The Wall Comes Down

November 9, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, POLITICS |

Wall Up 13 August 1961: East German police and troops occupied the dividing line between that Soviet satellite and West Berlin, to stop the hemorrhaging of its citizens to the West of that city. Four days later, they started building the Berlin Wall. President Kennedy put US forces on alert and took diplomatic steps, but copped criticism for what was tagged a weak response. Possibly 200 people were killed trying to get over the Wall from the East to the West; probably many more of the tens and tens of thousands making the attempt over the years were dealt with…

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Russian Roulette

(by Michael Isikoff and David Corn) (2018) This is an absorbing, readable and – remarkably – balanced account of the 2016 US election and the possible effect of Russian or Russian-sponsored hacking and disinformation. The existence of actual collusion between the Trump campaign and Putin’s apparatchiks relies on a number of guilt-by-association inferences, commercial ties with Russian oligarchs, and meetings attended by the numerous idiots connected with the campaign. Ultimately, the authors leave open the question both of direct collusion, and of the causative links of Russian meddling to Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Which is not to say there isn’t plenty…

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Crabb and Pyne In Conversation

June 14, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian Politics, AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Old sparring partners

University of Adelaide, 13 June 2019 In the re-furbished Students’ Bar at Adelaide University, we gathered to hear a highly entertaining chat by University Alumni, namely former Commonwealth Minister Christopher Pyne, and Journalist / Presenter Annabel Crabb, with Anthony Durkin acting as Moderator. Katrina Bochner, a Judge of the South Australian Supreme Court, introduced the participants (skipping some of Pyne’s lengthy CV despite his enthusiastic prompting for more) and then a large crowd experienced the voyeuristic pleasure of eavesdropping on a relaxed, droll, indulgent and wide-ranging discussion of Law School life and beyond. Mr. Durkin, such an expert at this thing…

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“Real Action on Climate Change”

May 18, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | POLITICS, Ulalume |

We’re disappointed in Frankie Boyle. He used to be edgy and hilarious – watch out if you got picked out in the audience at one of his shows – but now he fronts a TV panel format where he pontificates on leftist concerns. He’s still worth hearing, but not as much. Recently we saw an extract of the programme, featuring a lecture by the leading prophet of Eco-Doom, George Monbiot (pictured).  George said we were all kidding ourselves with the various responses to dangerous anthropomorphic climate change, and that only radical steps would work. He posited three acts that would…

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Intellectual Freedom

April 18, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |

From a recent judgment by Judge Vasta in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Ridd v James Cook University [2019] FCCA 997 (16 April 2019): “Intellectual freedom is also known as academic freedom. It is a concept that underpins universities and institutions devoted to higher learning. Obviously such institutions must have administrators that care for the governance and proper direction of the institution. However, the mission of these institutions must undoubtedly be the search for knowledge which leads to a quest for truth. In reality, intellectual freedom is the cornerstone of this core mission of all institutions of higher learning. This is so…

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