Academic Freedom? The Peter Ridd Case is Part of a Much Larger Problem with Australian Universities

James Cook University professor Peter Ridd. Picture: Cameron Laird

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What academic freedom is left in Australia, if Professor Patrick Parkinson, Dean of Law at the University of Queensland had a paper rejected, because students and peer reviewers were concerned, not about whether the paper was well structured and presented, but about whether the paper might offend people?

The following essay, which mentions the Peter Ridd case, has been reproduced in full with the permission of the author Professor James Allan, Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland.

Academic peers gag their own, amid alarming signs on free speech gag in Tasmania

JAMES ALLAN
11:00PM OCTOBER 26, 2020

I am the Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland and one of the comparatively small number of right-of-centre legal academics in this country. From my arrival in Australia in 2005 until the end of 2018 I was the sole editor of a G8 university law review here at UQ. And before that, when working in New Zealand, I was for a decade the sole editor of NZ’s oldest law review at the University of Otago. So with almost a quarter century under my belt as an editor of leading Antipodean law reviews I know my way around peer review and the law publishing game in this country.

In The Weekend Australian it was reported that my dean of law here at UQ, Professor Patrick Parkinson, had complained that the University of Tasmania Law Review had rejected a paper he had submitted because the student editors, and the two peer reviewers they had selected, did not like his views on transgender laws in Tasmania. (Readers will immediately realise Parkinson’s paper was critical of them.) Parkinson has shown me both referees’ reports and his paper. In my view it is plain, on the basis of what the referees wrote, that they did not like Parkinson’s substantive views on the topic and that drove their decisions.

One was worse than the other but both, in my view, failed to do the job expected of referees. Politics trumped the open expression of views that were presented well above the usual standards required to have a paper accepted by a law review. The end result is de facto censorship, the suppressing of arguments and opinions that are for many on the political left very unpopular.

This, alas, is typical of the state of free speech and the free expression of ideas in today’s Australian universities. The situation is bad and getting worse.

As for the peer review process, especially outside the hard sciences, many criticisms can be made of it. For one thing, editors pick the referees and for student-edited law reviews that means undergraduate law students doing the selecting – though it’s not necessarily always much better with faculty editors. To ask students to stand outside the prevailing orthodoxies when doing that choosing is seeking a lot. Another, regrettable, failing is that more and more referees these days fail to do their job. That job is not to say whether they like the paper under consideration, or agree with it, or find it politically palatable. Nor is it to decide whether this is the paper they would have written — which is mocked in the old joke about the peer reviewer who walks into a bar and says: “This isn’t the joke I would have told.” Rather, the job is simply to pass judgment on whether the paper and its insights, claims and evidence are of a publishable standard in the light of established discipline standards of research excellence – and Parkinson’s paper clearly meets that standard. If you don’t agree, write a response.

The core problem then is that as our universities have become increasingly politicised, and faculties of social science, arts and law ever less “viewpoint diverse” (to appropriate the present jargon), the whole peer review process has become less and less trustworthy. Put more bluntly, this amounts to yet another inroad into free expression.

Things are pretty bad on this front. The French review of free speech and academic freedom in Australia’s universities (undertaken by a former chief justice of the High Court) was deficient because it limited itself to a review of the paper policies of our universities. It did not consider the so-called lived experience of academics on the ground, including how certain points of view — we all know which ones — might indirectly affect promotions, hiring, grant-getting and, yes, the ease of being published.

Take the Peter Ridd case at James Cook University by way of illustration. The technical, legal dispute there boiled down to whether the enterprise agreement (negotiated between the university and five unions) trumped the code of conduct (drafted by the Vice-Chancellor and her top people) or vice versa. There has been next to no conservative input into any of these terms and conditions.

I happen to think the Federal Court of Appeal got even this narrow legal issue wrong, but the substantive problem is that an established academic like Ridd, alleging serious research errors, can be silenced and even fired for effectively speaking his mind. This is no testament to free speech in our universities, whatever the legal outcome.

What is worse is that we have a Coalition government that does next to nothing about any of this. Indeed Prime Minister Scott Morrison has never shown any real interest in free speech and freedom generally. He once remarked sardonically that it didn’t create any jobs — this from a government that has destroyed more jobs than any other Australian government.

If Parkinson’s experience were a one-off, we could all shrug and move on. But it is not. It’s indicative of the one-sided nature of who is more likely to be able to speak on our campuses, and even in society more widely.

James Allan is Garrick Professor in Law at the University of Queensland.

Source: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/academic-peers-gag-their-own/news-story/475d6d206de04be3c8b36ecfd45fe79e

The death of academic freedom in Australia will have dire consequences.

If professors, even deans of major universities, can no longer take the risk of speaking their minds or offending people, then they will no longer be free to publicly correct the mistakes of others. Academic innovation and progress will cease, as will the economic and social benefits which accrue from honest and open exploration and review of important issues.

94 thoughts on “Academic Freedom? The Peter Ridd Case is Part of a Much Larger Problem with Australian Universities

  1. Why narrow this to an “Australian Universities” problem. This is a problem at almost all universities in many western countries. The problem stems from most people having way too much tolerance for liberal-thuggish behavior. There is no one so intolerant of conflicting ideas than a liberal. They “define” group-think behavior.

    I was always brought up thinking that the puritan intolerance for anything outside of their belief system was due to a conservative mind-set. I now understand this just isn’t so – today it’s the so-called liberal behaviors that seek to punish non-believers. True conservatives tend to mind their own business. Today it is the liberal mind-set that seeks to congregate those that believe the same thing and then force it upon others – never mind what the ideals are. This is true at least in the U.S., and I assume many western style cultures. So really, intolerance is a human behavior pattern exhibited by any large group that seeks to consolidate power.

    • But remember that although this is the problem in ‘almost all universities in many western countries’, the problem in the other countries, such as those the middle eastern block or the asian block is that authoritarian or such governments directly exert influence, and stifle good research. Western nations are just ‘catching up’…….

  2. Just another sign of the last days of our society

    First Science
    Now Liberal arts and Law

    Next Bogans will rule

    • It only comes in a left hand drive model…

      …and it is far from just Australia.

    • We in the U.S. already have prominent Progressives™ aka Democrats proposing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to review anything and everyone who is even slightly to the right of what ever line that they decree. Self denunciation is required. Can re-education camps be far behind? Shades of Chairman Mao and this is in the U.S.!

