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Academic censorship: why you should NOT study at the University of Melbourne

by: Dr Gideon Polya
Monday November 5, 2012 - 07:32

Censorship is anathema to scholars and short circuits science-based rational risk management crucial for societal safety. The corporatist and neoliberal University of Melbourne is arguably equal top with the University of Sydney as Australia’s top university but has an appalling, continuing record of censorship that make it unfit for students and for overseas students in particular.

Recently I was obliged in the public interest to write an Open Letter to Mainstream media, MPs and academics in Australia over egregious censorship by the taxpayer-funded ABC (Australia’s equivalent of the ABC) and by the academic-based, taxpayer-funded, universities-backed and University of Melbourne-backed academic web magazine The Conversation.

My Open Letter commenced and concluded thus: “Open Letter to MPs, media & academia: Censorship and anti-Coalition and anti-Jewish defamation by the taxpayer-funded The Conversation and the ABC. The iconic Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC, Australia’s equivalent of the UK BBC) is taxpayer-funded ($929.9 million in the 2009-2010 Federal budget). Likewise, the academic–based, universities-backed web magazine The Conversation is taxpayer-funded with its key funders and backers including CSIRO, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, University of Technology Sydney and the University of Western Australia (a further 13 universities also fund The Conversation). Yet both the ABC and The Conversation betray the public trust through gross malreportage, censorship, Gillard Labor bias and defamation of both the Coalition [the Federal Opposition] and of anti-racist Jewish opinion… Universities apprised of censorship and defamation by The Conversation must withdraw any financial support subject to its reformation. The University of Melbourne is arguably Australia’s top university but funds The Conversation, has failed to act on my complaints, has otherwise a very poor record of censorship, and should face national and international exposure and sanctions in the interests of its staff and students, Australia and higher education. I also suggest that targeted cuts in taxpayer funding will make the ABC conduct itself decently.in the public interest. I have never voted for the Coalition but can never vote for a neoliberal New Labor that continues to betray and shame decent Labor voters – I accordingly also recommend that pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-education, pro-science and pro-equity people vote 1 Green and put Labor last until it reverts to decent, humanitarian values. Silence is complicity. This has been written in the public interest” (see “Censorship by omission and commission by Australia’s ABC & The Conversation”, Bellaciao, 29 October 2012: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?ar... ).

I have received no substantive replies and accordingly must widen my complaint in the public interest and in the interests of overseas students in particular. Universities with a culture of censorship are unfit for students. I have summarized below the readily perceived record of the University of Melbourne over censorship by omission and censorship by commission.

1. Racism, genocide, inequity and corporate Establishment background of the University of Melbourne.

The University of Melbourne was founded in 1853 at the height of the Victorian gold rush and the Aboriginal Genocide in the new colony of what would become the state of Victoria (a key part of the genocide was the cavalry-style Native Police Corps, 1837-1853; see “Defending Victoria”: http://users.netconnect.com.au/~ian... ). In 1835 John Batman deceitfully purchased 600,000 acres (2,400 km2) of land from eight Wurundjeri elders and the colony at what would become Melbourne was founded in 1835 by settlers from Launceston in Van Diemen’s Land (now the island state of Tasmania). It was named by Governor of New South Wales Sir Richard Bourke in 1837, in honour of the current British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, a close confidant and mentor of Queen Victoria and UK prime minister in 1834 and 1835–1841. Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847 (see “Melbourne”, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne ).

