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Be Offensive and Be Damned: The Cases of Peter Ridd and Tim Anderson

It has been an ordinary year for universities in Australia. While the National Tertiary Education Union pats itself on the back for supposedly advancing the rights and pay of academics, several face removal and castigation at the hands of university management. Consumerism and pay are the sort of quotidian matters that interest the NTEU. Less interesting is the realm of academic ideas and how they clash with the bureaucratic prisons that have been built into universities.

At James Cook University, Peter Ridd was sacked on “code of conduct” grounds applied with a delightful elasticity. He claimed that it was for holding views on climate change out of step with his colleagues, and attacking the credibility of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. (The pettiness of such institutions knows no bounds: Ridd’s knuckles were wrapped, for instance, for satirising, trivialising or parodying the university.)

At the University of Sydney, Tim Anderson, a full-time critic of Western interventions in the Middle East and acquitted for ordering the 1978 Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing, has been suspended pending what would seem to be imminent sacking. Causing “offense” was what mattered.

A cardinal rule applies in this case: Be suspicious of those who use good behaviour as a criterion of policing, notably in an environment where bad behaviour and dangerous ideas should hold sway over meek bumbling and submissiveness. Be wary of the demands to be vanilla and beige – behind them lies administrative venality and the dictates of compliance.

Such rubbery provisions as being “civil” or not causing offense shield the weak, spineless and fraudulent and, most dangerously, create the very same intolerable workplace that managers are supposedly opposed to. Very importantly, such code of conduct regulations are designed to immunise management from questions about their behaviour and often daft directives, letting institutions grow flabby with corruption. Inoculated, that class thrives in its toxicity.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of JCU, Iain Gordon, has drawn upon the usual stock nonsense defending the decision regarding Ridd. “The issue has never been about Peter’s right to make statements – it’s about how he has continually broken a code of conduct that we would expect all our staff to stick to, to create a safe, respectful professional workplace.” The thrust of this is simple: Never cause offense; be compliantly decent; be cripplingly dull and go back to your homes in your suburbs living a life unexamined. As an academic, you are merely delivering a service mandated by individuals several steps removed from the education process, not performing an ancient duty to educate mankind.

The code of conduct, the product of a corporatized imbecility, assumes the mantle of dogma in such disputes. “All staff members must comply with the Code of Conduct,” goes Gordon’s official statement in May, with its distinct politburo flavour of placing things beyond debate. “This is non-negotiable. It is a fundamental duty and obligation that forms part of their employment.” Ridd, explains Gordon, “sensationalised his comments to attract attention, has criticised and denigrated published work, and has demonstrated a lack of respect for his colleague and institutions in doing so. Academic rebuttal of his scientific views on the reef has been separately published.”

Anderson, having found himself at stages in the University of Sydney’s bad books, has also run the gauntlet of offensiveness. The specific conduct resulting in his suspension featured lecture materials shown to students suggesting the imposition of a swastika upon Israel’s flag. This was deemed “disrespectful and offensive, and contrary to the university’s behavioural expectations”. Tut, tut, Anderson.

The Sydney University provost and acting vice-chancellor Stephen Garton followed the line taken at JCU towards Ridd with zombie-like predictability. “The university has, since its inception, supported and encouraged its staff to engage in public debate and it has always accepted that those views might be controversial.” But debate – and here, behavioural fetters were again to be imposed – had to be undertaken “in a civil manner.” Contrarianism should be expressed with a good measure of decency.

Tim Anderson

The letter of suspension from Garton to Anderson is one-dimensionally authoritarian. Principles of academic freedom were supported by the university, but only in “accordance with the highest ethical, professional and legal standards.” But the all supreme, and trumping document, remained the Code of Conduct, capitalised by the bureaucrats as Mosaic Law. “The inclusion of the altered image of the Israeli flag in your Twitter Posts, Facebook Posts and teaching materials is disrespectful and offensive, and contrary to the University’s behavioural expectations and requirements for all staff.”

