JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Sydney Uni wants to be able to sack “disrespectful” staff

What kind of free speech is always and only “respectful”? Whatever the VC wants.

Peter Ridd has pointed out that Sydney Uni is trying to weasel its way around the new Freedom of Speech bill by declaring its undying support for free speech as long as it is respectful. So you can say anything you like as long as you don’t offend the VC. If an academic spots potential fraud, malpractice or corruption, they’ll have to find an inoffensive way to say it. How do you say “incompetent crook” politely?

This is a university which nurtured a play called “Kill Climate Deniers”. Sydney Uni has no respect for at least half of the tax payers who fund it. So I say fine, as long as Sydney Uni has the power to sack people that offend it, let the taxpayers have the right to sack Sydney University.

Until then, free speech is free speech. The  strategy of using vague, indeterminate  language like “respect” is straight out of the communist party playbookkeep ’em guessing and they shalt censor themselves.

All universities that don’t know what “Free Speech” is should henceforth raise their funding direct from the people who are willing to pay for Autocratic, Politically Correct Research. All the rest of us want real research.

The University of Cincinnati has all but sacked a professsor who used the term “chinese virus” in an email.

In many respects, unis will smother academic freedom

Peter Ridd, The Australian

The University of Sydney has treated Education Minister Alan Tudge with complete contempt within hours of the Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020 passing through parliament this month. It did so in the typically duplicitous manner we expect from our universities. It pretends to support the minister’s bill that allows academics to take part in contentious arguments, but then insists on a killer proviso — so long as the speech is “respectful”.

That is a huge problem for an academic who is accused by their university of disrespectful speech. Who will decide if the speech was respectful enough? The vice-chancellor?

 

So the problem is that, by insisting on respect, making contentious comments becomes like walking along the edge of a cliff on a foggy night. You can’t see the edge. The only option for an academic is not to say anything remotely contentious.

In other words, Sydney University just killed academic freedom of speech while pretending to support the minister’s new law.

Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020

9.5 out of 10 based on 109 ratings

179 comments to Sydney Uni wants to be able to sack “disrespectful” staff

  • #
    ivan

    And we wonder why education is going downhill. Maybe it would help if they actually taught real subjects like physics, chemistry, engineering etc. and dropped all of the social sciences. It might help if they kept up basket weaving because most of the unemployable graduates would find it useful when they have to go out in the bush to gather nuts and so on.

    I know I am being sarcastic but i have seen the results of giving degreed engineers a job when they would have been better employed sweeping the shop floor.

    660

    • #
      bobn

      3yrs ago I had a new graduate of Edinburgh University work for me on a summer vacation labouring job. In the course of a discussion he expressed genuine surprise to learn that flowers on grapevines result in the fruits. I asked what his degree was in (astounded at his ignorance). Biotechnology he replied! I dont know what that subject comprises since it seems to exclude biology for a start!

      672

      • #
        Annie

        Scottish education used to be excellent; things have changed since they had their own ‘government’.

        362

        • #
          Saighdear

          No, been on the decline since at least the 80’s. The “woke” of the 80’s wanted ‘bums on seats’. and by the 90’s, graduate engineers couldn’t quite fathom out simple Mechanics – Balance of slung loads, etc. In other words, too much theory and not enough practical. and of course there was the New PolyTech Unis – they had a name which I’ve since forgotten. .. and so on it goes

          321

          • #
            Annie

            That bad? I remember a time when English students were very keen to go to Scottish Universities; it’s sad that’s changed. Perhaps I blame the SNP for too much?!
            Perhaps all those hideous wind turbines you can’t avoid seeing stuck all over the parts of Scotland I’ve visited sum up the ethos and damage? A beautiful country spoilt by wokery.

            271

            • #
              Saighdear

              OH_0h_0_………..o……..oh…… ( long sigh – ’tis ow we feel) No, I ‘m definitely not for SNP-ism ( or now the new alba – but that’s another thing for tactical voting – which I hate) I’ve lost touch with my Alma mater studied at 581KingSt. we worked closely with the College advisory service but with Gov cut backs from the 80’s, that’s all gone as is the connection. Depts shut down, total upheaval. NONE of my former schools( and Halls of residence exist any longer – knocked down! ( scheming rotten councillors ) Maybe our Agric “fathers” saw it coming and burnt the bridges. didn’t help my generation. and look at it now:
              https://www.ucas.com/explore/related/3a023828-8d77-ecfa-dc21-2708f721b788?subject=Agriculture%20and%20related%20sciences

              [At #1.1.1. please can we stick to the topic and take the interesting extras to the unthreaded or at least the bottom of the thread? Thanks,. — Jo]

              22

          • #
            James

            In Australia we would call them Dawkins Universities, created by merging various teacher colleges and colleges of Advanced Education!

            20

        • #
          PeterPetrum

          Annie, I am a graduate of Glasgow University with a degree in Agricultural Science. I graduated in 1962 I cannot speak too highly of the education I got in my four years at this University and the Auchincruive Agricultural College. Not only, as part of this course did I learn to milk 52 glorious cows that learned to love me as much as I loved them, but I became proficient in Botany, Zoology, Geology, Chemistry Physics, Genetics, Farm Management (including basic two-column accounting) and many other skills. Our lecturers, many of them professors, just loved our small class as we constantly challenged them to authenticate what they taught with facts and data (and they did). We were encouraged to question and not accept. And yes, English students were desperate to come to our universities and had to pay for the privilege. We Scots got it for free, but we had to have a higher pass from school in both English and Mathematics to gain entry into any faculty.

          It seems that these rules no longer apply in my homeland and, yes, I suspect that the SNP has a lot to answer for in this regard.

          230

          • #
            PeterPetrum

            TdeF, the Grand Alliance was what the relationship between the Scots and the French was called. So many of the Scots royalty, including Mary, Queen of Scots, fled the English to France. And we have not forgotten! When we were in Provence a few years ago I was talking to the housekeeper of the villa we were staying in, a lovely French lady of advanced years, and when I mentioned the history of our two nations (in case Jo’s readers have not cottoned on yet, I am an expat Scot) she said “Ah oui, la Grande Alliance”, so even she was aware of the historical connection between our two countries. We gathered that the French were not too keen on the Southern English, but the further north you got the more acceptable you were!

            90

            • #
              PeterPetrum

              This meant to be in response to TdeF at 1.1.3.3. Not sure how it got in here!

              20

            • #
              Saighdear

              Mmm, and / but still the french don’t like us. Scots working in France this past year, working for “anglo-french” companies are only there because the locals don’t want to work ( for the money) not much of the aforementioned kamaradery either – even before covid, they were left to fend for themselves. Back home, foreigners would be entertained : taken on “Murton’s Grand Tours” of the Highlands, etc. but not there. and when the French come here, it takes them all their time to spekada inglish ( even in our vernacular )

              21

            • #
              TdeF

              Great story. Much appreciated. We only get our history in Australia from reading. This is lived history. It’s one of the great disadvantages, the lack of history. But for the majority of people of Scottish or Irish descent and that’s almost everyone, there were very good reasons to leave. A long list.

              30

            • #
              TdeF

              And while the Glorious (Dutch) Revolution of 1688 changed England in so many ways, stocks and bonds, bank notes, Chancellor of the exchequer, a Stock exchange, perhaps an equally important revolution in Education in Scotland was as important with the 1696 Act for Settling of Schools which required every Scottish parish to have a school. While this was driven by a Protestant agenda, it changed Scotland forever. Education was no longer just for the rich.

              This extraordinary universal education act predated the English by up to 200 years and provided Scottish engineers, poets and thinkers for all the British revolutions in science, engineering and philosophy which has changed the world. Even on the Starship Enterprise, the engineer is Scotty.