Lord Melbourne must be condemned as a British PM under the rule of Queen Victoria in the period of 1837-1901 that saw genocide of indigenous people in South America, North America, Africa, Asia and Australasia as well as in Great Britain itself (the Scottish Clearances and the Irish Famine). Under Queen Victoria about 500 million Indians died avoidably from imposed deprivation and up to 100 million Chinese died in the Tai Ping rebellion occasioned by British imperialism and imposition of the trade of India-derived opium on China. UK PM Robert Peel’s repeal of the Corn Laws was in the interests of Free Trade but also of the starving millions of Ireland (1 million died and 2 million were forced to emigrate in the Irish Famine, 1845-1850). Lord Melbourne’s “nice” avuncular image as a mentor to the young Queen Victoria is inconsistent with his opposition to the repeal as revealed by the following report (1846): “Lord Melbourne swears at the Corn Laws. There has been a curious scene with Melbourne at Windsor, which was told me by Jocelyn, who was present. It was at dinner, when Melbourne was sitting next to the Queen. Some allusion was made to the expected measure, when Melbourne suddenly broke out, “Ma’am, it is a damned dishonest act.” the Queen laughed and tried to quiet him, but he repeated, “I say again, it is a very dishonest act.” and then he continued a tirade against abolition of corn laws, the people not knowing how to look, and the Queen only laughing. The Court is very strong in favor of free trade and not less in favor of Peel. – Greville’s Memoir, Second Part” (source: The New York Times, December 27, 1885).

The Aboriginal Genocide in Victoria saw extermination of most full-blood Aborigines and confinement of the substantially mixed-race survivors to reservations. Surviving Indigenous Victorians had to wait until 1967 to be “counted” as human beings and be subject to protective Federal legislation (e.g. the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act). They had to wait until the 1970s for cessation of the genocidal removal of Aboriginal children from their mothers. Even in 2012 Aboriginal children in Victoria have been incarcerated in solitary confinement in high security imprisonment for adult males. However Victorian racism also extended to violent persecution and expulsion of Chinese (see Humphrey McQueen’s “A New Britannia”) . The Protestant Establishment despised and discriminated against the Irish Catholics, a prejudice that is barely beneath the surface in today’s politically correct Australia in the false defamation of the conservative Catholic leader of the Coalition Opposition, Tony Abbott. Indeed traditional anti-Asian and anti-Jewish anti-Semitism by the Melbourne Establishment meant that Asians and Jews were excluded from Melbourne’s leading men’s club and its leading golf course. The University of Melbourne was and remains the university for the Melbourne Establishment as well as for the Melbourne rich.

Today political correctness prevails and the Whitlam Labor Government’s 1975 Racial Discrimination Act did away with the White Australia Policy that excluded non-Europeans from Australia (see above). However a New White Australia Policy has crept back whereby non-Europeans seeking a visa to enter Australia, whether for just a visit or for study at a university, will need to apply by a special form through an Australian Embassy whereas Whites and Honorary Whites (e.g. Japanese) can apply rapidly on-line with far less stringent criteria to satisfy. The University of Melbourne used to be overwhelmingly the province of the rich but the progressive Whitlam Labor Government (1972-1975) abolished university fees – however the fees have crept back in and the University of Melbourne remains largely a playground for the rich. While non-tertiary primary and secondary public education is free in Australia, 35% of students attend a private primary or secondary school, the most numerous being Catholic schools with the remainder being non-Catholic independent schools. Monash and Melbourne Universities get the best students who are disproportionately from wealthy independent schools under Australia’s de facto system of Educational Apartheid (see "Educational Apartheid": https://sites.google.com/site/educa... ). The University of Melbourne tried to further this “education for the rich” under its ultimately failed Melbourne University Private scheme.

Australia has been involved in over 20 genocidal atrocities of which the most appalling 21st century atrocities are the Palestinian Genocide, the Iraqi Genocide, the Afghan Genocide, the Muslim Genocide and the worsening Climate Genocide (see “Australia’s secret genocide history”: https://sites.google.com/site/musli... ) . However a disreputable function of the University of Melbourne as a key Establishment university is to keep these atrocities hidden in a continuing process of holocaust ignoring and genocide ignoring. My attempts to tell the truth have resulted in me being not just repeatedly censored and defamed but also finally blocked from commenting by the University of Melbourne-backed web magazine The Conversation (see "Censorship by The Conversation": https://sites.google.com/site/mains... ).

