Race ya!

We have a classic good news/bad news tale for you today.

Good news: the number of Australian Aboriginal people on the national census has doubled in 20 years.

Bad news: it’s probably not because there’s many more Australian Aboriginal people.

First of all, as with all surveys, the question asked is critical:

Rather than the current question – which asks respondents whether they are of “Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin” – he wants the ABS to ask: “Are you a verified or authenticated Aboriginal person?”

Verified or authenticated. Is it just me, or does anyone else feel mild discomfort at the thought of having to prove one’s ethnicity and receive an offical confirmation?

I feel certain we’ve seen that in the past and it never really ended well.

There’s a few contradictions the linked article chooses not to discuss.

An obvious one springs from these two paragraphs (bold, mine):

Bronwyn Carlson, the head of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University, said there was no need for a “fury of panic” about the increase in Indigenous self-identification.

….It was only later in life, after researching her family history, that she wholeheartedly embraced her Aboriginal identity.

Am I reading that correctly? A person who didn’t previous realise they were Aboriginal now heads up an academic department studying matters Aboriginal? Was there no suitable applicant who was actually, y’know, raised in an Aboriginal family?

Not to labour the point, and I know one doesn’t need to be Greek to study the ancient Athenians, but it does feel like Macquarie Uni missed a golden opportunity for affirmative action in recruiting that job.

Another contradiction is the often raised subject of the historic and, sometimes claimed, ongoing genocide of this group of Australians. It’s hard to reconcile this with a doubling in 20 years of the same demographic. Perhaps this is explained by the third contradiction;

If being Aboriginal is to guarantee a life of persecution and discrimination, why are so many more people identifying as such?

Bill’s Opinion

Incentives matter. Ask Bill Pascoe.

If we legislate by ethnicity, we will eventually have to have the uncomfortable discussion about definitions of race. That will lead inevitably to definition of gradients of the ethnicity and creation of methods to prove it.

Play that movie to the end for me, please.

Bass motivation

Bill Wyman (no, not Mandy Smith’s ex) has smuggled another “Dear Diary, I wish the world was different” piece past the Editor again. He even got it into the Editor’s Picks category.

If his last one wasn’t bad enough, this one unravelled in 24 hours. Ironic, given his sub-headline:

“But the testimony delivered by an assistant to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made it clear something more disturbing was going on. It will likely be an inflection point.

Here’s the assistant he’s referring to:. Cassidy Hutchinson:

What she claimed, under oath, you can read for yourself. The important part is it nearly all started with words to the effect of, “somebody told me that someone else said or did something”.

Ok Klass, who can tell me what the legal term is for that?

That’s right, Mylene; “Hear’Say”.

All it took was a few hours and a couple of phone calls to the people Hutchinson made claims about to debunk her testimony.

In fact, it was debunked before Australia went to bed last night, so why the Sydney Morning Herald went ahead and published Wyman’s latest fantasy is anyone’s guess.

Bill’s Opinion

The writers and editors in the news media are just not very good at their jobs, are they?

The entire column is anchored on an “inflection point” that was discredited before they even went to print, yet still it went on record.

There’s only two explanations; incompetence or mendacity.

Let’s be kind and say their intentions were pure but their intellectual ability is somewhat simple.

Can you name the crime?

If the Sydney Morning Herald editors want to outsource some work to me, I believe I can evaporate ridiculous columns like this one down to just the facts with a simple question, such as today’s title; can you name the crime?

Don’t bother reading the piece, the alleged crime isn’t described. Just a lot of Orange Man Bad guff.

To be fair to the bloke with the unfortunate name, he smuggled of a lot of this filler past the editors over the last few years, so he’s not been given any opportunity to learn from the grownups in the room:

Can you see a theme emerging here?

Bill’s Opinion

Imagine being this obsessed with Donald Trump. What must the inside of that head be like?

He gleefully tells us this one-sided process (when will the case for the defence be heard?) in Washington will result in Trump’s impeachment, but doesn’t complete the sentence, “…for the crime of <insert the name of a broken law>”.

It’s terrible to see a person captured by an obsession to the point their personal case of mind projection fallacy bleeds in to their professional life.

Accepting that how you want the world to be isn’t how the world probably is is an important step towards achieving inner calm.

Je suis un a former arts editor and assistant managing editor of National Public Radio in Washington.

Je avais un residence. Je habiter la A la south of France. Voulez vous partir with me?

1st world lethargy

Lethargy (noun)
A lack of energy or vigor; sluggishness.
A lack of interest or enthusiasm; apathy.

Seems apt for a first world country facing power cuts.

This, in a county with 2 million tonnes of uranium sitting under the soil. Or about 3.000 years’ worth of energy at today’s rate of annual demand.

But here we are, facing the risk of power cuts in a country claiming to be close to the peak of technological development and collective intelligence.

Surely there’s a typographical error, the sub editor must have missed an auto-correct replacement of “Australia” for “Afghanistan” or “Angola”.

