Safe at home – but not in school

I only refer to this because of the reference to Keynes. The rest is just Mark Latham discussing the “Safe Schools” program which may be of interest to others.

WHEN John Maynard Keynes declared “Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler a few years back”, he knew what he was talking about.

The craziest trend in Australian politics is to teach Neo-Marxist genderless programs in our schools through the Orwellian-named Safe Schools and Building Respectful Relationships (BRR) curriculum.

Even though Australian students are falling down the international league tables in maths, science and English, teachers are devoting class-time to the mechanics of breast-binding and penis-tucking.

As Keynes envisaged, the thinking behind this madness is distilled from an academic scribbler a few years back. BRR’s author, Debbie Ollis from Deakin University, has attributed the intellectual inspiration for the program to a “post-structural understanding of gender construction”, drawing on the work of a Welsh academic Christine Weedon in her book Feminist Practice and Poststructuralist Theory.

To understand what’s happening in today’s Labor Party and its attitude to education, Weedon’s tome is compulsory reading. I got my copy last week from the NSW State Library and was spellbound by its contents.

Parents deserve to know where the Safe Schools and BRR philosophy comes from, and Weedon brazenly sets out the ideology behind these new teaching materials.

Post-structuralism argues for a different way of looking at society, especially in understanding the nature of knowledge and learning.
Since the rise of the 18th century Age of Enlightenment, people have applied reason, rationality and observable truths in trying to build a better life. Weedon regards this process as inherently misleading.

She thinks that from our first moments alive, we are brainwashed into accepting the social order around us.

Governments, schools, churches, the media, popular culture and even fashion trends combine to reinforce the “power relations” and dominance of capitalism.

The things we know from observing nature and studying science are dismissed as “biological determinism”.

So too notions of truth, commonsense and life-experience are disparaged as “historical constructs” — delivering “false consciousness” and tricking people into a misunderstanding of their best interests. For Weedon, the process of social conditioning denies its “own partiality”.

“It fails to acknowledge that it is but one possible version of meaning, rather than ‘truth’ itself and that it represents particular (political) interests.”

For instance, growing up with two straight parents is said to “lead to the acquisition by children of a heterosexual gendered identity”. Weedon writes of how: “For young girls, the acquisition of femininity involves a recognition that they are already castrated like their mother”, forcing them to submit to patriarchy, or male dominance. No one is immune from the process of false gender identity.

Individuals are said to be “sexual beings from birth”, reflected in the “initial bisexuality of the child”.

This is the kind of thinking behind the Start Early program developed by Early Childhood Australia (ECA), which teaches childcare and preschool infants about sexuality, cross-dressing and the opposite sex’s toilets.

An ECA spokeswoman has said that, “(young) children are sexual beings, it’s a strong part of their identity’’.

Most parents would be horrified by this stance but it’s become commonplace in the Australian education system.

Having lost the battle for economic and foreign policy in the 1980s, Neo-Marxists embarked on a long march through the institutions of the public sector, especially universities and schools.

Indoctrination programs like Safe Schools, BRR and Start Early are the inevitable result. This breaks the longstanding, bipartisan practice in Australian politics of keeping ideology out of schools.

The purpose of a quality education has been to equip young people with the knowledge and vocational skills of a civilised society. If graduating students wish to pursue social and political change, they can do so through the democratic process in their adult years.

Education has been relatively free from ideological indoctrination. But this is not the view of the new curriculum designers, with Ollis depicting schools as “in a unique position to educate for social change”.

Weedon also said she wants to engineer an androgynous “ungendered” society through classroom tutoring. The other key Leftist battleground is for the control of language.

Inspired by French post-structuralist Michel Foucault, Weedon writes, “If language is the site where meaningful experience is constituted (in capitalist societies) then language also determines how we perceive possibilities of change”.

This is why Safe Schools seeks to eradicate the use of terms like “his and her” and “boys and girls”.

It believes genderless language will produce a genderless generation of young Australians, self-selecting their sexuality as a fluid identity.

Political correctness is not an accident, a random form of censorship. It’s a carefully targeted campaign designed to outlaw the language of observable facts in the discussion of race, gender and sexuality.

For every commonsense ­aspect of life, there’s a PC push to eliminate identity differences. Weedon writes of how the “dominant meanings of language” force boys and girls “to differentiate between pink and blue and to understand their social connotations”.