2. Holocaust ignoring and genocide ignoring by Melbourne University Press publications.

My family has suffered repeated ethnic cleaning over 2 and a half centuries (the Scottish Clearances, the Prussian persecution of Jews in Poland, and the WW2 Jewish Holocaust in Austria and Hungary). I am accordingly resolute in holding to the key moral messages from the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and from the more general WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy dead), specifically “zero tolerance for racism”, “never again to anyone”, “bear witness” and “zero tolerance for lying”. As a 5-decade career scientist I “bear witness” to genocidal atrocities in a science-based, quantitative fashion. Thus violent deaths and avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation in the Palestinian Genocide, the Iraqi Genocide, the Afghan Genocide, and the post-1990 Muslim Genocide total 2 million, 4.6 million, 5-6 million and 12 million, respectively (see “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/musli... ). However my repeated attempts to publish books I have written/am writing about largely ignored, Australia-complicit, British and/or American holocaust and genocide atrocities were all rejected by Melbourne University Press (see my in preparation “ABC Censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/abcce... and https://sites.google.com/site/censo... and my books “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” and “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, now available for free perusal on the Web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/ and http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com.au/ ).

Major UK and/or US atrocities in which Australia has been complicit but which are ignored by Western Mainstream media, politicians and academics – and thanks in no small part by the Establishment culture of universities like the University of Melbourne - include (deaths from violence and from violently-imposed deprivation in parentheses) the Palestinian Genocide (2 million since 1936), the Iraqi Genocide (4.6 million since 1990), the Afghan Genocide (5.6 million since 2001) and the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million Indians deliberately starved to death for strategic reasons in 1942-1945, with Australia being complicit by sitting on a huge mountain of wheat withheld from starving India). My attempts to report these atrocities were rejected by Melbourne University Press.

Conversely, Melbourne University Press has published an otherwise excellent book entitled “Denial. History betrayed” by Tony Taylor (Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2008) that ignores a multiplicity of 20th century and 21st century genocidal atrocities committed by the US and/or the UK with Australian complicity as summarized in my review: [“Denial, History betrayed”] is a very well written, well annotated and well referenced book that deals with the phenomenon of “holocaust denial” and, in general, the denial of horrendous abuses of humanity. This is an important book that should certainly be read by everyone and should be in every library. However inevitably “Denial” can be criticized and the most fundamental criticism is that this otherwise excellent Mainstream Anglo book published by a prestigious Mainstream Anglo publisher itself ignores major 20th century and ongoing 21st century holocausts and genocides due to Anglo-American imperialism” (specifically, those listed above) (see Gideon Polya, “Book Review: “Denial. History betrayed” by Tony Taylor”: https://sites.google.com/site/bookr... ).

It would be a globally useful PhD project for a humane student to fully document holocaust ignoring and genocide ignoring by Melbourne University Press publications. Holocaust denial is wrong and utterly repugnant for 3 major reasons: (1) it is falsehood; (2) it is profoundly offensive to the memory of the victims, survivors of such atrocities, their loved ones and indeed to all of decent humanity; and (3) it increases the probability of repetition of such awful crimes – history ignored and history denied yields history repeated. Indeed one supposes that it is for these sorts of reasons that this century Germany proposed a measure for the EU that would criminalize not only those who deny or diminish the Jewish Holocaust but those belittling any relatively recent genocide, mass murder, war crimes and other crimes against humanity (I hasten to add that free speech and unfettered scholarship considerations would demand that the only punishment would be the ignominy of public exposure by an expertly-informed, public, judicial process). Of course, genocide ignoring and holocaust ignoring are far, far worse than genocide denial and holocaust denial because at least the latter admit the possibility of public discussion.

