates for admission to the exam schools," said Peter Kelly, the association's president.

City Council President Andrea Campbell, a Latin School graduate, said it is imperative that all students, especially black and Latino students who make up the vast majority of the district's enrollment, have equitable access to that institution and be prepared for its academic rigor. Black and Latino students account for only 20 percent of Latin School's enrollment, the least diverse of the three exam schools.

"It's not a meritocracy if a large percentage of our students attend elementary and middle schools that are not teaching and preparing them for exam school access," Campbell said. "Instead, it's a system based on how much money your family has for prep or private coursework, and what ZIP code your family lives in thus affording you access to a quality pre-k through sixth-grade experience that will ensure you get into Latin."

But she added equal attention needs to be paid to bolstering the quality of the city's open-enrollment high schools and its only vocational high school, Madison Park.

City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George, who chairs the council's Education Committee, also stressed the need for a two-pronged approach in boosting exam-school diversity and the academic quality of the other high schools.

"I am a proponent of having a test for entrance to exam schools in Boston, but I'm open to a conversation about which is the best test for students to take," Essaibi George said, adding that a test should ideally align with the school system's curriculum and that "it is also important to look at the cost."

Cassellius has expressed a strong desire to overhaul the city's high schools and to boost the quality of the lower-grade schools so more students of all backgrounds are on a better footing to get into exam schools.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh voiced his support for Cassellius.

"Superintendent Cassellius was chosen to lead Boston Public Schools because of her focus on equity and her proven track record of listening to everyone in the community in an effort to build broad consensus," he said in a statement. "We share the goal of ensuring our exam schools maintain their incredible tradition of excellence, and I have full confidence in her ability to navigate this district on a path that ensures every single student has access to an excellent school."

SOURCE

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The desperate lies of the Marine Conservation Society

The Marine Conservation Society is a Greenie Pressure group

What do you do when you NEED to show that the Great Barrier Reef is being damaged by global warming -- but it isn't?  You lie. That is what the MCS did when the latest report from The Australian Institute of Marine Science came out. The MCS published an hysterical article (see below) purporting to be based on that report under the heading: "Long term Reef Monitoring Report Waves Burning Red flag for our Reef"

Here is the abstract of the actual scientific report:

* Coral reefs are impacted by numerous disturbances including outbreaks of the corallivorous crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster c.f. solaris), tropical cyclones and coral bleaching.

* Over the last five years, these collective disturbances have caused declines in hard coral cover to moderate (10-30%) levels across much of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

*Reef condition was variable both within and among regions. Reefs in the Northern and Central GBR have sustained impacts from multiple severe disturbances including mass coral bleaching, cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.

* Reefs in the Southern GBR escaped major disturbances from 2009 until 2017, when a severe outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish began that continued through to 2019.

* In response to these disturbances, average hard coral cover continued to decline in the Central and Southern GBR while stabilising in the Northern GBR in 2019.

* Hard coral cover on AIMS survey reefs in the Northern GBR increased slightly from 11% in 2017 to 14% in 2019, but remains close to the lowest levels recorded by the AIMS Long-Term Monitoring Program (LTMP) since 1985. This reflects the cumulative impacts of cyclones and two episodes of severe coral bleaching over the period 2014 to 2019. To date, recovery has been limited.

* Surveys in the Northern GBR in 2019 may overestimate regional hard coral cover; coral bleaching in 2016 caused the greatest mortality on inshore reefs, but few inshore reefs could be surveyed due to safety concerns.

* Reefs in the Central GBR sustained significant coral loss due to Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Debbie in 2017 and due to the continued southward spread of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks. Average hard coral cover declined slightly, from 14% in 2018 to 12% in 2019.

* Reefs of the Capricorn-Bunker sector in the Southern GBR continued to recover in 2019 while many of the southern Swain reefs suffered large coral losses due to intense crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks. Overall, mean coral cover on reefs in the Southern GBR region continued to decline, albeit only slightly, from 25% in 2018 to 24% in 2019.

* Early indications from additional detailed surveys show that coral juveniles across the GBR occurred at densities favourable for recovery in the absence of further disturbances.

