Saturday, July 13, 2002

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

Yesterday, a group of RMIT academics came out against the bid by their University to provide eduction and entertainment to the detainees in the various Migration Detention Centres around the country. Senior Lecturer in Social Work Helen Fraser said she did not want to give tacit support to mandatory detention. LaTrobe University politics wonk Robert Manne said it was ”unconscionable”.

In other words, nobody should supply the detainees, whose welfare we claim to represent, with entertainment or education. After all, if we morally-pristine university types can't see a way clear to do it, then neither should lesser lights. Far better for the detainees to go without, than for our soft hands to get a little dirty, and perhaps have to do the heavy lifting of actually DOING SOMETHING. Much more ideologically sound to leave it to the jackbooted thugs of ACM and group 4.

God knows, if conditions for the detainees start improving, where will the professional protest industry turn to?

Friday, July 12, 2002

I have been remiss in not saying a big oooooellloooo to Chris Textor at his Whacking Day blog. Scroll down to his gang-probing of lefty laundry pile Bob Ellis.
Laugh out loud with Stephen Green, the Vodkapundit.
In his wonderfully-named Bucket O' Rants, Juan Gato has laid down some useful rules for dissent, which I have alluded to previously.

Today's required reading. And it's short.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

BITE THE BULLET

Noel Pearson presents a grave problem for the Forces of Goodness and Progressiveness (FOGAP) in Australia. On one hand he is articulate, educated and aboriginal. He should naturally belong to the socially-progressive leftist tradition. On the other hand, he routinely expresses his contempt for those policies that have, in his opinion, delivered “his mob” into abject misery and despair. I get the feeling that if Pearson could get away with it, he’d take most of ATSIC out the back and shoot them.

Pearson’s despair comes from one central point: substance abuse. In today’s Australian, he calls for the non-aboriginal community, and by that he means the FOGAP policy makers, to face the fact that his people are dying from the grog. They are killing each other, molesting their children, going to jail, committing suicide, stealing, bashing, raping, or just plain dying, all because of the epidemic of (mainly) alcohol abuse.

For decades the aboriginal communities on the ground have been held hostage, as their appointed political masters argued for one unrealistic goal or another. While a Royal Commission debated aboriginal deaths in custody, aboriginal women died in droves at the hands of their men. When the Army was sent in to deliver fresh water and sewage services to remote communities, this was derided as a “whitefella solution”.

Today an aboriginal woman is 45 times more likely to die from domestic violence than the population as a whole. This happens because their men are drunk, and because no-one tell them differently.

Pearson understands that the supply has to be cut off. Someone has to have the guts to say “you are incapable of handling alcohol, and you will not be permitted to have it”. This will be fought by those with political or commercial reasons for making sure aboriginals continue to kill each other. But civil liberties mean very little to a young woman being beaten to death over a ten hour drinking binge. At her funeral, her parents will take no comfort that her husband’s right of access to alcohol was upheld. The activists that make her death a cause for an apology for white “invasion” will be far away from the next drunken catastrophe.

Like the gun laws, this can only be done by a Conservative government. The ALP is too far in thrall to the professional activist class to deliver the hard line that is required. They have the Constitutional powers to make laws for the benefit of the indigenous population. This must be used while there are still some to use it for.

WHAT? WHERE AM I? WHO STOLE MY PANTS?

Apologies for the lack of monkey-blog action over the past few days. I had my parents to stay for a week or so, and I wanted to concentrate on them. So Hi! Mum & Dad. Hope the drive back was smooth.

And so to business.
Matthew Bates weighs in on the ructions taking place in our own Twit-Left Party, the Australian Democrats. He takes issue with what looks like a fairly obvious statement from Alan Woods
But if Australia is to have a healthy polity, it should also mean the election of a government with a policy program and a mandate and the means to implement it. The Senate's present rejection of budget measures is only the latest evidence of the impossibility of implementing even minor, but important, reforms.


