Intellectual freedom? Only if your values are ‘aligned’

The university year began with a rumbling noise that all is not well with intellectual freedom in this country. What started as a small story at a Queensland campus has become a very big one that demands attention if we care about the future of the current generation of young Australians, the next generation, and…

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We’ll Not Prosper In A World Tied By Red Tape

While the wider Australian economy struggles under excessive regulatory burden and lack of ­opportunity, the Canberra swamp charges ahead as a perpetual growth machine. According to Deloitte Access Economics’s latest quarterly business outlook released on Monday, Australia continues to suffer the triple threat of drought, a downturn in housing construction, and low confidence among consumers…

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Bureau ‘Cooling The Past To Declare Record Heat’

In September 2017, the Bureau declared the hottest ever September on record for the state of Victoria based on temperature data from Mildura. I’ve since shown that this was helped along by the Bureau replacing a mercury thermometer with an electronic probe that can record a good 0.4 degrees hotter for the same weather. There is not only…

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Made In Hong Kong

During a clash with police on 22 July 2019, protestors vandalised China’s national emblem—in front of Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong’s central business district—by smearing black paint on it. The same night, a gang of white-shirted thugs wielded canes, pipes, and metal bars and ambushed protestors and pedestrians alike at a train station exit in the suburb of Yuen Long, indiscriminately beating civilians— young and old— while the district’s police were suspiciously slow to respond. Throughout all this, Beijing ordered the city’s government to fly the country’s and city’s flags half-mast in light of the passing of Li Peng, the former premier of the People’s Republic of China dubbed the “Butcher of Beijing” for his order to crack down on Tiananmen Square in 1989. The symbolism and threat were clear: go home or risk repeating history.

So unique is the political status of Hong Kong—“One Country, Two Systems”—that there isn’t a comparable example. It is one thing for casual onlookers to reiterate the fact that the city’s geographical location is inalienable from China—that no matter how much the city wrestles with its own dissonance in identity, it will forever be Chinese. It is another thing completely to live through it. Ceded to the British Empire in 1842 following the First Opium War, Hong Kong has since diverged from the historical developments of the mainland. We have had 177 years (at the time of writing) to develop our own mode of politics and commerce, to say nothing of our own culture, identity and history.

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Journalists Want Free Speech For Them, Censorship For The Rest Of Us

The self-importance and self-interest of the Canberra bubble of journalists and the media has been on full display this week. Blacking out the front pages of newspapers across the country was an effective way of saying: “Look at me, look at me”. Media companies, the ABC, SBS, and the journalists’ trade union have formed the…

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The Mass Delusions Of Modern Psychology

Recently, in the USA, more than 70,000 psychologists and other “mental health practitioners” signed a petition claiming President Trump is psychologically unfit to serve and should be removed from office, as per the 25th amendment of the constitution. This strikes me as a repeat of history: psychologists unwilling to admit the limitations of their claims…

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Crazy Intersectional Zillenials

If you have followed youth and university politics over the past few years you have almost certainly encountered horror stories of a new illiberal generation, as seen in cases of de-platforming at universities and the embrace of identity politics. This makes Robby Soave’s Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump a timely investigation…

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