of THE AGE
Sarah Gill claims that 'the hard right doesn't get equality' ('It's all about their rights', 6/9), but we conservatives in the tradition of T. S. Eliot and Russell Kirk distrust the concept of equality as a tool to achieve a fruitful, secure and peaceful political order. We prefer equity. Nor is it 'the reapportioning of rights' that we fear, but the destabilisation of Australian society by hare-brained schemes whose fanatical advocates appear unaware of the potential damage they threaten. We need free speech to expose their errors; we wish traditional marriage to be honoured for family welfare; and we want the constitution to favour no particular ethnic group over others.
NJ, Belgrave, Victoria
of THE AGE
The great section 18 C (Racial Discrimination Act) debate continues, with The Australian newspaper publishing some very good critical articles, almost every day. And this is all very good, as there is a renewed push to amend the Act, with Liberal Senator Dean Smith, co-sponsoring a bill with Cory Bernardi, which in Bernardi’s words aims to protect us against “totalitarian Newspeak,”and to defend “a fundamental freedom that should apply to all.” (The Australian, August 18, 2016, p. 7)
Justice Sackville has also been quoted in the media as supporting reform of section 18 C, in terms of moving to an objective test based on community standards, rather than the existing subjective test, that is, how the comments would affect a reasonable representative of those who lodged the complaint. (The Weekend Australian, August 20-21, 2016, p.10) This proposal would make it easier for courts to deal with cases, but it does not address the fundamental issues about freedom of speech raised by others.
I was opposed to the same sex marriage plebiscite until reading Michael Kirby’s article “Parliament is the Proper Place for Enacting Laws,” The Australian, August 9, 2016, p. 12.
Kirby, the great dissenter on the High Court of Australia has no problem with unelected judges making law, and in fact he proudly proclaims: “The High Court of Australia in 2013 unanimously made it clear that the entire power to enact same-sex marriage in Australia rested with the federal parliament.”
Kirby doesn’t like plebiscites, saying that a “plebiscite, as a precondition to legislation, is a totally exceptional procedure with no foothold in the Constitution.”
The news that Australian gas is cheaper in Japan than it is for Australian consumers comes as no surprise to older readers of On Target.
The June 17, 1977 edition of OT reported:
MORE SUBSIDIES FOR SOVIET CONSUMERS
"Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Ltd. of Victoria, manufacturer and marketer of dairy produce for more than 6000 Victorian and southern NSW dairy farmers, announced last week a huge sale of butter and full cream milk powder, worth almost $50 million, to the Soviet Union and Venezuela". The Australian, 27/5/77
Perhaps I am just being my optimistic self, but I observe just a little bit more caution from some of the leading journalists at The Australian, especially over the Chinese bid for the NSW electricity network – a sale which is still potentially open to the Chinese as attempts are made to jump over security concerns. (The Australian, August 19, 2016, p. 2) Of course, Asianisation first; security second.
This sale is of an asset and is not an investment which builds a new business. Thus, the Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens (The Australian, August 17, 2016, p. 1), has recently warned against this sort of foreign investment, which is pushing up the value of the Australian dollar.
Stevens said: “Foreign capital that builds new assets – like some of the capital that funded the mining boom – that’s one thing. Foreign capital that buys up the existing assets, I’m not saying that we should be closed to that, but that’s not creating new capital for the country. That’s just altering the allocation of who owns the capital that’s here now".
The Human Rights Commission is seeking to have the public prevented from commenting on an inquiry into their handling of the University student race-hate case. (The Australian, August 8, 2016, p.5) The commission submitted that it would not be appropriate to consider submissions from the public.
That, I think, is the best argument which one can give for the dissolving of the Human Rights Commission.
The “Trump apocalypse” is a term I use to describe what will happen when Hillary Clinton is inevitably elected president of the United States in November, and the political fallout that will come from it.
There are, of course many who believe that Trump will triumph, such as exhibited by a recent turnabout by former critic Brad Thor (“Rethinking the #NeverTrump Position,” August 16, 2016, at http://hotair.com/archives/2016/08/16/brad-thor-rethinking-the-nevertrump-position/.)
Hillary is a “cancer drug” which will kill the US; the Trump-drug may also kill the US, but it may also slow the cancer down.
David Cole at Taki Mag (“My God, What if He Loses?” August 18, 2016, at http://takimag.com/article/my_god_what_if_he_loses_david_cole/print#axzz4I0higTGG0, expresses doubt that Trump could win. He interviews some Alternative thinkers, who are also concerned. The polls for Trump look bad, Cole argues, and the polls are usually right. Yes, sure, like they were right about Brexit; all polls indicated a defeat, and look where that went. And not all polls, if any, can be trusted at all, indicate that Trump is losing.
