What a Dumbass: Yumi Stynes Idiotic Apology to SAS Corporal Roberts-Smith

This morning Yumi Stynes apologised for her tasteless comment about SAS Corporal Roberts-Smith, explaining it as a joke.

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"I made a joke because how could anybody possibly be so perfect,'' she said on The Circle.

"What I did not estimate was how much my joke was not appreciated.

"I sort of intimated that maybe he was not very smart because how could you be that buff and spend that much time in the gym and be smart as well.

"So people have been a bit angry and I have been getting a lot of angry messages and I am really sorry."

Stynes said she meant no disrespect to Corporal Roberts-Smith.

So in Yumi’s world, no smart person ever worked out at GYM?

If she wants to go down the IQ route let’s start by talking about hers. Should she really be on TV?

Show some god-damn respect, Yumi, for the men and women who risk their lives so you can enjoy the freedom to say idiotic statements.

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” – George Orwell

SAS Corporal Roberts-Smith is a national hero.

Neville nobody upstart Yumi Stynes is a national dumbass.

 

 

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An Oath To Whom?

Bio

Vince Ripepi argues for the importance of parliamentarians swearing allegiance to the Monarch:

After almost a decade in storage the portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were recently returned to the Strangers Dining Room at New South Wales Parliament House, following their removal by the previous Labor presiding officers.  Following the election of the O’Farrell government in March 2011 the upper house member, Rev. Fred Nile successfully petitioned the new presiding officers to have the portraits rehung – in an effort to correct what he calls “sneaky republicanism.”  The Strangers Dining Room is one of the major places of assembly within the parliamentary complex and is used frequently for gatherings of parliamentarians and business and community organisations.  The portraits, back in their original positions on either side of the State Coat of Arms, serve as a visual tribute to the head of state of New South Wales and her consort.

The much maligned Rev. Nile has now turned his attention to the wording of the official oath that members of parliament take upon entering office and in particular his desire to have MP’s return to the practice of swearing their allegiance to the Queen.  When asked about his position on Rev. Nile’s plan the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, suggested that members be given a choice, that is, the choice between swearing (or affirming) to serve the Queen or the people of New South Wales.

This raises an interesting question. That is, is an allegiance to the Queen of Australia mutually exclusive or in competition with an allegiance to the people of New South Wales (or the people of Australia for that matter?)

First things’ first, Elizabeth Windsor is Queen of Australia separate from any other role or title which she holds.  The throne which she occupies is the oldest institution in Australia and is as much a part of our national culture and tradition as cricket on Boxing Day.  Moreover, the role of Monarch has evolved over time, and the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 marked not just an important milestone in the development of Australian legislative independence from its former coloniser but it also, for the first time, recognised the existence of the Australian Crown as a separate entity to that in the various other Commonwealth Realms – Realms which are equal in status.

The notion that there can be a choice to swear to serve the Queen of Australia or the people as if the two are diametrically opposed is simply nonsense and stems from the volumes of misinformation that is perpetuated by sections of the community and the media.  It is long accepted by constitutional experts that the Crown is the personification of the State.  This concept has been described as the doctrine of the King’s two bodies, and was set out in Calvin’s Case in 1608:

“The King has in him two Bodies, viz., a Body natural, and a Body politic. His Body natural (if it be considered in itself) is a Body mortal, subject to all infirmities that come by Nature or Accident, to the Imbecility of Infancy or old Age, and to the like Defects that happen to the natural Bodies of other People. But his Body politic is a Body that cannot be seen or handled, consisting of Policy and Government, and constituted for the Direction of the People, and the Management of the public weal, and this Body is utterly void of Infancy, and old Age, and other natural Defects and Imbecilities, which the Body natural is subject to, and for this Cause, what the King does in his Body politic cannot be invalidated or frustrated by any Disability in his natural Body.”

Thus the Queen is both individual in her natural body and universal in her body politic (the Crown) and in her role as Queen of Australia she is also the personification of Australia.   An allegiance to her as Queen does not and cannot in any way conflict with an allegiance to Australia or New South Wales.  There cannot be any conflicting interests between the State and its personification.  If we accept that the Queen is the personification of Australia, and of New South Wales and that her interests cannot be in competition with those of the people nor of the state then it follows that a politician cannot have an allegiance to one at the expense of the other nor can he or she serve one without serving the other.  It is, as further expressed in Calvin’s Case that “The King’s Two Bodies thus form one unit indivisible, each being fully contained in the other.”  The Crown is inextricably connected to the state and to the people and while ever we remain a constitutional monarchy, with the Crown at the apex of our system of government, our elected representatives should honour this principle.

