Monthly Archives: April 2019

30/4/19: Journal of Financial Transformation paper on cryptocurrencies pricing


Our paper with O’Loughlin, Daniel and Chlebowski, Bartosz, titled "Behavioral Basis of Cryptocurrencies Markets: Examining Effects of Public Sentiment, Fear and Uncertainty on Price Formation" is out in the new edition of the Journal of Financial Transformation Volume 49, April 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3328205 or https://www.capco.com/Capco-Institute/Journal-49-Alternative-Capital-Markets.



Australian Politics 2019-04-30 15:49:00

Uncategorized


Plan: New motorbike riders need to have one-year L-plate experience in cars first

This would be hugely disruptive.  For most young people a two-wheeler is the first transport they can afford.  It was for me.  But this says that you have to stay on foot until you can afford a car.  It is extraordinarily dictatorial.  It would antagonize a lot of young voters

Moror cyclists would need to have L-plate car driving experience for one year before switching to two wheels under a radical new safety plan.

Police Minister Corey Wingard has confirmed the plan is being considered by the State Government as part of a review of motorcycle licencing.

Under the plan, country kids who grow up on agricultural bikes as part of their work and family life could be given exemptions to any new rules.

“Exposing potential young motorcycle riders to the rules of the road in the relative safety of a car before allowing them access to a learner bike licence could save lives,’’ Mr Wingard said.

“Young riders would need to spend at least a year learning to drive a car while supervised before they can jump on a motorcycle.

“A motorcyclist with a year’s experience as a car driver on our roads will likely be much better equipped to handle any unexpected dangers they encounter.’’

The State Government is currently consulting interest groups on how to bring in a more strict graduated licensing scheme for motorcyclists, similar to that faced by car drivers.

In a second major law change being considered as part of the consultation, Mr Wingard said country people may be given concessions when trying out for their licences.

“During a recent trip to the Yorke Peninsula I came across a local whose 16-year-old son used his motorbike to help out on the farm,’’ he said. “Fair legislative changes rarely take a one-size fits all approach and the regions can be assured this Government is listening to their voices. These measures are among a host of other potential changes we are looking at.’’

The one-year-in-a-car-first rule for motorcycle learners was first proposed in a 2017 University of Adelaide study at the beginning of the current licencing scheme reform process. ”Driving a car involves a lower level of risk than a motorcycle, so the novice progresses from learning to drive a car to the more difficult and risky task of learning to ride a motorcycle,’’ the study found.

The string of deaths prompted the Opposition to call for the minimum age for gaining a motorcycle learner’s licence to be raised from 16 to 17. It also wants learner and prescribed licence holders under the age of 25 to be banned between midnight and 5am without a legitimate excuse. Mr Wingard said there was no substitute for all road users taking it upon themselves to follow the law.

“If a motorcyclist, or a motorist, decides to drive at ridiculous speeds, or engage in other dangerous driving, there is no amount of legislation that will protect them from a tree or a concrete wall,” he said.

SOURCE  






Labor party climate change spokesman Mark Butler  says it’s impossible to cost Labor’s climate change policy

Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler says it is “impossible” to cost Labor’s climate change policy because Labor is not putting a direct carbon price on businesses.

Mr Butler said in Perth today businesses would ultimately influence the economic cost of Labor policy and claimed “that is what they asked Labor for” and the Parliamentary Budget Office could not cost it.

“It isn’t possible to cost this because a Shorten government ... would not be imposing a direct carbon price, and certainly not a carbon tax,” he said in Perth today.

“What we have decided to do, after talking exhaustively with business groups over the last 12 to 18 months, is simply adopt the safeguards mechanism proposed by Malcolm Turnbull.

“All that mechanism does is set a limit on carbon pollution. If businesses are able to stick to their limit, they won’t hear from government anymore ... there is no price impact at all.

“If they are not able to stick to their limit ... they will have the broadest possible range of offsets. But how business deals with that is a matter for them.

“It won’t be dictated by Canberra so it won’t be costed by Canberra.”

SOURCE  






Retirement: a rotten time to be punished

Neither Scott Morrison nor Bill Shorten understand the fear and frustration that dominates most in “retirement land”.

In the leaders debate Morrison forced Shorten to admit he was planning to tax some pensioners but that’s as far as it went.

