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Day to Day Politics: Telling lies for God.

Monday 4 September 2017

The proponents of the NO vote are desperately trying to turn the debate about Marriage Equality into anything but the subject itself. Away from an argument they think they cannot win. It’s a strange debate when one side is campaigning on everything but (a lie by omission) Marriage Equality and the other doesn’t like the process but will campaign anyway.

In its raw state the issue of Marriage Equality is simply about whether one group of people should be as equal as another.

Instead, they are throwing into a simple recipe, ingredients like freedom of religion, free speech, political correctness, the school curriculum and the raising of children.

The NO group in their opening advertisement in which Cella White, one of the women featured in a commercial, tells viewers her son had been told he could wear a dress to school next year if he wanted to. Telling lies for God. Another said Year 7 students were being encouraged to role play being in a same-sex relationship.

When contacted the school in question knew nothing about boys and dresses so the advertisement was untruthful. The NO group had lied, but free speech is alive.

A couple of days later two prestigious Catholic schools, Xavier College in Melbourne and Sydney’s Saint Ignatius College, wrote to parents defending gay marriage, arguing the sacrament must evolve with the times and that the Catholic Church understands marriage stretches beyond procreation. Religious independence is alive.

That statement came days after Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart urged Catholics to vote against change in the upcoming postal survey on gay marriage for the “health and future” of society. Free speech and practicing religion is alive.

The premise that Marriage Equality will affect freedom of religion, free speech and the raising of children is nonsense. What has been said thus far in the debate ably demonstrates that all the issues are alive and well and not in any danger.

You can even tell lies. Dennis Hart is demonstrating his right to practice his religion and the Catholic schools are showing their independence..

The school in question has repudiated the suggestion that boys would be allowed to wear dresses. So free speech and freedom of religion is alive and well. All these people have to fear is what they are being told by the religious zealots in their midst.

Tony Abbott for example says; “This isn’t just about marriage,” he told Sydney’s 2GB on Monday.

“There are lots and lots of implications here and we’ve got to think them through before we take this big leap into what I think is the dark.”

He has been promoting fear and negativity all his life. Nothing has changed.

While Labor is deeply uncomfortable with the idea of a postal survey, it has promised to campaign for the YES vote, along with the Greens, Australian Marriage Equality and GetUp.

If indeed the High Court allows the “survey” to go forward – and the result was positive for the YES campaign – to suggest the government would then include all the nasty things that the NO campaigners are suggesting is just silly and abrogates common sense. It’s just scare mongering.

There are Christians, particularly of a charismatic, evangelical, fundamentalist upbringing, who would seek to attach us to  the past so as to satisfy a craving for their own literal interpretation of scripture while ignoring others.

Conservative politicians do the same because they only believe in incremental change and have a scepticism of change that in a modern society would also lock us into the dark unenlightened past.

So if they insist on making free speech central to the debate I may as well get my two bobs worth in.

I have written about free speech, hate, racial discrimination, marriage equality and the state of our democracy on many occasions and this question will not leave me:

“Why is it, in the name of free speech, that we need to enshrine, the right to abuse each other, in law?”

European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the course of the “long 18th century” (1685-1815) as part of a movement referred to by its participants as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment.”

“The Enlightenment advocated reason as a means to establishing an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, government, and even religion, which would allow human beings to attain objective truth about the whole of reality.”

If you were to ask the likes of Bernardi if we live in an enlightened society he would probably answer “yes”.

I’m not sure how he would answer if you asked:

“If we are an enlightened society why then do you think we need to enshrine in law the right to hate each other?

Surely you would think that an enlightened progressive free thinking society would want to eliminate it, not legislate it.

It is not a question that requires great philosophical, ideological or even theological debate. It is a black and white question. After all it is not by definition a prerequisite of the human condition.

We do live in an age of enlightenment, a period where the world has made enormous technological advances, but at the same time our intellects have not advanced the capacity to understand simple tolerance.

Indeed, if we were truly enlightened we would treat our fellow human beings, with respect love and faithfulness. We would do unto them as we would expect them to do unto us and we would strive to do no harm. We would love life and live it with a sense of joy and wonderment.

We would form our own independent opinions on the basis of our own reason and experience; and not allow ourselves to be led blindly by others. And we would test all things; always checking our ideas against our facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it did not conform to them. We would readily admit it when we are wrong in the knowledge that humility is the basis of intellectual advancement and that it is truth that enables human progress.

And of course we would enjoy our own sex life (so long as it damages nobody) and leaves others to enjoy theirs in private whatever their inclinations, which are none or your business.

We would uphold the principle that no one individual or group has an ownership of righteousness. We would seek not to judge but to understand. We would seek dialogue ahead of confrontation.

We would place internationalism before nationalism acknowledging that the planet earth does not have infinite resources and needs care and attention if we are to survive on it. In doing so we would value the future on a timescale longer than our own. We would recognise that the individual has rights but no man is an island and can only exist, and have his rights fulfilled, only by the determination of a collective.

We would insist on equality of opportunity in education acknowledging that it is knowledge that gives an understanding. We would seek not to indoctrinate our children in any way but instead teach them how to think for themselves, evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with us. We would, in our schools open their minds equally to an understanding of ethics and the history and practice of religion.

We would never seek to cut ourselves off from dissent, and always respect the right of others to disagree with us.

Importantly, we would not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.

Lastly, we would question everything. What we see, what we feel, what we hear, what we read and what we are told until we understand the truth of it because thoughtlessness is the residue of things not understood and can never be a replacement for fact.

If these things truly are the embodiment of enlightenment. How do we stack up? It is fair to say that some societies and individuals could lay claim to attaining a measure of it. For example in some countries gender equality is more readily accepted and there has been advances in education.

Overall though I think the reader would conclude that in most instances our enlightenment has not progressed much.

This is no more empathised than in our understanding of what free speech is. Are we honestly enlightened if we think we need to enshrine in legislation an emotion people already have and use, to express hatred?

There is something fundamentally and humanely wrong with the proposition. There is an intolerable indecency that suggests that we have made no advancement in our discernment of free speech.

If free speeches only purpose is to denigrate, insult and humiliate then we need to reappraise its purpose. There are those who say it identifies those perpetrating wrong doing but if it creates more evil than good it’s a strange freedom for a so-called enlightened society to bequeath its citizens.

Are we saying that hate is an essential part of the human condition?

To quote Jonathan Holmes (remember the Paris attacks):

”Let’s be clear: Charlie Hebdo set out, every week, with the greatest deliberation, to offend and insult all kinds of people, and especially in recent years the followers of Islam, whether fundamentalist or not.

Look at some of the magazine’s recent covers: An Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood protester in a hail of gunfire crying “The Koran is shit – it doesn’t stop bullets”; a full-on homosexual kiss between a Charlie cartoonist and a Muslim sheik with the ironic headline “Love is stronger than hate”; a naked woman with a niqab thrust up her backside.”

The Charlie Hebdo massacre as vile and as unjust as it was gave no excuse for repressive world leaders to lecture anyone on freedom of expression.

The sheer hypocrisy of it was breathtaking. Some of the world leaders locked arm in arm in the Paris March were from countries with the world’s worst suppression of press freedom.

To see the Foreign Minister of Egypt marching arm in arm with world leaders was two faced-ness in the extreme given that Peter Creste had been in jail for more than a year.

It’s all in the name of satirical free speech but it’s not funny if has no insightful truth.

Is this really what an enlightened society means by free speech? Does it demonstrate our cognitive advancement? Is this what well-educated men and women want as free speech or should we see free speech as being nothing more or nothing less than the right to tell the truth in whatever medium we so choose.

One has to wonder why the so-called defenders of free speech feel they are inhibited by what they have now. I don’t. I have never felt constrained in my thoughts or my ability to express them. I’m doing it now. But then I don’t feel a need to go beyond my own moral values of what is decent to illuminate my thoughts.

Why is it then that the likes of Abbott, Bolt, Jones, Brandis, Bernardi and others need to go beyond common decency, and defend others who cannot express themselves without degenerating into hate speech?

The answer has nothing to do with an honourably noble sort of democratic free speech.

Why does this demand for open slather free speech always come from the right of politics and society? They seem to have an insensitivity to common decency that goes beyond any thoughtful examination.

And we shouldn’t forget that the means of distribution for hate speech is weighted toward the right-wing media, particularly in Australia.

They simply want the right to inflict hate, defame with impunity, insult, and promote bigotry if it suits their purpose. And behind that purpose can be found two words. Power and control.

Often those who demand unrestricted free speech, do so to compensate for the freedom of thought they seldom use.

The way we presently view free speech simply perpetuates the right to express all those things that make us lessor than what we should be.

Debate, in whatever form, should not include the right to vilify. It is not of necessity about winning or taking down ones opponent. It is about an exchange of facts ideas and principles. Or in its purest form it is simply about the art of persuasion.

The argument that bigots are entitled to be bigots or that unencumbered free speech exposes people for what they are, doesn’t wear with me. It simply says that society has not advanced.

That our cultural ethical intellect has not progressed at the same rate as our technological understanding.