In Australia it would seem from recent political history that the wording of the oaths taken by members of the executive change more frequently than the administration of the government itself.

When Kevin Rudd became prime minister in 2007 he swore that he would serve “the Commonwealth of Australia, her land and her people” and in so doing joined Paul Keating as only the second prime minister to not swear or affirm to serve the Queen as part of his official oath of office.  When she disposed Mr Rudd in June 2010 the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, affirmed the same oath but keen watchers will have noted that by the time of her second swearing-in following the 2010 federal election that the oath of office had changed.  On the second occasion, Ms Gillard affirmed that she would “well and truly serve the Commonwealth of Australia in the Office of Prime Minister”.  One can only assume that “her land and her people” failed to survive all of the post election horse trading.

This penchant for change, frequent and without consultation, ought to be a matter of concern for Conservatives.  On oath, whether it is of allegiance or of office is a solemn undertaking of service.  The solemnity is removed however when we allow politicians to tinker with the wording of these oaths to suit their own political and ideological views. The oath of office taken by our elected leaders should be uniform and long standing and worthy of the important offices which they occupy.  Its wording should not be part of the spoils of war as it seems to be in the present climate.

For an example of how things ought to be, we turn to the United States.  The oath of office of the President of the United States is enshrined within the US Constitution and has been administered to all forty-three men to have entered upon that office.  That oath, a simple and poignant statement, has not only stood the test of time but also, I would suggest, become a further symbol of the presidency alongside the White House and Air Force One.  Similarly, the oaths administered to members and senators, departmental secretaries and ambassadors is constant and does not change depending on who occupies the White House or which party hold the majority in Congress – consistency which is so lacking in Australia.

The very fact that we are in 2012 discussing the wording of the oath of office of our elected representatives is symbolic of the much broader debate that remains, for some at least, unsettled.  To clarify, Australia is not a republic.  Supporters of constitutional change, predominately Left-wing ideologues, continue to attempt to rewrite history contrary to the will of the people in 1999.  We should not allow our political and ideological opponents to continue to delude themselves, it just isn’t fair.  Since the 1999 referendum proponents of the republic have busied themselves with three primary avenues of attack, firstly, that a republic is inevitable and secondly that it will naturally occur at the end of the reign of the current Monarch.  With each passing year and each new opinion poll showing growing support for the House of Windsor these two theories seem increasingly less likely.  The third avenue is nothing short of sinister.  The idea is that if we pretend that Australia is a republic then the public will buy it.  This is the “sneaky republicanism” that Rev. Nile is fighting against.  They remove portraits of the Queen from public spaces and label her a foreigner, amend oaths of office and wait in false hope that the Australian people will suddenly and passionately awake from their ignorant slumber and realise that they got it all wrong in 1999.  This is of course unlikely to happen any time soon, support for the monarchy is on the increase and without a viable (and sensible) alternative the Australian people will undoubtedly continue to stick with the system that has served them well for more than 110 years.

So what of Mr O’Farrell’s choice?  The solution has been spoken through the ages – “Queen and Country”, there is no need to choose between the two because they are one and the same but by ignoring the former we are neglecting one of the most important cultural and historical components of the later.  This neglect does us all a great disservice.

Vince Ripepi is a Sydney based solicitor and long time member of the Liberal Party.  He is the Vice President (Policy) of the Smithfield Young Liberals. 

 

Gonski completely missed the point

 

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Dean Hamstead discusses how he believes our education system is flawed, and how only greater choice (and not Gonski's ridgid anti-private ideology) is the way forward:

 

Whilst the government looks for an excuse to clip funding to private schools, (which taken 2 years to come up with a 'recommendation' to suit their ideology) , the real problems with the education system are being completely over looked.
I'm not talking about sending another truck down to an Apple store to pick up more iGadgets at the taxpayers expense; when people talk about "fixing" education in Australia, these sorts of ideas that are thrown around are about as effective as a new color of paint on the fences. What i am talking about are the real problems that parents know are there but no one articulates. I believe these issues include:-

– Parents and students aren't free to choose a school of their liking
– Students aren't free to excel, instead they are discriminated against based on age
– Schools aren't free to hire and fire as they wish
– Teachers aren't rewarded with higher pay for better results.

