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Refugees – ‘We Will Come Because Of Rudd’

Yes, there is a general increase in the number of people around the globe seeking new and safer homes. But as Andrew Bolt has shown, this general increase is not sufficient to account for the dramatically higher number of illegal immigrants heading to Australia in recent months.

Kevin Rudd and his posse of experts are all saying it is nothing to do with the government’s loudly proclaimed ‘nicer’ policies on immigration. The experts all seem pretty confident because, among other things, how would potential immigrants know about changes in Australian policies?

But why do these enlightened and nicer experts and politicians assume that potential immigrants, even the illegal ones, are so stupid they cannot read a paper, watch TV, use the internet, or even talk to friends or family?

Especially when the immigrants themselves say they are coming, or plan to come, because they have heard that things are different now:

One refugee from Iraq says he’s heard from family in Australia that things have changed under the Rudd government.

“Kevin Rudd, he change everything about the future,” he’s told ABC Radio. “If I go to Australia now, different, different. Maybe accepted. But when John Howard (was the prime minister of) … Australia he said come back to Indonesia.”

Surely it is time think again about the message we are sending.

Tribunal Dismisses Teacher’s Racism Claim

I’m amazed but pleased by this obviously commonsense decision from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Fiona Dickie, of mixed Zulu and English background, complained that she had been subjected to a ‘campaign of racism’ at the Melbourne school where she was employed as a teacher.

For example, she claimed to be shocked when a fellow teacher complimented her by saying ‘You look lovely today, you remind me of that Negro Australian singer, Marcia Hines.’

 Senior Tribunal member Noreen Megay said there was no evidence of racism at the school.

 “To say that the complainant’s allegations turned out to be entirely unsupported would be an understatement,” Ms Megay wrote. She said it was important to understand that conduct considered unfair by certain people was not necessarily discriminatory.

“Put simply, just because someone does not warm to you and does not like you and does not agree with you and does not share your particular passions, it does not follow that his or her conduct is unlawful.”

Ms Megay said an emotionally fragile Ms Dickie believed that anyone who did not agree with her was against her, discriminatory and racist.

Cor!

Three Cheers For The Australian Defence Force

The Australian Navy has released photos of before and after the explosion on board the boat of illegal immigrants north of Australia a week ago.

The boat exploded after passengers doused it with petrol in an attempt to force the Navy to escort them to Australia rather than the immigration centre on Christmas Island.

Navy personnel were on the boat at the time of the explosion, and were injured. Five of the passengers were killed.

What stands out from these photos is the instant and compassionate response of armed forces personnel as they rescue and give first aid to illegal immigrants who had no right to be in Australian waters and had deliberately set fire to their own boat.

It is the courage, care, efficiency and self-sacrifice of young men and women like this that we celebrate on ANZAC Day.  Well done. And thanks.

Hilary Clinton also has a few kind words to say about ANZAC Day:

“Anzac Day is a day of respect and remembrance, a day to mark a defining event for Australia and New Zealand – Gallipoli – where courage and loyalty demonstrated the intrepid character of two young nations, whose heroes now rest in peace in the soil of a friendly country,” Senator Clinton said in a statement on Friday.

The US recognised the significance of the Anzac tradition and Americans joined with Australians in remembering those lost in battle, she said.

“Along with you, we pay our respects and express gratitude to your dedicated troops,” Senator Clinton said. “Most importantly, along with you, we remember.”

Nail Gun Murder

This is gruesome.

Police have released an x-ray picture of the head of Chen (aka Anthony) Liu, who was murdered in Sydney last year. He was shot in the head multiple times with a nail gun.

I’m not sure why police released the photo, or how this could help them with their enquiries. No one has been arrested yet. Police are asking for help, particularly from anyone who might have seen Mr Liu’s car in Rockdale or Connells Point around 19 October 2008.

It beats me how anyone can do something like this to another human being.

At Least Ahmadinejad Is Consistent

Iranian President Imanutjob said at a conference in Teheran on Wednesday that Israel is ‘a regime that only understands the language of violence and force. I am confident that there will come a day when all Zionist criminals will be brought to justice.’

Being consistent means he’s predictable – it isn’t too hard to guess what he’s going to say. And that means, as I have pointed out before, that the UN officials who said of his similar speech at the racism conference in Geneva, ‘Oh gosh, how awful, we had no idea, how could we have known?’  are either stupid, or were simply lying.

No Evidence Against Slumdog Dad

Mumbai police have found nothing in newspaper reports, or in video of a meeting between a fake sheik and Rafiq Qureshi, to suggest he was trying to sell his daughter, Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali.