The fact that so many people agree with the free speech argument highlights the tolerance we have for the unacceptable right to hate each other, which to me is the sauce of everything that is wrong with human behaviour.

We will never truly understand the effect free speech has on people until we have personally suffered from the abuse of it.

And we want to make it acceptable by legislating to condone it.

Are we really saying that in a supposed enlightened society that values, love, decorum, moderation, truth, fact, balance, reason, tolerance, civility and respect for the others point of view, that we need to enshrine in law a person’s right to be the opposite of all these things?

If that is the case then we are not educating. We are not creating a better social order and we are not enlightened at all.

The fact is that free speech in any democratic system should be so valued, so profoundly salient, that any decent enlightened government should legislate to see that it is not abused.

That it carries with it sacrosanct principles of decency that are beyond law and ingrained in the conscious of a collective common good.

After all, the dignity of the individual (or individuals) within the collective is more important than some fools right to use freedom of speech to vilify another. Those who insist on unlimited free speech should realise that when they do so they also reveal their inner morality.

My thought for the day

“An enlightened society is one in which the suggestion that we need to legislate ones right to hate another person is considered intellectually barren.”


  1. Wam

    Wow, Lord!

    Defamation laws give the right to insult to those protected by insurance or a murdoch and the means of redress such insults to the rich.

    18c gives the right and the means of redress to everybody.

    The decision against tlob is(giggle giggle) still firmly stuck in his throat.

  2. Jack

    Why do we get so prickly about ads? If groups want to spend stupid amounts of money on advertising their opinion(Yes or No), what does it matter? In the political ads during election time, they’re always full of half-truths at best.
    As for free speech, Get-up has taken advantage of that by petitioning for the doctor in the No ad to be deregistered. Just imagine if that was the other way around? There would be cries of bullying, intimidation, etc.. The AMA has poured cold water on it though, so it shows that when people use common sense society will generally get to the right outcome

  3. Harquebus

    To want to restrict speech demonstrates a lack of confidence in our society as a whole.
    Can the majority see through the propaganda being advertised by the no campaign? I think that they can.

    “In order to protect free speech, it is not enough to protect most speech; you have to protect all speech. Once the ruling classes have the right to restrict speech deemed unpleasant, they will invariably restrict opposition to themselves. When this happens, freedom is lost forever.” — Harry Richardson

    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” — George Orwell

  4. Terry2

    What the NO campaign are obscuring with their red herrings and failing to say publicly is that the draft amendments in the Bill that would form the basis of changes to the Marriage Act already meet their exacting requirements on religious exemptions :

    This is why they need to create distractions as they realize that they already have the draft legislation twisted in their favour and even if the YES vote gets up, they will have won the day in how the legislation will be applied on a clearly discriminatory basis : pretty well all of their requirements have been met by the draft Bill, Including :

    Section 47 Ministers of religion may refuse to solemnise marriages

    Section 47A Marriage celebrants may refuse to solemnise marriages

    Section 47B Religious bodies and organisations may refuse to make facilities available or provide goods or services

    So, whilst we are not being called on to vote on this draft Bill, it is a Bill of this type that will go before the parliament if the YES argument gets up.

    As we can see, it is already giving the religious groups the exemptions they want and, in 47B, they not only can they prevent a marriage in a church but they can stop the church hall being used for a wedding reception. What more can they want I hear you say ? Well they will be pushing for a complete exemption on services provided to same sex couples including bakers from making wedding cakes, florists and car-hire firms from providing services : in other words, even if the YES vote gets up, it will be in terms dictated by the NO camp.

  5. Miriam English

    Nicely said, John. There are many great lines in that post that I want to add to my quotes folder. But you really need a good spell-checker and a grammar checker (emphasise and empathise are different words, lesser not lessor, speech’s purpose not speeches purpose, many misplaced or absent commas, and so on). I’m really glad you don’t let such small problems prevent you from writing such illuminating posts, though.

    One tiny point I’d like to make about marriage equality: the conservatives often say that we are trying to change the law, but in fact we want to undo the hateful change wrought by John Howard.

    You’re so right about the lies in the marriage equality “debate” so far. The anti-gay brigade have lied every step of the way. It hadn’t hit me until you pointed it out that their lies and avoidance of the central issue clearly show that they actually haven’t any sensible argument against marriage equality. The advertisement was awful. I was full of lies and misleading statements and never actually touched on the topic of marriage equality. If this is the level of argument we’re to expect from them it is going to be a dirty and divisive time packed with hate and lies. What a pity. Curse spineless Mal.

  6. Miriam English

    Jack, adverts do affect people and they do change people’s minds. This is why we should be upset at ads that lie and divide people and promote hate.

    Harquebus, how did I know that you’d chime in on the free speech thing? I suppose we need to allow people the right to punch other people’s lights out too. I’m sure you’d be in favor of that, right? Oh, you say it’s different because it harms people? Well, news flash! Hate speech harms people too. Every time one of our half-witted politicians opens their trap to utter hateful comments about gays or Muslims, or any minority we see a rise in physical attacks and obstructive discrimination, along with suicides in the targeted group. Hate speech hurts people in many ways. To refuse to see that shows selective blindness.

  7. Jack

    Miriam, I meant political ads, not ads in general. Any political ad will always divide people as they’re pushing their own point of view

  8. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    “I suppose we need to allow people the right to punch other people’s lights out too. I’m sure you’d be in favor of that, right?”
    Wrong and your own thought processes are too narrow to avoid “selective blindness”. I don’t where you come up with this stuff. What goes on in that twisted mind of yours?

    There is a bigger picture that you are not considering. A little word pain now will prevent much worse later on. We’ve managed to get this far without laws restricting speech. Why the need for this new imposition now? There is none and to implement these restrictions will have adverse consequences.

    “Our special problem today is just this: we are essentially primitive creatures struggling desperately to adjust ourselves to a way of life that is alien to almost the whole of the past history of our species.” — Fred Hoyle, of Men and Galaxies

  9. C. Mitchell

    Miriam, I like your expression “selective blindness” which is what the High Court may require to find that the funding for the postal survey is “URGENT OR UNFORSEEN” expenditure.

  10. Mark Needham

    Is this gay vote, 4 legs good 2 legs bad?

    There is enough legislation n existence to clarify the legal rights of people in differing ‘living’ conditions.

    An absolute waste of peoples breath and time, just to legally say, “That it is normal, safe and OK, to put a Penis in someone Anus.” This has gone past the “giggle. Tee Hee” stage, to the ridiculous.

    Like most things that the world gets tied up in, it “Does not Matter”. Idiots will still take drugs, the obese eat, the queer do queer stuff, Conspiracy theories abound, crap, denied and given oxygen…..and on it goes.

    An Oxymoron.
    “The fact is that free speech in any democratic system should be so valued, so profoundly salient, that any decent enlightened government should legislate to see that it is not abused.”

    Legislate, to protect “Free Speech”. Legislate to guide us in our choice of words.

    I thought this was about ‘Free Speech”., free Speech, means free speech.

    nearly speechless,
    Mark Needham.

  11. Kronomex

    I seem to remember reading in history books over the years that marriage was created as a way for men to protect their goods and chattels (and women were considered chattel) until the Roman Catholics decided to hijack it and turn it into a religious ceremony as part of their power grab and strangle hold on all levels of society.

    The NO vote is using the (paraphrased and attributed to Mark Twain), “Never let the truth get in the way of lies.” routine.

  12. guest

    Mark Needham, it seems there are those who would dictate what consenting adults do in their own beds. There might even be details given about certain sexual practices, But we need to understand that even some heterosexual couples could be described as doing “queer” things in their physical intimacy.

    As for “free speech”, speech is not entirely “free”.

  13. Mark Needham

    ” some heterosexual couples could be described as doing “queer” things in their physical intimacy.”

    Well said. Guest.
    Stupidity, is available to all. But the “Vote” seems to be about “permitting stupidity, to become normal”.

    Voting “Yes” is not dictating, what is allowed in their own beds?

    Free Speech is not Free. Certainly won’t be if it is legislated. I think a better way to say it, “Free Speech, comes with responsibilities. All rights come with responsibilies.”

    Mark Needham

  14. Harquebus

    “As for “free speech”, speech is not entirely “free”.”
    True. It comes at a price and for some, it has been the ultimate price.

  15. blair

    Not We!. Only the fascists want “freedom to abuse”

  16. stephengb2014

    Wow Mr Lord, what a great article, thank you.

    18C always gets thrown up as legislation that restricts free speech, but I would like to point out that 18C is not about free speech it is about protecting everyone from using words to discriminate on the basis of race.

    The Racial Discrimination Act 1975, is Australias responsibility to the International Convention on Discrimination.This as the Act name implies is an act, to make it unlawful to racially discriminate!

    Why is this suddenly so contentious, only because Andrew Bolt (a high profile Right Winger, and mate of Tony Abbott) was successfully prosecuted, u der 19C of this Act. And so Abbott uses his powerful poition to try and exonerate his friend and claims that Bolt’s right to free speech has been curtailed.

