Feminist Push to make childcare unaffordable
The Leftist IEU (Independent Education Union) have issued the call below. Government "quality" mandates, including high staff numbers and sweeping educational requirements for child-minders, have already pushed up the costs of child-minding to the point where most working mothers spend a large slice of their earnings on child care. The union wants a leap in pay for child minders that could push many working mothers out of the workforce altogether. So I support the call. Young children need their mothers at home, as the research by Erica Komisar has shown.
The claim that a university education is an important qualification for becoming a child minder is absurd and I would like to see the evidence for the claim. Some education could no doubt help but why university?
The IEU lodged evidence and submissions to support its pay equity claim for early childhood teachers just before Christmas.
This is the latest step in the IEU pay equity case that has been running before the Fair Work Commission since 2013. The Union is seeking pay rises for university qualified teachers in preschools and child care centres.
"The claim is based on comparisons with male employees male teachers in primary schools and male engineers. At present, teachers in early childhood, who are almost all female, can earn tens of thousands of dollars less than teachers in schools. For example the top award rate for a teacher in a child care centre is less than $70,000 whereas a teacher in a primary school earns close to $100,000" says Carol Matthews, Assistant Secretary of the NSW/ACT Branch of the IEU.
"We are certainly not seeking rates of $156,000 as some media outlets have claimed," she added. "The top rate for a teacher in a child care centre under our claim would be just over $100,00".
The claim only affects a small proportion of the overall number of staff in services and the Union calculates the impact on costs would be relatively small.
"Parents would not necessarily bear the brunt of these increases. The sector is already funded by state and federal governments to the tune of billions of dollars. Governments should also fund fair pay rates for university qualified teachers as they are so important to children's
The Union states the importance of university qualified teachers to improved learning and social outcomes has been known for decades and is a central plank of the federal government strategy for early childhood education and care.
Left’s year of Trump-phobia and other insults
There was much hope that the Year of the Rooster would usher in a time of honesty and moral fortitude, which would fit in with the search for individual and collective wellness throughout the land. And there were good signs when it was realised that, contrary to many a prediction by Canberra academic Hugh White, another 12 months had passed without a military conflict between the US and China.
Alas, it soon became evident that 2017 was a bit like any other time — replete with hyperbole, historical distortion, wish fulfilment and false prophecy. Month by month:
January: London-based Australian economist Steve Keen is fawned on by Fairfax Media’s Patrick Commins for his foresight. It’s almost a decade since Keen predicted a 40 per cent drop in home prices following the global financial crisis. Keen seems to hold the view that he is so far ahead of his time that his prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. Writer George Megalogenis praises former Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam for having Justin Trudeau-like progressive policies on refugees. Megalogenis overlooks the fact Whitlam tried to stop Vietnamese refugees from coming to Australia when he was in office.
February: Federal parliamentarian Bob Katter appears on Sky News’ Paul Murray Live and alleges that, as treasurers, Labor’s Paul Keating and the Coalition’s Peter Costello “doubled the dollar in value”. He just made this up but was not corrected by the presenter. ABC Radio Sydney presenter Wendy Harmer, a member of the eco-catastrophist club, rails against the construction of Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek on environmental grounds. She reckons it will add to the heat in western Sydney, making the area “unlivable”. Harmer also predicts that the tarmac will melt — which makes you wonder how people live and travel in, say, Dubai.
March: ABC journalist Eric Campbell announces that not only is President Donald Trump a “dreadful man” but he has a “dreadful family”. Campbell asks, how did this nightmare happen? The answer is, Trump got elected. Australian National University astrophysicist Brad Tucker tells Leigh Sales on ABC’s 7.30 that it would take about 750,000 years to reach a recently discovered new solar system. Asked about any qualities that would make the planets in it habitable for humans, Tucker replies, “Firstly, you don’t have Donald Trump as president.” Journalist Paul Bongiorno tweets that “everything” about Nauruans is “undemocratic, unaccountable and offensive”.