              70

              • #
                TdeF

                This gives the timeline of education in the UK. After the horror years of little children in the mines and as chimney sweeps, it was not until the Elementary Education Act of 1880 that English children were obliged to go to primary school, something we take for granted. Especially those of Scottish descent.

                20

      • #
        Contemptible Blackguard

        Bobn

        Thorstein Veblen an economist who was anti-capitalist coined a great phrase: ‘Trained Incapacity’ which meant people like your biologist who cannot see what is right under their noses.

        201

        • #
          Richard Ilfeld

          His early education was at a place called Carleton College, in Northfield Minn. It once thought of itself as a good school.
          I thought so too as I attended and graduated. I have since learned, recently, that in fact all the faculty and staff then were
          unreconstructed racists and social scroflites and the school requires great public anguish to make up for its sins, a new president,
          and a staff of woke conformists to create something called diversity. I reminded the alumni office that the motto of the school was to enable graduates to make critical and independent judgements, and in my judgement they were a bunch of new-age fools. Their reply was a word salad confirming my opinion. I can do two things. Not send money, and advise others to to waste theirs. Please be so advised.

          301

      • #
        David Maddison

        bobn, some people might find that difficult to believe but I fully know what you say is true. The lack of general knowledge of graduates, and even specific knowledge relevant to a graduate’s specialty, is alarming. Plus, most seem uninterested in further learning about the world in which they live, and have no interest in books either, thinking that everything they need to know is online.

        161

        • #
          another ian

          David

          In the last 10 years or so of my stint in research I was astounded at how few new graduates could manage a decent review of literature

          110

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Kids aren’t taught to question or think.

            My take on the current pandemic is that the miscreants who created the virus are hoping either the virus or the “vaccine” will kill off those of us who have had a proper education, so leaving the under educated impressionable slaves who can be further brainwashed……

            11

      • #
        Wet Mountains

        Sorry up vote, not down (Small phone fat fingers.) Can’t count change either

        60

      • #
        Annie

        There were vineyards up to Hadrian’s Wall in Roman times! Anyway, if he had any biology/botany at all he should have worked out what they were without even needing to puzzle over it. Good grief!

        131

      • #
        bobn

        Good humour tilba. The only things growing in Scotland are windmills.
        He just didnt know there was a connection between flowers and fruit on any plant! I really was gobsmaked (antipodean expression in fred daggs Dictionary of lingo). Initially i thought he was taking the piss (oops antipodes again) but he really had no knowledge of birds, bees, pollination … but a degree in ‘biotechnology’! A bit like ‘climate scientologists dont know that the sun makes us warm and clouds reflect sunlight but provide the ‘greenhouse effect’. According to Scientologists only car exhausts, power stations and cow farts can warm the planet.

        141

        • #
          Alex

          Can we have more cow farts (Methane), power stations (CO2) and car exhaust (CO2) please?. It’s nearly April right here in the Mediterranean and we’re still freezing. The northern hemisphere is still in winter mode and I have family in NSW and therefore I know that they didn’t have a summer. OK, it’s La Nina, but what causes a deep La Nina if not global cooling?

          30

      • #
        TdeF

        Nor too many summer vacation laboring jobs. As Billy Connolly said, Scotland has two seasons, August and winter. In fact historically the Scottish have been very close to the French, perhaps as a common enemy of the English.

        20

        • #
          TdeF

          As PeterPetrum elaborates in #1.1.1.2, “La Grande Alliance”. If I had a choice of Summer vacation between the South of France and Scotland, it would not be a hard decision.

          40

        • #
          James Murphy

          The reaction by a surprising number of both French, and Scottish locals when they realise I am Australian, and not English has been identical – they generally become much friendlier!

          00

      • #
        Sirob

        Reminiscent of “Lysenkoism” – learning what the party wanted you think even if it was incorrect biology – then it was Bolshevik power. Today it’s more subtle but no less politically controlled.

        Lacking knowledge and intellectual curiosity makes these younger generations much more pliable. Unfortunately, these younger university graduates have outsourced their thinking to “science” via TED talks etc.

        31

    • #
      David Maddison

      A very high tech Australian company I know gets all its computer programming done in Eastern Europe. Not because of any cost saving, they don’t care about that, but because they can’t find any local programmers who know anything about engineering. The software is to control an electronic product and local programmers are utterly clueless and trained with a business orientation only. And I’m not even sure how competent they are at that. My banking App has had the same bug for years, reported multiple times and they are unable or unwilling to fix it. It means almost every time I use the App I have to log in twice.

      150

    • #
      Bruce

      In my brief stint as a science student, I totally blew my cover at a tutorial one day.

      Opining that “social science” was a contradiction in terms, or some-such” certainly harshed the mellow.

      And that was in the mid 1970’s. These days things could get much more “interesting”.

      140

      • #
        Klem

        Yeah, in the 1970s people might merely give you a puzzled look. Today they’d point their finger and scream like in the movie The Bodysnatchers, and then a crowd would show up at your door with torches and pitchforks.

        Ain’t higher edumication wonderful ?

        50

    • #
      Ian

      “Maybe it would help if they actually taught real subjects like physics, chemistry, engineering etc.”

      Universities do teach those subjects plus maths and molecular biology and biochemistry and surveying and architecture and pharmacy and physiotherapy and dentistry and medicine and many more “real subjects”

      15

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Yes; they do teach subjects with those names.

        The problem is the whole shebang has been watered down to accommodate students leaving high school with General Maths and General Science from the new woke education system.

        When these “students?” are faced with university something has to give: and yes, it’s the University.

        Academic rigour is not what it used to be.

        KK

        111

        • #
          another ian

          Remember Harry Messel’s “That bastard thing called General Science”?

          40

          • #
            Tilba Tilba

            Harry Messel was Head of Physics when I was at the University of Sydney, feeding IBM punch-cards into the maw of his mainframe (the name of which I can’t recall). The early 1970s were exciting for science – there was a lot going on in Australia at the time. Science programs on TV, even science celebs (like Professor Julius Sumner Miller).

            Mining and energy were booming, and so were technology – and the soon-to-come oil shocks hadn’t yet hit.

            21

        • #
          RichardX

          I think that you’re probably correct for many universities, but not for all. I have seen cases where remedial English and basic maths (“O” Level/year 10)are essential courses for freshmen university students. However, from what I can tell, Cambridge, for example, has kept up its high admission standards. Their problem is that they have become very woke. It looks like you need a keyboard shortcut for “as it relates to Climate Change” if you don’t want to wear your fingers out. The college and university alumni publications I receive often have some very unscientific pronunciations from bright, confident, young disciples of the Green God that are taken as fact.

          20

    • #
      Sirob

      Ivan, I think you’re over-reacting, humanities are valuable and teach young students intellectual curiosity and

      constructive

      critical thinking, including metaphysics.

      The treagedy in the West is that humanities faculties were captured by the enemies of the west to destroy it from the inside. The Frankfurt School, for instance, were the subverters that western elites installed in the US. Their disciples went into all major western universities.

      https://youtu.be/02XI4WHpFj0

      https://youtu.be/DAXZ5ubR9Jo

      10

  • #
    roman

    This is what the Bill says (among other things) (emphasis added):

    “academic freedom means the following:
    (a) the freedom of academic staff to teach, discuss, and research and to disseminate and publish the results of their research;
    (b) the freedom of academic staff and students to engage in intellectual inquiry, to express their opinions and beliefs, and to contribute to public debate, in relation to their subjects of study and research;
    (c) the freedom of academic staff and students to express their opinions in relation to the higher education provider in which they work or are enrolled;”

    So any VC can suggest ‘respectful’ dialogue all they like but if any action taken by them goes against the legislation then they will be at fault.

    It may be the case that in asking people to be ‘respectful’ unis are really only asking/ begging their staff to not start [Snip]-posting.