    So now every time the Right wing cant get their own views accepted, they cry free speech. And idiots quote the numeral “18C” as if 18C is the law that is preventing free speech!

    Here is 18C, to those who see 19C as preventing free speech, please read all of the words and especially the words that relates the law to racial discrimination, you know the very first sentance, is there to give the reader an insight as to the reason for the following sentances ( grammar buffs can express this better than I).

    18C Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin
    (1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
    (a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and
    (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.
    Note: Subsection (1) makes certain acts unlawful. Section 46P of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 allows people to make complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission about unlawful acts. However, an unlawful act is not necessarily a criminal offence. Section 26 says that this Act does not make it an offence to do an act that is unlawful because of this Part, unless Part IV expressly says that the act is an offence.
    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an act is taken not to be done in private if it:
    (a) causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public; or
    (b) is done in a public place; or
    (c) is done in the sight or hearing of people who are in a public place.
    (3) In this section:
    public place includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, whether express or implied and whether or not a charge is made for admission to the place.

  17. paul walter

    Once again, an over egged response to a fairly inoffensive comment from Harquebus.

    I don’t get some of you guys.

    Yes, the conservative tactics are revolting and so nauseating as to be obvious. They convict themselves and it is fine, however to expose them rhetorically, so I won’t go further except to feel the false dichotomy is resolved personally.

    Viewed in such a light, Miriam’s comment is entirely explicable complementation to Harqebus, if you take that commenters peice to indicate their feeling of the ineptness of the conservative response.

  18. Mark Needham

    ““If we are an enlightened society why then do you think we need to enshrine in law the right to hate each other?”

    What is this law..?
    Mark Needham

  19. guest

    Mark Needham: ‘Voting “Yes” is not dictating what is allowed in their own beds.’

    But voting “No” is, dictating specifically to gay people against something which is practised by some people regarded as heterosexual. It is not clear where the “stupidity” comes into your argument, whether it is about the gays or the heterosexuals – or both.

  20. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you side-step of course. You say “a little word pain now will prevent much worse later on.” Where is your evidence for that? I’m sure those who have been assaulted by people who’ve been incited by hate speech, or those so tormented that they suicide are very comforted by your empty platitudes.

    As for the nonsense about “We’ve managed to get this far without laws restricting speech. Why the need for this new imposition now?” Wake up H. We have laws restricting hate speech. We’ve had them for ages and they work… imperfectly, but they do work to prevent some of the worst stuff. The right-wing nutters want to remove these laws. Nobody is arguing that further laws restricting speech be imposed.

  21. Miriam English

    Mark Needham, what is this obsession you and some straight people have with what other people do in private? Perhaps you need to get your mind off other people’s dicks.

    Sex and love are not the same thing. Legislating against someone’s love is warped. It is especially sick if it is done because you can’t get your mind off what their sex is like. Jeez! Get a grip!

    As for characterising gay people as stupid, history isn’t with you there. Many of the smartest people in history have been gay. Many of the smartest people I know are gay. Society needs gay people. Without them society would be much poorer culturally, intellectually, and technologically.

  22. Mark Needham

    Aaaaah! Of course, anal sex is right and good. He does it, she does it, therefore that makes it right.

    Further, lots of people take drugs, good people, doctors and such. Therefore, drug taking is good.

    And, obeseity, overeating, is also good.

    Now, picking your ear and eating the ‘pickings”, people do it all the time, got to be Good.

    Let them do it, but do not try and tell me, that this is “Safe, Normal and OK” to do.

    Stupid, antonym….”intelligent, clever, astute, sensible, prudent”. All of the above, these practices are intelligent, clever, astute, sensible, prudent. No, then they are stupid.??????? That is where stupidity comes from.
    If the hat fits, then wear it.

    Still need an answer on the law, making it a right to hate each other!

    Mark Needham.

  23. diannaart

    What Bolt, Jones, Albrechtsen and similar species have made perfectly clear:

    Uber-conservatives’ “right to free speech” transcends everyone else’s, but especially those lefties who call themselves progressive.

    Am I right or am I right?

  24. Miriam English

    Mark Needham your homophobia seeps from every pore. How do you live with yourself, constantly imagining what everybody else does with their sex organs?

    Incidentally, not that it’s any of your business, but it is an error to assume that all gay men have anal sex. It blows me away that you need to have this pointed out to you by a lesbian, of all people! Your degree of ignorance and homophobia is astonishing. And I bet you believe that you’re not homophobic. Like a chap I knew once who insisted he wasn’t racist, and that it wasn’t his fault that Abos are stupid. He at least had the self-awareness to look embarrassed and admit that was a racist thing to say.

  25. Terry2

    I’ve got a feeling that the High Court will not let the government pull the wool over their eyes on this plebiscite/survey funding appropriation.

    Under the Appropriations Act the Finance Minister can bypass parliament and appropriate funds for expenses that were unforseen and urgentif satisfied that the expenditure is either not provided for or has been insufficiently provided for in the existing appropriations through the Budget.

    So, it would seem that the High Court will focus their attention on the words urgent and unforseen when it comes to the $122 million that the government want to use for the postal survey.

    They will have to convince the High Court that, despite having gone to the last election with $170 million allocated for its original plebiscite, funding which it carried over in the last budget, that it now needs separate funding because that original funding cannot be used because it failed to pass the necessary plebiscite legislation in the Senate.

    UNSW Dean of Law Professor George Williams noted in his address to the National Press Club last week that he expected the same-sex marriage postal survey to be struck down by the High Court as the government has bypassed Parliament using a special fund reserved for urgent and unforeseen matters, but given they have spoken publicly about the issue for so long, that would be a “tough ask” to justify in court, Professor Williams said.

    If the High Court approve the tactics that the government has adopted to obtain this funding it will set a precedent that Australian’s should be uncomfortable with. It means that, in circumstances where the parliament votes down a government appropriation, the Finance Minister of the day can just take the money from elsewhere and thumb his nose at the parliament.

  26. John Lord

    Also my thoughts Terry2

  27. diannaart


    I am hoping the High Court will toss this proposal out – too expensive, not enforceable, not comprehensive, a violation of human rights (that a majority should pass judgement upon a minority for rights the majority already have)… and, of course, not unforeseen nor urgent.

    …and, as you have pointed out, the precedent that would be set if the High Court supports the Federal government.

    There is a wealth of logic for the postal survey NOT to go ahead… and yet… the feeling that reason has taken off and not returning any time soon fills me with great apprehension.

  28. Miriam English

    diannaart, yes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe sanity will prevail — it seems to have deserted all areas of power. From backing a divisive fake plebecite on whether a tenth of the population are allowed to marry, to doing all they can to crush renewable energy, to turning up in parliament in a burqa, to handing around lumps of coal while shilling for dirty coal companies, to pretending that laws about being a dual citizen don’t apply to Joyce, to trying to push through a giant, absurd coal mine so they can pay a corrupt company a billion dollars to build it… jeez! Has someone put crazy pills in the parliament house water?

  29. Mark Needham

    ““If we are an enlightened society why then do you think we need to enshrine in law the right to hate each other?”

    What is this law..?

    “Homophobic.” Definitely have a dislike for the activities. Don’t necessarily dislike the people. I wonder at their choices.

    Law to hate?
    Still need to know,
    Mark Needham

  30. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    History is littered with examples of despots and repressive regimes maintaining their control by limiting speech. 2017 and this not only continues, it progresses and not for the better.

    This search will produce arguments for and against.
    Search criteria: adverse consequences limiting speech

    Here are a few related articles that I have read recently on this subject. For anyone that is interested that is. Limitations on speech is something that concerns me and I keep an eye on its progress.

    “The pleas for protection and the censoring of language are leading to real censorship, the real curtailing of free speech and the strengthening of the powers of the state and the corporate world to act, in the name of civility and tolerance, to silence the left.”

    “Chomsky has previously stated he is against the shutting down of far-right meetings, arguing it is tacitly self-destructive and the emphasis needs to instead be on education.”
    “physical resistance has time and again protected local populations from racist violence, and prevented a gathering caucus of fascists from making further inroads into mainstream politics.”

    “It was inevitable that we would reach this point. The corporate state has seized and corrupted all democratic institutions, including the two main political parties, to serve the interests of corporate power and maximize global corporate profits.”
    “Street clashes do not distress the ruling elites. These clashes divide the underclass. They divert activists from threatening the actual structures of power. They give the corporate state the ammunition to impose harsher forms of control and expand the powers of internal security.”
    “Political change doesn’t come from feeling individually validated. It comes from collective action and organization within the working class.”
    “The corporate state seeks to discredit and shut down the anti-capitalist left. Its natural allies are the neo-Nazis and the Christian fascists. The alt-right is bankrolled, after all, by the most retrograde forces in American capitalism. It has huge media platforms. It has placed its ideologues and sympathizers in positions of power, including in law enforcement and the military. And it has carried out acts of domestic terrorism that dwarf anything carried out by the left.”
    “But by brawling in the streets antifa allows the corporate state, which is terrified of a popular anti-capitalist uprising, to use the false argument of moral equivalency to criminalize the work of all anti-capitalists.”
    “Violent confrontations with antifascists gave the Nazis a chance to paint themselves as the victims of a pugnacious, lawless left. They seized it.”
    “The ecocide by the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries alone makes revolt a moral imperative. The question is how to make it succeed.”
    “Antifa violence, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out, is a “major gift to the right, including the militant right.”