Some heart can be taken from the protest last Friday on the part of 30 academics who signed an open letter objecting to the treatment meted out to Anderson, stating that academic freedom was “meaningless if it is suspended when its exercise is deemed offensive.” His suspension pending termination of his employment was “an unacceptable act of censorship and a body-blow to academic freedom at the University of Sydney.” Reaction to Ridd has been somewhat cooler.

The point with Anderson is that his views are deemed bad for university business, which tolerates no room for the offensive. This, in a place where the most varied, and, at points, tasteless views, should be expressed. But as universities have become shabby entrepreneurial endeavours which see students as obesely delicious milch cows for their existence, the idea is less important than the process.

As is so often the case of free speech, advocates of it always assume it doesn’t apply to others. It is only to be extolled as a mark on paper and university policy. But never, for instance, challenge inane university policy or the hacks who implement it. Never ridicule ideas that deserve it. Never mock the obscene nature of managerialism’s central principle: massaged incompetence and assured decline. University managers and the colourless suits aided by their ill-tutored human resources goon squads tend to hold sway over opinions, taking against anybody who questions certain aspects of their (non)performance.

The Ridd and Anderson cases, coming from separate parts of the academic spectrum, demonstrate the prevalence of toadyism on the part of those who wish to avoid questioning the rationale of a university’s management process. They also suggest an immemorial tendency of authority to savagely oppress those who ignore it; to manifest its existence through punishment. In truth, it is precisely in ignoring those officials long barnacled upon the research and teaching endeavours of the University and drawing revenue best spent on students and scholars that a grave sin is committed. Such officialdom should be ignored, treated as the bureaucratic irrelevance that it is. Time for sit-ins, occupations, boycotts and a retaking of the University.

 

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  1. Paul Davis

    Like universities in the middle ages …. don’t upset the church or the aristocracy by questioning or challenging Established Truth and social convention.

  2. New England Cocky

    @AVC Garton USyd: ““The inclusion of the altered image of the Israeli flag in your Twitter Posts, Facebook Posts and teaching materials is disrespectful and offensive …..” when compared to “the altered policies of the Israeli Zionist government in disenfranchising Palestinians, stealing their indigenous lands, and teaching racism is disrespectful and offensive …..”

    John Dawkins started an “education revolution” that has destroyed academic endeavour in Australia by creating a managerial class paid too much to do too little for too long for too few useful results and no improvement to the work loads of academic staff, or reduction in the volume of paper warfare to keep these “managers” actively passing paper between them as an expensive substitute for academic enterprise.

  3. paul walter

    The Tim Anderson issue is the more serious. It involves a supposedly elite university commandeered by a self serving Lobby interest over many years, now reduced to blatant persecution, revisionism, censorship and smear of the lowest kind.

    Sydney University resembles 1930’s Germany as to its cowardice and – yes, Paul Davis- Medievalist flat earth denialism- as to the nature of a vexing and microscopically covered historico-political travesty emanating out of the Middle East.

    Not since Heidegger and his khaki shorted string pullers undermined Edmund Husserl has a university been so blatant in its treatment of an academic, except perhaps for in the USA with Mearsheimer and Waltz.

    But then, this sort Zionist Lobby rubbish has been going on with Sydney Uni at least as far back as Stuart Rees and Hanan Ashrawi nearly fifteen years ago.

    Is Tim Anderson a new Assange? I wonder what the Guardian will say.

    ……………………………………………….

    Speaking of new Assanges, have people been able to follow the Australian intelligence instigated Hakim al Aiiribi case, where a man who was palpably demonstrated not to have participated in any crime against the Bahrain absolute monarchy but was still tortured and fled to Australia, is now facing deportation from Thailand to Bahrain through our meddling?

  4. Stuart Anderson

    Ridd should have been sacked for being a climate change denier. The science is clear. Its not a matter of opinion or free speech. Sack the bastard.

  5. MöbiusEcko

    Not to say you are right or wrong Karen Kyle, but out of interest I did a search on Jewish and Palestinian claims to being indigenous to Israel/Palestine. I found about a 50/50 split and some sources saying the Palestinians are descendants of the Canaanites. That may have some validity as I once read Israeli and Palestinian DNA is identical.

    Would like to know the source for your information, though I came across several articles stating something similar to what posted?