    110

  • #
    Ian G

    Maybe we should call the Chinese/Wuhan flu the ‘original Chinese variant’.

    222

  • #
    tonyb

    Education? In another field in which we might also expect diverse opinions to be respected Sharon Osbourne is fired from US Talk show after bosses rule her defence of Piers Morgan against claims of racism did not ‘align with a respectful workplace’

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9408469/Sharon-Osbourne-LEAVES-Talk-air-bust-hosts.html

    Yet the fact that Oprah Winfrey allowed fake headlines to make Meghans case and that Meghan and Harry did NOT have a secret wedding before the multi million pound pubicly funded one does not merit a mention.

    320

  • #
    Yonniestone

    As the amended Bill still clearly says ‘freedom of speech and academic freedom’ isn’t the Uni’s proviso akin to a legal strawman that could be taken apart by defense lawyers?, or is it just another way for the Plaintiff to drag the case into the contract agreement area?

    90

  • #
    Alex

    In the 60s hippies spend their best years of their lives strolling along the beaches of California, or somewhere else, wearing flowers in their hair while consuming the cheques that their loving daddy was sending them every time that they wrote their daddy a letter telling him that they need money for food (and grass) until their daddies told then to go earn their own money if they need more. Then they realised that they had to do something to earn a living. So they went to university, studied political science (socialism) and are now the world leaders. Ex-hippies are today’s leaders in politics and education. People who never worked one single day in their lives.

    321

  • #
    Alex

    Saying ‘Chinese virus’ or Wuhan virus is not OK. One will be at risk of being cancelled, arrested, sacked from his or her job or see his house turn into flames. But it’s OK to say English variant, Brazilian variant or Timbuctoo variant.

    Soviet Union anyone? You have it.

    261

    • #
      MichaelinBrisbane

      Fortunately, everyone I know still understands me when I refer to the “Wu Hu Flu”.

      51

    • #
      another ian

      Seen elsewhere

      It was pointed out to a Russian that their constitution mentioned “freedom of speech”

      His reply was “Yes – but you people also have freedom after speech”

      – or used toone might add now

      130

      • #
        bobn

        Ahh, those were the days.
        Now we in the West dont have freedom after speech either. Why are western Govts so mad keen to emulate the soviet union?

        71

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Because the globalists’ have promised them trinkets of power and money.

          The globalists’ appear to be Satanists. Communism us inherently anti human. Satan hates humans …ergo….

          11

  • #
    Leonard

    If we want to maintain/restore freedom of speech in the universities, we have to restore to the general public. In the US we do not have freedom of speech anymore. Only the Left can slander, belittle, and otherwise attack their enemies. If someone on the Right criticizes anyone on the left they are punished by being kicked off social media, losing their job, put on a watch list, and most likely being “monitored” (spied upon in Newwspeak). We must establish free speech in our schools at all levels to bring free speech back to the general populace. The Democrats are becoming more intolerant, more vindictive, and meaner with each day that passes. The positive changes have to be restored in the home and schools before before they can be established in public and in politics.
    This will be a long and arduous task, if it can even be done.

    270

    • #
      Lawrie

      I would have thought Leonard that in predominantly Red states that censorship would be ignored. I cannot imagine a Texan, for example, accepting Democrat BS. I am sure other states have strong people unwilling to be pushed around. Just as a way around Twitter and Facebook has been found then so can censorship in other areas be circumvented. Americans are noted for being independent minded and taking orders from idiots like Joe Biden is not in their nature. I have seen a few stand outs and they just need support and encouragement.

      We had a case here in Perth where a guy grabbed an ER banner and was attacked by bicycle police, five of them. Great society where the idiots get protection. If he had 20 supporters the lycra cops might have had second thoughts. The police are being politicised and it began with the Wuflu lockdowns.

      211

      • #
        Kevin kilty

        Free speech is so easy to undermine. Here’s a Texas example. When Parler was deplatformed, a much smaller platform named “Gab” tried to take its place, and have done a remarkable job. But Texas Governor was alerted that Gab has some antisemitic posts on it. So, the GOP in Texas decided to remove itself from Gab. They voluntarily decided to hamper the communication capacity of Gab — mission (censorship) accomplished.

        Those antisemitic posts, I have not seen them, may have come from anyone, including unruly teenagers, or from false flag operations. Without some tolerance for false flags and obnoxious idiots there can be no free speech. The whole idea is to employ any argument intended to make perfect the enemy of merely good. Without some level of tolerance there are no real freedoms and no truth. But we are being conditioned by wokeness to accept no tolerance at all.

        80

  • #
    Clyde Spencer

    I would consider “Kill Climate Deniers” to be disrespectful of my enlightened views. Offensive to boot!

    291

    • #
      Greg in NZ

      Lest We Forget…10:10,

      the UK classroom mini-drama of explosive propagandic proportions, shocking its viewers into anaesthetised, desensitised, fearful followers of fashion,

      misleadingly labelled, ‘The Science’,

      aka the Consensus™ (not too dissimilar to Coronavirus). Do not think, just beLIEve!

      132

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    In the US the need for Public education, at any level, is no longer a given in all quarters. Should the downside of our current bubble be hard times, convincing citizens to fund all of our current education establishment will be a hard pull; they’ve neither performed well nor shown much concern for their “customers” during this pandedmic.

    101

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      In Australia the model remains that education should be “free, compulsory, and secular”, and I strongly agree, however I would give a ticket to the parish-based Catholic education system too.

      One of the problems it seems in the US, is that the system is funded at a very fine-grained level – small counties trying to fund a school system via land tax, and the possibility that local zealots (and shysters) can get too much control over the process. School boards voting for Creation Science and other mind-numbing nonsense.

      In Australia, funding is transferred from the federal to the state government, and then they decide expenditure (and curricula) state-wide. I don’t think “localism” and decent education mix at all well.

      39

      • #
        Harves

        “In Australia the model remains that education should be “free, compulsory, and secular” ….
        How can you have a model where something “should be” doing something. That’s not a model that’s just a wish.
        Next you’ll be telling us there’s a model that says man-made CO2 ‘should be’ causing a global catastrophe.

        92

        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          Really – the worst type of response – egregious pedantry without a point. The model is that the objective of education policy is that every single child has access to education that is free, compulsory, and secular.

          There are a lot of non-government schools that are neither secular nor free … but we live with those, because both major parties support funding for private and religious schools. I don’t personally … but it appears I am a minority in this regard.

          Next you’ll be telling us there’s a model that says man-made CO2 ‘should be’ causing a global catastrophe.

          Also a very odd segue to an irrelevancy. Anyway the policy is the reverse of that … the policy is that man-made CO2 should not be causing global warming, and you achieve that by reducing fossil-fuel use.

          BTW – I leave out the “catastrophic” in these discussions … it’s just a strawman tactic.

          07

          • #
            Harves

            The point is pretty clear. You don’t know the difference between a model, a policy or a wish. I imply the CO2 models claim we are heading for a catastrophe that never arrives. You counter by claiming that some policy says CO2 should not be causing warming. I can give you many links to models that claim the opposite. Can you give me one link to a policy that says “CO2 should not cause global warming”?

            41

          • #
            Harves

            “ BTW – I leave out the “catastrophic” in these discussions … it’s just a strawman tactic.”
            The only people using catastrophic as a tactic are your leftist buddies who insist governments shut down reliable energy because otherwise the world will end. Or are you saying you no longer believe that nonsense because it is just a “strawman tactic”?

            101

      • #
        Kevin kilty

        Most states have funding models to equalize spending. Yet, even they did not, there is no consistent relationship between expenditure per student and outcomes.

        10

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Talking about “disrespect”, how’s this for disrespecting the environment; obviously approved of by the University Community.

