Education

Fauxcahontas throws a gutter ball

Democrat presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren was asked at a town hall meeting at a bowling alley about her claims to be Native American. Here is the video of her reply.

Confirming what everyone already knew, Warren said,

I am not a person of color, I am not a citizen of a tribe, and I have apologized for confusion I’ve caused on tribal citizenship, tribal sovereignty, and for any harm that I’ve caused.

Confusion? Hijacking an identity for the sole purpose of advancing one’s career. Couldn’t be much clearer.

Talk about inauthenticity. To try to pin it on her parents for leading her to believe that identity. Imagine the presidential debates if she wins the nomination. Grab your popcorn.

Nativity scene in cages

A Claremont United Methodist church has decided to put the nativity scene inside cages to “consider the most well-known refugee family in the world.”

Bleeding liberal hearts don’t want to accept that if citizens don’t like particular laws, they should vote to change them. Simple. This follows on from a similar stunt in June 2019 where woke artists in NY protested kids in cages by using 24 mockups complete with audio being blasted through speakers of crying and wailing kids. pluck at those heartstrings.

While humanitarian crises are nothing to laugh about, for all of the accusations of heavy-handed, inhumane, jackboot wearing authoritarian ICE & CBP officials we hear so much about, how is it that in full knowledge of all of that, these illegal immigrants still choose to risk everything to come to America. They know that going through the legal process of filing for refugee status at an official border will likely be rejected, therefore choose to enter via the illegal route. 

It wasn’t so long ago that Trump suggested bussing illegal immigrants to predominantly Democrat-controlled sanctuary cities basing it on the idea that if they proclaim publicly how welcome they are there should be no issues. How these virtue-signalling politicians howled in protest.

The greater irony is that a growing number of illegal immigrants are choosing to move OUT of sanctuary cities. In 2007, 7.7mn (63.1%) lived in the 20 largest metros to 6.5mn (60.7%) in 2016 according to Pew. During that time 1.5m illegal immigrants were deported (12.2mn ->10.7mn).

Yet the media, too eager to bash Trump on any occasion with respect to his border policies were forced to issue retractions last month. Ouch.  Who could forget when Manfred Nowak, an expert from the U.N. Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, claimed that 100,000 migrant children were detained by the Trump administration. He also indicated that it was the “world’s highest rate” of detained children. How the mainstream media had to take a slice of humble pie the following day when Nowak acknowledged that the cited number was from 2015 — under President Obama.

No one with a heartbeat wants to see screaming kids locked in cages. Separated? Well, there is a good reason for that. When even the likes of left-leaning HuffPo admitted in December 2014 that 80% of women and girls are sexually assaulted while trying to make it across the border there is a good reason to question the proof of identity of the supposed parents. Even if 90% of parent/children pairs are legit, what of the 10% that aren’t? Do ICE risk it?

To emphasize the danger of lax screening, multiple kids were found dead after being abandoned once across the border as their usefulness as a golden ticket on compassionate grounds had expired. If that isn’t some of the worst forms of child abuse then what is? Moreover, these people are hardly the type that decent Americans would want to embrace with open arms! Come one, come all?

While there is no doubt a case to be made for illegals who could make wonderful contributions to society, perhaps some stats from ICE’s latest annual report should shed light on reality.

ICE’s 2018 annual report notes the following situation at the border:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) has continued to use resources as effectively and efficiently as possible to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.

In FY2018, ERO arrested 158,581 aliens, 90% of whom had criminal convictions (66%), pending criminal charges (21%), or previously issued final orders (3%). The overall arrest figure represents an 11% increase over FY2017.

  • 2015: 101,800
  • 2016: 110,104
  • 2017: 143,470
  • 2018: 158,581

The number of individuals detained by ERO is driven by enforcement actions taken by ICE and apprehensions made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In FY2018, 396,448 people were initially booked into an ICE detention facility, an increase of 22.5% over FY2017.  Book-ins to detention resulting from CBP arrests increased by 32% over the previous year, illustrating a surge in illegal border crossings.

