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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Racial Discrimination Act proposed changes

    EXCLUSIVE: Bob Day educates Mark Dreyfus on free speech
    by Simon Breheny on May 22, 2014 in Freedom of speech

    Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus recently invited SA Family First senator-elect Bob Day to a meeting to discuss the Abbott government’s changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

    …whereas defamation laws are designed to protect individuals from damaging statements, vilification law seek to protect groups of people who share a common characteristic such as race, religion or sexuality. And while truth is a complete defence in defamation law there is no such defence in 18C. I do not believe that in a democracy there is justification for outlawing speech which, in the opinion of a group of people of the same race, is insulting, offensive or causes hurt feelings. Laws such as 18C have a chilling effect on legitimate discussion as the offence is usually defined subjectively i.e. in terms of the perception of the hearer or reader.

    I consider this silencing of debate to be unacceptable in a free country. It is for these reasons that I will be supporting the government’s proposals to reform the Racial Discrimination Act.

    Read the rest of Day’s letter
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  2. #2
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Just what we need. The opinion of someone else who got into parliament on the back of the Glenn Druery's minor party alliance.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Just what we need. The opinion of someone else who got into parliament on the back of the Glenn Druery's minor party alliance.
    Yeah, pretty much got my fill of that with Jacqui Lambie on 7:30 the other day. Pretty scary to think nutjobs like these and the FF holding the balance of power.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    EXCLUSIVE: Bob Day educates Mark Dreyfus on free speech
    by Simon Breheny on May 22, 2014 in Freedom of speech
    …whereas defamation laws are designed to protect individuals from damaging statements, vilification law seek to protect groups of people who share a common characteristic such as race, religion or sexuality. And while truth is a complete defence in defamation law there is no such defence in 18C. …
    Truth is a defence under 18C (or 18D more accurately)! Mark Dreyfus already knows this, of course - it is Bob Day who needs educating.

    RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 - SECT 18D
    Exemptions
    Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith:
    ... (c) in making or publishing:
    (i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or
    (ii) a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.

    Bolt wasn't able to use this defence because he didn't bother to check his facts.
    Last edited by Patrick Byrom; 23-05-2014 at 01:51 PM.

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    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by road runner View Post
    Yeah, pretty much got my fill of that with Jacqui Lambie on 7:30 the other day. Pretty scary to think nutjobs like these and the FF holding the balance of power.
    Lambie is certainly a nutter but she is a nutter whose party polled 6.6% of the primary vote in Tasmania. PUP were not part of the Micro-Party Alliance but just benefited because almost every party in Tas preferenced them above the Liberals and a lot of below-the-line voters both left and right preferenced them pretty highly too. Even without all the micro-party preferencings it's possible she would have got up anyway as the Libs were only 2.3% ahead of her after their first two were elected. Labor and Green preferences were a big contributor to her success too.

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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    Truth is a defence under 18C (or 18D more accurately)! Mark Dreyfus already knows this, of course - it is Bob Day who needs educating.
    I doubt it. Day gave the example of the Two Dannys making true statements about Islam but still getting persecuted under Victoria's vile act.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    Bolt wasn't able to use this defence because he didn't bother to check his facts.
    What he said was factual: many people getting benefits for being "aboriginal" have more European blood and look just as European as he does.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    I doubt it. Day gave the example of the Two Dannys making true statements about Islam but still getting persecuted under Victoria's vile act.
    And that action was not under Section 18C, but under a completely separate piece of Victorian legislation. So if Bob Day is using this as an example, he doesn't know what he is talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    What he said was factual: many people getting benefits for being "aboriginal" have more European blood and look just as European as he does.
    But Bolt made specific claims about individuals which were not true. If he had stuck to generalisations, he would have been fine.

    I'm not sure why we're even debating this. Section 18D clearly says that truth is a defence, so unless there is some subtle legal point I'm missing, Bob Day's claim is just plain wrong.

  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    I doubt it. Day gave the example of the Two Dannys making true statements about Islam but still getting persecuted under Victoria's vile act.
    Firstly that case was eventually overturned on appeal (although even the unsuccessful bringing of such cases is often a problem with such laws), and secondly Pastor Scot was found by the Tribunal to not have acted in good faith, a finding that survived the appeal. He was found to have not acted in good faith because he, apparently deliberately, cherrypicked from the sections of the Quran he was quoting in order to paint it in the worst possible light, out of zeal to convert people. Also he was found to be an unreliable witness because he made highly inaccurate statements to the Tribunal about his achievements as an author.

    Day in his letter quotes a section he says is from the Victorian Supreme Court case but I can't find it in the judgement. Perhaps it was said by a judge during the case but in any case I strongly suspect he's misinterpreting it when he argues that it is evidence for a "chilling effect". "outside the Act" is most likely to be a subset, not a synonym, of cases of which someone is innocent. There are comments that are covered by the Act but excused by its defences.

