Friday, March 03, 2017

Obsessions of conservatives and libertarians

I don't have much doubt that the QUT s18C Racial discrimination case was poorly handled all around, and I have sympathy for the students involved.    So some legislative corrections to how these cases are handled procedurally are at least warranted.

I also get the impression (without looking into it in too much detail) that Gillian Triggs has made mistakes in her defence of the handling of the matter.  But at the same time, her treatment by conservatives in the Coalition, and the intense journalistic and editorial support for them in The Australian, has amounted to a nutty jihad that has lasted years now.   Despite her errors, I think the overwhelming impression the public is left with is that conservatives (and the odd libertarian) in the government, and a newspaper, are absolutely obsessed with her, and seem to think there is still nothing better to do than hound the head of a commission because of perceived slights to them and their journalist pal Andrew Bolt.

I can't really recall anything like this in Australian politics - and the sooner the nutty conservatives in the Coalition split from their parties, the better it would be. 


not trampis said...

The students obviously had very poor legal reps. The Leak team wanted a legal affair in court and clearly did not want to negotiate.

Triggs is not a politician and needed to be one given the vitriol against her.

not trampis said...

If they really were fair dinkum about free speech then they would be VERY loud in their criticism of the libel laws.

Jason Soon said...

umm no libel is just a tort. and if a link under tort or criminal law can be made between speech and violent conduct (i.e. incitement) I am all for prosecuting the parties involved. the RDA goes a step beyond all that, otherwise it would be unnecessary.

There used to be a time when even the left was for basically unconditional (short of tortious conduct) free speech, see the ACLU Skokie case when the left leaning ACLU bankrolled defence lawyers to allow Nazis to march through a Jewish neighbourhood. all that principle is gone now.

not trampis said...

The argument against 18c is that it stops free speech. The Libel laws does this in spades. Nice deflection

Jason Soon said...

the relevant definition of free speech should only include non-tortious speech. some libertarians miss that point and do advocate the abolition of libel law.
If there is a case for libel laws to be reformed I am open to that, but not to their abolition. There is no contradiction to speak of since those who are aware of the distinction should make it, and those who aren't aware of the distinction or don't support it (like purist libertarians) do also have a problem with libel laws

not trampis said...

I am merely taking the IPA and Davidson seriously in their arguments.
The people to whom Steve talks about very rarely talk about what you have if at all.

I do agree with you however.

Can the QUT students sue their legal teams for dereliction of duty?

not trampis said...

Soony I am quite taken by your arguments. Why don't you write an article on it so people can enjoy reading something substantial on it. Steve and I can both publish it

Steve said...

Gee, you seem to have taken editorial control of my blog, Homer!

Steve said...

But I am glad to see a series of exchanges between both of you that hasn't devolved into name calling, for once.

not trampis said...


I just assumed you would carry it. I agree I should not assumed that.

I am actually curious to hear more of Soony arguments since i have not heard them before.
That shows up the parlous state of the 'right ' in Australia

John said...

Stranger than fiction:

Jason Soon, founder of Catallaxy, comments on Steve's blog. Steve, a person most of the Cat commentators hate at a sub-atomic level.

Jason Soon said...

'hate' is a strong word for steve, I think they're mostly indifferent to him while JC has some grudging affection. isn't that right, JC?

Steve said...

Oh, I think there is a fair bit of "hate" for me there: mainly from the loopier ones with intense personality defects.

I don't doubt that some - a handful maybe - of the old crowd wouldn't mind if I commented there again; but I honesty find them so self-deluded now that it would be a bit like visiting a mental asylum just to pass on the message "you are nuts, you know?"

Anonymous said...

"Jason Soon, founder of Catallaxy, comments on Steve's blog. Steve, a person most of the Cat commentators hate at a sub-atomic level.

I for one don't hate nor ever hated Stepford. I think he's moron and feel sorry for his idiocy, but I certainly never hated him. The old regulars wouldn't hate him either.