–  Schools aren't free to pay more to get better teachers

I would like to briefly discuss each of these.

 

Firstly, I'm not talking about private schools – we all know parents going to great lengths to get their children in to 'better' public schools. They bend enrollment rules using the address of a friend, or going to the extreme of renting briefly in the schools area. If parents aren't happy with their local public school they really have no option. The formative years of their childs are then severely impacted based on the rules of bureaucrats. Who knows better what's best for your child, better than yourself and your child? How ridiculous then that parents put up with defaulting to the school who has a government enforced monopoly on your locale!

Secondly, in a society so keen to classify people and then stamp out any hint of discrimination, in our schools we classify our children by their age then hold back those above the average and humiliate those who cant keep up. Then to top if off, in a culture so keen to recognize the value of diversity, schools insist that a child must have the same ability in math, english, science, and all their subjects. As such the whole grade system is totally broken. When else in a persons life are they isolated to a group of people only their own age? Does it happen at home? Or the work place? perhaps in University? There is simply no other example. I propose that doing so is completely unnatural, and that it is a root cause of bullying as it creates classes (literally) and as such is one cause of the epidemic of stunted social skills.

Thirdly, we all remember the bad teachers. To be fair, often as a student what made teachers good and bad may not be well based in desirable attributes. But chances are many of the teachers we liked were the same teachers who motivated us to do the most work and achieve the highest marks. In our own workplaces we all know the people who drag down the organisation, the dead branches if you will. Schools have these same dead branches but they have no way to prune them! On the flip side, schools hire based on 'points' – a ridiculous system which punishes young enthusiastic and talented teachers in favor of the hanger-ons. So many of these young vibrant teachers are stuck in casual teaching or forced to head to the unwanted positions in unpopular areas. Imagine if Facebook or Google hired based on points?

Fourth, I often discourage my friends, and question the sanity of deciding to go in to education. How bizarre that no matter how well you perform, to be unable to claim a higher wage? How ridiculous that teachers producing say 20% better marks on average, aren't rewarded with 20% more pay? And further more, why can't parents pay choose to pay 20% more to have their child taught by this student?

Although I do not yet have a child, I am very concerned about the broken education system. These issues I see as being seriously broken. I'm also concerned how little opportunity their is to break out of the mould of one teacher and a class. I like that some schools are experimenting with group teaching environments, and I like the different approaches that Steiner schools take. What would be better still is for real free market principles to drive clever people to find new ways to connect with young people, to allow parents to chose the best school for their child and for children to learn at their own paces, not being held back or dragged along.

Dean Hamstead is a Sydney-based Telecommunications and Computing Engineer who specialises in open source systems and works for a major Telco. He has also spent a number of years working abroad and for local government, and his hobbies are running regular computer gaming events and sailing yachts. 

Great Opportunity For All Pro-Liberty Students!

Last week I had the privilege of attending the amazing, brilliant, and wonderful annual conference of Students for Liberty, which attracted well over 1,000 libertarian students from not only the U.S., but around the world.

The success of Students for Liberty is an incredible story: in just five years they have grown from nothing to having 800 clubs on campus in the U.S., presence in many European cities, regional conferences both in Europe and the U.S., and of course, their main annual conference with – again – over 1,000 students in attendance! Clearly they are doing something right!

As readers where would know, options  for pro-liberty students in Australia at present remain rather limited: only a couple of universities have anything resembling non-partisan political clubs that aren't left wing (and even these are rather new), so many students do not have the opportunity to develop their ideas or receive training in effective advocacy as part of a network and support-structure of like-minded individuals. Obviously there is the Australian Liberal Students' Federation, which is great, but is still partisan in its nature. 