The Westminster system is based around a simple idea: win a majority of seats in the Lower House, convince the Crown that you can deliver government, and the job is yours.

There is the minor prize of Loyal Opposition if you take second spot, and absolutely nothing for third. The Commission to be Prime Minister is given on only one condition: That you can deliver a stable majority in the Lower House. Parliament is about delivering governance. If that happens to be good governance, then so much the better. But a government has to be able to command a majority of the votes in the Lower House, because that is where the Government is formed.

It is not formed in the Upper House, the Executive or the National Security Council. The electorate is asked at regular intervals what it would like their representatives to do. Policies are offered by parties, examined by a free and informed populace, and secret ballot elections held. One set of policies is chosen as the overall way forward, and the winning group given the job on implementing them.

What is not acceptable is to salami-slice the winning policies into ever-decreasing special interest groups, any and all of whom can, by Matthew’s definition, claim a mandate to deliver whatever crackpot theory they ran on to get into the Senate.

When a government is elected, they have the duty to implement the policy they were elected on. In the absence of extremely compelling reasons, nothing less will do. They are hired to do the job, and they should be entitled and expected to bloody well do it. It’s particularly galling to have a minority party who ran on the very specific policy of holding the new government to their campaign promises, then turn around and demand that certain selected policies not be made into law.

To put it simply, I voted for a GST on food, my guys won, and I didn’t get what I, and the electorate, voted for.

And I don’t want to hear any guff about a majority of the votes, or a majority of the two-party preferred, or a majority in the Senate. I won’t put up with my kids changing the rules when they lose, and I won’t put up with it from adults. I can find an election result that will illustrate any voting outcome.

To say that the Democrats have a mandate to implement their policies at the cost of the elected government’s, is to say anyone at all can do the same. Here is a selection of the parties running in the 1998 election:

Australians Against Further Immigration
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
Helen Caldicott's - Our Common Future Party
Socialist Alliance
Non-Custodial Parents Party
Australian Shooters Party

How would you feel if Fred Nile made banning the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras a condition of passing the Budget? What if the Shooters Party decided that all wilderness should be opened up four wheel drives? The Non-Custodial Parents crew wants to abolish the Family Court.

And let’s not forget the flipside. If you claim a mandate for holding the balance of power, you might do well to reflect on this: the Coalition parties have rarely been more than one or two Senate votes from an absolute majority. Under Matthew’s system, a government with a majority in the Senate would have the untrammelled right to do anything it wanted. As the saying goes when the rules are in dispute: all bets are off.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

NSW Premier Bob Carr wants to offer incentives to incoming migrants, in a bid to get them to settle anywhere but Sydney.

Let's see. The average house price in Sydney is now pressing the $400,000 mark, and will not buy you a lot. In Wagga Wagga (yes it's a real place), Whyalla, Darwin or Townsville the story is considerably different.

Add to that a $7000 free gift by the Federal Government to anyone buying a home for the first time, and truly savage on buying homes in NSW. Is it safe to say there are enough disincentives for moving to Sydney that we can assume money is not the question?

It seems as obvious as tits on a bull that what is needed is a reason for people to settle somewhere other than Sydney that goes past a straight money calculation, and addresses jobs, entertainment, amenity and proximity to your own migrant group. On the North Coast of NSW there is a thriving Sikh farming community built entirely by their own efforts, and using community relationships to assist newcomers by way of machinery loans and transport co-operation. Is anyone looking at this as a model?

Monday, July 08, 2002

Australia has an immigration policy that works in our interest, is supported by the overwhelming majority of the electorate, all major political parties, and is beginning to be copied around the world. It delivers better and faster outcomes than the UN for almost all asylum seekers who enter illegally.

A tiny minority of asylum seekers do not meet our generous refugee qualifications, and are refused refugee status. When they refuse to return to their country of origin, they stay here in detention, until they choose to return, or are deported. Over the years, the number of people refusing to return has accumulated because of the lengthy appeals process, and the unwillingness of the Australian Government to be seen to be returning people to hostile regimes.