“Little girls should look pretty and be compliant and helpful, while boys should be adventurous, assertive and tough … (shaping) their future social destinations within a patriarchal society”.

This pink/blue phobia is the basis of the Leftist ‘‘No Gender December’’ campaign, trying to outlaw gender-specific toys each year at Christmas.

The more I research the BRR and Safe Schools programs, the more bewildered I am as to how Labor leaders like Bill Shorten and Daniel Andrews endorsed this rubbish. Gough Whitlam must be turning in his grave.

The Great Man dedicated his life to the principles of the Age of Enlightenment: that rational, evidence-based argument could create a better and fairer society. Not only is the post-structuralist agenda anti-reason, anti-science and anti-family, it is also anti-education.

It wants to abandon the conventional process of learning through known facts and universally established truths, creating a borderless world of genderless individuals.

Australia’s political leaders are sleepwalking into an educational disaster.

As parents we need to make our views known to election candidates and school leaders alike. Anyone who has researched this issue will know we are fighting for the future of our civilisation.

Come to think of it, when I was growing up, “safe” was the word we used for condoms. Seems quite appropriate for the safe school program as now conceived.

Common sense about Trump and conservatism

This is a very accurate article about a truly vexing question. It is by John O’Sullivan and surprisingly in National Review: Conservatives in Crisis — American 2016 Edition. And if you doubt my own belief that I am a conservative, here is some evidence from just this year – The Indispensable Roger Scruton. Here, however, is O’Sullivan saying what needs to be said, which begins by noting how many different varieties of conservatism there are.

So give me a break! Stop yattering on about th­­­­e death of Republicanism or the terminal crisis of conservatism. They’re not even in the intensive-care unit. This is not their finest hour, perhaps, but they will survive.

But what will they survive as? Both Trump admirers (broadly defined) and Trump detractors (ditto) see Republican and conservative establishments reeling before a hostile takeover by an invasion of populist Vikings and Visigoths who have come from nowhere under the banners of “No Entitlement Reform” and “America First” nationalism. Peggy Noonan celebrates this; Jonah Goldberg will resist it just short of in perpetuity. But the main truth here is that this invasion doesn’t come from outside. It is an invasion mainly of people who have been in the ranks of conservatism all along.

It is understandable if most commentators haven’t fully grasped this, because the invasion is led by Donald Trump, who does come from outside both movement and party and who, as Camille Paglia noted in a very different context, makes a very fetching Viking (“bedecked with the phallic tongue of a violet Celtic floral tie . . . looking like a triumphant dragon on the thrusting prow of a long boat” — wow!). But the more we look at who votes for The Donald, the more they look like people who have voted Republican in the past. As Michael Brendan Dougherty, echoed by Ross Douthat, points out, they may belong disproportionately to the working and lower-middle classes, but they also belong to the Republican-voting sectors of those classes. (They were voting in GOP primaries, after all.) And if common observation counts for anything, it is the lower social end of the Republican electorate where conservative views are most often to be found (though less on finance, say, than on crime.)

It is a long but excellent article, worth every minute of your time. My only caveat is that I do think of Trump as conservative in a similar mould to myself.

It is a smear tactic, you buffoons

hitler and mussolini

“Some opponents have likened Donald J. Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini; supporters call that a smear tactic. Credit Associated Press”

The one essay I did at university from which I learned the most and have often thought about was titled, “Fascist Criticisms of Liberalism”. And what I learned was that fascism was a form of totalitarian ideology that was essentially tied to an authoritarian leader-principle and whose economic principles were basically socialist. Central planning was at the heart of its economic methodology. It was the nation that counted and not the individual. Hitler alone among the pre-War fascists, married the ideology to racism, but none of this was found in the ideologies of Mussolini, Franco or Salazar. You can tell a fascist state by its use of police power to suppress dissent. Fascism remains as alive today as a living reality – see Cuba and Castro – but the word itself has transmogrified into a term of abuse used by socialists to criticise everyone else. The reality, however, is that fascism is a Soviet-type Marxist socialism without its international dimension. Any ideology can be at its centre as long as it claims to be absolute truth from which no deviations are permitted.