As such, I am incredibly excited about the fact that Students for Liberty has just launched a new program to train and provide resources to libertarian future leaders. Called their Global Charter Teams Program, this is an amazing opportunity for people to start up their own clubs, or, if they are already members, receive the skills necessary to become more effective. And, of course, make new friends around the world! Here’s more on the program:

The SFL Charter Teams program seeks to build the student movement for liberty around the world by identifying, training, and supporting the strongest student leaders of liberty in areas currently underserved by SFL (i.e. outside the United States, Canada, and Europe).  All students selected to the Charter Teams Program will undergo a rigorous 3 month online training program with biweekly readings and online seminars on the philosophy of liberty and management techniques.  This training will educate Charter Team members in the best practices SFL has developed over the years to effectively create a student movement for liberty in new areas.  Once the online training program is completed, Charter Teams will begin to start student groups at their own schools and schools nearby, run events that educate others on the meaning of liberty, and seek to identify other pro-liberty students in their areas.  The goal is for Charter Teams and the individual members achieve success in building the student movement for liberty in their area to create long-lasting, meaningful mechanisms of supporting pro-liberty students.

In addition to this, I know that Students for Liberty is very interested in helping provide support and resources to help build the movement up in Australia, so this is a great opportunity on all rounds!

So, if you are a student who believes in freedom and small government, I would strongly encourage you to check out the Charter Team project and apply(and also, feel free to email me if you have any questions, or want to be involved more!). Otherwise, if you’re not a student… I’m sure you know some who are pro-liberty, so pass the link along!

Tim Andrews
Managing Editor 

 

 

The Carbon Tax is About Revenue, Not Results

Cory-BernardiSenator Cory Bernardi discusses how the Carbon tax is about raising revenue, and not the environment:

The folly of Labor's carbon tax is finally starting to dawn on business leaders in this country. Many of those now complaining remained silent during the debate over the implementation of the tax. Whether this was due to fear of Labor government retribution or a naiveté about the damage the tax would do to Australia’s competitiveness will never be known.

The government has set a price on carbon dioxide of $23 per tonne. This is more than three times higher than the price of permits in other nations foolish enough to implement similar schemes in a vain quest to stop climate change.

Unfortunately, Australian business owners won't be able to take advantage of these relatively cheaper international permits because the government has set a limit on the number of permits that can be purchased from overseas.

This suggests that the Australian carbon tax is less about climate change and more about boosting government revenue.

While forecast to run at a net cost to the budget in the early years, the carbon tax will cause prices to rise for every Australian. Naturally the government says that their compensation measures will adequately accommodate the cost of living rises, but their own words suggest otherwise.

During the recent (and continuing) battle over the leadership of the Labor Party, Kevin Rudd suggested he may reduce the initial carbon tax price to placate community concerns about price rises.

He was slapped down by Finance Minister Penny Wong who claimed that this irresponsible approach would severely impact the budget.

Surely a reduction in the carbon price would necessitate less compensation and the budget could be trimmed accordingly. That is unless the forecast revenue is expected to be much, much higher than otherwise predicted.

Click here to keep reading

Senator Cory Bernardi is the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader of the Opposition and a Senator for South Australia. 

Michigan & Arizona: The GOP Nomination Reaches A Defining Moment

Amir-Iljazi


Menzies House U.S. Politics Editor Amir Iljazi gives an updated analysis of the looming contests in the GOP Primary
 


There has been a lag in the GOP race since the Florida Primary which saw Mitt Romney turn his seemingly waning fortunes into political gold in a most impressive win in a state that is in and of itself a microcosm of the American electorate. In the weeks following, we saw a stunning resurgence of Iowa winner Senator Rick Santorum as he won 3 contests that on the face are meaningless victories, but gave new momentum to someone thought to be the candidate who could take on Romney for the nomination.
Jan11.romney.santorum.obama
Romney (left), Santorum (center) both vying to take on Obama (right)

However, a few weeks of headlines and some strong focus on his views when it comes to what the media refers to as the “culture wars” combined with an utter disaster of a debate performance it appears Governor Romney has reasserted his position as the frontrunner in the GOP contest and what happens Tuesday night will absolutely determine the way forward this race.