  31. Miriam English

    H, let me say it again, hoping that this time you might actually read it and understand:

    We already have laws that limit hate speech. They’ve worked moderately well for years. Nobody is calling for increasing them and gaining dictatorial control of all speech.

    The right-wing is duping people like you into fighting their battles for them. They want to be able to get rid of what few controls we have on their viciousness. You have been suckered by them, H.

    Your quotes, especially the last one, have nothing to do with the point.

  32. Deanna Jones

    What activities would you be referring to there, Mark Needham? Throwing dinner parties? Meeting for coffee? Going to work? Movies? Theatre? Playing golf?

    People are not defined purely by sexual orientation, whatever the orientation is.

    I’m kind of against the “activities” of heterosexual pedophiles, rapists and other types of sex predators, such as animal abusers. Perhaps we need to restrict the rights of heteros?

  33. Johno

    Deanna.. Well said

  34. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    “We already have laws that limit hate speech. They’ve worked moderately well for years.”
    Evidence that the potential to work even better exists. Can you guarantee that limits on speech will not be expanded? As our problems continue to worsen, governments will be tempted to do just that.

    “Your quotes, especially the last one, have nothing to do with the point.”
    As usual, you just don’t get it. Can’t see the forest for the trees or something like that.

  35. Miriam English

    Deanna, nicely done, turning the same argument around to restricting the rights of heteros. It neatly shows how absurd the argument is.

    Poor Mark Needham can’t get his mind off other people’s dicks. It appears to be a neurosis.

  36. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you are arguing against something that nobody is proposing.

    Even worse, you’re being duped by a bunch of pathetic haters to justify doing great harm to our society.

  37. David Bruce

    I expect marriage equality will become the norm in the near future, and also expect to see unexpected consequences from the proposed changes. When human beings have freedom of choice, it is hard to predict what outcomes will occur. I have been involved in enough change management processes to know first hand how difficult it is to predict the future! If world peace and removal of weapons of mass destruction is the outcome, I would be very pleased!

  38. Rossleigh

    “This isn’t just about marriage,” says Tony Abbott.
    Why not?
    Well, we can’t think of any convincing arguments if it’s just about marriage. We can say we don’t like it, but that’s not going to work.

    On the other hand, if the “Yes” campaign wants to use the same dubious tactics of the ad showing three mothers – where are the fathers, surely every ad has a right to a mother and a father – they could run ads telling us “Vote No because Sharia Law doesn’t allow gay marriage”. That should convince all PHON supporters to vote in favour.

  39. Jack Straw

    Miriam ! I see Harquabex is back on the same old tram.It’s the same as deregulation the business markets which lead to The Major Financial crisis in the US put in by the Reagan government or the current Australia building codes debacle when dodgy cladding gets put up.Rules and guidelines are there for a reason.To guard against corruption and bullying as mankind is known to do….

  40. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, it’s a hopeless argument with Harquebus that goes back to the dawn of time.

    It matters not to him that cruel words to the vulnerable can cause depression (or even suicide). His standard response has always been that the vulnerable need to toughen up.

    He is a cruel, heartless man.

  41. diannaart

    Michael, Miriam, Deanna

    H is choosing to vote “NO” on (possible) postal survey – because he thinks its a stunt by the LNP feds. He’s right about one thing, the postal “plebiscite” is a stunt, but it affects the lives and wellbeing of people.

    Taking a stand against the LNP is one thing, but to cause harm if a No vote gets up is deliberate and calculated and, yes, cruel and heartless.

  42. Michael Taylor

    Dianna, I am confused by his intentions.

    It’s a political stunt and a waste of time … but he’ll still make the effort to vote. Huh?

    My only guess is that he is hoping that the ‘No’ vote gets up and the issue will thus be put to bed.

  43. Kaye Lee

    The only way the no vote will get up is if young people don’t participate but there has been a concerted campaign on facebook to get them involved. My politically unaware son (who doesn’t understand why we are all so fixated on this) came and asked me did he have to do some special registration because people on Facebook were encouraging people to register to vote. He is already on the electoral roll so I told him he was ok but to tell friends to update their addresses. Will it go to right address? Will they bother filling it in and posting it back? Will they boycott because of the futility of the exercise?

    Malcolm would hate this to still be a live issue at the next election.

  44. Kaye Lee

    I wish we lived in a world where “coming out” wasn’t a thing, where people did not have to make decisions about their sexuality and announce it to the world. Other people’s sex lives are none of my business but their happiness is important to me. How on earth can a loving couple being allowed to marry be a threat to my way of life?

  45. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    It is the imposition of restrictions to speech that are doing the damage and it is you and others that are being duped. This does not surprise me. As in others areas in our disagreements, you will learn the hard way.

    Michael Taylor
    “My only guess is that he is hoping that the ‘No’ vote gets up and the issue will thus be put to bed.”
    You guessed right.
    If the courts strike down the postal plebiscite, that will also be the end of the matter, for the time being at least. A case of the ‘yes’ camp shooting themselves in the foot, deliberately. Yes/no?

    Another that I came across this morning. Economic integration with China was supposed to improve rights and liberties in that country. Instead, our own have steadily been eroded.

    “While many struggled to see the sense of the prosecution, some expressed fear that people who even use VPN software to evade China’s Great Firewall could be subjected to prosecution in the future.”

  46. Kaye Lee

    What do you want to say that you can’t already? Restrictions on speech? Hooey! You are very freely expressing your opinion and very rightly being challenged for it by those who disagree. What you really want is for your opinion to go unchallenged, for everyone to agree with your pearls of wisdom.

  47. diannaart


    As has been pointed out to you:

    You can register your protest to the feds by Not Voting – return an empty ballot, an unmarked form…

    By deliberately voting “no” you are supporting the Federal government .

    Who is being duped? Harquebus.

  48. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    It is more about what I want to hear and from whom. Who knows what people are really like and thinking if, they can not freely express themselves.

    BTW: Forgive me for digressing but, for the next couple of months or so, until your next birthday, we are the same age. I don’t know your ‘what’ or your ‘where’ but, I do know your ‘when’.

    “Well I remember when I was young, well I remember when I was young, I surely do.” — Matt Taylor

    I am not be duped, I am being spiteful. I’m sick to death of the whole thing. If the ‘yes’ camp had not been so overbearing and insistent, I might have been a little more receptive.

  49. Kaye Lee

    ” Who knows what people are really like and thinking if, they can not freely express themselves.”

    I ask again, who is not freely expressing themselves? Lord knows I have seen enough of Lyle Shelton over the past few weeks to last me a lifetime. The silly marriage alliance people are running their ads on tv. The Archbishops have been quoted in all the papers. Cory Bernardi, Andrew Hastie and Tony Abbott are doing constant interviews. Who is being stopped from expressing their view?

    Could I add that the view expressed by the homophobes and religious minority about the Safe Schools program (about which they knew nothing) got it abolished. Far from being silenced, I think they get listened to far too much.

  50. Michael Taylor

    Miriam English
    It is the imposition of restrictions to speech that are doing the damage and it is you and others that are being duped. This does not surprise me. As in others areas in our disagreements, you will learn the hard way.

    10/10 for being nonsensical.

  51. diannaart


    You prefer spite to justice?

    Well at least you are honest, which frees me to be honest also:

    Your comments here at AIMN reveal a self-centred, narcissistic old man – I guessed the age of wisdom passed you by.

    Apologies to all at AIMN will not add any more to this thread.

  52. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor
    We will see, won’t we.
    Liberties have been and will continue to be eroded. Limits to speech are part of the trend.

    “The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.” — Adolf Hitler

  53. Kaye Lee

    I note you ignored my question as to who is being suppressed from expressing their view H because NO-ONE is. Stop with the bullshit scare campaign.

    Liberties have certainly been eroded but it is by these same conservatives who deliberately stoke irrational fears so they can exploit them for political gain. Get angry about metadata retention. Get angry about Ministers taking supreme power which cannot be challenged in the courts. Get angry about NGOs being told their funding will be removed if they engage in advocacy. Get angry that public servants have been instructed they may not express political opinions.

    Let’s get real here about whose freedoms are under attack.

  54. Roswell

    Harquebus, ironic to see that you’re so enthralled at what Hitler had to say.

    Like you, he considered that something had to be done to reduce the population.

    Not sad, just plain scary.

  55. Roswell

    PS: diannart is a valued contributor here. Your presence and bullshit is deterring her. Exactly how many other people do you drive away from this site? Exactly how many other people do you discourage from commenting?

    Deleting your comments – as you suggest – clearly won’t work. I have a better idea.

  56. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    “who is being suppressed from expressing their view” Just off the top of head, Bolt. Not that I agree with him but, now I will never know.
    I am angry or hadn’t you noticed?