One of the reasons Australia maintains a policy of mandatory detention is that illegal immigrants will melt into the general population, because Australian is almost unique among developed nations in not requiring our citizens to carry ID cards. We sort of had an election about it in 1987, but the whole deal ended up being dropped on a technicality. Without a national ID system, and given that Australia has an overseas-born population of about 30%, there is little chance of police finding illegal immigrants in the millions of immigrants that we have welcomed legally.

Today's Australian newspaper demonstrates that on this subject they are now pandering to their personal beliefs, and an unrealistic view of the border protection issue. They are seriously proposing that the citizens of Australia be required to carry ID cards, in order to more easily identify illegal immigrants attempting to access Social Security benefits, employment and banking services. They claim the Pacific Solution, where boat people are diverted to detention on neighbouring Pacific Island nations, costs too much. No figures are provided for the money cost on organising, producing and enforcing a reliable identity card for almost 20 million people, give or take a few. Not even a mention of the civil liberties concerns or fraud. There is a pretence that this would only be required by asylum seekers, but there is no way for the system to function without universal application.

And particularly, no justification why citizens should be forced to compromise their liberties, to combat potential crime committed by non-citizens. Now be fully aware, this does not relate to anyone who has arrived here legally, or even illegally, and been found to be a refugee. This is about people here without permission, and who have been found to not meet the requirements of a system that is two or three times more generous than the UN's.

To expect the citizens of a law-abiding, liberal democracy to accept restrictions on our lives, because of the illegal actions of non-citizens, and then to justify this as some kind of obligation on our part, towards people who have done nothing to deserve it, and are due no further entitlements from their host country, is absolutely outrageous.

It turns the idea of citizens' obligations on its head, and expands the range of people to whom Australians must provide support to an infinite number. There is no restriction that can't be implemented in the name "compassion", especially when the definition is a moveable feast.

There is only one question that need be asked is "in this to the benefit of our citizens"? And if the answer is not sufficient, then out it goes.

Paul Sheehan is a journalist who consistently refuses to play by the rules laid down by the press gallery. He will not pretend that either side of politics has an automatic mortgage on moral superiority, and is often pilloried by the Progressive forces for telling unpleasant truths.

Today he is concerned about the Canberra Press Gallery, and their self-appointed role as Proctor of the Public interest. As he says
How often does this dog not bark?

This is a valid question. Journalists are unelected, self-selected, insular, unrepresentative, arrogant, untrustworthy, distant, biased, and many smell strange. They routinely rate as low as politicians in the estimate of the public. Why should we trust them to decide what we should know? We would not accept this from politicians, and we have to power to get rid of them.


Sunday, July 07, 2002

A-FUSSIN’ AND A-FUEDIN’

As promised below, it’s time to deal with some fallout from my post about the Enemy.

Why do I capitalise the Enemy? Because they are people, and people get proper noun status. I also want to point out that this is a very personal war effort. It is not so much about land, power, oil or lebensraum. It’s about some stranger telling me I have no right to live my life as I and my countrymen see fit.

Don Arthur writes that
Terrorism works because, like judo, it turns an enemy's weight and strength against itself.

WE better check that against the success rate of the Baader-Meinhoff Gang, The Japanese Red Army, and all the other tin-pot gangsters who tried and failed to impose their version of the communist religion on their fellow citizens. To make us more security-conscious is not success, it is reaction. If a reaction is all they’re after, then why isn’t Tora-Bora being hailed as an overwhelming al Qaeda victory? Because they lost. The entire theory of terrorism is based on the unwillingness of the Western powers to take the steps required to combat it. That the soft citizens of the West were unwilling to pay the price, in lives, money, inconvenience or liberties to see it through That we would always do only what was necessary today, and not address the real “root cause”. Well News Flash: if someone is shooting at me, the root cause of my danger is the guy with the gun! I’m in danger because he thinks it’s a good idea to kill me! I’m not repeat NOT interested in why; I am only interested in how I can stop him. Maybe, if I feel like it later, after I’ve dragged his sorry arse off to jail, then I might consider looking into the matter further. But I’ll tell you this for free: It will only be if I feel like it, and I don’t owe gun-guy a damn thing, and I owe his supporters, apologists and paymasters even less. They owe me.*