Interesting to see Paxton thinks he's taken over Stepford's blog. What a moron. Step, ban the idiot before he totally ruins it for you.

Now to the subject of the post.

"Despite her errors,"

Errors? Errors? She's a lying, dissembling douchebag who's been caught out lying numerous times - both to the public and the parliamentary committees. Hedley Thomas, possibly australia's best investigative journalist, has destroyed the self absorbed cow.

As for Hot lips lips Southpaw, he was publicly inviting people to lodge complaints against Leak.

These two ratbags ought to be shamed into resignation.

"I think the overwhelming impression the public is left with is that conservatives (and the odd libertarian) in the government, and a newspaper, are absolutely obsessed with her,"

Obsession and calling her out for her dishonesty and partisanship aren't the same thing.

"and seem to think there is still nothing better to do than hound the head of a commission because of perceived slights to them and their journalist pal Andrew Bolt."

I don't think neither Triggster nor Hot Lips have ever mentioned or interacted directly with Bolt.

We have a "herman" right commission. It's called parliament and we don't need these layabouts always propagandizing negative rights.

Paxton, go find a necktie and look for a ladies toilet. You know what to do.

not trampis said...

Can someone please translate JC please

John said...

What happened to Leak was ridiculous. Here's just how ridiculous ...

In the very same week 7.30 had an interview with Darren V. the teenager at the centre of the Don Dale controversy. Various adults from his past were interviewed, with the segment focusing on his mother. Nary a mention of Darren's father ... . Not even there, probably long gone.

Voller had behavioral problems from a very early age. Evidence suggestive of neurological issues. A full neuropsych work up would be a good idea. Instead they want to bundle him off to some "bush rehab" nonsense. Can we start regarding aborigines as being members of the human race and hence subject to the same behavioral contingencies as the rest of us?

I am fed up with the whole aboriginal debate. The framing is completely screwed up. Trying to address it through moral and legal frames is a complete waste of time and is not going to help aborigines. The Leftist position has so many internal contradictions that they should be going insane with cognitive dissonance. The Right doesn't have a clue, relying on dumb primitive cliches as a solution. Frame it in a way consistent with our understanding of human behavior and how to change pathological behavior. Claiming these bad behaviors happen because "intergenerational trauma" and racism is ridiculous. Embracing this nonsense about "spiritual attachment to the land" is absurd, just more religious claims lacking empirical support.

Anonymous said...

Actually I don't mind Stepford at all, Jase. In fact I like him and love to see him back at the Cat, after the riff raff that's showed up there over the past few years.

As everyone possibly knows by now, I have little to no regard for leftwing idiots, but the types that have swarmed the Cat are hate filled demented lunatics. There are some seriously ugly racist types there now and others who treat it like a lonely hearts club.
There's an obese former APS'er shemale who seems to think she makes an argument by calling me pejorative names related to my ethnicity. I call her Auntie Jack. She's always threatening to rip people's heads off.

There's Mick from the Gold Coast who I refer to Mickie Goldcoast. Get this. This dwarf married an Asian woman but wants to deport Asians and pretty much everyone else.

I've been called a leftist there by some of these twerps because I'm a little more easy going about issues like immigration etc.

As much as I would like to see the end of these morons, I'd probably draw a line at having Paxton there in their place (if the substitution was possible). He's far to annoyingly stupid.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, I think there is a fair bit of "hate" for me there: mainly from the loopier ones with intense personality defects."

Don't flatter yourself, Steford. The old guard would love to have you back, if only to ballast the place. It's good to see Fatboy back there. I had lunch with him in the middle of last year. I like the tubby little varmint.

"I don't doubt that some - a handful maybe - of the old crowd wouldn't mind if I commented there again; but I honesty find them so self-deluded now that it would be a bit like visiting a mental asylum just to pass on the message "you are nuts, you know?"