    Where do you get the enthralled from?

    Not entirely related I know but, I just had to share this.

    “Three black students freaked out because they saw a banana peel in a tree while at a mixed-race fraternity-sorority retreat. The entire retreat ground to a halt so everybody could sit around and emote about the banana peel. A frat boy confessed that he had tossed the peel into the tree because he couldn’t find a trash can — then he promptly abased himself for having committed an offense against racial correctness.”
    From the comments section:
    “For example, one boy will say, “Who left the toilet lid up?” and another boy will say, “I did, you racist!” Then they’ll laugh. That bothers me somewhat, because I’ve raised them to be racially sensitive. On the other hand, I get why it’s funny to them. They are growing up in a society where everything you do is RACIST. The accusation has lost its sting to them.”

  57. Michael Taylor

    “I have a better idea”.

    Harquebus, I might add to what Roswell said. I keep a very close eye on the stats for this site, and I note:

    1. When you are here, other people stay away.
    2. When you are talking your usual doom and gloom, it discourages others from commenting.
    3. The number of posts that end up being discussions about you or your preferred topic, it destroys the flow of the discussion about the post.

    This site simply cannot afford to be your platform at the exclusion of others. It wasn’t created for you and you alone.

    I will not sit back and watch you destroy it.

    You’ve been given more chances than anyone else. You’ve blown the lot of them.

  58. Joseph Carli

    Harquebus..History and personal experience has taught so many of us that there is a major difference between “defending free speech” and “Having the right to express hatred”…If one cannot differentiate between the two, it is because of an uneducated ignorance which, in an age of extraordinary access to information, has to be deliberate, or it must be part of a cruel agenda.
    The box of matches MUST be taken from the child, even if their fingers have to be forced open to do it.
    The fight against Fascism is more than the “silencing of the right of free speech”, it is the nipping in the bud of a politics of fools and degenerates…Again..History tells the tale.

  59. Harquebus

    Joseph Carli
    I think that most can recognize the difference. The point I keep making is, one can not identify nor oppose hatred/intolerance/bigotry if it is not expressed.
    I agree with Chomsky in the link that I posted yesterday; “the emphasis needs to instead be on education.”

    The “politics of fools and degenerates” is not party specific. It applies to all.

  60. Mark Needham

    Deanna…”People are not defined purely by sexual orientation, whatever the orientation is.”

    Someone who is LGBTI, is what then, if not LGBTI by sexual orientation? Are they LGBTI, because they have a dinner date, drink coffee, or play Tennis?

    “Deanna, nicely done, turning the same argument around to restricting the rights of heteros. ” Who is restricting anyones rights, Miriam, I never said anything about restricting rights.

    Oh, so very well done Deanna, no definition, but there is definition. Not quite right, are you?

    Now this law, John Lord..!
    ““If we are an enlightened society why then do you think we need to enshrine in law the right to hate each other?””
    What is this law, you talk of?

    Mark Needham

  61. Sam

    So at your analogy Harquebus if i choose not recognise a red light I can continue to drive through them?

  62. Miriam English

    Mark Needham, “Who is restricting anyones rights, Miriam, I never said anything about restricting rights.”

    No, of course not. You’re innocent — as pure as the driven snow. Just because you sneer at gays and say that they’re disgusting, and you’d happily stand by to see them isolated and vilified, perhaps even help it along a bit with some well-placed words, it’s not your fault that others want to restrict their rights, trash them, ensure they are second-class citizens. Heaven knows that it’s horrible imagining what those men do in bed in the privacy of their own home. For forcing you to to imagine such stuff they deserve not to be able to visit their lifelong partner in hospital and to lose the house they lived in when their partner dies. Heavens to Betsy. You’re in the right. It’s not your fault at all.


  63. Joseph Carli

    Harquebus is just a fool looking for relevance in twisting semantics, while Mark Needham just wishes he was capable of such a thing!

  64. Miriam English

    H, “I am being spiteful. I’m sick to death of the whole thing. If the ‘yes’ camp had not been so overbearing and insistent, I might have been a little more receptive.”

    Yes, you’re being spiteful. Yes, you’re sick. You’re also lying. You would never have been receptive to marriage equality. You’ve always been a homophobe. You’ve made it clear many times. The gays overbearing and insistent??? Don’t make me laugh! We don’t even want this goddamn vote. We’re not the ones going around spreading vicious lies. We’re the ones with slogans such as love is love and marriage should be about love, not hate. You want us to be second-class citizens? Well, screw you.

  65. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    If I wasn’t so annoyed, I wouldn’t bother voting on this unimportant issue but, since I am, I am going to vote no.

    Joseph Carli
    Me smells bait.


  66. Kaye Lee

    Speaking as a woman, you don’t achieve equal rights by sitting back and waiting for those in power to confer them through some form of largesse. This notion that the yes campaigners are being too in-your-face is exactly the same criticism often levelled at feminists or Aboriginal activists. It smacks of “don’t get uppity”.

    I would never have expected for you, Harquebus, to be so shallow.

  67. Harquebus

    I hear you Kaye Lee however, it is still my attitude and my intention regarding this unimportant issue.

  68. Jack

    Joseph, if you take the box of matches away from the child, you forgo the opportunity for education. Bill Leak’s cartoons were clearly not everyone’s cup of tea, but they were topical and provoked discussion on usually uncomfortable topics. He no longer has that free speech option, but for another reason.

    Silencing a voice(no matter how extreme) before it has spoken, reduces the options for debate and discussion. The inevitable is it forces that voice underground where it can cause more problems.

  69. Joseph Carli

    Jack..I used that metaphor along with, as I wrote, personal experience and history..Sure, in one’s parenting one does have to educate the child, but in national politics, the metaphor of taking the dangerous weapon or device for destruction from the hands (forcibly if need be) of fools and’d have to agree is precisely what Fascism and it’s racial / gender profiling advocates are, is a necessity shown time and again throughout history. I do not think it requires the re-invention of the wheel to show its usefulness…
    Bill Leak was a shit-stirrer who liked picking on easy targets for his simplified attacks..I have known more than enough, and Domestic violence reports prove that there are a greater percentage of white drunkards to make a point…Leak was the bully’s pimp who sticks his foot out to trip-up the already bullied kid as he tries to get away.

  70. Sam

    Totally agree with you Joseph.Most articulate humans can make their point without being offensive or racist.
    Only the puerile make bad judgement s and offensive behavior.So there must be some rules.

  71. Harquebus

    Totally agree with you Jack. It is in effect, hiding the enemy.

  72. Jack

    Yep, I agree with all that. However if somebody wants to make a point by being offensive, racist, crude, whatever, there are enough articulate humans around to counter that. That’s what an intelligent society looks like. But having rules/legislation to control it, what does that say about society?

  73. Kaye Lee

    Not all vulnerable people have an equal voice. We need protection for the weak and disadvantaged, not for the ones who can rip the other person to shreds with witty comebacks.

    I shouldn’t have to fight with a racist or a homophobe. It is just inherently wrong. Having laws can act as a deterrent to discrimination and abuse.

  74. Joseph Carli

    Jack said..” But having rules/legislation to control it, what does that say about society?”…In one word…: “Civilised”.

  75. Joseph Carli

    Harquebus said..” Totally agree with you Jack. It is in effect, hiding the enemy.”…It would surely be more accurate to say : ” It is, in effect, giving the enemy a well-deserved hiding.”

  76. Joseph Carli

    Harquebus..You have been wiped over the floor by so many here, yet you still persist in flogging your dead horse of obstinate opposition just for the sake of “obstinate opposition”..Are you of such a simple mind that you do not recognise when you are beat to retire and regroup gracefully…or is this another example of the Monty Python “Black Knight sketch”?
    PS. An opinion is valued for it’s succinct analysis, NOT for it’s dogged pursuit of a lost cause.

  77. Harquebus

    “I shouldn’t have to fight with a racist or a homophobe.”
    I agree. The fact is, we will always have to and my preference is to do it out in the open where, it can be contained rather than in the dark places that Jack has mentioned where, it can grow and fester unseen. As I have mentioned before and quoted others, education is the best method to address the issues discussed here.

    Joseph Carli
    “You [Harquebus] have been wiped over the floor” I dispute that. I am outnumbered, that is all.
    You can call it “obstinate opposition” if you like and this shouldn’t come as a surprise but, I actually believe what I post and the opinions that I express are genuinely mine.
    I goddago, to your relief I know so, catchyalayda.

  78. Rossleigh

    Of course, part of the point is that Bill Leak was never “silenced”. He published his cartoon; people criticised it. He published another one, portraying himself as the victim. When the vast majority of people complain about political correctness silencing them, what they’re actually saying is that they want to the right to say whatever, without anyone contradicting them.
    Compare Leak’s treatment – where some people suggested that the cartoon shouldn’t have been published – with Yassmin Abdel Magied who had several of her positions taken from her. Yet none of the staunch defenders of free speech took up her case.

