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December 15th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The Christ child: a life lived for the whole world

WATER RESOURCES Murray-Darling management delivers the worst of both worlds

CANBERRA OBSERVED Libs fish around for explanations

ASIAN AFFAIRS Taiwanese agree to stick with nuclear power

EDUCATION In support of NAPLAN

VICTORIAN ELECTION Coalition collapse

ECONOMICS AND SOCIETY Mondragon Corporation: humanity at work

BREXIT December 12: D-Day for Britain's EU vote

EUTHANASIA WA Government ignores objections and lessons

TAIWAN Referendum stems homosexual tide

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Free trade and the WTO in the Trump era

MUSIC Teacher teachers: The jarring note in music courses

CLASSIC CINEMA The Adventures of Robin Hood: The one and only

BOOK REVIEW A triumph of determination

BOOK REVIEW An escape from futility and addiction

POETRY

LETTERS

HIGHER EDUCATION Massification: it's the name of the game

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LETTERS




News Weekly, December 15, 2018

Climate guessing body

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC) argues boldly that the world’s temperature has risen by one degree above pre-industrial levels. How would they know?

There were few reliable weather stations in Africa and Asia 150 and more years ago. Latin America and Russia could not contribute much.

Our world then was not yet technically developed enough to have weather stations in the oceans and seas over the earth surface. How about the Arctic and Antarctic, which had not yet been explored? No temperature gauges waiting for them there when Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott arrived.

With the lack of adequate global records from the 19th century, one does not have to be a scientist to feel that some peer-reviewed declarations are a lot of nonsense based on fantasies and assumptions.

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld.

 

Andrews and China

I see that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China to support its Belt & Road initiative.

This is madness and illegal under the state’s constitution, where Great Britain made a condition that “the six states united in one indissolvable federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain hereby established”.

This is an internal constitution bet-ween six states in an unbreakable partnership. Andrews is also acting against the Federal Government, which the people elected to manage their affairs.

The other five states should be able to put Andrews out for breaking their constitution and Victoria replace him as premier. The Federal Government should charge him for acting outside the authority given him by the people.

China should be notified immediately that Andrews had no authority under our country’s constitution.

Simon Birmingham should be sacked immediately for agreeing and welcoming the illegal deal with China. If other states did this it would become a nightmare.

Victoria could not pay its share of the $1.4 trillion, nor could Australia because of our runaway debt. Andrews would have to pay in land or ports.

D. Egan,
Dubbo, NSW

 

Prophetic comedy

Recently, I re-watched Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

While the movie targets the Christian faith, nastily in spots, it more trenchantly targets far-left groups. The movie lampoons Trotskyites, and their ilk, far more than it lampoons Christians.

In one scene, Reg (John Cleese), Stan (Eric Idle), Francis (Michael Palin) and Judith (Sue Jones-Davies) – members of the People’s Front of Judea – are discussing how to overthrow the Roman imperialist state.

Out of the blue Stan says: “I want to be a woman. From now on I want you all to call me Loretta.”

Incredulous, Reg says: “What?” But Stan insists: “It’s my right as a man.” Judith asks: “Why do want to be Loretta, Stan?” Stan replies: “I want to have babies.”

Reg becomes exasperated: “You want to have babies!?” Stan, in a hurt tone of voice: “It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.” Reg, now angry: “But you can’t have babies.” Stan snaps back: “Don’t you oppress me.”

The banter continues, with Reg explaining to Stan why, anatomically, he cannot have babies. Judith then attempts to solve the problem: “Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans, but that he can have the right to have babies?”

Francis says: “We shall fight the oppressors for his right to have babies.” Reg is too much a realist to accept Judith’s compromise: “What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?”

Francis is undeterred: “It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.”

Reg has the last word: “It is symbolic of his struggle against reality.”

Or was it the last word?

Life of Brian was made in 1979. In 1979 an audience would have laughed at the absurdity of Stan’s claims and at the ridiculous seriousness with which a far-left group would take those claims.

Today, however, a scriptwriter would not write such a scene. Such a scene would bring down the wrath of the LGBTIQ community, the ABC and the Human Rights Commission.

The rise and power of gay and transgender activists have drained the humour from Life of Brian’s “I want to be a woman” scene. The scene is, alas, no longer absurdist humour. It is no longer a send-up of far-left groups. The scene is an unintended prophecy of our time.

Douglas Brown,
Turramurra, NSW

 

Compounding unhappiness

Gabrielle Walsh asks, why the stampede to transgender (News Weekly, November 3, 2018)?

The answer is probably the same as the increase in youth depression, drug use and suicide since the 1960s as, under the influence of feminism and government support of market priorities, parents, mothers in particular, have largely withdrawn vigilant, constant and personal shepherding of their children’s welfare and development, leaving them to child care and the mobile phone.