There never was anything to this.

The real story should be how a shonky News Of The World journalist lured Rubina Ali’s father to a luxury hotel after telling him he was a wealthy sheik who had been moved by her story and wanted to meet her. He then offered the father money for Robina. The father declined and left.  Not interesting enough for News Of The World.

Look at the photo in the story. Robina does not look like a little girl whose family is in the middle of negotiations for her sale.

What is disturbing about this is the willingness of News Of The World readers (and apparently lots of others) to believe that ‘foreign’ parents don’t really care about their children, and are quite happy to sell them to strangers as long as the price is right.

Mine Your Own Business

I watched Phelim McAleer’s documentary ‘Mine Your Own Business’ again last night.

It is difficult to watch and not feel angry at the easy complacency of western environmentalists who, from the comfort of their air-conditioned homes, tell people in the developing world that their way of life is quaint and worth preserving, and that even though they cannot afford basic medical care, or to feed their children, they are rich in other ways.

A bit like our own Russell Crowe, who knows far better than the people of Cape York and the government of Queensland what is really good for people in remote regions of Australia. In Russell’s view, it isn’t job opportunities, better housing or decent roads, or any of the things he takes for granted and would throw a massive trantum if he was deprived of for even a few minutes. No, none of those things matter when you have a spiritual connection to the land. What contemptible tripe.

A few excerpts from a review of Mine Your Own Business:

Half a world away, when confronted with the argument that denying the people of Fort Dauphin a chance to obtain jobs would keep them poor, the leading critic of the ilmenite project and the owner of a luxurious catamaran pontificates to Gheorghe Lucian, an unemployed Romanian traveling with the film’s crew: “I could put you with a family here and you can count how many times people smile … and I can put you with a family that is well-off in New York and London and you can count how many times they smile, and then you can tell me who is rich and who is poor.”

You can imagine what this esoteric interpretation of wealth sounds like to Lucian, the Romanian who graduated from Rosia Montana’s Technical College and is desperate to find a job. Two-thirds of his fellow villagers lack running water and use outside bathrooms even in freezing winter. For him, as for the other 700 prospective employees of the mining project back home, the choice is literally “between having a job and leaving.”

The film crew also traveled to the Chilean Andes to find out who was leading the fight against Barrick Gold. It turns out—as one local villager explains—that those who oppose the investment are mainly rich landowners who don’t want the peasants working on their lands for a pittance to flock to the mines for twice their current wages.

McAleer tells us that the claim the mining project will displace three glaciers that provide irrigation for local agriculture is false. The glaciers will not be affected and the company will build a reservoir to guarantee that local farmers have a decent supply of water.

Will this industrial progress in Romania, Madagascar or Chile pollute the environment? Well, the alternative is much worse. Communist-era gold mining, which was technologically backward, bureaucratic and unaccountable, turned Rosia Montana’s river into disgusting filth. In Madagascar’s Fort Dauphin, slash-and-burn agriculture—the sort the rural poor resort to in order to survive—has destroyed the rain forest.

As one of the people interviewed in the documentary points out, it is wealthy, well developed societies which are able to divert funds and energy into conservation. Wealth and development are not just good for people, but also for the environment.

And anyway, who are we to tell people whose children are starving that they cannot have jobs and industrial development because we would rather their cute lifestyle and pretty village stayed exactly as it is?

Miscellaneous

1.  It’s raining on Kangaroo Island. I realise this may not be much of a cause for celebration for you, but it is for me!

Most communities on KI have no mains water. We rely entirely on rain water we catch and store at home. Rains usually come in April, and here they are. Just in time, too – the tanks are nearly empty. Yay!

2.  Kevin Rudd is not a nice person. No one, let alone a Christian, who should have some idea of what hell is, should ever wish another human being to rot in hell.

I am sure people smugglers do not think they are ‘the scum of the earth.’ From their point of view, for very little return, and at considerable risk to themselves, they try to help people find new hope in a new country.

I imagine they think that ‘the scum of the earth’ is a title better reserved for politicians who try to give the impression that they are more caring, more welcoming and will be nicer to anyone who arrives in Australia, when they have no intention of being nicer to anyone, and the end result is more suffering for everyone.

3.  Comments are not displaying correctly. We are working to fix this.

Conficker Again

I have had two computers in today which were infected with the dreaded Conficker Worm. This was the first time I had seen it in the wild.

You can download a free Conficker (sometimes called Downadup) removal tool from Sunbelt Software, makers of the superb Vipre Anti Virus/Anti Spyware.