Notice the dog that didn't bark?  There's no mention of climate change or warmer oceans.  The reference to bleaching could be taken as referring to global warming but bleaching can in fact be caused by many things, including fluctuations of water levels.

And the final point is optimistic that the reef will recover if starfish outbreaks and cyclones give it a chance.  There is actually NOTHING in the scientific report to justify the desperate lies from the Marine Conservation Society below.  Pesky of me to read the actual report, isn't it?

There is a major difficulty in saying that the reef has deteriorated in the last few years due to global warming.  The satellites show that global temperatures have in fact FALLEN in the last few years.  So any reef decline is NOT due to global warming.  Something non-existent cannot have an effect


The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has today released their latest coral monitoring report which waves a burning red flag for Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The latest update to their Long?Term Reef Monitoring Program - Annual Summary Report on Coral Reef Condition for 2018/19 shows coral decline on an unparalleled scale, due primarily to the impacts of climate change.

The report by the country's pre-eminent marine science agency shows that hard coral cover, the foundation of our beautiful Reef, has declined by a whopping 10-30% in the past five years.

It found that hard coral cover in the Northern Great Barrier Reef increased by 3% but notes that this may be an overestimation, as the 2016 coral bleaching caused the greatest mortality to inshore coral reefs, few of which could be surveyed due to safety concerns.

Coral reefs in the northern and central Great Barrier Reef have sustained impacts from `multiple severe disturbances, including mass coral bleaching, cyclones and crown of thorns starfish'.

"The data screams out from this report that climate change is clobbering our world heritage Reef," said Shani Tager, Great Barrier Reef spokeswoman from the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

"Underwater heatwaves have caused mass coral bleaching. As sea temperatures rise ever upwards, our corals bleach, our cyclones become more extreme and crown of thorn starfish thrive from excess runoff along our coast.

"The Reef is still a dynamic, beautiful place, home to thousands of animals and supporting 64,000 tourism jobs, but it's in serious trouble and we need our Governments to act fast.

"Queensland and Australia are custodians of our beloved Great Barrier Reef, but this report reminds us yet again how out of touch our political leaders are on the urgent need for climate change action.

"Our government should be leading the world on clean, renewable energy. Instead they stagger on with plans to develop more coal mines like Adani and more coal fired power stations, subsidised by Australian taxpayers who have never been more concerned about climate change.

"Australia's top marine scientists are saying that climate change will make it harder for our Reef to recover from more frequent natural disasters and disturbances.

"This is a burning red flag for our Reef and our nation. Australians love our Great Barrier Reef and we must fight to protect its future."

SOURCE 


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Trump’s bromance with authoritarians

Michael A. Cohen of the neo-Marxist "New School" in NYC writes below.  We have met his hate and unrealism about Trump before.

Given the Leftist trust in force, it is most unlikely that Mr Cohen has not heard of
Realpolitik but in his article below he pretends not to.  What Mr Trump has said and done out of diplomatic necessity, Mr Cohen calls a "bromance".  One also wonders if he knows the meaning of that term.

Perhaps we should feel sorry for Mr Cohen.  He sounds a most unhappy soul. He is 52 at the moment so you would think he would have found some peace by now


President Trump has a thing for dictatorial, sociopathic strongmen. But last week during his trip to the Far East for the G-20 summit, he took things to a whole new level — bro-ing out with some of the worst leaders, and worst people, in the world and in the process, further degrading America’s already weakened global image.

At the summit, Trump commended Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “I want to just thank you on behalf of a lot of people, and I want to congratulate you,” he said. “You’ve done a really spectacular job.”

The crown prince has not only presided over a vicious crackdown on dissent in Saudi Arabia but is also widely believed to have ordered the assassination and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. According to Trump, however, “nobody has directly pointed a finger” at the crown prince for Khashoggi’s death, a rebuttal to the conclusions of the CIA, which determined that he was responsible.

When Trump wasn’t praising the crown prince, he was bonding with President Vladimir Putin of Russia over their antipathy for the news media. Pointing to the journalists covering their meeting, Trump said, “Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.”

