Banerji and the Threat to Free Speech

14/08/2019

The High Court has ruled that Michaela Banerji’s sacking from the (then) Department of Immigration and Border Protection – Home Affairs sounds much nicer for the PR – was legitimate. This ruling has (to borrow the frequently used phrase from everywhere) rather chilling effects for democracy and free speech, and also has implications for other areas as well.

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Quick Quips: To Protest Is Your Right

01/08/2019

Nothing that benefitted any oppressed or supressed demographic was gained by doing nothing. Every major movement of the last century or so, from the black rights’ movement to the #MeToo movement, Union actions to revolts against autocratic governments, environmental and anti-war causes – all of these have involved some form of protest.

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Another Plebiscite? No Thanks

30/07/2019

Pauline Hanson has made headlines – again – for saying something controversial and obviously not grounded in reality. She put forward, in the Senate, to have a national plebiscite on the number of immigrants coming into the country, asking people whether or not they believed the current number was too high or not. She was soundly defeated when it went to a vote, but of course it’s now made the rounds through the media – the idea is there.

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Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs: A Reflection

29/07/2019

Despite having two other books to read for university and a topic to read up on for an upcoming internship role, I impulsively bought Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs and read it within a few days because bookshops are a (wonderful) trap. I am glad I did get it, though, because while my knowledge of international and Australian law is passable (read as: probably not great, but most people I know, in the nicest terms, don’t have a clue so I appear intelligent), there is always more to learn, a fact to add to your arsenal. When the topic is humanitarian issues, the outcome literally means life and death.

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Not to Say, “I Told You So”, But…

28/07/2019

… I told you so. It’s beyond the realm of predictive speculation – what the current government has done, or been tangled up in, has been blatantly obvious since the beginning. If people paid any attention or read into policies and the like, maybe they wouldn’t be so dismayed and shocked when certain stories break in the media. Although granted, the media is half to blame for most of this ignorance. There are countless examples that could be used, but here are four (mostly from this month).

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Is the Invasion of Iran Confirmed?

24/07/2019

With the ascension of yet another Western example of absolute buffoonery – yes, I mean Boris Johnson in the UK – the question of an invasion of Iran becomes even more troubling. Tensions have been rising between the US and Iran’s regime, an escalation one can hold the US solely responsible for, but which Iran has acted increasingly authoritarian in response to (it’s almost like there are similarities with the situation in Venezuela, where the US tries to stir civil unrest to ‘justify’ toppling governments…). So why is the UK leadership important?

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Healthcare Is A Right – Private Insurers Need to Back Off

24/07/2019

Yesterday, NIB boss (Mark Fitzgibbon) said that the government should scrap Medicare. Not a surprising call from the head of a private health insurance company, and one that has been slowly in the works for the last few years anyway. But such a blatant attack on our public healthcare system is exactly why we should not be abolishing it.

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Consumerism Vs Participation in Politics: The Silent Majority Exists

20/07/2019

For an upcoming university unit, I have two books as prescribed core reading: An Introduction to Political Communication by Brian McNair, and Reporting Elections: Rethinking the Logic of Campaign Coverage by Stephen Cushion and Richard Thomas. While I have, I’d say, a reasonable knowledge and understanding (as well as some strong opinions) on those topics – I have, obviously, written (much less professionally) on them myself – it’s always enlightening to read more about the things you think you know. Even if many of the conclusions match previous ones, the difference each time is perspective.

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How Is FaceApp Different to US Apps?

19/07/2019

Because it’s Russian. If this were a YouTube video I’d jokingly say ‘bye’ and put the outro music on. The app’s popularity has blown up in the last week due to its new aging filter, with almost 13 million new users this month alone. But while so many have fallen right into it, others have picked up on privacy concerns – because, shock horror, what if a government could access that data?

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Master Theft: George Calombaris

18/07/2019

See what I did with the title there? You see? Get it…? I haven’t seen it anywhere else yet myself, however, I’m 100% certain it is by no means original. But, it is true. George Calombaris is under repeated fire for the scandal that has rocked his businesses for a few years now, having admitted this week “to underpaying $7.83 million in wages to 515 current and former employees…” His punishment? Not a lot.

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