Few “young” Australians aged under 50 have any idea what’s happening to their parents and grandparents.

And so, in today’s commentary I welcome all journalists (radio, TV, print social etc) plus all other readers aged under 50 to the land of retirees and those looking to retire.

For a great many Australians it’s a horrible place as they suddenly wake up that they are being saddled with the bill for a large portion of the banking royal commission. Whether pensioners or non-pensioners, they are being told they have had it too good and it’s time to have their income reduced.

And all this happens at a time when the costs of nurses and other medical bills are rising, while retiree income is under threat.

Unless you are very rich you no longer look forward to joining the fearful land of retirement.

When the royal commission started public hearings just over a year ago no retiree realised they would be personally lumbered with a big part of the bill.

As people get older, they usually become more conservative with their money. They sleep at night by investing in one-year bank term deposits. About a year ago those deposits yielded in the vicinity of 2.6 per cent. Now, one-year deposits with big banks are down to around 2.2 per cent. The Reserve Bank has not changed its official rate, so the money goes out of the retiree pockets into the bank coffers to pay for part of the royal commission.

If the official rates fall, then my guess is that the term deposit rates will fall again. But at least in term deposits everyone is in the same boat.

A lot of pensioners and self-funded retirees planned to vote for the ALP because they hated seeing three prime ministers in one term of parliament. But then came the horror of the ALP’s retirement and pensioner tax.

Many pensioners rely on small investments in high dividend-paying shares to legally supplement their income, but some pensioners are now told by Bill Shorten that they will cop it in the neck and lose their cash franking credits.

Once some pensioners get cash franking credits and others with the same money do not receive them then all pensioners know the politicians are playing games.

Shorten made it clear in his budget reply speech that cash franking credits were an unsustainable gift, so there is unease in the pensioner community.

Who is next?

It’s even worse among those who have larger sums in superannuation.

The industry funds are telling their members that “Uncle Chris” and “Uncle Bill” will look after them and will make sure industry fund members get their cash franking credit “gift” in full. Big retail funds are also being “looked after” but if they are losing working members, they may not be able to deliver the” gift”. Self-managed funds in pension mode are in trouble.

I keep getting asked by the “under 50s” how is it that Chris and Bill are delivering the cash franking credits to some superannuation fund members and not to others, assuming everyone has the same assets and income.

Australia has become the first country in the world to tax people not on the basis of their income or their assets but on the basis of who manages their money. It is an ingenious taxing system but it breaks all the rules we have built up in taxation since 1900 and, in my view, both Bowen and Shorten should be ashamed of themselves. Scott Morrison can take some of the blame for not nailing them on the unfairness of giving cash franking credits to some while withdrawing them from others. It should be all or nothing.

What Bowen and Shorten say to retirees is that if you happen to be in a fund with members who pay tax then you can sponge on the tax they pay and get your cash franking credits. All retirees know that their personal financial affairs have nothing to do with those of other members of a fund and to suggest that anyone can offset the tax paid by other members against the “no tax” paid by retirees in pension mode is artificial nonsense.

The retirees are hoping the cross benchers in the Senate will stop the nonsense scheme, but the ALP has already spent the money. Eventually all retirees may be taxed and those who have escaped round one are very fearful.

Many retirees want to downsize or move to a retirement home. Falling house prices make them very nervous and no one is sure what will happen when the ALP changes the negative gearing rules.

Young people say the Baby Boomers have had it too good and must now be punished.

When you are aged in your 60s, 70s and 80s and not rich (the rich escape ) it is a rotten time to be punished.

SOURCE  






Shorten’s deceptive offers

Yesterday’s Newspoll confirms one thing: the Shorten campaign is in big trouble and goes from bad to worse.

With money being thrown everywhere (and on Sunday it reached the ludicrous point of $230 million a minute), we had the latest manifestation of Labor’s incapacit­y to handle detail. Two weeks ago it was free cancer care when such free care is already available.

On Sunday, Bill Shorten was at it again, this time with $2.4 billion to improv­e dental care for seniors.

Look at the language, talking about dental care for pensioners: “It’ll not come out of your bank accoun­t. It’ll not go on your credit card. You’ll not have to delay treatment because you can’t afford the care. It’ll be covered by your Medicare card.”