Seeking to transition offers two remedies: it brings lots of attention from adults; and it seems to provide a reason for their unhappiness. They are not anxious, depressed and suicidal because they bear the wrong gender; they think they bear the wrong gender because they are anxious, depressed and suicidal.

The rest is copy-catting.

Lucy Sullivan,
Richmond, NSW

Nationals shirkers

In News Weekly of November 17, 2018, in the story, “Big banks shaken and stirred in their swamp”, Paul Collits wrote: “Those worthy Nationals Members and Senators who pushed for the Banking Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.”

In an otherwise excellent and accurate article, the credit for the limited-value royal commission cannot be given to any Government members, since they voted in the Senate against the motion of Senator Rod Culleton, WA, who introduced wide terms of reference for a royal commission in December 2016.

While the motion passed in the Senate, Government senators failed to support that motion and the Government failed then to raise the motion in the lower house. That was left to Bob Katter.

It was after ongoing pressure on the banks that they were forced to relent and dictate to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull what terms of reference they would agree to.

Only when the pressure forced their hand did the Nationals openly demand a royal commission and, even then, with such limited parameters that it was not going to jail the guilty or provide restitution for the numerous victims.

Max and Margaret Menzel,
Ayr, Qld.

 

Let’s get rid of parties

No amount of censure has changed the constant belligerent attitudes within and between the respective parties. The turmoil of the “Revolving door” of prime ministers is intolerable.

We therefore propose a complete change of the Westminster system of government away from the circus of party politics to a fully partisan government comprised of like-minded and totally independent members.

The structure is envisaged as follows:

  • Consists of 228 independent members (152 in the lower house and 76 in the upper house).
  • All positions to be declared vacant.
  • Any member may apply in writing for any executive position.
  • All positions to be filled by a vote of the members then and there present.
  • Tenures to be of three years.
  • The present Parliament to amend the Constitution accordingly.
  • Note: prior to being elected, the future member will be required to sign a sworn affidavit, which will be a condition on his /her eligibility to stand for election.
  • In it, the candidate must swear he/she is not a current member of any political party or group whatsoever; and that he/she is an Australian citizen.
  • A member can be removed from office by a vote of no-confidence by 80 per cent of the independents.

There will be an audit/regulating body within government comprised of independent members, having the power and authority to oversee the behaviour and performance of all members and reporting their findings to the speaker.

There is no opposition party in this new partisan Government, set to oppose, hinder, delay and frustrate. The checks and balances that the Westminster system requires are taken up by the independent members, who will have the absolute right to speak and to vote according to the dictates of their areas of responsibility and their own agency.

As people become more and more disillusioned with party politics, this new system of government will eventually emerge in which the public can have full confidence and trust.

Charles Brian Floate,
Retired Detective Senior Sergeant of the Victoria Police Force (1955–1987)
Bundaberg, Qld.

 

WA’s revolutionary euthanasia committee

Appointing a group of prominent citizens to draft euthanasia legislation must be a world first. Does this make the Government and the Parliament a rubber stamp? This is a radical departure from the Westminster system, which requires the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to prepare legislation.

Four of the 11-person panel have a palliative-care background. How is their pro-euthanasia position reconciled with the mission statement on palliative care defined by the World Health Organisation (My Life, My Choice Report, p55), which requires that “death not be hastened or postponed”?

Even Victoria, when it brought in its euthanasia law, did not dare to give a citizens committee the job of drawing up the legislation. Instead it has a committee considering what poisons to use to kill patients. Are we likely to see such a committee in WA?

John Barich,
Claremont, WA

 

Andrews’ new cabinet

Why does Premier Daniel Andrews think it’s a good think to discriminate against men because of their gender?

In announcing that half of his new cabinet will be women, Labor has abandoned genuine equality of opportunity.

If equality is the Premier’s aim, then people elevated to cabinet should be in proportion to their numbers elected to Parliament. For example, if women make up 45 per cent of elected representatives, then 45 per cent of cabinet should be women. If I was one of the 55 per cent of men elected to Parliament, I wouldn’t be very happy about being passed over simply because I’m male.

Quotas for females are in no sense equality of opportunity, and are in fact a denial of it. Equality of opportunity does not mean equal outcomes. For every man passed over in favour of a woman, another woman is disadvantaged: namely, the wife of the man passed over.

But I don’t think Labor men have the ticker to take on the Premier over his blatant discrimination against them.

Alan Barron,
Grovedale, Vic.

 

Progress to ... where?

The progressives now hold sway. Not elected for their good management, but propped up with foreign borrowings.

Victoria was once the jewel in the Liberals’ crown. A rather nondescript Labor Party has taken the crown in an era when the No 1 manufacturing state lost, without any fanfare, its precious manufacturing of automobiles.

The problem at the recent poll was the poor choice of Liberal leader. Two weeks before the election, we were saying: “Matthew who?” Why such a lightweight?

W. James,
Tweed Heads, NSW




























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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm