Blowout in racial hatred cases in Australia

Blowout in racial hatred cases in Australia, by Dennis Shanahan.

The number of [racial hatred] cases lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission has leapt from 18 in the 12 months to last March to 71 in the past year, ­including nine “white males” claiming to have been racially discriminated against.

The most claims, where the commission identified the complainants’ race, are from Aborigines and Indians, as it was last year, but almost 15 per cent are white males and there are complaints from people who identify themselves as Chinese, Maori, Persian, Scottish, Pakistani, Jewish, Arab, Turkish and one who had a “dark complexion”. …

IPA policy director Simon ­Breheny last night said he believed the rise in complaints was a result of “incessant solicitation” of complaints by Human Rights Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane. …

18C might get changed:

The parliamentary committee is expected today to urge the Turnbull government to scrap the grounds of “insult and offence” under 18C or replace it with the tougher test of “vilify” or “harass”.

Coalition MPs, urged by Tony Abbott, have built support for an overhaul of 18C in response to the public debate over the prosecutions of three Queensland University of Technology students and The Australian cartoonist Bill Leak.

[IPA policy director Simon ­Breheny said] “A large number of submissions to the inquiry favouring no change to section 18C are from government agencies or taxpayer-funded groups. The position of these groups is completely out of step with the public — polling clearly shows Australians overwhelmingly favour change.

This is a sock-puppet arrangement where government departments give money to organis­ations to advance the anti-change argument.”

The IPA estimated 13 government agencies, 42 government-funded groups and six umbrella organisations covering government anti-discrimination commissions all made submissions against change.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Just over half of Americans think the media’s coverage of President Donald Trump has been too critical

Just over half of Americans think the media’s coverage of President Donald Trump has been too critical, by Jason Bellini.

While 51 per cent rate the media as too critical of Mr Trump since the presidential election, 41 per cent say the coverage has been fair and objective, while 6 per cent say the media hasn’t been critical enough. …

A majority of those polled, some 53 per cent, also believes that the news media have exaggerated problems in the Trump administration. Some 45 per cent say that is not the case.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

President Trump: Oscars ‘Were Focused so Hard on Politics’ They Could Not Get the Basics of the Ceremony Right

President Trump: Oscars ‘Were Focused so Hard on Politics’ They Could Not Get the Basics of the Ceremony Right, by Matthew Boyle.

At the Oscars on Sunday evening, the Academy Award for Best Picture was read out by presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as being for La La Land—not the actual winner, Moonlight. The flub—already being dubbed the worst in the Academy Awards’ history—has forced accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to apologize after overseeing the ballot-counting process for 83 years. …

The awful mistake came after hours of Trump-bashing by the Hollywood elites, who hammered the president in joke after joke. Now, the president has got the last laugh as he hammers Hollywood for its epic fail.

Another show case for journalists and celebrities love prancing about under spotlights and patting themselves on the back in public: “adopt our views or you’re a loser.”

Do we see televised prizes, in special programs, for the mining industry? Or farming?  Why not? We badly need an alternative to today’s mainstream media.

Oscar ratings hit 9-year low.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Real War’ with West Is ‘Culture War’ on TV, Internet

Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Real War’ with West Is ‘Culture War’ on TV, Internet, by Penny Starr.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said that a war on Iran’s culture and economy is more dangerous to his Islamic regime than any military threat from the West. …

“The real war is an economic war, the real war is the war of sanctions, the real war is the arenas of work, activity, and technology inside the country,” Khamenei said. “This is the real war!”

“They draw our attention to a military war so that we ignore this war,” Khamenei said. “The real war is a cultural war.

“There are so many television and internet networks which are busy diverting the hearts and minds of our youth away from religion, our sacred beliefs, morality, modesty and the like,” Khamenei said.

Culture is upstream of politics. It motivates people.

Hungary’s Orbán: EU ‘Still Making Excuses for Crimes of Communism’

Hungary’s Orbán: EU ‘Still Making Excuses for Crimes of Communism’, by Jack Montgomery.

“Many in the West today are still making excuses for the crimes of communism; even the European Union itself is reluctant to unequivocally condemn them,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said. …

The populist leader noted the left wing ideology “emerged in the 20th century as an intellectual product of the West [but] in the end it was we Central Europeans who were forced to live under this originally Western idea”.

Orbán underlined that, in the West, communism remained nothing more than a theory, providing “tingling intellectual excitement [for] meddlesome global utopians” such as Sidney and Beatrice Webb, prominent figures in Fabian socialism accused of acting as apologists for the Soviet Union.

He recalled how “many members of the Western intelligentsia, artists, writers and politicians – self-proclaimed ‘progressives’ – praised the genocidal communist dictatorship”.

It is difficult to believe that it was not obvious to them that those whom the Soviets regarded as class enemies – or as dangerous for any other reason – were being deported to slave labour camps.” …

The number of people killed by communist regimes in the 20th century is estimated at 94 million. Surviving communist regimes such as China and North Korea continue to be noted for their use of censorship, political repression, and arbitrary detention – often in Soviet-style labour camps – to quash dissent.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

What Does Steve Bannon Want?

