-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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Goldberg suggests Bible supports transitioning children!
Aussie EV drivers will soon benefit from nation-wide fast charging program
This is amusing. It's like a dog chasing its tail. It never catches up. The facility will entice more people to go electric, which will heighten the chance that when you roll up to recharge there will always be someone there recharging ahead of you. Frequently spending hours waiting to refuel will not tbe attractive. Electric cars are ok as suburban runabouts but are a pain for long trips
Electric car owners will be able to drive from Adelaide to Alice Springs, cross the Nullarbor, and run from Tasmania to Far North Queensland without stressing about charging, thanks to a new network coming to Australian roads.
A Federally funded program working with the NRMA to put 117 fast chargers on Australian highways will bring an end to “range anxiety”, according to Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen.
“EVs aren’t just for the cities, and Australians who drive long distances either for work or for holidays should be able to reap the benefits of cars that are cheaper and cleaner to run,” he said.
“We’re making range anxiety a thing of the past. This project will help close the gaps and known black spots in the network and make it possible to drive from Darwin to Perth, Broken Hill to Adelaide, and from Brisbane to Tennant Creek in the NT.
“This national rollout will help put more Australians in the driver’s seat of cheaper and cleaner cars.”
The Federal Government’s “Driving the Nation” fund will spend $39.3 million ensuring electric car chargers are placed at 150 kilometre intervals on national highways.
Full technical details – including the charging speed of the network – have not been released.
The NRMA will be using purpose built charger models for various public charging locations depending upon environmental conditions, location and power availability, sourcing chargers from manufacturers including Tritium, Kempower and ABB.
A spokesman for the organisation said plug power for the public charging locations “will initially range from 75kW to around 300kW”.
The fastest chargers currently used in Australia can add around 300 kilometres of range in about 20 minutes to high-end electric cars with more than 500 kilometres of range.
Cheaper models such as the Nissan Leaf, that can’t handle the flow of energy at need about an hour to add around 200 kilometres of range.
Mr Bowen drives a Tesla Model 3 – Australia’s most popular electric car.
Priced from about $64,000 drive-away, the Tesla offers around 491 kilometres of driving range.
Tesla has a widespread “Supercharger” network that is not available to owners of other electric cars.
Carly Irving-Dolan, NRMA chief executive for energy and infrastructure, said the network would be the charging backbone of Australia.
“The NRMA is excited to be partnering with the Australian Government to grow our regional network of fast charging stations across the country because we fundamentally believe that regional Australia should not be left behind,” she said.
“Australia’s expansive landscape presents some unique and local challenges to ensure that we are ready for more electric vehicles on our roads.
“NRMA has over 100 years’ experience helping Australia address transport challenges and we are committed to building on this work through this national charging network.”
Australians have made the wrong choice about housing for the last 40 years
A lot of hot air below. He says that our wish for comfortable and convenient housing is all wrong and we need to completely re-do how we house ourselves. He is right that there is a housing shortage problem but seems to think that what we do about the problem has to be sweeping in some unspecified way
That is nonsense. There is only one basic problem behind the housing shortage: We are not buiding houses fast enough to match our population growth. And the big influence behind the population growth is massive immigratiom. Put a moratorium on immigration for five years and the problem would vanish. The shortage is a government-created one and with little more than a stroke of the pen, the Federal government could end it
That is not going to happen of course but we should not pretend that the problem is mysterious, complex or insoluble. It is a product of meddling in the market by governments, including local governments that obstruct new building on NIMBY and Greenie grounds.
Abolishing the right of local governments to obstruct new house-building would unleash a surge of new dwellings and thus drive prices down to more affordable levels
The weekend auction battles around suburban Australia are leaving more than just emotional scars on the losing bidders.
Our love affair with property, which has driven the cost of housing to eye-watering levels and left Australians among the most indebted people in the world, is literally destroying our way of life and that of future generations.
The series we start today is not just a response to the high-priced houses and super-sized mortgages we have inflicted upon ourselves this century. It reflects the mounting evidence that one of our most basic needs – shelter – has become a dangerous financial instrument.
People cannot afford to live where they need. Our banks’ business models are based on one asset class – housing. The Reserve Bank must make decisions about the entire economy hamstrung by the huge level of mortgage debt held by ordinary Australians.
We have an army of mum and dad landlords who churn through their properties as they chase a capital gain because of the structure of our tax system.
The young and poorly paid, who a generation ago could afford their own home, now hope for an inheritance or loan from their parents to get a slice of the property market.
According to economists Sam Bowman and Ben Southwood and housing advocate John Myers, housing is more than just the size of your mortgage or inability to find an affordable rental.
They have developed what they describe as the “housing theory of everything”, which argues high-priced housing is at the heart of the many economic ills facing the globe.