      • Liberals by nature like to liberate themselves from outmoded concepts. Fine. But when they’ve done that, they keep going, decade after decade, until no rules, no norms, no standards remain. “Loony Left” has become a pleonasm. Nothing stands between them and chaos.

        The End of Days approaches.

  3. I can’t see the newspaper article without paying and haven’t seen the draft paper in question. Was it being published as an opinion piece or studying the views of a sample group of people? Those who have a different view should have the same opportunity to have their articles published. The problem is a few preemptively block the publication based on what they thought others may think, without asking & without evidence.

    What are the reasons? What is the evidence? What are the counter arguments & counter evidence? These are the basis for scientific debate and free speech not guesswork and because I said so.

    Would JCU have sanctioned Peter Ridd if he was talking about publications/researchers at another University?
    JCU blame Peter for the bad publicity and for the risk of losing funding grants.
    I would blame the bad research and University hierarchy for the poor publicity (negative outcomes) not Peter Ridd. I’d be more worried about reality than the fake perceptions. Unfortunately the law doesn’t judge right from wrong. The judges judge the reading of the law & previous interpretations/application of those laws (very narrow thinking at times). Fairness & common sense are typically ignored by the law system.

  4. My grandaughter was recently accepted to study to become a teacher. How sad is it that my first thoughts, were that she was going to university, and she was going to learn from them, how to teach small children. It’s sad because I attached a negative connotation to what would have been wonderful news in the past.

    I don’t trust politicians, ‘the science’ or the education system. They are all run largely by leftists and they all preach hate and division.

  5. Can we read Prof. Patrick Parkinson’s paper.

    Those idiotic brat students at the Uni. of Tas. should spend time on justices issues in their own State.
    I am referring to Sue Neill-Fraser who should not be in gaol.

    Transgender is a mental disorder. We all know that. Why pretend otherwise.

  6. Academic freedom cuts both ways. People are free to submit articles to whatever journals they like and also journals are free to reject them. Plus expecting student edited and reviewed journals to have high standards and to consistently hold them seems to be asking too much.

    • “Izaak Walton October 28, 2020 at 12:05 am

      Academic freedom cuts both ways. People are free to submit articles to whatever journals they like and also journals are free to reject them.”

      You don’t realise but you correctly state the problem, and bias.

      • Patrick,
        Nowhere does academic freedom mean you are entitled to get you articles published in
        whatever journal you submit them too. Academic Freedom means that academics can hold
        differing views without fear of being sacked. A professor has many different ways to get their
        view across from blogs to hosting public lectures that being rejected by a student journal is
        no threat to academic freedom.

        • Walton
          So, are you advocating the idea that it is no great loss to society if there is a pattern of rejecting articles that do no meet the prevailing standards of political correctness? It seems to me that the rejection of a single article might be valid for any number of reasons. However, when there is the appearance of rejection being more frequent for views of a certain political persuasion, or for questioning a scientific paradigm, society should be seriously concerned about the long-term consequences.

          I’m reminded of the section in the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy where Arthur Dent is complaining to the captain of the Vogon destructer ship, about to destroy Earth to make way for a hyperspace byway, that there wasn’t even a warning for what he was about to do. The captain corrects him, pointing out that that a warning was issued decades ago — locked in a file cabinet, in the unlighted basement of a small building on Mars. The more difficult it is for the public to receive information, the less useful it is to society.

          Publishing companies aren’t just private enterprises. They are presumably performing a public service by making important research available to society. Therefore, there are things to consider besides their rights as private companies. However, in the case of publicly funded universities, it is even more important, and a moral necessity, that all of society be served, not just those that hold views similar to the administration.

          “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it.”
          Voltaire

        • Bascially, your position is that since they have a right to censor anyone who disagrees with them, nobody has a right to complain about this censorship.

        • If the journal is tax supported you bet I expect articles to be published. If you want to censor, get private funding.

          • Jim
            All journals are tax supported, at least indirectly, because public universities and public libraries are major purchasers of subscriptions. They almost certainly would go out of business if the publicly funded institutions didn’t renew their subscriptions.

          • JG,
            “The Conversation” censors people at whim.
            It was assisted by raxpayer monies to set up, might still be.
            Once you suck on the public teat, your right to censor should he nil.
            Geoff S

        • > being rejected by a student journal
          This is not a student journal. “The University of Tasmania Law Review (UTLR) is a double-blind peer reviewed academic journal, published by the University of Tasmania”. The fact is that they rejected our good professor’s article during review.

      • The professor in question just sounds like he is bitter because he got rejected by a bunch of
        students. Who in their right mind expects students to act as impartial referees? This is a
        storm in a teacup. Anybody who wants to can set up their own personal website and publish
        their own essays. Which is what academic freedom is about.

        • “Who in their right mind expects students to act as impartial referees?

          True…. Whoever organised the students as referees has a lot to answer for.

        • Anybody who wants to can set up their own personal website and publish
          their own essays. Which is what academic freedom is about.

          That’s an odd (and wholly biased) view of academic freedom:

          “Academic freedom is the indispensable requisite for unfettered teaching and research in institutions of higher education. As the academic community’s core policy document states, ‘institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.'”

          https://tinyurl.com/y3pyd6cc

        • You can be a porter (equals gatekeeper) at a Cambridge college and have the students demand you lose your job because you do not subscribe to trans dogma. Students are there to learn, not to impose irrational beliefs.

        • “Anybody who wants to can set up their own personal website and publish
          their own essays. Which is what academic freedom is about.”

          And then their contributions are minimized because they “only post on blogs”.

          Academic freedom means the institution doesn’t pick and choose arbitrarily.

        • They need to have their funding cut then; they can publish whatever they want wherever they want on their time and money and not under the guise of a academic institution.

        • > Who in their right mind expects students to act as impartial referees?
          The peer reviewers rejected the paper, the students were the editors. This is only Patrick Parkinson’s assertion that it was because they didn’t like his views.

          • So the words of the reviewers don’t count when determining why they did what they did?

            Or are you just trying to change the subject because you know you can’t win on the facts?