  6. Diannaart

    Semite, person speaking one of a group of related languages, presumably derived from a common language, Semitic (see Semitic languages). The term came to include Arabs, Akkadians, Canaanites, some Ethiopians, and Aramaean tribes including Hebrews. Mesopotamia, the western coast of the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa have all been proposed as possible sites for the prehistoric origins of Semitic-speaking peoples, but no location has been definitively established.

    By 2500 BCE Semitic-speaking peoples had become widely dispersed throughout western Asia. In Phoenicia they became seafarers. In Mesopotamia they blended with the civilization of Sumer. The Hebrews settled with other Semitic-speaking peoples in Palestine.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Semite

  7. DrakeN

    And you haven’t grown up enough to distinguish the difference between “antisemetic” and anti Zionist, Karen.
    The Zionist learned a great deal from their experiences under the Nazis and are using that knowledge to suppress the Palestinian people at every opportunity.
    As a Jewish acquaintance of mine often says – Israel has become a terrorist state.
    What began as a dream, has become a nightmare.
    No amount of cherry-picking and/or distorting of historical fact will change that.
    Once again you dislay dogmatic but highly ill informed opinion.

  8. Karen Kyle

    Diannart. I am speaking of DNA and archeaology not language. Semitic is the term most often applied to Jews as in anti Semitic.

  9. Karen Kyle

    Drake N. I am perfectly capable of distinguishing anti Zionism from anti Semitism.. Anti Zionism is often a cloak for ant Semitic behaviour. An anti Semite does not believe the Jewish State has a right to exist, thus the chant “from the river to the sea Palestine shall be free” is anti Semitic. The imposition of a swastika on an Israeli flag is anti Semitic. The accusation that Israel is a Nazi apartheid state is wrong and deeply anti Semitic.

    If you believe that the Lukud government is wrong to build settlements in the West Bank, wrong to pursue the housing policy of often forced acquisition in East Jerusalem, wrong to let religious zealots have their heads, then that is legitimate criticism of the Israeli Government. That is not anti Semitic. I wonder which one of us should grow up.

  10. Karen Kyle

    Kronomax…….I am aware that the term semitic applies to languages rather than people. And I really would forget the old encyclopedias as sources. They are badly out of date now. The information contained in them has been well and truly revised and updated.

    And we call people who hate Jews anti Semites…..it is accepted as the proper term world wide, including by the Jews. So you seem to be splitting hairs.

  11. Diannaart

    What I and Kronomex said

    Also, people with shared ancestry share DNA.

    However, on “splitting hairs”, you win Karen.

    Have had enough KK nonsense.

  12. Roswell

    You’re not alone there, Diannaart. My tolerance level with KK has peaked.

  13. Kronomex

    I’m out of here, thie overbearing loudmouth who is unwilling to see past her narrow world view has succeeded in driving me away from AIMN for the foreseeable future. Good luck to everyone else.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Please don’t go Kronomex.

  15. Karen Kyle

    Dianne……Boy that is intolerant. Yes people have a mixture of DNA. A percentage of this and that. Distinctive strands that tell of ancestry. Mixed….Maybe 20 per cent Irish, 30 per cent Middle East 60 per cent central European etc. But each strand (if that is what it is, is different and traceable. And the Jews have quite distinctive DNA with less of a mix. Female Jewish DNA has a high admixture of European DNA because Jewish men migrated alone and took wives from the local population. The male line is Middle Eastern. In fact the Jewish Priestly line or the Cohen line can be traced back to the time when Moses was thought to exist. The Cohens or the Cohenim all came from one male ancestor who lived at the time of Moses said to be Aaron brother of Moses. That is what the tradition says. The video is there under the one I gave the information for. It used to be all on one video. It has been changed. And the Kohenim have also been found in Africa in a tribe called the Labumba, (ithink that is right) and a Hispanic American family.

  16. Zathras

    Semite refers to a culture (spoken language) rather than a specific genetic characteristic.
    If people are anti-Jewish are called AntiSemite, what of anti-Arabs? Not all Arabs are Muslim so you can’t use “Islamaphobe”.

    Nobody refers to the “Christian gene”, otherwise the only true Christians would be Middle Eastern with the rest just late-comers and hangers-on. Even Jesus was born and died a Jew.

