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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for the ‘Australian Politics’ Category

Response to ‘Toben and the Case for Free Expression’

Posted by Atilla89 on May 20, 2009

First post in months, yay. As usual I’ve had other priorities and things to attend to. This does not mean I have ignored what been going on (kind of hard to do while studying for an International Relations major). The aftermarth of Operation Cast Lead and of course Durban 2. Its kind of funny in a sick way how that turned out. Fredrick Toben a Holocaust denier in Adelaide has been sentenced to 3 months in jail due to a refusal to take down Holocaust denial and Antisemitic material from his website. He was prosecuted by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry in 1998 due to the offensive nature of the content on his site.

I was given this article to read recently and told to respond to it. This is what I wrote; I hope it gets through the editor and published on the site, but if not here it is.

This piece by Clementine Force completely glosses over the fact that 1) being ‘wrong’ and ‘misguided’ was not Toben’s crime and 2) freedom of speech was never the issue in this case. The Racial Discrimination Act makes it very clear that it is unlawful to act in a way that is reasonably likely to offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate another person especially if it is done because of a person’s, among other characteristics, race or creed. The judge ruled against Toben not specifically because he was wrong about a certain fact, but because he asserted that some Jewish people had exaggerated the number of Jews killed during World War II in order to profit from the perpetuation of what is described as ‘a Holocaust myth’. The laws of free speech have never covered the right to insult and humiliate other people based on a person’s religion or race. Force also asserts that Toben’s views are not dangerous in a world where Holocaust denial is dismissed. She is right. However, we don’t live in that world; in 2006 Toben went to the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Iran, a conference sponsored by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad another Holocaust denier who is the President of Iran. Toben was never sent to jail based on whether he was right or wrong, he sentenced because he refused to comply with a court order after giving his word that he would.

Tell me what you think of it and what I can improve.

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Fredrick Toben

Posted in Antisemitism, Australian Politics, Racism | 1 Comment »

Rudd Calls For Nuclear Disarmament

Posted by Atilla89 on June 9, 2008

I use to really dislike, scratch that, hate Krudd, but know, I just think of him as a poor naive little fool. Just look at his latest announcement, ‘Rudd Calls for Nuclear Disarmament’, I mean what world is he living in? Nuclear disarmament didn’t solve anything, it certainly didn’t solve the Cold War. Unless he mean forcibly taking off nukes off everybody that is to juvenile to use it, *cough* Iran, North Korea and Pakistan *cough*. Then I completely disagree with his statement. One of the key reasons that Israel exists amid a sea of enemies and still survives (besides it wonderful army) is undoubtedly due to its nukes.

“In this 21st century that we, the people of the Asian-Pacific region, should resolve afresh to make the Asia-Pacific century a century of peace and that the world at large should aspire now for a world free of nuclear weapons.”

Anyway, its not like anyone will be taking his suggestion seriously, he has just made himself out to look like an idealistic idiot.

Posted in ALP, Arabs, Australian Politics, Iran, Israel, Military | Leave a Comment »

In Good Faith Documentary

Posted by Atilla89 on May 28, 2008

A really interesting documentary/talk show/discussion has just come out from SBS (an Australian TV channel) which would be a good watch particularly in today’s political environment. The documentary is called In Good Faith and is about the impact of religion in faith-based schools. It goes into detail about whether religion should be taught in science classes, etc. Personally I believe that religion should have no part at all in science class because science is fact and religion is not. However I am all for religion being taught in schools especially if it is a faith-based one. I myself went to a Jewish faith based school and I really enjoyed. There was no religion in the science class but we did Hebrew up until year 8 (13-14 yo) and Jewish studies to year 10 (15-16 yo). The links below go to SBS’s media player however I have no doubt that in the future this documentary will be up on YouTube.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Posted in Australian Politics, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Liberal Club Canberra Trip