  • 2015: 307,342
  • 2016: 352,882
  • 2017: 323,591
  • 2018: 396,448

In FY2018, ERO removed 256,086 illegal aliens, reflecting an increase of 13% over FY2017. The majority of removals (57%) were convicted criminals. Additionally, 5,914 of the removed illegal aliens were classified as either known or suspected gang members or terrorists, which is a 9% increase over FY2017.

  • 2015: 235,413
  • 2016: 240,255
  • 2017: 226,119
  • 2018: 256,086

Here are some of the reasons for arrest – both criminal convictions and charges – for 2017 (2018):

  • Driving under the influence : 80,547 (80,730)  
  • Dangerous drugs: 76,503 (76,585) 
  • Immigration violation:  62,517 (63,166)  
  • Assault: 48,454 (50,753) 
  • Larceny: 20,356 (20,340)  
  • Burglary: 12,836 (12,663)
  • Fraud: 12,398 (12,862)
  • Illegal weapon possession: 11,173 (11,766)
  • Sex offences: 6,664 (6,888)
  • Stolen Vehicles: 6,174 (6,261)
  • Forgery: 5,210 (5,158)
  • Homicide: 1,886 (2,028)
  • Kidnapping: 2,027 (2,085)
  • Prostitution racketeering: 1,572 (1,739)

Since the initial surge at the Southwest border (SWB) in FY2014, there has been a significant increase in the arrival of both family units (FMUAs) and unaccompanied alien children (UACs). In FY2018, approximately 50,000 UACs and 107,000 aliens processed as FMUAs were apprehended at the SWB by the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP). These numbers represent a marked increase from FY2017 when approximately 41,000 UACs and 75,000 FMUA were apprehended by USBP.

While USBP routinely turns FMUA apprehensions over to ICE for removal proceedings, ICE is severely limited by various laws and judicial actions from detaining family units through the completion of removal proceedings. For UAC apprehensions, DHS is responsible for the transfer of custody to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours, absent exceptional circumstances. HHS is similarly limited in their ability to detain UACs through the pendency of their removal proceedings. When these UACs are released by HHS or FMUA are released from DHS custody, they are placed onto the non-detained docket, which currently has more than 2,641,589 cases and results in decisions not being rendered for many years. Further, even when removal orders are issued, very few aliens from the non-detained docket comply with these orders and instead join an ever-growing list of 565,892 fugitive aliens.”

CM will quote Thomas Sowell again,

A passionate commitment to social justice is no substitute for knowing what the hell you’re talking about.

If Mitsubishi studied pigs and aviation closer

In 2007, CM suggested that the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) was doomed to failure at the concept stage.

All the tea leaves were there to be read. A simple study of the widely available Boeing & Airbus 20-yr commercial market forecasts at the time revealed how the regional jet market was set to shrink 40% in favour of larger jets.

Yet the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp (MAC) pushed on ahead regardless hoping for a 20% share of a collapsing market. What would possess a company to target a dying segment with a product that wasn’t a game changer? A plane that promised to use composites to reduce weight yet was forced back to conventional alloys and to resize because customers had no demand for the original design.

With 90% of the regional market occupied by Bombardier and Embraer, airlines get great efficiencies by sticking to the same brands during upgrade cycles – minimal marginal costs required to train ground staff and pilots. For airlines to pursue a brand new aircraft that offered little in terms of superior economics nor extensive after sales services, it was always going to be the Achilles’ heel for MAC.

Airlines would not only take on extra costs to train existing staff, but would run huge financial risks with leased MRJ’s (now called the Spacejet to rebrand the failure) if they needed to downsize fleets because there would be next to no other airlines to sell or release them to unlike Bombardier & Embraer. Pilots who chose to be certified to fly the Spacejet also risked limited career options if an airline collapsed.

So it is refreshing to read this great summary on Wolf Street of how terribly the aircraft program is (not) progressing in 2019.

It would make a great Harvard Business Review study on how not to crack into a market.