Okay, I don't like Trump personally. I think he's a pig, but I love most of his policies excepting immigration at the extreme end and trade protectionism.

There's no way I would support deporting 12 million illegals. However, those with criminal records need a size 10 out the door. I also support doing something about the border. It's a border for lords' sake and it ought to be respected. Seeing the Mexican government doesn't give a shit upsetting the Gringos... well build the wall and make them pay for it!

Open trade raises living standards. It's automation that has killed jobs in the US.

Scott Sumner made a decent point about the steel industry. Nearly all American steel industry jobs were lost to automation. They are never coming back and quite honestly you don't want to see them back.

I do love the gutting of the EPA, the energy policy, the SCOTUS choice, deregulation, and the move to lowering corp tax to 15%.

Make America Great Again, Step.

Paxton should be banned.

Steve said...

JC, I never knew you cared. Heh.

As for those you now fight with - I have a soft spot for Johanna because Lizzie's obsessive Facebooking about herself, her husband, their harbour views, holiday house, and luxury holidays (while nannies look after the kids) really gets up her nose, as it does mine. Also - Johanna has no time for db's uber Catholic take on sex.

But she also hates me, I think, so there you go...

Some other assessments: Gab has become way coarser and (frankly) dumber over the years. It's an environment that is very bad for her.

IT gets away with too much. Makes too many "gay" jibes.

And generally: the average age of the place must now be pushing 70, I reckon. Some intense bores/boors there.

Steve said...

JC re Trump - you comfortable with what seems the likely scenario - a defence/infrastructure spending increase with no adequately compensating cuts elsewhere, combined with lower taxes, meaning increasing deficits?

And no - a Lafferite response to the tax cuts is not going to stop that.

Steve said...

Here (for JC to comment) - from the NYT The Upshot blog a couple of days ago:

"But it’s worth keeping in mind that a so-called Trump bump arrives as the economy is closing in on its full productive capacity. It is getting to the point where a cycle of rising wages and higher inflation necessitates higher interest rates. That, in turn, reflects policies from the Obama administration and the Fed that long predate Mr. Trump’s election.

Conventional economic theory predicts that if a government tries to increase deficits at a time of full employment, the results will be some mix of higher inflation and higher interest rates, crowding out investment.

So if tax cuts, more military spending and other Trumpian policies add to deficits at a time the economy is already running at full blast, rising prices and rising rates are exactly what we would expect to see."

not trampis said...

yep the big battle between now and the mid terms will be between the Chaoshouse and the Fed. Changes to Health care will also be very interesting.

Hey soony are you going to write that article. My reader demands to know!!

Anonymous said...


No, I'm not comfortable with that at all. If you had bothered to read what I said, instead of what you think I said, you would see that I said I love most of his policies, which means not all. The fact that I gave two examples doesn't mean I'm okay with the rest.

I think the administration is well aware the employment rate is knocking at full employment. That's not a revelation to anyone.

U6, however is indicating more slackness than the payroll number so let's see what happens.

Most things he's advocating suggests potentially a higher inflation rate and, but I'm not spooked by a higher inflation rate and I think the Fed will be very careful. I'm spooked by a low inflation rate.

Having said that, there's the very real possibility we could see much higher productivity in the US economy if he's able to institute the lower tax rate and lots of deregulation.

The infrastructure proposal is actually not that yuge. It's US$1 trillion over 10 years, which in an economy bordering on US$20 trillion annual GDP is not as large as people think.

Market expectations are currently around 2% for 10 year inflation expectations, which is right on the Fed target.

see here:

The deficit is a bit of a worry, but if the Fed remains easy (even while raising interest rates) and the tax and deregulation side raises the growth rate the deficit could reduce even with the higher infrastructure spending. I'm not worried about the military spending side because there's a commitment to cut elsewhere like the State department, which is going to be hammered.

Sure it's worth keeping an eye on, but the market likes what it's hearing for the moment and of course we'll see.