  79. Joseph Carli

    Oh dear…still fighting “the good fight”..Yosemite Sam..: “I’ve got you to one!”
    There is an Italian maxim that goes like this : “If one person calls you a donkey, THAT is a personal opinion…If two people call you a donkey, THAT is at worst an unfortunate situation..But if three or more people call you a donkey, it is time to start buying the carrots!”

  80. Kaye Lee

    When I asked H who was being stopped from expressing their view he said

    “Just off the top of head, Bolt. Not that I agree with him but, now I will never know.”

    Has Bolt been silenced? Does he still have a tv show, write for newspapers, and have an online blog?

  81. Jack

    R, yes that’s interesting. I’d suggest its a sliding scale. Some of leaks cartoons provoked a suggestion they shouldn’t be published, then others supposedly breaching 18c. He had an employer that wanted the boundaries pushed, Yasmin’s employers didn’t want that controversy so made the easy decision instead of getting involved themselves

  82. jimhaz

    The trouble I find is that the left expresses everything as racist hatred or as being Nazi White Supremists. Too many issues are made taboo.

    “Dick Smith is launching an advertising campaign against ABC TV news and current affairs, which he says has warped the debate he has tried to spur over Australian population growth.

    He claims both Labor and Liberal politicians have told him they agree that Australia needs to cut its immigration intake to avoid future social and environmental fracturing, but they say they cannot say so publicly because the ABC will label them racist.”

  83. Roswell

    Bolt was suppressed from telling lies and defaming people. But has he been stopped from expressing his view? Nah.

    If anybody has been stopped from expressing their view it’s the 24 million people who don’t have a TV show, a column in most of the biggest selling newspapers, or an online blog.

    Now there’s an idea: I could start a blog. So should Harquebus. In fact, I’d encourage it. ?

  84. Joseph Carli

    jimhaz..: “The trouble I find is that the left expresses everything as racist hatred or as being Nazi White Supremists. Too many issues are made taboo.”

    What a load of f#cking bullshit!….Go have a look at what is discussed here on this one blog every week…Keerist!!…That has to about the dumbest effing unverified opinion EVAH!!

    I am writing an article now on “The simple and the simpleminded”..I’m going to have to quote some of the commentators here…no bullshit…if THIS is Aust’ today, then education has failed.

  85. Mark Needham

    Miriam EnglishSeptember 5, 2017 at 8:32 pm””
    “s not your fault that others want to restrict their rights, trash them, ensure they are second-class citizens”

    Thought you were a bit better than that. Now making other accusations, about how I feel, and do. Couldn’t argue my point, now you introduce more “contentious” points, which , I now deny.

    Then, ” hospital and to lose the house they lived in when their partner dies. Heavens to Be”, inheritance rights, are they denied. Or does the ”inevitable”, fights over intestacy, occur for any relationship. Having a will, is a prerogative, to have or not. The reasons, are not mine to say, are right or wrong. A will, sorts out most problems, ( Ha, bloody Ha).
    I know of a case. Sisters were clearing out ”Mums Stuff”, day before the funeral. It was a feeding frenzy., as is human nature. During the action, a friend of the house owner, had her reading glasses, snatched up. Had to blow the whistle, call half time, to get them back. Greed, knows no bounds.

    Inheritance is an issue for everyone. Being from Mars, next door, has no effect on inheritance. Issues, most are brought about by ‘human intervention”, and “Greed”, you know what I mean.

    Ah well,
    Mark Needham

  86. Joseph Carli

    ” Thought you were a bit better than that.”…this is another one of those pathetic accusations that come from the mouths of such one has to prove to THEM that you have honourable intentions after putting up with such rot from their spiteful pens…crikey!

  87. jimhaz

    [What a load of f#cking bullshit!….Go have a look at what is discussed here on this one blog every week…Keerist!!…That has to about the dumbest effing unverified opinion EVAH!!]

    It is still true though. Why do you think I’m here rather than at some other site – like the ABC new forums. It is because they decline too many comments that relate to “sensitive issues” like immigration.

    Nonetheless I am disinclined to argue about the issue, mainly due to the fact that the far right within the political power realm are so hypocritical. Those I’d really like to stick the verbal boot into are the SJW’s involved in Uni’s.

  88. Mark Needham

    ““If one person calls you a donkey, THAT is a personal opinion…If two people call you a donkey, THAT is at worst an unfortunate situation..But if three or more people call you a donkey, it is time to start buying the carrots!”” Joseph Carli.

    When 40 people say I’m a donkey, another 20 people may, but they don’t know what a donkey is., 40 more people say I am not…….

    Arguments are like that.. Somehow, we must, continue to talk, be civil, disagree, laugh, sneer, but importantly continue. Being wrong, is more than likely the case, our supposition to be right is at best, humorous and at least presumptuous. To deny any other opinion, is dictatorial at the least.

    Allow the opinion, argue the content, do not fight the person.

    Hard to do,
    Mark Needham

  89. jimhaz

    [Bolt was suppressed from telling lies and defaming people]

    Bolts view about “primarily white aboriginals” was a completely reasonable issue to debate.

  90. Roswell

    Really? Why?

    Was the court wrong then in upholding the law?

  91. Roswell

    By the way, there is no such thing as a “white Aboriginal”. Neither is there such a thing as a “black Aboriginal”.

    However, there are Aboriginal people.

  92. Roswell

    Allow the opinion, argue the content, do not fight the person.

    I’m inclined to agree with you, Mark (despite myself being guilty of said crime on the odd occasion).

  93. Mark Needham

    I remember as a kid, rattling a fence, just to watch a dog, go ballistic, wanting to rip my throat out.
    Still rattling,
    Never Learn,
    Wondering why the dogs bark,
    Mark Needham.

  94. jimhaz

    [Was the court wrong then in upholding the law?]

    Probably not – as I understand matters Bolt tried too many specific lies about the group in question that his argument was nullified.

    [By the way, there is no such thing as a “white Aboriginal”]

    Yes there is – anyone over 50% genetically should no longer be classified as aboriginal. Well unless you respect the “emotional value of identity” in that group but not respect it in white groups…as nearly everyone here does.

  95. diannaart

    anyone over 50% genetically should no longer be classified as aboriginal. Well unless you respect the “emotional value of identity” in that group but not respect it in white groups…as nearly everyone here does.

    50% of what – Caucasian? Being white is the basis from which all else is judged worthy or not?

    A person’s identity does not matter? It is worthy of respect beyond anyone else’s preconceived judgement.

  96. Kaye Lee

    The high court will deliver it’s decision about the postal survey tomorrow. it’s amazing how quickly the courts move when it is religious things like funding school chaplains or knocking down the ACT marriage equality legislation or the NT euthanasia legislation yet the case against the RBA subsidiaries or the case against Kathy Jackson move at a snail’s pace.

  97. Harquebus

    What is Bolt saying now off media and who is he saying it to? If it is disagreeable, who is opposing him? That he was guilty over matters of fact, in a racial discrimination case because, someone’s feelings were hurt? Sorry. That, to me, is not nearly enough to justify the sacrifice. Michael Taylor, taking my comments out of context again, said that I think others need to toughen up and that is the case but, does not include the helpless and vulnerable. It is up to those that can to defend those that can’t.

    Regarding Yassmin Abdel Magied, her comments didn’t bother me at all. Anzac Day is mostly propaganda and the way she was treated, another example of brainwashed our society become; ostrisized, fired, banned?; for something that she wrote. Gosh! Where have seen that sort of treatment before?
    Should we have more legislation for these situations as well and where will it end? Education not legislation is, in my opinion, the best solution.
    The only thing that I don’t like about her is her religion. I despise all religions and wish that she would give it up. She then might even start to make some sense.

    Some of us have had this argument before, our opinions haven’t changed and won’t so, rather than continue to bash our heads over this issue, that is enough on this subject for me.

    The comments have been good reading.

  98. Kaye Lee

    Who cares what Bolt is saying. I haven’t noticed him being forced underground. He was opposed by the courts who told him he can’t defame people. He didn’t hurt their feelings, he impugned their professional credibility.

    Yassmin wasn’t “banned”. She was hounded out of the country by people who think it is alright to say whatever hateful things they want.

  99. Michael Taylor

    Michael Taylor, taking my comments out of context again, said that I think others need to toughen up

    No, I don’t think so. Nothing was taken out of context. I took it on your words, which to me, were very obvious.

  100. Michael Taylor

    Need I say more?

    Harquebus March 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm:

    Protection breeds weakness. Online bullying has never literally hurt anyone. We should toughen up the younger generations, they are online wimps. Can’t hack few nasty words. How are they going to cope face to face?
    “Online bullying”. Good grief. Parents raising wimps is the problem.

    Harquebus July 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm:

    People need to toughen up. Those who are hurt by words alone are weaklings.

    Harquebus August 8, 2016 at 5:32 pm:

    Some need to toughen up. Words only hurt weaklings.
    Regulated speech is not free speech which, without we can not easily identify bigots and other fools.
    Remove all obstacles to free speech, including 18c and then, we will hear what people really think.

    Harquebus August 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm:

    This is what I said in my original comment above.
    ” Some need to toughen up. Words only hurt weaklings.”
    Were you appalled then?