Posted by Atilla89 on May 18, 2008

I got back from Canberra two days ago from what was in my opinion, an awesome trip. I could give you an itinerary type account of what we did but that would probably bore you. The definite highlights of the trip was attending question time, attending the ALSF Alumni Cocktail Party with Senator The Hon. Eric Abetz, listening to Brendan Nelson give his Budget Reply speech and having breakfast with Alex Hawke MP (of Mitchell). Unfortunitely, I was only able to see Bronwyn Bishop MP (of Mackellar) for literally about 5 minutes, of which she did all the talking so I wasn’t able to ask her my question. Question time was an absolute blast as we saw Joe Hockey MP (of North Sydney) using alcopops as props in his speech. Alex Hawke was fun to talk to. He came to our table while we were eating to discuss the budget speech of (then) last night. We were discussing how Labor by pushing up taxes, even though we had a budget surplus, was going to be hurting everybody. We also talked about how there was a clear split amongst scientists on whether Global Warming was an acceptable theory, Tim Blair’s name was thrown around a bit.

We also went to the American Embassy where we were given a very short tour of the place. We also talked to 4 people who worked at the place, each one representing a different department of embassy. There was an economic, political, military and front office representative. They briefly talked about what they did and then we asked a few questions. After the visit was concluded we all started to walk back to our cars when I suddenly noticed the Israeli embassy. I jogged to the the sign that said “Israeli Embassy” and got a photo with me in front of it. Then I tried to get a photo with me outside the front gates only to be told quite suddenly by some nearby AFP to clear off immediately.

As for the budget reply speech, personally I think it was a very nice speech. Nelson has definitely bought some more time for himself, I think he will stay on till at least the end of the year. The speech itself was for me an 8.5/10. Obviously it was not the most inspired of deliveries, however there was a few great points such as the line “Watching petrol prices does not bring them down.” Overall I had a great time and I have a couple of photos for you below (most of the photos that I took had my face or somebody else’s face in it).

Senator The Hon. Eric Abetz giving a speech to ASLF Alumni

Back Of Old Parliament House

Front Of The American Embassy

Posted in ALP, Australian Politics, LPA, Uni | 3 Comments »

Liberal Club 2008 Canberra Trip

Posted by Atilla89 on May 14, 2008

Tomorrow I will be heading off with a dozen members of the Liberal Club to Canberra where we will meet with a few MPs and listen to the Budget Reply Speech. We will be meeting the following MP’s:

  1. Bronwyn Bishop
  2. Alex Hawke

We will also meet the Senator, The Hon. Eric Abetz at a cocktail party. We will be meeting a few other people involved in Liberal think tanks such as Menzies Research Centre, Philosophical Underpinnings of the Centre Right and International Developments and the Centre Right. I also intend to ask MP Bishop this question:

“In 2005 you spoke about banning head scarves in public schools where headscarves are not part of the school uniform. You spoke to Radio National, specifically Terry Lane about women enjoying freedom in Australia as opposed to living under Sharia law. If that is the case, why are you against women who want to wear a headscarf (for religious reasons) at public schools?”

Hopefully I will be able to remember her answer to write it down for this blog. Plenty of pictures to follow!

Posted in Australian Politics, Uni | 1 Comment »

An Anatomy of Surrender

Posted by Atilla89 on April 28, 2008

Firstly, I had a really great Pesach Seder, lots of people. I got a present from my aunt, a book called Tobruk by Peter Fitzsimons which I will start reading as soon as I get the chance. In the meantime, here’s a nice piece from Bruce Bawer detailing how the West has surrended culturally to Islamism. The paper talks about how the West’s media, acedemia and artists have betrayed their ideals (namely freedom of speech) to kowtow to Islamism. The byline of this article is Motivated by fear and multiculturalism, too many Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia. Hat tip to LGF for this one. Here’s the link to the article.

Enough. We need to recognize that the cultural jihadists hate our freedoms because those freedoms defy sharia, which they’re determined to impose on us. So far, they have been far less successful at rolling back freedom of speech and other liberties in the U.S. than in Europe, thanks in no small part to the First Amendment. Yet America is proving increasingly susceptible to their pressures.