    Likewise, if a non-Jew wants to marry into a Jewish family, it’s common for that partner to agree to convert to Judaeism regardless of genetics.
    You may as well argue that Aldi shoppers lack the Woolworths gene.

    Swastikas? It’s illegal to display them in Germany so neo-Nazis and Right-Wing extremists wanting to denote their membership to others in the group by displaying the US Confederate flag instead, Sadly the Eureka Flag has also been locally hijacked in the same way.

  17. JohnF

    @Karen, tradition is no substitute for facts.

    “.. a new study published online January 17 in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution by Dr Eran Elhaik, a geneticist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, argues that the European Jewish genome is a mosaic of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, setting to rest previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. Elhaik’s findings strongly support the Khazarian Hypothesis, as opposed to the Rhineland Hypothesis, of European Jewish origins.

    “Dr Elhaik’s paper, ‘The missing link of Jewish European ancestry: contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses’, examined a comprehensive dataset of 1,287 unrelated individuals of 8 Jewish and 74 non-Jewish populations genotyped over 531,315 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This was data published by Doron Behar and colleagues in 2010, which Elhaik used to calculate seven measures of ancestry, relatedness, admixture, allele sharing distances, geographical origins, and migration patterns. These identified the Caucasus-Near Eastern and European ancestral signatures in the European Jews’ genome along with a smaller, but substantial Middle Eastern genome.

    “The results were consistent in depicting a Caucasus ancestry for all European Jews.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130116195333.htm

  18. Karen Kyle

    Zathras…….a good post, I don’t know what the term is for anti Arab, if you cant’t use Islamophobia (and obviously you can’t). Maybe you just say anti Arab,

    And no, nobody refers to a Christian gene because Christianity is said to be a universal religion which is reliant on faith alone and open to all. Judaism on the other hand is tribal and open only to those born within it or those who have made a decision to convert. That is why there are distinctive genes for Jewishness…..to do with ethnicity, nothing to do with religion. Thank you for an objective post.

  19. Paul Davis

    Kronomex, I’m seconding the Kaye Lee motion …. please dont go. Your humour and pithy comments will be missed.
    After a couple of mint julips you’ll find the ranting and sniping by the usual suspects becomes white noise to the positive contributions by the grown ups …. not me of course but you know who the genuine adults are.
    🤡
    I am on a few other forum sites and boy AIMN is absolutely sweetness and light by comparison… moderators suspending posters regularly. 🤐

  20. Karen Kyle

    JohnF…..An interesting post. The work is not new the Doctor Elhaik is relying on previous work done in 2010. And DNA testing is still a new science and getting better and more accurate over time. The Khazarain theory is an old one and I think it came originally from a novel. And as your article says that hypothesis only apparently supports the origin of Eastern European Jews. It does not explain where Western and Central European Jews came from, or what happened to the Jews of Israel, if they did not migrate into Europe.

    Doctor Jon Entine found Khazarain DNA only in the tribe of Levi, quite a high admixture he said. It is found no-where else in the Jewish population. Entine hypothesised the Khazarians desire to both convert and have status within the Jewish community and they couldn’t buy their way into the priesthood ( the Kohenim) So they were allowed to buy their way into the assistant priests, teachers and scribes i.e. the Levis.

    There is also the fact of Jewish genetic diseases caused by a small population and population bottlenecks. Jews are more prone to 40 genetic diseases than the rest of us which suggests they are different genetically to the broader European population.

  21. Roswell

    Kronomex, I’d rather place KK in moderation than see you go.

    I’m reluctant to do so, though. Perhaps we can hope that KK tones down a bit.

    In the meantime, please stay with us. You are a valued and respected contributor.

  22. Karen Kyle

    John F The Book is called “The Thirteenth Tribe” by Arthur Koestler published in 1976, an elaborate hypothesis which Koestler hoped would put an end to anti Semitism. The Wikipedia entry on the book is very good and explains the genetics.

  23. MöbiusEcko

    Please stay Kronomex. I always click on your link when I see you’ve posted something.