500 loony law professors willfully blind

This is the letter written by 500+ law professors/lecturers who conformed to the group think on impeachment. The ultimate joke is that they have co-signed a document where it explicitly says,

We take no position on whether the President committed a crime…it does not depend on what Congress has chosen to criminalize.

Sorry? Does that mean they’re willing to sign up to a document that tries to out themselves as woke defenders of justice yet can’t put a name to pinning anything on Trump? Only further evidence that once venerable tertiary institutions are incapable of balanced views. Proof that education is now actually worth pennies on the dollar in exorbitant school fees. How funny they threw their own party under the bus by confirming the Dems are trying to criminalize something they won’t.

If these whackademics think American voters will take this letter with any more serious than a Hollywood celebrity they are kidding themselves.

Read it and weep. Guaranteed Democrat supporters.

———

We, the undersigned legal scholars, have concluded that President Trump engaged in impeachable conduct.

We, the undersigned legal scholars, have concluded that President Trump engaged in impeachable conduct.

We do not reach this conclusion lightly. The Founders did not make impeachment available for disagreements over policy, even profound ones, nor for extreme distaste for the manner in which the President executes his office. Only “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” warrant impeachment. But there is overwhelming evidence that President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to use presidential power to pressure a foreign government to help him distort an American election, for his personal and political benefit, at the direct expense of national security interests as determined by Congress. His conduct is precisely the type of threat to our democracy that the Founders feared when they included the remedy of impeachment in the Constitution.

We take no position on whether the President committed a crime. But conduct need not be criminal to be impeachable. The standard here is constitutional; it does not depend on what Congress has chosen to criminalize.

Impeachment is a remedy for grave abuses of the public trust. The two specific bases for impeachment named in the Constitution — treason and bribery — involve such abuses because they include conduct undertaken not in the “faithful execution” of public office that the Constitution requires, but instead for personal gain (bribery) or to benefit a foreign enemy (treason).

Impeachment is an especially essential remedy for conduct that corrupts elections. The primary check on presidents is political: if a president behaves poorly, voters can punish him or his party at the polls. A president who corrupts the system of elections seeks to place himself beyond the reach of this political check. At the Constitutional Convention, George Mason described impeachable offenses as “attempts to subvert the constitution.” Corrupting elections subverts the process by which the Constitution makes the president democratically accountable. Put simply, if a President cheats in his effort at re-election, trusting the democratic process to serve as a check through that election is no remedy at all. That is what impeachment is for.

Moreover, the Founders were keenly concerned with the possibility of corruption in the president’s relationships with foreign governments. That is why they prohibited the president from accepting anything of value from foreign governments without Congress’s consent. The same concern drove their thinking on impeachment. James Madison noted that Congress must be able to remove the president between elections lest there be no remedy if a president betrayed the public trust in dealings with foreign powers.

In light of these considerations, overwhelming evidence made public to date forces us to conclude that President Trump engaged in impeachable conduct. To mention only a few of those facts: William B. Taylor, who leads the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, testified that President Trump directed the withholding of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine in its struggle against Russia — aid that Congress determined to be in the U.S. national security interest — until Ukraine announced investigations that would aid the President’s re-election campaign. Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified that the President made a White House visit for the Ukrainian president conditional on public announcement of those investigations. In a phone call with the Ukrainian president, President Trump asked for a “favor” in the form of a foreign government investigation of a U.S. citizen who is his political rival. President Trump and his Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made public statements confirming this use of governmental power to solicit investigations that would aid the President’s personal political interests. The President made clear that his private attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was central to efforts to spur Ukrainian investigations, and Mr. Giuliani confirmed that his efforts were in service of President Trump’s private interests.

