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After Brexit?

canzuk flagIf Britain votes to quit Europe on June 23, what next? Quadrant contributor James C. Bennett has an idea:

Commonwealth Union (sometimes called Commonwealth Federation) is the idea that several principal Commonwealth nations, usually including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and possibly others, should form a federation or confederation, insuring free trade and a customs union, common citizenship and free movement of  people, and common defence and security services, acting as a single nation in dealing with other nations and international organisations.  It is also sometimes referred to as the CANZUK union, after the initials of  what will be its principal members ...  A political federation having the character of  a state, consisting of  Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and possibly other Commonwealth Realms — those states of  which Queen Elizabeth is sovereign.  It would be distinct from the Commonwealth of  Nations, which would continue to exist and function as at present.

More via the link below

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Doctor Bill

stethoscope cashAccording to Bill Shorten,

“You grow the economy by making sure that when people are sick they can get to a doctor without having to pay a big co-payment fee upfront.”

For Judith Sloan's prognosis of this and other of the Labor leader's prescriptions for Australia's economic good health,  follow the link below.

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Hop to it, girls

pogge mugThose of us of a certain age had an excuse for missing the obvious during student days, especially those who spent too much time insulated from reality by the excellent headphones they provided in the Record Library at Melbourne University's Student Union, circa the early Seventies, when the marijuana was always potent, plentiful and readily available from a floating population of resident dealers. Somehow, when Dr Jim summoned the masses to march up Bourke Street, we rose from our bean bags and turned up, as expected, to protest Vietnam, conscription and Billy McMahon. Well they were the cues, in any case. Smoking dope openly in the City Square and sticking it to the man with patchouli oil and intemperate public language probably had more to do with it, truth be told. Protesting was the fashion, put it that way.

Dopey as many were in those bell-bottomed days, a story in today's Age strongly suggests that, even allowing for sundry chemical influences, we were a lot sharper then than are those in quest of truth and education today. Fashion still plays its part, mind you, which perhaps explains the attention being given of late to an alleged epidemic of campus rapists and sexual assaults. This was to be expected, as Australian universities absorb trends and bad ideas from overseas institutions in much the same way that a poultice draws pus from an infected wound.

At New York's Columbia University a young woman made herself both an exhibition and feminist celebrity by carrying with her everywhere she went, including  her graduation ceremony,  the mattress on which she claimed, dubiously, to have been raped. Getting with the meme, Rolling Stone then splashed with shock! horror! revelations of brutal rapes at the University of Virginia -- attacks that never happened and have since become the focus of what will undoubtedly prove to be extraordinarily expensive libel awards.

The Age story quotes by name a young woman who insists she was raped at Monash University and states that she complained about it to campus authorities, but not to the police. Apparently she wants the university to "provide me with an alternative to feel safe on campus". What this means is anyone's guess. Expelling the alleged rapist on the strength of her accusation alone? Requiring that university social functions model themselves on Hasidic weddings, where men dance with men and women stick to themselves?

After that, the Age report goes on to detail other alleged rapes -- including his one:

One student, who did not want to be named, told Fairfax Media she was raped in 2011 by a popular, politically active student at her university.

After hours of trying to fend off the rapist's sexual passes, she left the club and got into a taxi to go home. The rapist jumped in the front, and instructed the driver to go to his parents' address, where he raped her.

"I said I wanted to go to my place, but was too scared and drunk, I didn't know what to do. The rest is history," she said.

As the article says, the push is by "a growing chorus of female students calling for improved safety, support and initiatives on campus to prevent 'rape culture'."

While the sexual exploitation and abuse of young women is big a deal on campus at the moment, the casual observer might suspect that the "rape culture" activists are just a little selective in deciding which alleged perpetrators must be brought to book. If that were not the case, ANU would be a cauldron of anger and protest, as Thomas Pogge, Professorial Fellow at the university's Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics since 2004, is in hot water for allegedly putting the hard word on female students and promising better grades to those who assume the horizontal.

Pogge (above), who mostly hangs his gown at Yale, is the very model of a modern academic, greatly concerned with saving the world from the ravages of globalist capitalism, CO2 and climate change. That gets him interviewed reverentially on the ABC, but the national broadcaster's feting is not his only pleasure in Australia. Here are two other, gilt-edged attractions from Professor Pogge's CV:

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant ―Developing New Indices of Poverty and Gender Equity. Funding: A$1,098,000.

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant The Responsibilities of the Affluent to Address Global Poverty  Funding: A$289,000.

Plus, he is the recipient of an earlier ARC grant of $358,000.

So what about it, girls, why not turn out to demand ANU take action against a purported member of the exploiting phallocracy? Like the unnamed male students mentioned in the Age article, he has not been convicted (although he has been sanctioned). Why, you could even slutwalk for gender justice if you so wish.

If the red-eyed students of yore could set aside the bong long enough to take to the streets and demand accountability from those in power, surely today's campus feminists can do likewise? That is, of course, unless unnamed male students -- or males in general, perhaps? -- make better and more satisfying targets than a hard-left academic who cares, really cares, about capitalism's impact on the world's poor, Gaia's declining health and the topic which scored him a $1.1 million ARC grant. What was his subject again? Ah, yes, that's right: gender equality!

The Age story can be read here. A full account of Professor's Pogge's current troubles is available via the link below.

-- roger franklin

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