  24. paul walter

    Diannaart, if so many Israelis are Semites, why do they look like Russians rather than Palestinians?

  25. Diannaart

    Que?

    You are making generalisations about Israelis?

    Some of whom are of European heritage, some of whom may look Germanic, or Slavic, or Roman.

    Finally, I wasn’t even discussing contemporary Israelis, more about the ancient history of peoples of the Middle East. TBH wasn’t all that involved with KK’s rant, just throwing in a fact. Wish I hadn’t.

    What is your point?

  26. Henry

    What is this site playschool?Don’t ban anyone because of their differing comments.

  27. Roswell

    Henry, who said anything about banning?

  28. Jennifer

    I’ve read the comments here and I’m struggling to find anything that is particularly unreasonable. What’s the fuss?

  29. corvus boreus

    Karen ,
    So the line of Cohen is claimed to stem from the loins of Aaron, brother of Moses (according to traditional Jewish/Judaic sagas)
    This would likely include an admixture of Midianite genes, given that all the virgin Midianite girl-children (after witnessing the murders of their fathers, mothers, brothers and elder sisters) were, by the explicit orders of Moses, given as personal slaves to the chiefs amongst the conquering Israelites.
    Or so states the mythology upon which such claims to tribal genealogy are based.

    Ps, Does conversion to Judaism conferJewish genes?

  30. corvus boreus

    Pps, if it doesn’t, and someone who does not possess the Jewish gene converts to Judaism, are they a non-Jewish Judaist?

  31. Karen Kyle

    Coruvus Boreus……. I think we can take the Moses Story and the Exodus out of Egypt as Myth. There is no way of knowing if Moses every really existed.. There is an Israeli Archaeologist who has spent years excavating in Israel as part of a group. His name is Israel Finklestein. He wrote a book and made a Documentary film called Bible Unearthed Discoveries of Old Versions of the Bible. It is fascinating and well worth the time spent. On You Tube.

    Meanwhile just to add a spooky element DNA (Y Chromosome) finds that all Kohenim are descended from one male who lived around the time Moses was thought to live. And the priestly line is hereditary. Obviously something happened around that time and the bible story marks it as of significance in the history of the Jews.

  32. Karen Kyle

    Jews regard converts to Judaism as Jews. End of story.

  33. corvus boreus

    So, according to your definitions, ‘Jewishness’ is both a distinct marker recognized within genetic science and a magical trait automatically conferred to an individual upon their religious conversion to Judaism.
    Thanks for clarifying.

  34. paul walter

    Thing is, Diannaart, if if Palestinians are indigenous to the region and many Jews are not, how does Israel get priority over Palestine?

  35. Kaye Lee

    Missiles vs rocks?

  36. paul walter

    Might is right, combined with mysticism and fairytales. Not.

    But god help anyone, no matter how intelligent or educated, who dares point out it out.

  37. corvus boreus

    paul walter,
    Diannaart did not make any statement supporting the mandated (be-it divine or human) ‘rights’ of immigrant Jews (whether they be be deemed such through genetics, culture or religious affiliation) to supersede the inter-generational land-holding claims of Palestinian-Arabs, so I don’t see why you should demand that she answer such a loaded and complicated question..

  38. Karen Kyle

    corvus boreus…..Etheopian (spelling) Jews are not genetically Jews. They converted a long time ago and they have lived as Jews for centuries. The Israelis don’t have the heart to tell them so they say their DNA results are inconclusive. Meanwhile they are just accepted as Jews.

  39. corvus boreus

    Karen Kyle,
    So ‘The israelis’ are the true custodians and arbitrators regarding any claims to real Jewishness (racially speaking).
    Thank you for sharing that information.

  40. Kaye Lee

    Ummmmm…. I thought Judaism was a religion, not a race?

  41. paul walter

    Silly Corvus!

    I was simply following on from Diannaart’s informative comment at 12.17. This “complexity” you think of seems some what magical to me.

    But lrt us not ignore the REAL fact; that Palestinians are indigenous to the region, not interlopers, as some, under the influence of who or what I can’t begin to guess, suggest.

    Simple.

  42. paul walter

    Depends what’s convenient, Kaye Lee.