This is called buying votes with services that are already freely available.

My open line yesterday was on fire with pensioners and seniors telling me they already received outstanding and free dental care. NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania provide dental care to pensioners, concession-card holders and some children.

This is pretty bottom-of-the-birdcage stuff, pandering not only to people with cancer or people who need dental care, because they are getting it for free; but also trying to harvest votes from people who may get cancer and may need dental care, who will hopefully think: “Bill’s our man. Bill provides everything for free.”

What the Opposition Leader does not tell us is that governments have no money of their own, only money that they first take from us.

SOURCE  

 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





Australian Politics 2019-04-30 15:49:00

Uncategorized


Plan: New motorbike riders need to have one-year L-plate experience in cars first

This would be hugely disruptive.  For most young people a two-wheeler is the first transport they can afford.  It was for me.  But this says that you have to stay on foot until you can afford a car.  It is extraordinarily dictatorial.  It would antagonize a lot of young voters

Moror cyclists would need to have L-plate car driving experience for one year before switching to two wheels under a radical new safety plan.

Police Minister Corey Wingard has confirmed the plan is being considered by the State Government as part of a review of motorcycle licencing.

Under the plan, country kids who grow up on agricultural bikes as part of their work and family life could be given exemptions to any new rules.

“Exposing potential young motorcycle riders to the rules of the road in the relative safety of a car before allowing them access to a learner bike licence could save lives,’’ Mr Wingard said.

“Young riders would need to spend at least a year learning to drive a car while supervised before they can jump on a motorcycle.

“A motorcyclist with a year’s experience as a car driver on our roads will likely be much better equipped to handle any unexpected dangers they encounter.’’

The State Government is currently consulting interest groups on how to bring in a more strict graduated licensing scheme for motorcyclists, similar to that faced by car drivers.

In a second major law change being considered as part of the consultation, Mr Wingard said country people may be given concessions when trying out for their licences.

“During a recent trip to the Yorke Peninsula I came across a local whose 16-year-old son used his motorbike to help out on the farm,’’ he said. “Fair legislative changes rarely take a one-size fits all approach and the regions can be assured this Government is listening to their voices. These measures are among a host of other potential changes we are looking at.’’

The one-year-in-a-car-first rule for motorcycle learners was first proposed in a 2017 University of Adelaide study at the beginning of the current licencing scheme reform process. ”Driving a car involves a lower level of risk than a motorcycle, so the novice progresses from learning to drive a car to the more difficult and risky task of learning to ride a motorcycle,’’ the study found.

The string of deaths prompted the Opposition to call for the minimum age for gaining a motorcycle learner’s licence to be raised from 16 to 17. It also wants learner and prescribed licence holders under the age of 25 to be banned between midnight and 5am without a legitimate excuse. Mr Wingard said there was no substitute for all road users taking it upon themselves to follow the law.

“If a motorcyclist, or a motorist, decides to drive at ridiculous speeds, or engage in other dangerous driving, there is no amount of legislation that will protect them from a tree or a concrete wall,” he said.

SOURCE  






Labor party climate change spokesman Mark Butler  says it’s impossible to cost Labor’s climate change policy

Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler says it is “impossible” to cost Labor’s climate change policy because Labor is not putting a direct carbon price on businesses.

Mr Butler said in Perth today businesses would ultimately influence the economic cost of Labor policy and claimed “that is what they asked Labor for” and the Parliamentary Budget Office could not cost it.

“It isn’t possible to cost this because a Shorten government ... would not be imposing a direct carbon price, and certainly not a carbon tax,” he said in Perth today.

“What we have decided to do, after talking exhaustively with business groups over the last 12 to 18 months, is simply adopt the safeguards mechanism proposed by Malcolm Turnbull.

“All that mechanism does is set a limit on carbon pollution. If businesses are able to stick to their limit, they won’t hear from government anymore ... there is no price impact at all.

“If they are not able to stick to their limit ... they will have the broadest possible range of offsets. But how business deals with that is a matter for them.

“It won’t be dictated by Canberra so it won’t be costed by Canberra.”

SOURCE  






Retirement: a rotten time to be punished

Neither Scott Morrison nor Bill Shorten understand the fear and frustration that dominates most in “retirement land”.

In the leaders debate Morrison forced Shorten to admit he was planning to tax some pensioners but that’s as far as it went.