Housing costs dictate where people live, the jobs they have, the size of their families and how they lead their lives. They mean we have to spend more on mortgage repayments or rent, giving us less to spend on goods and services. More broadly, people cannot live where they will be most productive. Businesses can’t get access to the people they need to operate to their fullest potential.
The world’s most productive areas, the places where the biggest breakthroughs are made, are in cities. But if we make them prohibitively expensive, the chance of a scientific or technological innovation is reduced.
At almost every point over the past 40 years, when given policy alternatives around housing, Australians collectively have made the wrong choice.
From local council chambers to the federal parliament, the wrong policy road has been taken.
Robert Menzies, and the state governments of the 1940s and 1950s, made Australia one of the great home-owning democracies through their public housing programs. But these have withered for decades.
It’s not just buying a house. Australian renters are, by any international comparison, poorly treated, be it from owning a pet to the length of tenure they might enjoy.
That’s exacerbated by a tax system that effectively encourages investors to own a single property who often struggle to deal with the issues that come with being a good landlord.
This series outlines the problem that is staring us in the face, how we came to make the decisions that created the problem, and some prospective solutions.
The solutions are not easy. If they were, previous governments would have tackled them. Instead, they have again and again kicked the issue off into the future or, even worse, come up with proposals that would make the situation worse.
Unless something changes, we are consigning ourselves to more economic pain. That’s pain that will be passed on to the next generation and the next.
As Grattan’s Brendan Coates warns, we are in danger of repeating the mistakes of the world inhabited by Jane Austen, where property was the way to wealth for just the upper echelons of society.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Australian housing industry cannot continue on as if nothing is wrong.
Sydney statue defaced in Anzac Day protest
So much hate. Why does something that happened in 1826 still matter? Leftists are just using it to keep their hate alive
The article below closes with a reference to the Appin massacre, which was part of a war between Aborigines and settlers. Unmentioned is that Governor Macquarie was initially a peacemaker and that his orders were to capture, not kill Aborigines. The campaign he ordered was out of frustration with attacks on settlers
A community in Sydney’s north-west is angry after a statue was defaced with red paint ahead of a local Anzac Day dawn service.
The Lachlan Macquarie statue in Windsor’s McQuade Park was doused in red paint and handprints alongside the phrases “here stands a mass murderer who ordered the genocide” and “no pride in genocide”.
Mayor Sarah McMahon said she was alerted to the incident after the dawn service and said upon inspection, the paint was still “significantly wet”.
“To me, it had been done quite recently,” she said. “I am really saddened there are members of our community out there that think this is the appropriate way to get their message across.”
McMahon arranged for council staff to clean the statue and police were also called to the scene.
“We are a military community here in the Hawkesbury and to have this done on a day of such national and local significance to me is appalling,” she said. “I expect the police will do their job thoroughly.”
Local resident Tim Kelly took to Facebook to share an image of the defaced statue, receiving hundreds of horrified comments in response.
“The day was about our servicemen, not about any other agenda,” he said. “Everyone is absolutely disgusted.”
The statue has been the target of protests before. In 2017, the statue was graffitied with the words “murderer” as part of an Australia Day protest.
Monument Australia, an organisation that records monuments throughout Australia, states on their website the statue was commissioned during the bicentenary celebrations in 1994 of European settlement in the Hawkesbury.
“There is controversy around Macquarie’s treatment of Indigenous people,” the website states.
“In April 1816, Macquarie ordered soldiers under his command to kill or capture any Aboriginal people they encountered during a military operation aimed at creating a sense of terror. At least 14 men, women and children were brutally killed, some shot, others driven over a cliff.”
I am, damn it, proud to be English
Cleopatra was black?
A further instance of such distortions can be found here, where a British historian claims that there was an African population in Britain during the Roman empire. Also see here and here
Netflix has been accused of 'blackwashing' history by casting a black actress as Cleopatra in a new docuseries about the Macedonian-Greek ruler of Egypt.
But Egyptians have reacted with horror to the denial of records which show Cleopatra was Macedonian-Greek. An Egyptian lawyer has filed a case with the country's public prosecutor demanding that Netflix be shutdown.
Meanwhile Cairo's former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass condemned the documentary as 'completely fake. Cleopatra was Greek, meaning that she was light-skinned, not black.'
Hawass said the only rulers of Egypt known to have been black were the Kushite kings of the 25th Dynasty (747-656 BC).
'Netflix is trying to provoke confusion by spreading false and deceptive facts that the origin of the Egyptian civilization is black,' he added and called on his countrymen to take a stand against the streaming giant.
On Sunday, lawyer Mahmoud al-Semary filed a complaint with the public prosecutor demanding that he take 'the necessary legal measures' to block access to Netflix.
He alleged the show featured content that violated Egypt's media laws and accused Netflix of trying to 'promote the Afrocentric thinking ... which includes slogans and writings aimed at distorting and erasing the Egyptian identity.'
Cleopatra was famously played by white English actress Elizabeth Taylor opposite Richard Burton as Mark Anthony in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's historical epic from 1963.