April: The Sydney Morning Herald opens up on the NSW Liberal Party. Heath Aston declares that Bronwyn Bishop’s grip on her seat of Mackellar had once been considered “North Korean in its dominance”. Which makes it unclear how she lost preselection. Aston describes Margaret Cunneen SC as part of “the conservative Catholic mafia” that supports Tony Abbott. The use of a term such as “Muslim mafia” would not be cleared for publication at a Fairfax Media newspaper. Meanwhile, journalist Sean Nicholls suggests that there was an attempt by the NSW Liberal Party’s right wing to derail the moderate candidate in North Sydney in a “suicide bomber-like” move. Really.
May: ABC TV’s Media Watch presenter Paul Barry tweets: “No idea if this is true — claim that Trump impeachment process has begun.” It hadn’t. Bongiorno tweets: “There has been a death at Buckingham Palace, world awaits for an official announcement.” The vibe is that Prince Philip had died. He hadn’t. OnRadio National’s Breakfast, Fran Kelly and Alice Workman agree that the Perth-based Liberal MP Andrew Hastie is part of the “Catholic right”. He isn’t a Catholic.
June: Visiting British political operative Alastair Campbell advises a supportive audience on ABC’s Q&A that he told his former boss Tony Blair that where Adolf Hitler “took a few years before he started to go for journalists and judges, Trump did it in week one”. Blair thought this “over the top” — but not, apparently, Q&A presenter Tony Jones. Meanwhile, on The Drum, guest panellist Rory O’Connor supports his 80-year-old uncle’s view that Trump is “doing the same thing” as Hitler did. Harmer expresses surprise that a terrorist attack occurred in an up-market suburb such as Brighton in Melbourne.
July: News emerges of ABC management setting up a staff meeting where those assembled are asked to sit in a ring and talk “through” a plastic toy about how they feel. This attempt at corporate wellness has still not led to the appointment of a conservative in any of the ABC’s prominent programs. The ABC’s Marius Benson opines that “the Trumps look too much like Ceausescus” — a reference to the murderous Romanian communist dictator and his wife. Late at night, Sky News’ Ross Cameron tweets: “In a world where trust seems hard to place, the moon will never let you down.” Now, that’s handy to know.
August: Sky News presenter Kristina Keneally declares that she would “like to think that Jesus, who excoriated the scribes and Pharisees, would have been a fan” of Tim Minchin. Jesus claimed to be the son of God, Minchin is a proud atheist. Failed environmental prophet Tim Flannery reckons that in China “the air’s unbreathable, the water’s undrinkable and the food’s inedible”. Yet there are more than a billion Chinese. Melbourne barrister Julian Burnside QC links Malcolm Turnbull’s warning on terrorism with the propaganda of Nazi Hermann Goering. On Twitter, Van Badham foretells that Trump will be just like Hitler.
September: Senator Derryn Hinch fesses up that even a “close friend … doesn’t like me”. Some time after Peter FitzSimons praised the Italian health system, his wife Lisa Wilkinson complains of her medical treatment in an Italian hospital that “was like walking into a building in Beirut”. The Age’s Julie Szego sees similarities between Turnbull’s language and the “wilful distortion worthy of Uncle Joe” Stalin. Sky News’ David Speers reflects that Labor has “held more positions on coal than the Kama Sutra” — opening up a whole new way to interpret Vatsyayana’s tome.
October. Erik Jensen informs The Drum that “racism is the reason” he is editor of The Saturday Paper. Writing in Fairfax Media, Steve Biddulph preaches against “dysfunctional men” such as Trump, John Howard, Abbott, Peter Dutton and Eric Abetz. He describes Howard as a “dismal human being”. This is abuse posing as argument. Journalist Sarah Macdonald “just can’t get over how much smarter Hillary (Clinton) is than Trump”. But not smart enough to campaign in Michigan or Wisconsin, it seems. Peter Greste reckons it would have been better if the September 11, 2001 attacks had been classified as mass murder, not terrorism.
