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So they want to change 18c

Returned Senator David Leyonhjelm and new One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts both want rid of section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Section 18c makes it illegal to carry out an act if: “(a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group”.

There are those in both houses who support the removal or amendment of 18c, on the grounds that it collides with concepts of freedom of speech, though it’s slightly alarming to imagine what any of them want to say that requires the removal of 18c in order for them to be able to legally say it.

The section is a little over-written: a reasonable person can assume that if someone is humiliated or intimidated they have also been offended and insulted, and my understanding is that it is the words offend and insult that most aggravate the two senators.

Both Leyonhjelm and Roberts put forward the argument that offence is always taken, never given, and that each one of us has a choice as to whether or not we feel offended and insulted by the word or actions of another.

I find this notion particularly quaint coming from Senator Leyonhjelm: if indeed we can choose not to be offended and insulted, why does he so frequently choose to be angry and aggressive in reaction to others he feels have offended him? Especially on Twitter. He can get quite foul in that medium.

Leyonhjelm was apoplectic when The Chaser parked a van outside his house, and he threatened them with the police. Why did he choose that stressful and incendiary reaction if he’s in control of his feelings like he says we all should be?

Increasingly, this argument sounds like the justification of bullies for a perceived right to bully. I am tormenting you because I can, and you can choose not to be tormented so it’s your fault if you are.

What kind of person wants the right to behave like that towards another?

Of course it’s true that in theory no one can make us feel anything: we react and respond to others and those reactions and responses are influenced by all manner of prior experiences, and our degree of understanding of our own psychology.

Everyone is moulded by their individual experiences as well as by the social and economic systems in which we develop. For example, if you suffer from, say, PTSD, you are less likely to be able to freely respond to distressing circumstances you encounter in the present, as one of effects of the illness is that it can make a present event indistinguishable from an event in a traumatic past. Humans need models in our childhoods. We need to be able to learn how to choose our responses, this is not knowledge we acquire at birth. Some are taught better than others, some are not taught at all. The emotional life is by no means a level playing field, and saying we can all “choose’ not to be insulted or offended is like saying obesity is a choice, or poverty, or that we can all be millionaires if we only choose to.

Roberts and Leyonhjelm can take no credit for having being born white with the advantages that whiteness can bring, equally, those of ethnicities, race, colour and nationality that are frequently subject to hate speech had no choice in the matter of their birth either.

We are not islands: we are affected by others and we affect others. Leyonhjelm and Roberts’ argument is the equivalent of Margaret Thatcher’s belief that there is no society, there’s only individuals.

The question is not whether people should learn to be immune to feeling hurt and insulted when kicked by a donkey, but why do we tolerate donkeys who feel compelled to kick in the first place? The indigenous men and woman who took Andrew Bolt to court won their case, but Andrew Bolt has yet to adequately explain why he felt compelled to question their validity as people of colour.

This latter question would seem to me to be far more serious, and far more in need of urgent address than the removal or amendment of 18c. Why do these people want to amend or remove 18c? What will be gained from its removal, and who will profit?

I can see nothing to be gained, and a great deal that could be lost, unless it is your life goal to abuse those who are different from you, and if it is, you are the problem, not Section 18c.

By the way, we don’t actually have any constitutional rights to free speech in this country:

The Australian Constitution does not explicitly protect freedom of expression. However, the High Court has held that an implied freedom of political communication exists as an indispensible part of the system of representative and responsible government created by the Constitution. It operates as a freedom from government restraint, rather than a right conferred directly on individuals.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

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116 comments

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  1. Fedup

    Yes and they may as well add to their so called bloody changes that it only applies to WHITES. The rest can and do call us whatever they so chose. Only whites are considered RACISTS! Just ask Adam Goodes!

  2. wam

    the 18c objectors know that addressing vilification in the libel courts allow only the mega rich and insured to challenge statements that hurt, are incorrect or hateful. They have no problems with direct insults’ being protected under free speech or under libel laws?
    But when bolt got done, not for his denigration of lightskins that is freespeech, but for his naming them, not free under 18c.
    Removal of 18c will give parliamentary privilege-style protection and free rein to bolt and his ilk.
    Lucky leyonhjelm, Pauline and slimeyX need some examples to block the move????

  3. Kaye Lee

    Bob Day and Deryn Hinch are also on the 18C bandwagon. Leyjonhelm is a member of the IPA so it goes without saying that it is a mission of his that will also no doubt be taken up by loudly by James Patterson and Tim Wilson.

  4. Carol Taylor

    Wam, Bolt also got done because of his numerous errors of fact. For example, with Larissa Behrendt, Bolt claimed that her father was German and just to prove his point..her hair is blonde! Ms Behrendt was therefore claiming financial advantage under false pretences, in Bolt’s opinion. Unfortunately for Bolt, Ms Behrendt’s father is actually an Aboriginal person (Bolt clearly didn’t bother to check, just went by the surname). And nor is Ms Behrendt in fact blonde, it was just a style she was wearing in just one photo which Bolt must have located via a bit of Googling.

    Bolt however stomped from the court crying outrage pertaining to his ‘freedom of speech’, conveniently omitting a prime reason for his conviction..just plain bad journalism.

  5. Hotspringer

    Well, they have a mandate…

  6. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, it doesn’t surprise me that Hinch hitched himself to this one, after all he has done prison time for his ‘naming and shaming’ of pedophiles. HInch however fails to ever mention that one of the persons he ‘named and shamed’ enabled the identification of the victim. It was a case of incest. Hinch was fully aware of this, but went ahead anyway. So much for his concern about the victim, the headline was what was important.

  7. Matters Not

    Bolt could have appealed. But didn’t. Martyrdom has an upside.