The proposed reforms to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act suggested by Judge Ron Sackville ('Align 18C with community standards: judge', The Australian, 20-21/8) are not a satisfactory defence of free speech on race.
Firstly, there is no need to balance freedom of speech with retention of 'an effective armoury against racial hatred'. Such a retention is a significant and unacceptable inhibition on true freedom of speech, because of the range of interpretations to which the phrase 'racial hatred' is subject.
The disastrous visitation imposed on Australian Dairy-farmers was not unexpected.
It has been building up for many years and if you had been following the trends it was inevitable although its final form unknown; invariably it would be accompanied by misery and hardship for honest hard-working Australians.
The number of cows needed to remain a viable business has increased year by year pushed by costs arising from outside the farm boundary. In the beginning it was relatively easy to milk a few more cows or plant a couple more acres of crop. It was akin to a raging fire under the steam-boiler and adding more weight to the pressure relief valve.
All of the increased costs are induced by State and Federal Governments who automatically increase their taxes and charges by the annual inflation rate and this flows right through the community.
Added to this are local government rates and charges; have you ever known rates to be reduced? Capping council rates is another weight on the ‘pressure valve’.
Whenever there is a tariff review or references to the Productivity Commission, it always means increased costs whether it is energy (power and fuel), water for irrigation, etcetera. Farmers cannot pass these costs on to somebody else.
To offer farmers’ loans at concessional interest rates is also an inane response when the total rural debt carried by a diminishing number of farmers is rising each year.
It is not sustainable and will lead to ever more hardship and misery spread throughout the entire population of Australia with the only exemptions the few who live in ‘ivory towers’ who are insulated from the results of their decisions; it is time for a change!
The nub of the problem lies with the financial system and inherent inflationary policies emanating from our Parliaments. The Reserve Bank is a creature of the Parliament and is charged with ‘managing Australia’s Finance’. (Ask your elected Member for a copy of the Reserve Bank Act 1959)
Inflation should NOT BE MANAGED BUT ELIMINATED, and it can be!
This was effectively done during World War II and you can find references in the Australian Year Book, Number 37, 1946-47, beginning page 458.
Chapter XII, Labour Wages and Prices. Section C. Control of Prices during and since the 1939-45 War.
An inquiry into the Financial System needs to be undertaken but not lead by the wolves, (bankers and economists) instructing the foxes (elected politicians) how to manage the lambs and chickens (Australian Public).
It is the Parliament that should be instructing the ‘financial managers’ to implement policies in the best interests of the Australian people or terminate their employment; they must be judged on their performance which at present is wanting.
This also applies to the elected politicians who would rather yield to external foreign and financial interests before serving their constituents.
In the final analysis it comes down to the voting patterns of you, the Australian Voter … when will you wake up?
Louis Cook, Numurkah, Victoria
Some press references for your interest follow …
Most of us are aware that Senator Cory Bernardi has an on-line petition, "Free Speech Petition" at http://www.corybernardi.com/18c_petition.
The petition seeks for parliament to remove the most troubling words from section 18 C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the words being "offend" and "insult". This would still leave the words "humiliate" and "intimidate" in the section, which would operate as before.
Is this a step forward, or this this managed dissent?
The answer is: both. It is a step forward, as eliminating these words would knock down almost all of the problematic cases from the Bolt case to the University student ones. It is thus worth supporting for that reason.
However, there is weighty opinion that has been made repeatedly in The Australian by legal commentators, that the entire section needs to go. A good book arguing for more comprehensive reforms, especially to defences, is No Offence Intended: Why Section 18 C is Wrong (2016).
I think the presently "offended" ethnics will only now claim that they are "humiliated." There is only a thin line between being offended and being humiliated, and today, all those offended will say that they are also humiliated, and naturally intimidated, because the bar is very low in the politically correct landscape.
The essence of free speech is the ability of a person to be able to publicly express an opinion, informed or otherwise, true or false, on matters of local, national and international importance, without hindrance. Defenders of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, such as Meredith Doig, President of the Rationalist Society of Australia Inc. (‘Dealing with the contentious matter of 18C’, Sydney Morning Herald, 25/8) decline to uphold this ideal and produce specious arguments to justify their position.
There is no obligation on government whatever to ‘balance’ liberty against ‘equality’. The latter is an arithmetical term foolishly invoked to mask the agendas of interested parties. Equity is the appropriate term to use; and it does not collide with the defence of intellectual freedom.
It is disappointing that both sides (sic) of politics support Getup and the Soros initiatives. Our Nation does not belong to us (the people), thanks to the two party political system. It has been handed over to the elite internationalist with our politicians playing the public as fools for the highest bidder.
Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 22/8/2016.
In perhaps the biggest political scandal since WikiLeaks, a group of hackers has dumped hundreds of files exposing the influence of socialist billionaire George Soros on Western politics.