Ultimately, whether to impeach the President and remove him from office depends on judgments that the Constitution leaves to Congress. But if the House of Representatives impeached the President for the conduct described here and the Senate voted to remove him, they would be acting well within their constitutional powers. Whether President Trump’s conduct is classified as bribery, as a high crime or misdemeanor, or as both, it is clearly impeachable under our Constitution.
Signed,*
——

Rugby Australia chokes on its own incompetence

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After exchanging a politically correct, vomit-inducing and nose-bleedingly insincere prepared statement drafted by professional media consultants -not lost on anyone – the fact remains that Rugby Australia (RA) is the loser in the Israel Folau saga. We can forget the original source of the dismissal and the rights and wrongs of it. If RA thought it had a proper case, the legal fees (which it claimed were worth saving and settling out of court) would have been way less than the $10m payout he was demanding. So much for supporting the very communities the RA plasters all over its website.

The outcome was the result of management incompetence in thinking that appearing woke trumped legal due process. In full knowledge that Folau had a $1.6mn war chest (courtesy of Christians, free speech advocates and rugby fans alike) to take up the case against his former employer, the board was forced to buckle and issue an apology to the former rugby star, which would never have been necessary if it had a smidgen of judgment in the beginning.

RA CEO Raelene Castle can laugh off “wildly inaccurate” speculation on the $8mn rumoured settlement but the fact is the board knows the exact amount. Israel and Maria Folau wouldn’t have been grinning like Cheshire cats were he to have signed away for less than his rescinded contract. It will be fascinating to see the composition of the 2019/20 reported figures that will be published in due course. Expect some accounting trickery to fudge it into the numbers.

Castle said a few months back that the franchise could weather paying out Izzy Folau’s $10m claim. Although CM is not sure that paying out $10m + costs – which would wipe out almost 2/3rds of the $18mn in cash on the balance sheet – is something a CEO should think is worth boasting about. What she has long needed to focus on is arresting the declining operating performance. Yet she stated emphatically that the RA won’t have to make changes to the budget. Maybe her lawyers pieced together a multi-year drawdown of the sum to be paid to smooth out the ultimate impact. 

The RA franchise is the laughing stock of the rugby world. So transparent is the lack of accountability, woeful internal coordination and deteriorating financial results that it requires nothing more than a drastic overhaul if the entity is to thrive.

Former coach Michael Cheika let loose that it was no secret he had no relationship with the CEO and a very poor one with Chairman Cameron Clyne. This coming from the very individual running by far the biggest RA franchise. Despite possessing by far the worst performance record of any Wallabies coach, management persevered with a man who didn’t have a leg to stand on but cast aspersions on the executive team.

Therein lies the problem. RA can push all of the woke causes (e.g. LGBTQI+, gender equality) it likes, but if the ultimate end customer derives no value from it, it is a fruitless exercise which can’t escape the scrutiny of the free market come time to pay bills.

Castle may believe that this was a commercial decision for the sake of providing certainty. Had she done the right thing from the start she could have avoided getting embroiled in a scandal that has exposed the poor governance within.

Isn’t it odd that the LGBT activists are now attacking the very institution that set out to promote them – RA. CM has never thought much of his tweets but the reaction to them has been so over the top. The faux outrage mob finds oppression in everything.

Castle should resign and if she won’t the board should fire her despite her defiance against the bleeding obvious – she is in over her head. Fans won’t return with the status quo.

Get woke, go broke.

COP 25 & Gender – apparently it’s a thing

Let’s get real. If the alarmists really believe we have no time to waste in order to save the rest of us from absolute doom and gloom, why is “gender equality” being pushed so hard at the COP25 summit?? If women make the best scientists, why not make them 100% of the process? That’s sensible. Alas, it simply exposes why the UN deserves to be defunded in order that it rationalise around proper governance practices. After all, this is the mob that thought Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe would make a good WHO ambassador and went out of its way to protect one of their own through a sexual harassment scandal at UNAIDS.

The document published at the COP25 summit today noted,

The full, meaningful and equal participation and leadership of women in all
aspects of the UNFCCC process and in national – and local-level climate policy and action,
including in consultations on the planning and review thereof is vital for achieving long-term climate goals…Collecting data, including sex-disaggregated data, and evaluating and
reporting on the effectiveness of processes to integrate gender considerations into climate
policy and action are vital for replicating action and strengthening efforts…”

The ultimate irony for the brains trust at the United Nations is explained by an extensive survey taken by itself on the processes in the compilation of the IPCC climate bible. Countless scientists slammed the lack of competence of the lead authors where the UN pushed diversity (i.e. identity politics) instead of scientific qualifications.