    BTW, Roberts thinks 18c (1975) was all about Bolt. Clearly not a historian, given it came into existence long before the rise of Bolt.

    But Roberts will never let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. Prices on Carbon are down to bankers pursuing a ‘socialist’ agenda. Hilarious!

    An expert in the Gish Gallop technique.

  8. Michael Taylor

    MN, it certainly made a good headline in The Herald Sun the next day.

  9. jimhaz

    I think the definitions are too broad and need refining as they read, however, if that clause been in the Act since 1975 its impact in the courts have not been extensive.

    None of the English comedians like Dave Allen would be allowed nowadays. Dame Edna, Benny Hill the whole lot would have been blackbanned – they all mocked people of different nations.

    I’m a bit worried about what it means in these days of social media. I’d vandalise government property if ever fined under this act for a comment I made online.

  10. Matters Not

    Yes MT, people love a good Martyr. Just ask Pauline.

    The more we mock the higher her vote. Worked for Joh, and now with George, Pauline and Barnaby.

    Some voters don’t like people who ‘think’ or can articulate.

  11. Miriam English

    That Chaser video was hilarious. What an amazing humorless hypocrite Leyonhjelm is.
    That same video on YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2C8JbvXb2c
    (I like to save such videos to my hard drive for future if the “free speech” advocates finally manage to block our ability to view such things. It’s easy to download YouTube videos.)

    Seems to be a feature of bullies. They want to be safe to insult and pick on others, but when they become the target they get really, really upset.

  12. Matters Not

    taken up by loudly by James Patterson and Tim Wilson.

    Not sure about the ‘loudly’ bit KL. Might have to keep the agitation within the confines of the party room because Brandis stuffed up with the ‘freedom to be bigot’ jibe. Turnbull’s on a knife edge. Nothing contentious please.

    Now spends lots of his time under the bed in a darkened room. ? ? ?.

    Seeing nothing and knowing nothing. ? ? ?

  13. Carol Taylor

    Jimhaz, not strictly so. I’ve copied below the gist of one of the leading cases on the matter. As you can see, impolite and offensive taken in ‘the artistic sense’ is exempted under section 18D of the Act. Dave Allen is safe. 🙂

    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 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.

    You might also like to have a look at this link.

    http://hrlc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/HRLC_Myth_Buster_Eatock_v_Bolt.pdf

  14. Terry2

    Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act should always be read in conjunction with Section 18D and the problem goes away, in my view:

    “18D Exemptions

    Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith:

    (a) in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic work; or

    (b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or

    (c) in making or publishing:

    (i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or

    (ii) a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.”

  15. Jennifer Wilson

    Yes, agree, Terry

  16. Jennifer Wilson

    Thanks for that Carol.
    I wonder how this will pan out in the complaints to the Press Council about the Leak cartoon
    Be difficult to argue there was no overt political context in that, but it’s the Press Council of course, not the court.

  17. Carol Taylor

    Terry 2, you are absolutely correct which gives question as to why Hanson, Hinch, Leyonhjelm, Bernardi and Day are so eager to take to the soap box. To my mind they are clearly trying to drum up some racist outrage for self-promotional purposes, either that or they’re pig-ignorant about Section 18D.

  18. Jennifer Wilson

    I haven’t yet come to grips with balance of power in the Senate, but ALP would definitely oppose any changes to 18c so would Greens, I imagine, & Xenophon said he wouldn’t support it, so it won’t get through

  19. Jennifer Wilson

    I’m trying to work out how to save the transcript of ABC interviews they are no longer going to preserve. That’s a big loss to people like me, I’m in their transcripts all the time checking what’s been said in political interviews, Four Corners etc.

  20. Jennifer Wilson

    I think we ought to ignore Hanson & One Nation as much as possible. But I probably won’t be able to.

  21. Harquebus

    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.

  22. Jennifer Wilson

    Satire is still allowed, jimhaz. Not that it’s necessary anymore really, the government satirises itself so well.

  23. Jennifer Wilson

    A banker pursuing a socialist agenda. That’s something I’d like to see.
    Roberts is very odd.

  24. Matters Not

    Jennifer Wilson I suspect that the gap in the ‘transcript’ department will be filled via the private sector. You do know that the private sector is much more efficient that the public sector. ? But it will cost you.

    Yes Harquebus, that’s what Leyonhjelm said until he was put to the test.

    Quick to phone the police when put to the test. ? Perhaps he’s a weakling?

  25. Jennifer Wilson

    Everyone and no one has a mandate in this parliament

  26. Jennifer Wilson

    Oh, the ex Freedom Commissioner. Who thought protestors should be water cannoned. What a world we live in.

  27. Jennifer Wilson

    Wam, I don’t think there’s the numbers to give legs to the 18c *reforms*
    I hear Abbott is now expressing regret that he backed down on it…

  28. Jennifer Wilson

    He is an irritating twerp. IMHO

  29. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    D.L. is a weaking. So what? I am hardly surprised and stand by my comment.
    I don’t think that I would appreciate someone camped outside of my house either. Would you? That is a privacy issue.

  30. Jennifer Wilson

    How about both, Carol?

  31. Jennifer Wilson

    Sorry, Harquebus, I don’t agree with you.

  32. Jennifer Wilson

    I was thinking the same thing, MN. I’ll have to pay for the damn transcripts.

  33. Jennifer Wilson

    It depends entirely on what they were doing camped outside my house. It could be fun.

  34. Michael Taylor

    Rather than some people needing to toughen up, I’d prefer to see people show respect. Just because a person isn’t ‘tough enough’ to accept being called a ^%%#}~!!! wouldn’t it be more acceptable if people refrained from screaming such abuse?

    As someone said a long time ago on Cafe Whispers, “Freedom of speech doesn’t give you the right to be an arsehole”.