Few “young” Australians aged under 50 have any idea what’s happening to their parents and grandparents.

And so, in today’s commentary I welcome all journalists (radio, TV, print social etc) plus all other readers aged under 50 to the land of retirees and those looking to retire.

For a great many Australians it’s a horrible place as they suddenly wake up that they are being saddled with the bill for a large portion of the banking royal commission. Whether pensioners or non-pensioners, they are being told they have had it too good and it’s time to have their income reduced.

And all this happens at a time when the costs of nurses and other medical bills are rising, while retiree income is under threat.

Unless you are very rich you no longer look forward to joining the fearful land of retirement.

When the royal commission started public hearings just over a year ago no retiree realised they would be personally lumbered with a big part of the bill.

As people get older, they usually become more conservative with their money. They sleep at night by investing in one-year bank term deposits. About a year ago those deposits yielded in the vicinity of 2.6 per cent. Now, one-year deposits with big banks are down to around 2.2 per cent. The Reserve Bank has not changed its official rate, so the money goes out of the retiree pockets into the bank coffers to pay for part of the royal commission.

If the official rates fall, then my guess is that the term deposit rates will fall again. But at least in term deposits everyone is in the same boat.

A lot of pensioners and self-funded retirees planned to vote for the ALP because they hated seeing three prime ministers in one term of parliament. But then came the horror of the ALP’s retirement and pensioner tax.

Many pensioners rely on small investments in high dividend-paying shares to legally supplement their income, but some pensioners are now told by Bill Shorten that they will cop it in the neck and lose their cash franking credits.

Once some pensioners get cash franking credits and others with the same money do not receive them then all pensioners know the politicians are playing games.

Shorten made it clear in his budget reply speech that cash franking credits were an unsustainable gift, so there is unease in the pensioner community.

Who is next?

It’s even worse among those who have larger sums in superannuation.

The industry funds are telling their members that “Uncle Chris” and “Uncle Bill” will look after them and will make sure industry fund members get their cash franking credit “gift” in full. Big retail funds are also being “looked after” but if they are losing working members, they may not be able to deliver the” gift”. Self-managed funds in pension mode are in trouble.

I keep getting asked by the “under 50s” how is it that Chris and Bill are delivering the cash franking credits to some superannuation fund members and not to others, assuming everyone has the same assets and income.

Australia has become the first country in the world to tax people not on the basis of their income or their assets but on the basis of who manages their money. It is an ingenious taxing system but it breaks all the rules we have built up in taxation since 1900 and, in my view, both Bowen and Shorten should be ashamed of themselves. Scott Morrison can take some of the blame for not nailing them on the unfairness of giving cash franking credits to some while withdrawing them from others. It should be all or nothing.

What Bowen and Shorten say to retirees is that if you happen to be in a fund with members who pay tax then you can sponge on the tax they pay and get your cash franking credits. All retirees know that their personal financial affairs have nothing to do with those of other members of a fund and to suggest that anyone can offset the tax paid by other members against the “no tax” paid by retirees in pension mode is artificial nonsense.

The retirees are hoping the cross benchers in the Senate will stop the nonsense scheme, but the ALP has already spent the money. Eventually all retirees may be taxed and those who have escaped round one are very fearful.

Many retirees want to downsize or move to a retirement home. Falling house prices make them very nervous and no one is sure what will happen when the ALP changes the negative gearing rules.

Young people say the Baby Boomers have had it too good and must now be punished.

When you are aged in your 60s, 70s and 80s and not rich (the rich escape ) it is a rotten time to be punished.

SOURCE  






Shorten’s deceptive offers

Yesterday’s Newspoll confirms one thing: the Shorten campaign is in big trouble and goes from bad to worse.

With money being thrown everywhere (and on Sunday it reached the ludicrous point of $230 million a minute), we had the latest manifestation of Labor’s incapacit­y to handle detail. Two weeks ago it was free cancer care when such free care is already available.

On Sunday, Bill Shorten was at it again, this time with $2.4 billion to improv­e dental care for seniors.

Look at the language, talking about dental care for pensioners: “It’ll not come out of your bank accoun­t. It’ll not go on your credit card. You’ll not have to delay treatment because you can’t afford the care. It’ll be covered by your Medicare card.”