The key question for Westerners is: Do we love our freedoms as much as they hate them? Many free people, alas, have become so accustomed to freedom, and to the comfortable position of not having to stand up for it, that they’re incapable of defending it when it’s imperiled—or even, in many cases, of recognizing that it is imperiled. As for Muslims living in the West, surveys suggest that many of them, though not actively involved in jihad, are prepared to look on passively—and some, approvingly—while their coreligionists drag the Western world into the House of Submission.

But we certainly can’t expect them to take a stand for liberty if we don’t stand up for it ourselves.

Actually after reading this, I sometimes wonder if in Australia we should have a Bill of Rights as well in order to further cement our ideals and values to stop Islamists or some other group trying to censor what we say. If anyone here has an opinion on this feel welcome to share it in the comments section.

Posted in Australian Politics, Europe, Islam, Islamism, Religion, Terrorism, U.S. Politics | Leave a Comment »

Voluntary Student Unionism Counter Protest

Posted by Atilla89 on March 19, 2008

Today I decided to attend a counter protest against those protesting against Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU); pictures are below. Firstly I want to say that everyone including myself had a great time, screaming out chants and generally trying our best to make life hell for the other protesters. There was quite a few police on the road between us and them. There was even riot police just in case things got out of hand. There was between 40 and 50 of us and at least 200+ of them. The protest was held on Parramatta Rd with students from multiple universities such as Sydney University, UNSW, UTS and Macquarie University taking part. Our counter protest theoretically started at 12pm and run until 2pm, however it was more like 5 minutes of actual protest time.

Now, let me explain the issue at hand if you are unfamiliar. VSU is a practice put in to place by the Howard Government that gave the option to students whether they wanted to join Australian National Union of Students (ANUS) or not. Its not cheap to join the union, $99, however you do get benefits out of it like being allowed to join clubs, getting discounts, having a say in political matters, etc. I myself belong to this union as do many students. However, this is not the issue. The issue is choice; at the moment people can choose whether they want to fork out $99 or not. Rudd has pledged that he will keep it that way. However the Student Union at my university wants to change this, believing that they have been weakened by VSU. I am against this, even though I still am apart of them. The Australian Liberal Student’s Federation explains it better here.

“VSU has benefited students across Australia” said Timothy Andrews, President of the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation.

“Statistics show that under VSU, students have saved an average of over $200 annually – and in some cases as much almost $500. Unions that have embraced the needs of students and improved services are now reaping the rewards of increased revenue through greater membership. While elite student politicians complain about their salary cuts, real students have benefited from this reform. VSU is about Students, not student unions”.

Mr Andrews dismissed claims that VSU had seen essential campus services cut from Australian universities.

”Services that are valued by students have been retained due to their popularity. If student organisations are as good as Labor claims, 100% of students would join voluntarily. Students should not be forced to pay twice for essential government services such as childcare if Kevin Rudd fails to provide them.”

“Despite clear evidence of the benefits of VSU, Labor seems intent on breaking its pre-election promise and reintroduce compulsory student unionism by stealth. Kate Ellis has consistently refused to rule out imposing a compulsory fee on students. Regardless of what it is named, the horror of compulsory unionism is a real threat under Labor.”

“Compulsory amenities fees are no more than compulsory unionism by stealth. They failed students in Victoria and they will fail students elsewhere. These proposals are unequitable, unjust and will not only violate students rights to freedom of association, but will significantly damage student life on campus.

Under the proposal being put forward by the Australian National Union of Students, individuals would be charged a compulsory levy to be debited against their HECS loan.

Mr Andrews labeled the plan as hypocritical.

“You cannot on one hand argue that the cost of higher education is too high, yet be calling for an extra $179 million per annum to be charged to student loans,” said Mr Andrews, referring to the cost of compulsorily acquired service fees. Both Labor and the NUS have consistently attacked the cost of university education, Mr Andrews added.

“This is simply compulsory student unionism re-badged,” Mr Andrews said. “It does not allow students to choose whether they pay for services that they will not use – it simply means an increase in their HELP debt.”

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The ‘others’ aka ANUS Protesters + Police Escort

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More of the Same

Posted in Australian Politics, Uni | 1 Comment »