    And while I’m at it, some people come here complaining that as their comment has been deleted it is obvious that we don’t allow free speech. Wrong. Fact is, we don’t tolerate people being called a #%^<.{!!!. You can speak like that in the front bar, but not here.

  35. helvityni

    Michael Taylor, totally agree with you. No probs about people people DIS- agreeing with me, that’s never my problem. It’s the nasty personal attacks that I do not like, I have spent enough sleepless night stressing about why it is still possible on some blogs.

    I’m all for CIVIL free speech.

  36. Harquebus

    Michael.
    Assuming that you are referring to me.
    I agree however, legislating to show respect is not the solution.
    Who knows who is a bigot unless they are allowed to identify themselves.
    When did I call anyone a #%^<.{!!!?

  37. Matters Not

    If you are really concerned about ‘free speech’ then why aren’t we demanding the retraction of defamation legislation? What is so precious about one’s ‘reputation’? Seems as though Hockey was vehemently opposed to ‘free speech’ and therefore sued for ‘defamation’?

    Or is ‘defamation’ just a ‘playground’ for the rich and powerful?

    JW, buy a personal video recorder (PVR). I only watch TV via a PVR. No advertisements. No wasting time if it’s BS under discussion. Saves a mountain of time. Can be replayed etc. Great value.

  38. Michael Taylor

    No, Harquebus, I wasn’t referring to you.

    You haven’t seen the crap we’ve had to put up with the last couple of weeks. There’s some rude people out there.

  39. Carol Taylor

    Helvityni, it shouldn’t still be possible, especially when it’s an incitement to violence against the person. Unfortunately the law is lagging, but there have been some recent improvements where people (mostly women) who have had such vitriol/obscene comments have successfully brought criminal charges against the perpetrator. It seems that the days are numbered where people have thought that 1. it’s anonymous (I have a gravatar) and 2. I have a secret IP which cannot be traced (it can) and 3. that it’s ‘just a blog’ or ‘just Facebook’ will let them off scott-free.

  40. Carol Taylor

    MN, defamation is all most exclusively a ‘playground for the rich and powerful’. I think that you’d be looking at around $100,000 just for a defamation lawyer to get to the stage where he/she decides whether or not the case is worth pursuing. Hence the reason why anti-discrimination laws are so important for minority groups, you at least have a chance of a hearing.

  41. totaram

    Perhaps, a condition (an amendment if you like) to any attempt to scrap 18C, should also scrap defamation laws. If you don’t like one, how can you agree with the other?

  42. totaram

    ME: if Jacqui Lambie gets it, what is wrong with all the other jokers? You can tell they are deliberately trying to ignore 18D and making an issue out of a non-issue.

  43. Matters Not

    Yes Carol, I am aware of the costs and the ‘gamble’ involved. You would also know that such cases are usually settled out of court because of the $$$s involved. Hockey, for example, ‘won’ the case’ but it cost him a significant sum. ?

    Re Harquebus, I have no problem with what I will call your ‘theoretical’ world, populated by ‘whites’ familiar with the cultural notion that ‘sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me’. It was a view I once shared but now reject.

    As someone who worked (still do) with ‘others’ from different cultural backgrounds, I now realise that the ‘say as you like’ view of the world is not shared across ‘cultures’. (And whether you like it or not, ALL cultures are multi-cultural – certainly some more so than others). On balance, in the day-today, lived world, ‘hate speech’ might enable perpetrators to ‘get their rocks off’ but the hurt it causes results in an overall ‘negative’ on the social balance sheet.

    Is it a limit on ‘freedom’? Sure is. In much the same way as X Y Z … too many examples to list are limits on freedom. (Civilization itself can be seen as a limit on freedom.)

    But if you want to start a discussion on ‘freedom’ go ahead but it will have to include concepts of ‘freedom from’, ‘freedom to’ and the like. No simplistic bullshit please. ?

  44. Harquebus

    Matters Not.
    I am not comfortable giving up freedoms for the sake of other peoples cultural sensitivities nor for any other reason. If ones culture does not like free speech then, that is a culture that I would want to avoid.

  45. helvityni

    Matters Not,

    “Civilization itself can be seen as a limit on freedom.”

    Civilised people express themselves, well, civilly, that does not exclude the truth of any matter under discussion.

    Truth and Civility.

  46. Michael

    DL had a choice to bask in the glory – blew it!

  47. Florence nee Fedup

    A mandate that allows 76 MPs to sit in lower house. Enough to form govt but unlikely enough to get much legislation passed.

  48. Florence nee Fedup

    I always thought but must be wrong, that freedom of speech arose in relation to political matters, The right to voice, hold and challenge political beliefs and ideologies.

    Freedom of speech that is necessary to underpin democracy.

    When did free speech become the right to abuse, insult and harm those around you.

    What has the likes of Roberts and Hanson been unable to say under present laws???

    After C 18, do we repeal defamation and Libel laws.

  49. Miriam English

    “I’m trying to work out how to save the transcript of ABC interviews they are no longer going to preserve. That’s a big loss to people like me, I’m in their transcripts all the time checking what’s been said in political interviews, Four Corners etc.”

    Jennifer, I’m surprised that they’d want to do this. A cheap, $100 external 1 TB hard drive can hold text equivalent of about 24 million Four Corners length transcripts. Even just a cheap 8GB flash drive (the smallest and cheapest you can buy — about $5) can hold the text equivalent of more than 190,000 Four Corners length transcripts. Keeping all the transcripts hundreds of years into the future is absolutely no burden at all. I wonder why they want to get rid of such a precious resource. Sounds suspiciously like burying bothersome evidence.