Anonymous said...


I think CL likes you even though he thinks you're a phony Catholic.

Just my speculation of what he thinks, as I don't have the foggiest. But I think he's fond while also saddened for you.

not trampis said...

I again wonder why 'conservatives 'moan about Triggs et al but completely ignore the QUT students woeful lawyers.

I think most competent lawyers would have expected the Judges decision but not their lawyers.

anon said...

Their lawyers won the case, you uniquely stupid imbecile.

not trampis said...

oh great genius how much did some of them pay out?
What a win.

Truly JC if you had a brain you would be dangerous

John said...

BTW JC did you bother investing in a cancer immunotherapy biotech? Probably too late now but that approach does appear to be the frontrunner.

Anonymous said...


I haven't touched biotech for a long while. The only thing I would play is the ETF, as individual stocks are a coin toss.

The next thirty years are going to be amazing in that sector, but I have no edge in figuring out what going to fly.

Lastly, Trump has been very aggressive against pharma suggesting they charge the American consumer far too much and wants to see prices drop.

John said...

Lastly, Trump has been very aggressive against pharma suggesting they charge the American consumer far too much and wants to see prices drop.

He is right about that. It is an example of where Trump might actually get some necessary stuff done. The same problem exists with waste in defence spending. In both sectors the corporations have had it too easy for too long. However he might have a problem with the GOP in both of those matters.

Overall I don't like Trump but the hand wringing by the Left is overwrought. (A friend of mine put it well: At least she didn't get the job.) I think he is more reckless than dangerous and there are enough "minders" around to prevent things getting too out of hand. During the campaign I read about Rudd's bid for the UN and said to a friend that if both get the top jobs we are well and truly stuffed. The adoration accorded to Rudd and Trump is amusing. I don't know why people do that. Political leaders are the most dangerous human beings so instead of lauding them at every opportunity we should always be wary of them and make that known lest they become too cocky and believe the true believers.

not trampis said...


which minders are you thinking of because most of his cabinet are ordinary and his staff are either useless or fruitloops.

Remember if they were any good they would correct his many 'errors' (euphemism)

Anonymous said...


Pharma in the US, has a very sweetheart deal. There is little control on prices and while other nations screw down prices, Americans pay for the R&D etc.

I think Trump going about it the right way. He's looking to lower the cost of FDA compliance materially, while telling pharma a the jig is up with respect to pricing in the US market. Maybe other countries have to pay more.
This gets me around to the idea that while Trump may be a decent president for the US, he may not be so good for countries like Australia, the EU etc. It's going to be an interesting 8 years.

Homer, shoo off.

not trampis said...

Pharma [prices are high because of patent law. no reform of that and little effect on prices. Trump nor his woeful; advisors have even gone there. Only JC would be so stupid to think he could do anything without patent law reform.

John said...

It costs 100s millions to bring a drug to market. We need to break the shackles on biomedical initiatives. For example people with terminal cancer should be allowed any treatment they so desire and the doctor should be protected from govt and legal restrictions on providing such treatments. For eg. the IV Vitamin C protocol for cancers developed by a group of doctors is worthy of further research but as it can't be patented no-one is going to fund the trials.

My nephew is currently completing his residency and described the AMA as a cartel. Medicine is far too strictly controlled and that, together with the costs of developing new treatments, severely limits the research opportunities.

At another level there is a philosophical issue in relation to the way we approach biomedical research. Put simply it is "excessive reductionism", the focus on manipulating singular metabolic processes when so often we need to address multiple processes. At present though we are analytically constrained because it we don't have the conceptual tools to develop a new reference frame. People are trying, the literature certainly puts to that. A few days ago I read a paper concerning a mathematical analysis of a specific cellular process. It was disappointing but it was published in a top tier journal, PNAS, because the editors, as does the wider research community, recognise that we need a new reference frame. Not going to happen in my lifetime. Way above my pay grade. Decades away but it will happen.