    An acquaintance texted me this yesterday, something we’re all familier with from earlier, but this seems to carry a bit of apprehension with it. Isn’t hindsight wonderful.
    =======

    “Hundreds of giant windmill blades are being shipped to a landfill in Wyoming to be buried because they simply can’t be recycled.

    (Article by Adan Salazar republished from Infowars.com)

    Local media reports several wind farms in the state are sending over 900 un-reusable blades to the Casper Regional Landfill to be buried.

    While nearly 90 percent of old or decommissioned wind turbines, like the motor housing, can be refurbished or at least crushed, fiberglass windmill blades present a problem due to their size and strength.

    “Our crushing equipment is not big enough to crush them,” a landfill representative told NPR.

    Prior to burying the cumbersome, sometimes nearly 300-foot-long blades, the landfill has to cut them up into smaller pieces onsite and stack them in order to save space during transportation.

    To make matters worse, the blades aren’t exactly compostable. The Casper Solid Waste Manager tells Wyoming News Now they’ll take hundreds of years to biodegrade.

    “So, Casper happens to be, I think it is, the biggest landfill facility in the state of Wyoming. These blades are really big, and they take up a lot of airspace, and our unlined area is very, very large, and it’s going to last hundreds of years.”

    As if that’s not bad enough, NPR reports researchers estimate the US will soon have to grapple with over 720,000 tons of blades over the next 20 years, “a figure that doesn’t include newer, taller higher-capacity versions.”

    So much for saving the environment.” End Quote.

    361

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      What is the economic life of these behemoth blades?

      36

    • #
      bobn

      There is a lack of imagination. These items can and should be repurposed. How about in wave break sea defences? Or in other flood and land barriers. They are strong and should be used as erosion barriers etc. Total stupidity and no imagination to just trash them.

      120

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Great idea.

        00

      • #
        Klem

        Repurpose them? Thats a terrific idea.

        It sounds similar to what currently do with our recycled plastic and cans: every week we faithfully separate plastic, metal and cardboard and dutifully leave it by the curb. Men in a big truck carry it away, put on a container ship and safely float it over to SE Asia, where it is unceremoniously dumped in the ocean. Sweet.

        That’s what I call repurposing.

        50

      • #
        Kevin kilty

        As fiberglass reinforced composites age they tend to produce fugitive glass fibers. These “uses” for blades would require lots of maintenance. Crushing would be energy intensive, and would release fibers requiring capture. Burial eliminates this problem at least.

        60

    • #
      Clyde Spencer

      “… the landfill has to cut them up into smaller pieces onsite and stack them …”

      If they have to cut them up anyway, why not cut them to a size that crushers can handle?

      20

      • #
        Annie

        Won’t cutting them up produce a nasty dust as well? I seem to remember having to be careful doing repairs to the GRP hulls of sailing dinghies.

        31

    • #
      David Maddison

      Surely windmill blades can be burned in a controlled combustion process to minimise toxic fumes to generate heat which can then be used to produce electricity?

      The remaining silica can be returned to the earth from whence it came.

      Most countries except Australia allow incineration of rubbish to produce electricity or heat.

      20

  • #
    Ross1

    Many years ago a work colleague of mine was dismissed for a “bad attitude”. The union and lawyers got involved and it was found that he was performing his job well as per contract and that the employers were wrong for merely disagreeing with his opinion. Money and reinstatement quickly followed. It seems like attitude , opinion and disrespect can be open to interpretation.

    160

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      It seems though that an awful lot of bosses – both in the private and public sector – believe they “own” the opinions of their employees, even when expressed outside of work hours.

      Rugby Union player Israel Folau was a spectacular case in about 2019. When do you free-speech rights bring disrepute on the organisation you represent or work for?

      63

      • #
        Harves

        Judging by the amount of money Folau’s go fund me page raised, quite a lot of people thought that the decision to sack Folau because of his religious beliefs was what brought the game into disrepute.
        Funny how the left have no problem with a religion that provides old men with dozens of virgins …

        151

        • #
          another ian

          Harves

          Re “Funny how the left have no problem with a religion that provides old men with dozens of virgins …”

          Try this

          “Cartoon Bob Interviews The Prophet”

          https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/18/cartoon-bob-interviews-the-prophet/

          30

        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          He wasn’t sacked for having religious beliefs per se – he was sacked for saying that gays would go to hell. Such a view might play okay in conservative Suva, but Australia has a liberal, tolerant, and inclusive culture and is a good place to live as a result.

          Just about everyone has family members or friends of friends who are gay – and it’s simply not an issue – except maybe among the religious nutters who funded his page (And why did he need it? He was earning a fortune compared to the poor suckers pitching in the mortgage money).

          Folau’s views were incompatible with a liberal, tolerant, modern ARU. In the end they settled and parted company, as you would expect.

          If he had said Muslims go to hell … he would have been equally treated. What is your point?

          06

          • #
            Harves

            So if you don’t believe that gays will go to hell why does it bother you. By the way, that is the belief of his religion. Do it is ok to have that belief … you’re just not allowed to say it out loud.
            So funny that people who don’t believe in god or he’ll get triggered when someone says they will go to hell? Imagine if he said the Easter Bunny won’t leave eggs for gays?

            70

            • #
              Tilba Tilba

              So funny that people who don’t believe in god or he’ll get triggered when someone says they will go to hell?

              I have a fair amount of sympathy for the conundrums that you’re raising, and TBH I wasn’t trying to resolve those – rather just point out the political reality that the people who are paying you (in all sorts of societies, left and right) are going to assume they have the right to make sure you don’t do or say anything that damages their prestige, community standing, “values”, or “brand”.

              So in the case of Israel Folau, the ARU was willing to sacrifice a super-star for his anti-gay pronouncements, rather than risk the wrath of the much larger Rugby community if they caved on the matter. Happens every day of the week – including to our unfortunate Adjunct Professor in Cincinnati.

              03

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                I don’t know about your Cincinnati associate prof, but the Portland professor hit the fascists for six with his successful appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court:

                ‘The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled in favor of a “devout Christian” professor who was disciplined because he “refused to refer to students by their ‘preferred pronouns’” after a 2016 directive at a small state university in Ohio ordered him to do so. The court held that university officials and a lower federal district court failed to recognize the professor’s First Amendment rights to free speech and to the free exercise of his religion. By so holding, the court decried the notion that a university might “wield alarming power to compel ideological conformity.”’

                https://lawandcrime.com/first-amendment/trump-bush-appeals-court-judges-rule-in-favor-of-professor-of-christian-thought-who-refused-to-call-students-by-their-preferred-gender-pronouns/

                That is also what the Folau case was all about. However, the ARU is so determined to show how virtuous it is that it is prepared to play the man not the ball in its attempt to remove the rights of Australian rugby players to free speech. ARU (now Rugby Australia) possesses the integrity of of a gutter rat.

                It may have changed its name but it hasn’t changed its spots.

                Yet.

                30

          • #
            Muzza

            He actually said all ‘sinners’ – a comprehensive list thereof – would go to hell unless they repented. Only the gay community seemed to have an issue with that. The fornicators et al seemed happy to take his message on advisement. Not to mention those of no religious affiliation that took offence about going to a bad place mentioned in a book that they don’t subscribe to. Go figure……

            60

        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          Funny how the left have no problem with a religion that provides old men with dozens of virgins

          As an atheist I treat Christianity and Islam equally: to me they are both absurd, irrational, hierarchical, more than a little paranoid, blood-thirsty, and very intolerant. But you get that in all religions, pretty much.

          26

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            But you get that in all religions, pretty much.

            And, especially amongst Atheists, I’ve noticed.

            So, by what moral code do you live your life?

            11

          • #
            Robert Austin

            Tilba,
            I also am an atheist or more precisely, an agnostic but I do not see Christianity and Islam as being on equal planes of morality. Christ, the central figure of Christianity was a figure of peace, modesty and forgiveness. On the other hand, Mohamed, the central figure of Islam was a warlord representing conversion by conquest and subjugation.