This is called buying votes with services that are already freely available.

My open line yesterday was on fire with pensioners and seniors telling me they already received outstanding and free dental care. NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania provide dental care to pensioners, concession-card holders and some children.

This is pretty bottom-of-the-birdcage stuff, pandering not only to people with cancer or people who need dental care, because they are getting it for free; but also trying to harvest votes from people who may get cancer and may need dental care, who will hopefully think: “Bill’s our man. Bill provides everything for free.”

What the Opposition Leader does not tell us is that governments have no money of their own, only money that they first take from us.

SOURCE  

 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





62% of Philadelphians Say City’s Soda Tax Is A Failure

Well over two years after Philadelphia's controversial tax on sweetened beverages distributed for retail sale within the city's limits first went into effect in January 2017, the Philadelphia Inquirer has conducted what it describes as the "first independent polling done about the tax". Here's a short summary of the results of its survey of registered voters in Philadelphia:

  • 62% describe the soda tax as either a failure or as a complete failure.
  • 55% want to see the tax repealed.

It's not surprising that roughly five out of eight Philadelphians view the city's soda tax as a failure. The Philadelphia Beverage Tax has chronically fallen short of the desired level of revenue that city officials were counting upon to fund pre-Kindergarten and community school programs and also to fund repairs and improvements to city-owned parks, recreation centers, and libraries. The following chart shows how far short the city's annual tax collections from its soda tax have fallen below its original revenue projections.

Philadelphia Soda Tax, Desired versus Actual Revenues in 2017 and 2018

In 2017, Wharton Business School Professor of Finance and Public Policy Robert Inman declared the Philadelphia Beverage Tax could be considered a success if it collected as little as 85% to 90% of the city's original annual revenue target of $92.4 million. It has clearly failed to pass that very low threshold for success during the first two years it has been in effect.

Beyond its fiscal failure, tax opponents have argued that the soda tax creates some really perverse incentives for city residents who support these programs, who must either choose to purchase and consume beverages perceived to be unhealthy or accept the programs they want will be starved of funds. We believe the twisted and hypocritical logic that tax supporters have used to justify the soda tax contributes to the widespread public perception of the tax's failure.

The Inquirer poll reveals that Philadelphians really do want the things that the city's 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on naturally and artificially-sweetened beverages were meant to fund, with many indicating a willingness to dedicate other tax revenues to pay for them. The city's mayor, Jim Kenney, and several city council officials oppose the repeal of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.

The tax will be an issue in the upcoming primary election for city mayor and city council positions in the heavily Democratic party-controlled city on 21 May 2019.

Previously on Political Calculations

We've been covering the story of Philadelphia's flawed soda tax on roughly a monthly basis from almost the very beginning, where our coverage began as something of a natural extension from one of the stories we featured as part of our Examples of Junk Science Series. The linked list below will take you through all our in-near-real-time analysis of the impact of the tax, which at this writing, has still to reach its end. For a general history of Philadelphia's soda tax, check out the Philadelphia Inquirer's timeline.

There are still aspects of the story we plan to develop, including the impact of the tax on city retailers and beverage distributors, several of whom have opened their books to the media during the past two years. We'll also get back to where our coverage started to review what two years of scientific study has determined about the effectiveness of soda taxes in reducing obesity rates, which are the main benefit claimed by soda tax supporters for imposing this particular kind of "sin" tax.

Australian Politics 2019-04-29 15:45:00

Uncategorized



ScoMo could squeak it in with Palmer's support

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has narrowed the gap behind Bill Shorten in the latest Newspoll as support for controversial billionaire Clive Palmer soars.

Labor is leading the two-party preferred vote 51 per cent to 49 per cent ahead of the Coalition with three weeks to go until the federal election.

But both of the major parties have lost votes to Mr Palmer, whose extensive $50million advertising campaign for the United Australia Party has resulted in five per cent of the primary vote.

The result is a marked improvement for the Coalition since March, when Mr Morrison's government was down 54-46 on the same measure.

The poll comes after the first two weeks of the election campaign in which Mr Morrison has campaigned heavily on the economy and attacking Labor's tax plans.

But the Coalition's primary vote has dropped one point to 38 per cent, while Labor's primary is down to 37 per cent.