SOURCE 

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More contrail panic

Contrails (short for "condensation trails") are line-shaped clouds produced by aircraft engine exhaust. They are composed primarily of water, in the form of ice crystals, but also include some fine particulate matter.

There is quite a history of panic about them. They are supposed to do all sorts of bad things.  Even some conservatives get sucked in. But it is primarily the Green/Left who obsess about them. The latest spasm is below, by Warmist hack, Michael Le Page.  He claims that contrails produce global warming.

But contrails are just a type of cloud and it is now generally accepted that clouds have an overall  COOLING effect. The very latest theory is in fact that an ABSENCE of cloud cover that will cause global warming.  "You pays your money and you take your choice", as the showman said.

We have met author Michael Le Page before and he was profoundly silly on that occasion too


The contrails left by aeroplanes last only hours. But they are now so widespread that their warming effect is greater than that of all the carbon dioxide emitted by aeroplanes that has accumulated in the atmosphere since the first flight of the Wright brothers.

Worse still, this non-CO2 warming effect is set to triple by 2050, according to a study by Ulrike Burkhardt and Lisa Bock at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Germany.

Altogether, flying is responsible for around 5 per cent of global warming, the team says, so this figure will soar even higher – and no meaningful actions are being taken to prevent this.

“Lots of people talk about the need to stop air traffic increasing all the time, but this is not taken that seriously,” says Burkhardt.

And the discussions that are taking place focus almost entirely on the associated CO2 emissions. “That’s a problem if the non-CO2 effects are larger than the CO2 ones,” she says.

“The non-CO2 warming is the elephant in the room,” says Bill Hemmings of Transport & Environment, a Belgium-based campaign group.

All aircraft that burn fuels leave behind a trail of exhaust fumes and soot. At high altitudes, water vapour often condenses on the soot particles and freezes to form a cirrus cloud that can persist for seconds to hours, depending on temperature and humidity.

Clouds can have both a cooling and warming effect. They reflect some of the sun’s rays back into space, but also block some of the heat radiated by Earth’s surface. On average, both thin natural cirrus clouds and contrails have a net warming effect.

Burkhardt and her colleagues used a computer model of the atmosphere to estimate how much warming contrails caused in 2006 – the latest year for which a detailed air traffic inventory is available – and how much they will cause by 2050, when air traffic is expected to be four times higher.

The model accounts for not only of the change in air traffic volume, but also the location and altitude of flights, along with the changing climate.

The team concludes that the warming effect of contrails will rise from 50 milliwatts per square metre of Earth’s surface in 2006 to 160 mW/m2 by 2050.

In comparison, the warming due to CO2 from aviation will rise from 24 to 84 mW/m2 by this time.

In a scenario in which the airline industry increases fuel efficiency and reduces the number of soot particles emitted by improving fuels and engines, the warming from contrails by 2050 is limited to 140 mW/m2 and the warming from CO2 to 60 mW/m2.

SOURCE

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Australia and its coffee-powered economy

Below is one of many current tales of doom about the Australian economy.  I don't buy it.  The symptom of doom that I mostly see is the record number of empty shops in shopping centres.  They certainly tell of financial pain for the people who once ran the businesses there.  But is that bad for the economy as a whole?

The usual explanation is that more people are buying online and thus fatally shaving the margins of physical retailers. But whether that is the cause or not, surely it tells of increased efficiency in the retailing sector.  We may be down from 100,000 coffee shops to 80,000 but no-one is going short of coffee.  The same demand is being served by fewer people using less real estate.  A situation that looks bad may in fact be good.

And our new government is very much pro-business so that almost certainly will cause an uptick in the new ventures that the writer below correctly says we need

The writer below is perfectly correct in saying our government sector is too big and our real estate prices are too high but those are chronic problems, nothing new.  We have lived with them for a long time now without too much harm to our living standards so I think we will continue to do so.


While visiting the US recently, I was pressed on what Australia excelled at. My answer: coffee. After suffering with Starbucks for months, I’d become keenly aware of the superior quality of our flat whites — much nicer and far cheaper.

I went on to explain the importance of iron ore and coalmining, the huge fees we charge Asian students for university education, and how financial services make up a bigger chunk of our economy than any other developed country.

And, with the highest paid political class in the world, Canberra is overflowing with talent, producing reports, inquiries and ministerial talking points with a finesse hitherto unseen.

It was a bit worrying I couldn’t venture much else. Amid all the excitement this week about tax cuts and back-to-back interest rate cuts to record lows, it’s easy to overlook our dependence on the housing market for confidence in our economy. It’s easy to forget about the near absence of structural reform — if you exclude huge new spending programs with questionable benefits such as the National Broadband Network and National Disability Insurance Scheme — for almost 20 years.

Britain, Germany, the US and Japan — the latter widely (if wrongly) seen as economically dysfunctional — have each enjoyed higher economic growth per person than Australia since 2010, according to recent analysis by Oxford Economics. Our uninterrupted growth across 28 years is built on rapid population increase. If the US let most of Mexico move to Texas, its economy would be a lot bigger too.

We’re slowly falling down the global living standards league table. You feel it already when you go to buy something abroad or shop online at home. Our currency has sunk in value despite our major exports fetching the highest prices they have in years.

Productivity growth, the ultimate linchpin of our living standards, has slowed as the economy ossifies. The rate of entry of new firms into the economy has fallen more than 20 per cent since the 2000s, the Treasury pointed out last month. Similarly, workers’ “switching rate” between jobs has declined 17 per cent, suggesting workers are less willing to take risks. Adjusted for population, the economy has been shrinking.

Meanwhile, debt continues to mount. Home sales, prices and credit growth boomed for years until 2017, but regulators and government did little to stop it, belatedly introducing some caps on interest-only and investor loans which were hastily withdrawn when prices started to fall. Indeed, in the wake of a royal commission into financial services that highlighted irresponsible conduct, the banking regulator yesterday ­watered down responsible lending rules in place since 2014.

The combination of lower mortgage rates and weaker lending rules will almost certainly revive house prices and loan growth in coming months. We’re coming for you, Switzerland, the only other country with as high a share of household debt to gross domestic product.

Higher house prices boost confidence for a while. Borrowing from the future flatters economic growth statistics today, but it’s mathematically impossible for credit to grow faster than incomes forever. The Reserve Bank can pull the interest rate lever only one or two more times before it too must start creating money out of thin air to buy up assets — quantitative easing — in a bid to hold down interest rates.

The prospects for politically difficult reform aren’t great. The government is hailing the partial return of bracket creep in five years, legislated this week, as a major reform. It’s even getting away with telling everyone income tax won’t exceed 30 per cent by then, when the Medicare levy (an income tax with no relationship whatsoever with health costs) means the marginal rate most people pay will drop from 34 per cent to 32 per cent. The tax system in 2024 will have the same structure and complexity it had in 2001, taxing wages ever more heavily while land and inherited wealth remain relatively untaxed.

The Productivity Commission’s “to do” lists have been ignored, along with umpteen other reports that gather dust in ministerial offices. It’s easier to look to the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates than cut wasteful public spending or induce competition among the oligopolies that siphon billions out of household income.

That might not be so bad if monetary policy were effective. The Reserve Bank’s latest series of interest rate cuts reflect the failure of central banks to return their ­financial systems to “normal”. Interest rates plummeted after the ­financial crisis and, despite the US Federal Reserve’s short-lived efforts to lift them, look set to settle near zero. They reflect an emerging crisis of confidence in central banks’ economic models, which assume (with precious little evidence) a strong link between interest rates and inflation on the one hand and between the unemployment rate and wage growth on the other, when the past decade’s experience points to none.

The Reserve Bank worries about losing its credibility if it fails to achieve its inflation target of between 2 and 3 per cent. Never mind surveys showing people think inflation is 4 per cent a year, while few would know the RBA has an inflation target. Most households would see cheaper goods and services prices as a good thing.

It’s not even clear inflation is so low. The price of gold reached a record high this week, after the Reserve Bank cut interest rates for the second time in as many months. An ounce of gold in Australian dollars ticked up to almost $2040 — 19 per cent higher than a year ago — after the cash rate dropped to a new record low of 1 per cent. Clearly, not everyone thinks inflation is low. The stockmarket is about to burst through its record high, set back in 2007.