    If you are Western Civilisation trying to assuage personal feelings of guilt for the last and greatest anti Jewish pogrom, taking the land of a poor people and handing it over to the few folk not murdered in Europe seems a good way to feel better about yourself.

    It seemed a final solution, you might say, but it was conveniently forgotten that amends were made out of someone else’s hide, not one’s own. Does it make it true amends-making? What does recent history teach us the Palestinians have felt about the Wests “generous” recompense at THEIR expense?

  43. paul walter

    Anyway, Israel is handy as a fortress to protect Western oil interests.

    How often does ethics and convenience intersect?

  44. Diannaart

    Paul

    I do not subscribe to Zionism.

    Nor do I subscribe to the Christian belief in end of days/rapture nonsense.

    I am an atheist. And you should know this by now.

    I agree with you that Israel is a strategic location for vested American interests.

    Why, as others have made clear, are you asking me about the belief of (some) Jews that they have a “divine” right to Israel?

    I merely commented that, historically, semites included people of the Middle East. Now, if memory serves, early 20th century Nazi Germany popularised “semitism” as referring to only those of Jewish faith.

    Why don’t you go ask KK your question, I suspect she may have a different take on this issue.

  45. paul walter

    What have you all been smoking tonight? Can I have some?

    For chrissakes, I should have thought even an average mind would have grasped the intent of my comment from my reference to your comment at 12.17. I’ve been warned before about nuance and will certainly not attempt it further at this place.

    Obviously my comments have been as a response to Karen Kyle, something tthat has mysteriously eluded the grasp of both yourself and the misguided Corvus, who I am also sorry I sided with.

    I can forgive KK for youthful naivety but others I’d have expected better of on the basis of tonight’s conversation, or what passes for it.

    Are you all thicker than four pieces of 4- Be?

    F- me drunk, I really DID think some of you were building a case for a Palestinian homeland on rationality not hokum, rather than Palestinians remaining an occupied and oppressed people, something at least Prof. Anderson “gets”, to his cost, in a society built on denial.

  46. Diannaart

    Paul

    I believe in the Two State solution for Palestine and Israel. It’s not perfect because there is no perfect solution. I don’t believe in land grabs by religion, colonial invasion or other inequitable chicanery.

    I am not interested in debating KK, she likes to create mazes out of avenues, then gets insulting when disagreed with. Another personality, here, who cannot abide a difference of opinion. So it goes.

    If my replies leave you thinking I am thick, well you wouldn’t be the first. I’ll manage, I don’t see you on my list of people I might want to impress.

    So … póg mo thóin

  47. paul walter

    Won’t work without massive funding. They funded the Israel end ok, but what about the millions of Palestinians over the last seventy or eighty years?

    As for final comment, tell the truth, it’s what I’d say also… chin up.

  48. paul walter

    Anyway, how can the two state solution work when Israel has now taken over 95% of the land.

    Sure..

    As you say,

    pog mo thoin.

  49. Zathras

    Karen Kyle, Christianity was a breakaway messianic Jewish cult and so early members shared the same DNA if that matters and both religions have spread globally since.

    I think the argument that specific land was granted by an imagined “higher power” to a group of people that is based on Iron Age documents they wrote themselves would not have any sound basis in law, let alone logic.

    If the same argument is also made on the basis of alleged early occupation and regardless of historical changes over the millennia since, where does that leave Australian aborigines or any other dispossessed indigenous race on the planet?

    It’s as nonsensical and phony as the myth that they once had to go back to the town of their fathers to be counted in a Census.

    Judaeism and Zionism are also not the same thing.

  50. Diannaart

    Paul, m’dear (now we are on such intimate terms)

    I did say the solution was imperfect and may be impossible right now. You are surely mature enough to know things change. I’m sure there were those who believed East and West Berlin were forever divided, women would never get the vote and Australia was Terra Nullius.

    Now settle down, don’t be so outraged because a thread is not running how you expect or like. Goading people to respond how you would like is (we’ve discussed this before) indicative of control issues.

    Kiss, kiss …

  51. Kaye Lee

    Getting back to the article, I am glad Ridd was sacked. Why should the university fund him to promote junk science?