Regular visitors to these infrequently-updated pages (yeah, I know; life has been busy) will know I don’t want or expect much from my governments; secure borders, rule of law, national defence and, if the government feels it must interfere in the provision of the utilities of water and power, keeping the bloody lights on.

If the government can’t even do that, what is the point of having one?

Seriously, if you one day find yourself with the job title of Prime Minister or Premier and the lights go out on your watch, perhaps consider firing every Diversity and Inclusion Officer, cancelling the budget for every Christmas party and closing every department not focused on the aforementioned core business of secure borders, rule of law, national defence and keeping the fucking lights on.

Bill’s Opinion

Australia is likely still 10 years away from breaking ground on its first nuclear power plant. So brace yourself for eye-watering energy bills, wearing a lot of layers in the winter and sitting around in air conditioned shopping malls in the summer.

Complex problems? Here’s Lisa Slams to save the day

As we’ve previously observed;

What a fucking great job it is being Lisa Wilkinson; you get to give a monologue to camera once a week, complaining in your side-of-mouth idiom about whatever it is your PR people think will resonate with the viewers, safe in the knowledge you’ll never put yourself in the situation where anyone can take you to task about your previous opinions and predictions.

This week’s orally-lopsided (has she had an undiagnosed stroke?) monologue is “exposing” facts about gun crime in the USA in the wake of a tragic school shooting in Texas. Ooh, look at the big Lisa Slams mic drop.

Lisa Slams’ facts:

  • Texas lowered the age for owning a handgun to 18.
  • There are 120 guns to every 100 people in the US.
  • The pandemic saw more guns sold (nearly 40M) than at any time in US history. Gun deaths rocketed.

The greatest thing about being Lisa Wilkinson is that it’s not part of the job description to make logical sense or suggest solutions. Your job is to simply point at problems and shake your lopsided mouth on national TV, whilst demonstrating you are one of the few people who care. It’s a bit like being Megan Merkel but without the racism and pussy-whipped ginger mentalist.

If only we all could have such a job.

Bill’s Opinion

It shouldn’t need to be said, but we will anyway; America isn’t Australia. Gun ownership is the second oldest amendment to their national Constitution, a document at least 50% of the country hold nearly as dear as The Bible or Torah. These people believe the First Amendment requires the Second Amendment otherwise it is meaningless.

In addition, the fact there are more guns than people should give a fairly large clue to the possibility a rather large ratio of the population want to and actually do own a gun. Unless, of course, Lisa Slams thinks the gun ownership is concentrated in the hands of a ridiculously well-armed 1%.

Lastly, if one to were scratch a little deeper into those “rocketed” gun deaths, Lisa Slams might find some uncomfortable truths; the vast majority of gun murder victims are black men, murdered by other black men. Mass shootings get the headlines but are a drop in an ocean of human tragedies.

Also, most deaths by guns are suicides.

I don’t know what the solution is to America’s problem with gun crime, but I’m not going to sit here in another country and lecture them on how to solve a problem I have zero expertise in. I imagine that’s as patronising as people asking the citizens of Northern Ireland, “why can’t you all just get along and respect each other’s religions?

Good on Lisa Slams though for demonstrating there isn’t a complex problem in the world she feels unqualified to deliver a four minute monologue to camera about with a follow up Tweet.

Next week, Lisa Slams solves P vs NP and persuades Depp and Heard they still love each other and should have a baby together.

The unintended consequence of not confronting transgender kids

The trans nonsense became very real for my family recently. Fortunately my family are all sane and safe, but a peer of one of my children took her own life last month.

Anyone who has experienced a suicide will know the incredible reach of utter devastation it delivers to everyone touched by it, regardless of family connection or closeness of relationship to the person. Everyone in the wider community is impacted and left with unsettling questions and emotions.

I will try to keep the details as generic as possible; it’s going to help nobody if this random corner of the internet can be traced back to the dead child.

The child who committed suicide “identified as transgender” from the age of 12. She changed her first name and required use of grammatically incorrect pronouns.

Her parents, the high school, and the medical professionals went along with this charade for two years.

In fact, in a private conversation with the High School Principal last year, I realised it was a source of professional pride that the high school had a “trans” student. Let me stress that; rather than expressing sympathy for a young person in their charge who was clearly demonstrating mental illness, the School Principal was happy to boast about the situation as if it was progress.

This is the same High School Principal who, in an email to me, suggested I give one of my children a mobile phone to take to school as “it’s not great for kids to stand out as different” when I complained that my child was annoyed there was nothing to do at lunch and break time because all their peers were glued to their phones (most of which had completely unrestricted access to every possible internet site), so wouldn’t talk or play.

Around this time, the school LGBTQ Pride Club was established, with a teacher supervising the lunchtime meetings and free biscuits on offer to those who attended.

Shortly afterwards, other pre-pubescent girls in the school announced themselves to be transgender.

Now, the tragedy has occurred and everyone is running for cover.

Bill’s Opinion

When we send our children to school, we do so with the primary expectation they will be physically safe and the secondary expectation they will not be subjected to experiences negative to their mental well-being.