3. Holocaust ignoring and genocide ignoring by University of Melbourne scholars.

As outlined above, the University of Melbourne, from its inception in 1853 at the height of the Aboriginal Genocide in Victoria, has been an intellectual and scholarly adjunct to the racist, conservative, mercantilist Victorian Establishment, albeit these days with a veneer of political correctness. Brilliant humanitarian Indian writer Arundhati Roy has commented powerfully on simultaneous First World holocaust commission and holocaust denial: “The ultimate privilege of the élite is not just their deluxe lifestyles, but deluxe lifestyles with a clear conscience” (see Arundhati Roy in “The Cheque-book and the Cruise Missile”). In the British TV comedy “ Fawlty Towers ”, hotelier Basil Fawlty (John Clease), faced with some German guests, famously told his staff “Don’t mention the war”. The look-the-other-way Mainstream media and academia of Australia - and of other Western Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies and Corporatocracies - have applied this dictum by ignoring the horrendous carnage by the UK and the US in the blood-soaked 20th and 21st centuries.

No better example can be given than the 1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust in which the British under Churchill deliberately starved to death 6-7 million Indians for strategic reasons. Australia was complicit in this atrocity by withholding wheat from its huge wheat stores from starving India. Australia produced about 24 million tonnes of wheat during WW2 but Indian grain imports from all sources in the period 1942-1945 totaled a mere 1.8 million tonnes. This immense atrocity, the worst Indian disaster of the 20th century, was associated with large-scale, civilian and military sexual abuse of starving women and girls (see Paul Greenough, “Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: the Famine of 1943-1944 (Oxford University Press)). Yet this genocidal atrocity – the first such WW2 atrocity to have been described as a “holocaust” (by N.G. Jog in Churchill’s Blind-Spot: India” (New Book Company, Bombay, 1944)) – has been largely whitewashed out of British history by several generations of Anglo scholars, including University of Melbourne scholars.

Despite Australian complicity in the Bengal Famine, the only University of Melbourne historian who has – to the best of my knowledge – actually referred to the WW2 Bengali Holocaust is its most famous historian, Professor Geoffrey Blainey, for which he is singularly laudable. He was appointed to a teaching post at the University of Melbourne in 1962, becoming Professor of Economic History in 1968, Professor of History in 1977, Dean of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts in 1982 and thence resigning in 1988. He was the author of 33 books, was awarded the Order of Australia in 1975, and is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Melbourne (see “Geoffrey Blainey”, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffr... ) .

Professor Geoffrey Blainey was well aware of the Bengal Famine, writing thus in his book “The Great Seesaw. A New View of the Western World” (Macmillan, London, 1988; p170): “India was a source of despair and optimism. While its huge population was vulnerable to famine, India was also a source of optimism because, during British rule, new railways, and irrigation projects had reduced the impact of famine; and indeed one historian argued that between 1880 and 1943 “death from starvation was virtually eliminated in India”, and another called it “the conquest of famine”. Probably this phrase was too extreme, for in the 1901 famine perhaps one million Indians died in British-governed territories and another three million died in the native states. Starvation became less common, and the loss of at least two million lives in the Bengal Famine of 1943 was a shock partly because of the preceding decades of improvement. In fact the harvest in that hungry year was close to normal, but the distribution of grain was impeded by wartime dislocation, weak British administration, price controls, and by Indians who hoarded the scarce grain. All in all the long British campaign against famine in India was successful enough to encourage the idea that a war against want would eventually succeed everywhere”.

However in Professor Geoffrey Blainey’s “A Short History of the World” (Viking/Penguin, Melbourne, 2000) and his “A Very Short History of the World” (Viking/Penguin, Melbourne, 2004) there is no mention of the 1942-1945 Bengal Famine (6-7 million killed) nor of the 1769-1770 Bengal Famine (10 million killed). Indeed the only mention at all of Bengal – a world leader in civil administration, textiles, agriculture and metallurgy before the 1757 British invasion – was reference to the formation of Bangladesh in 1972 and the following variously incorrect identical passage in both books: “At the same time, some of the Indian rulers took a lesson from the Chinese and defied the Europeans. In June 1757 [sic], one of the blackest months in Britain’s colonial history, more than 100 of its soldiers died while imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta” [the actual date was 1756, and many regard the Black Hole of Calcutta story a greatly exaggerated piece of British Imperial propaganda to excite British anti-Indian sentiment on “the playing fields of Eton” and elsewhere].