          • @MarkW
            > So the words of the reviewers don’t count when
            > determining why they did what they did?
            Would you be so kind as to point out what these words were, how they were reflecting on the reviewers’ personal dislike instead of their rejection based on professional arguments? I’m pretty sure you cannot do that. At least, please, quote those incriminating passages from the rejection, don’t duck this question, and don’t try to change the subject with these BS below:

            > Or are you just trying to change the subject
            > because you know you can’t win on the facts?

      • As a progressive, Izaak is all in favor of suppressing any views that he disagrees with.
        As soon as he gets enough power, jailing those who disagree with the glorious state will be the next step.

        • There are too many historical instances of ‘jailing as the next step’ being a short transition to a more effective solution, for us not to take steps to hold back the tide.

      • > it’s the reasons for the rejection.
        Yep, and we know two things that are undisputed: the paper was rejected during peer review, and the submitting professor _attributes_ this rejection to hostility to his views. This attribution is just that, attribution. It’s anything but a fact.

        • I love the way progressives just pretend that any fact that doesn’t support their position doesn’t exist.

        • nyolci you haven’t made any new points. As a student you need to learn when to stop. You are adding nothing new. I suspect that you are connected to the university in question.

          Students should not be dealing with the papers of those long out of university. In the past few decades students have been so poisoned by Marxism that they can only to deal with information from a leftist viewpoint. They are unable to see anything objectively, they are in fact being educated not to. This is the whole point of the article, papers must not be rejected simply because the reviewers don’t like the content. That is not good enough, totalitarianism will never lead to a cohesive society.

          • > As a student you need to learn when to stop.
            > You are adding nothing new. I suspect that you
            > are connected to the university in question.
            Completely wrong. I’m neither a student nor connected to this uni.

            > Students should not be dealing with the papers of those long out of university.
            The peer reviewers rejected the paper not the students who were the editors in this case (at least this is the assertion but I’m not sure about this either). From this point on your rant is irrelevant about how students are poisoned etc.

          • nyolci i was talking to a young man who considered himself an environmentalist recently. I suspect he was not long out of university and he considered himself an ‘expert’ too. Over a fairly short period of time he used many of the catchphrases, “the science says”, this next one’s been upgraded “99.7٪ of scientists agree” and “if we don’t go down the renewables track what do think we are going to do?” He was suggesting to me that it was the only possible way to go, given that CAGW real a problem, an the science is settled.

            I ask him questions around cradle to grave issues in regards to all forms of renewables and he couldn’t answer them, not one. He knew very little about them and he was representing a solar developer. He thought that he could spout the dogma that he had been taught and that would be enough. He was bristling with leftist indignation.

            Universities of today teach dogma, and young people are going to realise this one day, people will ask them questions they can’t answer.

            Young people need to be encouraged to think for themselves, to ask many questions and reflect on the answers. As with weather and climate, there are many variables in every aspect of life. There is no one answer…though maths and physics may come close and you have know whether or not they’re cheating.

            They are being manipulated into a way of being, people around them are ‘bucking the system’ so they retaliate with anger and hate.

            I felt so sad to find out that my grandaughter had recently been accepted into a teaching degree. Two tragedies, years of having the life sucked out of her and then going on to transfer that process onto young children.

          • > nyolci i was talking to a young man who considered
            > himself an environmentalist recently.
            Then why did you address your rant to me? I’m neither young nor consider myself an environmentalist. I graduated from uni in ’95 (MSc Engineering).

            > Over a fairly short period of time he used many of the catchphrases,
            > “the science says”, this next one’s been
            > upgraded “99.7٪ of scientists agree” and “if we don’t
            > go down the renewables track what do think we are going to do?”
            What you write about this hypothetical “young man” is problematic on many grounds.

            1. His inability to answer certain questions regarding AGW and its perceived solutions doesn’t mean that these are problematic. There are experts for these, we should listen to them, and accidentally, this “young man” wants you to do this. Yes, “Young people need to be encouraged to think for themselves”, but realistically and practically, you can only do that in narrow fields. Please keep in mind that most people has no idea how something as simple as an internal combustion engine works, and society “miraculously” can function without this knowledge. There’s an extreme amount of knowledge for you “to see it for yourself”, but realistically, you are only able to have deeper knowledge in a few fields. That’s why we have scientists, and that’s why we should listen to them.

            2. Please let me doubt your statement regarding this hypothetical young man’s inability. I can imagine a situation where you’re unable to understand an otherwise perfect explanation.

            3. Science DOES say things. A good and simple example is the Law of the Conservation of Energy. Science says this unequivocally, this is settled, full stop (with interesting and here irrelevant caveats in Quantum Mechanics). If you question a law like this you are considered fringe without hesitation. Scientists know very well the limitations of their knowledge and the strength of their laws, there are things that are questionable and need further investigation, and they are actively pursuing these investigations.

            4. Furthermore, scientific consensus IS a driving force eventually, a good illustration is the law above, ‘cos believe or not, this is an empirical (observational) law, and everyone accepts it. This is why it appears as an axiom in the various mathematical models of physics. Consensus in climate science is a result of decades of research and very strong, and it’s constantly getting reinforced with new observations, whether you like it or not.

            5. Regarding “dogma teaching” universities, I don’t thing you’re right, at least not how you intended to be right. University education, at least in the relevant fields, ie. real science and engineering, isn’t different from the past, and you can’t blame on them the broad acceptance of AGW. Furthermore, society wide acceptance of AGW is very hard to blame on university indoctrination, most people who accept this simply didn’t learn anything about AGW at all. The fact is that AGW starts to have perceptible effects on everyday life (in line with scientific predictions).

          • nyolci, this ‘young man’ was representing a multi billion dollar international parent company. We had been told that the solar company, the developer, was Australian. Lie number one.

            A team from the company had a ‘drop in’ meeting organised to talk to the community about the proposed 400 MW solar installation, covering 1,750 hectares (4,324 acres) of agricultural grazing land 7 kilometres (4.35 miles) from our town. This town was declared historically significant some years ago. Oh, and we already have an 87 MW solar installation covering 310 hectares (766 acres) less than 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) from town. The existing solar works is of the thin film variety.

            What do you know about thin film solar panels?

            Five young people descended on us when we walked into the hall, they were there, they said to answer any question we may have. They were there to discuss potential environmental issues in a lead up to the DA application. They were environmentalists, they were presented to us by the company as ‘experts’. They thought, and rightly so, that the locals would be ignorant and easy to appease. At least the vast majority.

            Even highly intelligent people are ignorant until they know.