PRIMARY VOTE NEWSPOLL

Coalition - 38 per cent

Labor - 37 per cent

Greens - 9 per cent

United Australia Party - 5 per cent

One Nation - 4 per cent

Source: The Australian

Support for One Nation has dropped to four per cent, while the Greens remain on nine per cent.

Labor has ruled out negotiating a preference deal with Mr Palmer after making informal approaches.

Malcolm Turnbull needed a primary vote of 42 per cent to win a one-seat majority in 2016.

Despite the drop in primary vote, Newspoll calculates the Coalition has made up ground based on preference flows at recent federal and state elections.

The two-party preferred vote is now back to where it was before Mr Turnbull was forced out of the top job in August 2018.

Mr Shorten has climbed higher in the preferred prime minister stakes, jumping two points to 37 per cent, while Mr Morrison dropped one point to 45 per cent.

The Labor leader has only won one preferred prime minister poll, getting his best result immediately after Mr Turnbull went, before Mr Morrison overtook him.

The two leaders will conduct their first debate of the campaign on Monday night in Perth, before another debate in Brisbane on Friday.

SOURCE






Fabric of democracy fraying under weight of the mob

GERARD HENDERSON

Isaac Butterfield was, until now, a little heard of stand-up comedian — until he included Holocaust material in his gig at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this month.

According to a report in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, a Jewish woman emailed Butterfield complaining about some of his material. He replied: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the oven.” The original saying referred to “the kitchen”.

Butterfield’s word usage in this instance is brutally telling, especially when knowingly directed at a Jewish woman. It is an established fact many of the Jews who were murdered by Nazi Germany with poison gas were cremated in ovens. So how did the MICF handle the situation? Well, a spokeswoman said performers were able to express their views, even opinions viewed as offensive. Apart from that, the organisation went into no-comment mode.

This is the same MICF that recently dropped its Barry Award, following comments by comedian Barry Humphries describing transgender as a fashion. Similar comments in recent years have been made by the likes of Julie Burchill and Germaine Greer. The former’s views were removed from the Guardian website.

So, according to the MICF, it is appropriate to strip the name of Australia’s most famous comedian from its key award for making a comment about trans­genderism. But it’s quite OK for Butterfeld to dismiss the views of a Jewish Australian with a tasteless reference to ovens.

In a recent discussion with a young comedian, I asked what remains of humour when so many take offence, often on behalf of somebody else. He replied that it’s still legitimate to make jokes about conservatives. It was a reminder that in the contemporary West it is the Left that is into censorship of thought — and its targets are invariably conservatives.

In his 2019 Keith Murdoch Oration, News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson spoke about “the seemingly powerful global companies that panic and prevaricate at the first mutterings of the … media mob”.

His specific reference was to Google’s decision to surrender when “a mob of Google employees” objected to their employer’s decision to appoint Kay Coles James to an advisory council on artificial intelligence.

The problem was that James is president of the conservative Heritage Foundation. She is also a 69-year-old black American who, as a girl, suffered discrimination when integrated into a white school in Richmond, Virginia.

Thomson commented: “There is no doubt that a mob mentality has taken hold in much of the West and among the most pronounced of the mobs are illiberal liberals, who are roaming the landscape in the seemingly endless, insatiable quest for indignation and umbrage.”

The reference was to the North American use of liberal, meaning Left or left-wing in Australian word usage. He added: “It is vituperation as virtue.”

The latest expression of mob outrage in Australia has been directed at Israel Folau, a rugby union player and committed Christian. His secular “sin” was to post an Instagram warning to drunks, homosexuals, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters that hell awaits them — unless they repent. This was a selection of “the works of the flesh” nominated in St Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.

Now it appears that Folau breached a warning from Rugby Australia not to make homophobic comments. But St Paul’s mes­sage to the Galatians was not confined to those termed gays today. Even if it were, a lifetime ban for a professional footballer is an enormous punishment for an expression of a religious belief.

The pile-on against Folau seems to begin with companies that advertise with Rugby Australia — most particularly Qantas, whose chief executive, Alan Joyce, apparently suffers no conscience pangs due to the fact the public company of which he is an employee has business dealings with some Muslim nations that are not exactly gay-friendly. And it goes all the way down to sneering secularists such as Nine newspapers’ Peter FitzSimons.