The picture and text is from The New York Times in an article titled, Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism. Here’s the definition they use:

Fascism, generally defined as a governmental system that asserts complete power and emphasizes aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Let’s see which of the following would characterise the US if Donald Trump were elected:

  • an ideology to which every member of the community must subscribe
  • a police state in which opponents of the regime are in peril of their lives and are often imprisoned
  • a centrally planned economy
  • suppression of dissent
  • a state run media

Not one of these is even remotely possible if Donald Trump were elected president. The article is worth a read since it represents just how far the modern media has fallen. The plain reality is that they cannot criticise Trump on the specifics of what he has in mind since even to state Trump’s aims would only add to his support. So it is just ignorant name calling by people who have no idea what they are talking about but manage to have their views printed in what was once one of the prestige newspapers of the world.

Calling Trump a fascist is ignorance attempting to deceive the willingly ignorant. If they don’t know that calling Trump a fascist is slander without content then why would you read such a newspaper ever again, other than to remind you of what great dangers our civilisation must now face in dealing with the actual fascists in our midst.

The vision thing

Let me ask you this. Is the following headline in today’s Oz pro-Labor or anti?

Labor veteran brands Shorten ‘anti-business’

My take from the debate last night was that Malcolm offered sound corporate advice leading to a strong economy and economic growth, while Shorten offered the promise of a just and fair society in which the government will do what it can to ensure equity as well as a strong economy. Malcolm sounded like a CEO speaking to the board. On only one issue did he come out ahead, and that was on stopping the boats. As for the rest, nothing he said made me think he understood that there are moral issues involved in leadership. The Government must stand for something. Even in his ridiculous concern with global warming, his approach is in the form of a cost-benefit study, rather than as a transcendent view of a better world with kindness to Gaia at its core. You may think that is even more ridiculous, but you won’t touch the Labor-Green vote unless you take that approach.

It therefore doesn’t surprise me to see there has been “a significant slump in support [for the Government] in the key election battlegrounds”. I just have to hope that Shorten really means it when he says Labor will protect our borders, because if Labor wins, the boats will start coming again.

What would an economist know about Brexit?

Let us assume that all things remain equal, there are no changes in regulations, no change in business structures, no new openings in international trade and no other economic changes of any kind. What do you assume will happen to the British economy if it leaves the EU? And here is one answer: Economists overwhelmingly reject Brexit in boost for Cameron.

Nine out of 10 of the country’s top economists working across academia, the City, industry, small businesses and the public sector believe the British economy will be harmed by Brexit, according to the biggest survey of its kind ever conducted.

A poll commissioned for the Observer and carried out by Ipsos MORI, which drew responses from more than 600 economists, found 88% saying an exit from the EU and the single market would most likely damage Britain’s growth prospects over the next five years.

A striking 82% of the economists who responded thought there would probably be a negative impact on household incomes over the next five years in the event of a Leave vote, with 61% thinking unemployment would rise.

But let’s mix that story with this one: Millions more migrants coming – deal with it, UN chief tells EU. This is what’s coming next:

A top UN official says Europe must prepare for the arrival of millions more refugees from the Middle East and Africa – and has accused David Cameron and other EU leaders of failing to create a “positive narrative” about the issue.

Michael Moller, who heads the Geneva office of the UN, said “complacency and lack of leadership” on the part of EU leaders left it unprepared for the mass influx of migrants.

“What we have been seeing is one of the biggest human migrations in history,” Moller, a Dane, said in an interview. “And it’s just going to accelerate. Young people all have cellphones and they can see what’s happening in other parts of the world, and that acts as a magnet.”

Get it? The EU and Britain are being accused of being unprepared to accept all of these migrants, not of thinking of ways to stop them from coming. For myself, I would be getting out of the EU while the going was good, I would blow up the Chunnel and then treble the size of the Royal Navy. If you are looking for a rapid and permanent descent in your standard of living, nothing will quite do it like a million unemployable migrants camping out in the centre of your cities. Indeed, the French are seeing the same problem. Also today, ‘The French Have Been Silent For Too Long’: Identitarians March Through Paris. Here’s what they want:

“The French have been silent for too long… It is time to show our determination to continue to live on our land, under our laws, our values and with respect to our identity.”

That is what everyone wants. No one is coming to France to be a Frenchman or to Germany to become German.

What’s wrong with the Venezuelan economy?

free market crayons

OK, Venezuela is a mess, but what’s the reason? Here are a few recent stories to remind us that there are at least some paying attention. But these are mostly about what is happening, not why it’s happening.