November: The Yes case in the same-sex marriage postal survey prevails by about 62 per cent to 38 per cent despite a Griffith University analysis of Twitter that concluded the No side would gain a narrow victory. Two reporters on the influential ABC radio AM program claim that in Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe “led a guerilla uprising against the British”. At the time, the country was not a British colony. Greens MP Adam Bandt reports that when he “heard that a head of government was cancelling parliament … I thought I was hearing about Zimbabwe, not Australia”. The reference was to the Prime Minister’s decision that the House of Representatives would not sit for one scheduled week. Just one.
December: The year concludes much as it began with so many media types presenting with Trump-phobia. On Late Night Live, presenter Phillip Adams and his panellists David Marr, Laura Tingle and Tony Windsor all agree the US President is a dud. According to Marr he’s a “buffoon”. According to Tingle, Trump is “bringing the world to the edge of nuclear disaster one week and being a buffoon the next week”. Meanwhile, The Saturday Paper ends the year with an explanation for the present state of the vale of tears in which we live. Its front-page declares: “It’s all John Howard’s fault.” Well, at least we know.
I’m a student. Here’s how free speech died at university
UNIVERSITIES really do have a free speech problem, and it should no longer be considered controversial or ‘right-wing’ to say so
ONCE upon a time, society designated universities as intellectual battlegrounds where fights weren’t won by intimidation, but with logic and reason. That’s what separated them from the outside world and its ugly improprieties.
Censorship was antithetical to these refuges of intellectual civility. In fact, it was a sign of cowardice. Unlike the outside world, universities were sanctuaries where all ideas were welcomed and everyone had a seat at the table.
Not anymore. Students around the world have a disturbing intolerance to different opinions. When faced with unfamiliar or offensive views, their gut reaction is to ban them, or condemn those who have them.
In 2015, the Boston Globe reported on a petition created by students at Wesleyan University in protest of their student newspaper’s decision to publish an op-ed critiquing Black Lives Matter (BLM). The petition garnered 147 signatures and called for the newspaper to have its funding revoked. It said the paper failed to ensure Wesleyan University was a ‘safe space for the voices of students of colour’.
I’ve experienced this first-hand. In 2017, I was a columnist for my student newspaper. I wrote a column about the threat to free speech at universities, which every member of the board of editors refused to publish — thus proving my point. Their reason? My criticism of the BLM protesters at Wesleyan.
My editors interpreted my criticism of individual BLM protesters as a rejection of BLM’s entire platform. I never actually criticised their core message: that African-Americans are too often the victim of unjust police brutality — a proposition I agree with.
I criticised the censorious behaviour of individual protesters. There is a difference. Regardless, I was accused of expressing a “damaging” opinion that “endangers students” and is “invalidating to people of colour”.
I have no reservations in describing these students, who I come across every day, as bullies. They’ll laugh at you. They’ll ban you. They’ll make unfounded generalisations about what you believe. And when they know they’ve lost, only to rid themselves of any passing cognitive dissonance, they’ll insult you.
Students should obviously be safe from physical violence. But saying my opinion is “damaging” equates speech with violence. As does the Wesleyan petition, which implies conservative beliefs make students ‘unsafe’.
The belief that speech can be equivalent to violence is an extremely common myth at universities. Students think sticks and stones may break their bones, and words WILL (literally) hurt them. This myth has some sinister implications.
If you think an opinion will cause you physical harm, you’ll seek ‘safety’ from it and use violence in ‘self-defence’. As a result, students defend the ideological homogeneity of their university like they would defend their own physical safety.
We need to teach students that words can’t cause physical harm, and they should never be safe from offensive or confronting ideas. After all, that’s kind of the point of university. You’re supposed to seek out people with whom you disagree, not hide from them, or ban them.
Earlier this year, Ben Shapiro’s visit to UC Berkeley attracted 1000 angry protesters, which forced the university to pay $600,000 in security fees. The pioneers of the 1960s Free Speech Movement, which originated at Berkeley, would hardly consider this ‘free’ speech.
And Berkeley is no anomaly. Since 2000, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has updated a ‘Dis-invitation Database’ that records attempts to disinvite speakers from coming to American universities. The number of dis-invitations has reached 360 (so far).