On ABC television’s Offsiders program on April 14, presenter Kelli Underwood and panellist Caroline Wilson bagged Folau and talked down fellow panellist John Harms, who, while not agreeing with the footballer’s comments, argued that his “religious position has to be respected”. Underwood accused Folau of attempting to “hide behind religion” to engage in “hate speech”. The inference is that it’s now hate speech for a Christian to quote St Paul and urge repentance.

What Thomson refers to as “a mob mentality” has even reached the doors of the Australian judicial system. In his judgment in the NSW District Court on December 6 last year in R v Philip Edward Wilson, judge Roy Ellis warned about the “potential for media pressure to impact judicial independence” in child sexual abuse cases.

Ellis’s concern was about “perceived pressure for a court to reach a conclusion which seems to be consistent with the direction of pubic opinion, rather than being consistent with the rule of law that requires a court to hand down individual justice in its decision making process”.

This was an important statement by an experienced judge — which appears to have been ignored by the NSW government. This trial did not involve a jury.

In his sentencing judgment in R v George Pell on March 13, Victorian County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd had this to say: “We have witnessed outside of this court and within our community, examples of a ‘witch-hunt’ or ‘lynch mob’ mentality in relation to Cardinal Pell. I utterly condemn such behaviour. That has nothing to do with justice in a civilised society.”

Again, this was a significant statement about the presence of a mob hostile to the defence and defence counsel by a senior Victorian judge — which appears to have been ignored by the Victorian government. This was a trial by jury.

Democracy has succeeded through the decades because its principal institutions — the executive, the legislature and the judicial system — prevailed against mob opinion.

Let’s hope this remains the case, otherwise intolerance and injustice will prevail.

SOURCE  






Teachers claim constant bullying and harassment from parents is forcing them to abandon their profession in droves

Parents objecting to Leftist bias and indoctrination, most likely.  Leftists can dish out the aggression but they can't take it

The number of teachers quitting their jobs is rapidly rising across Australia amid claims angry parents are to blame. 

Teachers say they are being met with bullying, harassment and violence from parents more than ever, and even face the prospect of losing their role if they speak up.

But parents claim they're just being vocal about their concerns. 

A study from Melbourne's La Trobe University found 80 per cent of teachers were subject to student or parent-led bullying in the past year.

A separate report conducted by the Australian Catholic University found that 45 per cent of school principals across the country were threatened with violence in 2018.

In an emotional interview with Channel Nine's 60 Minutes, former teacher George Allertz says that although he was passionate about his job, the constant physical, verbal and electronic abuse he copped pushed him out of the profession.

'You're going home after being abused from a parent because they didn't agree with something that you taught or the way that you taught it,' Mr Allertz says. 'You basically become deflated… I can't do that anymore.'

Mr Allertz says he has witnessed school events during which parents become violent.

The former teacher says parents have opted to fight not only teachers but other parents on school grounds.

He also said he's seen parents use horrific language and come to physical blows before having to be escorted off the grounds.

However, parents have insisted they're just speaking up about their concerns over their children's treatment or the education system.

Kevin Saunders was disciplined for criticising the way his son was being taught at school, causing the angered father to pull him out altogether. Mr Saunders was bewildered that he was disciplined and questioned why he didn't have the right to speak up for his son. 'I spoke the truth and suddenly I'm getting escorted out of there,' he said.

SOURCE   







Election coverage offers a measure of ABC’s decline

So far, the ABC’s election coverage could not be described as scintillating. That much is hardly surprising since the campaign performance of a media organisation seldom outshines that of the candidate it backs, and Bill Shorten has hardly delivered a showstopper.

In naming Shorten as the ABC’s preferred prime minister, we should acknowledge, of course, that the corporation takes no editorial stance as such. But as an editorial guidance note to staff acknowledges, impartiality is in the eye of the beholder. “Everyone regards the world through the prism of their own values,” it reads. “Impartiality is therefore an art rather than a ­science.”

So how are the virtuosos of value neutrality performing on AM, the showpiece of ABC radio news and current affairs, which once stretched the canvas on which the day’s campaign would be painted? Scratchily is probably the kindest response. So much so, that if the aim of Sabra Lane and her team was to make the program utterly extraneous, they are succeeding magnificently.