    I only ever speak my mind and while you might be appalled, nonetheless, it is what I think. Toughen up, suck it up and wear it. Times aren’t going to get any easier and if shit like this bothers you, you are in for a hard time.

    Protection breeds weakness.

    HarquebusAugust 9, 2016 at 8:28 pm:

    Only the small minded and weak allow themselves to be hurt by words, the poor dears.

    That’s only half of them, but I think I’ve made my point.

    You weren’t taken out of context at all.

  101. Freetasman

    For what I have read in the news it is clear to me that the main purpose of this Government is dividing the masses.
    If not why now this is in the news, quote:
    The Turnbull government is looking at ways to hold the same-sex marriage postal survey even if the High Court declares it has been unlawfully funded, an inquiry has heard. End of quote

  102. Miriam English

    Harquebus needs to believe words are harmless after he made the life-changing mistake of insulting a bunch of thugs who then proceeded to beat the living snot out of him, landing him in hospital.

    He has a lot personally invested in the idea that he was right and they were wrong. Well, they were wrong, but so was he.

    He has such a strong personal investment in this idea that we was in the right, that he’s happy to sacrifice gay kids on the altar of abusing people. He’s happy to let professional haters like Bolt whip up mobs to attack vulnerable people, then calls the victims weak.

    H, your rigid inflexibility and inability to empathise with others is kinda disgusting.

  103. Miriam English

    Ooops. Should be: “this idea that he was in the right, that he’s happy to sacrifice gay kids”.

  104. Joseph Carli

    The problem for us who seek a humanities solution is that the “bad guys” are willing to use every means at their disposal to achieve their end…they will use violence, lies, demonisation and every means to deliver those methods…AND will consider it their right!..Wheras we cannot use those means without becoming corrupted ourselves…and THEY KNOW IT!…that’s why they are sooo bad…BUT what we have to do within our rights when we gain office is to use the law and regulations to clean out every last vestige of rot and cancer and disease of the right-wing from governance and institutions and media…NOT like Kevin Rudd and leave the virus in situ to become active and then destroy our society once more..

  105. diannaart

    Well, fellow travellers, the verdict is in – the plaintiffs were defeated on EVERY argument.

    Now Australia gets to determine whether the LGTBIQ community are entitled to the same human rights as the majority of Australians.

    Not happy!

  106. Miriam English

    Unfortunately the High Court has handed down its decision that the postal survey will go ahead. Apparently they agree that the funding was urgent and unforseen. What a load of rot.

    Oh well. Now we have to win equality against the Harquebuses and Abbotts of the world. Of course even if we do win the vote they still won’t implement marriage equality, but at least that will show them even more clearly as the dirty cheaters they are.

  107. Kaye Lee

    Lyle Shelton, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby.

    With the people’s vote now confirmed, the Coalition for Marriage will continue to provide the Australian people with information regarding the consequences of changing the Marriage Act for them and their family – the impact on free speech, freedom of religion and the rights of parents to have a say on whether their children are taught radical LGBTIQ sex and gender programs at school.

    Anthony Fisher OP, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.

    A change in the marriage law has consequences for all Australians, and so it is only fair that all Australians are allowed to make their voice heard. A change in law has implications for individuals and institutions; everyone will be affected.

  108. Miriam English

    Oh jeez. I can just see them grinning like idiots, revving up their programme of lies and emotional misdirection. [sigh]

  109. Joseph Carli

    With the High Court decision going the way of the Govt’, it gives vicarious approval also to the Govt’s interpretation of how the survey ought to be managed..a “mandate” if you like..for the “no” vote mob to lean on the decision as a sort of approval of their actions.
    A dangerous precedent.

  110. Jack Straw

    I don’t think The Harq was expecting that piece of evidence Michael. Well done! case closed.The Harq has been proven guilty of Hypocrisy,Meanness,stubbornness ,lack of critical thought and stupidly.

  111. Carol Taylor

    Joseph, the right wing media will try to spin it that way but “winning” to have a postal vote of course means nothing if the sort. All that the “win” means is that the Minister has the discretion to spend the money, the High Court making no value judgement in the issue of marriage equality whatsoever. To my mind, Turnbull is stuffed no matter the result – if No gets up he will cop all of the blame and if Yes gets up, he’ll receive none of the credit. Every piece of slander, every child traumatised and eyes will go directly to Turnbull for having caused it all.

  112. Harquebus

    There is a difference between ‘weaklings’ and the ‘helpless and vulnerable’. Weaklings in the context I use being the ‘weak minded’. Weak minded Aussie’s is a regular criticism around here. Words can make me angry but, they don’t hurt. Honestly.

    Miriam English
    Twisting things again. So predictable.

  113. Jack Straw

    Harquebox: Protection breeds weakness. Online bullying has never literally hurt anyone. Where is your critical evidence for this statement?

  114. Kaye Lee

    Words do hurt and we all should do everything possible to stamp out the deliberate cruelty of bullying and hate speech. Behaviours are learned. Keep the hate out of the public domain and less people will learn to be racist, xenophobic, sexist, cruel, nasty bullies.

    Yes we need to teach our kids resilience – life throws up challenges – but they should not be subjected to bullying under any circumstances and we should never ever suggest it is ok, words can’t hurt. That is patently untrue.

  115. Miriam English

    Poor Harquebus. He thinks everyone twists what he says… except that they don’t.

    Harquebus, if you don’t want your words flung back in your face, don’t say them.

    It doesn’t make any sense to accuse everybody of misrepresenting what you say when you keep on saying it — putting your foot in your mouth again and again.

    For someone who goes on about personal responsibility you take very little heed of your own advice.

  116. John Lord

    Agree with Carol. As for H. What does one say.

  117. Jack Straw

    JL Back to the laboratory for H.

  118. John Lord

    Was that lobotomy Jack.

  119. Jack Straw

    That’s up to the Huckmeister we will see which Rabbit he pulls out for his next comment. I cannot wait.His Non sense has been fascinating so far.

    What about the slogan from the The Harck Classic

    People need to toughen up. Those who are hurt by words alone are weaklings.

    He could get a job at Minitrue.LOL

  120. Mark Needham

    “Miriam EnglishSeptember 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm
    Poor Harquebus. He thinks everyone twists what he says…”

    I don’t do it,
    I’m a nice person,
    I’m a Girl,
    Mark Needham

  121. Mark Needham

    “John Lord September 7, 2017 at 7:03 pm
    Agree with Carol. As for H. What does one say.”

    law to hate……

    Still waiting, or like Miriam, no answer, is a good answer.

    Mark Needham

  122. Mark Needham

    “Joseph Carli September 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm”

    A Yes from the High Court, would not have….your words…”mob to lean on the decision as a sort of approval of their actions.”

    twisted, just to show how it happens,
    Mark Needham

  123. Joseph Carli

    Mark Needham said..
    ” A Yes from the High Court, would not have….your words…”mob to lean on the decision as a sort of approval of their actions.”

    twisted, just to show how it happens,
    Mark Needham

    I said..:
    ” .a “mandate” if you like..for the “no” vote mob to lean on the decision as a sort of approval of their actions.”

    I have no idea just WHAT Mark Needham is implying here…some sort of vindication, I suspect, but needing gross mis-quoting to succeed in its intention, surely?

  124. Miriam English

    Mark Needham, on the off-chance that you genuinely want to understand and are not just trying to be “cute”…

    The haters in the government want to be able to indulge in hate speech. That means removing the existing controls on it. They would then have legal license to incite racist violence, and attacks on gays and other minorities.

    You’re thinking of it as adding a law to allow free rein to hate, but it’s not quite like that. They want to modify the law to remove the safeguards. Then they would have their “law to hate”.

  125. Miriam English

    To Harquebus and anybody else who might be tempted to think online bullying isn’t dangerous: see the brilliant movie “Cyberbully”. Besides being an extraordinary piece of writing and acting, the movie is basically a one-person movie showcasing the talents of young Maisie Williams. It is not what you think it is.

  126. Michael Taylor

    For someone to suggest that online bullying hurts nobody, then I’d suggest that they have never been the victims of it.

    Let me tell you … it hurts. It cuts very deep.

    Carol and I were the victims of it for four years. It was daily, it was nightly, it was relentless. It was non-stop.

    Some of the commenters here (Mobius Echo, Bacchus, Florence nee Fed Up to name a few) might remember it from the old days. They would agree that it was over-the-top vicious.

  127. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, Maisie Williams is in Game of Thrones. My all-time favourite show. ??

  128. Miriam English

    Yeah, I’ve seen her in that (and she’s great). Even though I admire the series enormously I haven’t been able to watch more than the first two seasons. It was too violent for my tastes.

  129. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, you seriously need to toughen up. ?

  130. LOVO

    Sorta like Port……………………………like that’s gunna happen…………. ?

  131. Miriam English

    I’m sorry to hear of your experience, Michael. I’m glad it has stopped.

    I think it was the journalist Kerry Eleveld who writes for some left-leaning online sites who a right-wing moron emailed a flashing gif. The intention was to trigger his epilepsy. It did, really badly, causing life-threatening convulsions.