The files show Soros has established a transnational network that pressures governments to adopt high immigration targets and porous border policies that could pose a challenge to legitimate state sovereignty. His Open Society Foundations target individuals who criticise Islamism and seek to influence the outcome of national elections by undermining Right-leaning politicians. The Australian arm of the Soros network is GetUp!.
GetUp! was established by activists Jeremy Heimans and David Madden with funding from Soros. The Labor-affiliated Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union donated $1.1 million to the group. Bill Shorten and John Hewson are former board members. A major funder listed on its 2014-15 Australian Electoral Commission expenditure return is Avaaz, the US GetUp! affiliate that has received copious amounts of funding from Soros networks.
Like most NGOs, GetUp! claims to be independent from political parties. Like many NGOs, however, it has close ties to the Left. As Sharri Markson revealed in this paper, GetUp! chairwoman Sarah Maddison urged people to vote for the Greens in the past federal election.
In the wake of the election, GetUp!’s Paul Oosting revealed its campaign strategy was to target conservative MPs to reduce their influence. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was a primary GetUp! target. In Tasmania, the organisation spent up to $500,000 to unseat Andrew Nikolic and forked out $140,000 on campaign advertising alone.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald 23 August 2016, Senator Pauline Hanson had just two words to say when she arrived at Parliament House: "I'm back."
Senator Hanson joined her new colleagues on Tuesday for what is known as 'Senate school' - a guide to the procedures and practices that govern the upper house.
In an article that most of us would have trouble understanding, we may find some interesting material about the possible ill-effects of vaccines: S. Colafrancesco (et al.), “Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine and Primary Ovarian Failure: Another Facet of the Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants,” American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, vol. 70, 2013, pp. 309-316.
The paper examined cases of women suffering from post-vaccination autoimmune phenomena, often caused by an immune-based inflammatory syndrome produced by adjuvants (chemicals which allegedly make the body produce a stronger immune response, such as aluminum or aluminum salts). This has occurred after the administration of the HPV vaccine.
Source: On Line Opinion, 19 August 2016
Louis O'Neill, who is studying writing at Macquarie University defended his right to freedom of speech:
“Frequently I find myself holding what one might consider a politically incorrect opinion, such as having scorn for Islam, disagreeing with myths peddled by the third wave feminist movement or finding no legitimacy in the claims of the black lives matter movement.
As a result my adversaries are more than ready to deviate from the laws of discourse, veering off into ad hominem, red herring or appeal to emotion fallacies. The legitimacy of my political viewpoint is often times devalued, as I occupy the “privileged” end of the spectrum, being a heterosexual white male, and so I'm told that I mustn't speak on issues which aren't specifically related to my own demographic.
Sometimes the sanctimony of my ideological combatants is so abundant that they feel they need not even engage further in conversation once I've pushed their buttons enough.
Well to them I say, if your idea cannot withstand the corrosive qualities of informed conversation, then your idea is not one worth having. We must herald logic as the great sieve through which we may push idiocy and illogicality, and allow the juices of truth to percolate from it…”
Read further here … http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18460
Of course the Liberal Party’s ‘Beliefs’ are changing from their 1949 ‘Beliefs’, but they still insist (according to their website) on their belief in:
“In those most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy - the freedom of thought, worship, speech and association.”
Found here, https://www.liberal.org.au/our-beliefs
The Coalition’s second most senior figure in the Senate insists the government won’t be supporting a move by one of its backbenchers to change race hate speech laws.
Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has thrown down the gauntlet to his colleagues, vowing to use the first week of the new parliament to introduce a private bill that seeks to remove the words ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
The government’s position was very clear, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told ABC radio on Thursday 18 August 2016: ‘We will not initiate or support any changes … it’s a debate we had two years ago.’
In a communication to one of our politicians, Wallace Klinck of Canada had this to say:
The headlines back in June 2016, loudly proclaimed:
“New DNA Technology Confirms Aboriginal People as First Australians.” (ABC News, June 7, 2016)
With all the talk about recognition and “first people,” perhaps many were surprised to learn that the “New DNA Technology” reference is to a research paper allegedly refuting an earlier paper of 2001, that had argued that the oldest known Australian human remains, near Lake Mungo, New South Wales (“Mungo Man”), were alleged to not be Aboriginal at all, but from an extinct human linage. This would mean that the Aborigines, in pre-history “displaced” this race of people. This could have been by interbreeding, but more likely involved warfare. Things were tough and different from today.
This would directly challenge the “first person” ideology, but we did not hear much about it.
Topher takes an irreverent look back at the unpopular people of history and finds that sometimes it's the 'crackpots' who are right... meaning that there's a real benefit to ensuring everyone has a right to free speech, even if they're a crackpot!