Including house prices in the consumer price index would have produced an annual average inflation rate around 0.6 percentage points higher since 1998, according to recent analysis by Commonwealth Bank economist Gareth Aird. In keeping with global practice the CPI excludes the cost of servicing a mortgage and the land component of buying a home (which is the bulk of the ­purchase).

The jobless rate may not be as low as politicians say it is, either. Market researcher Roy Morgan puts the jobless rate at 9.2 per cent — almost double the official 5.2 per cent rate — by including people who want work but haven’t applied for a job in recent weeks. And it says the underemployment rate — people who’d like to work more hours — is 9.4 per cent. If almost a fifth of the labour force wants to work more but can’t, no wonder wage growth is weak.

It’s hard to see how we shake off ultra-low rates without a global agreement among central banks or a crisis that dislodges the “inflation targeting” paradigm that generated low rates in the first place. But the newly elected government, seemingly with a working majority in parliament, has no excuse for avoiding tougher reform decisions. Great weather and nice coffee won’t be enough if China catches cold.

SOURCE 



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Australia: Commuter chaos as militant climate change protesters shut down Sydney streets to protest the controversial Adani mine

Queensland already has massive coal mines.  Why is another one so different?  Is it racial prejudice against its Indian owner?  The claims of environmental damage are pure hysteria.  We already know well what actual threats to the environment come from coal mines and have had plenty of practice in preventing them

There is no unaddressed problem with the mine and both major parties at the Federal and State level have approved it.  So why is this small group of fantasists protesting?  It's just virtue signalling.  They are publicity hounds and want people to think how good and kind and wise they are.  The unfortunate Mr Adani has just been chosen as a symbolic target.  His brown skin probably helped single him out


Parts of Sydney have been shut down as demonstrators march through the streets in protest of the Adani mine.

Hundreds of activists have brandished placards as they walk along Bathurst Street in Town Hall. 'Coral not Coal,' one sign reads.

A child could also be seen amid the crowd waving a sign that read: 'Adani you have kids... think about our children.'

Parts of Brisbane have also been brought to a standstill with protests across the city kicking into high gear. Protesters could be heard chanting throughout Brisbane Square: 'Palaszczuk hear us say, we’ll fight Adani all the way.'

Organiser Catherine Robertson said the protest intended to put pressure on the Queensland Government. 'We're stopping the city again because we can't afford to let the Adani coal mine become a reality,' she said in a statement.

'The mine is going to destroy the Galilee Basin, lead to mass extinctions and push us to a point of no return on the climate.'

She said she was expecting a crowd of 2,000 people as they pressured the state government to 'rip up' contracts with the Indian mining company. 'We want to disrupt the city so the Labor government takes notice,' she said.

'Adani will result in the extinction of that entire part of the state.'

In anticipation of the protest public order and riot squad officers were deployed to parts of Sydney to prepare for the oncoming flood of protesters.

The protest on Friday follows a string of demonstrations held in Queensland in June. Five protesters glued themselves to a street while more than 700 marched through Brisbane Square on June 21. Only a few days earlier protesters glued themselves to a busy street and caused commuter chaos.

After eight years, the Adani coalmine was given its final environmental approval in early June.

Queensland's government said it had accepted a groundwater management plan for the Indian-owned Adani Carmichael mine -- the last major legal hurdle before construction can begin.

The vast open cut mine is slated to produce up to 60 million tonnes of coal a year, boosting Australia's already vast exports by around 20 percent.

Coupled with the construction of a railway link, it could open up a swathe of Queensland to further exploitation and new mining projects.

'If all the coal in the Galilee Basin is burnt it would produce 705 million tonnes of climate pollution each year, which is more than 1.3 times Australia's annual pollution from all sources, including cars, industry, energy and agriculture,' the Australian Conservation Foundation said.

While some locals are thankful for the jobs the mine promises to create, others have been opposed to the environmental impact of a new coal mine.

Adani originally promised to employ 10,000 news jobs, but this figure has since been cut back to just 1,500 with a potential 6,750 indirect jobs, Mining Monthly reported.

SOURCE