            My first question was, what type of panels were going into this project. They weren’t expecting that. I wasn’t expecting the response. They said that there were many ‘brands’ and that they hadn’t made that decision yet. They didn’t even know that there were different ‘types’ of panels. They didn’t know that although thin film panels were lighter and cheaper, they were also the panels most vulnerable in the event of hailstorms and fire. They didn’t know that these panels were also the highest risk in regard to contamination of soil and waterways in the event of such an incident. There are two waterways running through the proposed site, and there is a massive aquifer that runs under a larger part of our region. Water is drawn from bores for use by large numbers of the community.

            We asked how the panels were to be cleaned. They said, the rain would clean them. I wasn’t expecting that answer either. Country towns often experience dust storms in summer. They did not know that dust, or bird droppings left on solar panels for any length of time causes hotspots on the panel due to the way a panel functions. Light rain only makes dust distribution worse, as with a car windscreen. These ‘hotspots’ can and do start fires. They didn’t know that solar fires can start in other ways too.

            They did not know that fireman cannot easily fight a solar fire. That a solar system damaged during the fire was ‘live’, that the thin film panels were particularly dangerous due to toxic smoke. We told them that fireman suggested the best way to fight a solar fire was from the air. We asked them if they even knew where the nearest water bomber was because we didn’t. They also didn’t know that fireman will not talk about these issues on a public forum. They have been shut down by politicians.

            We asked them what sort of ‘backup’ the system might have. Batteries were ‘on the table’ but no decision had been made, other than that, a blank look. We said that it was important because of the unreliable nature of the infrastructure. We told them that we experienced 4 blackouts earlier in the year due to the existing solar works, that our water supply is from our tanks and without power to run the pumps we had no water. No power or water.

            We paid $30,000 for a transformer just to be able to use electricity, many other country folk pay much more. These developers don’t pay for the infrastructure necessary to make solar or wind turbines function. We put solar panels on our shed, before we knew anything about them. We put up a 6.6kw system on our roof only to be told that in would be capped at 5kw. We started with a feed in tarrif of 12.5 cents, in less than a year the tariff was reduced to 10.5 cents and the cost of our electricity has gone up!

            We asked them about plans for decommissioning. The young man said that they would be recycled. We told him that there is no recycling in Australia, only frame removal and stockpiling. That many have already gone into landfill. He said that there will be something sorted by 25 years from now. I told him that that wasn’t good enough. We asked him who was responsible for decommissioning, as the land was leased. In the event of solar companies going broke, and many have, what would happen to the near on one million panels. An in situ waste dump. I don’t think our council have considered that it may be left for them to deal with the problem. But then they won’t be here in 25 years.
            These ‘experts’ were from Victoria and they didn’t know that solar panels had been declared E-waste by that state due to the risk of contamination of soil and waterways if sent to landfill. I don’t get why they aren’t a risk in situ.

            CO2 as the driving force behind renewables came up, one of the environmentalists seemed surprised that Australia’s contribution to anthropogenic CO2 was only 1.3% of the global contribution. She asked if that took our export of coal into consideration, we said it did. We suggested that if it’s necessary to consider coal export for use overseas then we must consider the coal consumption overseas, used to make our renewables. She had a light bulb moment. Oh, you’re talking cradle to grave. We said, you have to!

            They had not considered the CO2 created by mining (they had not even considered that mining was involved), processing and manufacture. They did not know that materials in relation to renewables at every stage were being shipped backwards and forwards around the globe. That the developed nations, like Australia avoid the toxic side of all these processes by sending it to third world countries. There are already countries dealing with end of life renewables, large amounts from around the globe are already being sent to third world countries under the pretence that it is of some value just so that they can be rid of it. These countries don’t have the infrastructure to deal with this anymore than we do. They are burning wiring to recover copper and breaking the E-waste apart with machetes and hammers. This is a dangerous and toxic environment, children play here, the toxic nature of this technology is killing people.

            They didn’t know about the 40,000 children working in the artisanal mines in the Congo, or that lives, including those of children are lost here. One mining collapse alone killed 63 people. There are many mining incidents. This is no longer a small industry to prop up the local population. The monster that renewables has become has put enormous pressure on these people, refugees are coming in from other parts of Africa for the pittance they can earn at the mines. Many of the children orphaned by mining incidents or tribal conflict have no choice but to work at the mines simply to eat, some of these are small children. If their parents were refugees then they have no one to care for them. Rape and other forms of violence are not uncommon, young girls, still children themselves are falling pregnant to these crimes. But hey, people get to drive a guilt free car in another part of the world right. What happens to the batteries? Oh, I’m sure the people back in Africa will find a use for them, someone will sort it out, but right now they are ‘keeping the environment clean’. BLM, don’t they?

            They did not know that rare earth mining and processing was up there with the most toxic of all forms of mining. That the materials are mostly not so rare but difficult to extract. Many tons of ore are processed to provide a small amount of metal. The extraction process uses acids and other such toxic chemicals and the toxic by-product is far greater than the original quantity of ore and it’s disposal is extremely problematic. China has one tailings dam with more than ten square kilometres of toxic waste, I believe that it’s depth was at one point increasing by one metre each year. China has many of these mines, many dead rivers and poisoned agricultural lands. These rare earth materials are essential for renewable energy. None of this is renewable, none of this is sustainable, or clean or green or morally acceptable!

            Similar tragedies are happening in the lithium mines in South America. Degradation of the land and the people. These people do it for the money yes, and it’s more money than they can earn in any other way. But it’s a pittance. Mining practices in third world countries have low standards, to practice mining in the safest possible way costs alot of money. That’s why the developed countries send the dirty side of renewables offshore, so we can have cheap renewables. The people living in and around these mines are suffering health issues related to the work they do. There are no health care plans, or childcare. Renewables have grown at an incredible rate in the past decade and they have only just begun. This is simply too much pressure on developing countries, for no benefit to them.

            The damage to the people and to the environment in these countries is already significant. To attempt 100% renewables is to use 10 times the global resources, and in twenty years or so to start again. Why is it not obvious that this is not sustainable? How is it possible to turn a blind eye to what is happening in third world countries directly as a result of our drive for ‘clean energy’?

            AGW is being taught throughout a person’s education. That is people are indoctrinated to believe that CO2 is a problem, the science says so. Trust the science, we must do something before it’s too late. Renewables of all forms are the only way to save the planet.