    I commonly download everything to my hard drive that interests me because the internet is so notoriously ephemeral. Many times I’ve gone back to refer to something and it has been gone. So now if it’s important, I save it. And then every so often my hard drives get backed up to my external drives for safe keeping. I normally leave the external hard drives disconnected and switched off so they are less likely to get damaged and will last for many decades. Internal hard drives will only last about 7 years, depending on how heavily they’re used. Flash drives lose their data too after some years. Recordable CDs, depending on the dye-type tend start to lose their data after several years too. Rarely used external hard drives are the most reliable way to store data.

    • You can Save As from most web browsers, but this is a drag when you are faced with perhaps hundreds of pages that you want to keep.
    • The Internet Archive is probably your best bet. It stores a most of the net, unless sites store instructions in a “robots.txt” file instructing them not to. I just now checked the Four Corners page on their episode “Money and Influence” at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2016/05/23/4465448.htm and it is up on the Internet Archive ( https://archive.org/ ). Search for the address of the original page via their WaybackMachine. It takes some time for their bots to crawl the web to archive new content so the latest episodes aren’t there yet. The only problem is that if a site is gone from the ABC’s pages, then finding it on the Internet Archive could be difficult because you need to know the address in order to look it up.

    • I use a small, free program named “wget” which can download an entire site or part of a site. The manual is quite long because it has countless options and capabilities. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work with the ABC’s sites. I’m not sure why (I’ll look further into it), but it works well with most websites. If you want to use it let me know and I’ll give you the command I use for downloading chunks of websites.

    What transcripts are you most interested in? I’ll see if I can automate their download and put them somewhere on the net for easy access for you.

  50. Michael Taylor

    “I’ve gone back to refer to something and it has been gone”.

    Funny you should mention that, Miriam. I regularly delete ‘broken links’ on the site (links to web pages that are no longer available) and there was a flood of broken links to the Liberal Party page after Tony Abbott was replaced by Turnbull. The broken links were to Abbott quotes.

    More recently a lot of broken links have shown up that link to Bolt’s blog, and these were to his articles denouncing global warming. Maybe Andrew is aware that his argument was wrong and he deleted the posts, or it could even be that old articles were being deleted by news.com for whatever reason.

  51. Miriam English

    Michael, those articles might be on Archive.org — it is a wonderful resource for finding things that governments or corporations think they’ve covered up.

    I’ve mentioned before the time the QLD government wanted nuclear power so they posted a faked report that made nuclear power look cheaper than other options, even though a previous report commissioned by the same government (which they’d deleted from the government servers) found that nuclear was the most expensive option. I dug up the old report which was still on Archive.org and publicised it as widely as I could. 🙂

  52. Miriam English

    Jennifer, I’ve persuaded wget to download all the Four Corners transcripts from 2000 to present. They are now safely on my computer’s hard drive. Were there any other transcripts you were interested in?

  53. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, I don’t need them anymore and I’ll never know what to look for anyway. I just delete the links wherever they might link to. Once they’re deleted I’ll never be able to find them again.

  54. Matters Not

    I am not comfortable giving up freedoms for the sake of other peoples cultural sensitivities nor for any other reason

    Fantastic! So you will explain to me (and others) your concept of ‘freedom’? Is it about what you want to do or is it about what prevents you from fulfilling your ambitions? And please do so in terms of ‘necessary and sufficient conditions’. And if not, then why not? As you would understand I’m sure, that we in the ‘west’ have an intellectual (cultural) tradition that values clarity and engages in ‘conceptual analysis’. So go for it. Outline the meaning(s) you intend when you speak of ‘freedom’. Feel free. And accept the consequence.

    You see (for the purpose of this exercise), I am a female Aboriginal teenager (a real Australian born and bred and culturally pure – at least in my own mind) whose home is here in the Todd River and I survive economically by getting fuc@ed by pissed whites desperate for a ‘bit on the side’ as they exit from the Casino before I move to the Roadhouse on the highway on the odd chance that I may be able to get another ‘culturally’ pure customer/client who is just exercising his ‘freedom’ to do what is perfectly legal.

    As for me, I am vitally concerned with ‘freedom from’. You know, things like, hunger, sexual abuse, physical violence and the like.

    Over to you. Exercise your freedom

  55. paulwalter

    Just read Jennifer Wilson’s piece elsewhere and here, it seems to have expanded to take in the parallel issue of the census intrusion into privacy.

    Jennifer Wilson made a good comment in passing re Foucault and his “regimes of truth”, what is or isn’t allowed to be discussed and in what tone (we see this sometimes in the moderation of tv shows like the Drum and QA.), which expands on a nasty tendency Orwell had discerned in political affairs, where truth becomes lies and denialism is maintained for the benefit of a confused few, even at the expense of the whole rational civilisational enterprise, along the lines of global warming say.

  56. Jennifer Wilson

    Thanks, MN. I’ll investigate that.

  57. Jennifer Wilson

    I’m fine with that arrangement. Defo laws are only for the wealthy.

  58. Jennifer Wilson

    Miriam, thank you, that’s a very generous offer. I’m not highly technologically educated: most of what you wrote is mysterious to me.
    What I’ll miss when it happens, (I don’t know if they started yet, or rather stopped) is being able to check interviews on the abc, mostly radio, so I can accurately quote.
    The usual explanation for the ABC taking these actions is lack of money, however, I’m cynical enough to suspect it’s in government interests not to have people like me trolling through transcripts to find out what politicians actually said on a topic, whether recently or several years ago. It’s much easier to do this with transcripts than watch or listen to an entire program to find one thing you want.
    It’s outrageous, really, the ABC is an archive of our political history, and unique. I’m seriously annoyed by this development.

  59. Jennifer Wilson

    Crikey, Miriam, that’s brilliant. Thank you.
    I don’t know if there’s anything else right now: my main concern is the future when the ABC ceases to transcribe at all. What do we do then?