Three years ago plans for a new movie about the queen starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot sparked a backlash from people insisting the role should go to an Egyptian or African actress.
Gadot defended the decision, saying: 'We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn't there, and I was very passionate about Cleopatra.'
The fury at Netflix's right-on programming comes after it appeared to have ditched the woke messaging last year.
Netflix took a hit in the first half of 2022, losing about 1,170 million subscribers as rivals such as Paramount+ and Disney+ raked them in.
The huge decline was seen by some as a direct consequence of the company's late response to demands from its viewers to tone down their woke agenda.
Some Americans Shouldn’t Get Another COVID-19 Vaccine Shot, FDA Says
A big change: The vaccines we have all been using are now de-authorized. Only the bivalents are now approved, despite there being little evidence of their effectiveness. Amazing. A "bivalent" targets more than one strain of the virus
Some Americans cannot receive another COVID-19 vaccine dose, U.S. regulators said on April 18, as they made sweeping changes to the vaccine system.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the changes, including replacing the old Pfizer and Moderna vaccines with updated bivalent shots that had previously only been available as boosters.
Regulators are also scaling back the number of recommended doses for most individuals, including people who haven’t received a shot.
Key changes include:
Most unvaccinated Americans are still being encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine but only need a single dose of a bivalent, the FDA said. The exception is young children. Children aged 6 months through 5 years can receive two doses of Moderna’s bivalent while those aged 6 months through 4 years can get three doses of Pfizer’s bivalent.
Americans who have received a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine and one of the bivalent boosters still cannot get an additional dose, unless they’re in certain groups.
Any individual 65 years old or older can receive a bivalent dose, even if they’ve already received one, provided four months or more has elapsed since their last shot.
People aged 5 and older and deemed immune compromised can get another bivalent at least two months after their last shot, even if it was a bivalent, and can get additional doses “at the discretion of, and at intervals determined by, their healthcare provider.”
Little Data to Support Bivalents
The FDA authorized the original vaccines in late 2020 based on clinical trial efficacy data. The original vaccines targeted the Wuhan virus strain, which hasn’t circulated since 2020.
The updated bivalents target the Wuhan strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron strain. The subvariants were displaced in 2022.
Regulators authorized the bivalents as boosters in 2022 despite no clinical trial data being available. In letters formally announcing the bivalents as replacing the old vaccines, the FDA made clear that scientists aren’t sure whether the bivalents protect against COVID-19.
“Based on the totality of the scientific evidence available, FDA concluded that it is reasonable to believe that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID?19 Vaccine, Bivalent may be effective in individuals 6 months of age and older for the prevention of COVID-19,” the letter to Pfizer states. The same language was used for Moderna’s shot.
Most of the data supporting Pfizer’s expanded authorization comes from the old vaccines and a bivalent that has never been used in the United States. The only trial data for the available bivalent showed that children had higher levels of neutralizing antibodies when they received a bivalent. Antibodies are thought to protect against COVID-19.
No clinical trial data for Moderna’s shot was cited, and no efficacy data was cited for either vaccine.
Dr. Peter Marks, a top FDA vaccine official, claimed in a briefing that “the available data continue [to] demonstrate that vaccines prevent all serious outcomes from COVID-19, including hospitalization and death.” It’s not clear which data he was citing, and the FDA did not respond to a request for comment.
The FDA cited a single observational study in its letter to Pfizer. English researchers reported in The Lancet that vaccination with an old vaccine in addition to previous infection provided strong protection against symptomatic COVID-19 through March 2022. Other research has found that prior infection alone is as good as or better than vaccination.
Other observational studies have found the updated vaccines provide transient protection against hospitalization and poor protection against infection.
Seroprevalence data indicates a majority of Americans have recovered from COVID-19, the FDA noted. That’s an important acknowledgement, Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California–San Francisco, told The Epoch Times in an email.
Gandhi said she agrees that only the elderly and immune suppressed should receive another dose, as opposed to the entire population. Dr. Harvey Risch, professor emeritus of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, said that he sees the vaccines as largely unnecessary.
“The current vaccines are out-of-date, any new ones will be out-of-date by the time they are generally available, and mostly everybody already has SARS-CoV-2 antibodies anyway,” Risch told The Epoch Times via email. “At this point, the vaccines are thus not generally useful products for serving a public health function.”
Change Made to Boost Uptake
Uptake of the vaccines was high after they were authorized, but has dropped considerably since. Just 16.7 percent of the U.S. population has received a bivalent shot, compared to 69.4 percent who received a primary series of the old vaccine.
FDA officials said the changes announced on April 18 were made to simplify the vaccine composition, reduce the complexity of the available doses, and increase uptake.
“This approach will help us achieve higher vaccination coverage across the country,” Marks told reporters. “If anything comes out of this action, we’re hoping that it can encourage people who have not received the bivalent booster to go out and consider getting one.”