            You do know that the ‘97% of scientists agree’ lie was debunked long ago don’t you? The reality is that a relatively small number of ‘consensus scientists’, the same core group in fact, dictate climate policy. All driven by politics. The word consensus implies that everyone agrees. That is not how ‘real’ science works.

            Journalists all went through the same AGW education system. They never learnt to ask questions either, weird really, I thought it was the job of a journalist to ‘investigate’ a story. It seems the propaganda was successful, most climate stories are little more than personal opinion. I guess ‘real’ journalists, like ‘real scientists’ have to toe the line, or they don’t get paid. AGW is perpetuated by joujournalists.

            Science was bought out by politicians decades ago. There is no ‘real’ science today nyolci, only what the politicians want to see presented. Dogma and propaganda is all there is. There have been so much in the way of ‘consensus science’ theories refuted long ago that are still being spouted as though they are true. All I had to do was ask questions to find out the truth about renewables nyolci, these university educated ‘experts’ knew none of this. They are nothing more than marketing tools, and they actually believe that they are promoting something that will have a positive impact on the future of the planet.

            There are 29 square kilometres (11.2 square miles) of solar panels in the pipeline to be installed within 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) of our home. These sites are bulldozed flat, every skerick of life removed. Homes for wombats, echidnas, all kinds of reptiles, emus, kangaroos, small marsupials and countless types of birds large and small. Their watering holes any the places they go each day to forage, gone, bare earth.

            So don’t dare tell me to get used to AGW, and don’t tell me to trust ‘the science’ either! I know that this has nothing to do with ‘saving the planet.’ It’s about Power, Money and Greed!

          • @Megs
            Again, these are kinda irrelevant regarding (1) AGW and (2) renewables. AGW is an unfortunate fact even if we don’t have good solutions for it. But FYI we have, and it’s not necessarily solar. There are a lot of ways to mitigate this. These require careful planning and balancing, and renewables can be made an important part of the mix. The real problem is mostly how society works, and its apparent inability to handle these things. Both AGW and the people who try to profit from renewables are good illustrations. And, as a matter of fact, 1.3% for Australia is pretty big ‘cos Australia has only 24m inhabitants.

            You’ve tried to compare to me to these, well, sales representatives (who were seemingly as clueless as any sales representative in any other field). I hope you’ve realized by now that I’m not like them.

            > AGW is being taught throughout a person’s education.
            > That is people are indoctrinated to believe that CO2
            > is a problem, the science says so.
            This is simply not true. Most people above 30 didn’t learn ANYTHING about this at all, and arguably they are the ones who are in position now. Even the younger generation may have heard about it only in passing during their education. AGW started to turn up only after the mid 2000s as an issue. That is 15 years ago. Before that it was more like a niche topic.

            > You do know that the ‘97% of scientists agree’
            > lie was debunked long ago don’t you?
            No, it wasn’t. This is just another denier-trope. The “hockey stick” wasn’t “debunked” either.

            > The reality is that a relatively small number of ‘consensus scientists’,
            > the same core group in fact, dictate climate policy. All driven by politics.
            I notice a small discrepancy in your thinking. If really there is a small cabal of scientists who dictate policy, then policy is dictated by a particular reading of science, not politics. Perhaps what you’ve wanted to say is that a certain polititians use these scientists, right?
            Anyway, if scientists were able to dictate policy I would be happy. The fact is that “climate policy” is a mess dictated mostly by various pressure groups, just like anything else in modern capitalism. Scientists here are actually the ones whose views don’t conform to any of these groups (including the green energy bunch).

            > The word consensus implies that everyone agrees.
            > That is not how ‘real’ science works.
            No and no. When scientists talk about consensus in this topic, they never imply “everyone”. As for how science works, well, that’s an interesting topic and consensus IS part of that. Again, the Law of the Conservation of Energy is a good illustration, this law is a result of consensus. Energy has always got conserved when scientists measured it carefully.

            > AGW is perpetuated by joujournalists
            No. AGW is perpetuated by the fact that observations match predictions, and the effects start to be perceptible.

            > So don’t dare tell me to get used to AGW,
            > and don’t tell me to trust ‘the science’ either!
            Could you please tone down? I try to debate with you.

          • nyolci please do not assume or dictate my tone, it comes across as quite patronising. I won’t be bullied, and I did not use capital letters.

            You did not refute any of the information in regard to the negative side of renewables so I take it that you agree with me on those issues.

            The 97% of scientists agree has been debunked by many people. Each time a survey went out, most recipients didn’t even respond. So whatever percentage they arrived at was at best based on the few who did, not the total number included in the survey. It’s likely that those scientists who did not respond do not want their stance to be made public. The grants go to those who support AGW.

            Here’s a link that might help you understand.

            https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/putting-the-con-in-consensus-not-only-is-there-no-97-per-cent-consensus-among-climate-scientists-many-misunderstand-core-issues

          • Issues that should be addressed:
            1. Type of panels.
            2. Vulnerability of panels to damage.
            3. Contamination risk to water supplies.
            4. Cleaning process following dust storms.
            5. Dirty panels are a fire risk.
            6. Panel fires are a toxic smoke producer, they are hard and dangerous to fight.
            7. Backup power system needs to be to addressed.
            8. Infrastructure costs borne by whom?
            9. End of life disposal cost – shell company bankruptcy risk.
            10. Tonic mining waste and toxic end of life disposal.
            11. Child labour exploitation at mines.
            12. Ecological destruction at solar site

          • Yes Philip, you have succinctly listed issues with solar that the general population aren’t aware of. That most politicians aren’t aware of, that most journalists aren’t aware of. The farmers don’t know either. They are effectively being bribed, by people calling themselves environmentalists who also know nothing of those issues on your list.

            It’s easy for farmers to sell out their communities when when the propaganda and the ‘experts’ (marketeers) convince them they are doing a good thing. A bit like those miners and recyclers in third world countries, money talks. Some of these people in third world countries were interviewed and said that they knew about the risks associated with the work they were doing, but they could earn good money. Good money to them is a couple of dollars a day, less for the children.

            There are lists attached to wind turbines and EV’s too, to all forms of renewables. There are resources necessary in the manufacture of renewables that require additional mining, toxic mining. People have been fed the dogma that fossil fuels are bad, that coal mining is the biggest demon in existence today. My message to them is do not trust ‘the science’!