  60. Miriam English

    No worries. I’ll look at cleaning up the files (the ABC’s directory structure is a mess) and upload them to somewhere on my website. I’ll also look at downloading transcripts for ABC radio programs.

    When I want to look at transcripts of ABC TV programs I often look through the subtitle files. Because I’m half deaf I can’t watch videos without subtitles, and because for many years my internet has been very slow and unreliable I had to download ABC TV programs from iView (I don’t have a TV). I worked out how to download the subtitles too and convert them to an easily readable form. Many times I’ve needed to go back and refer to something that was said — loading the subtitle file into a text editor and simply doing a quick word search is much faster and easier than watching the entire show again.

    Years ago I came up with a way to get a computer to automatically make transcripts of audio files. At the time I was flat out working on virtual worlds so didn’t take it further than just the conceptual stage, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thought of this method (I won’t go into an explanation here as it is pretty technical, though not too difficult to grasp). In any case we are extremely close to artificial intelligence (AI), largely through the groundbreaking open-source work at Numenta. It won’t be long before AIs will happily make transcripts of everything for us. So even if the politicians attempt to cover up their bloopers we will soon be able to go around them. Also the deaf community will have something to say if the ABC cease to make transcripts, as one of the core principles of the ABC is supposed to be giving all Australians access.

  61. Fedup

    Well at least he had the guts to stand up for what he believes is everybody right to know who these bastards are. They should be named and shamed and families have every right to know if this scum is around their children, living nearby. Yes it’s sad one child’s name came out but in the big scheme of things one name is nothing when this scum is hunting children everywhere. Where are our rights under this stinking law? Where are our children’s rights to be able to be safe? This stinking government is turning into nothing more than a bloody dictatorship where the stinking rights of these perpetrators are more important than the victims. This is the same for Freedom of Speech. To hell with white Australians, these other black and coloured races can do or say anything to us whites and the law protects them. You are only a racist if you are WHITE! To hell with this government and it’s laws, if I have something to say, I will bloody well say it! No politician is going to tell me what to do and this is exactly what they are trying to achieve and this will stop everybody to stop protesting or complaining about any issue relating to migrants, aboriginals and asians. Has to make you bloody well wonder who is running this country! I say bring on a revolution in this country because I for one am sick and ashamed of the way ordinary Australians are being treated! What will be the next thing they will stop us from saying?

  62. Miriam English

    I should mention that it is easy to use the Internet Archive. You don’t need any technical prowess at all. It’s just 2 steps:

    1. Just get the address of the page you’re looking for.
    You can get that from…
    – the link to a web page. Right-click the link and choose from the popup menu “Copy link location”, or similar (depending on the web browser you use). That copies the address.
    or alternatively…
    – the text in a web browser’s address bar at the top of every web page, which you can highlight with the mouse and copy.

    2. Paste or type this address into the Internet Archive’s WaybackMachine on the Internet Archive’s website at https://archive.org/

    Done.

    If the web page or link no longer exists on the ABC then you can load a main ABC index page using the Internet Archive’s WaybackMachine and follow those links til you find the page you want. The Internet will often let you choose from multiple dates it retrieved pages. It might visit popular pages perhaps once a month.

    This might sound complicated to you, but believe me, it isn’t. Try it and you’ll quickly find it a wonderful resource.

  63. mark delmege

    Given the level of the harsh criticism members of the government (and others) get on here one must wonder the relevance of 18c.

  64. Fedup

    “to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group” only applies if you are WHITE! DICTATORSHIP is what I call it. The government itself are the biggest racists of the all by trying to stop people’s freedom of speech!

  65. Matthew Oborne

    They want 18c taken away so they can get more supporters with more targetted speech. The issue with that is once your racist base votes for you they expect a payoff, you have to deliver for the racists. That means even more targetting of minorities. The world provides us with many examples of politicians who gained power via racisim and it doesnt end well. since the end of world war two over 100 million people have died because of ethnicity or belief. To say governments care about peoples lives is a complete joke, few governments do, our government certainly has no care for refugees and has them in a deadly situation. They got into that situation because Howard as trying to find a way to get Pauline Hanson’s voters. Today we have people captured trying to flee Sri Lanka and head to other places like Australia and we provide material support to help their government capture those people. This is how racial politics poisons. This is why we have a duty of care towards people that we are failing today let alone what would be the consequences of allowing more vociferous racist hate speech. You can not go into a bank and tell them to give you all there money because you will do something otherwise, so there are things we know we cant say, you cant threaten a human life or many other things, so our speech has limits. This is a particular limit some people dont want and given our current racial politics who advocates for more is dangerous.

  66. Michael Taylor

    These people need to go and stand in the shoes of Aboriginal people.

  67. Steve Laing

    Fedup – here is the thing. You have the freedom of speech to say anything you like. That choice remains and is exercised regularly. However with this right you must also appreciate there may be consequences. 18C also encourages people to consider the consequence of what they say, and I don’t think that is a bad thing as you might find an inappropriate racial slur or identifying someone as a paedophiles gets you a punch in the mouth or worse.

  68. Michael Taylor

    Fedup, it seems to me that you don’t know the difference between freedom of speech and the right to be a racist, sexist bigot.

  69. Miriam English

    Fedup, you are being ridiculous. Perhaps you’d be happier over at a One Nation forum. (I don’t think we have any KuKlux Klan forums here in Oz.)

    Yeah, Aborigines and Asians are such a threat to white Australians. Pfffft!

    The problem comes from bullies. When bullies feel they have power in numbers and incite anger at a minority they become dangerous. White Australians outnumber vastly all other groups in Australia. By faking this utterly laughable idea that we’re oppressed by minorities the bullies can wreak tremendous harm.

    My sister in law, whose genetic line is Chinese, is very Australian. She has entirely lost touch with her Chinese forebears and speaks only English with a quite broad Australian accent, as you’d expect having been born and raised here in Queensland. Not long ago the doorbell rang and she was trying to calm the dog down, so was backing toward the front screen door. When she finally was able to turn to the guy at the door to happily greet him, he blanched, was lost for words, left a pamphlet and scurried off. It turned out he was a horrible racist handing out literature condemning Asians and urging people to vote for One Nation. My sister in law is the sweetest, kindest person you could ever hope to meet. She works helping disabled kids. I’m very lucky in that my family is extremely multicultural — we have race types from most of the world’s major groups and have friends that spread across all the other groups. Given that standpoint it is easy to see how competely ridiculous the fears of culturally insulated racists are.

  70. Fedup

    Bullshit! Yes I would be happy to be part of the ONE NATION FORUM! BETTER THAN READING ABOUT ALL YOUR CRAP! You people are so bloody blind as to the intentions of this pathetic government! They have you exactly where they want you! Lapdogs! Very soon you won’t be allowed to think for yourself before they remove another part of your freedom! How stupid are you?

  71. Michael Taylor

    Awesome! You’re leaving us. I’m overjoyed.

  72. Miriam English

    If you want to see a very funny illustration of why white people are not really threatened by slander watch this wonderful piece by the very talented Louis C K:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luaxIylnuGA

  73. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Michael,

    self-entitled upstarts like Lleyonhjelm and Roberts need to go and stand in the shoes of Aboriginal people.

    Also, thanks all for The Chaser segment sending up Lleyonhjelm’s acceptance of sexually explicit language that disgusts me as a proud woman, mother of daughters and mother of sons, who I expect treat women with respect.

  74. Fedup

    What you mean the 70% who are more white than black? The other 30% of full blooded Aboriginals that want to be left alone but not allowed to? I can bet it’s not the full blooded Aborigines that are in and out of jail.

  75. Kaye Lee

    Your ignorance is astonishing Fedup. You would be embarrassed if you had any sense.

  76. Michael Taylor

    “I can bet it’s not the full blooded Aborigines that are in and out of jail”.

    True, it’s only the ones with white in them that are no good. The full blooded ones are OK. They haven’t been tarnished.

    In seriousness, you don’t know what you’re talking about (and neither do I). And I don’t know who here you’re quoting with that 70% 30% rubbish. 30% of Aboriginal Australians are not full blooded (a term I dislike, by the way). At the very best it’s probably less that 0.01% (and that’s being generous).

  77. Miriam English

    Fedup, why would you even care what percentage of white/black blood a person has?

  78. Michael Taylor

    One site I just looked at said there are only 40,000 ‘full blooded’ Indigenous Australians remaining. (A large number of these may be Torres Strait Islanders).

    When I did Aboriginal anthropology at uni we were told that there were NO ‘full blooded’ mainland Aborogines left, however a friend from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands later disputed this and he told me about the ‘Spinifex People’. These are people who left the ‘main mob’ for cultural reasons many decades ago (to be precise, they may have faced death if they had have stayed). Now and again an old Spinifex couple may return to the ‘main mob’ when they know their days on earth are numbered.

  79. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m not full-blood Anglo-Saxon. I’m 1/8th Celtic considering Grandpa’s mother was born in Scotland. That makes me a mixed blood too!

  80. Miriam English

    Has anyone else noticed how many of the most beautiful people in the world have mixed blood? There is very good science behind why that’s so. It has to do with the fact that much of our perception of beauty is the result of an unconscious perceptual averaging. People who are closest to that average by blending racial types tend to be more beautiful than “pure” bloods. Have you noticed how incredibly ugly so many of the worst racists and racial purists are?

    Racism causes depletion of genetic stock, leading to the well-known problems of inbreeding. Widening the genetic pool by sharing genes with many racial groups leads to stronger, more resilient, more healthy individuals.

    In reality, race is a figment of imagination. There is very little genetic variation among all humans. The statement that we’re all brothers and sisters is true. There is less difference between all the humans on Earth than among the several individuals in an average chimpanzee troop. We are at great risk of genetic poverty… and the racists want to deplete that further!

    I think that racists may even be a worse threat to human survival than global warming. No matter how badly we screw up the climate, some humans will survive, but having such low genetic variability puts us all at risk of a virus, bacterium, fungus, or parasite that incurs 100% mortality. We have come close a few times and it may be just a matter of time. Our ridiculously low diversity — probably the result of a couple of hundred thousand years of racism — means there is a very good chance that it will cause us to be wiped out.

  81. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Miriam.

  82. roy stanley johnson

    we in this we have been working for a long time to stop the racial divide in this country its not up to 4 people to kill all the good work done in this country to turn back the clock on this is not going to happen you hanson and the liberal democrats want to get around and spew their hatred around the country does no one any good at all but i know that 18c is here to stay

  83. Fedup

    Oh what next. What a twist of the subject matter you are dragging out. All I said was that I believe 70% of Aboriginals are more white than black so what has your comment got to do with anything? At what point do they stop being classified as Aboriginals? I have been told at 1 64th! Is that right you expert? I am sick of you’re pathetic reasons for everything. Of course we all came from somewhere, I’m not disputing that, never had! God I’m half bloody German but I classify myself as an Australian, never German as I was born and bred here. It’s most of these half cast Aboriginals that are the trouble makers here in this country, not the full blooded. They use their aboriginality only when it suits them and it’s at this time they scream racism the bloody loudest! Yes a lot of them end up in jail. Why? Because they cause trouble, they carry out crimes, so why should they be treated any different than any other criminal in this country? I don’t believe there are many cases in the NT that carried out cruelty such as was exposed in the media. From what I read these trouble makers were uncontrollable and caused 100s of thousands of dollars damage so what is the law supposed to do with them? Give them a slap on the wrist and don’t do it again! Because that’s sounds like your mentality. Oh their Aboriginals, they should be treated different. Hence “One flag, one country, one nation and one law for all! I heard Mark Lathan going on one day on the news saying that Australians are becoming Tribal. Never a truer word said from this idiot.

  84. Wayne Johnson

    you may as well just put your robes on and call yourselves the klu klux clan thats what your sounding like more and more every single day

  85. Fedup

    Bullshit! You know what mister? I listened to a gentleman a few days ago say that the biggest racists are the ones who scream racism the loudest! Sounds like the lot of you. Have a good day. I’m out of here! You’re a bunch of bloody morons!

  86. The AIM Network

    “I’m out of here!”

    Before you go – considering your insistence that people should be able to speak their mind no matter how offensive it is – I would like to say that you are one of the most disgusting individuals ever seen on this site (which is why so many of your comments don’t pass through moderation). You are an embarrassment, yet you take pride in spewing forth racist fifth and denigrating not only people of darker skin but people of different religions. Fortunately, you are a minority in this country.

  87. Fedup

    You seem to enjoy reading them otherwise I wouldn’t be getting any replies from you all. What are you scared of? Others actually agreeing with me? Is that why they are not being published? What a moron you are? No bloody wonder they want to take away the right to freedom of speech!

  88. Michael Taylor

    I for one don’t enjoy reading them (and I only do that because I’m one of the moderators). I find them vile and disgusting. You are a disgrace.

  89. Miriam English

    Actually, yes, Fedup, it terrifies me that others may end up agreeing with you. Every time people get swayed by racism horrible things happen.

    “the biggest racists are the ones who scream racism the loudest”
    If you look at that statement carefully you’ll notice it doesn’t actually make any sense. It just makes racists feel comfortable that they can use a clumsy trick to dodge responsibility for what they say and do.

    “All I said was that I believe 70% of Aboriginals are more white than black”
    But that wasn’t all you said. You were making slurs against full- and mixed-blood aboriginals and against Asians. You were saying that white people are the targets of slander, and implied that there was a campaign to take their rightful position of power away.

    I’m sorry you are upset Fedup, but please look carefully at what you’re saying and why people get so prickly about it. We’ve spent decades trying to painfully undo the racism of hundreds — thousands — of years. Things are starting to go a bit better and then along come people like many of the poisonous racists in the LNP who quickly begin sabotaging it all. Then here you come echoing the same racist rubbish. No wonder people were upset.

    Racism really is wrong. Scientifically, it makes no sense at all. Socially, it is divisive and destructive. Psychologically, it hurts innocent people. Legally, people of different skin color get worse sentences for lesser offenses than white people do, which becomes especially tragic when young people have their lives ruined by being brutalised by a racist judicial and prison system.

    Please rethink your stand on this.
    There really is no other way to say it: you are wrong.

  90. Harquebus

    Matters Not

    Such a broad subject so, I will not go into a detailed description of my ideas on liberty and freedom.
    In regards to the scope of this article however, freedom would include the government not telling me what to think and what not to say.

    Are you really a prostitute from Todd River?

    From quotes that I have saved and contain the text “free”.

    “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

    “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” —- Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre.” — Frank Zappa

    “Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” — Edward Snowden

    “A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy.” — Writers Against Mass Surveillance.

    “Why have a monetary system based on gold? Because, as conditions are today and for the time that can be foreseen today, the gold standard alone makes the determination of money’s purchasing power independent of the ambitions and machinations of governments, of dictators, and political parties, and pressure groups. The gold standard alone is what the nineteenth-century freedom-loving leaders (who championed representative government, civil liberties, and prosperity for all) called “sound money”.” — Ludwig von Mises

  91. Fedup

    Our freedom is being taken away from us bit by bit that not many can even see it happening. The ones who do see it are called racists amongst other things. Politicians are denying it, people refuse to see it and many just no longer care. People are now starting to respond to it
    and others chose to pretend it’s not happening at all. Well people are now waking up and speaking up and still people refuse to see. What can one do if we don’t act together. We are a country divided and it’s going to get much worse because Governments refuse to act.

  92. Miriam English

    Harquebus, be careful quoting Ludwig von Mises. That fool was instrumental in unleashing the whole right wing neoliberal economic rationalist nonsense Ronny Reagan and Maggie Thatcher so loved. His idea of freedom was that only people who had a talent for accruing money deserved to be free. If you are not exceptionally wealthy then he is your enemy.

  93. Harquebus

    Miriam.
    I’ll take your word for it but, what he states in the quote is true. Precious metals is real money. Sovereign currencies are fiat crap and are intrinsically worth next to zero.

  94. Miriam English

    Precious metals are a way to make a bottleneck in the supply of money. It guarantees scarcity. It ensures that the people who accrue wealth get to control it.

    Fiat currency is a collective hallucination, it is true, but so is the entire money system whether based on gold or fiat currency. The difference is that you can separate from dependency on other countries and have a hope at determining your own country’s future. (I’m no expert in this though.)

    We are embarking on an era of plenty. Information can be endlessly published and delivered virtually for free. 3D printing is beginning to allow us to cut out the entire production chain. Solar and wind power is freeing energy production from the limits of mines and power stations, and is being enhanced by the move to more efficient systems (lights, computers, heating/cooling, transport, etc). There currently is work on food production using technology similar to brewing vats, which, when it soon comes of age, will usher in a new era of food plenty. Having money based upon scarcity in such a world would be ridiculous and unworkable. Paper money and electronic money are less absurd, but only a little less. They will continue to be effective for a while, but eventually even they will fall away, I think. When there’s no need for money people will gradually abandon it. But that’s a way off yet.