On Tuesday, April 17, for example, we were treated to an exclusive interview with Richard Di Natale defending the rights of the children of terrorists. Wednesday’s coverage began with the launch of the Greens’ climate policy. On Thursday we learned about the alt-right’s covert plan to adopt Fraser Anning as its zombie.

On day eight we were obliged to wait for 16 minutes for the sole election item. “Experts are calling on the government to do more to protect consumers from aggressive hawkers of funeral insurance,” it started unpromisingly.

Last week the taxpayer-funded program ran a series of reports recommending other things on which taxpayers might care to lavish their money. AM called out “childcare as the missing issue in the campaign” and bemoaned the failure of both major parties to boost payments for Newstart.

Experts told us there was “a genuine fundamental shift away from preference for small government”. It was a response to the Work Choices legislation, Joe Hockey’s 2014 budget and climate change, said expert Jill Sheppard from the Australian National University. Expert Ian McAuley from the Centre for Policy Development agreed, claiming voters were reacting against privatisation.

It was left to the Centre for Independent Studies’ Blaise Joseph to provide a sensible opinion. In doing so, regretfully, he revealed that he was not expert, since an expert by definition cannot dispute “expert opinion”, the nebulous voice called upon whenever the ABC’s preconceptions need shoring up. AM no longer provides the forum for grown-up policy debate it did as recently as the 2007 election. That campaign began with interviews with John Howard and Kevin Rudd, followed the next day by details of the Coalition’s tax package and an interview with Wayne Swan.

On subsequent days Nick Minchin was interviewed about housing policy, Hockey attacked Labor’s union links and Julia Gillard spoke for the defence.

There was a four-story package on the first leaders’ debate, Rudd was attacked by the CFMEU, both sides joined a discussion on pensions, treasurer Peter Costello gave a live interview, Julie Bishop defended the Coalition’s record on university funding, Rudd proclaimed his climate credentials and Malcolm Turnbull, as environment minister, responded.

The decline of AM over the course of just four elections is a symptom of the public broadcaster’s drift towards the periphery of national life. Once the daily electoral cycle began with AM’s keynote interview, was punctuated by the 7.30 Report and ended with ABC TV’s Lateline.

Today, AM is a shadow of its former self, so pale that its features are hard to define. The 7.30 audience that once hovered around a million in the five major metropolitan capitals has sunk below 600,000. In an act of mercy, Lateline has been put to sleep.

That the ABC retains any potency at all is down to the integrity of a dwindling number of presenters who understand the responsibilities that come with the ABC’s privilege. It owes nothing to the institution itself, which is increasingly ill-disciplined and hostage to group think.

Take the ABC’s obsession with “Watergate”, for example, a conspiracy concocted on Twitter about alleged irregularities in the allocation of water licences. Quite what the irregularities were, who was alleging impropriety, or indeed whether any of it mattered a jot has never been explained.

Suffice to say, however, that the ABC’s Virginia Trioli decided it was one of the “big issues of the day” when she interviewed the Prime Minister last week.

Scott Morrison drew on his reserves of patience to explain that water deals are done with the advice of state ministers and public servants, not on the whim of the federal government.

Trioli, however, was not satisfied. “You said on this program on January 14 that you’re ‘a Prime Minister for standards’. So is this the standard that we should then accept from you — rather casual about accountability, casual about transparency and seemingly unaccountable about value for taxpayer money?”

Morrison: “Well, Virginia, I think they’re pretty strong accusations you’ve just made there without providing any foundation for them … I don’t know how you could make those allegations in the way that you have, I’d seem to think that would be a bit over the top from you.”

We can only guess if Trioli’s colleagues slapped her on the back after the show or, like most reasonably minded viewers, thought she’d made a goose of herself.

What is indisputable is that Trioli wasted an opportunity to quiz the Prime Minister about substantial policy issues of vital national importance to embark on a frolic of her own. This was not the ABC as the corporation’s great postwar chairman, Dick Boyer, imagined it, an institute standing “solid and serene in the middle of our national life, running no campaign, seeking to persuade no opinion, but presenting the issues freely and fearlessly for the calm judgment of our people”.

It was the very opposite: a jittery voice from the bottom of the garden, lacking self-awareness, jumping at shadows, fixated on the immaterial and utterly and completely irrelevant.

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 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