October 21st 2017

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Reality of family unit must underlie tax system

EDITORIAL Christianity today: the challenges ahead

CANBERRA OBSERVED Xenophon: a Mr Fixit or a political yo-yo?

DRUGS POLICY Science elbowed aside in rush for latest silver bullet: 'medical marijuana'

TRANSGENDER MARRIAGE Decoys to revolutionary laws redefining sex and marriage

FOREIGN AFFAIRS What is the way out of the Catalan crisis?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Our barmy Army: all politically correct

FAMILY AND SOCIETY The child as weapon in Family Court process

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Faiths and the global future

KOREA Hermit Kingdom versus the Land of Morning Calm

MUSIC Hi-tech lo-fi: Resistance is futile

CINEMA Blade Runner 2049: A cypher unlocking a mystery

BOOK REVIEW The rebels

BOOK REVIEW An attempt to break through the fog


HUMOUR More excerpts from the forthcoming revision of Forget's Dictionary of Inaccurate Facts, Furphys and Falsehoods


EUTHANASIA Victoria's death bill: questions that need answers

TRANSGENDER MARRIAGE: George Christensen calls Parliament's attention to activists' end-game

EUTHANASIA Victoria mistakes killing for compassion

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News Weekly, October 21, 2017

Equal ability: equal pay

The chorus of “foul play” whenever statistics showing fewer women in top jobs and with top salaries than men is well overdue for a reality check. Given that only about 30 per cent of women as against 100 per cent of men spend their whole adult lives in the workforce, and if relevant ability is similarly distributed in both sexes, a third the number of women as there are men in these upper echelons would be a just outcome.

The knee-jerk response that women’s participation is prevented will no longer do. If anything, nowadays many women’s true choice to retire entirely from the workforce while their children are young is frustrated as family income policy is stacked to force them into public sphere work beyond their preference (via generous funding for child care, parsimonious for mother care).

Nor is it sustainable to assert that it is the more able, intelligent women who are career devotees. Rather, the latter are the minority who are immune to the private rewards of mothering, and require public confirmation of their worth.

The majority of women, at financial cost, still withdraw wholly or partially from the workforce for part or the whole of their children’s minority, which tends to be in their 30s or 40s, just the stage at which careers take off or solidify.

Galton, the 19th-century geneticist and statistician, observed that military and political ability was generally “inherited” in the male line, while scientific ability was passed on in the female line.

What this means in real terms is that parental influence is not just genetic. Children benefit from a parent’s position in the public sphere (in those days almost exclusively a father’s) via his contacts; whereas for science, modes of thought and observation learned in the home were crucial, and were transmitted by women (mothers), who had ingested them in science-orientated families. The abilities of their practising scientist fathers, interestingly, were less influential.

We should be glad that clever women still perform this role.

Lucy Sullivan,
Celbridge, Ireland

Talk about the self-destructive left!

A post-structural movie, Churchill, about British leader, writer, Nobel prize winner Winston Churchill, one of England’s greatest men, runs him down as a crotchety old fool. He is portrayed as screaming at a female typist, and tried to stop the landing at Normandy, praying for God’s intervention, and badgering the American leader of the allied forces, General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Churchill was a genius, whose words and actions saved Great Britain and helped in a large way to cripple the forces of Hitler’s tyranny. In the Battle of Britain, Hitler’s air force (Luftwaffe) was virtually destroyed.

The film sadly manifests a pessimistic post-Empire Britain that destroys its finest history and indulges in political correctness.

Warren James,
Tweed Heads, NSW


Prayer and authority

A reference in a reader’s letter to Churchill praying for rain (News Weekly, August 26, 2017) reminded me of the time that Sir James Killen suggested to Sir Robert Menzies, during a very serious drought, that he might offer prayers for rain.

Menzies thought for a moment and then rejected the suggestion.

“If it did not rain,” Menzies said, “people might think that I lack authority.”

James Crowley,
Taringa, Qld.


Climate fallacies

Albert Said’s musings (News Weekly, August 12, 2017) finish with an illogical statement. He implies that, because the arms trade wastes money, it is fine to waste money on the climate change fantasy. Logicians call this the “red herring fallacy”. But fallacious arguments are common among those who cannot or do not want to see that the climate emperor has no clothes. Examples abound.

1. Logicians call using a consensus to prove something, the “democratic fallacy”.

2. The IPCC assumes that, because the temperature increased at the same time that atmospheric carbon dioxide increased (for a few years last century), the former caused the latter (the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy”).

3. Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research and an IPCC lead author, claimed that expertise is an essential prerequisite to comment on the climate (reported in The Australian, February 3, 2012), but makes no argument to support this statement (the “abuse of expertise fallacy”).

4. In a BBC interview on February 13, 2010, Professor Phil Jones, then director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, was asked: “What factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man made?” He responded: “The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing” (the “argument from ignorance fallacy”).

5. In 1997, Jeffrey Kiehl and Trenberth produced a graph, used by the IPCC to predict future temperatures, showing the Earth’s supposed energy budget. Yet the diagram makes many unfounded assumptions, including that the Earth can be considered to be flat (the “false assumptions fallacy”).

The IPCC reports include the statement: “Satellite instruments have observed small oscillations due to the 11-year solar cycle. Mechanisms for the amplification of solar effects on climate have been proposed, but currently lack a rigorous theoretical or observational basis.”

Yet in 1800, British astronomer Frederick Herschel produced a paper showing a relationship between the number of sunspots and the price of wheat. The IPCC statement is better called a fib than a fallacy.

It is a disgrace that no establishment investigative journalist has ever called the IPCC’s bluff.

John Rodda,
Pakenham, Vic.

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