The newly rolled out system is for the spring, as officials are planning to meet over the summer to discuss a fall regimen. They plan to adapt COVID-19 vaccines to the influenza model, updating strains in the vaccines each year.
Advisers to the agency backed the pivot to bivalents in a January discussion. Some said they favor updating the strains in the future.
Sending little kids to childcare is not good for them
Judith Sloan mentions a number of considerations below but fails to mention that most children in childcare have much higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol -- compared with their levels at home. Chidcare is DEMONSTRABLY bad for chidren. You can see it at the physical level. Organizational childcare stresses and worries the little kids. They feel afraid, not secure. It destroys their confidence in their environment. And it sometimes has lasting bad effects. See, for instance:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23772818/Children develop best in a loving home. It has to be a really bad home for childcare centers to be beneficial
I have a confession to make: I never sent my children to childcare. They did go to kinder/preschool when there were four for a few days each week during the school term, but that was it. Sorry, kids.
Actually, I’m not sorry. While I was at work, they were happy at home being looked after by the same loving nanny we were lucky to have. Even to this day, I’m not convinced of the benefits of centre-based childcare, particularly for very young children.
I get it; a lot of parents have no choice but to place their kids in childcare centres for financial reasons. It’s only by going down this path that the generous taxpayer-funded subsidies are available. Notwithstanding the restricted hours these centres operate, they do provide potentially more reliable care than (expensive) nannies or relatives during the core working hours.
I also get why many parents want to believe that centre-based childcare, including the incorporated preschool programs, offers their children a range of benefits such as socialising with other children and play-based learning (whatever that is). Less mention is made of the frequent bouts of infectious diseases that children pick up at these centres and the rapid-fire phone calls from management to collect the children within five minutes.
It has got to the point where parents are brainwashed into believing that it is their civic duty to plonk their very young child in a childcare centre as soon as possible after birth and return to the workforce in order to boost the economy and pay taxes. Throw in a bit of self-actualisation and is there really any choice?
Mind you, the busybody feminists whose aim in life is to have every woman working full-time, pre- and post-partum, remain frustrated that so many young mother apparently are happy to work part-time while their children are young.
To be sure, many more women with children now participate in the workforce than was once the case. In 1991, just under 60 per cent of women with children under the age of 15 worked; by 2020, this proportion had climbed to nearly 75 per cent. But the majority of mothers with young children (4 and under) opt to work part-time.
These same activist feminists, who have generally had dream runs in the workforce ending in cushy corporate board positions, argue that it is the way that childcare fee subsidies work that explains the dominance of part-time work among new mothers. Those extra days of work are simply not worth it. It doesn’t occur to these campaigners that most mothers actually prefer to spend as much time as possible with their babies and toddlers because this is good for the children and for them.
This relentless advocacy has all the hallmarks of the old Soviet model of child-rearing. Women were forced to leave their very young children (cared for by women workers) in order to undertake full-time jobs to support the communist state. The idea that mothers would be given any choice was of course anathema to the autocratic rulers – they must be made to work for the state.
The early model of the kibbutz in Israel also involved communal child-rearing in which some women would be assigned the role of looking after all the children while the other women undertook the various other tasks at hand. In some instances, parents wouldn’t see their children all week. Unsurprisingly, this feature of the kibbutz ultimately didn’t survive as parents expressed their desire to be fully involved in bringing up their own children.
So let’s go back to current day Australia and examine the articles of faith to which the Labor party (and to some extent, the Liberal party) adhere. They are: centre-based childcare is good; it must be heavily subsidised by taxpayers, with the most generous assistance being directed to those on the lowest incomes; renaming it early childhood education and asserting that it is beneficial for children, both in the present and the future, provides the basis for even more generous subsidisation, even ‘free’ childcare.
In Labor’s case, you can throw in the potential for the unionisation of childcare workers and the scope for generous pay rises based on either arbitration or enterprise bargaining. Let’s face it, there’s no hope of getting nannies into the union and mothers staying at home are no good either.
One of the most astonishing aspects of the debate about childcare and the role of government is the relative absence of research on the impact on the children. There is a very old study – the Perry study from the US – that is often quoted to support the benefits of structured, free-of-charge childcare. But the numbers in the study were tiny and the parents selected for the study came from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds. (Some of the fathers were in jail.)
It is hardly surprising that those children who attended childcare compared with the control group did better on a number of measures, including behaviour, progress at school, staying out of jail and the like. But there was never any scope to generalise the findings because they were mainly driven by the socioeconomic backgrounds of the treatment and control groups.
A more recent study and quoted by Rod Liddle in this magazine relates to childcare in Quebec. The provincial government decided many years ago to provide close-to-free childcare; the rest of Canada did not follow suit. According to Liddle, ‘studies showed a significant development decrease in Quebec children relative to those in the rest of Canada’. He quotes some alarming figure in relation to ‘social competence, external problems and adult-child conflict.’
Perhaps the most worrying finding is that the negative effects of childcare appear to be long-lived. ‘By age 15, extensive hours before age four-and-a-half [in childcare] predicted problem behaviours… even after controlling for daycare quality, socioeconomic background and parenting quality.’
In the case of Australia, we are only too aware of declining school student performance over the past decade and a half, coinciding with a period of rising participation in centre-based childcare. Of course, this correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation but it’s not a great start for the advocates of further government subsidisation of childcare.
A final word of warning: when you read about the benefits of early childhood education in Australia, a lot of conflating goes on. Centre-based childcare for very young children is not early childhood education and a few days per week of preschool for three- and four-year-olds is not full-time childcare.
Keep these differences in mind when assessing the self-interested demands being made by the various lobbyists.
‘Grossly unfair’: Self Managed Super Fund Association wants tax proposal ditched
This would effectively be a wealth tax. Interesting that it hits super funds only. People who manage their own money (with or without advice) would not be affected. Once again it is lower income earners who would get hit. I have never liked super and the fees you have to pay for it. I have always made my own decisions. So I will not be affected
The Self Managed Super Fund Association has called on the federal government to drop its proposal to tax unrealised gains by super funds larger than $3m, describing the approach as “grossly unfair.”
“Our members are very concerned at being taxed on unrealised gains,” SMSF Association chief executive, Peter Burgess, told The Australian.
“It is grossly unfair that self managed super fund members who have balances over $3m are being asked to pay tax on unrealised gains.”
The association has expressed its views in a submission to the federal government this week on the proposal to double the tax from 15 per cent to 30 per cent on earnings from superannuation balances of $3m or more from July 1, 2025.
Concern is rising at the proposal among small business and farmers groups at the government’s plan to move into unprecedented waters in tax policy in Australia, by seeking to levy taxes on unrealised gains — a move which could pave the way for it being applied to other sectors such as shares and properties, if it is given the go ahead with regards to superannuation.
The proposed higher tax rate of 30 per cent will be levied on the increase in the total superannuation fund balance over $3m over the year, and not the actual earnings of the fund from dividends and asset sales as is the case with the tax system.
The federal government has estimated that the proposal could bring in an extra $2bn a year in the first full year it is in operation.
The new tax on superannuation was announced this year by the Treasurer Jim Chalmers despite an assurance from then Opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, before last year’s election that his party had no plans at the time to introduce new taxes on superannuation.
Submissions on the proposal, including the radical new approach to levying the higher tax rate on unrealised gains, closed this week.
Mr Burgess said some 75 per cent of the people who would be affected by the changes were those with self managed super funds.
He said the approach of levying tax on unrealised gains “could cause some significant liquidity issues” for super funds.
He said people who owned properties, including farms and business premises, through their superannuation funds were now realising the impact of the proposal if their properties or funds were worth more than $3m.
Some could be forced to sell property or farms if their value rose during the year.
Mr Burgess said the Treasury’s argument for using the much broader base of unrealised gains, rather than realised gains which is the basis for all other tax policy, was that it was much simpler to calculate the increase in value of a fund than to calculate total realised returns for the amounts over $3m.
He said the association had been told that some large super funds did not have the capacity to calculate the earnings attributable to specific member funds over $3m.
But he said other large funds did have that capacity and all self managed super funds could also do it.
He said it was unfair to penalise people with self managed super funds because of the problems of a much smaller number of people who had balances of over $3m in APRA regulated super funds.
He said the association was calling on the federal government to drop the approach of levying the tax on unrealised gains altogether because of its unfairness.
If this was a problem for some large super funds, he said funds should be given the option on which method to use – either the increase in the total super balance or the actual realised gains during the year.
“It seems that we are designing an approach to taxation based on a very small number of people (who have balances over $3m and the funds can’t identify the earnings by member.)
Mr Burgess said the association intended to “come out swinging” in expressing its concerns about the unfair impact of taxing unrealised gains on people with self managed super funds.
“The taxing of unrealised gains is unprecedented in Australia as a method of raising tax,” HLB Mann Judd’s director of superannuation, Andrew Yee, told The Australian.
“The new tax is asset based rather than the traditional model of taxing of income and this has created the most controversy,” he said.
“It is not fair in terms of it only being applied to individuals with a large amount of superannuation assets with the majority of those assets being held in self managed super funds.”
“This taxing model is not being applied to any other individuals or other taxing entities.
“This form of taxing could be applied to other assets in the future,” he said.
Mr Yee said his superannuation clients who were affected were dealing with “the initial shock of an extra tax on super” and were now awaiting the details.
“Those clients that are considering planning for the new tax are thinking of reducing their potential exposure to the tax by moving super assets to non-super entities, or by no longer growing their super benefits by reducing or not maximising contributions,” he said.
He said the clients most worried about the new tax were those people who had built up large super balances over many years, the majority of whom are now in retirement phase drawing out a pension.