What Does Steve Bannon Want? by Christopher Caldwell.

President Trump presents a problem to those who look at politics in terms of systematic ideologies. He is either disinclined or unable to lay out his agenda in that way. So perhaps it was inevitable that Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who does have a gift for thinking systematically, would be so often invoked by Mr. Trump’s opponents. …

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Mr. Bannon, 63, has won a reputation for abrasive brilliance at almost every stop in his unorthodox career — as a naval officer, Goldman Sachs mergers specialist, entertainment-industry financier, documentary screenwriter and director, Breitbart News cyber-agitprop impresario and chief executive of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. One Harvard Business School classmate described him to The Boston Globe as “top three in intellectual horsepower in our class — perhaps the smartest.” Benjamin Harnwell of the Institute for Human Dignity, a Catholic organization in Rome, calls him a “walking bibliography.”

Perhaps because Mr. Bannon came late to conservatism, turning his full-time energy to political matters only after the Sept. 11 attacks, he radiates an excitement about it that most of his conservative contemporaries long ago lost. …

A nation of people, not ideas:

Where Mr. Bannon does veer sharply from recent mainstream Republicanism is in his all-embracing nationalism. He speaks of sovereignty, economic nationalism, opposition to globalization and finding common ground with Brexit supporters and other groups hostile to the transnational European Union. On Thursday, at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, he described the “center core” of Trump administration philosophy as the belief that the United States is more than an economic unit in a borderless world. It is “a nation with a culture” and “a reason for being.” …

Banking creates problems:

“Think about it,” he said in a talk hosted by the Institute for Human Dignity. “Not one criminal charge has ever been brought to any bank executive associated with 2008 crisis.” He warned against “the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism,” by which he meant “a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people.” Capitalism, he said, ought to rest on a “Judeo-Christian” foundation.

Steering Republicans away from focusing on profits, towards people and values:

It was Pat Buchanan who in his 1992 run for president first called on Republicans to value jobs and communities over profits. An argument consumed the party over whether this was a better-rounded vision of society or just the grousing of a reactionary. After a generation, Mr. Buchanan has won that argument. By 2016 his views on trade and migration, once dismissed as crackpot, were spreading so fast that everyone in the party had embraced them — except its elected officials and its establishment presidential candidates.

Not Islam:

Mr. Bannon does not often go into detail about what Judeo-Christian culture is, but he knows one thing it is not: Islam. Like most Americans, he believes that Islamism — the extremist political movement — is a dangerous adversary. More controversially he holds that, since this political movement is generated within the sphere of Islam, the growth of Islam — the religion — is itself a problem with which American authorities should occupy themselves. This is a view that was emphatically repudiated by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018

SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018, by Calla Cofield.

SpaceX will fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon in 2018, the company’s founder Elon Musk announced Monday (Feb. 27).

The private spaceflight company will use its Falcon Heavy rocket to send the two paying passengers into space aboard one of the company’s Dragon spacecraft. The two private citizens, who have not yet been named, approached SpaceX about taking a trip around the moon, and have “already paid a significant deposit” for the cost of the mission, according to a statement from the company. The names of the two individuals will be announced later, pending the result of initial health tests to ensure their fitness for the mission, the statement said.

The two passengers will be the only people on board what is expected to be about a weeklong trip around the moon, according to Musk, who spoke with reporters during a phone conference today.

“This would be a long loop around the moon … It would skim the surface of the moon, go quite a bit further out into deep space and then loop back to Earth,” Musk said during the teleconference. “So I’m guessing, distance-wise, maybe [300,000] or 400,000 miles [about 500,000 to 650,000 kilometers].” …

The crew-carrying Dragon spacecraft will operate, in large part, autonomously, so the passengers would have to train for emergency procedures but would not be in charge of piloting the spacecraft, Musk said. The crew-carrying Dragon spacecraft will operate, in large part, autonomously, so the passengers would have to train for emergency procedures but would not be in charge of piloting the spacecraft, Musk said.

‘The contemporary US belongs to all nations’: Former Iranian president targets Trump’s travel ban and says the American political system is ‘corrupt’ in open letter to the president

‘The contemporary US belongs to all nations’: Former Iranian president targets Trump’s travel ban and says the American political system is ‘corrupt’ in open letter to the president, by the Daily Mail.

Iran’s former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter Sunday to President Donald Trump, striking a somewhat conciliatory tone while applauding immigration to America and saying it shows ‘the contemporary U.S. belongs to all nations.’ …

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In the letter, published by Iranian media outlets, Ahmadinejad noted Trump won the election while he ‘truthfully described the U.S. political system and electoral structure as corrupt.’

Ahmadinejad decried U.S. ‘dominance’ over the United Nations, as well as American meddling in the world that has brought ‘insecurity, war, division, killing and (the) displacement of nations.’

He also acknowledged the some 1 million people of Iranian descent living in America, saying that U.S. policies should ‘value respect toward the diversity of nations and races.’