His main response post seems to suggest that American foreign policy and cultural supremacy is the problem, then
why would fearful Australians want to be more closely associated with the United States? Wouldn't Australians be safer if kept their distance?

Two simple reasons Don:
1. We Pay Our Debts. And we owe the USA big-time. Without them, we would be speaking Japanese now. And not the good Japanese with the DVD’s and the silly game shows. I mean the nasty, comfort-women, shrub-worshipping, cut your enemy’s head off type of Japanese. A lot of people in Australia make much of how much Australians owe to the East Timorese, and the Papua New Guineans, for the “fuzzy wuzzy angels" that carried wounded soldiers out of the jungles in world War Two. But who had more men killed? Who contributed more materiel? Money? Who saved our arse?

And since then, our nation’s security has been guaranteed almost entirely by the fact that anyone who messed with us, messed with the US. We got a cheap ride as far as our own defence was concerned. Australia could no more fight off an invasion by a serious enemy, than flap our arms and fly to the moon.

It’s time to step up.

2. Self-interest. If the US falls, how long before the Enemy comes after us? It might not be al Qaeda, or Babaloo Liberation Front, but it’ll be somebody, because there's always somebody. Stop them now, while the biggest, baddest military machine on the planet is working in our interests.

There’s this
Of course Wright is correct to argue that fanatics can't be negotiated with or appeased. But they can be isolated from those who might otherwise support them. And the conditions which gave rise to their hostility can be addressed to prevent the development of another generation of susceptible individuals and communities. Instead of fighting fire with fire, you deny it the oxygen it needs to spread.


You fight fire with firefighters. You get men and women who think it is sometimes necessary to lay one’s body between home and hell, and fight. You backburn pre-emptively to stop it getting to home and hearth. And if worse come to worse, you evacuate, and come back later to rebuild.

What you don’t do is make the fire trucks wait up a bit until you decide if the fire is caused by insufficient fuel reduction, arson, wilderness-worshipping greenies, incompetent park management or lighting strike. You send the trucks and the personnel out to do the job they trained for and hoped would never happen.

Demonizing the enemy and anyone who looks like him only perpetuates the cycle of hatred and mutual incomprehension that breeds terror.


What breeds terror, Don, is some dickhead who has managed to demonise me to the point that blowing up my children seems like a good idea. Period. Poverty doesn’t breed terror. Education doesn’t either, Ditto for racism, sexism, feminism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, vegetarianism or Gilhooley’s cow. Terrorists are terrorists because that’s what they are. Take away the ideology, plonk ‘em down in Sydney and they’d probably be gangsters. Or be the guy with the key to the office supply cabinet.

I have no interest in demonising anyone; I want them recognised, for what they are. Killers, fanatics and thieves. I want them stopped, well away from me and mine.

Don’s view of the world seems to be that it operates like liberal democracies. That if people could just understand each other fully, then we’d all get along.

The world is like recess in the third-grade, and the teacher’s absent. The school bully has decided that might makes right, and he wants your lunch money, and will pound the stuffing out of you for good measure. You’ve already seen him do it to the second-graders, and now he’s moving up the food chain, as it were. There is one big kid who you can persuade to help you, and teach this clown a lesson. You know that the bully will not be punished if he beats you up, today, tomorrow or ever. Is it better to be right, (hungry and bleeding), or protected (bully bleeding)?

*I don't count Don Arthur as any of these. He strikes me as a "worthy opponent", the lack of which is what I suspect makes a lot of us take up blogging in the first place. Oh yeah, and the money.

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