“Those clients with a significant portion of the SMSF in property assets (for example an office block or commercial building which is related or leased to the family business) are concerned about the tax and having to consider whether to unwind these holdings and the consequences of doing so,” he said.
Novel Estimates of Mortality Associated With Poverty in the US
Inquiry calls for universal preschool for three-year-olds to be rolled out in SA from 2026
This is just Leftist anti-family rubbish. Karl Marx would be pleased. There is no basis for it in science. The research shows that kids do better at home rather than in preschool. Preschool in fact holds the kids back, often permanently. Mothers are the best teachers in all but the most deprived homes. See the following for summaries of the evidence:
https://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=5525What Gillard "genuinely believes" is of no importance
A royal commission investigating how best to launch an earlier start to education in South Australia has recommended all three-year-olds be entitled to 600 hours of preschool a year.
The Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care was launched last year to work out how best to deliver the SA Labor Party's election promise to give three-year-old children access to preschool from 2026.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who was appointed to lead the $2.45 million commission, has made 33 recommendations in her interim report handed to the state government today.
Ms Gillard said three-year-olds should be offered the same universal entitlement to preschool currently offered to four-year-old children — 600 hours a year, or 15 hours a week for 40 weeks a year.
"I genuinely believe this report should be of interest to every South Australian, whether or not they have young children in their family or young children in contemplation in their families' future," she said.
"We have a moral obligation to every child to make sure every child has the best opportunity to grow and learn and thrive."
The commission recommends 15 hours a week be viewed as a minimum and is also contemplating greater entitlements to fund extra hours for children deemed most at risk of developmental delays.
"We also, as a state, have a shared economic interest in making sure that we set our children on the best pathway in life, because the research tells us crystal clear that intervention in the early years can make the biggest difference," Ms Gillard said.
"If we do not set children up well in the early years of life, if children present to school with developmental delays then it can be very hard to catch up and that disadvantage will continue to show in their adult life.
"It shows in life expectancy, in poorer health, in poorer economic outcomes, in greater welfare dependency and even potentially in involvement with crime."
The proposed approach will cost the state about $162 million a year.
The commission recommends three-year-old preschool be delivered in a mix of government and non-government settings, including in early learning centres and long day care.
The approach will need 32 new preschools to be built, at a cost of $111.2 million.
Ms Gillard said the approach would also build on the work currently being done by those who worked in early childhood education, often informally and unpaid, to link families with other support systems.
"That can be everything from recognising that a child might need to be connected to the professional services of a speech pathologist, to recommending to a family that if they need assistance with food, that is a Foodbank in the local community," she said.
"At the moment that kind of building of connections is being done as an act of goodwill of individuals, it's not built-in as a feature of practice all day every day and we want to make sure that it is."
Premier Peter Malinauskas said it would be the biggest reform to early childhood education the state had ever seen.
"What we're doing here isn't just nation-leading, but it's global-leading," he said.
"It's important we look at these recommendations with a holistic view, that we take the time to ask questions, and critically view our education system, so that any actions from this are the right ones for the next generation."
The commission, which is seeking feedback from the public on its report, found the rollout "could be completed by 2032", but is still looking into the issue of workforce supply.
The final report is scheduled to be released in August.
A new super-careful estimate of a global temperature trend based on the satellite record
Some very sophisticated Chinese mathematicians have been at work. I reproduce their conclusions only below. The point to note is that they found a warming trend over the last 40 years of only fourteen hundredths of one degree per decade. I quote:
"the total tropospheric temperature trend derived from TMT was 0.142 ± 0.045 K/decade from 1979 to 2021".
That's about as tiny a trend as you can imagine and is certainly no cause for alarm. Global warming is totally trivial. It's to laugh at. The globe HAS been warming but at a not remotely catastrophic level. Whether ANY warming will take place in the future is unknown. Claims that it will are mere speculation based on a very dubious hypothesis of continuity.
Mid-Tropospheric Layer Temperature Record Derived From Satellite Microwave Sounder Observations With Backward Merging Approach
Cheng-Zhi Zou, Hui Xu, Xianjun Hao, Qian Liu
We have developed STAR V5.0 TMT time series for the period from late 1978 to present using a backward merging approach. The RTMT time series during 2002–present based on AMSU-A and ATMS observations onboard satellites in stable sun-synchronous orbits was used as the reference and earlier satellites before NOAA-19 were adjusted to RTMT in the backward merging. Brightness temperatures from NOAA-10 to NOAA-19 were recalibrated first before they were merged with RTMT and a semi-physical model was developed for diurnal drift adjustment. Adjustments of channel frequency differences between MSU and AMSU-A companion channels and instrument blackbody warm target effects were also conducted on observed radiances. The recalibration and adjustments for diurnal drift and warm target effects had effectively removed satellite bias drifts and resulted in inter-consistent satellite radiance data with small inter-satellite difference trends and standard deviations. Major differences in STAR V5.0 from the existing data sets is that recalibration has removed large spurious warming drifts in NOAA-11, NOAA-12, and NOAA-14 and a large cooling drift in NOAA-15 observations. The removal of the spurious warming drifts in NOAA-11 to NOAA-14 resulted in the warming trends in STAR V5.0 during 1979–2021 much smaller than the existing versions of the STAR and RSS data sets but close to the latest version of the UAH data set. After removal of the lower-stratospheric cooling effect, the total tropospheric temperature trend derived from TMT was 0.142 ± 0.045 K/decade from 1979 to 2021. This total trend was separated by two distinct periods with trends during the latest half period were nearly doubled the earlier half period over ocean and the globe, showing accelerating tropospheric warming. The estimated acceleration rate of the tropospheric warming was about 0.029–0.39 K decade?2 over ocean and the globe.