Instead of actually disproving opinions they dislike, they’ll just insult them. They have an array of go-to jargon and insults, but their favourites include: ‘problematic’, ’violent’, ‘unsafe’, ‘hate speech’, ‘bigoted’ and ‘invalidating of lived experiences’. They blame everything on a white supremacist, heteronormative, capitalist, imperialist, patriarchal society.
They act like the most victimised people in the world, but many of them are literally the most privileged people of all time. They live in Australia in the 21st century and often, come from extremely privileged families and go to the most prestigious schools in the country.
Using any of the above labels is like a rallying cry for professionally outraged student protesters, who make their peers afraid to associate themselves with certain opinions. FIRE found that 54 per cent of students admit “they have stopped themselves from sharing an idea or opinion in class at some point since beginning college”.
Too often, these labels are complete misnomers. Students will throw them around haphazardly with no concern for the ramifications. Take, for example, the protesters at Shapiro’s event, who chanted: “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA” — despite Shapiro not being a Trump supporter, a Klansman or a fascist.
Earlier this year, the University of Sydney Union (USU) blocked funding of the Conservative Club’s screening of a documentary that explores social issues relating to men, and critiques feminism.
The screening went ahead, but was protested by 50 to 60 students screaming: “Sexist, racist, anti-queer, bigots are not welcome here.” Conservative Club member Renee Gorman responded, saying: “I’m not a bigot or a racist, I’m not anti-queer, I’m not all the labels they’ve attached to me.”
Actual bigots exist, but students waste their time going after innocent people. Why do they do it? I think there are four potential reasons. Four reasons why this craziness is going on.
Firstly, students (both left and right) have forgotten the art of respectful disagreement. Pivotal to effective disagreement is giving your adversary’s motives the benefit of the doubt. But students don’t do that — they assume peoples’ motives to be impure, unless proven otherwise.
People are no longer ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, they’re ‘good’ or ‘evil’. Your political opinions are a reflection of how good you are as a person and anything considered ‘offensive’ isn’t just incorrect, it’s immoral, and not worthy of discussion. Pew Research found 40 per cent of American students believe the government should prevent people from saying offensive comments.
Students live in impenetrable echo-chambers — particularly on social media. As a result, they can’t substantiate their opinions against challengers. Why? Because they never have to. Students expect agreement; they expect detractors to change their mind immediately. But in their frustration, they resort to baseless insults. Students’ first instinct is to protest for their beliefs, rather than sit down with the people that disagree with them.
The left is particularly guilty in this regard, but mostly because they make up the majority of students. The right have their stupid go-to slurs as well, which include: ‘Marxist’, ‘social justice warrior’, ‘cuck’ and ‘feminazi’.
At university, political disagreements should be so commonplace, they’re forgettable. But disagreements are so rare, tense and combative, that onlookers watch them as a form of entertainment. Instead of participating, most students grab the popcorn.
The second reason is a form of identity politics which says it’s not the merit of one’s argument that matters, but their racial, gender or sexual identity. Students believe some identities are more qualified to speak about certain issues than others. So most political arguments take the form of: As an X, I believe Y.
And if you speak about a Y that falls outside the scope of your X, you’re not taken seriously. You can only speak about issues pertaining to your own personal identity.
For example, in discussions about feminism, only a woman’s opinion matters. When a man states his opinion, no one actually proves him wrong. Instead, he’s dismissed as not having the necessary ‘lived experience’ to have a valid opinion. Logic and evidence has ceased being the standard for truth, and identity has filled it’s place.
The third reason: virtue signalling. At university, your level of outrage toward certain people and opinions directly corresponds with your social status. Student leaders are ideological clones of each other.
Students will find any way to publicise themselves ‘fighting the good fight’. The more outraged you are, the better person you’re perceived to be. The more you hate the other side, the more your side loves you.
Sometimes, activism is less about actual causes, and more about gaining social brownie points. And with social media, students can broadcast their good deeds to everyone they know. It makes them feel good, and within their respective echo-chamber, it makes them look good.
Students want the thrill and excitement of calling out actual bigots. It gives them a sense of certainty, meaning and belonging. So if some innocent people are caught in the crossfire to provide that sensation, then so be it.