I know of no University of Melbourne scholar other than Professor Geoffrey Blainey to have to have actually mentioned the WW2 Bengal Famine. It would be a globally useful PhD project for a humane student to fully document holocaust ignoring and genocide ignoring by University of Melbourne scholars. In contrast, Australian scholars from elsewhere have written at length about the Bengali Holocaust e.g. see Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (G.M. Polya, 1998, 2008), Tom Keneally “Three Famines” (Vintage, 2011) and Colin Mason “A Short History of Asia” (Macmillan, 2002). In contrast, the University of Melbourne and its scholars have been and still are heavily involved in researching and teaching about the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6million dead) that was part of the otherwise largely ignored WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed).

4. A selection of reports on direct censorship associated with the University of Melbourne.

(a) Dr Paul Mees is a barrister and solicitor who did a PhD on public transport and then taught at the University of Melbourne in the period 1998-2008. In 2008 the University if Melbourne demoted him after he made comments about urban public transport policy critical of the Victorian state government. Dr Mees had made a strong attack on the veracity of a government report about transport privatization. The university was asked to remove his comments from a University of Melbourne website. The University of Melbourne removed his comments and launched an inquiry that found that he had "brought the university into disrepute by making derogatory and insulting comments" (see Clay Lucas, “Melbourne Uni demotes transport dissident”, The Age, 20 May 2008: http://www.theage.com.au/news/natio... ). Dr Mees resigned, and transferred to RMIT University where he now teaches and researches in statutory planning and transport planning. He is a past President of the Public Transport Users Association in Melbourne (see “Paul Mees”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Mees ).

(b) ABC News (“Federal censorship “threatens academic freedom””, 14 September 2006: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2006-09-... ): “The University of Melbourne says federal censorship classifications have forced several terrorism-related books off its shelves. The university has removed a number of books by one author from its library, including some specifically used in research courses”.

(c) An extremely rich student offered a University of Melbourne department and his University of Melbourne teachers huge amounts of research funds but an internal inquiry found no wrong-doing. One of the academics ethically declined the money and reported the affair to a Senate Inquiry (e.g. see “What Australian universities don’t want you to know”, : http://www.archsoc.com/kcas/stiffle... ).

(d) Dr Kalervo Gulson (“No Apple for teacher”, The Conversation, 30 October 2012: http://theconversation.edu.au/no-ap... ): “Last week, the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education on behalf of the Victorian Department of Education, sent an email to education expert Professor Michael Apple informing him that he would no longer be required to give a professional workshop for principals and teachers. There were two reasons reported for the cancellation. Publically, a department spokesperson said the professor’s expertise on international educational policy meant he “was not the most relevant speaker to address the workshop.” But the internal email from the university to the professor revealed the department was more concerned the professor’s ideas on performance pay would be too controversial at a time of politically charged negotiations with the teachers union. The professor responded that he had more academic freedom in Serbia than in Melbourne” . Benjamin Preiss, ““Too controversial” schools lecture invitation dropped”, The Age, 27 October 2012: http://www.theage.com.au/national/e... ): “Last week, the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education on behalf of the Victorian Department of Education, sent an email to education expert Professor Michael Apple informing him that he would no longer be required to give a professional workshop for principals and teachers”.