            20

  • #
    exsteelworker

    The Western world is becoming dumb and dumber by the day, USA prime example and we’re not far behind. To be a fly on the wall in Xi Jinping’s office when he’s talking to his mates about the Western economy’s.They’d be laughing the heads off at us stupid Westerners.

    121

    • #
      Ross1

      And the Russians, all those years of cold war and the western world stuffs themselves with of all things CO2 alarmism, they must be kicking themselves.

      82

    • #
      Simon B

      Read this article from less than a week ago and get the story straight from the horses mouth!
      https://www.theepochtimes.com/xi-jinpings-adviser-outlines-plan-for-ccp-to-defeat-us-including-manipulating-elections_3748196.html

      60

      • #
        Harves

        So it’s ok for you to tell Brooke that their religion is absurd, but they are not allowed to tell people what their religion stands for. You are the classic leftist – “all for free speech as long as it agrees with what I think”. You don’t even realise what a hypocrite you are.

        20

        • #
          Harves

          “Others”

          00

        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          I don’t tell the religious to their face (or even on forums) that I think their beliefs are absurd – I’m generally polite and not rude. Anyway, it’s hardly the point – which is that I don’t “pick on” Christians more than I “pick on” Muslims – it’s simply not the case.

          And further – I think religion (and the absence of) should be fairly private affairs. If people are going to push a religious agenda on a forum “The Western world lost its way when it lost its faith!”, or whatever, then I think it’s fair game and I will have a go.

          I’m a strong supporter of free speech … to extents that you probably can’t know (or would like to acknowledge). Ad hominem attacks can’t hide behind a “free speech” rubric however.

          10

  • #
    Bruce

    “incompetent crook”?

    “Sets a low standard and consistently fails to achieve it whilst being a deep situational ethicist”; a bit clunky, but it is closely modeled on approve “New Speak” frameworks.

    10

  • #
    Tilba Tilba

    The Adjunct Professor (Part-Time Contract Lecturer) was dumb indeed to use well-known Trump-speak in an email to a student … it’s not just the language, there is a subtext that he was not convinced of its seriousness – and that was the real reason he was not going to allow students to use Covid-19 positivity to get out of (or postpone) a lab session.

    I think the student was reasonable in being unhappy – but I do not think it’s a sackable offence, particularly if it was the first or only incident. And two other questions come to mind:

    1. How can a person work for 25 years in the same position and not get some form of tenure, or at least on-going status?
    2. How does an Adjunct Professor get to unilaterally decide the marking policy in relation to someone who tests positive in Covid-19?

    The higher-education sector in the US is a very strange beast, but most of it’s a money-making racket.

    (PS I am a University of Sydney Grad … it’s a long while ago, but I think we were disrespectful the entire time).

    37

    • #
      John R Smith

      “was dumb indeed to use well-known Trump-speak in an email to a student …”

      Trump speak?
      Dumb label.
      But I support your right to use any labels you choose.
      From your freedom to speak I am able to make and assessment.
      I hope Uni of Sydney is free.
      Sounds like it.

      41

      • #
        Tilba Tilba

        Trump speak? Dumb label.

        No … it was Trump-speak and a poor choice. Trump had totally politicised the term “China Virus” (BTW with a hilariously idiosyncratic way of saying “China” with a big “CH”). He had done it since January 2020. The use of the term “China Virus” was (and remains) a clear signal of a political position, and created by Trump. Covid-19 is the neutral, scientific name.

        I expect there is a big chance that our unlucky Adjunct Professor would have been in far less trouble had he not used the Trump-speak term.

        Terms like UK Variant, Egypt Variant, Brazilian Variant, etc, are perfectly okay because they have not been politicised by Trump-speak, or any other speak.

        You pay good money to go to the University of Sydney these days.

        211

        • #
          Annie

          Sorry TT. Not good enough. If it’s ok to label variants by their origin, so is it ok to label the original by its origin. Don’t bring President Trump in as an excuse to persecute someone for using the term ‘Ch1na virus’, because that is precisely what it is. It’s either that or ‘Wuhan ‘Flu’, or ‘Wuflu’, etc; all quite accurate terms for what Ch1na inflicted on the world, saving stumbling over long-winded technical terms.
          For what it’s worth, I don’t, though I could, take exception to the use of ‘UK variant’. I’m not so stup1d as to do that.

          111

          • #
            another ian

            “The Peking Pox” if doubts be evident?

            41

          • #
            Tilba Tilba

            Well … I can only reiterate my point: “China Virus” (and “Wuhan Virus”) were publicised and politicised by Donald Trump – he had the biggest pulpit available.

            And “China Virus” had a couple of subtexts: (1) that it was caused by Chinese incompetence or malfeasance, and (2) that it wasn’t going to be too serious, but if it is serious, it is not m fault, it’s all them Chinese fault!

            And Covid-19 is hardly a long-winded technical term” – pretty simple really, and non-political. Same with UK Variant etc.

            36

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              You’re showing your biases again TT.

              Trump didn’t invent the term China virus. He just used it to short-hand what he was talking about.

              However, one could never expect the biased left, the Chinese running dogs, to do anything but feign offence.

              Generally, that’s all they’ve got.

              11

      • #
        Ronin

        You get what you pay for.

        10

    • #
      sophocles

      The adjunct Professor should be relieved the student was sufficiently considerate to not want to infect the adjunct professor with Covid.

      In those circumstances, I would consider to throw consideration away and try infecting as many as possible …

      20

    • #

      1. How can a person work for 25 years in the same position and not get some form of tenure, or at least on-going status?

      An adjunct is usually not someone whose substantial employment is with the university. The title is bestowed upon them. They might be, for instance, an industry expert who teaches components of a course but is also employed by industry. You can be an adjunct indefinitely without ever being considered for any form of tenure.

      20

      • #
        Peter C

        Tenure sounds fantastic, if you can get it. A job for life. No more work required. Drinks at the University club and a University pension to follow.

        What is required to qualify for the privilege?

        21

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Friendship.
          Comradeship.
          Obsequiousness.
          Compliance.
          Subservience.

          And a never-ending devotion to Woke.

          KK

          30

        • #

          Except that is a false perception but it is a caricature that was once had a basis (though unfair to most). These days it just means you’ve passed the first hurdle – probation – which is usually quite a high hurdle.

          00

  • #
    Bruce

    “Extinction Rebellion”?

    Are they “rebelling” for or against “extinction”, and either way, WHOSE “extinction”?

    82

    • #
      John R Smith

      I think it’s rebellion … and extinction … “for the Hell of it”.
      Should be the end of it I suppose.

      10

  • #
    Simon B

    Stand up and oppose this in anyway you can, call into question or dismiss out of hand any research published by Sydney Uni, withhold funding, assess job applicants resumes and place any Sydney Uni ‘graduate’ at the bottom of the pile as their education is tainted by a lack of critical thinking.
    A semi retired Anaesthetist mate of mine was telling me only on Friday that his grandson was assaulted at Melbourne’s Monash Uni during recent ‘O’ week because he was looking at the info on the Young Conservatives table just as Labor’s activist wing Getup! tipped the table over and started pushing the staffers and onlookers around while screaming at them that they were white supremacist rapists and climate deniers. All this despite one staffer being obviously of Asian descent, albeit a 3rd generation Aussie!
    Respectful hey?
    My mate said he had a letter for donations on his desk and when told by his daughter of his grandchilds treatment he wrote a letter to the Chancellor and explained why, after 25 years of donations as an Alum of Monash he would no longer support what he always considered his Uni. He laid out that as neither a strong left, nor right voter, their institution was critical in providing an environment for the safe exchange of ideas to strengthen and inform your developing beliefs and ideals. He continued that what was more abhorrent than the actions of paid activists on campus grounds, was the lack of accountability for those actions.