    What he said was factual: many people getting benefits for being "aboriginal" have more European blood and look just as European as he does.
    Too bad for Bolt that of the examples of this he identified, at least half of them had ample Aboriginal blood, including in most of those cases a full-blood Aboriginal parent. Large sections of his articles were not factual and in ways he could have easily checked.

    As I've said before he is very lucky they did not also sue him for defamation as his financial costs had they rightfully done so would have been immense.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 24-05-2014 at 01:10 AM.

  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    And that action was not under Section 18C, but under a completely separate piece of Victorian legislation. So if Bob Day is using this as an example, he doesn't know what he is talking about.
    The Victorian legislation is reasonably similar although its exemption is more explicit in requiring the defendant to show good faith. I think the real problem is that Day does not understand the words "outside the Act".

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Firstly that case was eventually overturned on appeal (although even the unsuccessful bringing of such cases is often a problem with such laws), and secondly Pastor Scot was found by the Tribunal to not have acted in good faith, a finding that survived the appeal. He was found to have not acted in good faith because he, apparently deliberately, cherrypicked from the sections of the Quran he was quoting in order to paint it in the worst possible light, out of zeal to convert people.
    So we have the absurd situation of someone totally unqualified in Koranic studies, the judge, making a judgement about the quotations of the Koran by someone who grew up with it and studied it deeply. In any case, how would this alleged cherry-picking be any different from those contextually-ignorant atheopaths in the Bible quote for the day thread?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Also he was found to be an unreliable witness because he made highly inaccurate statements to the Tribunal about his achievements as an author.
    Even if true, this is totally irrelevant to alleged vilification.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Day in his letter quotes a section he says is from the Victorian Supreme Court case but I can't find it in the final judgement. Perhaps it was said by a judge during the case but in any case I strongly suspect he's misinterpreting it when he argues that it is evidence for a "chilling effect".
    But the whole thing is chilling, because the process is a large part of the punishment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Too bad for Bolt that of the examples of this he identified, at least half of them had ample Aboriginal blood, including in most of those cases a full-blood Aboriginal parent. Large sections of his articles were not factual and in ways he could have easily checked.
    Yet he showed how European they all looked, which makes it highly unlikely that they suffered any discrimination. And "ample Aboriginal blood", even with a full-blood Aboriginal parent, could still be half-European. The whole thing was a crock, and didn't need the Guvmint to be involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    As I've said before he is very lucky they did not also sue him for defamation as his financial costs had they rightfully done so would have been immense.
    Oh right, it's defamatory to make a true statement that these beneficiaries of privileges at taxpayer expense have heaps of European blood and look European?
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Oh right, it's defamatory to make a true statement that these beneficiaries of privileges at taxpayer expense have heaps of European blood and look European?
    It could be defamatory to imply that someone is falsely identifying as an Aboriginal in order to benefit themselves:

    Here's Bolt on Larissa Behrendt: "She's won many positions and honours as an Aborigine, including the David Unaipon Award for Indigenous Writers, and is often interviewed demanding special rights for 'my people'. But which people are 'yours', exactly, mein liebchen? And isn't it bizarre to demand laws to give you more rights as a white Aborigine than your own white dad?"

    Among the problems here are that Behrendt's father was a black Australian, not a white German. And like all the others, Behrendt was raised black. Judge Bromberg wrote: "She denies Mr Bolt's suggestion that she chose to be Aboriginal and says that she never had a choice, she has always been Aboriginal and has 'identified as Aboriginal since before I can remember'." Bolt didn't contest her evidence.

    If she's lying, why didn't Bolt contest her evidence?

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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    We know that Bolt was found guilty of contravening 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, presumably for his column The new tribe of white blacks, but the point of discussion is that this act is crass.

    One of Bolt's points, made independently by Thomas Sowell (himself black) in his Affirmative Action Around the World, is that racial-preference policies provide an incentive to identify with the preferred group, even when people are visually indistinguishable from the non-preferred group, like that Larissa Behrendt with the good German name and appearance. Also, here is Bolt himself as opposed to Bolt quoted by rabid leftard Marr:

    Now he’s a researcher at Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney—an “indigenous” outfit run by the very pale Prof Larissa Behrendt, who may have been raised by her white mother but today, as a professional Aborigine, is chairman of our biggest taxpayer-funded Aboriginal television service.

    Note, white mother, which is true. So Bolt's comments were more accurate than the baying leftmedia jackals calling George Zimmermann "white" although he has a black grandmother and Hispanic mother.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 24-05-2014 at 05:17 AM.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    We know that Bolt was found guilty of contravening 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, presumably for his column The new tribe of white blacks, but the point of discussion is that this act is crass.