(e) According to Wikipedia, (see “Melbourne Curriculum”, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbou... ) the new University of Melbourne curriculum means “The university’s 96 undergraduate courses were replaced with six Melbourne degrees and professional programs. The curriculum has been met with a wave of criticism from students, academics and unions as well as coming under much scrutiny in the Australian press, often described as "controversial… University of Melbourne staff member and education activist, Melanie Lazero, in a public debate between the University of Melbourne Student Union and the university described the Melbourne Model as "shallow" and "a neoliberal idea of education", claiming the model limited students choices… University of Melbourne Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning Professor, Miles Lewis, attacked the university’s demotion of Dr. Paul Mees - a former senior lecturer in transport planning who subsequently resigned, taking up a position at RMIT University - over Mees’ criticism of the government’s privatisation of public transport. Lewis argued that the Melbourne Model "requires the relentless pursuit of mediocrity and the routing out of any independent intellects from the university", blaming Melbourne for catering to the agendas of government and wealthy industry bodies… University of Melbourne Creative Arts student, Rosalie Delaney, claimed the university was censoring students’ artworks critical of the Melbourne’s new teaching model, saying universities should "be a bastion of free speech and critical thought and questioning of structures and authority,” describing their alleged actions as “appalling”; actions which the university administration deny”.

5. Incorrect self-assessment by the University of Melbourne.

(a) Melbourne University boasts that : “When choosing a university in which to earn your degree, you want to know at the end of your study, you can work anywhere in the world. From this perspective alone, Melbourne is a great choice”. It goes on to declare “ It’s consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world, with its international peers placing it in the top 20 worldwide, and employers placing it in the top 10. In the prestigious 2011 Times Higher Education rankings of the world’s top 200 universities, Melbourne ranked top in Australia and 37 in the world. The result means the University of Melbourne is the highest placed Australian university in three of the four major world rankings. The University is also Australia’s leader in the Shanghai Jiao Tong and Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan rankings, and second nationally in the QS table”.

However this self-assessment does not stand up to even cursory scrutiny. Thus, for example, the Shanghai Consulting Agency ranks Melbourne 57th in the world (2012) , 100-105 in relation to Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Social Sciences, 51-75 in Engineering/Technology and Computer Science, 42 in Life and Agriculture Sciences, 35 in Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy, 101-150 in Mathematics and Computer Science, 76-100 in Physics and Economics/Business and 151-200 in Chemistry (see: http://www.shanghairanking.com/Inst... ). However, while well down in global ranking, Melbourne is arguably equal top with Sydney as Australia’s top university (see “University of Melbourne”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univer... ).

(b) Melbourne University goes on to boast that “Melbourne’s membership of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and U21, as well as involvement in other international business and cultural institutions like the Business Councils for China, India and Malaysia means its reputation precedes it. With the Melbourne curriculum now aligning the University with the world’s top universities in Europe, North America and Asia, it’s a great choice for developing the skills and attributes required by employers all over the world”.

Unfortunately commitment to neoliberal corporate culture is the least attractive aspect of the University of Melbourne. In his latest book, “Social Humanism. A New Metaphysics”, Professor Brian Ellis describes the evolutionary and inclusive basis of a social contract based on the humanist ideal of maximizing human happiness and dignity (as opposed to the currently dominant neoliberal ideal of maximizing freedom of the advantaged to exploit the disadvantaged). Professor Ellis points to a failure of democracy that has typically become a Corporatocracy (and described by others as a Murdochracy or a Lobbyocracy) in which corporate power rules and the need for corporations be held accountable to enable democratic evolution of an improving social contract benefiting all members of society (see “Review “Social Humanism. A New Metaphysics” by Brian Ellis”, MWC News: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/2... ) .