Venezuela Drifts Into New Territory: Hunger, Blackouts and Government Shutdown…

80% of basic products in short supply…

Venezuela Is Falling Apart

Venezuelans on the food and economic crisis blighting their daily lives

How Venezuela’s socialist dream collapsed into a nightmare

My question is, do people any longer even understand what the problem is and why things are working out this way? The country has more oil than Saudi Arabia and yet its economy is disintegrating. It seems to me that if you vote for the Greens, and possibly Labor, you are a prime candidate to take your country in a Venezuelan direction with not a clue in the world about what you are doing wrong.

BTW an extraordinarily clever cartoon.

Going after our deadliest enemy

Two stories via Instapundit focusing on the media as the black-hearted true source of our political troubles. First:ACE OF SPADES: Why I Hate The Media, A Continuing Series. And if you go to AoS there is this conclusion about the media and its talking heads:

Who the fuck do these ghastly grinning pancake-makeup smeared brain-damaged communications majors think they fucking are?

A society that worships carnival-barkers appearing on idiot boxes is a society that is already brain-dead and which should be euthanized out of simple mercy.

Fuck them all to hell.

Second: PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS where we find among quite a bit of other criticisms:

By rejecting the authority of the press to judge him, Trump has debilitated if not destroyed the power of the interview, befuddling a press corps that still believes it can bring him down with one more gotcha, one more “Pinocchio”, one more “Pants On Fire” from the fact-checkers. Trump is laughing at them now.

They still have enormous power which they won’t give up without a fight. But at least their flank has now been turned, and who knows. others may yet learn from Trump’s example.

Why Republicans will vote for Trump (and Democrats too)

From Victor Davis Hanson, the top heads but read the lot:

First, Trump stays in the news not just by taking extreme positions, but also by taking extreme positions on issues that are already extreme. . . .

A second reason why many conservatives will vote for Trump is that they, like everyone else, are cynical about what candidates say and what they, as presidents, actually do. . . .

Third, we have become so inured to the outrageous, that many conservatives are not quite sure whether Trump is just a more in-your-face version of current politicians or if he truly is an outlier in his vulgarity.

Fourth, most Republicans do not quite buy the #NeverTrump argument that Trump is running to the left of Hillary Clinton. [Does anyone?] . . .

Finally, Republicans might embrace a democratic fatalism—or the opinion, in other words, that “if that’s what the people want, that’s what the people get.”

Of course, the real reason is that Trump is offering to do what voters want their government to do and no one else is.

Libs ahead by minus four

Everyone seems to think that a Labor lead in the polls should not be taken seriously. Why worry about this, we are asked: Election 2016: Labor surges in the polls as campaign focus turns to economic credentials. The details:

At the end of the third week of the 2016 campaign, Labor surged to its largest lead of the contest to date in a Seven News/Reachtel poll published Friday night, taking a 52-48 lead in the two-party preferred vote.

Meanwhile, over at The Australian: Labor’s reckless economic strategy starting to unravel, Why Turnbull has a wealth of advantage over Shorten, and Malcolm Turnbull must revel in secrets of his success.

I know that aggregates don’t mean everything, and that it is a seat-by-seat battle. And being ahead only counts on election night. And the only poll I take notice of is when the votes are counted, and etc. Nonetheless, down 48-52 does not look to be such a great place for a team that is looking to sweep to victory, or even to win by a single seat.

Same old same old

abc me

“New ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie rejects suggestions most of the broadcaster’s journalists have a left-wing bias.”

I mean, really, what she’s saying is if you think the ABC presenters are left wing, you should see the people who come to dinner parties at my house.

The ABC’s new managing director, Michelle Guthrie, has conceded the national broadcaster “can do better” at presenting a wider range of political views – while hitting back at critics who believe its journalists have a left-wing bias.

“I don’t see that as true at all,” Ms Guthrie said in a wide-ranging interview with The Weekend Australian Magazine, published tomorrow.

“People view any organisation from their own biases and my sense is that I think we do a very good job in covering the gamut of opinion. But I always think we can do better.

“That’s why I’m very conscious of making sure we are very reflective of the Australian population. I feel we do have a lot of editorial processes in place and we just need to make sure we adhere to them. I feel very confident those processes are well adhered to.”

Could be but how can I tell? Other than the occasional Q&A – where there is no end of evidence of a leftward bias – I stopped watching the ABC years ago.