> From: Petros
> Melissa Parkes is from the Labor Party, MP for Fremantle, not for the
I stand corrected. I was misled by all that greenness on her web site.
This (not being a Green) would explain why there was some specificity to
her policy proposals.
>> In the absence of a clearly articulated and worked out alternate policy,
>First, there must be a problem that requires drastic measurements as
>infinite detention and violation of International obligations?
>Can you explain this problem to me first?
You may recall that Labour came to power in a blaze of moral righteousness,
saying they would have a humane refugee policy. Numbers increased
dramatically with no end in sight to exponential growth. [By the way, the
Greens ridiculed the notion that the policy change would increase the
numbers of boat people markedly. They were proven utterly wrong.] So they
tightened policy. It seemed to me that they eventually muddled into an
incompetently executed version of the Howard/Abbott policies.
Now why would they do this? Some people argue that they listened to the
polls and, being cynical uncaring fiends, decided to sacrifice the refugees
in order to buy votes. Personally, while I was no fan of Rudd or Gullard, I
do not think they are that heartless. I just think they were mugged by
What reality? That there are about *20,000,000* refugees around the world,
many of whom would come to Australia if they could. There are *billions* of
people who live in very poor countries, and polls suggest that a *third( or
more of them would move to a rich country if they could. As one indication,
in 2008 there were over 13,000,000 applicants for the green card lottery to
get into the USA - even though the odds are very low.
So the problem is that unrestricted immigration implies huge numbers of
people coming to Australia. The implications can be enormous: housing
shortages, unemployment, breakdown of our ability to fund the welfare
OK you may not accept this scenario. Fine, but where is a solid analysis
that shows it is wrong. As far as I can see, all the evidence suggests it
is basically correct.
Or you may say that this is acceptable, because the need of these people is
so great. The need of these people outweighs the harm to the locals. I
think that is a very defensible view. Why should we in Australia have such
a high standard of living while millions of people die of starvation and
hunger each year? Should we not be prepared to accept a big cut in our
standard of living to help those people?
What I have been asking for is this: What is your specific policy proposal
for immigration, including refugees? Where is your analysis of the
implications of your policy? And a statement that the implications are X
and I accept those implications for these reasons.
I accept the cogency of the arguments that we should do far more for poor
people (whether increasing immigration is the right way to do this I am
unsure). But I find I am not prepared to drastically reduce my own standard
of living to implement this insight. I find few people are. Anyone on the
mailing list who donates more than say 40% of their income to such causes
is welcome to speak up at this point, but there are very few such people.
This is embarrassing. We know what we should do if we value other people's
welfare as much as our own. But we don't do it. The obvious conclusion is
that we don't value other people's welfare as much as our own.
I would also suggest that anyone who wants to demand that the Australian
people accept a large cut in their living standard, should demonstrate
their bona fides by, for example, showing that they currently donate a
large slab of their income to such causes.
Otherwise people can rightly say that talk is cheap.
When you look at other contentious issue, such as global warming, there are
plenty of resources that analyze the issue and possible solutions in
detail. This issue is different, which is very interesting. Google searches
uncover much moral posturing, but little else.
Quoting "Tim Josling" <tim.josling(a)gmail.com>
> As Melissa Parke from the Greens pointed out in her speech, we make
> it difficult for refugees to come here by airplane. According to the
> same Ms Parke, the Greens' policy is to increase the quota and to
> accept every refugee who arrives here by boat. Impediments to
> arriving by air would apparently be retained (not stated, but
> implied). As we saw when the ALP liberalized policy, this would
> result in a massive increase in arrivals by boat.
Melissa Parkes is from the Labor Party, MP for Fremantle, not for the Greens.
On Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 9:13 AM, Nathan Bailey wrote:
> If I gave 100% of my salary, I could not stop world poverty.
This is not a valid excuse. To me it sounds in fact like a mere
rationalization. The marginal benefit of a dollar is no less in this case
for the first dollar than the last dollar. So if you actually believe what
you are saying, you would give a substantial portion, eg 40-50%, of your
salary to such causes.