    Right now in Australia we have the official social media account of the taxpayer funded ABC tweeting and making public comments that there is no such thing as Free Speech in Australia. Meanwhile in the US we have investigations into ‘white supremacy insurrectionists’ being jailed for carrying phones and flags while breaking down the door of a public building, after 9 months of arson, assault and murder by Antifablm in the name of tolerance and no consequences, to the point that one of their leadership – John Sullivan – was amongst the first in the door of the Capitol. He walked away from that too, after doing his CNN walkabout interview INSIDE the building, apparently during an insurrection!

    The West is under siege and while the leftwing trashmedia drives the narrative the majority – and weak willed political representatives, from the PM down – are too scared of character assassination and being cancelled to stand behind our values.

    The left doesn’t want respectful free speech, they want control of society to change into their Marxist image. More Westerners need to do exactly what my mate did, stand behind their values and those passed onto their children and grandchildren . He also cc’d the President of the Alumni group and demanded the letter be distributed to all Alumni so they too know what is going on wirh their donations.
    There’s no tolerance in the tolerance movement!

    160

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      Friday that his grandson was assaulted at Melbourne’s Monash Uni during recent ‘O’ week because he was looking at the info on the Young Conservatives table just as Labor’s activist wing Getup! tipped the table over and started pushing the staffers and onlookers around while screaming at them that they were white supremacist rapists and climate deniers. All this despite one staffer being obviously of Asian descent, albeit a 3rd generation Aussie!

      Yeah well … student politics have always had a bit of rough-and-tumble about them, mostly because there is so little at stake. There were pretty incendiary events (both on and ff campus) during my day … Vietnam Moratorium, Women’s Liberation, Anti South African Apartheid. Tipping over the table of a stall is pretty childish but zealots of every stripe always are Low IQ.

      17

    • #

      Simon, what evidence have you drawn from this post or the Australian article that makes you think this is necessary?

      Stand up and oppose this in anyway you can, call into question or dismiss out of hand any research published by Sydney Uni, withhold funding, assess job applicants resumes and place any Sydney Uni ‘graduate’ at the bottom of the pile as their education is tainted by a lack of critical thinking.

      As far as I can tell there is no evidence that anything is different now than before.

      05

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      Stand up and oppose this in anyway you can, call into question or dismiss out of hand any research published by Sydney Uni, withhold funding, assess job applicants resumes and place any Sydney Uni ‘graduate’ at the bottom of the pile as their education is tainted by a lack of critical thinking.

      This is all rather extreme, and if you don’t mind my saying so, more than a little unhinged. All of this in response to some leftie yahoo students turning over the table of their opposition during Orientation Week? Really?

      University of Sydney does world-class work, and has for a very long time.

      21

  • #
    Philip

    Keep them guessing and they self censor, the old commie trick.

    This works and is already being done. I’d speak in public for sure, but I fear and question the consequences enough to stay silent and live the peaceful life, even as I know society is in severe trouble and decline.

    Ever read Youtube guidelines ? Straight out of the commie handbook, you have no idea what to do after reading them.

    62

    • #
      bobn

      Its why Germans in the 1930s stayed silent about the purges of the Jews and others. Dont like them but keep your head down through uncertainty and fear.
      The western Govts today are emulating germany of the 1930s. UKs committee of Public safety has just imposed a british wall. £5000 fine if you dare to travel outside the beloved fatherland.

      61

  • #
    TdeF

    I was impressed by a documentary on the cyclic development of education in England. The story was roughly that the good fathers of Manchester, a famous manufacturing engineering centre, wanted educated workers in their factories so they started a Mechanics Institute. This grew and grew and eventually called itself a Polytechnic. Then it grew and called itself a University. And very soon it had many departments and people started to intellectualize everything until soon most of the teaching was in philosophy and engineering and mechanics withered. So the good fathers of Manchester thought they should create a Mechanics Institute.

    The natural progression of institutions was repeated all over England. Where is English/British/Scottish engineering today? Even the shipyards are closed.

    In Australia, Universities and pseudo Universities and colleges have expanded alarmingly, Melbourne University growing from 14,000 students and staff to a total of over 100,000 in a time when the population grew only x2.

    And the number of universities has exploded, especially with Australia being an island of English speaking people, great standard of living, plenty of land and food and far away from trouble spots, sectarian violence, dangerous neighbours and greedy governments. Education is only a step to naturalization and then a pull through for parents from Hong Kong and India and China and Vietnam and more.

    And to get these students whose entire qualification seems to be that they can pay outrageously high fees while being barely competent in English, you have to drop your standards and qualifications and look to pass everyone. And not offend them with your systemic racism and white superiority because all colours matter, except white.

    Now that Wu Flu has decimated the source of money and China is waging economic warfare on Australia over their Wuhan Flu and the seizure of Hong Kong and blatant intimidation of Taiwan, it is unlikely to recommence any time soon.

    So the many universities which exploded in times of raking it in, have might have to tighten their belts and try to convince people that their infinite courses in endless subjects of often very low standard are in fact high quality education which justifies the ridiculous fees. But they will simply ask us for more money and get offended if we ask why. Or question what they are doing with it all other than enriching themselves at our expense. Especially the Vice Chancellors, public servants on wages above $1,000,000 a year, sometimes $1,500,000 a year. For doing what exactly? How would you like $30,000 a week every week, including long vacations and a year off every seven.

    And University is a very big business now as JCU demonstrates in its battle with Dr. Peter Ridd who as head of their own Physics department dared question their science ethics. He was promptly dismissed. The argument is now over whether they had the power to do this, not whether what he said was true.

    Basically you are not allowed ask questions which might jeopardize hundreds of millions in cash to ‘save’ the Great Barrier Reef which he says obviously does not need saving. And he says this as a qualified professional who spent 35 years studying it.

    192

  • #

    Having known Michael Spence and the incoming VC Mark Scott you have no hope of sense prevailing with these two gents.

    I always thought Spence was on another planet and Scott defaults to authoritarian too easily. These two will always go woke at the first opportunity.

    We need to encourage TOLERANCE, and cease talking about respect which means anything, it seems, to anyone these days.

    80

  • #
    David Maddison

    I am struggling to think of any academic institution in the West that practices traditional standards of scholarship that hasn’t been infiltrated by the Cultural Marxists. I can’t think of any.

    Perhaps there are some traditional centres of learning left in Eastern Europe and Japan?

    82

    • #
      Orson

      To all reading here, I hope, the childish fad following character and atavistic means used to morally bully nonconformists into submission by the Woke cult should be apparent.

      A simple triangular graphic, here
      http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=393329
      explain a lot!

      It displays the victim-persecutor-rescuer triadic nature of these persecutions, prosecutions, and show trials and thus makes everything about these morality plays pretty obvious.

      Read further into the post at the link, and folks of a certain age may be reminded of a pop psychology fad from the 1980s — and “codependency” was its biggest buzz word.

      What the Cult of Woke and CRT and all this neo-racism does is attempt to institutionalise codependent relationships in the Quest For Cosmic (ultra-egalitarian) Justice!

      While the fad of the 1980s hoped to diminish codependency and liberate people to lead more self-fulfilling lives, the new Neo-Marxist dispensations hopes to do the reverse!

      SEE how clever the scam is?

      00

    • #
      Kevin kilty

      Oh, there is Hillsdale College in Michigan, St. John’s in New Mexico, and a handful of others. Pretty sparse. Over twenty or thirty years time all college administrations were taken over by talentless incompetent craven fools. The proximate reason is that the hiring pool is absolutely filled with these people and rarely anyone else. The root cause of how this came about I am not sure of, but could be the proliferation of the ED.D degree.