The fourth and final reason is that there is a short supply of bigotry, but a high demand for it. Students want to be offended, and for that, they need offensive people. But as racism and sexism have declined, they have to maintain their high level of outrage by lowering the bar for what’s considered offensive.
Or as sociologists Bradley Campbell and David Manning put it: “As progress is made toward a more equal and humane society, it takes a smaller and smaller offence to trigger a high level of outrage. The goalposts shift, allowing participants to maintain a constant level of anger.”
This is why students often go after innocent people, and have dramatic reactions to seemingly minute offences — or, as they call, ‘micro-aggressions’.
This outage culture only suppresses debate between the left and right — which is no accident. Students don’t want a debate because debates ‘give a platform’ to ‘dangerous ideas’. They want their opinions to be treated like facts.
Despite my dark depiction of universities, I can assure you: I’m not alone. This isn’t some fringe alt-right rant. If you don’t trust me, trust the over 1400 American professors who have joined Jonathan Haidt’s Heterodox academy, an organisation dedicated to improving free speech and viewpoint diversity at universities.
Or trust President Barack Obama, who has also spoken out against political correctness, censorship and the “coddling” of students.
It’s about time we face the facts. We are witnessing the death of universities as they once were, and as they were meant to be.
Islamist extremism: dance with an enemy we dare not name
The Islamist extremists are winning. Victory is unlikely and, in any event, a long way off but their immediate aims are being achieved, if not in the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, then at least in the democracies of Europe and the Western world.
The signs are ominous in Australia, where 15 years after the Bali bombings this is the enemy whose name we are too often too timid to mention. The extremists have us second-guessing the cultural superiority of our Western liberal democratic model and have conjured a collective and misplaced guilt among us about the treatment of Muslims.
From the fundamentalist preachers to the bloodthirsty terrorists, the ultimate goal of Islamist extremists is simple: global Islamic dominance. To achieve it they need to weaken and harm the West, fuel Muslim grievances and assert their cultural power through demographic changes and political influence.
They loathe our tolerance, freedom of expression and plurality, yet skilfully use these Western strengths against us as they subvert our ways by convincing many of us that we are to blame for their atrocities. We can see the Islamist success in shaping this narrative all around us.
The Palestinian cause is used as a constant irritant. Just this month, popular singer Lorde was bullied into cancelling a concert in Israel while no one seems to care that she will sing in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Likewise, we saw the UN General Assembly vote by an overwhelming majority to condemn the US for recognising the obvious reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And after I argued last week that Melbourne’s Flinders Street horror was an Islamist terror attack — because that was the motivation cited by the Afghan-Australian attacker — Anglican priest Rod Bower described my comments as “poison” that could “drive fragile psyches over the edge”. See what he did there — it is always our fault.
The success of Islamist propaganda can be seen in the fact after a Muslim man allegedly mowed down 19 people on a Melbourne city street and referred to “mistreatment of Muslims” to explain his actions Victorian police denied there was any evidence of a connection to terrorism. Given this is the season for resolutions, is it too much to ask that we start being forthright about the grave threat of Islamist extremism?
The paradoxes generated by the politically correct virtue-signallers who have taken over our politics, bureaucracies and, it seems, even the upper echelons of our law enforcement agencies are deeply worrying. After the Martin Place siege in Sydney and the Flinders Street attack, police and media downplayed terrorism but talked up mental health issues.
Even ASIO once denied links between terrorism and refugees despite the truth that each contemporary, fatal, Islamist terrorist incident in this country has involved refugees. Unpalatable as they are, we must start with the facts. We are told not to stigmatise mental health issues yet we see it used as an explanation for mass casualty attacks. As bollards go up in our cities are we to believe this is to protect us from the mentally ill or the drug-addicted? Why has this suddenly become a problem?
Law enforcement and intelligence agencies need to maintain strong links with Muslim communities to foster co-operation. They also want to maintain social cohesion and avoid the divisions between Muslim and non-Muslim people that the extremists seek to accentuate. And we should take care not to overstate the extent of the problem. We are talking about individuals of concern in this country who number only in the hundreds and a pool of people susceptible to radicalisation that may number in the thousands. Still, the dangers are obvious.