            Mining has increased on a massive scale as a direct result of renewables, including coal. And coal is the least problematic. Renewables cannot be manufactured without fossil fuels, not possible. Renewables are created out of fossil fuels and backed up by fossil fuels. The general population think that the oil and coal mining magnates are the big baddies, and want to push renewables hard and fast. How funny, because oil and coal magnates are rubbing their hands together with joy! So much extra mining.

            For me Philip, it isn’t a matter of resolving those issues you listed. It’s a matter of educating as many people as possible that these issues exist.

            Renewables = Death, and degradation of people and of the environment and wasted resources.

          • Megs,
            I simply used what you posted.
            What I have given you is based on my oil industry project risk assessment training.
            Good luck with your education campaign.
            “Renewables = Death, and degradation of people and of the environment and wasted resources”
            Agree.

          • @Megs
            I feel that we can’t persuade each other. Anyway…

            > You did not refute any of the information in
            > regard to the negative side of renewables so
            > I take it that you agree with me on those issues.
            Yes, I did refute, and no, I don’t agree with you.
            Regarding refutation, I said a clueless sales representative is not enough to discredit renewables. I also said that we (ie. humankind) have very good options and renewables can be part of that. I didn’t go into details, that’s true, ‘cos that would lead us very far.

            Furthermore, using your line of thinking, you barely addressed anything I wrote. Especially AGW indoctrination in universities is a topic you didn’t answer anything to my objections.

            > The 97% of scientists agree has been debunked
            > by many people. Each time a survey went out,
            > most recipients didn’t even respond.
            These “debunkings” have been thoroughly debunked. Actually, the most relevant metric is peer reviewed publication not surveys from contrarian think tanks, and that gives you an extremely clear picture.

          • nyolci, the ‘97% of scientists agree’ is an outright lie. Like the hockey ‘stick’, it was invented to back up an ideology. They are marketing tools. Show me a current link to prove otherwise.

            It is not good enough to simply believe something that someone tells you if it’s going to affect the whole planet, and not in a good way. The responsible thing to do would be to ask questions. It’s not good enough to turn a blind eye to what’s happening in third world countries so that you can feel good about your electricity. You made no comment about that so I assume that BL don’t really M at all.

            You implied that there is something good about renewables. Can you please tell me what you were referring to? Then tell me that the human and environmental damage done by renewables is justifiable.

            Lastly, those young people representing the solar company were in no way ‘salespeople’. That would imply that we had a choice, that we didn’t have to buy. No, you don’t have a choice, it’s totalitarianism at it’s best. They were sent as ‘experts’ to answer the questions of the community. Like you, like most politicians, like most journalists and like the average man on the street, they no nothing, they are ignorant. All they know is that ‘renewables are a good thing’, which of course is simply not true.

            And getting back to the two university students who edited the paper of someone established in their career, that is wrong. How is it acceptable that people who have not yet completed their degrees, with no experience in the real world get to edit the work of someone established in their field. Without significant experience there is a risk that the original intent of the author is lost or misconstrued. They should be practising on fellow students, and their work reviewed.

          • @Megs
            > Show me a current link to prove otherwise.
            Haha, you try to reverse the burden of proof here 🙂 The wikipedia article is a good starting point for you, in strictly scientific matters (real science) wikipedia is good for a starter. Well, this is probably the only good use of wikipedia.

            > It is not good enough to simply believe something that
            > someone tells you if it’s going to affect the whole planet,
            > and not in a good way.
            Wrong. I don’t simply believe something that someone has told me.

            > It’s not good enough to turn a blind eye to what’s
            > happening in third world countries so that you
            > can feel good about your electricity.
            Wrong. I don’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the 3rd world, neither I feel good about electricity. FYI in my opinion recent emphasis on renewables is an error, actually we can leave fossils without ever using renewables (= wind and solar). That said, you have to know you can have renewables WITHOUT exploiting the 3rd world. The 3rd world is fcuked up by us tremendously in other fields, not just renewables, and accidentally fossils are leading this (long) list, eg. check out the perverse, persistent and large scale damage done to the Congo delta by oil mining, and this is a thing that’s been ongoing (and documented) for decades.

            > You implied that there is something good about renewables.
            > Can you please tell me what you were referring to?
            See above. I think the increased use of solar is definitely an error. Wind is of course different, but the real problem with renewables currently is the fact that you can’t store electricity in large scale and batteries are the worst solution. This is a complex question and there are even room for technological advancement (ie. using electricity to generate methane from co2 and water) but the thing is that in theory we can do that even now, we should simply scale that up.

            > Then tell me that the human and environmental
            > damage done by renewables is justifiable.
            Tell me, please, why you focus on a bad solution that is, furthermore, badly implemented? This doesn’t make the “hockey stick” or the 97% consensus go away.

            > Like you, like most politicians, like most journalists
            > and like the average man on the street,
            > they no nothing, they are ignorant.
            Again, could please watch your language? I don’t accuse you of ignorance (while it’s tempting). Furthermore, “they KNOW nothing” is the correct spelling.

            > And getting back to the two university students who edited
            > the paper of someone established in their career, that is wrong.
            I can’t understand how you can misunderstand such a simple thing. First of all, the rejection was due to the expert opinion of peer reviewers who are NOT STUDENTS. Secondly, students didn’t edit the professor’s paper, they edited the JOURNAL where the professor wanted to publish. The journal in question, the “University of Tasmania Law Review” is a respected journal in its field, it’s not a simple student publication. It was only our good professor’s assertion (very likely baseless) that the rejection was due to the reviewers’ and editors’ dislike.

          • Caught out in a lie nyolci. The links that I put forward were not from Wikipedia. You didn’t even read them did you. And you have not presented a link to refute anything I’ve said. I will not waste any more of my time or space on this site communicating with you. You have nothing of value to add to the conversation.

          • @Megs
            > Caught out in a lie nyolci.
            > The links that I put forward were not from Wikipedia.
            No, you didn’t catch me, but I’m frankly puzzled now. I didn’t ever claim your links were from wikipedia. I recommended wikipedia in this particular topic ‘cos it was reliable in simple (real)scientific matters.

            > You didn’t even read them did you.
            Well, I didn’t claim anything about them. But FYI I did some of them. I had actually known The Manhattan Contrarian before, it’s a laughable heap of idiocy. Specifically the “debunking” of the hockey stick he of course refers to McIntyre and McIntrick, a discredited attempt to refute Mann.

