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Mind Your Language

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Everyone knows a suit is comprised of a jacket and a pair of pants. Two jackets are not a suit. Neither can two pairs of pants be called a suit.  This was an argument I often made during the marriage debate. Marriage, I argued, was the joining of a man and woman in a special relationship.   If two men or two...

Raw Deal

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A local rag (The Geelong Advertiser) reported* last month that some sort of strange secretive trade was taking place in the quiet backstreets of affluent Highton. The article heavily implied that this was an illegal distribution of ‘raw’ (unpasteurized) milk - a product that is banned for human consumption in Australia and banned entirely for sale in Victoria. I found...

The Global Online Safety Regulators Network: A Global Surveillance State?

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The journalist Michael Schellenberger recently discovered that there is a formal government censorship network called the “Global Online Safety Regulators Network” (GORSN).  Australia’s top Internet censor, Julie Inman Grant, an American, described it at the World Economic Forum. The group includes censors from Australia, France, Ireland, South Africa, Korea, the UK, and Fiji.  This is a concerning development for anyone...

A Digital Dark Age (part 3)

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‘We will continue to be your single source of truth. Unless you hear it from us, it is not the truth’. So said former New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.  Covid When Covid hit in 2020, people had no reason to doubt what they were being told by their political leaders.  However, the pandemic very quickly exposed the incompetence of many in the medical...

A Digital Dark Age (part 2)

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The only currency that matters is power – getting it and holding on to it. Attaining power these days involves denigrating and silencing your opponents in any way possible: censoring them, branding what they say as misinformation, disinformation or malinformation, with the primary aim being to prevent them getting their message out. As has been observed, ‘When ideas are bad, censorship...

A Digital Dark Age

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Step into my parlour, said the spider to the fly,'Tis the prettiest little parlour, that ever you did spy,Oh no, no! then said the fly, to ask me is in vain,For who goes up to your winding stair,  Can ne'er come down again. Mary Howitt’s old poem could well be describing another web, the one that ensnares us all – the...

The Rise of Citizen Journalism and Independent Media

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Shortly after 4pm on the 27th of March, the X account @churPanic commenced a live broadcast on a mobile phone from the streets of Gisborne, New Zealand.  Against a backdrop of community outrage at taxpayer-funded Rainbow Storytime in the local library, a pedestrian crossing had been whitewashed. Residents of this small North Island town were protesting at the repainting of...

The Murder of Free Speech

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One of the most famous lines of historical literature, and of life, was spoken by Shakespeare’s Hamlet as he sought to avenge the murder of his father by his uncle. Claudius wanted power and what better way to get it than to dispose of his brother and marry his widow.  It is an age-old proposition for those seeking power. The...

God and Government

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“No gods, no masters” has been a popular anarchist phrase for over 500 years. Yet as society and culture becomes increasingly secular, authoritarianism has grown alongside it. The atheist utopia of a world dedicated to logic and reason seems further away now than it ever has been, despite more people choosing not to affiliate with religion. STATE WORSHIP Religion, in some...

The Rule of Law is Being Ignored by Conservatives

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The High Court recently ruled that: - if immigration detention is not a practical step towards a person being removed from the country, the detention amounts to punishment, and - governments can only mete out punishment if they are sentencing someone for a crime. This ruling led to the release of around 140 people who were in immigration detention but not on...

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Manufacturing Dissent: How Statistics Are Used To Lie, Manipulate And Divide

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Recently, the creator of Dilbert, Scott Adams, became the subject of a furore where he encouraged people to not associate with black people on...

Curse of The Planner