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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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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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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Quick Quips: What’ll We Lose First, Money or Sanity?

15/07/2019

  • As if anyone cared what her opinion was, Pauline Hanson has pitched in on the Uluru climbing debate. She doesn’t see the ‘cultural sensitivity’ seeing as people ‘have been climbing’ it for years. Reality check – yes, it has been a culturally sensitive issue all those years too, but finally Indigenous voices are being listened to. Just don’t climb Uluru – it’s that simple.
  • Can the media please stop asking Hanson what she thinks?
  • For Australians talking about ‘raiding Area 51’, we have a perfectly good US intelligence base near Alice Springs that could do with some dismantling.

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“Deeply Concerned” Hypocrites

15/07/2019

Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Marise Payne, added Canberra’s voice to a letter to the UN regarding China’s human rights record in Xinjiang. For a few years now, attention has been brought to the over 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim groups being held in what have been described as detention centres by human rights bodies and ‘re-education centres’ by the Chinese government. Payne’s signing of the letter might’ve been worth looking favourably on, if Australia didn’t have its own detention centres.

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Ideas, Individuals, and… Nationalism?

04/07/2019

We’ve all heard the saying: “If you don’t love it here, leave!” The irony of those kinds of statements though, usually disseminated online towards ‘leftists’ of various sorts (whether on cultural or economic concerns), is that the people who most often assert them are the ones with gripes over their country’s wellbeing. This inconsistency can reach comical standards at times, and also helps reveal other hypocrisies.

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Civility With ‘Enemies’ – Can It Be Done?

01/07/2019

I have not written anywhere near as much in the month of June as I would have liked. To put that in perspective, I missed a week’s worth of pieces (7) due to university, visiting friends, other commitments, and whatever other excuse I can convince myself of. While I am not displeased with the pieces I have written, it leaves much to catch up on. But I can draw from those other activities, starting with a friend’s party.

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Defending the (Bottom) Line

27/06/2019

I have written before about the revolving door between politics and the private sector, as have many others with a much wider breadth of knowledge regarding specific cases. One, at the time of writing my piece, was former NSW Premier Mike Baird, working comfortably at NAB during the RC into the finance sectors. (Notably, I wrote at the time that NSW was feeling buyer’s remorse for having re-elected Baird and being given Berejiklian – boy was I wrong, the media narrative shifted drastically). This week’s contender? Former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne.

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