            > And you have not presented a link to refute anything I’ve said.
            I recommended wikipedia, that was my link.

            > I will not waste any more of my time or space on
            > this site communicating with you. You have
            > nothing of value to add to the conversation.
            🙂 Could you please address what I actually write about

            Back to the Manhattan Contrarian, its writing is full of gems, I quote one here:

            “””
            Now that is seriously scary! The Medieval Warm period — an era between the years of about 1000 and 1300 once generally accepted to have had temperatures warmer than the present — had disappeared. The clear implication was that the earth had had a benign and unchanging climate for about a thousand years, and now humans had entered the picture with their fossil fuels and were rapidly destabilizing the situation.
            “””

            Scientists (I mean actual scientists) are very clear to point out that the MBH reconstruction (the “Hockey Stick”) is hemispheric, ie. it is the reconstruction for the whole Northern Hemisphere. The Medieval Warm Period was a local climatic phenomenon, local to Europe, so no wonder you can’t see that. Actually, even in Europe it wasn’t as warm as it is today. Furthermore, this guy even got wrong the “clear implication” above. For example, climate showed a clear cooling trend (due to an extremely small shift in Earth’s orbit) before the human induced warming kicked in.

    • Why am I not surprised that Izaak supports the political suppression of any views that he disagrees with?

      • I am not in favour of views being suppressed for political reasons. But that is a very different thing from having an article rejected by a journal after it received two negative reviews. There are a range of journals and publishing outlets that print all sorts of articles in Australia not to mention the fact that most academics have personal webpages where they can post their thoughts. Which means that all political views get heard and no one journal has to publish everything.

        • I’m wondering if Izaak is this stupid, or he just believes that everyone who isn’t Izaak is this stupid.

          First off you proclaim that you are against censorship based on political views.
          Then you proclaim that it was OK to reject this article because there were negative reviews.

          What you oh so conveniently paper over is that the negative reviews were 100% based on the article political positions.

    • > Plus expecting student edited and reviewed journals to have high standards and to consistently
      It was Patrick Parkinson’s assertion that there had been problems with these standards. The undisputed fact is that the paper was rejected during peer review.

      • It was an assertion based on the words written down by the reviewers as to why they were rejecting the study.

        • > It was an assertion based on the words written down by the reviewers
          Okay then, what was those words to begin with?

        • > It was an assertion based on the words written down
          > by the reviewers as to why they were rejecting the study.
          Hey, MarkW, why do you try to duck this? What were these words and how they prove that the reviewers rejected the paper based on their dislike towards the professor’s opinion? The fact is that the reviewers rejected the paper and here the rejection should be based on errors in the scientific reasoning of the paper. You (and the hapless professor) claim it wasn’t the case, but this is a very strong assertion that requires very strong evidence. Please give some at last.

  7. The Federal Minister for Education, Mr Tehan, has just announced the introduction of legislation into parliament to address the issue:

    Education Minister Dan Tehan has moved to legislate key definitions recommended in the French Model Code on Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in Australian universities.

    “When it comes to academic inquiry it needs to be based on the research that the academics themselves have done,” he told Sky News.

    “But then obviously there’s a freedom of speech component as well as individual people have the right to speak their minds.

    “So we want to make sure both those elements are a key part of our universities, it’s something which is incredibly important, especially in the current geostrategic climate that we understand all academics and all students at universities have the right to be able to speak their mind, obviously according to current Australian law.

    “As long as they’re consistent with our current laws when it comes to freedom of speech … then they should be able, under those laws, able to speak their mind.”

    Mr Tehan said under the legislation, essentially, academics would be subject to the same restrictions as every other Australian.

    Lets hope that it gets up.

      • French is a former justice of the High Court who held an inquiry into free speech and academic freedom in Australian Universities. The so-called French Model Code is the result. It has nothing to do with the French population.

  8. PM Scott Morrison is more than a disappointment….same goes for Boris Johnson.
    like Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Adern (New Zealand PM) and others – SCOMO and BOJO are all in with Biden’s slogan, “BUILD BACK BETTER”. anyone can find examples online:

    28 Oct: Daily Mail: Another gaffe for Boris Johnson as he means to tweet Australian PM Scott Morrison – but messages man from America with just 56 followers instead
    By Jack Elsom
    Cementing diplomatic and trading ties between the two long-standing allies, Mr Johnson tweeted: ‘Great call with my friend Scott Morrison this morning.
    ‘Whether it’s boosting trade between great nations or developing cutting-edge technology to tackle climate change – the UK and Australia are partners ***BUILDING BACK BETTER from coronavirus.’
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8885077/Boris-Johnson-means-tweet-Australian-PM-messages-man-56-followers.html

    26 Oct: The Blaze: Commentary: Joe Biden has deep ties to the radical ‘Great Reset’ movement and its globalist leaders
    It would overhaul the world’s economy in favor of more collectivism and the centralization of power in the hands of international elites
    by Justin Haskins
    Biden’s “Build Back Better” plans also come straight out of the Great Reset movement’s playbook. For many years, supporters of the Great Reset at the World Economic Forum and elsewhere have talked about “building back better” by dramatically expanding the power of government, pursuing costly “green” infrastructure plans, and substantially increasing the authority of international institutions.

    Biden’s proposals would do just that, and the “Build Back Better” name is just too similar to what others affiliated with the Great Reset movement and/or the World Economic Forum have said to be a mere coincidence.
    For example, in 2016, a development specialist at the World Bank, discussing climate change-related natural disasters, wrote for the WEF, “The pressure for governments now is not to wait until a disaster strikes to ‘build back better.’…READ ON..
    https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/joe-biden-ties-great-reset

  9. Been there (online) with Deakin University

    The lead educator was a 30 something female with a body mass index of *well* over 30 – Jacketta Rocks (sp) she was called.
    If *anybody* had A Problem with comfort-food, it was *the* very person telling us how to stay healthy, physically and mentally, via what you eat. Eat your heart out Monty Python

    An online course on how Food & Diet affected mental health, suggested more than once that consuming alcohol was an ‘OK thing to do’
    I suggested that alcohol was ‘maybe *not* the best thing to improve your mental health’ and got my entire account at Futurelearn suspended.