    One of Bolt's points, made independently by Thomas Sowell (himself black) in his Affirmative Action Around the World, is that racial-preference policies provide an incentive to identify with the preferred group, even when people are visually indistinguishable from the non-preferred group, like that Larissa Behrendt with the good German name and appearance. Also, here is Bolt himself as opposed to Bolt quoted by rabid leftard Marr:

    Now he’s a researcher at Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney—an “indigenous” outfit run by the very pale Prof Larissa Behrendt, who may have been raised by her white mother but today, as a professional Aborigine, is chairman of our biggest taxpayer-funded Aboriginal television service.

    Note, white mother, which is true. So Bolt's comments were more accurate than the baying leftmedia jackals calling George Zimmermann "white" although he has a black grandmother and Hispanic mother.
    What I was discussing was Bob Day's claim that truth is not a defence to an action under Section 18C of the RDA - not the act itself. Obviously Bolt made some true statements in his article, but the passage that Marr quotes shows that he was wrong about significant facts: Behrendt did have a white mother, but her father was black, not a white German. And there were plenty of other mistakes. Because of mistakes like these, which even Bolt did not dispute at the trial, he had no defence under 18D. And he would also not have had a 'truth' defence to a defamation action.

    The implication by Day that Section 18C has fewer protections than the law of defamation is complete rubbish. Section 18D actually provides more protections for free speech than defamation laws - which it should, of course, since it covers groups, not specific individuals.

    Once the fact that truth is protected under 18D is understood, the whole argument to 'reform' it looks a bit silly. Why should anybody have the 'right' to vilify a group using claims they know to be false? Under 18D, they don't even have to prove that the claims are true:
    "(ii) a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment".

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    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    So we have the absurd situation of someone totally unqualified in Koranic studies, the judge, making a judgement about the quotations of the Koran by someone who grew up with it and studied it deeply.
    Actually it was the Tribunal that found this and the judges of the Supreme Court that merely had a look at that reasoning and declined to overturn it as it wasn't clearly wrong.

    In any case, how would this alleged cherry-picking be any different from those contextually-ignorant atheopaths in the Bible quote for the day thread?
    It doesn't matter legally if it is different or not since there has to be a breach in the first place. In the Pastor Scot case ultimately there was no breach as there was no incitement. However the specific issue of good faith that was raised was that Scot quoted two of three verses of the Koran and knowingly omitted the one that was in the middle of the two. It is rather different to someone quoting a Bible passage out of context if they are not actually aware what the context is - for instance.

    Even if true, this is totally irrelevant to alleged vilification.
    It was relevant as to whether his claims about his reasons for cherrypicking could be taken seriously.

    Yet he showed how European they all looked, which makes it highly unlikely that they suffered any discrimination. And "ample Aboriginal blood", even with a full-blood Aboriginal parent, could still be half-European. The whole thing was a crock, and didn't need the Guvmint to be involved.
    Bolt's article was certainly a crock and certainly defamatory, for the reasons noted by Patrick.

    Do such articles need government involvement? I'd say not. Is any valid right of free speech lost when efforts as sloppy as Bolt's are the subject of a forced apology? Again I'd say not.

    If Bolt had had his facts straight in all or even most regards and still been pursued even unsuccessfully for his stated views I would agree there was an issue. However I suspect if he had had his facts straight he would not have still held those views and hence wouldn't have espoused them.

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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Actually it was the Tribunal that found this and the judges of the Supreme Court that merely had a look at that reasoning and declined to overturn it as it wasn't clearly wrong.
    That is normal for appeals courts. It's still absurd for Tribunalists to make judgements on religious questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    It doesn't matter legally if it is different or not since there has to be a breach in the first place. In the Pastor Scot case ultimately there was no breach as there was no incitement.
    Right, so it is even more of a scandal that so much money had to be expended.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    However the specific issue of good faith that was raised was that Scot quoted two of three verses of the Koran and knowingly omitted the one that was in the middle of the two.
    Who says that this missing verse changed anything? Some judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    It is rather different to someone quoting a Bible passage out of context if they are not actually aware what the context is - for instance.
    Most unlikely. I've encountered Islamic apologists who leave out very important parts of Christian encyclopedias that destroy their points, but this should hardly be a matter for the courts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    It was relevant as to whether his claims about his reasons for cherrypicking could be taken seriously.
    Why was this ever a matter for the courts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Bolt's article was certainly a crock and certainly defamatory, for the reasons noted by Patrick.
    Come off it. So he said that the Behrendt bint had a white father, probably a misspeaking for white mother. What was really a crock, as Bolt pointed out, was people with much European blood and name and looking like Europeans going on the gravy train of preferential treatment for Aborigines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Do such articles need government involvement? I'd say not.
    QED.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    If Bolt had had his facts straight in all or even most regards and still been pursued even unsuccessfully for his stated views I would agree there was an issue. However I suspect if he had had his facts straight he would not have still held those views and hence wouldn't have espoused them.
    What view would he not have espoused? The point also made by Sowell that affirmative action incentivizes people to claim membership of the preferred group?
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

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