Donna Laframboise noted in her book, “The Delinquent Teenager” the following,

“In early 2010 the InterAcademy Council, an organization comprised of science bodies from around the world, took an historic step. It established a committee whose purpose was to investigate IPCC policies and procedures.

The committee posted a questionnaire on its website and invited interested parties to respond. Answers to those questionnaires were eventually made public after the names of the respondents had been removed. Those provided by IPCC insiders can be separated from the ones submitted by concerned citizens because the questionnaire begins by asking what role the respondent has played in the IPCC.

People with direct experience of this organization were remarkably frank in their feedback. According to them, scientific excellence isn’t the only reason individuals are invited to participate in the IPCC.

Remember, this is a UN body. It therefore cares about the same things other UN bodies care about. Things like diversity. Gender balance. Regional representation. The degree to which developing countries are represented compared to developed countries.
The collected answers to the questionnaire total 678 pages. As early as page 16, someone complains that:

“some of the lead authors…are clearly not qualified to be lead authors.”

Here are other direct quotes:

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter…we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)

“The whole process…[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific.” (p. 554)

“half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world.” (p. 296)

Lest anyone think that people from less affluent countries were being unjustly stereotyped, the person whose comments appear on page 330 agrees:

“The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.”

The questionnaire did not contain the word gender. Nevertheless, it is uttered dozens of times in the answers people provided. While some feel the IPCC should not aim for gender balance, others applaud the use of this selection criteria. Among those with firsthand IPCC experience, therefore, it is an open secret that some people are
appointed for reasons that have little to do with world-class scientific expertise.

Depending on whose opinion you believe, this is true in either a small minority of cases or with regard to as many as half of the authors. In the view of at least one person, every IPCC personnel decision is influenced by concerns unrelated to science.

Clearly, it didn’t pay any attention to the results. Because if it did it wouldn’t be able to invent the kind of hysteria (that it has climbed down from constantly over time) to bully virtue signalling governments to force we mere peons to hand over $100s of billion every year to a bunch of incompetent globalists who want to keep this bandwagon going.

Getting skooled by the very system our educators aspire to

When we look at what our education system seems to push these days, is it any wonder we get these poor PISA results? Reading 4th in 2003 to 16th in 2018. Reading 11th -> 29th. Science 8th to =15th. Of course, there will be lots of pushback including howls to spend more. In 2013-14 Education spending in Australia was $29.75bn. Last year it was  $34.7bn. Government school spending in 2013-14 was $2.8bn which leapt to $5.1bn in the 2014-15 budget. In 2018-19 it was $7.7bn. No shortage of cash being splurged on education. This figure rises in the forward estimates.

Could it be we need to reexamine the curriculum? Maybe focus less on indoctrination on topics such as climate change, gender fluidity and safe schools programs. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to forgo participation trophies? We’re wrapping our kids in cotton wool which won’t prepare them for the real world.

It wasn’t long ago that Newington College and SCEGGS Darlinghurst allowed kids to go on the school climate strike held at the Domain. How is it that a school that charges up to $34,000 in fees, is prepared to allow kids (with parental permission) to strike? Where is the standard of one set of rules that all must adhere to? Where is the discipline?  At what point will such activism be acceptable to other pet grievances of brain-washed kids, undoubtedly at the behest of teachers pushing their own agendas? Why not teach kids that they can’t just get their way if they protest enough?

So what of the stats? For national ATAR scores, Newington’s rank has slipped from 78th in 2013 to 99th in 2018. SCEGGS Darlinghurst has gone from 23rd to 25th over the same period.

There is a touch of irony that 91% of Chinese students attained national maths proficiency levels vs 54% for Australia. The bigger embarrassment is that our educators don’t even seem to be able to keep up with the very system they aspire to.