    No warning, no nuffink
    Confirmation bias, authority appeals, cherry picking, self importance, belligerence, mental/physical laziness, buck passing – all symptomatic of Magical Thinking.
    Itself coming directly out of Chronic Chemically Induced Depression.
    Itself coming out of the consumption of any one or more of the following:
    a) cooked starch
    b) refined sugar
    c) booze
    d) cannabis
    So next time you celebrate *yet another* bumper wheat/corn/rice/potato harvest, mary-jane, wine& whatever etc harvest, *do* be mindful of the implications.

    You know, the ones you rail about *constantly* on here….

    (Its far too late for Grauniad readers or subscribers to the BBC)

    • “I suggested that alcohol was ‘maybe *not* the best thing to improve your mental health’ and got my entire account at Futurelearn suspended.”

      I’m gonna go way out on a limb here, and guess, just a guess mind you, that based on your comments here, that your “suggestion” was much more than that little bit in your comment.

  10. I am beginning to think that many members of the radical left really do not like *anyone* who is “better” than they are! Their ideals would be for everyone to be Equal. No one person should be better at anything than compared to another person. Thus no one can be hurt!

    a winner connotates a loser. Why, if my IQ, say, is 140, my very presence would deeply offend someone with an IQ of 120!

    It was also in Australia where a conference of PC people came to the conclusion that no one should ever write a novel ever again as everything in the novel is “cultural appropriation”! Only auto-biographies are permitted!

    Here in America, the Leftist ideas have been saturating the universities for some time.

    freestone

    • Freestone Wilson:
      “a winner connotates a loser. Why, if my IQ, say, is 140, my very presence would deeply offend someone with an IQ of 120!”.

      It’s par for the course, the modern liberal opinion is disconnected from reality. IQ is not a judgement or opinion it is an “estimate of the correlation” between answers to questions of a group of people and their “speed and correctness” to complete a statement or solve a problem. It doesn’t “measure” anything individually. It depends a lot on personality, education, ability to focus, and more. For example, testing an immigrant to the USA from a foreign country who isn’t a native English speaker means nothing. They could be specifically handicapped compared to a person brought up and well-educated in the USA.

      Albert Einstein was a bonafide genius, but primarily he “thought” differently than virtually anyone else, much like a master chess player thinks differently. Einstein formulated the ideas of his theory of relativity and then it took several years struggling to learn the math required to express them. He wasn’t a genius at math.

      There are many dimensions to intelligence. IQ is just one of them. The results are vague enough that an IQ much above 130 may not differentiate at all between people. There are at least 5 characteristics that correlate with “IQ” to varying degrees. Taken together they show that certain people with high scores are “likely” to be better at certain tasks. No guarantee though.

    • Naomi Oreskes already purposed something inn that line. The arrest of the “deniers” acoording to hers.

      • Oh, and several people (fortunately nobody in a position of power – yet) suggesting that people who disagree with mask mandates be arrested for attempted murder.

  11. The great irony in all this amounts to incredible advances in certain subjects — say molecular biology, medicine, chemistry and so forth — continue to pour forth from Universities even as they rapidly grow into cesspools of mediocre thinking, poor and biased scholarship, and conformity.

    I am unsure how long this situation can last, but I should point out that cartoons mocking silly ideas from the academy date from the 1600’s.

    • Kevin
      If one is a materials scientist and the goal is to produce something with specified characteristics, you either succeed or you don’t. It doesn’t matter what someone thinks about you or who you work for. For those who claim academic credentials in the Silly Sciences, there is no distinct product to produce, and no metric, other than the quantity of publications, to demonstrate that you are even applying yourself, let alone being successful. It is more important that one demonstrates an allegiance to the prevailing political correctness. Is it any wonder that there are some advances still taking place, but they aren’t in the arena of unsupportable opinions.

  12. The only exception I take with the article is he states “with Australian Universities”. Here in Canada where my Alma Mater (University of Victoria) just fired the renowned Dr. Susan Crockford for not following the part line, the situation is clearly as bad or worse.
    Our Prime Minister openly admires the CCP as his father in the past had a cozy relationship with Cuba’s tyrant leader.
    What never ceases to amaze me is why academics think a totalitarian state would be a good thing- history has shown that the academics in those states are among the first to become unpeople.

  13. A long ago gone successful University Press publisher told me about firing an editor who always “married” the manuscript, basically taking it over instead of editing. Now it seems to be more like a divorce.

  14. Just received second hand obtained requirement for academic applications at MIT. How common, and more importantly how many think that this is great, don’t know that they are decades behind the curve, which happened with, but best without such orders. Sounds like the new (recycled?) bigotry. Don’t think this covers diversity of thought.

    “In addition, candidates should provide a statement regarding their views on diversity, inclusion, and belonging, including past and current contributions as well as their vision and plans for the future in these areas.”

  15. I am so glad I retired in 2012. Even then one had to be very careful what one said.

    As far as publishing goes, the current ‘hot’ theory dominates, and it is difficult to publish anything different. It took 4 years to publish the results of my PhD thesis, and then only in secondary journals. Now those papers are still cited because the concepts are accepted.

  16. Commenters should consider a couple realities:

    To get tenure at most universities, one needs (among other things like research funding), publications in refereed journals. If the reviewer take to enforcing an orthodoxy, then only those who toe the line will become tenured. That situation doesn’t portend well for the already dim future for academia. At some point, the epiphany that the emperor has no clothes will occur (like when money gets really tight).

    Also at some point, the Journals will reduce themselves to a sad joke. Again, as money gets tight, which subscriptions will get dropped? Given the recent behavior at journals like Nature and The Lancet, would you submit a good article if you want it taken seriously? Or, are these once prestigious publications looking to share space with The Journal of Irreproducible Results? Given the increasingly grim nature of the woke, that doesn’t make for entertaining reading to those outside the echo chamber.

    Too many articles in my school days were deemed “Journal Pollution” by my lab mates. At least then the signal-to-noise ratio was tolerable. The ratio appears to be accelerating its decline.

  17. These days, universities are little more than communist training grounds. The indoctrination and spread of Marxist propaganda is the game. But who could actually believe that communism provides a better life than capitalism? Only morons!

    • But who could actually believe that communism provides a better life than capitalism?

      “Young adults” (really still children in many ways) who have been exposed to no alternative ideas and who have never been taught to think independently.

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