The fact that precisely no-one has stepped up with evidence that they do so
is telling. As I said before, it is easy to be generous with other people's
Verbal pronouncements of one's moral virtue are cheap which is why they are
The three-week online course, "Stop Writing Embarrassing Software Code:
SWEBOK Version 3.0 Best Practices for Software Development," will be
taught by Don Shafer, IEEE Computer Society Vice President of
Professional Activities and a distinguished global expert in the practice
of software engineering.
The course will begin on 17 February 2014, and meet from 10-11 a.m. PST
each Tuesday and Thursday for 3 weeks. Presentations will be followed by
an open discussion forum, a quiz, and a review of comments raise during
> From: "Trent W. Buck"
> Russell Coker wrote:
> > There are real benefits to private schools. School sucks generally,
> > but if you are going to send kids to a school and can afford it then
> > a good private school should be better than most government schools.
> That's a very Melburnian mindset.
> In WA, the only people that go to private schools are religious wonks.
> In VIC, the entire middle class goes to private schools.
I went to private and public schools and my daughter also attended both
In both cases the public schools were superior, with one exception I will
The reason in both cases that the public schools were better was not better
teachers or smaller class sizes, but the peer group at the public school.
In my case there was only one high school in the town and no private
school. so the only private alternative was boarding school. This meant
everyone from doctors' children, children of academics (local CSIRO
research station), and children of successful businessmen all went to the
same school. So it was a very vibrant and diverse peer group and the level
of academic competition was high. My parents then sent me to a private
school which was largely full of the sons of farmers. The largest clique
proudly called themselves "the animals" and behaved accordingly. Doing your
homework or doing well in exams was regarded as an act of treason to be
punished by bashings.
My daughter went from year 9 to Mac.Robertson Girls which is a selective
high school, having previously attended various private schools. I did not
find the peer group at the private schools very inspiring. There was a very
strong culture of entitlement. Once in year 8, two girls were having a
chair fight at the back of the class, when the teacher asked them how they
would earn a good living if they did not do well at school. The reply was
that they would marry a rich guy like their mothers and spend their time
playing tennis and shopping, duhhh. In contrast, at Mac.Rob, my daughter
was pleasantly surprised to find that you were not regarded as a loser geek
if you actually paid attention in class.
When parents talk about "good schools" this is often code for a good peer
group. The book "The Nurture Assumption" by judith Harris is a fascinating
exploration of the importance of the peer group and of the surprising lack
of importance of parents in terms of the development of personality and
As far as I can tell the research on schools suggests that class sizes
don't make much difference within wide bounds. Fancy facilities don't
either. Having capable teachers really does seem to make a difference (eg
high IQ). Financial incentives for teachers have failed everywhere they
have been tried - if people were primarily motivated my money they would
not be going into teaching. As discussed above the peer group is very
important. Efforts to redress social disadvantage by pouring more resources
into education of disadvantaged children have produced very disappointing
Unfortunately there are elements of the zero sum game with the peer group.
Arguably the talented students at Mac.Rob benefited from being with their
peers, but the children they left behind probably suffered from the loss of
the Mac.Rob girls. Streaming had similar issues.
The exception: My impression is that my daughter's time early on at a
Montessori school did make a big difference to her ability to concentrate
and to stick to a hard task. This seems to be a result of the way the
Montessori method works, by way of progressive small increases in
difficulty, which always rewards effort.
As an aside, after 12 months of apparently useless swimming lessons, I
employed the Montessori method to teach her to swim in a couple of weeks. I
started her with an inflated vest and flippers and got her comfortable
moving around. I gradually deflated the vest until she was just using the
flippers. Then some smaller flippers and then no flippers. In two weeks,
with no tears, she could swim. Amazing.
Digressing from the earlier thread on tertiary education; to primary and
Natasha Mitchell conducted an interesting interview with:
David Gillespie, his book is called /Free Schools, how to get a good
education without spending a fortune;
/Life Matters /,/ AM Wed//29/1/2014/
I found his an interesting view of primary and secondary education.
It is unfortunate in the context of PM Tony Abbot's current 'industrial
that it has a rather unflattering view of teachers unions;
so perhaps I should add that on the whole I see a useful role for unions
regulated free-market economy; I just wish they could !
regards Rohan McLeod