The STAR V5.0 data set. also include TUT, TLS and TLT time series. Similar backward merging approaches and diurnal adjustment algorithms as used in the TMT development were applied to TUT and TLS channels for their development. TLT is obtained using regressions of TMT, TUT, and TLS following approaches in Spencer et al. (2017).
The STAR V5.0 CDR for TLT, TMT, TUT, and TLS is publicly accessible from the STAR website with a URL address: https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/smcd/emb/mscat/products.php . Plans are also being developed to transition the STAR V5.0 data set to NOAA/NCEI for operational archiving and distribution for user applications.
The cut-off dates for MSU and AMSU-A observations used in STAR V5.0 from all earlier satellites were before the end of 2018. Future update of STAR V5.0 will only need update of the ATMS observations in RTMT. The update of the monthly RTMT has been made every month for ATMS observations onboard SNPP and NOAA-20. Future JPSS satellites such as JPSS-2 are planned to be launched onto the same stable orbits as in SNPP and NOAA-20. When ATMS observations from these satellites are available, they will be simply added to RTMT without the need for diurnal drift adjustment. Such a STAR V5.0 data set is expected to extend to the next 20 years for climate change monitoring and assessment in the atmospheric temperatures.
How fentanyl became Seattle’s most urgent public health crisis
Biden's Fascistic EV Edict
David Harsanyi writing below knows his history: That Fascism was Leftist. In the 1920s Mussolini was a prominent Marxist intellectual. It is only Soviet disinformation that has propagated the myth that Fascism was Rightist
President Joe Biden is set to "transform" and "remake" the entire auto industry -- "first with carrots, now with sticks" -- notes the Washington Post, as if dictating the output of a major industry is within the governing purview of the executive branch. The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing draconian emissions limits for vehicles, ensuring that 67% of all new passenger cars and trucks produced within nine years will be electric. This is state coercion. It is undemocratic. We are not governed; we are managed.
In fascist economies, a powerful centralized state -- often led by a demagogue who plays on the nationalistic impulses of people -- controls both manufacturing and commerce and dictates prices and wages for the "common good." Any unpatriotic excessive profits are captured by the state. All economic activity must meet state approval. And crony, rent-seeking companies are willing participants. Now, I'm not saying we already live in a fascist economic state. I'm just saying the Democratic Party economic platform sounds like it wishes we were.
The coverage of Biden's edict has gone exactly as one might expect. "Biden makes huge push for electric vehicles. Is America ready?" asks Politico, for instance. The conceit of so much modern media coverage rests on the assumption that the left's ideas are part of an inevitable societal evolution toward enlightenment. The only question remaining is when will the slaw-jawed yokels in Indiana and Texas finally catch on.
I'm sorry, EVs are not a technological advancement -- or much of an environmental one -- over vehicles with internal combustion engines. Most of the comforts EV makers like to brag about have been a regular feature of gas-powered cars for decades. At best, EVs are a lateral technology. And, as far as practicality, cost and comfort go, they're a regression. If EVs are more efficient and save us money, as administration officials claim, manufacturers would not have to be compelled and bribed into producing them.
The problem for Democrats is that consumers already have perfectly useful and affordable gas-powered cars that, until recently, could be cheaply fueled and driven long distances without stopping for long periods of time. Fossil fuels -- also the predominant energy source used to power electric cars -- are the most efficient, affordable, portable and useful form of energy. We have a vast supply of it. In recent years, we've become the world's largest oil producer. There are tens of billions of easily accessible barrels of fossil fuels here at home and vast amounts around the world. By the time we run out, if ever, we will have invented far better ways to move vehicles than plugging an EV battery -- which is made by emitting twice as many gases into the air as a traditional car engine -- into an antiquated windmill.