Yet obfuscation in public information about terror attacks and police actions can only undermine confidence in law enforcement and create concern about government responses to the extremist threat, therefore creating the conditions for the mistrust the authorities want to avoid.
Besides, it is insulting to Muslim and non-Muslim Australians to deny the realities they can observe. It suggests people cannot deal with facts as they fall. We are intelligent enough to understand the threat of Islamist terrorism and sensible enough not to blame all Muslims for any attacks. Time and again we see that despite self-conscious warnings so-called Islamophobic backlashes never materialise.
Politicians and police are servants of the public and should have a clear bias towards sharing information in a forthright fashion rather than keeping secrets, unless confidentiality is important for operational reasons. Initially ruling out terrorism should not be difficult; if the offender is a non-Muslim and not espousing any religious or political cause then police may be able to announce early on that they do not suspect terrorism.
But if the attack is perpetrated by a Muslim immigrant who specifically cites Muslim grievances, the public ought to be told immediately that there are indications of a terrorist motive. Additional qualifiers about other factors and ongoing investigations would be understood but the public deserves to hear as many of the relevant facts as possible. Melbourne’s new loudspeakers will be a waste of time unless someone is prepared to speak into them.
At Martin Place, NSW police delayed action and hoped to wear down Man Haron Monis as they would in a domestic siege situation, rather than treating it as an Islamist terror attack where loss of life was inevitable. Yet while this was unfolding they launched an operation to protect Muslims in public places from a Martin Place-inspired backlash. (Of course the backlash never came; even the “I’ll ride with you” hashtag campaign was based on a fabricated episode.)
When Curtis Cheng was assassinated in an Islamist killing at Parramatta the police hierarchy told the public hours later that there was nothing to suggest terrorism. Yet we soon learned the attacker, dressed in black garb, had yelled “Allahu akbar” at the scene before he was shot dead.
There is a disturbing pattern here of police and politicians bending over backwards to discount terrorism even when there are obvious indications Islamist extremism is the motivation.
Experts have long pointed to the overlap between disaffected, mentally disturbed and even drug-addicted people and the Islamist cause. It is a dangerous cocktail that can self-generate lone-wolf terrorists or be exploited by extremist manipulators.
In the wake of Martin Place, Clive Kessler, emeritus professor at the University of NSW’s school of social sciences, wrote how the interception of any future “psychotic loner” attacks could be a matter for mental health and security agencies. “But most such incidents are the work of psychotic, sociopathic, disturbed or even ostensibly normal individuals who fall in with, and whose ideas and perverse impulses mesh them into, small like-minded groups, sometimes even broad social movements,” he said.
Kessler wrote of the importance of serious debate within and about our Muslim communities covering the triumphalist and resentful elements of the faith that are shared by the mainstream but taken to violent ends by the extremists. This is the core of the debate. Unless we intelligently confront reforms needed to undermine the Islamist extremist ideology, all the bollards in the world cannot save us.
Psychiatrist and author Tanveer Ahmed, who comes from a Bangladeshi Muslim background, also has written about the overlap between disaffected individuals — particularly refugees — and Islamist extremism. He points out that attacks do not need to be well organised or sanctioned by groups such as Islamic State or al-Qa’ida to be categorised as terrorism. It is about motivation.
Ahmed has written about how paranoid individuals may project their personal resentments through Islamist ideology. Those who are mentally ill or have criminal backgrounds have a higher risk of adopting extremist and violent practices. “None of these factors make the contribution of Islam and particular interpretations that encourage attacks upon non-Muslims irrelevant,” he explains.
Yet it is the essence of the motivation — the Islamist ideology — that politicians and authorities seem most keen to avoid. They prefer to talk about hardware and firepower — and mental health.
Will the loudspeakers installed in Melbourne’s CBD warn of mental health outbreaks? Are the military weapons of the NSW police to be trained on people who are disturbed and ill?
Or do we need to accept that the Islamist aim of disrupting our society by targeting infidels and innocents cannot be truly defeated until the ideology itself is exposed, confronted and eradicated?
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here