‘In other words, the contemporary U.S. belongs to all nations, including the natives of the land,’ he wrote.

‘No one may consider themselves the owner and view others as guests or immigrants.’

As Steve Sailer points out, in PC world “non-Americans” are just Americans who haven’t moved to America yet.

The IQ of Politics

The IQ of Politics, by Tucker Carlson.

The country has reached a point where the elite consensus on any given issue should be reflexively distrusted.

Look, it’s really simple. The SAT 50 years ago pulled a lot of smart people out of every little town in America and funneled them into a small number of elite institutions, where they married each other, had kids, and moved to an even smaller number of elite neighborhoods. We created the most effective meritocracy ever.

But the problem with the meritocracy, is that it leeches all the empathy out of your society … The second you think that all your good fortune is a product of your virtue, you become highly judgmental, lacking empathy, totally without self-awareness, arrogant, stupid — I mean all the stuff that our ruling class is. …

Intelligence is not a moral category. That’s what I find a lot of people in my life assume. It’s not. God doesn’t care how smart you are, actually. …

Putting smart people in charge of things is fine, but what you really want is wise people. The beginning of wisdom is to know what an asshole you are. …

Carlson gets annoyed by elitist PC. This is his worst interview, the one he regrets most, where he got infuriated with the liberal writer Lauren Duca and got mean:

How did she infuriate him so?

It was the unreasonableness … It’s this assumption — and it’s held by a lot of people I live around [in an upscale Washington neighborhood] — that you’re on God’s side, everyone else is an infidel, and by calling them names you’re doing the Lord’s work. I just don’t think that’s admirable, and I’m not impressed by that.

Australia: Bogan call bites Aly

Australia: Bogan call bites Aly, by Stephen Brook.

Waleed Aly is a talented figure who can write geopolitical think pieces for Fairfax papers and mix it with the kids on Channel Ten’s The Project. But he is also a polarising one: you either love him or hate him. …

waleed_aly

Aly recently found himself uncharacteristically on the receiving end of an unfavourable social media storm when he made an off joke during The Project that ­managed to besmirch bogans and administration workers. One typically intemperate and unfair attack on Facebook read: “The word bogan is really just dog whistle for working-class Anglo Saxons. It’s used by smug hipsters and genuine racists like Waleed. Waleed Aly you are a racist scumbag!

But not by a bogan!

The post was made by one David Kozgrev, who just happens to be David Cosgrove, son of our Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (retd). Talk about making life uncomfortable for the G-G. Says a spokesman from Government House: “The Governor-General is currently overseas and does not know whether any such post was made by one of his family. He hopes not.”

CEO pay — it’s not like they’re sports stars

CEO pay — it’s not like they’re sports stars, by Adam Creighton.

I’m hereby offering my services to be the next CEO of Australia Post for less than $560,000 year, including bonus, a mere 10 per cent of the remuneration of outgoing chief Ahmed Fahour. I’m hard working, organised, and reasonably bright. And I’d be fully across global postage and parcel trends before I started. Taxpayers would save more than $5 million a year.

Naturally, I don’t have a chance. The so-called market for chief executives of public (and state-owned) companies functions like a cartel, where suppliers, the managers themselves, exert huge power over the sale price.

Who could blame Fahour for accepting his outlandish pay? He’s only human. The problem is the system, not individuals, and a populist cut in the next Australia Post chief’s pay will do nothing to fix it.

We all enjoy a bit of economic rent in our lives — what economists call the excess of what we are paid over what we need to be paid to keep doing our job. But the world’s managerial class has gorged on it since the 1980s.

In Australia the pay of the top ASX200 companies has increased from less than 20 to more than 50 times average earnings, or more than $3 million, in 2015. In the US, average CEO pay, adjusted for ­inflation, has increased from about $US807,000 a year in 1965 to just under $US15 million a year in 2012. Plato would have a heart attack: he thought the richest residents of Athens should earn no more than five times the poorest.

The Productivity Commission in its 2009 analysis of executive pay found pay increases had easily outstripped growth in the value of stocks. Indeed, productivity and real median income growth in most countries have stagnated as the pay of managers has soared.

But CEOs aren’t in a market, but instead form a cartel where members set their own remuneration.

The so-called market for executive remuneration isn’t a free market at all. In a free market buyers and sellers negotiate; their own money is on the line. The wage a corner shop owner pays his assistant is set in a free market. But executives and their boards more generally, the sellers of management services, in effect set their price because the shareholders, the buyers, have no control over the decision. Shareholders might be able to vote for particular board members, but they can’t affect the pay offer. Remuneration consultants, incentivised to recommend “above average” pay, add fuel to the fire, and help perpetuate the myth that good managers must cost a fortune. …

The late Australian historian John Hirst once said to me that Australians get angry about CEO pay ­because they sense rightly it’s someone not too different from them sitting behind a desk.

The value added by sports stars and ­entertainers, especially the former, can be objectively measured. The output of chief executives isn’t measurable or verifiable in the same way. No one can split out the contribution of one manager to the success of an entire company, especially large ones.