      I have served on the committees that hired three college presidents. The parade of incompetents for me now runs out to nearly a hundred hapless hopefuls. They all looked pretty much the same. Like watching the contents of a stopped up toilet just circle the bowl.

      10

  • #

    You can get a degree in Economics from a prestigious school like Columbia University, and never learn any ACTUAL economics, like that of Murray Rothbard, a Columbia University graduate.

    There are 4 distinct schools of Economics. 1 is true, the other 3 are just varying intensities of state-craft.

    Universities have sided with the state to fool the public. Not in all areas. Just at the boundaries where fresh new power can be attained.

    161

    • #
      TdeF

      And you can get a degree in economics and not understand accounting or even economics. The ABC’s Emma Alberici proved that. A lot of degrees are just from degree factories where they pass a % of people regardless. It has totally undercut what used to be represented by a degree, Tim Flannery being an outrageous one.

      I still have no idea how he parleyed a degree in English at La Trobe into Earth Sciences with an MSc at Monash and Zoology at Sydney University. Science by essay?

      Science without tertiary mathematics, physics, chemistry is not science. Even computer science, geology, geography, meteorology, biochemistry, microbiology, biophysics, engineering of many sorts, everything is dependent on basic science. Clearly he wanted to be a scientist and found a way, avoiding all the hard stuff.

      So Dr. Flannery was a scientist, our former Chief Climate Scientist and head of the Climate Commission, not any of them a meteorologist. How?

      171

      • #
        TdeF

        Or put another way, I could relate stories were people were passed at tertiary level who could not answer a question in Law or Computer science and entirely because the institution wanted the cash from students.

        This profit motive in tertiary education is utterly undermining standards and by corollary, ethics. Universities now worship cash, not excellence in scholarship or research.

        You should not have to appeal to a court to tell the truth. Even that did not work for Pell or Ridd when there was a lot of money and reputations were at stake, not theirs.

        It is appalling that anyone has to go to the High Court to get the truth to be told. Pell spent a year in jail and they gave his persecutor an award in journalism. No apology.

        And Peter Ridd is going through personal and financial hell. For the principle that the truth must be told. The institutions in Australia are being undermined by politics and cash. And the politicians are on the side of cash too. Principle be damned.

        121

        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          The institutions in Australia are being undermined by politics and cash.

          Interesting … I’ve never had any doubt that the institutions have always been handmaidens to politics and cash.

          14

          • #
            TdeF

            It was not the way. Universities were not the huge businesses they are today.

            University was a meritocracy until the 1980s after Gough Whitlam, not a degree factory.

            The explosion in numbers of often unsuitable candidates turned every Technical School into a Polytechnic and then a university and trade teachers into professors. At the same time we have lost the trade teachers as trade schools have vanished.

            71

            • #
              Tilba Tilba

              University was a meritocracy until the 1980s after Gough Whitlam, not a degree factory.

              I was a product of the Wyndham & Whitlam education revolution – and I remain grateful. Not many boys or girls from the fibro west could afford the prestigious universities for the century up to about 1970. And my university was still very much a “meritocracy” – in the sense that it was competitive, rigorous, demanding, and they did fail people.

              25

              • #
                TdeF

                When it came in, most of the university students were on Commonwealth Government Scholarships anyway, so there was no cost for Whitlam’s generosity.
                Traditions persisted but it also opened the gates for so many that the degradation started when the funding seemed unlimited and so it has proven. Technical colleges vanished.

                Most people did not pay university fees but still had to find $600, a lot of money then, to join the Union. The government would not pay union fees and for the time I was there, I received nothing at all for them, but had to work every vacation to pay them. So much for free education. It was an utter ripoff. Unions were all powerful then and they still control a lot of Australia’s superannuation funds, trillions. But that’s another story.

                Education should not be a for profit industry and it has been on steroids as a pull through for Asian immigration and standards have dropped appallingly. Some of the so called universities have been blatantly printing money with enrollments. The obscene salaries for the Vice Chancellors are typical of their largesse with what started as making universities available for everyone.

                50

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                If you came from the fibro west TT, as you say, you’d know that all through the 1960s and before, you could get a Teachers’ University Scholarship which paid all uni fees and provided a living allowance. It was not means-tested (dependent on the income of your parents). The one downside was that you had a bond ($1,000 as I recall) that had to be paid out if you failed to teach for a minimum of four years in the NSW education system.

                There were also NSW Public Service Scholarships (they were top notch payers of living allowance and not means-tested) but harder to get.

                Alternatively, you could access a Commonwealth Scholarship (which was means tested). It provided for all uni fees (including a book allowance) and a small stipend for living, if your parents weren’t silver-tails. Silver-tail students had to find their own living allowance.

                All Gough did was provide a waiver of the uni fees and a small (very small) living allowance to all who achieved the necessary uni entrance score. It was that change of Gough’s (away from competitive access to the Commonwealth Scholarship) which opened the gates to all and sundry to go to uni, irrespective of whether they had the necessary abilities or motivation.

                10

  • #

    Ive been to Australia. Isn’t anyone else rolling around laughing re Sidney U attempting to cancel their National art form??

    40

  • #
    FrankH

    “With all due respect” is a handy phrase I learnt when I was in the Royal Air Force.

    “With all due respect sir, I think you’re talking out of your ar… the wrong orifice” is something I never said, but you get the idea. 🙂

    60

    • #
      Len

      Unfortunately saying with all due respect won’t save you. I remember helping a Nasho 2nd Lieutenant unload some items of the back of RAAF Caribou in country Victoria. I told the 2nd Louie what I thought of him. However the sound of the two engines prevented him from understanding what I said. Home safe. 🙂

      30

      • #
        Jojodogfacedboy

        Come close to pile driving my 2nd Lieutenant with the barrel of my M109A1 in training. When you come up with a bit a speed then slam on the breaks, the barrel came down quite far.
        The 2nd lieu knelt from then on. Damn, I missed…

        30

  • #
    John R Smith

    Ya’ know, we spend a lot of effort discussing science, philosophy, history, morality, numbers and such complaining (and hoping to dissuade) a nihilistic ideology and worldwide political movement Hell bent on destroying us and everything we believe.
    They are literally anti human.
    They will never stop until stopped because spoiled children can never be placated.

    100

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      They are literally anti human.

      I’m no fan of the MAGA faithful either, but they’re not quite that bad … just hugely misguided.

      012

      • #
        John R Smith

        You seem to affirm one thing at least.
        MAGA is a worldwide political movement.
        May remain so.
        There were pro Trump rallies in multiple countries, Japan for example.
        Let me know when there is pro Biden rally in Japan, or in America.

        120

        • #
          another ian

          “You must understand, the leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse. It cannot be overstated. Bolshevism committed the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant and uncaring about this enormous crime is proof that the global media is in the hands of the perpetrators.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

          90

        • #
          Len

          I was talking to my neighbour the other day. He is from WA. He has a daughter, Arts degrees graduate with advance Trump Derangement Syndrome. He was speaking to a girl from Wubin, a country town in the Wheatbelt.
          She said that they were all Trump supporters in Wubin. Goes to show that Trump has supporters all over the world.

          41

          • #
            Tilba Tilba

            She said that they were all Trump supporters in Wubin. Goes to show that Trump has supporters all over the world.

            They’re working on a vaccine for it though 🙂

            19

        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          You seem to affirm one thing at least. MAGA is a worldwide political movement.

          Actually I think the opposite – MAGA will fade reasonably quickly with the departure of Donald Trump – it’s already happening. And what is also happening: Republicans are publicly pushing back against Trump-blessed candidates at primaries. It ain’t going to be a one-way street.

