Reconciliation Week

According to Reconciliation Australia, reconciliation is:

Our purpose is to inspire and enable all Australians to contribute to the reconciliation of the nation.

Our vision is for a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.

Reconciliation Australia was established in 2001 and is the lead body for reconciliation in the nation. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes and facilitates reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Our vision of national reconciliation is based on five critical dimensions: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance. These five dimensions do not exist in isolation; they are inter-related and Australia can only achieve full reconciliation if we progress in all five.

Go to the website, and try to figure out what the hell they’re on about. Not wishy-washy mission statements- something real.

Indigenous Canberra newsreader Dan Bourchier has a crack at it but the report form the Australian Institue of Criminology punches whopping great holes in his op-ed which, like so much in this area, is weak corporate bum fluff.

Indigenous Australians are not incarcerated for ‘trivial’ offences, which is the stereotype.

According to the ABS (released 6 February 2020):

Between 2017-18 and 2018-19 the number of offenders recorded for public order offences decreased by 13%, to 53,560 offenders nationally. This was the lowest number of offenders for this offence since the time series began in 2008–09.
The offender rate also decreased from 284 to 244 offenders per 100,000 persons over the same period.
All public order offence categories decreased since the previous year:

  • Disorderly conduct down 3,302 offenders or 12%
  • Regulated public order offences down 2,623 offenders or 15%
  • Offensive conduct down 2,023 offenders or 13%

All states and territories recorded a decrease in this offence division, with the highest in:

  • Northern Territory down 27% or 1,408 offenders
  • Victoria down 14% or 1,463 offenders
  • New South Wales down 13% or 2,093 offenders

Homicide and related offences increase to an eight year high
Offenders with a homicide related principal offence increased to 752 in 2018–19. This was the highest number of offenders recorded in Australia for this offence in eight years and resulted in an offender rate of 3.4 offenders per 100,000 persons. This offender rate has ranged between 3.1 and 3.6 offenders per 100,000 persons over the same eight year period.
Between 2017-18 and 2018–19:

  • Murder increased by 87 offenders (37%)
  • Attempted murder increased by 19 offenders (14%)

Male offenders decrease to seven year low
The number and rate of male offenders recorded in Australia decreased to their lowest levels in seven years.
Since 2017–18:

  • offenders decreased 4% to 298,387 male offenders
  • rate of offenders decreased from 2,901 to 2,751 offenders per 100,000 males

There were 95,356 female offenders in 2018–19, a rate of 856 offenders per 100,000 females.

This is a terrible idea

The Morrison Government appears to have learned nothing from the disasters of the Rudd Government. And we can all remember what a disaster that was:

Direct cash grants for home renovations are expected to be a key plank of a multi-billion-dollar building stimulus package to rescue the housing construction ­industry and save tens of thousands of jobs.

China has a plan

And, as usual, no one else seems to. More importantly, China understands that the west can be bought and quite cheaply at that:

Beijing is exploiting differences within countries and regions over the Belt and Road Initiative all over the world, national security experts warn, as it ramps up its push to become a global health and infrastructure leader in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Victoria is now in an escalating feud with the Morrison government and the Department of Foreign Affairs over its decision to sign on to the $1.5 trillion global infrastructure initiative, which will allow for Chinese investment in Victoria and for Victorian companies to participate in Chinese government projects overseas.

That said, the strength of China is that one-party rule means there is consistency. One strength of a democracy is that if a path is chosen that we don’t like, we can change course.

China may get some two-finger salutes it wasn’t expecting.

Experts get more wrong on COVID-19

This pandemic isn’t the experts’ strongest hour, is it? This time, it looks like they’re wrong on school closures:

Writing at Mother Jones, a left-leaning American magazine, Kevin Drum said an abundance of research supports Paul’s assertion that school closures are an ineffective way to contain the spread of COVID-19, and may actually increase deaths.

“[The] best evidence we have seems to suggest that school closures have a fairly minimal effect taken on their own, and a zero or maybe even negative effect when you net out the increase in COVID-19 deaths that they cause indirectly,” writes Drum, a longtime blogger at The Washington Monthly.

Drum is careful to point out that we don’t yet know conclusively that school closures don’t work⁠—”at the moment, there is no conclusive proof,” he correctly observes—but he points to five studies that suggest Paul is onto something.

And don’t forget the suicides as a result of the shutdown:

An ABC affiliate in California reports that doctors at John Muir Medical Center tell them they have seen more deaths by suicide than COVID-19 during the quarantine.

“The numbers are unprecedented,” said Dr. Michael deBoisblanc, referring to the spike in suicides.

“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” deBoisblanc added. “I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

The Greens are home to racists

Not sure they’re saying anything worth hearing:

Bunny Berigan (d 1942)

One of the truly great trumpeters, Bunny Berigan is rarely heard these days but listen to his horn here and you can hear Louis Armstrong on whom he modelled his technique. This is his greatest work – until Berigan it was an obscure creation from the Gershwins.

Bo Diddley (d 2008)

A great rock pioneer who survived and changed the world. While he’s best known for the song ‘Bo Diddley‘, his repertoire is more extensive: