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Speaking of hate speech and feeling safe walking down the street….

The recent election has had serious consequences in taking this country backwards in many ways, not least of which is the bolstering of the numbers of xenophobic bigots in Parliament.

Adding to the racist ramblings of One Nation and the Islamophobia of Christensen and Bernardi, we have a significant push to make hate speech legal, as well as media airheads like Sonia Kruger saying she doesn’t feel safe walking down the street.

Well Pauline and Sonia, I am sure all Australians want to feel safe, so you need to be aware of the consequences of your public utterances and what it is like for Muslims living in Australia.

When Scott Morrison suggested it would be politically advantageous to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate, he cynically chose to fuel and use fear and resentment to foster his own ambition.  Whatever it takes to win.

Tony Abbott embraced the idea, ramping up the rhetoric about “death cults”.  National security had worked well for him before when he looked like losing the 2001 election until saved by the World Trade Tower attack and the children overboard lie.

Bronwyn Bishop fanned the flames, urged on by George Christensen, Cory Bernardi and Jacquie Lambie, by deciding to have women wearing the niqab or the burqa  separated from the public in Parliament House and made to sit with school children in a glassed-off area of the public galleries, a decision that was overturned after public outrage.

In the three weeks after police anti-terror raids in 2014, when the debate about “ban the burqa” was raging, there were at least 30 attacks on Muslims – mainly against women wearing the hijab.

Assaults or attacks on persons, including verbal abuse or hate speech

NSW

  • A woman in hijab is physically attacked and her car subsequently vandalised with profanities spray painted on it in western Sydney
  • A heavily pregnant woman verbally abused and intimidated in Sydney
  • A mother and her baby verbally abused, spat on and their pram kicked in Sydney
  • A mother and daughter verbally abused and a passer-by physically assaulted for intervening in Newcastle

Victoria

  • A mother and her child verbally abused and told to take her child away from the other children at a playground in Melbourne

Queensland

  • A woman in hijab has a cup of coffee hurled through the window of her car in Brisbane
  • A mother and her baby approached by three men, has her hijab ripped off, is spat on and pushed to the ground in Brisbane
  • A woman is approached by a man and told to take her hijab off so he can burn it in Brisbane
  • A woman is verbally abused by a man who threatens to burn her house down

Western Australia

  • A woman is approached by men in a Perth shopping centre who try to rip her hijab from her head

ACT

  • Young woman takes off her hijab out of fear for her safety

Threats and/or attacks on property or institutions

NSW

  • Lakemba Mosque and Auburn Gallipoli Mosque directly threatened in letters sent by the Australian Defence League
  • Two cars belonging to a Muslim family has the words ‘Muslim Dog’ spray painted on them in Wentworthville
  • Direct threats against the Grand Mufti of Australia issued by anonymous members of the Australian Defence League via a letter saying “Muslims…Australia will fight you ‘terror for terror’ ‘blood for blood’ ‘bomb for bomb’ “
  • Minto Mosque receives a threatening letter from an anonymous source

Queensland

  • Mareeba mosque vandalised with the word ‘evil’ spray-painted across the front
  • Logan Mosque subjected to hate attack with anti-Muslim pamphlets dumped on its grounds, saying ‘Terrorists born in Australia are not Australians – they are Muslims’ and ‘Muslims are not welcome in Australia, go back to where you came from’
  • Holland Park Mosque has a pig’s head embedded with a cross dumped on its grounds

There have been many other incidents, like the burning down of Brisbane’s Kuraby Mosque in the days after 9/11 and, just a few weeks ago, a firebombing and anti-Islam graffiti attack outside a mosque and school in Perth’s south-east.

A man who has been linked to anti-Islam groups and who has posted support on social media for the True Blue Crew, the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia, has been arrested and charged with collecting or making documents likely to facilitate a terrorist act; and planning or preparing for a terrorist act.  During a brief appearance in the Melbourne magistrates court on Sunday,  Phil Galea declared the charges a conspiracy.

The federal justice minister, Michael Keenan, said Galea’s case was the first time commonwealth terrorism laws had been used to charge someone who is alleged to have been a rightwing extremist.

Except this same guy was arrested late last year and served one month after pleading guilty to possessing five Tasers and a quantity of mercury in the days before a Reclaim Australia anti-immigration rally.  Apparently that didn’t count as terrorism?

Violence can often be related to mental illness, or feelings of isolation, identity confusion, hopelessness.

We, as a society, would do better to address the problems that may contribute to the violence rather than exacerbating the exclusion and confusion that may lead to it.

We need education, not misinformation.  All people should feel safe and valued and given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to our society.

And our politicians should be held to account for the violence that their intemperate language encourages.

“I just want to support people who seek to defend our Australian way of life, our culture and our freedoms from the threat of radical Islam. I also support Australia’s right to exile or deport traitors” – George Christensen about speaking at a Reclaim Australia rally

“I just want to support people who seek to defend our Australian way of life, our culture and our freedoms from the threat of radical Islam. I also support Australia’s right to exile or deport traitors” – George Christensen about speaking at a Reclaim Australia rally

 

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  1. Tracie

    I don’t feel safe walking down the street anymore .There are too male old white patriarchal men wanting to touch me inappropriately .God only knows why they can’t keep their hands to themselves .I wish they would though.

    I’m not afraid of Muslims. It’s the patriarchy that ensures domestic violence, not Muslim women wearing hijabs. I’m actually starting to wonder whether wearing a burqa could be a good thing.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Christensen talks about Islam treating women badly and, in some countries, that may be true. But look what Australian women have to put up with.

    “Most Aussie men often try to crack onto good-looking women and neglect the not-so-good looking (read fat) ones

    Perhaps it’s the intelligence of women or, rather, the lack of it?

    My thoughts: the truth is women are stupid and that’s that. So on behalf of you, me and the guy that’s shrugging his shoulders in bewilderment after reading his sister’s copy of Dolly, let me just say: Will Smith, you’re lucky God gave women no bloody brains.” – George Christensen, editor of the Student Advocate

  3. Miriam English

    One thing I agree with George Christensen on: his statement about deporting traitors. The only problem is I don’t know where we could deport George, Pauline, David, Cory, and the rest to… Antarctica? I wouldn’t want to wish them on a country that has people. Maybe we could send them to Iraq, or Syria for an education in what divisiveness does.

  4. jim

    ” the truth is women are stupid and that’s that. So on behalf of you, me and the guy that’s shrugging his shoulders in bewilderment after reading his sister’s copy of Dolly, let me just say: Will Smith, you’re lucky God gave women no bloody brains.” – George Christensen, editor of the Student Advocate, I can’t believe george said this for real WT.. he mustn’t have one eh.

  5. Kaye Lee

    That wasn’t all George said. It came out after he was preselected in 2010.

    “If we’d known about this before the close of nominations, he would have been punted, no doubt about it but it’s all a bit late now. He’s disavowed those views now, has grown up a lot since University and will be a really solid regional MP if he gets up. I can assure you that you won’t be seeing these views repeated in his MP’s newsletters or anything like that” one Liberal campaign strategist told us this morning.

    http://www.vexnews.com/george-christensen-lnp-candidate-in-dawson-thinks-the-jews-killed-christ-and-doesnt-think-much-of-women-gays-or-aborigines-either/

    Guess they have lowered their standards.

  6. Harquebus

    I repeat again.
    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.

    “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 imperceptive 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

    “A female pastor is hacked to death by Muslim radicals who left her severed head on a Bible. ”
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/attacks/christian-attacks.aspx

  7. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus, that happened in Nigeria. I am so sick and tired of people making up problems that do not exist here. Their ignorance and misinformation are very dangerous.

    I suggest you read this article about Australia Harquebus and leave your horror stories for a different site who may appreciate them.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/muslims-on-what-its-like-to-live-in-australia-20160429-goi953.html

    I will pass on your assertion that words only hurt weaklings to the little girls who wonder why their mothers are being spat on.

  8. Miriam English

    Harquebus, can you really believe inflammatory statements cause no damage? Why do you think they’re called “inflammatory”?

    Why do you think large numbers of people who violently turned on other members of their societies did it? Do you think this was something that magically happened out of nowhere? Or do you think it was the result of people legitimising racism and dividing people with hatred?

    Someone on this site, I think it was Helvityni, said it best: people only have the right to speak civilly. That is how it should be. That’s why the racists and the false-freedom promoters in the current government are wrong. They’re interested in short-term advantage gained by inciting people to hatred. It will cause big, big problems later, but they really couldn’t give a flying fluck for Australia. Either that, or they’re too stupid to understand.

    Words are genuinely dangerous. Words are how Hitler managed what he did, how Pol Pot convinced people to commit mass murder, how Slobodan Milošević worked up millions of Christians into murder their peaceful muslim neighbors. Words are what were sent out over the radio that incited the machete slaughter in Rwanda. Words are what Donald Trump deals in, whipping crowds into a frenzy of anger and violence. Words are among the most powerful and dangerous tools on the planet.

    They are like cars. You can drive as much as you want if you drive safely, but if you drive deliberately into a crowd intending to hurt people then you’re not an innocent freedom-lover. You can’t just drive where you want. Similarly you should not be able to incite hatred. Freedom is limited by civility, otherwise only the biggest, baddest bully is free.

  9. Barry Thompson.

    John Howard was Prime Minister in 2001, not Tony Abbott. Edit before posting.

  10. Kaye Lee

    As Waleed Aly said, we must ensure that the discourse of the socially empowered is held accountable in some way.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Barry, I am aware of that. If you had clicked on the link you will see it is about Warringah where an independent was well in front concentrating on local issues. When Tampa and 9/11 happened, local issues were forgotten.

    “Tony Abbott was first elected at a 1994 by-election and has retained this seat with ease at elections since, except at the 2001 election when he was challenged by former state Independent MP for Manly Dr Peter Macdonald. Macdonald had a reasonable chance of creating an upset, and reduced Abbott’s margin substantially, but his attempt to harness local issues was swamped by the higher prominence of foreign affairs in the aftermath of the Tampa incident and September 11 terrorist attacks.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2016/guide/warr/

  12. king1394

    Sad that most of these attacks on individuals have been visited on women and children.

  13. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Harquebus – unfortunately the world is predominantly weaklings. And nothing at all wrong with that – according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, the meek shall inherit the earth. Which is a little odd given that most of the people who want to bully and intimidate often proclaim to be christian, or wish to be offensive in the defence of his teachings.

    The issue with promoting free speech as a means to find out who the intolerant are is that it simply gives those people free rein and normalises behaviours which are far from normal. Racism is a learned behaviour.

    But if you want to have the freedom of speech, I demand the freedom to be offended. As long as you are happy to wear the consequences of your free speech, then I’m happy to let you make insulting statements. But don’t start crying to the police when somebody decides to give an insulter a king hit when they exercise their right to free speech by insulting someone bigger and stronger than they are.

    And by the way, I don’t need the repeal of 18c to identify the type of person you are. I suspect that many would be terrorists don’t feel the need to shout out their bigotries in significant advance of their actions either.

    18c is not actually about free speech. Its about the prevention of abuse of power. And that is exactly why we have and need it.

  14. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Those problems have not occurred here “yet”.

    Miriam.
    Those dictators you mentioned removed liberties and free speech to get where they did.

    I stand by my comment. I do not want my liberties and freedoms removed because just some weaklings can’t hack it. Limiting speech is dangerous and unnecessary.

    Imagine a world where every verbal abuse is completely ignored. Glory be. We can then move on to more important matters.

  15. Kyran

    That galah that was picked up, as I understand it, is someone who has been radicalising his followers for years. Imagine, if you can, the treatment he would have got if he was a troubled teenager hiding behind the Quran. Our ‘security’ agencies seem to have a big problem in identifying threats, as opposed to identifying ‘mental illness’.
    “We, as a society, would do better to address the problems that may contribute to the violence rather than exacerbating the exclusion and confusion that may lead to it.”
    We can always rely on the ‘mother country’ to show us the way. The brexit was a populist move, fuelled by idiots, for their own ends. After these gits won, they abandoned ship. Surprised at the success of their folly, they worked out they had no navigational ability for the ship. In light of the comments about that thing from Queensland, it’s ironic the male gits sought a female to salvage their desperate ambitions.
    The wake of that ship has become stark.
    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjGkIact7POAhVGE5QKHfocBY8QFggbMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fworld%2F2016%2Fjun%2F30%2Fpolice-report-fivefold-increase-race-hate-crimes-since-brexit-result&usg=AFQjCNF4Aa_a0gsw7hcLAXFMra9txYLIvA
    “And our politicians should be held to account for the violence that their intemperate language encourages.”
    Thank you, Ms Lee. Take care

  16. townsvilleblog

    I must admit that I began with attitudes similar to Harquebus, years ago, but as I was shunned by my friends. Common sense came to the fore.
    There are 500,000 Muslim’s in Australia, and some small percentage of that population is bound to be radicalized as a small percentage of all religions, Christianity for example, and the people who belong to them, a small percentage are bound to be peadophiles. If Australia was under attack from our Muslim population, we would have many more Sydney sieges for example.

    It seems ironic that the Muslims in general are running away from the terror they face in their homelands, yet some Australians are treating them as though they are part of the terror? I must admit that although my opinion has changed in the past recent years and I have ended up 180 degrees from where I was, it is still disconcerting to see women covered from head to toe in black garments with only a slit for the eyes.

    This is disconcerting to me because I have not seen it before in my life, however I am learning that this poses no threat to everyday Aussies. We are a much stronger people when we unite, and do not allow the Christensen’s and/or Hanson’s of this world, twist our view away from common sense.

  17. diannaart

    @king1394, I was thinking along similar lines; all the attacks and destruction of property were cowardly, targets were women and children or property.

    Bullies are cowards; one of the first ways to recognise a bully is when they say such as, “toughen up” or “just joking” or “it wasn’t personal”, or weak attempts at self-justification “she wouldn’t remove her scarf/hijab so I could see her face”, “she shouldn’t dress her children like that” or, more truthfully; “these people should not be here where I can see them”.

    I too wonder, Steve Laing, what do the people who want 18c rescinded want? Just what do they want to say that can’t be spoken out loud, right now?

  18. maxpowerof1

    Still applying labels?

    A quoted stat from a recent article on MI5 cited mentally ill terrorist as approx 2% (Most likely they are just used up individuals).
    As opposed to a populace consisting 30% with mental illness.

    Mental illness should not be equated with violence.

    The majority of psychological traumas are created by ostracism and injustice. This then generates frustration anxiety and anger.

    Obvious that turnbull had personal agenda in linking terrorism and psychological trauma/disorder.

    And in the same ignorance as the rednecks, if it suits your agenda you will also seek to employ the same typecast.

    Your generalisations of people are not that much different to those you argue with.

  19. Harquebus

    Steve

    “when somebody decides to give an insulter a king hit”

    That’s assault and something that I would expect from someone who can’t hack it. Again, I am being asked to sacrifice freedoms, this time for something that is already a crime. So is spitting on someone by the way.

  20. Miriam English

    Those dictators you mentioned removed liberties and free speech to get where they did.

    Harquebus, no. They got where they did by using a pretence of free speech to incite anger and hatred and division. Removing liberties and limiting speech came much later.

    Imagine a world where every verbal abuse is completely ignored.

    You’re still missing the main point. The problem isn’t that some people take offense at insults. The problem is that such insults incite others to even worse speech and actions, helping it gather like a wave until it creates massive tragedy.

    It isn’t the poor, black woman who dresses differently that is the problem. It is the bullies who are encouraged by other bullies into worse and worse acts of viciousness. That is the danger.

  21. Barry Thompson.

    Kaye, I rarely read links, I don’t like going down side tracks. I prefer the article I am reading to be self explanatory. Perhaps if you had written ” he looked like losing the 2001 election in his seat of Warringah” it would have been clearer.
    Still enjoy your posts.
    Cheers.

  22. Kaye Lee

    “Mental illness should not be equated with violence.”

    Of course not, which is why I did no such thing. What I actually said was “Violence can often be related to mental illness, or feelings of isolation, identity confusion, hopelessness. We, as a society, would do better to address the problems that may contribute to the violence rather than exacerbating the exclusion and confusion that may lead to it.”

    Which sounds very similar to “The majority of psychological traumas are created by ostracism and injustice. This then generates frustration anxiety and anger.”

    What do stats from MI5 have to do with Australia?

    What freedom have you been asked to sacrifice Harquebus? The freedom to humiliate people? To insult them? What contribution can that make to society?

    How do minorities who have little public representation fight against prejudice fostered by lies? How does one stop those that get fired up by such speech and take it that bit further? How do innocent people argue that they shouldn’t be punished for crimes committed by others half a world away?

  23. Harquebus

    Miriam
    ” insults incite others to even worse speech and actions”
    Worse speech is not a the problem if it is only speech. Actions taken by some if unlawful becomes another matter. One for law enforcement and the courts.
    There is no need to remove liberties or limit speech to combat racism and abuse.

  24. maxpowerof1

    Yes you did.
    Every adjective has a reference to a (pseudo)diagnosis of mental health.

    How about “violence can be related to mob mentality, greed, territory and control? We….”

    MI5 comparison?
    Nothing more than further information on the topic that is not specifically propagated by the australian lnp/msm/socM.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Of course violence comes in many forms and has many causes, alcohol being a big one in Australia. I do wish you would stop misquoting me.

    Barry,

    As Tony has only ever run for the seat of Warringah I thought it unnecessary to point out. I feel the post was self-explanatory.

  26. maxpowerof1

    But you didnt mention any other form.

    The topic of violence is discussed in relation to terrorism. Terrorism that we discuss is a result of geopolitical conflicts over territory and resources, Yet all your suggested reasons for the violence were as directed by Mal.

  27. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Townsvilleblog – I was truly delighted to read your post! It proves by applying logic and reason you can see through the fear and hatred that others use to manipulate our feelings to create prejudice and bigotry. I am so delighted that you’ve continued to contribute even when your opinions were often so different from many others, and for sharing your journey of realisation.

    Please, please, please write an article on your journey as I know people here would be delighted to read it. If you’d like any editing assistance I am sure there are plenty (including myself) who would be happy to provide.

    United we stand!!

  28. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee

    Yes. I should have the right to humiliate and insult and I would never exercise that right against anyone who didn’t deserve it.

    Google search criteria: australia liberties freedom lost

    ” How does one stop those that get fired up by such speech and take it that bit further?”
    Answer: We have laws and a judicial system.

  29. maxpowerof1

    ……..And yet I didnt quote you at all.

  30. Kaye Lee

    max,

    It might surprise you to hear that I am expressing my own opinion. I assume you mean I am spouting something I heard from Malcolm Turnbull. You would be wrong….again.

    Anyone who needs to humiliate someone on the grounds of their race to get their point across has no point worth listening to.

  31. diannaart

    I should have the right to humiliate and insult and I would never exercise that right against anyone who didn’t deserve it.

    …and who decides who “deserves” humiliation and insult?

    You?

    On what criteria?

    Wearing clothes you don’t like?
    Questioning your beliefs?
    Not liking you?
    Cutting you off in traffic?
    Telling you something you do not want to know, such as, “your child is a bully”?
    Being drunk and obnoxious?
    Just irritating?

    And finally;

    What JUSTIFIES humiliation and insult to people you don’t even know?

  32. Kaye Lee

    According to Senator Burston, praying is a reason to insult and humiliate people.

    “Islam is an infringement on our culture; we’re a Christian country, I know we have some Jews as well…but the Muslims, they kneel five times a day and it’s not how we are in this country.”

  33. maxpowerof1

    It seems to me you are disconnected from your own opinion.
    You refer to politicians and speeches that influence thinking.
    Recently Mal announced links between MH and terrorism.
    Your reasoning for violence and deescalation of violence focused on MH.

    Yet the core reason for the violence is the geopoli….
    Why bother.

  34. Freethinker

    I would ask George, Pauline, David, Cory and the rest that think that insulting it is Ok what they think if someone respond their insults with a good punch because they do not who to respond with another insult.
    Just wonder if losing few teeth, broken nose or black eye will be Ok.
    That will be what they will get in some pubs late in the night.
    Perhaps they will change their mind?

  35. Terry2

    Former High Court judge, Michael Kirby has made his feelings known on the subject of the proposed Marriage Equality plebiscite. As a gay man in a long standing relationship, we should listen to what he has to say. I have quoted his comments in full as they bring some clarity of thought to this issue :

    “• The Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of representative government. A plebiscite, as a precondition to legislation, is a totally exceptional procedure with no foothold in the Constitution.

    Under the Constitution we make laws in parliament, through decisions voted on after recorded debates by the parliamentarians we elect to represent us. A plebiscite has no place in the constitutional arrangements that, since 1901, have governed the way we make laws.

    • The only relevant precedents, in 1916-17 on overseas compulsory military service, were defeated in plebiscites. The proposed plebiscite on marriage is the first such attempt in nearly a century. Our record on constitutional referendums is abysmal. Only eight have succeeded in 115 years despite 44 attempts. There is no reason to think a plebiscite on same-sex marriage will be different, particularly with several political parties opposing a yes vote.

    • Complex, sensitive, issues are better decided after debate in parliament, not in the heat of public division and emotional campaigns in the community. If a plebiscite is held, it could become a bad precedent to be copied when other controversial questions come before parliament. This would further weaken our governmental institutions at a time when they need strengthening, not weakening.

    • A plebiscite campaign unfortunately would be likely to bring out hatreds and animosities in our country that are bad for minorities generally and for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender minority in particular.

    • It is exceptional and wrong in principle to commit decisions on the basic human rights of minorities to a majority popular vote, especially in a country such as Australia which, exceptionally, has no entrenched constitutional guarantees for equality or fundamental human rights to protect minorities. For protection, minorities look to parliament to protect them. It should not shirk from that duty.

    • Statements the plebiscite on marriage equality is “sure to be carried” are doubtful in light of Brexit and Australia’s record on national constitutional referendums when these are required. A plebiscite in Slovenia last year reversed the marriage equality law that had been enacted earlier by parliament. In any case, no plebiscite could bind subsequent parliamentary votes and several mem­bers of federal parliament have made it plain they will vote against change in the law whatever the outcome of a plebiscite. So what is the point? The point is to defeat or delay our normal way of making laws by a vote in parliament. When there are suggested matters of conscience involved, our procedure has sometimes involved a conscience vote. It has not been to call on a plebiscite.

    • Ireland is often quoted. But Ireland was obliged to have a referendum for constitutional reasons. There were also special circumstances in play involving the position of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The High Court of Australia in 2013 unanimously made it clear that the entire power to enact same-sex marriage in Australia rested with the federal parliament. There is no constitutional doubt. We do not need a referendum, still less an extra constitutional plebiscite, to resolve any issue that parliament cannot decide.

    • Those who have proposed a plebiscite have done so believing it will defeat the measure for marriage equality, already achieved in 23 countries whose legal systems approximate that of Australia. Defeat in a plebiscite on same-sex marriage would kill the reform, probably for decades, and do further damage to our international reputation on human rights. A defeat in parliament alone would do no more than delay the inevitable for a short time.

    • The substantial costs of the plebiscite (estimates of $160 million to $525m have been quoted) could be better spent on supporting, rather than attempting to frustrate, the attainment of the basic human rights of citizens.

    • The proposed plebiscite must be seen in the context of the global moves away from the former Washington Consensus concerning government in liberal democracies. It would constitute a move towards populism and anti-liberal international and national agendas. These moves are not to be encouraged in Australia. They should be rebuffed.

    It is my hope the Senate will deny support for the referendum, including appropriation to pay for this unnecessary and expensive procedure.

    This would release the Prime Minister from his commitment to a plebiscite that he inherited on his election to that office. It would return Australia to its normal constitutional arrangements. Under these, Australians do lawmaking in parliament, not plebiscites.

    I believe I can approach this matter with dispassion. Although my relationship with my partner Johan van Vloten has lasted 47 years (still going strong) we are not decided on whether we would marry, if marriage became available under Australian law. We see this as possibly suggesting doubts about the legitimacy of our long relationship, which has never required, or received, a governmental or legal endorsement. After so much time, our relationship is not doubtful for us. However, we certainly consider that marriage in Australia should be available to LGBT citizens, the same as for other personal relationships, to help sustain the couple, families and good health in a country whose Constitution provides for a secular society.

    It has never been possible in Australia for the federal parliament to enact a law for undertaking a specifically religious or sacramental marriage. That is certainly not the character of “marriage” under the Marriage Act 1961 or under the Constitution. Marriage in Australia is not a religious sacrament so far as our law is concerned. It is a secular legal arrangement between two adults. So it should be available to all eligible people without discrimination, least of all religious. It is significant that most marriages in Australia today take place in parks and vineyards, not churches. The attempt of a misguided minority to stamp on marriage a particular religious character is inadmissable. It is also thoroughly inadvisable and constitutionally unattainable.

    It would be better that nothing at all were done by the federal parliament on same-sex marriage than that a plebiscite was undertaken with a possibility of defeat. Brexit is an illustration of what can happen where a popular vote is chosen contrary to a nation’s democratic and parliamentary tradition and launched for internal party political reasons.

    On this subject, in Australia at least, there is no constitutional reason for a plebiscite. The supposed political reasons are unconvincing. There are plenty of reasons it should not happen.

    Michael Kirby was a judge from 1975 to 2009. He has lived in Sydney with his partner Johan since 1969.”

  36. Harquebus

    diannaart
    “On what criteria?”
    None of the above.
    All I want is the right to say whatever I like, abuse or otherwise. it doesn’t mean that I am going to go out do it.
    Anyone can keep a dog on a chain and say it is a good dog. Let them off and let’s see how good they really are.

    Kaye Lee
    “Anyone who needs to humiliate someone on the grounds of their race to get their point across has no point worth listening to.”
    Assuming that is in response to mine, I didn’t say anything about “on the grounds of their race”.

    Ultimately, I couldn’t care less about race. As far as I am concerned, there is only the human race.
    As for Islam, Christianity and all other religions, they are the scum of the earth and I despise them all equally. They can only perpetuate their bullshit by abusing the trust of and brainwashing kids.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Well it is hardly surprising if people make a link considering the frequency with which mental health issues come up in relation to violent acts.

    “the core reason for the violence is the geopoli….”

    I am trying to focus on Australia here. Do you seriously think the three recent incidents that people like to refer to as “terrorist acts” where in any way geopolitical? Truly?

    “Ultimately, I couldn’t care less about race.”

    Section 18C is about racial vilification.

  38. Barry Thompson.

    Kaye, when you wrote ” He looked like losing the 2001 election until saved by the World Trade Tower attack and the children overboard lie ” I would argue that most people would think of
    I would argue that most people would associate that with John Howard..
    But enough now, if you are going to write articles, you should be a little more receptive to criticism.

  39. Kaye Lee

    I appreciate constructive criticism, I just didn’t think it a focus of the article so did not explain further. That is why I provide links Barry so people who want to check further can. I agree it is unimportant. I am not typing defensively, just trying to explain. My articles are often too long and I cannot fully explore every connection. I am sorry if it was misleading.

  40. Harquebus

    Ultimately, I couldn’t care less about race but, I do care about free speech, liberties and freedoms and is why I would like to see 18c gone.

  41. Kaye Lee

    I see. I am reminded of the scene in Life of Brian where they agree to fight for Reg/Loretta’s right to have a baby.

    You don’t want to vilify anyone on the grounds of race but you object to a law saying you can’t even though you don’t want to. You want to fight for the rights of those who DO want to vilify people on the basis of their race.

  42. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee.
    Yes but, these rights would apply to all in all circumstances and not just those whose only intention is to vilify. You will never erase bigotry and vilification while liberties removed in the attempt are never returned.

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” — Evelyn Beatrice Hall

    I’m with Evelyn on this one.

  43. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you said that “worse speech is not a the problem if it is only speech.”

    Saying hate speech is only a problem when it turns into action is like saying guns aren’t the problem in USA, but that the problem is when someone shoots a person. It is true, but trite. It doesn’t really mean anything. Guns really are a major problem in USA. Likewise, hate speech gets people killed and injured too. It really does.

    The trick is to maximise free speech but prevent hate spiralling out of control. The best way to do that is to put rules of politeness in place to prevent influential jerks promoting hate and divisiveness and others in society then believing it’s their right to be hateful and divisive if they want to.

    You can’t say “I don’t like the road rules because they are an imposition on my right to drive wherever I want.”

    Nobody is intending to curtail ordinary speech. You’re welcome to call me a f*ckwit, for instance. (You might even be right to do so.) But we need rules to keep racist assholes like Andrew Bolt from breaking society. It’s too late to tsk tsk after someone’s been inspired by his hate speech to blow up a mosque or assault a Muslim woman for her clothing choices. And it’s way too late when that produces even more reactions from others and we end up with the situation like in USA where they have a kind of race war, smouldering along delivering a constant stream of casualties. Because that’s what the “freedom” you’re talking about delivers.

    I should clarify one thing. I don’t think we should be sucked in by phony offense, such as Joe Hockey, who sued over his reputation supposedly being damaged by publishing the truth, or Christians being offended by people changing the spelling of Xmas, or Muslims being offended by cartoonists’ criticisms of their religion (I take part in Everybody Draw Mohommad Day each year).

    The rule should be guided by social good. Don’t use hate to manipulate people. Don’t victimise people who can be sorely damaged by it and have no effective way to fight back. (For example imagine how damaging it would be to spread false rumors in your community that you were a pedophile, for instance.) Can you see what I mean?

    Complete free speech delivers freedom only to the worst bullies in society; everybody else loses freedom. The best way to maximise free speech is to put rules of politeness in place to control those bullies.

  44. Tracie

    Harqebus, as a recipient of more sexual harrassment than many other women receive, I believe there aren’t enough laws to protect against hate speech. 18C must stay. It hasn’t hurt anyone other than those that wish to hurl abuse at others. Why should they get away with generating violence? Because that’s what it does.

    Why can’t victims of abuse be protected? Why must victims feel responsible for the acts of the perpetrators? Why allow any further hate speech than what is already there?

    For me, there have been old white guys that have touched me without warning or consent, tried to force me to kiss them (without success), tried to force me into a relationship (when I repeatedly said no) and spread rumours about me having sexual relations with them, when I did no such thing.

    This is what victims of sexual violence have had to put up with. Why make it easier than it already is for the perpetrators?

    I know 18C relates to racial violence, but the perpetrators are similar kinds of people – those that think they can get away with whatever they can, because they are privileged. Please put yourself in the victim’s shoes. No one has a right to be a bigot.

  45. Harquebus

    Miriam.
    Words and bullets is not a good comparison.
    Firing off bullets can kill.
    Firing off a round of abuse does not regardless of what you say.
    I can show you a bullet that can kill, can you show me a word that does the same.

    If someone responds violently to a spoken word, whether for or against, then it is a matter for law enforcement.

    There is no need for anyone to respond to verbal abuse. Physical abuse is another matter.

    I think that the vast majority will not respond to the likes of Andrew Bolt. At least not when we’re done vilifying him.

    The U.S. is an oligarchical police state and it is the destruction of the middle class that is causing unrest.

    “Complete free speech delivers freedom only to the worst bullies in society; everybody else loses freedom.”
    I disagree. Complete free speech delivers free speech to everyone. Imposing rules/laws on speech hinders us all and is one more step toward totalitarianism.

  46. Harquebus

    Tracie.
    If your harassment was verbal then, toughen up and ignore them. If it was physical harassment then, take the matter to the authorities.
    As bad as your comment sounds, it is not enough, in my opinion, to have the rights of everyone else who had nothing to do with it, curtailed.

  47. Tracie

    It’s never verbal. It’s always physical.

    You really don’t know the authorities, or harrassment, well. One needs photographic evidence in order to do that. The police refuse to believe the victim, and only listens to the perpetrator. I have taken it further, with others. The anger is still there that someone touched me without consent. By the way, I wasn’t wearing anything revealing. In fact, I was clothed head to foot.

    Just because I look ‘pretty’ doesn’t give you the right to beep your horn at me, or wolf whistle me, or treat me like an object. Why should I listen to you, when all you say is ‘toughen up’?

    You have nothing relevant to say, if you wish to make the vulnerable more vulnerable. You are obviously the problem with this society, if you are not ready to defend someone else who is being objectified for whatever reason that bullies decide upon. By taking the side of the bully, you appear to be a bully yourself. You just want the laws to relax, so you can spew hate yourself.

    If you don’t defend another, you have no right for anyone to defend you, when the time comes.

  48. The AIM Network

    Tracie.
    If your harassment was verbal then, toughen up and ignore them.

    What a vile, disgusting thing to say. How dare you talk like that. I am appalled.

    And this is coming from the person who bitterly complained when your name was mentioned in an article last year. We took it down because you were offended by it. Did we suggest that you ‘toughen up’? No.

  49. Michael Taylor

    Thank you (whoever was moderating).

    Harquebus, we respect your right to have an opinion, but because something is right for you then it doesn’t mean everyone has to play by those rules.

    I too found it an appalling thing to say, let alone to be said to a victim of domestic violence. It would be appreciated if you refrained from that here.

    No, this is not censorship. This is asking that you to show some respect.

  50. Kyran

    Funny thing, townsvilleblog. Having many preconceived notions and beliefs myself, about all sorts of things, I find sites like this invigorating. In the sense that my preconceptions, notions, belief’s, whatever (on whatever subject), will be challenged.
    Like yourself, some of my ‘opinions’ have either changed or been amended, through discourse. Some of them have become more resolute, through discourse. Seems to me, if you bring an open mind to a conversation, you will walk away richer.
    Terry2, good call. If ever Kirby acts as a human, before acting as a lawyer, this country will really benefit. Take care

  51. Harquebus

    theAimn.

    That was a another matter and you did it without my permission. I complained but, I certainly didn’t hurt anyone over it and I didn’t ask for legislation to stifle your site. I also give you credit for taking action on that matter.

    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.

  52. Michael Taylor

    “Toughen up, suck it up and wear it”.

    You don’t make the rules here. If you don’t like it, then suck it up and wear it.

    We will not be told what to do by you.

  53. Michael Taylor

    PS: it’s such a pity that you see vulnerable people as being weak.

  54. Harquebus

    Tracie.
    My apologies for any perceived offense, none was given.
    I have my own story which of physical abuse and harassment and see the results of it every day in the mirror. Move on.

  55. Michael Taylor

    Thank you, Harquebus. That was decent of you and if I may say so, I am not surprised by it. I did consider that you were being out of character before. Much appreciated.

  56. Harquebus

    Michael.
    Rubbish. Who are these vulnerable people that you speak of?

    I am not a bully and I am not a wimp. I am angry because, our world is now unsuitable for industrial civilization and either it goes or we go. The problems we face together are far more serious than any of our individual stories and nothing on this site has prepared anyone in anyway for what is coming.

  57. The AIM Network

    nothing on this site has prepared anyone in anyway for what is coming

    That’s not what we’re here for. We’re a blog about (mainly) politics for goodness sake. If we wanted to write about that stuff then we will.

  58. Freethinker

    HarquebusAugust 9, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    “If your harassment was verbal then, toughen up and ignore them. If it was physical harassment then, take the matter to the authorities.”

    I need a clarification by you if you do not mind.
    Why do you think that a verbal harassment is not painful for some people as a physical harassment?
    I have made a comment before about some people reply to a verbal harassment in a physical way ( a punch perhaps?)
    I would not, I am against violence of any type but many are not.
    How you would react if you finish laying in the floor with few teeth missing? Are you toughen up and walk away?
    Just curious…

  59. Kaye Lee

    Stop the victim blaming. This is not survival of the fittest where we leave the weakest to be preyed upon. The measure of a society is how it protects its most vulnerable. I am utterly disgusted that we have grown so arrogant, so privileged, so insensitive, that we would fight for the right to humiliate people. If you have a legitimate complaint about something, you are free to make it. What we should never condone, is the use of bullying belittling abuse designed to degrade. This whole debate sickens me.

  60. Harquebus

    Freethinker
    Unless someone shouts loudly in my ear, words are harmless. Only the small minded and weak allow themselves to be hurt by words, the poor dears.
    As I said before, physical violence which, I also abhor, is a matter for the police.

    When I was on the ground with my face broken and teeth missing, I got up, eventually, and my friends took me to the hospital. For six weeks after my face was wired so tightly that, I had to eat through a straw. Someone took offense to something that I said and it wasn’t abuse.
    When I finally walked out of hospital, I had the assailants charged, convicted, sued their arses off and moved on.
    Would you like to hear about the years of stalking and harassment that ended up costing me my job, my car and my home?

    Toughen up people. Those that assaulted me are not bullies, they are weaklings and I still stand by what I said.

  61. Freethinker

    Kaye, the sad point it is that is a matter of education. My parents and teachers told me to respect.
    It is sad that society is going in this way and I put 50% of the blame in how kids are educated.
    Why people think that verbal abuse cannot be as painful or more than physical abuse?
    What right they have to come with that?

  62. Jay

    and theres the hypocritical censorship… onyas.. 🙂

  63. Freethinker

    Harquebus, the people that you have hurt with your words should have the same right to sue you as well.
    You do not have the right to hurt people with your words, it was not offensive to you but yes to the other person.
    You should have toughen up, count your lost and move on.
    Looks like that you have not learned your lesson.

  64. Harquebus

    theAimn
    We will surely end up where we are headed.

    Kaye Lee.
    There must be other options. Legislating thought and speech is not a solution.
    Personally, I think if verbal abuse was encouraged to be ignored, and almost every body did, it wouldn’t be a problem. Attaching a stigma to verbal abusers is, in my opinion, better than attaching a fine.

    I also am annoyed that legislation and especially legislation to further control or limit liberties and speech is the only solution that is ever considered. We have enough laws already.

  65. Harquebus

    Freethinker.
    When I gather a few mates together and beat the crap of someone, then they can sue me. Until then, if I’ve got something to say, I’ll say it and if someone doesn’t like it, stiff.
    I have not hurt anyone.

  66. Jay

    whats wrong with you idiots? cant argue your case, so just delete comments.. sux2BU

  67. Matters Not

    I have not hurt anyone.

    Are you sure? And who is to be the judge of that? ‘You’ or the ‘other” And what measure should be used?

    Your ‘intention’ or the ‘outcome’? And should that make a difference? What ethical framework is to be employed? Teleological or deontological?

    Please explain.

    As for Jay, I thought he was so nice. But maybe not. ?

  68. Michael Taylor

    “So just delete comments”.

    Yep. Trolls aren’t welcome.

  69. Michael Taylor

    “I have not hurt anyone”.

    Don’t be too sure on that, Harquebus.

  70. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    I can be pretty sure seeing that I have been sitting here the whole time. If there is someone out there upset at what I have written then, the issue is with them, not with me.
    Judge for yourself. That’s what I do.

  71. Michael Taylor

    The golden rules I was taught in Advanced Communication at uni were:

    1. Know your audience.
    2. Speak to a person in a manner that you yourself would like to be spoken to.

    They are damn good rules (though I admit I’ve broken them at times).

  72. Matters Not

    Harquebus, It’s a simple question. What ethical system do you bring to bear in your decision making?

    Teleological or deontological? You can simply tick the box if you like.

    Or maybe you haven’t ever considered the ‘other’? That’s the way it seems to me.

    Selfish. Self-centered.

  73. wam

    it has usually been said before:
    The last temptation is the greatest treason
    To do the right deed for the wrong reason.
    or
    can someone rid us of this meddlesome priest?’
    18c is important because sticks and stones no longer applies. Leaving only the mega rich, the means of addressing deliberate actions against individuals by the media.

  74. Matters Not

    Judge for yourself. That’s what I do.

    Yep! That’s what I do is so clear. And good on you for that (perhaps). You recognise that you are an individual who decides who(m) you want to be. Far and few these days.

    What I am somewhat interested in is the basis for your decision making? Is it whim or deep consideration? Or are those ‘concepts’ beyond your consideration?

    Or are those considerations completely irrelevant?

  75. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    Neither really. Logic dictates that saving our world is in my best interest and I use my IT skills as best I can toward that endeavor. I participate in many mostly engineering and science blogs and I never get the reception anywhere else that I get here.

    BTW: theAimn
    “We’re a blog about (mainly) politics for goodness sake.”
    What could more political important than saving the human race?

  76. The AIM Network

    What could [be] more political[ly] important than saving the human race?

    It’s a dangerous planet, Harquebus. No one gets off alive.

  77. The AIM Network

    I never get the reception anywhere else that I get here.

    If you show respect, you will earn respect.

  78. Harquebus

    theAimn.
    “No one gets off alive.” Prophetic words and sooner than you think.

    Show respect: It ain’t gonna happen if you persist with those kind of responses to what is a very serious issue. Flippant remarks at the peril that billions of us are facing is not a good look to say the least. At least I care about the fate of humanity. You it seems do not. Hate speech and gay marriages more your thing eh?

  79. Matters Not

    Logic dictates

    All for ‘logic’, but whose ‘logic’ are you referring to? Yours? You would be aware no doubt that any logic proceeds from ‘assumptions’. But you do go on:

    saving our world is in my best interest and I use my IT skills as best I can toward that endeavor.

    While I concede it’s (to use your words) in my best interest I have to say that your best interest is again a demonstration of your ‘selfish’ thinking. I don’t want the world to be destroyed but I do so for reasons that go far beyond the interests of me or my family. Sorry but I want to think beyond the ‘me’ and think of the ‘other’, broadly defined.

    BTW, why are you trying to ‘save the world’? Just asking?

  80. Bacchus

    Ease up Michael – come down to the Cellar and have a glass or two.

    Then come back refreshed and ready to “battle on” again tomorrow afternoon 🙂

  81. Matters Not

    You appear to be painting me to be something that I am not.

    But you wouldn’t be worried about that would you? It’s you who decides what ‘sticks’ and what doesn’t. The ‘other’ is of no consequence? As I read above you are the constructor of your own reality. And boast of same.

    But take no notice of me. (Hilarious).

    MT, take the advice of Bacchus. Sorry if I’ve been a pain.

  82. Harquebus

    Matters Not.
    It’s not just me. I don’t come up with stuff all by myself. My reality is constructed from scientific literature and is not something I have conjured up.

    You on the other hand appear to want criticize at me every opportunity whereas, I am only trying to convince you.
    “The other is of no consequence” Again, you are making stuff or misinterpreting me.

    Take no notice of you? Hmmm, tempting.
    Just joking. I’m outta here. Catchyatermorra.

  83. Matters Not

    My reality is constructed from scientific literature

    Interesting, that you give serious weight to the ‘other’ when it comes to (particular) scientific literature but not to other ‘scientific’ literature. You know, the literature that demonstrates that what people ‘say’ actually hurts other people. With serious consequences (for them at least) but perhaps not for you.

    Do you see any disconnect(s)? And if not then why not?

  84. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you said, “Protection breeds weakness.”

    Eugenics is a deeply flawed concept. It is so wrong it shouldn’t need an explanation of why, but I’ll attempt.

    Beginning with the physically weak because that’s easier to see, society benefits greatly from having people like, for example, Stephen Hawking. Protecting the physically weak greatly increases the resources available to society. It’s the same for the mentally and emotionally weak. I value knowledge and intelligence above almost everything else, but one of the people I admire most is a friend who was born mentally retarded. Those with emotional weaknesses also have much to offer society, often making the best artists and scientists and engineers. Those at a great social disadvantage also can bring much to society, so long as they are not crushed by the bullies.

    Please pause for a moment and seriously consider what people here are saying. Don’t ignore it and reflexively jump to defend your position.

    It feels like trying to talk with a Jehovah’s Witness — you know they’re not really listening to what you’re saying but are already thinking of their reply.

    You keep focussing on the wrong end of the problem. It isn’t the ones who are insulted who are the worry. The great risk is the ones who generate hate and division. And if you think that not many people listen to them and are encouraged to acts of violence then you are merely closing your eyes to the facts in order to maintain your stand. Inflammatory speech really does kill, just as effectively as a bullet. Just as you can spray bullets around so that not every one will hit a person, the same will happen with hate speech. That doesn’t make it innocuous.

  85. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you have the perfect example of how words hurt people. Whatever poisonous statement you made to the person who punched your lights out hurt you badly. In your example, you were the vulnerable one. You didn’t realise your speech would inflame the bully to violence.

    In your case it was the speaker who was hurt. That’s unusual. Normally the ones who cop the violence are minorities or other vulnerable groups. No amount of emotional toughening up on their part can avert the molotov cocktail when it comes through the window after hate speech has whipped some into a frenzy.

  86. Karl Young

    Harquebus: There’s a wonderful tool called a dictionary. One can make their point with all that’s available in it.Only the lazy bullies want to not use it.Though they still might hit you.But you haven’t abused the vulnerable but you’ve still made your point.

  87. Kaye Lee

    The fact that all the attacks I mentioned happened within three weeks of the terror raids while the bigots were demanding the burqa be banned shows how hate speech translates into violence. It sets a tone in the community. While you might not ever desecrate a mosque or attack a woman for wearing a veil, the implicit approval given by the intemperate language of politicians and shock jocks fires others up.

    With all the problems facing our society, for people to choose to fight for the right to be offensive is unbelievably selfish and short-sighted. If you can’t express yourself without being offensive then keep quiet until you learn how to be a part of a civilised society.

  88. Kaye Lee

    Excellent article from Mark Kenny

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

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

    You see, this gormless duo has declared, with all their angry-white-male certitude, that a verbal abuser cannot cause offence or humiliation. It is all in the mind of the recipient.

    In their peerless assessment of the lived experience of all minorities, they have decreed that the fault of hate-speech does not lie with the utterer of a given slur or insult, no matter how cruel, baseless, or humiliating. Rather, the “offence” lies with the recipient – the subject who simply “decides” to be affronted.

    Infantile reasoning, but there it is.

    Hence, there is no need for the victim-centric pre-occupations of the nanny state such as section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which makes it unlawful to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person because of their ethnicity or race.

    Indeed, such laws have adduced victimism and must be abolished. Simple.

    Presumably, both of these giants of the legislature will choose to be “very happy” about being named as rank apologists for the resentment industry promoted by angry-white-male shock-jocks and TV Tea Party types.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016-opinion/freespeech-fundamentalists-break-free-of-good-conscience-20160808-gqnhnw.html

  89. Deanna Jones

    Thanks, Kaye, this needed to be said. I have several close friends who are Muslim women and frequently have Muslim students in my classes and all of them have experienced the harassment you write of, in particular having people attempt to forcefully remove their hijab. This is an act of violence given that the scarves are very carefully folded and pinned in place. Some have spoken of having hair ripped out in the process.

    If the right to attack people physically and verbally, the right to insult and deliberately offend, is the ‘australian way of life’ then I reject it completely.

    It’s interesting that historically men have often appropriated women’s lives and what they call the mistreatment of them by those ‘other’ men, for the purpose of political expediency, whilst conveniently ignoring what happens to ‘their’ women. Like they really care.

  90. diannaart

    I have never been physically assaulted without prior verbal abuse – I guess a coward punch is the exception, I am not sure if I was coward punched or not, but I didn’t expect to be knocked to the floor while being yelled at by my ex husband.

    However, how can one tell if it is ‘just words’ which, it is claimed, don’t hurt anyone?

    Tell that to the elderly, the disabled, minorities or women who have been verbally abused throughout the course of their lives. The abusers may change but the harm remains.

    Verbal abuse is designed to incite fear – this is why we have propaganda (and advertising) if words didn’t work, why continue to shout, insult, defame, degrade or threaten?

    Further, why become to angry about a law (18c) which only seeks to reduce harm?

    Can anyone present proof their lives have been harmed by this law?

    Also, can anyone present proof why fighting for this law to be rescinded is more important than education, health, shelter and the assurance of a safe place to live?

  91. Kaye Lee

    From 2013….

    A RECORD seven child suicides in Queensland in 2012-13 are likely to have been caused by bullying, the head of the state’s Child Death Register has warned.

    The disturbing figures come as experts, including the Australian Human Rights Commission, said bullying was “endemic” in Australia, which has been ranked worst in the world for social network bullying.

    Commission president Professor Gillian Triggs said her organisation was “deeply concerned” at a surge in bullying and was tackling the problem as a “priority”.

    She said bullying complaints to the commission had soared by almost 40 per cent to 17,000 a year.

    “We are very concerned about these increased numbers,” Prof Triggs told the No2Bullying Conference, which is being run by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association.

    “The commission believes that bullying is a significant issue in Australian society; in our schools, our workplaces and increasingly in our online lives. We think bullying is . . . endemic.”

    The concerns followed the suicides of young bullying victims in Australia and overseas, including 13-year-old Sydney girl Madeleine Milne, who took her own life last month after bullies relentlessly pursued her.

    Bullying is blamed for an average of about 25 per cent of child suicides each year.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/child-suicides-in-three-years-prompt-call-for-action-as-bullying-victims-take-their-own-lives/story-e6freoof-1226649545952

    To those who say “toughen up”, you have obviously never had a family member suffering from depression or the myriad of other factors that make that the type of insensitive comment that could just push someone over the edge.

  92. Terry2

    Hi Deanna

    For several years I worked in Singapore, a very diverse culture of ethnic Chinese, Indians, Malays(ians) and of course a sprinkling of us expats.

    There was a tradition of celebrating birthdays and other events by having morning tea in the ‘pantry’ (what we would call the kitchen but there are some very cute throwbacks to old English in Singlish) usually with too much cake and other confections.

    On one such occasion, during Ramadan, the Muslin men and women in the office, generally of Malay ethnicity were unable to participate due to the fasting restrictions between dawn and dusk. I was quite charmed to see that the non-Muslim staff, mainly Chinese ethnicity, went to great pains to take the first servings of the various treats, wrap them in foil and place them in the refrigerator for their Muslim colleagues to take home at the end of the working day.

    We can learn much by observing our near neighbours both of empathy and mutual respect.

  93. Kaye Lee

    Respect and empathy…..now THOSE are things worth striving for that could actually bring about positive change.

  94. Zathras

    Verbal abuse is one thing but the election of Hanson plus some of the other bigoted conservative rhetoric has empowered many to take a more physical stance.

    Just like religion provides people with an excuse for personal prejudice (“The Bible says that God hates gays so it must be OK for me to do the same..”) the election of hate-speech representatives gives some a false impression of official support.

    It’s not surprising that one of the leaders of Reclaim Australia previously posted Facebook articles referring to Jews and blacks as rats and cockroaches.
    However it is disappointing that little was made of this in the media.

  95. Harquebus

    Miriam
    Protection breeds weakness in a metaphorical sense. e.g. Street kid vs mummy’s boy.
    The assault on me was because the assailants were weak. Hurt by mere words. They are pussies.

    As for focusing on the wrong end of the problem, in my opinion, that is what most in this forum do.
    “We’re a blog about (mainly) politics for goodness sake.” — theAimn Network
    You can’t get further away from reality and underlying causes than politics.
    Physics trumps political and economic ideology every time. The never ending GFC is proof of that.

  96. helvityni

    ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’ is a stock response to verbal bullying in school playgrounds throughout the English-speaking world.

    That might be true in English speaking world, but I never believed in that old adage, as I was never bullied at school, but of course I wasn’t ever caned either.

    Sticks, stones and WORDS, physical/ emotional /mental violence hurt.

    The idea is that we should all toughen up. Why?

  97. Kaye Lee

    Children learn their behaviour from adults. If it is ok at home to verbally denigrate minority groups then it teaches the kid that this is how we deal with people. Anyone who is different is fair game. Teachers are working very hard to teach children respect and tolerance of diversity while the “champions of free speech”, “culture warriors” and “moral crusaders” do their durnedest to give the reverse message. Look at the behaviour in QT. And these same people are the ones who want harsher sentencing when those who don’t have the verbal skills to trade barbs express their hatred in other ways.

    Malcolm Turnbull quite rightly said that “violence against women begins with disrespecting women.” The same is true across the board.

  98. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you seem to misunderstand the meaning of “metaphorical”. 🙂

    I’m puzzled. How can you characterise the thugs who beat the snot out of you as “weak”? They would seem to be very essence of strength in the kind of world you are advocating for, where people fend for themselves and toughen up or die out.

    How can you continue to insist that words are not dangerous when they caused you to get the living daylights beaten out of you?

    You emphatically dislike religion (and I sympathise with you in that respect), but your single-minded pursuit of a pointless mantra (“I should be allowed to say whatever I want, including hate speech”) is sounding very like religious disconnect with reality.

    Do you really not see how removing all rules on speech doesn’t make speech free, but brings about a kind of Wild West, where only the most powerful bullies are free? In that situation everybody else has to be even more careful of their words than if there were laws to curb dangerous forms.

    Please, please think carefully before flinging off an automatic reply. I’m interested in a considered response from you.

  99. Harquebus

    If we all toughened up, bullying would not be the problem today that it is.

    The assailants who snotted me were collectively physically stronger but, their minds are weak. No strength to their character.

    Freedom ain’t free. It comes at a price and sometimes, it is the ultimate price. The same can be said for free speech. It has come at a price and to throw that freedom away for the sake of a few weaklings is, in my opinion, not worth it.
    The assault on me was the price I paid and would pay again if it meant preserving the ideal of total free speech.

    Apologies for misunderstanding “metaphorically”. I will follow that up.

  100. helvityni

    When thirteen year old girls are bulled so badly that they end up taking their own lives, it must a proof that there’s something very wrong in our society.
    I have lived in four North European countries, I learnt what is meant by bullying when I came to Australia.

  101. Kaye Lee

    To a degree I understand what you are saying Harquebus. One of the most important things we can learn is resilience. But that is so easy to say when you have friends who can back/pick you up and the knowledge of how to access support services should it be necessary as you did through the courts.

    Not everyone has the skill to trade witty retorts so they use their fists instead. Not everyone knows how to get legal help. And what of the children who commit suicide due to bullying and the fact that Australia has been ranked worst in the world for social network bullying? No comment?

  102. helvityni

    Resilience is indeed a very important in life, never mind the setbacks and misfortunes, we have to soldier on. It does not mean that we have become insensitive and hard when dealing with fellow human beings.

  103. Karl Young

    Harquebus: I used to feel the same as you and I can defend myself. With 18c you can still have a robust debate and you can still be direct with some people and be careful with others. And if you really feel strongly about it take a risk and abuse them and be prepared to go to court.It’s not just about you!

  104. Kaye Lee

    The vast majority of complaints made under 18C are settled through mediation, usually by an apology or a retraction. It’s hardly like you are unable to say something. As Karl says, wear the consequences of your actions.

  105. Miriam English

    Harquebus, “If we all toughened up” is unrealistic. It denies reality. Many don’t have the option of “toughening up” as you call it. Young kids bullied by their peers, members of minorities who are terrorised by threats from extremists, women abused by men… because no matter how you want to, words can not be disentangled from actions. If you don’t stop abusers when they are assaulting with words then you have to stop them when they are physically assaulting, and then it is too late.

    The problem with bullying is not that people allow themselves to be bullied. It is that people are allowed to bully. Australia has a culture of bullying. It is seen as okay to bully precisely because of this belief that it’s the victim’s fault.

    Don’t you see that removing all rules on free speech means almost everybody has greatly restricted freedom because the only ones who get the benefit are the strongest bullies? You maximise free speech by setting rules. Just like you get to drive further by placing rules upon driving. Without road rules only those in big trucks are completely free to do what they want and everybody else has to get out of their way.

    Removing rules doesn’t increase free speech, it limits it.
    Making sensible rules increases free speech.

  106. Miriam English

    … I’d better get some work done. I’ll check back late tonight.

  107. Freethinker

    Just curious, if the 18c it is abolished what will be the implications in the HOR during question time, are the representatives be able to abuse the other members without being suspended?
    I guess that the rules within the HOR are not above the Australian laws.

  108. Harquebus

    “children who commit suicide due to bullying”
    I know this is going to cause waves but, a large part of the blame in most cases has to go to the parents.
    Sorry but, I am not going to be around for the rest of the day to defend this comment.

    I have read your comment Miriam and will think about it.
    Hate to luv an leave ya but, I gotta go.
    Cheers.

  109. diannaart

    @Harquebus

    Leaving so soon?

    You haven’t explained how the impact of advertising and propaganda is soooo influential despite being only ‘words’.

    As for being weak – f*ckin difficult to speak out lying on the floor – the irony of the situation was because I did SPEAK UP for myself.

    I guess, Harquebus, when you exercise your ‘right’ to ‘humiliate & insult’ you have a handy escape plan?

  110. Freethinker

    IMHO will be better to stop this thread befoire get bellow the gutter level.
    I cannot ind words in my poor vocabulary to respond to Harquebus last post

  111. The AIM Network

    Freethinker, it may not be a bad idea. Some of the comments from Harquebus border on disgusting.

  112. helvityni

    Me no understand; should it not be Harquebus, who has to be stopped, not the whole thread…? 🙂

  113. Freethinker

    helvityni, the problem for the moderators in blogs/forums like this is keeping the freedom of expressing opinions as long as there is not personal abuse.
    The issue is that some people cannot see themselves out of place with the majority of the contributors.
    IMO they should move to another sites where they can feel comfortable.

  114. Karl Young

    Harquebus A lot of lazy thinkers hit and run. I don,t mean in physical sense. Fundamentalist’s do this. The answers are always in the minutia. And its always hard work. That’s why bullies, fanatics grab on to an ideology because it simplifies things for them or gravitate to something that suits their prejudice.

  115. Carol Taylor

    One thing that came to mind when reading in the msm these sorts of reports and then noting Kaye Lee’s list is that it reads: a woman… a mother and her child… a woman… a heavily pregnant woman… a woman and her baby… Can these cowards only attack women and their children? Or attack Mosques? Or even cars? None of which can fight back.

    But that’s ok because if the far right and associated nutters have their way, it will be ok to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate, which means that they’ll probably be able to continue harassing women and their children, with it all condoned as an expression of ‘their freedom’.

  116. Harquebus

    I’m back but, only intermittently. I’m on a job.

    Bad parenting is not reason enough to curb free speech.

    Diannaart.
    There was no abuse nor humiliation involved. Your imagination is getting the better of you. It was purely because some did not like what I said.
    You might have noticed that I do not usually dish out insults however, I get do plenty and most of them are from this forum.
    Advertising and propaganda works best on the under educated and kids. (see below)

    helvityni
    So much for free and open discourse. Only those who are like minded should participate in this forum?

    I highly recommend this video. It will open your eyes.
    Propaganda and Manipulation – How mass media engineers and distorts our perceptions
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfo5gPG72KM

  117. Miriam English

    Harquebus, the problem is, when you talk about curbing free speech you mean winding back the controls that actually maximise free speech. You think that the rules of polite society are a restriction on free speech, but you’re wrong. They facilitate it.

    Listen, like me, you seem to be a computer geek. You’ll have seen what happens when you remove sensible moderation from a forum: it gets owned by the trolls. Useful conversation degenerates into mouth-farts. So many libertarians have this rosy ideal of the Wild West — that it was a time of true freedom when people were beyond the oppression of laws, but the opposite was true. The only people who were free were the biggest, baddest bully. Everybody else had to very carefully watch their mouths lest they annoy a bully.

    Polite society maximises free speech. Just as with the road rules maximising the movement of cars (imagine getting through the heavy traffic snarls of a big city without traffic lights or any road rules), rules for polite speech need to exist to maximise free speech.

    If you eliminate the rules of discourse so that anybody can spread fear and hate or smear others, then only those with lots of money and the megaphones of mainstream media have free speech, and the rest of us are screwed. We already see this happening as the so-called “free-speech” brigade have begun to wind back the controls and dupe people into thinking it’s a good thing, the same way they get poor people to vote to decrease taxes on the mega-rich. It’s a trick. You’ve been sucked in by simplistic propaganda.

  118. Miriam English

    Harquebus, that video is interesting. At 1 hour and 17 minutes long though it will have to wait for my usual viewing time of dinner. I’ve already watched nearly 10 minutes of it and I like it. Please note that what Prof. Kroth talks about in the video is directly applicable to the way you’ve swallowed the idea that dismantling the rules of speech brings free speech. This is a dangerous idea that’s being pushed by those who have an agenda.

    If you really want to increase free speech then support rules that enable that. Just as trying to get computers to communicate effectively requires a sensible protocol. We can argue about the best protocols to use, but abandoning any makes communication more difficult, not easier.

  119. Harquebus

    I sincerely believe that strengthening peoples minds is a better alternative to restricting speech.
    Still, I say that words are nothing and they only hurt if the recipients mind is weak.
    If most people were aware of the contents of the video that I posted, propaganda also wouldn’t be a problem.

    I am unlikely to return to this page. I am sure this argument will continue in another place.

    Cheers.

  120. Karl Young

    Harquebus is a weak weak man. Look at Harquebus he’s running from free speech. What’s a matter Harquebus can’t you handle the truth.Harquebus just pooed his pants.Harquebus has a small penis.Harquebus can’t look at himself in the mirror because he’s weak.

  121. Miriam English

    Harquebus, interesting. You hate religion, yet you resort to exactly their tactics: “I sincerely believe” regardless of the facts.

    I watched that video. It is a very good introduction to brainwashing techniques, especially as used by corporations and mass media. It’s a pity you didn’t notice that framing, the first topic Prof. Kroth talks about, is exactly what you’ve been seduced by. The idea of removing all rules to bring “free speech” sounds so attractive. It is a perfect case of framing the topic in a way that makes it sound more attractive than it is. What it really is, is a loosening of the rules that stop bad people inciting hate and violence against minorities.

    It doesn’t matter how strong your mind is when a mob has been incited in blind rage to throw a molotov cocktail through your window, or to beat you senseless because your sexuality differs, or tear off your clothes because you dress differently….

    But I think I’m wasting my time… your mind is rigid and fixed, not open at all, it seems.

  122. Harquebus

    At least I am willing to listen and consider and I appreciate the same in you.
    The problem is not the bad people inciting violence, it is the gullible idiots that are taken in by them.
    The dumbing down of our nation is no accident.

    “Education is dangerous – every educated person is a future enemy.” — Hermann Goering

  123. diannaart

    At least I am willing to listen and consider

    Coke, splutters, spew…. there goes another keyboard…

    Where and when was that? You have dismissed everyone whose opinion differed with yours and not bothered to address ANY questions raised by others.

  124. Kaye Lee

    “The problem is not the bad people inciting violence, it is the gullible idiots that are taken in by them.”

    The problem is not the person shooting the gun, it is the bullet that does the damage.

    Can you not understand that not everyone is strong enough to stand up to bullies or to be able to pretend the taunts don’t hurt or to be able to counter lies spread about them?

  125. Harquebus

    I read all comments and consider them carefully if I am going to respond.

    “not bothered to address ANY questions raised by others.” Crap!

    “not everyone is strong enough to stand up to bullies”
    As I have said before, if it is physical abuse then, it is a matter for the appropriate authorities. If it is verbal and they are hurt by it then, it is, apart from a few exceptions, the parents fault.

  126. diannaart

    @Harquebus

    Based on your logic, Donald Trump is just a load of hot air and not dangerous to anyone, nor does he incite hatred in anyone, because, dem’s just words and no one will act on his calling to “shoot the bitch” now will they?

  127. Kaye Lee

    FFS Harquebus. You are a victim blamer. People like you make our society a worse place. YOU are responsible for the hurt you cause. I despise people like you. You have NO right to absolve yourself from the damage, blaming those that you want to spew your bile upon. As I said to my husband very early on, it wouldn’t matter what I had done wrong, I do not deserve abuse. To want the right to abuse people because of their ethnicity is pitiful.

  128. Kaye Lee

    I agree it is important for parents to give children the skills to survive bullying. What I told my children was to pity people who, because of their own feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, felt they had to denigrate others. I pity you Harquebus and hope that you can one day find the confidence to allow you to feel empathy and to accept that kindness is far more powerful than humiliation.

  129. Freethinker

    The definition of verbal abuse is : the excessive use of language to undermine someone’s dignity and security through insults or humiliation, in a sudden or repeated manner.

    IMO those that support or justifying it are cower and low life people that thrive in inflict pain in others.

  130. Karl Young

    Harquebus. Nothing wrong with your Doco. If you have had your ears and eyes open you would understand most of that. Though we are talking about bullying and the Mob mentality. The current Liberal government has been adding up 2 plus 2 to equal 5.re Selling our assets to overseas interests offshoring businesses, globalism, privatisation, Shutting down industries etc. All that stuff is being dumbed down. That’s where Australians are being hoodwinked and manipulated . 18c is a fair go mate.

  131. Miriam English

    “I read all comments and consider them carefully if I am going to respond.”

    Harquebus, and yet you haven’t once responded to the point that rules of speech actually facilitate free speech and that removal of all rules actually reduces free speech because then only the worst bullies will have free speech, with everybody else intimidated into avoiding anything that would bring the bullies down on them.

    I’ve illustrated this with analogies to road rules and computer interfacing.

    Without rules limiting hate speech then good luck surviving the frenzied mobs whipped up by haters.

    You can say that the people in those mobs are weak or uneducated, but that doesn’t really fit. Germany in the time when the Nazis were using propaganda to create a hateful and dangerous state was the most educated society in the world.

    You can blame the victims all you want, but the truth is that the haters coordinate massive destruction using their words, physically injuring and killing people by inciting hate and rage in others. The victims are really just bystanders.

    Let me make a hypothesis: what you said to those thugs who beat the snot out of you was hateful and they responded with violence, but you want them to be solely responsible so you will refuse to look at anything that means you had any hand in causing the violence. I agree that they were completely wrong, but if my hypothesis is right then insulting them was a stupid mistake akin to squirting a water pistol at a rabid dog, so you must shoulder some of the blame for your actions. But you never will. Perhaps it was too traumatic, and that’s understandable, but don’t widen the free speech silliness to rationalise it being okay for horrible racists and homophobes to get innocent people beaten and killed.

  132. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee.
    You are very good at putting words in my mouth and have done since day one. You assume that I want the right to total free speech just so I can abuse people. That is not so.
    I have never hurt anyone by expressing my opinion and if you despise me for that then, that says more about you than it does about me.

    Diannaart.
    Most U.S. citizens are stupid and as here, the dumbing down of that country was no accident.
    D.T. did not call for assassination, that is a media beat up. Also, all billionaires are dangerous.

    Karl.
    Agree with most of what you say.

    I just read this today and almost posted it earlier. Now seem appropriate.

    “Moving along, what bothers me so much regarding the media uproar about his statements is not just that what he said seems to have been intentionally misinterpreted, but that we are focusing on words as opposed to actions.
    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/08/10/a-nation-of-sheep-afraid-of-words/

  133. Kaye Lee

    “I have never hurt anyone by expressing my opinion ”

    Then why do you want the right to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people” because of their “race, colour or national or ethnic origin”.

    You are more than entitled to express your opinion. We are just asking that you consider your words when doing it so as not to be hurtful, something you assure me you do not want to be so why change the law? It isn’t stopping you from giving your point of view. I don’t believe I have misrepresented your words.

  134. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee.
    It’s a matter of principle.

    I am repeating myself now.

    Free speech identifies bigots and other fools.
    Controlling speech does not automatically make people good.
    Protection produces weakness.
    Freedoms are taken away piece by piece and 18c is one such piece.
    Banned speech does not go away, it is whispered in secret and festers unseen. I would rather it the open where I can verbally contest it.
    And so on.

    Do schools teach kids how to handle (verbal) abuse or do they protect them from it? I don’t know the answer. The former, in my opinion, is the better.

    We disagree and no blood has been spilled. This is how it should be and it doesn’t need legislation to make it so. After I was assaulted, I did martial arts and became quite good. It has saved me more than once and I have never used those skills to abuse others, in fact, just the opposite.

    Should we ban martial arts because some abuse their skills? Would that be different from to banning speech because some abuse the privilege?

    I prefer to see people become stronger and able to resist rather than protect them so that they remain weak.

    Also, as with anything, there are always exceptions.

    I don’t expect answers. Go and have agoodweegend instead.

    Cheers.

  135. SGB

    Harquebus,

    Actualy you have displayed a remarkable level of weakness with your comments, your responses, and your insistance that being a bully is acceptable because the victim is weak and therefore deserves being bullied.

    How cowardly, how pathetic, how weak at the knees. Clearly you have no mind of your own, just another bully boy.

    Just go away you pathetic child.

  136. Miriam English

    It’s a matter of principle.
    That’s what religious people say when they are unwilling to acknowledge the world has shades instead of the black and white they prefer.

    Free speech identifies bigots and other fools.
    Yes, it does, but it also mobilises larger numbers of dangerous bigots. That is poison to society.

    Controlling speech does not automatically make people good.
    True, but it stops propaganda spreading.

    Protection produces weakness.
    You are focusing on the wrong people again. You are victim-blaming. The problem with hate speech is not the people that it is aimed at. The danger comes from those wielding it as a tool to incite harm.

    Freedoms are taken away piece by piece and 18c is one such piece.
    As I’ve explained over and over again. Freedoms can never be absolute in society. You give up some freedoms in order to coexist with those around you. You agree to drive on the left side of the road and obey traffic lights, not talk loudly in libraries, don’t smoke cigarettes in restaurants, don’t spit on the footpath, and so on.

    Banned speech does not go away, it is whispered in secret and festers unseen. I would rather it the open where I can verbally contest it.
    True, but that’s not really the point. The point is to stop hate speech tearing society apart and inciting people to hurt others.

    Do schools teach kids how to handle (verbal) abuse or do they protect them from it? I don’t know the answer. The former, in my opinion, is the better.
    I don’t know if you deliberately divert the point away from how hate speech unleashes acts of deep evil, or whether you are honestly stuck in the groove of blaming victims and minimising harm.

    Should we ban martial arts because some abuse their skills? Would that be different from to banning speech because some abuse the privilege?
    You’re distorting the argument here. Using martial arts to hurt a person is illegal, just as using hate speech to bring about harm is still illegal. Humanity has a long history of people using hate speech as a weapon to have large numbers of people intimidated, injured, and killed.

    I prefer to see people become stronger and able to resist rather than protect them so that they remain weak.
    You are focussing on the victim again and blaming them. The problem is the people who are inflamed by hate speech who come after minorities (no matter how strong they are) to beat them down with fists and clubs, burn their houses and meeting places, and kill them.

    Do you honestly not see the problem? Or are you cynically pretending not to? What do you get out of pretending that people like Hitler, Slobodan Milosevic, Pol Pot, Stalin, and others used words harmlessly?

  137. Miriam English

    Harquebus, because of a deep flaw in human psychology it is relatively easy to turn most normal, harmless, good people into ravening, bloodthirsty monsters who take delight in killing and maiming others. This is why hate speech is so dangerous.

    It would be lovely if we could rely upon all people to be logical and avoid being sucked in by such bullshit, but we can’t. This is the real world.

    We have a long, nasty history of good husbands and loving fathers whipping the skin off others because hate speech has made them think that people with different colored skin deserve it. We have a long history of good, decent, law-abiding people beating to death homosexuals because hate speech fills them with angry revulsion.

    This is why hate speech is illegal.

    To show you why this is such a problem, have a look at your own insistence on reframing “prevention of hate speech” as “taking away free speech”. You have been duped by the same forces that are trying to propagate hate speech. You have unwittingly become their tool. And you still don’t see it, even after suggesting we view a video which laid the facts bare. Can you see how dangerous it is if even you have been taken in by it?

  138. Miriam English

    The Nazis were ordinary people. The Rwandans were normal people. The Yugoslavians were normal people. They had their hate incited and stoked by horrid people who spewed hate speech very effectively and mobilised normal, ordinary people to become murderous.

    It doesn’t matter how strong you are. You have no hope against a bloodthirsty crowd.

    If you think I’m overstating things, there are still 10 countries where being homosexual carries the death penalty, and 77 countries where it is illegal. This remains so purely because of hate speech whipping people up into anger and fear of gays. Here in Australia we have muted hate speech from our politicians and mainstream media making possible the imprisonment and torture of innocent refugees. I shudder to think what they would manage if the limits on hate speech were lifted.

  139. Kaye Lee

    You ask for strength Harquebus. But strength is shown by people who are not scared to be tolerant, people who are secure enough to accept diversity, people who don’t feel threatened by difference, people who want to calm fears rather than stoke them. It takes strength to consider others whereas it shows weakness to attack. Martial arts is not the answer. Meeting violence with violence solves nothing. Show consideration, defuse anger – that is what truly strong people do.

  140. Karl Young

    Dear Miriam Lesson over well done. Time to let it soak Harqebus !

  141. helvityni

    Kaye Lee, there’s both truth and beauty in your latest post. Many thanks for your wise words.

  142. Kaye Lee

    helvityni,

    I feel somewhat embarrassed to be handing out advice from a position of relative security. Sure, bad things have happened, but I have had the support of family and friends to get to the other side and I have never been unemployed. I have felt both the benefit of support and the joy of trying to help others. I truly believe in the ripple effect. One small act of kindness reverberates around the world.

  143. Harquebus

    SGB
    You are another who puts words in peoples mouths.
    “being a bully is acceptable because the victim is weak”
    What a load of rubbish. I have never said anything of the sort.

    Miriam
    “mobilises larger numbers of dangerous bigots”. It can also mobilise large numbers of anti bigots. I have just finished watching a documentary of 1964 which, I am old enough to remember. The civil rights movement in the U.S. was deadly dangerous and I did not hear one call for the curbing of speech in any way.
    I am not blaming the victim. Will you all please stop putting words in my mouth. If anything, I blame the parents who raise wimps and also the parents who raise bullies.
    It is you and others in here that do not see the problem. Band aid solutions such as legislation are not a solution. They are a cop out. An easy way for all of you to do nothing.

    I always argue against abuse, having been a victim myself, physical and otherwise.
    Taken in? It is you that has been fooled into thinking that government and legislation will solve everything.
    I also notice that in your recent comments, the word speech is always preceded by the word hate. Also, I get more hatred from this forum than anywhere else.

    Kaye Lee.
    In any confrontation, my first thought is, how can i make my enemy my friend. Violence is and always must be a last resort and as I said, I do not go around attacking people or looking for trouble.
    There are times when, one has no choice and must fight. If someone just calls me names and is happy with that, a fight will never ensue.

    Many in here display a lot of intolerance and disrespect for others with differing opinions. If they could only see themselves. Hypocrites.

  144. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you said, “Band aid solutions such as legislation are not a solution. They are a cop out.”

    So you think rules that ensure you drive on the left side of the road and obey traffic lights, that enforce cleanliness for food preparation businesses, that prevent people carrying around handguns, that stop advertisers blatantly lying… these “band aid” measures are a cop out.

    When I was a naïve youngster I used to think it would be good to abolish all the laws and let people self-regulate. I was wrong. We see what happens in places where that experiment is tried. They’re called failed states. The only people who remain safe are the outrageously wealthy who can afford personal armies, and the nastiest bullies. Like it or not we need laws to restrain those whose morality doesn’t.

    Methinks you’d see things very differently if you were a young black guy having to tread exceedingly carefully because of the simmering racism in our society. You’d then be extremely worried that some people are unthinkingly calling for hate speech laws to be rescinded. You’d be making plans for finding a way to go somewhere safe once all the hate mongers were released and able to foment as much racism as their poisonous hearts desired.

    If you were gay you might have a different perspective on this too. At the moment the pinheads like Cory Bernardi and George Christensen have laws holding them back from going full death-advocate on gays. Abolish those reins and look out. Blood-soaked times. Only a few years back a Queensland politician (for One Nation, I think) was proclaiming that lesbians should be burned at the stake. She lost her position, but should really have been sent to prison for a few decades. Our anti-hate-speech laws are already dangerously weak… and you want them dismantled entirely!

    You may think it is about some lofty principle of absolute free speech, but for many people it comes down to practical survival. And I can understand their panic. Surviving angry hordes is more important than your theoretical absolutes any day.

    “It is you that has been fooled into thinking that government and legislation will solve everything.”

    On the contrary. I have very little faith in government. However legislation, if used carefully, helps our society function much more effectively.

    I also notice that in your recent comments, the word speech is always preceded by the word hate.

    That’s because hate speech is what we’re really talking about. Nobody minds if we talk lovingly about cuddly puppies, or about the difference between world-centric vs person-centric coordinate systems in VR. The laws you want weakened are to stop those who would stir up violence through hate speech. It’s no use trying to stop the riot once it’s begun. You can’t bring back to life a black person who has been lynched. You can’t unburn a mosque that Muslims use for fetes and bake sales as well as for their stupid prayers. You have to stop the hate speech. That is the trigger.

    It isn’t the thin edge of a wedge. Properly defined laws can make a real difference and give us a safer, more humane society without infringing on ordinary speech at all. I can still call the government a pack of lying assholes. You can still call me a stupid shit. But people couldn’t call for Abo’s to be shot or all Muslims to be deported.

    But of course, you’ll ignore all of this and still delude yourself that it’s all about principle and that it will be the beginning of total denial of free speech, never noticing the racist pigs who are pushing this law repealed. And without wondering why. If it does get repealed, just watch racist crime skyrocket and religious fires of hate get stoked. Woe betide our formerly mild and relatively gentle society then. It’s already starting to slip.

  145. Miriam English

    Uh… I forgot about one perfect example of how you’re happy to have laws when they suit you. You were eager to use the law to wreak revenge upon the thugs who beat the living snot out of you. Was that a cop out? A way for you to avoid doing anything? (You got the police and lawyers to do it for you.)

    “Oh, but that’s different! They physically hurt me,” you’ll object. But put yourself into the shoes of a gay guy who worries about the impact on society morons like Bernardi have with his currently muted form of hate speech and the fears of what will happen if such prominent homophobes are ungagged, and how many beatings he dreads facing as a direct result… even whether he’ll survive.

    I can’t marry the love of my life or have legal standing as her wife, such as being at her bedside in intensive care at a hospital, because of the social damage hate speech has done in our society.

    Hate speech has real, serious repercussions. It isn’t about “weaklings” crying because someone called them a bad name. It’s disgusting that you’d even characterise it that way. Hate speech kills, and it hurts much more than feelings.

  146. diannaart

    Miriam

    You have written excellent comments, that Harkie, will claim to have “considered carefully” and continue on his selfish way.

    He lies about consideration BTW, else he would realise none of us have any faith in our current governments from our writings here, let alone that governments can “fix everything”.

    BTW

    We will have equality in marriage – these numbnuts in parliament are not forever.

  147. Kaye Lee

    “Politically-motivated extremism is increasing, and it is a concern to the AFP and its law enforcement and national security partners,” Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Hurst told Fairfax Media.

    The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation warned in October that “violent rhetoric continued from extreme right-wing and left-wing individuals in Australia”, and that the “terrorism environment is likely to remain fluid and will be affected by nationalist and ethnic tensions, acts of violence overseas and an increased propensity and ability for violence-prone individuals to move to action”.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/investigations/asio-monitoring-of-rightwing-extremists-uncovered-alleged-plan-to-attack-radical-left-20160811-gqqiwa.html

  148. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    This is particularly worrisome. Right-wing extremists regard anyone left of Attila the Hun as the far-left and, therefore, a target.

    For those who believe that left and right can never meet, yes, they do, where fascism and communism meet we get totalitarianism, an authoritarian mix of corporate and government.

    As with most systems be they natural or man-made they require a careful balance of diversity for success. Too much of any one thing tends to be poisonous.

  149. Harquebus

    Miriam.

    “So you think rules that ensure you drive on the left side of the road and obey traffic lights…”
    Did I not ask to stop putting words in my mouth. I don’t think that at all. You are out of context
    “That’s because hate speech is what we’re really talking about.”
    If that was the case, you wouldn’t have made that first statement.
    Hate speech must be defeated, not stopped. Only strength and counter speech can do that.
    “once all the hate mongers were released and able to foment as much racism as their poisonous hearts desired.”
    I will stand up, argue against and denounce such as this. We all should.
    “You were eager to use the law to wreak revenge upon the thugs who beat the living snot out of you. Was that a cop out? A way for you to avoid doing anything? (You got the police and lawyers to do it for you.)”
    No. To not use those services to sue would have been the cop out.
    I would say that suing aggressors did do doing something. I don’t know what happened to these people after however, I hope my actions subsequently spared others a similar fate.

    Let’s take Bolt for example. He can not say what he once could. How we can argue against his ideas? How would we even know now what his thoughts and ideas are? What is he saying in places where we can not hear him? That is the cop out. We don’t need to argue with him anymore. He has been stopped, or has he?

    “Surviving angry hordes is more important than your theoretical absolutes any day.”
    Surviving angry hordes is one thing, surviving hungry hoards is another.
    In the end, it doesn’t really matter what any of us thinks or says. Survival is going to be every one’s main concern. Re. Venezuela. Social justice warriors will be too busy trying to save their own arses to worry about hate speech, gay marriage and the like.

    “Eminent Australian scientist Professor Frank Fenner, who helped to wipe out smallpox, predicts humans will probably be extinct within 100 years, because of overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change.”
    m.phys.org/news/2010-06-humans-extinct-years-eminent-scientist.html

    Here is an example of an open forum which, I visit regularly and comes complete with occasional insults and vilification. It also has lot of useful information not covered by MSM.
    http://peakoil.com/

    I come here because, as you are all trying to convince and convert me when I do, I am trying to do the same with most of you. Preaching to the converted is easy. Some of the minds in this forum are quite bright but, in my opinion, are misguided and are being distracted. Most here would be useful allies to me in my quest but, getting through is very difficult. The same difficulties that most of you are having with me.

    As I have stated before, this is not my only haunt. That plus other commitments is why my appearance here is intermittent.
    For those interested, here is what I have discovered in my other haunts so far today.

    Congolese usually kill the giraffes for one body part: their tails, considered a status symbol in some communities.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/wildlife-giraffes-garamba-national-park-poaching-tails/

    “So from 1992, right when Earth was experiencing a freak cooling period caused by a humungous volcanic eruption, scientists established a whole new way of measuring sea levels, and it’s lead to one of the biggest mysteries in climate science – why rising sea levels have remained so oddly consistent.”
    http://www.sciencealert.com/our-oceans-aren-t-just-rising-they-re-accelerating-and-that-s-even-worse

    “human intelligence is indeed a lethal mutation. Maybe some humans will survive, but it will be scattered and nothing like a decent existence, and we’ll take a lot of the rest of the living world along with us.”
    https://chomsky.info/20100930/

    “What rose onto its hind legs on the African savannahs was, from the outset, death: the destroyer of worlds.”
    “Is this all we are? A diminutive monster that can leave no door closed, no hiding place intact, that is now doing to the great beasts of the sea what we did so long ago to the great beasts of the land? Or can we stop? Can we use our ingenuity, which for two million years has turned so inventively to destruction, to defy our evolutionary history?”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/24/humans-diminutive-monster-destruction

    Sometimes I get angry not because of what people say but because, our world is being systematically destroyed while topics such as this, important as it is in its own way, take precedence.
    I get really angry when people try to shut me up which, does happen.

    Every couple of weeks or so I gather up links to what I consider to be important news and information not normally covered by the MSM and forward them to many many politicians, journalists, scientists, academics and friends. Yes, I do have friends.
    Sometimes, these emails are reproduced on various blogs and I have even had one reproduced here.
    I would like to invite interested theAimn readers to join my mailing list.
    My email address is publish in the damnthematrix links for anyone who wants to contact me.

    Examples.
    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/jobs-and-growth/
    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/more-harquebus/

    Cheers.

    BTW: What caused “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” this time?

  150. Miriam English

    Harquebus, post more than three links and the comment gets automatically detained to check whether it is link spam telling of the wonders of viagra or breast enlargement of how to make money than you dreamed of perfectly legally.

  151. Miriam English

    “Hate speech must be defeated, not stopped.”

    Hate speech is like a disease. It spreads through infection. To a certain degree you can inoculate against it, yes. But it is plain stupid to let it just spread while you clutch the vain hope that people will listen to sensible arguments. I’ve been trying for days to get you to see sense, with no light at the end of that tunnel. For thousands of years people have proclaimed with absolute certainty the existence of absurd gods — the phantoms of stone age nightmares. You really think telling the racists and homophobes not to be horrible is going to work?

    And now, unable to find any way to bring logical points to bear in support of your religious assertion that absolute freedom to say anything one might wish is a fundamental right, you instead retreat to your old doomsday scenario. For crying out loud!

    The world is in trouble, yes, but you don’t know and I don’t know whether we will come out of this okay. There are very bad things happening, but at the same time there are many very good things happening. But let’s get one thing straight. Giving up and running in circles screaming it’s the end of the world! doesn’t solve anything.

    You don’t seem to understand balance at all Harquebus.

    You live in this magical Harquebus mind-warp where the absolute right to say nasty shit is more important than the blood of those who will suffer because of it. You say we can rise above this if only… if only… well, you wave your hands and mumble something about “strength and counter speech” as if the people who have spent their lives countering hate speech down through the centuries have never been strong.

    For you there is no balance, no understanding that rights are not absolute, that they don’t exist in a vacuum, that life is about coexistence and give and take.

    And the other example of how you don’t understand balance: this whole end of the world shit.

    Harquebus, you missed your calling. You should have been a fundamentalist fire-and-brimstone preacher. You have the absolute morality and the end is nigh crap down exactly.

  152. Harquebus

    Miriam

    “where the absolute right to say nasty shit is more important than the blood of those who will suffer because of it.”
    You seem to assume that bloodshed is the unavoidable result. I do not.
    Freedom comes at a price. It seems that I am the only one prepared to pay the price.

    We are alike. I see in you what you see in me except, your logic isn’t logic at all.
    Please join my mailing list. See damnthematrix links for my email address.

    Cheers.

  153. Miriam English

    Harquebus, history has shown that bloodshed is nearly always the unavoidable result of hate speech.

    However humanity is getting better and one day we might not need controls on hate speech because everybody might become moral enough, but until then it is definitely necessary to keep the likes of Bolt, Christensen, Bernardi, and others in line. Hate speech causes too many gays to get beaten and killed every year and too many racial beatings and murders. It also causes denial of medical or legal care, or housing, and other injustices.

    You say, “Freedom comes at a price.” But what you really mean is that you’re happy to let other people pay the price of the freedom that you want. As a white, straight male you have the luxury of safety. You’d think very differently if you were gay or had differently colored skin.

    Interesting that you think that I’m the one that lacks logic. I’ve explained and illustrated at length with many carefully reasoned examples. All you do is repeat the same thing over and over again. Sorry to have to break it to you, but that’s not logic.

  154. Harquebus

    Miriam.

    “But what you really mean….”
    There you go again. You really can’t help yourself can you.

    You are confusing sentiment with logic. Perhaps I am as well to some extent however, I can at least do boolean algebra.

    I only came here to post this which, I have just came across in one of my haunts and wish that I had discovered it a few days a go. It describes many in here to a tee. I was not expecting a response from you so soon. I think that you will find this interesting.

    “Critical Theory is a play on semantics. The theory was simple: criticize every pillar of Western culture—family, democracy, common law, freedom of speech, and others. The hope was that these pillars would crumble under the pressure.”
    “It was here that Marcuse coined the term “liberating tolerance.” It called for tolerance of any ideas coming from the left but intolerance of those from the right. One of the overarching themes of the Frankfurt School was total intolerance for any viewpoint but its own. That is also a basic trait of today’s political-correctness believers.”
    “And so we now live in a hyper-sensitive society in which social memes and feelings have overtaken biological and objective reality as the main determinants of right and wrong.”
    http://www.garretgalland.com/passing-parade/how-the-frankfurt-school-changed-american-culture/

    Please join my mailing list. No spam or abuse I promise. See damnthematrix links for examples.

    Cheers.

  155. Miriam English

    No. You think I’m putting words in your mouth with “what you really mean…” but I’m not. I’m explaining what the words you say really mean — what their implications are. Read it more carefully.

  156. Harquebus

    Miriam.
    I read it and reread it. Not so. Others have already paid the price and for some, it was the ultimate price. It is true that others will continue to pay. The battle is far from over and if my turn comes again to pay up, I will pay it. I am not a coward, have proved it more than once and am proud of it.

    If you are concerned about joining my mailing list, make a new email address specifically for the purpose. I would really like to have you and a few others in here on it.

  157. Kaye Lee

    I am astonished that you cannot see what is happening all around us Harquebus.

    Imagine if the rhetoric was different. Imagine if our politicians and the media were calling for solidarity for the Australian Muslim community, asking that we show empathy and work together to protect them from those who are causing them harm because it is their children who are being seduced, their relatives who are being killed, their families who are being discriminated against for the actions of others. We should be joining hands around our Muslim children and telling the haters hands off our kids. Instead, we are persecuting the victims.

    Imagine if our politicians thought an asylum seeker policy should be about helping asylum seekers to escape from the tyranny that we are fighting. Imagine if we spent those tens of billions on resettlement programs instead of gulags. Imagine if our Navy helped people in distress and brought them to safety instead of setting them adrift or paying people smugglers to take them anywhere but here or, even worse, returning them to their persecutors. If you want to put the smugglers out of business then you would open up legitimate channels for people to get here instead of which the government slashed the humanitarian intake by over 6,000 each year.

    It is the language of the politicians and media that has set the tone. You say of Bolt “How would we even know now what his thoughts and ideas are? What is he saying in places where we can not hear him?” EXACTLY! Bolt can spew his poison to his mates if he has any. They do not deserve a public platform. His climate change denial, his bigotry, his demonisation of welfare recipients, all cause our society harm. When my son was very young he had a friend who taught him to swear. When he tried it at home I put him in the laundry and told him he could swear all he liked in there and when he was ready to rejoin civilisation he could come out.

  158. Matters Not

    Harquebus I ‘discovered’ the Frankfurt School more than 50 years ago. Your linked article is a parody – a caricature. To suggest that:

    . One of the overarching themes of the Frankfurt School was total intolerance for any viewpoint but its own

    is a complete nonsense. The opposite is now very much the case. To attempt to understand the modern developments in ‘critical theory’ without reference to Jürgen Habermas demonstrates a complete ‘fail’.

    You need to read much wider than the crap in that link.

  159. randalstella

    Harquebus,
    You know nothing about Critical Theory.
    The quote you provide is ranting reactionary rubbish.
    Fantasyland abuse from some idiot. It shows the dangers of web-crawling after anything that might seem to suit your own going prejudice. It just shows your total ignorance.
    Not irrelevant is the fact that the so-called Frankfurt School social analysts became ‘known’ in America as asylum seekers from Nazi German extermination.
    These analysts were the very antithesis of PC conventionalism. Their work includes some of the most rigorous critiques of Western and Soviet ideology, and it remains active and important influence on criticism of hyper-industrialised culture and its mass conformism.

    In particular, Theodore Adorno was the most important cultural analyst of the C20th. His work remains, and will remain, highly influential on serious and informed analysis and debate.

  160. Miriam English

    Exactly, Kaye. I think Harquebus doesn’t get it because he has his eyes and ears firmly closed. Astoundlingly, he thinks he sees clearly and that everybody else speaks nonsense. Amazing!

    It made me laugh aloud when he said my logic wasn’t logic, that I was confusing sentiment with logic. I’ve been working really hard to find multiple different ways to illustrate to him why his absolute freedom to say anything is infeasible in today’s world. I even tried to explain to him as I would to a child. But it was all wasted. (Well, not entirely wasted. It’s helped clarify some of my thinking and will almost certainly find its way into some of my stories.)

    It was utterly breathtaking to have him dismiss what I said as illogical, especially when all he does is say over and over again the same damn thing without anything to back it up. He never addresses the problems produced by public figures who spew hate speech to incite violence, except by vague, hand-wavey, “need to be strong and counter the hate”… as if we and many others don’t spend enormous amounts of time countering hate speech. (For many years I’ve taken part in letter writing campaigns for Amnesty International, for instance. Somehow I can’t imagine Harquebus exerting himself to do that.)

    Harquebus speaks from the incredibly privileged position of a white hetero male in a Western society about how he will bravely make sacrifices. What sacrifices??? He knows absolutely nothing of what people face when they belong to minorities. He thinks because he insulted some thugs and they beat the crap out of him that he knows sacrifice? That was just him poking a mad dog with a stick — like lighting a match in a gas-filled room. He has no idea at all.

    Amazing. After all this he still has this hallucinatory view of himself as the lone calm one standing up for principle. That view is particularly disconnected from reality when he indulges in victim-blaming (then immediately denying he’s blaming the victims). I wonder if he really believes what he says. His ability to compartmentalise is comparable to that of a religious extremist.

    All I can say, damn good thing he never got into religious extremism.

  161. Karl Young

    Harquebus : You’ll have to toughen Up.Remember they’re “only words”. on this forum.

  162. Harquebus

    Kaye.
    I feel the same way about you. Please see my link a few comments above to garretgalland. It describes what I see in a lot of people here.
    As I have stated, if there is abuse, I will speak out against it. Also, children who have been indoctrinated to religion have been abused. Religions take advantage of the their trust in order to perpetuate their rubbish.
    “helping asylum seekers to escape from the tyranny”
    If politicians had the courage to combat the tyrants, oppressors and abusers of human rights then, there wouldn’t be an asylum seeker problem. I wish you would devote as much time to this as you do with asylum seekers.
    Again, I would prefer to do verbal combat with Bolt. Hiding the problem does not make it go away.

    Matters Not.
    That maybe so but, it does describe the attitudes of some in here quite well and was the reason that I posted it.

    randalstella
    You are quite correct. I no nothing of critical theory and had not heard of it until last night. As I stated, the similarities between the article and some commenters here is why I posted it.
    Thank you for providing that information.

    Miriam.
    “He knows absolutely nothing of what people face when they belong to minorities.”
    You know next to nothing about me. Everything that you say about me regarding closed mind, can not see etc., I can say exactly the same about you.

    I would really like all of you on my mailing list. You can then send all the information that you want. See damnthematrix links above for my email address.

    I have to finish a job and won’t be back today.
    Will check in tomorrow.
    Avagooday.
    Cheers.

  163. diannaart

    Like debating a climate denialist, trying to discuss anything with Harquebus, hasty internet research without checking the back ground, repeating the same claim in a variety of ways (at least that is good mental gymnastics), claim to authority “expert in Boolean Algebra” 😛 , pseudo-science, using personal anecdotal as proof, avoiding answering straight forward questions, citing proven hate inciters as balance…

    I have probably missed something, but why would anyone want to join this person’s email list. If I want to gouge my eyeballs in sheer despair I can do it without the Dogma of Harquebus.

  164. Kaye Lee

    That is a problem with so many people diannaart. They don’t look at the credibility of their sources or the full picture. They cherry pick like when Harquebus said something about a woman being beheaded in Nigeria (that really annoys me when we are talking about Australia) or that university students being sued under 18C because they tried to use computers in an Indigenous facility. That story is a lot more complicated than he would have us believe. The woman who asked the students to leave was then subjected to dreadful online harassment which caused her to go on stress leave and eventually leave her job. She is suing for lost wages. I make no judgement on her initial action or on the actions of the university but the online harassment (which was continued at work) was what caused the problem.

    I would really like to have a hypothetical example of what Harquebus would like to say that he can’t under 18C.

  165. diannaart

    I would really like to have a hypothetical example of what Harquebus would like to say that he can’t under 18C

    Me too.

    But that is a chicken and egg question. Respondent can claim “I can’t tell you because of 18C”. Yet they still manage to get their point of view across or down our throats (depending on who is speaking).

    In this case, what has Harquebus not been able to say?

    Seems to me he got to say a lot (admittedly repetitive and ‘wot I wrote above’).

    The final fact in this saga of freedom of speech – people are still saying want they want anyway – just a little less abusive and where is the problem with that?

  166. helvityni

    …online harassment of others is godsend for many unhappy, vindictive people; they live for it, it makes their day, and often their nights too.
    They’ll never stop, and it is absolutely useless discussing anything with them. Ignoring them is the best policy.

    I’m not referring to any individual poster here, I have not been here long enough to know, who is who.

  167. Freethinker

    helvityni, some times we do not have other choice to try to educate people and if they cannot not get it just arrive to the conclusion that they post scam and we should no accept that.
    Some of the posters here are complete the opposite of the values of the majority and their posts are offensive.

  168. Kaye Lee

    helvityni,

    The wonderful thing about this place is that harassment is not allowed, unlike facebook and twitter etc. Robust debate is ok but rudeness is not. We, at least, can have our own version of 18C where it is NOT ok to insult, humiliate, offend or intimidate others.

  169. Kaye Lee

    A far-right nationalist group that links itself to Pauline Hanson stormed a church service on Sunday dressed in mock Muslim attire and chanting anti-Islamic slogans, leaving some members of the congregation “deeply traumatised”.

    The incident, on the NSW Central Coast, reflects the emboldened attitudes of anti-Islamic groups following the political rise of the One Nation leader, and has triggered calls for the new Parliament to retain the full strength of racial discrimination laws amid a new push for the repeal of section 18c.

    About 10 Party for Freedom members on Sunday disrupted the morning sermon at the Gosford Anglican Church, which is widely known for its embrace of multiculturalism, and refugees and asylum-seekers.

    Party for Freedom is an anti-Islam, anti-immigration party whose Facebook page features Senator Hanson as its profile picture.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/wake-up-aussies-farright-pauline-hanson-supporters-dressed-as-muslims-storm-church-20160814-gqsclh.html

  170. Freethinker

    I read that in the news Kaye and the first thing that come to my mind was the extreme right, Nazi and fascist groups in Germany.
    We not need that low life people here.

  171. helvityni

    Kaye, how utterly disgusting. I believe Pauline has plenty of support on Central Coast, plenty of Muslim haters over there…

  172. Miriam English

    The problem is not so much the easily-led, racist air-heads. The bigger problem is that prominent racists like Pauline Hanson who have a public platform give legitimacy to such things. It emboldens them. Take away the racist leaders, make sure anti-racist attitudes are widely affirmed and the easily-led fools will drop back to embarrassed silence again. Sure, they’ll still whisper among themselves and cause low-level trouble, more now that they’ve been given a platform, but much of the danger from them will disappear.

    This is what infuriates me about people like the cynical, opportunistic hate mongers like Abbott, Christensen, Hanson, Bolt, and Bernardi, and the clueless dupes like Harquebus: it’s very easy to bring on the chaos, but very difficult to subdue it again.

  173. Kaye Lee

    I live on the Central Coast helvityni. I have been to many protests with Father Rod who is a tireless campaigner for refugees, gays, climate change and many other issues. I must say I haven’t come across anti-Muslim sentiment but perhaps I don’t hang in those circles. The demographic here is very mixed. Apparently quite a few of the parishioners laughed at these guys which I am sure I would have done too but some kids and old people were scared. Great job Pauline mobilising the crazies. Great job tough guys, threatening the church crowd. You just look ridiculous, a bit like a Monty Python skit.

    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/93f83ab4533bfc96e6d2d999ae1bae02?width=650

  174. Michael Taylor

    Storming a church. Pathetic. Hiding your face. Gutless.

  175. Harquebus

    Hi all.

    Thank you for your responses. I have read them all.
    It appears that we agree most on the problem and the least on the solution. I am not getting through to you all although, I do see where you are all coming from and so far, you have not convinced me either. There must be common ground somewhere where can be on the same side. Perhaps there is something in the two links below.

    As for my emails, did any one bother to read them? There is already one person from theAimn that is on my list and so far, they have not asked to be removed.

    Here is your opportunity to see what I am about and how I go about trying to change things.

    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/jobs-and-growth/
    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/more-harquebus

    From the comments section in the first link:
    “Mike Stasse has reblogged an op ed I completely agree with. This is a must-read.”

    Cheers.

  176. Harquebus

    BTW: Most of the links that I post here are not from quick internet searches. The very vast majority are from articles that I have already read and whose links I have saved to include in my emails.

  177. Harquebus

    Also, I do not dish out racists remarks. There is only one race, the human race. I want to be able to see who does and for our society as a whole to toughen up.
    Cheers.

  178. Kaye Lee

    I want no-one to do it, particularly on a public platform. I want people to realise that some people are struggling to cope and unable to “toughen up”. Telling depressed, traumatised or desperate people to “toughen up” can cause a lot of harm.

    I want our society to be strong enough to embrace diversity and to show tolerance, empathy and consideration for each other.

  179. helvityni

    To be strong and resilient is good,but to become toughened up, hard, without compassion or without willingness to understand others is not desirable.

  180. The AIM Network

    Telling people who are depressed over abuse to “toughen up” is very weak in my opinion. It shows a lack of empathy and understanding. It may as well have been spoken by a robot.

  181. jimhaz

    [I want our society to embrace diversity and to show tolerance, empathy and consideration for each other]

    Doesn’t sound like it from the collective treatment of Harquebus. Bunch of self righteous smug bullies if you ask me.

  182. Kaye Lee

    I think it is important to say no to hate speech, particularly as right wing extremists are mobilising under the Hanson banner. I can think of absolutely no reason 18C should be repealed. No-one can give me an example of something they can’t say now and I am very concerned with the way things are headed.

    I also completely disagree with your assertion that anyone here is a bully.

  183. Harquebus

    Okay thanks.
    Have a good day.

  184. Michael Taylor

    I don’t think anybody has been a smug bully to Harquebus and I don’t think H’ would agree with that either. The responses to H’ have been intelligently presented, and while H’ might disagree with the reasoning I am sure he appreciates the manner in which they have been delivered. From what I’ve seen of H’ he rather enjoys the debate.

  185. Karl Young

    Me thinks Harquebus and jimhaz are one and the same.Or of the same stock.And Harquebus is right maybe we have collectively gone into the territory of insult and humiliation section of 18C. So it has been interesting exercise.Personally I hate the mob mentality.
    So I’ll apologies to Harquebus if we have insulted you in any way. Though both you and jimhaz exhibit a fundamentalist type attitudes as you both get very annoyed if people don’t agree with you.
    You cannot project that people should toughen up. We all have our moments.We are as tough as we are weak.We are all at different stages of life at any one time.So we need to govern for the collective. We will all get old and once again be vulnerable just any other disadvantaged set of humans.Many it seem can’t get passed their ego to to settle on a solution.

  186. Kaye Lee

    Having been the victim of a concerted harassment campaign by Harquebus in the past which resulted in him being banned for a period, I am perhaps less tolerant than usual. The discussion should not, however, become personal and I perhaps went too far.

    I note that no-one can suggest a scenario where 18C is stifling free speech.

  187. Karl Young

    Agree Kaye re 18C Though i have been thinking about it. Maybe they could remove the Insult part of 18C. Though I seem to get my point across in life. And sometimes i will insult some but ever so nicely to make my point. So that part is very subjective isn’t it? Though some want to get rid of it because they are thinking about their future dealings if you get my drift..

  188. cornlegend

    I think maybe it IS time to have a look at 18C and 18D but I’m damned if I know what the answer is .
    I don’t know if any bothered to view Karl Youngs link
    “Karl YoungAugust 14, 2016 at 10:04 am”
    From a case, it seems you just claim you are a comedian ,
    Two cases, different results

    Court case involving consideration of Section 18C
    The case of Toben v Jones (2003) 129 FCR 515 was the first to apply the Racial Discrimination Act’s racial vilification provisions to the internet. It involved a complaint about the Adelaide Institute website, established by the respondent, which was argued as being anti-Semitic and vilified Jews. The Adelaide Institute presented as a scholarly centre for Holocaust research.

    In this case, the Federal Court of Australia found that certain documents on the website did vilify Jews for a number of reasons, including imputing that Jewish people who are offended by and challenge Holocaust denial are of limited intelligence; and that some Jewish people have exaggerated the number of Jews killed during World War II and the circumstances in which they were killed and have done so for improper purposes such as financial gain.

    Court case involving consideration of Section 18D
    The Kelly-Country v Beers & Anor [2004] FMCA 336 (21 May 2004) case involved a complaint about a comedian’s performances, where the comedian, under the name ‘King Billy Cokebottle’, purports to be an Aboriginal person, performing a comedy monologue. The comedian was not Aboriginal. The performances were on video and audio tape, and available for public purchase. It was alleged that Aboriginal people were portrayed as rude, stupid, unable to speak English properly, dirty, always drunk or drinking and swearing, among other things. It was also alleged that matters involving aspects of sacred tribal activities were referred to in performances, which could only be discussed by and in the presence of initiated male Aboriginal people.

    The Federal Magistrates Court of Australia noted the acts and tapes were ‘impolite and offensive’ to many groups within Australia, but just because they were offensive or insulting did not mean they were unlawful under the Racial Discrimination Act. The Court noted the performances and tapes were comedic in intention, and were not to be taken literally or seriously and had no overt political context. The Court found the performances fell within the term ‘artistic work’, as found the exemption in section 18D.

  189. Karl Young

    cornlegend: Sorry about that old chap I thought I had posted the 18C rules.

  190. cornlegend

    Karl,
    I don’t know much about the subject but did find some of the cases in your article link informative .
    Another , an SBS article. point out
    Less than five per cent of complaints made under the Racial Discrimination Act make it to court, where the majority of them fail

    Most complaints brought to court are dismissed
    The majority of complaints have been lodged by Aboriginal people
    Members of the Jewish community account for the second largest group of complaints
    A small number of complaints have been lodged by Caucasian people

    In the past financial year,{2014} only three per cent of complaints of racial discrimination made to Human Rights Commission were referred on to the court system.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/fragment/interactive-race-discrimination-cases-brits-bolt

  191. diannaart

    The following link may be of assistance:

    Some will say that the Bolt decision represents the proposition that one cannot debate racial identity in modern Australia; that the RDA serves to censor opinion; that it prevents us from having a free and open dialogue about issues of public importance.

    Now what the Federal Court actually held was this: Mr Bolt did not enjoy the protection afforded under section 18D because he had combined errors of fact, distortions of the truth, and had used inflammatory and provocative language. It was a combination of these factors, the Court held, that meant he could not have been found to have been acting reasonably or in good faith.

    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/sections-18c-and-18d-racial-discrimination-act-what-stake

  192. Michael Taylor

    On the contrary, Kaye, I find you a very tolerant person. It takes a lot to rattle you and not only that, I’m impressed with the way you conduct yourself when ‘the rattling starts’. I wish I had your level of tolerance.

  193. jimhaz

    @Karl

    [Me thinks Harquebus and jimhaz are one and the same.Or of the same stock]

    Nope. Not me. There is something familiar about his moniker – but I’m not sure what it is.
    I have noticed that we do have some similar views.

    @ Michael

    Many of the things you find appalling are not – they are just not nice and lovey dovey. In fact half the population would have gotten a laugh out of the pretend Muslims. I did.

    @ Kaye

    It was more a collective thing and more about the mocking of Miriam, Dianna and Karl.

    I really do not like it when the “usual crowd” all get snarly with people that are not at polar opposites with the prevailing viewpoint here and make an effort to post with their own explanations. It is different dynamic than posts from right wing trolls who just attack- folks can say whatever they like to them.

    On my one read of the thread yesterday, my impression was that Harquebus remained polite and acted maturely – but still got mocked for his not-at-all-radical opinion. I was not going to say anything as he did not protest, but I was thinking the site will need to do better if it wants to convince those who are not already attached to opposing viewpoints.

    My personal view on 18c is mixed. I think the legislation is way too loosely written however to date sufficient reason has been applied by the courts and prosecutors – the problem is that too much is left in the judges hands and they change over time. I don’t really trust the courts – they let too many rich people get away with far too much. Given the choice I would change it to remove the word insult and add the word severe before the word offence.

    I’d have a much stronger viewpoint if it wasn’t all the creepiest pollies who are seeking this change, but more moderate ones just wishing to fix up the wording. I suspect the wording was deliberately left loose as yes we did need affirmative action back in 1975.

  194. LOVO

    Migs, I bet the up-coming ‘show down’ will rattle your world. 😛

  195. diannaart

    @jimhaz

    If you want to try to understand 18C, then you need to factor in 18D. As both clauses are used in assessing complaints.

  196. Kaye Lee

    I note successful IPA apprentices Tim Wilson and James Patterson are rather confident that they will be able to win this heroic battle. What a waste of time and energy.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/freespeech-crusaders-close-to-eroding-racial-discrimination-act-says-liberal-senator/news-story/286e1385d23cd642c1517c21f147ba9a

    Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians thought about would improve our society and prioritised the important things rather than spending all their time on talking about their rights and their entitlements and their jobs – superficial dilettantes swanning around debating rubbish instead of listening to experts and focusing on the real issues.

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