          012

          • #
            John R Smith

            Republican and Democrat are dated terms.
            I, for example am a registered Democrat.
            The Republican Party is floundering and will likely only survive in MAGA form.
            The Democrats are resorting to open corruption to solidify power.
            The over the top vitriol and factually vacuous attacks on Trump are irrefutable evidence of the Establishments’ fear of Trump’s appeal.
            If I’m not mistaken, you are Australian.
            We are discussing Trumpian American politics on an Australian blog.
            Proof that MAGA represents a worldwide political phenomenon.

            70

      • #
        R.B.

        Thanks for your drivel, TT. Now remember that Trump got 10% more votes than Obama in 2008.

        80

        • #
        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          And the 100 fastest swimmers in 2020 would all win the 100 metres Gold Medal in 1988 … interesting to show progress,. but not much else. And I expect Barack Obama would beat Trump if an election were held this November.

          03

          • #

            If the DNC preselected Kermit he would win the Presidency.

            51

          • #
            R.B.

            It’s not progress. It’s popularity. Obama won in 2008 “Obama won a decisive victory over McCain, winning the Electoral College and the popular vote by a sizable margin, including states that had not voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since 1976 (North Carolina) and 1964 (Indiana and Virginia).”

            Your one of those who have your own warped reality and seek to impose it on everyone, progressive or regressive, reality is what ever you want. What you call voter suppression was fraud suppression.

            30

  • #

    Southpark.
    “Respect my authority”.
    Said as only a sarcastic actor can.
    Oh well we let “political correctness ” proceed and tolerated the early Wokies..
    Every one got a participation award and was assured that their “feelings” were valued..
    Now they hold adult positions.
    But will never be functional adults.
    Somehow,failing to hear and understand “NO” is the beginning of the end of childhood..
    Who knew?

    50

    • #
      • #
        Annie

        I thought the Screwtape Letters were very sobering.

        21

      • #
        Tilba Tilba

        From the Townhall link:

        While liberal media outlets have been bemoaning the end of the middle class in America, they have been complicit in it by advancing agendas in the name of equity. A nation of dunces is far easier to rule over – especially a generation of snowflakes who were raised by teachers who thought gold stars for everyone are more important than As and Fs for some.

        This is ahistorical and inaccurate dissembling. The decline of the middle class (and the well-paid, often unionised, working class) has been occurring for decades, and has many material and economic factors that the owners of capital have calculated – and acted to maximise their efficiency and profitability.

        It is capitalism pure and simple – and the allocation of resources to best effect. So millions of jobs were exported to low coast countries, millions of especially middle-class jobs simply disappeared as a result of technology (look at banking, insurance, most public agencies), lots of qualified but lower-cost “middle class” technical staff came in from China and India, and the destruction of unions over 50 years has played a huge role too. And the process continued unchecked right through the Trump presidency.

        And very large numbers of the population like getting a cheap TV or T-shirt or crockery set from the BigBoxStore.

        Nothing to do with teaching self-esteem 101 in a basket-weaving class somewhere. It really is the first step to analyse what effect is caused by what agency.

        39

        • #

          Please explain how life was better before capitalism; how there was more wealth, longer lifespan, and more equitable distribution of wealth. You make these ex cathedra assertions about what causes what, but without evidence.

          Schumpeter, who probably knew more about capitalism than any person alive today, defined capitalism as free enterprise using borrowed money. That is it. The borrowed money part of the definition is how ordinary people get to share in the creation of wealth. Of course these also means sharing some of the risk. Those who have been trained with “gold stars” want the rewards, but none of the risk; and these easiest way to organize this is through government. There are unforeseen consequences, of course. It only works short term.

          80

          • #
            Kevin kilty

            Gosh I wish I could edit this… These=this.

            40

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              It’s good anyhow.
              The point about being able to borrow to enable a business project obviously defines capitalism; now that you’ve pointed it out. 🙂

              50

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            TT‘s take on “millions of jobs exported to low cost countries” is the lefties’/unionists’ perpetual take on the evils of the Capitalist system. However, as usual, they have the wrong end of the stick. Messy – I know. But that’s what they live in most of the time.

            In fact, exporting millions of jobs to low cost countries is a classic example of Schumpeter’s “Creative Destruction” in action. It is innovative. It explains the dynamic of industrial and social change including the cyclical shifts from competitive to monopolistic economies and back again. It has a linkage, in its history to Kondratieff long cycles.

            And, it explains why the level of poverty in the world has decreased so dramatically over the last 100 years. You’d think the lefties would be singing its praises.

            00

  • #
    Murray Shaw

    Sydney University needs to sack those disrespectful of the principle of free speech.
    There I have solved their problem!

    60

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    So what is the alternative?

    26

  • #
  • #
    Furiously curious

    A little bit on topic? Now that there is all this talk of quotas, how about we institute quotas of 10% for lawyers, 10% for apparatchiks, 2% for offspring of polis, 10% for bureaucrats, 5 yr minimum experience in private sector, 2 terms on the back bench and you’re out. 10 yrs ago Labour were 86% either lawyers, apparatchiks or poli’s kids.
    China you almost have to have an engineering degree. Lawyers or engineers, who’s moving forward?

    20

  • #
    Peter C

    This is a university which nurtured a play called “Kill Climate Deniers”. Sydney Uni has no respect for at least half of the tax payers who fund it. So I say fine, as long as Sydney Uni has the power to sack people that offend it, let the taxpayers have the right to sack Sydney University.

    The first part of this is true. Sydney Uni dos not respect half of the taxpayers who fund it.

    The second part is problematic. Taxpayers do not have the right, nor the power to sack Sydney University. The Federal and State governments do have some power over funding but the education ministers are loath to take any action. Dan Tehan did start an inquiry into free speech at Universities but nothing seems to have eventuated.

    40

  • #
    Tilba Tilba

    Dan Tehan did start an inquiry into free speech at Universities but nothing seems to have eventuated.

    Because it’s too hard. We can all agree that “free speech” is a good thing, and nearly all of agree that untrue speech that threatens, denigrates, belittles, etc, is not a good thing, and in a civil society should not be protected under the free speech banner.

    Setting the boundaries for all these things is the hard part, and it is impossible to get even close to broad agreement.

    In my uni days, the big controversy was Holocaust Denial, and a bit later, issues to do with Islamic Terrorism. There are a wide range of issues today.

    We have seen with Sidney Powell’s admission that all the Dominion conspiracy stuff – all the Kraken stuff – was just make-believe that no-one could possibly take seriously.

    Well … sorry Sidders but an awful lot of people did take you seriously (or at least really really wanted it to be true) – including more than a few on this forum. Such “free speech” can have serious consequences, up to and including the storming of the US Capitol.

    These are not trivial issues to discuss and solve – look at the love-hate with the social media bosses – because if they were easy to solve then they would have been by now.

    George Brandis said every Australian had the right to be a bigot. He was mostly shouted down.

    14

    • #
      Furiously curious

      I did see somewhere Sydney Powell claiming that the quotes being attributed to her are total BS. A little similar to Trumps quotes from his phone call to Georgia maybe?

      10

      • #

        How does she manage to explain actual recordings of her saying these things and actual media releases from her office? More than once?

        01

  • #
    John R Smith

    “Kill Climate Deniers”

    So how are those of us that could be called such to take this?
    Would the Uni allow a play called “K** Climate Change Activists”?
    Or “Kill (insert any other group)”?
    (For the record, I support unfettered artistic license.)
    Would they allow Roy Spencer or Tim Ball to speak there?
    Is threatening language ‘inclusive’?
    At what point do we take these folk at their word?
    Just sayin’.
    Just askin’ questions.
    Which appears to be a problem at the modern ‘University’.
    Just made myself laugh.

    61

  • #
    CHRIS

    The Universities of today are a total irrelevance. Once politicians, and the general public, come to realise this, society can progress. Universities are bubbles of ignorant, low-class academics (who obtained their degrees via cereal boxes)… just like Canberra, which consists of ignorant, low-class wannabees (plus the politicians).

    00