    “Thanks to lots of people including Anthony Watts, Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Benny Peiser (GWPF), Willie Soon for spreading the word. Also a huge thanks to the IPA for helping with the organisation,” Ridd said in his GoFundMe campaign launched to fund his legal costs in the case he filed against JCU.

    That is a roll call of the worst of the misinformation campaigners.

    Ridd was featured in the IPA publication “Climate Change: The Facts 2017” in which he wrote that coral is the “least endangered of any ecosystem to future climate change.” That is just patently wrong.

    The Marine Geophysics Laboratory at JCU where Ridd worked was involved in consulting for a range of coal terminal projects in 2012, funds which go to PhD scholarship and the staff of the MGL. That represents a potential conflict of interest which has blatantly been abused.

    There are far more deserving people to whom university resources should be devoted.

  52. helvityni

    Someone here has a bottom end obsession; about a week or two ago someone told me: helvityni, you shit stinks…I wasn’t even part of the thread-end bickering…Paul wasn’t there either.

  53. Diannaart

    Apologies to Kaye Lee

    Helvityni

    I meant everyone’s shit stinks, by way of meaning no one is perfect. That you thought I was singling you out for abuse, I apologise to you now.

    I wish you had said something at the time, rather than waiting until now.

    Again I am sorry for causing offence.

    Dianna

  54. helvityni

    As I said , I was not part of the ‘discussion’, surprised and upset to be drawn in..

  55. Kaye Lee

    No apology necessary to me diannaart.

    Karen tends to drag us off topic.

  56. Karen Kyle

    Zathras…..There were no more Christian Jews after the attack by Rome and the fall of the Second Temple. Christianity died out among the Jews. St Paul spread Christianity among the Gentiles. Christianity became a world religion. Judaism did not. Judaism remained a tribal religion. The Jews spread globally taking Judaism with them. Hence different DNA.

    Zionism was and is secular. Zionists have never based their claim to the land in religious terms.They still do not, but plenty of religious Jews do. Secular Jews base their claim on occupation dating back to before the Iron Age. There is plenty of neolithic evidence. The land has been occupied for a long time by people who were no doubt the ancestors of the Canaanites.

    Documentation consists not only of the Torah and the New Testament but also the Koran. Documentation also consists of the records of Rome Greece Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Babylon etc. Carved in stone on temple and palace walls. Found on tablets where letters were written by rulers to foreign powers.

    Where does that leave Australian Aborigines and other dispossessed peoples? With United Nations recognition of the Rights of Indigenous People. With Land Rights. Sometimes with Treaties. With the right to and protection of sacred and holy sites. Aboriginals had to demonstrate continuous occupation of the land which they found easy to do. Jews would find it equally easy. There has always been Jews in the Holy Land albeit in small numbers.

    For some reason Israelis did not bother to have themselves declared indigenous although they could easily have done so. The Israeli Bedouin certainly did and promptly sued the Israeli Government for planting trees on their desert land.

  57. paul walter

    Loved the title from the IPA paper “Climate Change: The Facts 2017” when they offer up some thing of the sort you KNOW what horseshit its going to be.

    Re Ridd, it seems denialists are always eventually identified as recipients of largesse from vested interests, which seems a curious thing and can only be coincidence…there I go, trying irony again.

  58. Keith

    Mixing ideology with science doesn’t work very well (Ridd); also, mixing fundamentalist religious views with science doesn’t work well either (Morrison). Ridd has a piece published in the anti science book “Climate Change The Facts 2017”. Any academic who wishes to have any credibility would not be associated with a book published by the odious IPA.

  59. Diannaart

    Paul

    To indicate irony or sarcasm, try using this

    :smirk_cat:

    Having said that, I will try to remember to use it myself.

    😼

    Is it ironic that so many don’t understand irony?

    Maybe we need an article about irony and the written word, I nominate Paul Walter … how about it, Paul?

    😼

  60. paul walter

    So YOU like my Irony too.

    Otherwise I might have thought “ad hom(fem)inem”, that you were “playing the man” rather than the ball, to coin an old football saying.

    Your sense of humour will improve over time, perhaps…

  61. paul walter

    Why tell me something I already know?

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