ARIZONA

The state of Arizona is perfect turf for Governor Romney as there are a number of Mormon voters, he appeals to the Mountain West voters and has going back to 2008, and he also has the endorsements of the two most powerful politicians in the state: First, Governor Jan Brewer who for all the bashing and fodder she has received from those the elite media and DC establishment was able to win a resounding electoral victory in 2010 and was vindicated for her aggressive approach to the issue of illegal immigration which has plagued her state more so than others in recent years.
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Gov. Romney (above) looking to finish strong in MI and AZ

The other is 2008 GOP Presidential Nominee Senator John McCain, who is still taking on the President even years after Obama defeated him in the General Election. Early signs are showing Romney with an edge, as the momentum in the state appears to be with him. Romney is going to take the Arizona Primary and the entirety of the winner-take-all delegates that come with it. He could win by 1% and it wouldn’t matter… but I suspect he may win by a generous margin.

PREDICITION: Romney wins AZ, earning at least 40% of the vote

MICHIGAN 

The state of Michigan is really the prize that all of the focus appears to be on at this crucial moment in the GOP Primary battle, and for good reason. The polls in Michigan have been surprisingly strong for Senator Santorum, but last week’s debate and the all of the focus on many social issues have appeared to damage his prospects of scoring what would be the upset victory that could shake the entire race up and put us essentially at ground zero and make it anyone’s game heading into Super Tuesday. This is a state that nobody thought Romney would lose a month ago, especially after he was able to secure a convincing win in Florida. He has deep roots in the state as he was born and raised there; his father (George Romney) was the Governor some decades ago; and he won the state by 9% during his 2008 run. Michigan exposes every problem that Romney has had in this race, and the results on Tuesday will have a defining effect on what happens going forward. If Romney can win MI (assuming he wins AZ too) he will have massive momentum heading into Super Tuesday March 6th, where 10 states will be voting and more than 400 delegates will be up for grabs. Michigan could be for Romney in 2012 what FL was for McCain in 2008… the springboard to the nomination.
Gage_Skidmore_santorum
Sen. Santorum (above) looking to upset Romney, and conventional wisdom 

However, should Santorum pull off this upset, and it would be an upset considering the built-in advantages Romney has (not to mention the money advantage), should Santorum win in Michigan on Tuesday night the entire GOP race would be reset, and we would essentially be on the verge of what could be a long and protracted battle lasting months with the possibility of having finished every primary contest without having a nominee. I am reluctant to discuss the idea of a “contested convention” but a Santorum victory in Michigan could expose Romney in such a way that he becomes unacceptable. The trends do favor Romney, but there is always the possibility in a race as volatile as this one that anything can happen.

PREDICITION: Romney wins MI, by a margin of at least 5%

The Tuesday contests in Michigan and Arizona are a precursor to Super Tuesday and Romney’s last chance to seal this before it could get really ugly. Should Governor Romney fail to close the deal in the state he was raised in, where his father served as Governor, where he won four years ago by a nearly double-digit margin… it will call into question the very rationale of his candidacy. Romney is running on a message of fixing the economic conditions in America; if he can’t win in a GOP Primary in a state as economically devastated as Michigan (with all the other advantages discussed prior), then he can’t win anywhere.

Amir Iljazi is the U.S. Politics Editor of Menzies House. He earned his Master's Degree in Political Science at American University in Washington, D.C. and currently resides in Tampa, Florida. Before relocating back to Florida, he specialized in longitudinal campaign tracking and voter trends for Federal Races nationwide while working for a Washington DC based center-right political advocacy organisation. You may follow him on Twitter@Michi83

An anecdote of Athens

A friend and I met up at a new bookstore and café in the centre of town, which has only been open for a month. The establishment is in the center of an area filled with bars, and the owner decided the neighborhood could use a place for people to convene and talk without having to drink alcohol and listen to loud music. After we sat down, we asked the waitress for a coffee. She thanked us for our order and immediately turned and walked out the front door. My friend explained that the owner of the bookstore/café couldn’t get a license to provide coffee. She had tried to just buy a coffee machine and give the coffee away for free, thinking that lingering patrons would boost book sales.  However, giving away coffee was illegal as well. Instead, the owner had to strike a deal with a bar across the street, whereby they make the coffee and the waitress spends all day shuttling between the bar and the bookstore/café. My friend also explained to me that books could not be purchased at the bookstore, as it was after 18h and it is illegal to sell books in Greece beyond that hour. I was in a bookstore/café that could neither sell books nor make coffee.

via marginalrevolution.com

Explains it all, really…