    One of my old girlfriends (we’re still close friends) was the subject of an attack using the telephone. She needs more sleep than “normal” people otherwise her brain seems to switch into manic mode, or as she puts it, “goes off the air”. It is really scary and dangerous. A person who disliked her had learned this and rang her at odd times every night in order to break up her sleep. Unfortunately she couldn’t simply take the phone off the hook because her father was severely ill with cancer at the time and she needed to be available for emergencies. We solved the problem by getting Telstra to put a trace on the phone.

    I have a friend who lives much of her life in great stress and is unable to manage it. Her life is objectively no more difficult than anyone else’s, but that knowledge doesn’t lessen her subjective anguish. She has been exploring everything she can to lessen the everyday anxiety, including various medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation. She recently confided in me, expressing great relief, that she has at last managed to stockpile sufficient drugs that she can easily and reliably end her life if the torment gets too great. I was horrified.

    People like Harquebus think that anything that doesn’t cut the skin or break bones doesn’t constitute real harm.

  132. Miriam English

    Michael, yeah. 🙂
    My “weakness” has restricted me mostly to romantic comedies. Thank dog we’re in the midst of something of a movie-making renaissance. Even though feel-good movies seem to be a minority there’s still enough to keep me satisfied. 🙂

    (I still watch some upsetting movies, like Cyberbully, for instance.)

  133. paul walter

    Once again read a thread through and remain mystified at the hostility toward Harquebus.

    Unless the Taylors were subject to harassment of the sort Michael described as during “the first 4 years” which is a complaint concerning behind the scenes stuff I’ve heard from other blogmasters also…
    Unless Harquebus is responsible for poison pen stuff and the Taylors have caught this poster out, which would change things exponentially.

    Harquebus says he she supports Yasmin Al Mageid and sees Anzac Day as a propaganda move, doesn’t like religion and makes a useful quote involving the way ideology is employed to brainwash a community, so is a Hitlerite?

    The case with Mark Needham is clear cut. HE talks nonsense, yet you all pile on Harquebus?

    Stranger and stranger.

    Come on people, don’t stuff up a good website.

  134. paul walter

    Another example…Harquebus differentiates between “weak” comments and oth, the “helpless and vulnerable” yet is attacked for “hate speech”, in this case code for “said some thing different to what I think”?

    I am staggered at the stuff here.

    A monumental monstrosity and c travesty of justice occurred at the now demonstrably corrupted High Court of this country yesterday that indicates society much closer the thirties Europe of last century and not so much as a word. This is REAL WORLD stuff happening at this very moment and not a single comment concerning it?

    I came here expecting to see some informative stuff concerning that nonsense and instead cop line after line of drivel about “hate speech” ( Different point of view as “hatespeech?)?

    What the heck is going on?

    Wake up, some of you, or reality is going to king-hit you so hard you won’t be able to get up.

  135. Jack Straw

    Paul people have been so generous of spirit towards H for such a long time. He has a blind spot.He highjacks arguments manipulates and he is puerile and egotistical and always self serving. He just doesn’t, get it and he chooses to not get it. His arguments at times just don,’t measure up and are very connected to his ego and not logic.

  136. Kaye Lee

    One only has to look at the sad example of Charlotte Dawson – a beautiful woman who seemed to have everything going for her, driven to suicide by online bullies. She is just one example of far too many.

    That is why I argue with H about this. I do not think he is a cruel man but I don’t think he understands the harm words can cause. Charlotte seemed like a very strong woman but they broke her. I have seen it with kids at school. Lifetime damage can be caused by hurtful words.

  137. John Lord

    “I was thinking about friends and how they treated me but I ended up asking myself a rhetorical question. Am I the sort of a friend that I want my friends to be?”

  138. Karl Young

    Kaye Sometimes what we say we are though in effect we are the polar opposite to that.People in the showbiz world can be the meanest of all.

  139. Jack

    Just to bring the online bullying discussion back to the article at hand, lets all remember the hounding that Margaret Court got from having the gall to say she’s in the NO camp. I’m sure just about everyone on this site disagrees with her views, but that’s beside the point. In this world of social media there will always be enough keyboard warriors to deliver enough hate to make someone feel bullied. So do you shut up and get back in your corner(Margaret, Yassmin, ..) or keep boxing on(Bolt, Waleed, Penny)?

  140. Miriam English

    paul walter, you seem to be reading the comments selectively. The article is about the tactics used by those who pretend righteousness in their fight against gays.

    Marriage equality has become a proxy in the fight to let bigots decide what rights gays may be accorded. Free speech has become a fake tool in that battle — part of the lies and distraction used by the pious.

    In the midst of that discussion Harquebus tries once again to push the same old right-wing nonsense that people can’t be hurt by words and that there should be no controls against hate speech. He utterly refuses to recognise the damage done by hate speech, saying only that people being hurt by it are weak and need to toughen up, completely missing the way it is used to whip people up and inspire violence and other crimes against minorities. It also transpires that he agrees with the bigot position that gays should not be allowed to marry. WTF??

    A lot of the people (myself included) used to give Harquebus a lot of time (we probably still give him far too much time). We used to labor over trying to point out the fallacies in his statements… statements that he repeats over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. There is a limit to patience.

    It isn’t just that he has a different opinion, it is that he is not open to information and continues to inject his damaging statements into otherwise reasoned discussions, often totally derailing those conversations. Different opinions are generally not attacked here, they’re usually argued against in a reasonable manner, until the truth is arrived at (on either side), or it becomes clear the arguers are trolls or hateful people who are immune to facts.

  141. Miriam English

    John Lord, what a wonderful question: “Am I the sort of a friend that I want my friends to be?”
    Straight into my quotes folder. Thank you.

  142. Joseph Carli

    Paul..Harq’ comes into these discussion armed with a complete script..he has already framed the conversation in his mind and : “I’ll say this and they’ll answer with that and then I’ll counter with…” and he has his little list of links and back-up material ready at hand..and as Miriam says; it steers the topic into a cul de sac of HIS preference…We are of reasonable intelligence here, and not necessarily given to outrageous accusation, so you ought to be able to judge yourself by which side of the ledger Harq’ likes to place his numbers.
    PS. It’s one of the reasons for my last post of ; “The Simple and the…”

  143. Michael Taylor

    Johno, I can only watch it if it doesn’t have any spoilers in it for Season 7 (I haven’t watched it yet – waiting for it to come out on DVD). It’ll be a cruel wait though, as they’re not released until Dec11.

  144. Harquebus

    At the risk of whipping up another hornet’s nest, victims of cyber bullying, in my opinion, are mostly the victims of bad parenting. ‘Cotton wooled’ I think they call it. There are always exceptions of course and those that have do have issues should be protected.

    Again, education not legislation is, in my opinion, the best defense.

    I know that my opinions differ and I thank those supporting me expressing them. I also appreciate the generosity demonstrated by others.

    Lobotomy? That wisecrack cracked me up.

  145. diannaart


    Do you remain fed up to the gills (as are most on AIMN) on the shenanigans played out by the Federal government over equal marriage?

    Did you not say you would vote “No” to “spite” the entire charade?

    I do remember you saying the above, however, my paraphrasing may be incorrect. Please indulge me again, on just why you are voting “No” on the postal survey.

    Thank you

  146. jimhaz

    [So do you shut up and get back in your corner(Margaret, Yassmin, ..)]

    Yassmin does not have the sort of personality that would ever shut up – that is a part of the reason she was bullied.

    And stuff Margaret Court – she is a Christian minister. She represents the old school religious attitudes that are not based on any form of meaning – like a mean Irish nun of the 50’s. You need to shut down these types. You don’t want them influencing other old ladies who have too much regressive voting power.

  147. jimhaz

    [One only has to look at the sad example of Charlotte Dawson – a beautiful woman who seemed to have everything going for her, driven to suicide by online bullies]

    Perhaps. I was advised she had employment and money issues (couldn’t pay her expensive rent) and was not adjusting – but I do not know the truth of the matter. No doubt the bullying was a catalyst to enhance her depression, but I think ego and issues were bigger problems.

  148. diannaart

    As you admitted yourself, Jimhaz, you do not know any of the details and circumstances regarding Charlotte Dawson.

    Therefore, you are in no position to judge.

  149. Jack Straw

    Harquebust :At the risk of whipping up another hornet’s nest, victims of cyber bullying, in my opinion, are mostly the victims of bad parenting. ‘Cotton wooled’ I think they call it. There are always exceptions of course and those that have do have issues should be protected.

    Bad parenting good parenting. We need rules like re 18c to protect people from racism and bullying. Nothing wrong with a robust debate without being offensive which people can still do today

    H There are always exceptions of course and those that have do have issues should be protected.
    How ?????

    You have it all arse about mate. You shouldn’t comment on what you know not of.

    The goverment can’t oversee all families but it can keep a couple of laws to protect the extreme/ bullied and vulnerable victims. And if you feel strongly about it you can still take it to court.

    Really you need to comment only on what you truly know !I think you choose not to listen to wise council.

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