Tag Archives: free speech

Saturday salon 7/7

1. How realistic is space travel?

As reported in the New Scientist, Frédéric Marin, an astronomer at the University of Strasbourg, France and Camille Beluffi, a physicist who works for Casc4de, a data firm in Strasbourg, have done a thought experiment on the feasibility of reaching the nearest Earth-like planet, which happens to be Proxima b, around 4.25 million light years away, a mere 40 trillion km. Continue reading Saturday salon 7/7

New attack on 18C – what do anti-18C campaigners really want to say?

Louise Clegg, barrister and lecturer in constitutional law has written a piece which was printed in the AFR as Inevitable demise of 18C can’t come soon enough, and online as Why are politicians defending 18c when the High Court won’t?

She regards 18C as self-evidently unconstitutional, and cites a speech by retiring Chief Justice Robert French as indicating that the High Court would find it so.

She calls the QUT case “monstrous”, says the poor students have had their lives changed forever, and “these boys could be anybody’s sons.” Continue reading New attack on 18C – what do anti-18C campaigners really want to say?

18C: stupid white man and venting students

In an opinion piece Free-speech fundamentalists break free of good conscience in the SMH Mark Kenny quoted Senator David Leyonhjelm thus:

    “If you want to take offence, that’s your choice. You have the choice of choosing another feeling. Offence is always taken, not given. So if you don’t want to be offended, you, it’s up to you; don’t be offended.”

Apparently this opinion was expressed on the ABC Insiders program, and was fully supported by One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts. Kenny says:

    David Leyonhjelm is a boorish, supercilious know-all with the empathy of a besser block. And that new Hansonite conspiracy theorist from Queensland? He’s an absurdist fringe-dweller and fellow hate-speech apologist. It’s a case of wacky and wackier.

    Neither of these self-promoting misanthropes would have the first idea about entrenched discrimination. Yet both are experts.

Continue reading 18C: stupid white man and venting students

Racial discrimination and liberal values

In the past week I’ve tried to get my head around the debate on Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act following the spectacular signing up by Cory Bernandi of the Coalition senate backbench to diluting the Act. He says it’s not about challenging Malcolm Turnbull, it’s about reconnecting the Liberals with their base. So it’s about the Liberals’ small “l” liberal values, and hence worth a close look.

Length alert: It’s about 3000 words, but I’ve gone down a lot of rabbit holes.

Liberal Senator Dean Smith said the Coalition party room view had moved on reform of the RDA. He will:

    co-sponsor a bill with his fellow Liberal Cory Bernardi and Senate crossbenchers David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day to remove the terms “insult” and “offend” from section 18C of the act.

Continue reading Racial discrimination and liberal values