  95. Paul

    Thought you were leaving Fedup? Or is your confected outrage boiling your blood?

  96. Fedup

    You are all so inspirational, just couldn’t stay away. Confected outrage? Boiling my blood? Are you kidding? I am just so curious as to what is coming next from you guys. Now it’s precious metals and money. This should make for good reading if nothing else.

  97. Alan Baird

    I think we need to combine TWO items on Mr Leyonhjelm’s wish list for the New Libertarian Oz and introduce firearms to our fair land and then invite everyone to go online and type… really horrible things about David, that David might find REALLY offensive… unless he’s thin-skinned… such as inciting irritable (or even enraged) NON- libertarians (you know, really CONSTRAINED, FRUSTRATED people) to go around to Dave’s place and shooting him in celebration of the new-found FREEDUMB, you know, just like they do in the good ole USA, the land of the free, fearful and angry. You know, where people of the opposite point of view can be pictured in the crosshairs, online and on TV, just as a joke of course, ha ha, around the time Ms Plame was taken to task by a no doubt patriotic gent with a gun. By the way, loved the girls and the van outside Dave’s place as seen on tele. Such mild criticism and such an INTEMPERATE response from the Hon. Senator! Where’s ya sensa yuma, Dave? Remember mate, it’s a free country!

  98. Michael Taylor

    Fedup, have you met Jay? He wants you to write a post about the Port Arthur massacre conspiracy. He’s willing to pay you $500.

  99. Harquebus

    Miriam.

    Paper and digital currencies are a scam. Constant inflation of the currency supply decreases purchasing power and erodes savings.
    Major banks in Europe and the U.S. are on the verge of collapse and this time, there will be no rescue.
    Still prefer fiat currencies?

    http://www.newsbtc.com/2016/07/10/dark-clouds-gather-deutsche-bank-collapse-looms/

    Money vs Currency – Hidden Secrets Of Money Ep 1

    Apologies for going off topic.

  100. Fedup

    What the hell are you on about now you moron? What has Port Arthur got to do with anything? And who the ????? is Jay?

  101. Freethinker

    Fed up, not need to insult, that show your limited education.
    The law 18c have not removed yet, if you cannot participate up to the standard of this site will be better to move on to a forum or blog of your level.

  102. Michael Taylor

    I agree with you, Freethinker. I’m growing tired of hearing her call everyone a moron, day after day. It has gone past being monotonous. Indeed, it has gone past being tolerated.

  103. Florence nee Fedup

    Fedup,society in the past dictated one was Aboriginal, or then as they were called, blacks if they had taint of dark blood. Never considered to be white.

    Up to the 1950s that I know of personally,most so called Christian Churches wouldn’t marry A white and black. Mattered not that the girl was a practising Anglican from very early age. The Methodist Church alone broke rank. Married her to a only son of a white farmer.

    Matters not during years spent in Cootamundra Girls Home she was taught to dissociate herself from her people, to see herself only as white.

    I am asking a silly question. Up to 1970’s Aboriginals weren’t allowed to complete the census. I think they were still classed under Fauna and Flora in the Constitution. Not even seen as people.

    What is never mentioned, where did mixed bloods stand. Were they allowed to be in the census or not. How much white blood did one need to be seen as a human being? DId half castes need card saying they were honorary whites, to live off the reserves, which most lived on in NSW.

    Officially, how much white blood did one need not to come under the compulsory protection of the “Aboriginal Protection Board’. Not sure if I have the title right, but i did exist.

  104. Florence nee Fedup

    Fedup, I have news for you. You will find such kids from every culture group in Australia.

    Spent much of my working life among white ones. They exist everywhere. Nothing to do with culture or race.

    Seems to be couple things in common. Poverty and being marginalised.

    Some even come from so called “good” families.

    Locking them up in punitive conditions from age 12 or 14 will ensure they graduate to adult jail system.

  105. Karl Young

    It so sad we are living in a time when all these morons have this power.Stupid stupid people.David Leyonhjelm has hid under the radar for awhile.It’s all about power and manipulation. These people are incapable of rational debate. Because all fundamentalist’s are bullies.

  106. Fedup

    Screw you! I’ll comment whenever I feel like it! I may not be as “Intellectual” as the lot of you but if I have something to say I will say it! Now who’s a bigot?

  107. Terry2

    The question is, Fedup : do you actually have something to say ?

  108. Fedup

    I have plenty to say! Just not the way in which you dribblers talk!

  109. totaram

    Harquebus:”’ll take your word for it but, what he states in the quote is true. Precious metals is real money. Sovereign currencies are fiat crap and are intrinsically worth next to zero.”.

    So intellectual property has no value? It’s not a metal or even a physical commodity. Clearly you haven’t thought your ideas through.

    “Major banks in Europe and the U.S. are on the verge of collapse and this time, there will be no rescue.
    Still prefer fiat currencies?”

    Firstly, that is from a site of dubious integrity. Secondly, and more importantly, what has that got to do with fiat money? None of those banks issue fiat money. Do you know how those banks operate? I suspect not.

  110. Rob031

    Excellent post Jennifer. You put it very well indeed. Rob

  111. Freethinker

    FedupAugust 10, 2016 at 7:41 am
    Screw you! I’ll comment whenever I feel like it! I may not be as “Intellectual” as the lot of you but if I have something to say I will say it! Now who’s a bigot?

    You, that only can reply with insults.

  112. Jennifer Wilson

    Thanks Rob

  113. Jennifer Wilson

    Thank you Rob

  114. Rob031

    Who is this ‘Fedup’ idiot?

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