(c) The University of Melbourne continues “Melbourne also produces and is associated with scholars of truly international standing. Nobel Prize winners like Professor Peter Doherty, Professor Sir James Mirrlees and Professor Elizabeth Blackburn and well-known academic Professor Peter Singer are among the scholars, visiting scholars and alumni of the University” (see University of Melbourne, “International profile”: http://www.unimelb.edu.au/why/index.html ). Professor Doherty did his Nobel Prize-wining research at ANU, and Professor James Mirrlees in the UK (these 2 eminent scholars being variously currently employed by the University of Melbourne). Tasmanian Professor Elizabeth Blackburn was a graduate of the University of Melbourne but did her Nobel Prize-winning research in the US. Not mentioned were University of Melbourne graduates Sir John Eccles (1963 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for studies on the synapse) and Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnet (1899–1985) (awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1960 for immune tolerance ) who graduated from the University of Melbourne with MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Science) in 1922 and MD in 1924, and, apart from several years overseas, spent his entire career from 1923 onwards at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. The University of Melbourne (3 Nobel Laureates who were graduates but did their research elsewhere) compares poorly with about 150 other universities ranging from number 1, Cambridge University (89), to Oberlin College, Ohio (3 Nobel Laureates who were graduates but did their research elsewhere).

6. Censorship of University of Melbourne and all Australian academics by the US-linked Defence Trade Controls Bill.

The neoliberal, pro-war, anti-science, US lackey, nuclear terrorism-complicit Labor Federal Australian Government has finally passed the Australia-US defence-related Defence Trade Controls Bill without key amendments urged by Australian universities (see “Controversial Defence Trade Controls Bill passes the Senate””, The Australian, 31 October 2012: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/hig... ) . According to Universities Australia (representing 39 Australian universities), “As currently drafted will significantly impact the training and research conducted by universities” and will interfere with the 3 key university purposes of teaching, research and informing the public. Academics violating the provisions of the Bill by informing others without a permit about any of a host of matters loosely specified in the 353-page “Defence and Strategic Goods List” (see: http://www.defence.gov.au/deco/dsgl.htm ) face up to 10 years in prison. Universities committed to or subject to censorship are unfit for students, including the over 240,000 full fee-paying overseas students crucial to Australia’s $16 billion pa education export industry.

Concluding comments.

Australia has been involved in over 20 genocidal atrocities of which the most appalling 21st century atrocities are the Palestinian Genocide, the Iraqi Genocide, the Afghan Genocide, the Muslim Genocide and the worsening Climate Genocide that is set to wipe out all but 500 million human beings(see “Climate Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/clima... ) .

However a disreputable function of the University of Melbourne as a key Establishment university is to keep these atrocities hidden in a continuing process of holocaust ignoring and genocide ignoring. As a much published 5-decade career scientist still heavily involved in university teaching, I have been resolutely trying to tell the truth to power and the people but have been repeatedly censored and defamed and finally blocked from commenting by the University of Melbourne-backed, academic-based web magazine The Conversation. In a detailed analysis of censorship in Australian universities in general I concluded that “Finally, we should publicly insist that universities that constrain free speech are not fit for our children” (see Gideon Polya in “Current academic censorship and self-censorship in Australian universities”, Public University Journal, volume 1, Conference Supplement, “Transforming the Australia University”, Melbourne, 9-10 December 2001: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/57092... ). As outlined above, the University of Melbourne has an appalling record of censorship by omission and censorship by commission, a sad record that make it “unfit for our children”.

While the greed- and neoliberalism-driven Melbourne Model make the University Melbourne less attractive to Australian students, its complicity in censorship and its role in holocaust ignoring in relation to post-1950 US Asian wars (in all of which Australia has participated and which have been associated, so far, with 38 million Asian deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation) make the University of Melbourne unfit for Asian students in particular.

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Clinton Crashes and Burns, Sanders Will Win (But hold off on the applause)
Friday 1 - 22:33
by Daniel Patrick Welch
Confirming Supreme Court Justices and Electing Presidents
Friday 1 - 20:59
by William John Cox

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It is the responsibility of the intellectual to speak the truth and to expose lies. Noam Chomsky
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I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name
Thursday 10 March
©Olivier Jobard/Myop I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM IS A RIGHT In the phrase « right to asylum », every word matters. Under the law, every person who is persecuted because of his or her political opinions or because of his or her identity, every person that is endangered by violence, war or misery has a RIGHT to seek asylum in another country The aim of this petition is to collect (...)
Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
1 comment
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)