"I want to let everybody know that this EPA is committed to protecting the health and well-being of every single person on this planet," the EPA's Michael Regan explained when announcing the edicts. No one is safer in an EV than a gas-powered vehicle. The authoritarian's justification for economic control is almost always "safety." But the entire "safety" claim is tethered to the perpetually disproven theory that our society can't safely -- and relatively cheaply -- adapt to slight changes in climate. If the state can regulate "greenhouse gases" as an existential threat, it has the unfettered power to regulate virtually the entire economy. This is why politicians treat every hurricane, tornado and flood as an apocalyptic event. But in almost every quantifiable way, the climate is less dangerous to mankind now than it has ever been. And the more they try to scare us, the less people care.
So let the Chinese communists worry about keeping their population "safe." Let's keep this one innovative, open and free.
Blaming Australia’s rental crisis on immigrants doesn’t tell the real story
Aged care rules ‘to set off collapses’
It's a devil and the deep blue sea phenomenon. To get assured good care, you have to pay a lot. But not everyone can pay that much so you get the distressingly poor treatment of some residents that we often read about
UK: Pub landlady defies police orders and puts five golliwogs back on display to applause from lunchtime drinkers just days after six officers seized 20 dolls in 'hate crime' probe
An old controversy. It is a bit odd, though. There is no doubt that the dolls are a caricature of Africans. So the do-gooders are actually demonizing African features?
There is a history of the Golliwog here. It was in fact an American invention. Excerpt: "Childhood toy, lovable rascal, cheeky jam mascot; how can anything that innocent be regarded as racist? That is certainly the view of many who were brought up with golliwogs"
Incidentally, Derek Laud is a black British political speechwriter who is quite happy with his nickname as "Golly" (The usual abbreviation of "Golliwog") . But Mr Laud and his friends are conservatives. Unlike the Left, they have a sense of humor
I had a golliwog myself when I was a little kid and regarded it with some affection. Was that wrong of me?
Benice Ryley proudly placed five of the controversial dolls behind the bar of The White Hart pub in Grays, Essex, which she has run for the past 17 years with her husband Chris.
The couple, who are in their 60s, had six officers enter the pub last Tuesday and take away 20 dolls displayed on a shelf behind the bar after an anonymous complaint was made against them.
They also seized an assortment of golliwog badges and magnets that adorned the bar.
As she placed some of them on a shelf, she told MailOnline: 'The whole thing is ridiculous. It's political correctness gone out of control. I'm not going to let the authorities intimidate me and I'm proudly putting my other gollis back on display in the pub.
'I'm still shocked that six officers came to my pub last week, surrounded me and took away my collection of golliwogs. I've not committed any crime and haven't set out to offend anyone. These gollis are a part of the pub, the customers love them, and they are reminder of our childhood.'
Ms Ryley also posted a notice at the entrance to the pub warning customers that golliwogs are on display inside and that they should not enter if this will offend them. The sign declares: 'We have golly dolls displayed inside on our shelves. If you feel offended. Please do not enter.'
She added: 'The police took 20 of my golli dolls but I've got plenty more of them upstairs. If people don't like them and feel offended by seeing them then they don't have to come into my pub. It's as simple as that. I'm not going to give into this crazy political correctness. We have customers at this pub from all different races and none of them have ever complained about seeing my gollis on display. Why did the police get involved in this?'
The White Hart pub is located on the edge of a council estate in Grays notorious for crime and drug dealing.
Ms Ryley and other regulars fumed that police rarely attend when called out for 'real' crimes and slammed the presence of six police officers who removed the golliwogs from the pub.
Two others waited outside while their colleagues placed the dolls in plastic bags to take them away.
Her husband was away in Turkey at the time with police informing her that they wish to question him for a 'hate crime' when he returns as he is the licensee.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman is said to have been furious about the approach, and has told Essex Police that bosses should be focusing on catching real criminals rather than seizing toys.
The issue of whether the dolls are racist or not often sparks fierce debate. The golliwog was created by Florence Kate Upton in 1895 in her book 'The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwog', where it was described as 'a horrid sight, the blackest gnome'.
After the author created the golliwog, it became a favourite for collectors and was popular in the UK as the mascot of Robertson's jam.
But by the 1980s, it was increasingly seen as an offensive racist caricature of black people.
Some people hark back to fond childhood memories of the dolls, whereas others argue golliwogs are a racist icon of a bygone age.
In a YouGov poll last year 53 per cent of respondents said they thought selling or displaying golliwogs was 'acceptable' compared to 27 per cent who did not.
Asked if it was racist to sell or display a golliwog doll, 63 per cent of respondents said it was not, while 17 per cent did.
Ms Ryley said: 'Surely the police have better things to do. If they arrest my Chris when he gets back, I promise you, the world will know about it.
'I totally agree with the Home Secretary. The police need to focus on real crime and not worry about what dolls people are displaying.'
Pub regular Sue Payne, 57 said: 'It's absolutely stupid and a complete waste of police time and money. You can get stabbed or mugged around here and the police won't come or if they do, it'll be after ages. But somebody complains about some dolls and six officers turn up. You couldn't make it up.'