Receiving an education in core subjects such as Maths, Science and English” seems to have become a far distant third priority these days.

Increasingly, it seems not even these two basic expectations are being met. if this were the case, perhaps a grown up might have said, at any time in the last two years, “no, you aren’t transgender; you were born a girl, will remain a girl throughout your life and, if an archaeologist digs your remains up a thousand years from now, they will immediately recognise your body as being female”.

Language has been bastardised too. Forget the current pronoun lunacy; “suicide” is now a verb, as in, “to suicide” or they “suicided”.

What was it before? “To commit suicide”. Why? Because it is a sin; someone has sinned and the result is a lost life. It is a failure of some kind, not simply an inevitable consequence of announcing one’s new pronouns and gender. We should not accept this premise and we should not accept the false logic that confrontation with reality will harm people living a fantasy; we have the proof neither route works perfectly, so choose truth.

Throughout the last two years, several people with a duty of care have failed to divert this child’s attention from negative opinions on the internet, otherwise the 12 year old wouldn’t have randomly discovered the concept of transgender and wouldn’t had found a route to sell nude photos of herself online to fund puberty blocking drugs.

The clues were there should the activist teaching staff had bothered to have looked. They might have heard about Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria and realised that more than one trans child in a school of 1,000 students is a statistical improbability. There were none in my school when I was growing up, as I’m sure there weren’t in yours either. There were plenty of kids who later turned out to be homosexual and very happy in their adult lives, however.

There are people in our community who are culpable for these failures. Let me list the main failures so, should they read this, they can assess whether they own any:

  • Unrestricted internet access for children.
  • Unrestricted use of screens in break time and at lunch at school, rather than physical interaction.
  • Treating mental illness as trivial and “going along with” unrealistic world views as if they were based on fact.
  • Establishment of a school club for 12 year olds based on sexuality and unrealistic opinions on gender when there are another four years until the age of consent for any sexuality, gay or straight.

If you were involved in this person’s short life, perhaps ask yourself the question, “Consider the possibility that, rather than being kind, you made things worse by agreeing with rather than confronting her fantasy. What if she was just gay? Or even maybe a David Bowie Ziggy Stardust era fan who’d eventually evolve to The Let’s Dance album?

Freedom – Technical analysis

Technical Analysis is a method used by some to make investment decisions. From Wiki:

A core principle of technical analysis is that a market’s price reflects all relevant information impacting that market. A technical analyst therefore looks at the history of a security or commodity’s trading pattern rather than external drivers such as economic, fundamental and news events.

Or as my financial adviser puts it, “follow the market”.

A key aspect of Technical Analysis is to look for patterns and trends over time. For example, a pattern of higher highs is thought to indicate an upward trend, such as this one:

Conversely, lower lows suggests you’re going to lose heavily betting on that stock.

Using that simple logic, how are your freedoms looking these days?

Taking Australia as our case study, what has the trend been over the last few decades?

In the chronology below, I’ve tried to show key moments for and against individual freedom and liberty, making a purely subjective justification for each item. For example, Responsible Service of Alcohol legislation could be argued as a positive for freedom because it might assist those who don’t want to be beaten up by drunks, but in my view it’s an unnecessary imposition on the rest of us, if only for the additional cost overhead (training, enforcement, regulation, dedicated government departments) applied to our drinks.

Since the 2001 September 11th attacks, you can be detained without trial for 14 days.

The government can keep your “metadata” (I bet nobody knows what that means without searching) and you can have your citizenship revoked, even if you were born here.

You can’t write or publicly speak about an alleged disconnect between the people profiting from Aboriginal grants and employment perks and their ancestry or skin pigmentation.

Your right to employment, travel, entry in to shops and restaurants, and to protest can be revoked immediately without parliamentary debate or approval but on the word of an unelected Chief Medical Officer.

You must take an experimental treatment to remain employed in a huge number of jobs in a wide range of occupations. The source of this may be State government legislation OR private employer mandates, but the freedom to choose has been revoked either way.

On the plus side, Uber rideshares are legal (although you had to bail out the taxi licence speculators).

Bill’s Opinion

If freedom was charted, I reckon it’d look something like this:

(That’s Bitcoin for the last month, if you were curious).

You might get some temporary wins, and these should be cheered, but it’s just lipstick on a pig.

We’ve been losing rights and freedoms at an increasing pace for quite some time. It’s an interesting question to ponder; when did it start?

My guess is we were most free probably just prior to the First World War. The government interfered in our lives to such a minimal degree, you could go through a day without interacting with its officers. In fact, a passport with a photo was only introduced by the UK (and by extension, Australia) in 1915.

However, there’s a pragmatic aspect to the answer too; “freedom” isn’t worth much without access to dentistry, penicillin, clean water, power, affordable protein, etc.

It’s just an opinion, but I think the rot set in when the Berlin Wall fell. We bought a lie that we had the best system so what’s the only logical action from that conclusion; MORE of that system. Let it take care of us from cradle to grave.

I hate it.