If you keep your computer up to date with Windows updates you should be safe. If you are already infected, Conficker will stop you accessing Windows update, and possibly other security sites. It may also stop you transfering files from CDs, DVDs or Flash drives to your computer.

If you find you are unable to access certain websites, including Windows updates, download and run the Conficker removal tool. If your computer won’t let you download the tool, take a flash drive you have not used in your computer (because otherwise you may infect any computer you plug it into), and go a friend’s house or wherever you can get internet access.

Download and save the SSClean.exe file, and take it back to your place. Run the SSClean program from the flash drive. If you are infected you will get a message saying you need to restart and scan again. Do so.

You should now be able to download and run any Windows updates. Then run a full virus scan with your normal anti-virus. Then run SSClean again.

Another Boat Intercepted

That’s the fifth boat in a fortnight, the forteenth since the federal Labor government made changes to immigration policy last September.

No doubt we will soon be hearing repeats of the ‘Jesus was a refugee‘ motto, with the implication that anyone who questions the instant acceptance into Australian society of anyone who turns up must therefore be unchristian and uncaring. Because if you turn anyone away, then you would have turned Jesus away.

It’s all very well wanting to appear compassionate. And if appearance is all you care about, then sure, let’s just take anyone who has the money or other means to push their way to our shores.

But the fact is we cannot take everyone who would like to come. We don’t have the water, we don’t have the infrastructure to take a large proportion of all the refugees in the world, certainly not in a short period of time, and equally certainly not without careful planning.

And the wish of others to come has to be balanced against the right of those already here to be protected from people would would bring to Australia the violence or intolerance or whatever it is they want to escape from in their homeland.

In other words, we have to be selective. We should be generous. If we want to continue to be able to be generous, we must also be careful about how many, and who, come to Australia.

Those who appear in Australian waters uninvited may not be, and probably are not, the most needy or deserving. They are simply those who have the money or other means to try to shortcut a system of review that is designed to find and help those most in need of help. In the case of the last few boats, the people on them had already travelled half way around the world, and through at least half a dozen countries to get here.

A truly compassionate approach will do everything reasonably possible to discourage illegal immigration, because the need to shelter, feed and process illegal immigrants, and to provide them and their children with medical care and education, all takes money and resources that could be spent finding and welcoming people who do not have the resources to push their way to the head of the queue.

As I have noted before, the result of the Labor government’s wanting to appear compassionate is actually more suffering, both for those who come expecting a softer welcome and are turned away, and for those who wait in refugee camps around the world, and will have to wait longer because resources that could have gone to preparing them to come to Australia must instead be utilised supervising queue jumpers.

Numeracy Test Answers And Explanations

The questions at the end of the article on NAPLAN testing (a few posts below) were selected from those close to the end of the paper. They are among the harder questions

Question One.

Each person gets two votes. So there will be twice as many votes as people. Add up the number of votes shown by each bar in the graph to get a total number of votes. Divide that total by two. There are twenty-six votes, so there are thirteen people in the club.

Question Two.

I had to stop and think about this one. There are two unknown factors of 96. One factor divided by the other = six. So (at least) one of the two factors is divisible by six.

The next step, unless you are very brainy, is to write down the six times table: 1×6=6,2×6=12, 3×6=18, 4×6=24. We can stop there, because 4×24=96. So we know 4 and 24 are the two mystery factors.

We can check by remembering that the problem tells us their product is 96, and that one divided by the other is 6. 24 x 4 = 96. 24 divided by 4 is 6.

Question 3.

Total weight lifted = 26kgs. The bar weighs 4kgs. So the total amount of weights to be added to the bar is 22kgs. Divide this by two to get the amount to put on each side = 11kgs.

Of the weights shown, what combination will make 11kgs? Three 2kg weights, and one 5kg weight. So to show the total number of weights used, you would shade six 2kg weights, and two 5kg weights.

These questions are not easy – but why should they be? Most of the questions, like problems one and three in my examples, involve  commonplace, real life applications of maths skills.

I won’t wish students and teachers good luck. Too much everyday success or failure is blamed on luck or the lack of it.

With good teaching and conscientious study, you don’t need good luck.

Best Chance Yet For Extra-Terrestrial Life

Scientists at the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland have found an earth-like planet orbiting the red dwarf start Gliese, about 20 light years away. The planet’s gravity is too high to support life in forms similar to those of living things on Earth.

But the estimated average temperature of the planet is 0-40 degrees Celsius. This means that most of the water on the planet will be in liquid form.

On Earth, anywhere there is liquid water, there is life.  So the chances are very good indeed that some sort of life exists on the newly discovered planet.

Let’s go say hello!