- 1892 – The first performance of the fairy tale-ballet The Nutcracker was held at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
- 1912 – Amateur archaeologist Charles Dawsonannounced the discovery of fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human, known asPiltdown Man, which later turned out to be a hoax.
- 1939 – Second World War: The German Luftwaffe victory over theRoyal Air Force in the Battle of the Heligoland Bight greatly influenced both sides' future air strategy.
- 1966 – Epimetheus (pictured), one of the moons of Saturn, was discovered, but was mistaken as Janus. It took 12 years to determine that they are two distinct objects sharing the same orbit.
- 1996 – The school board of Oakland, California, passed a controversial resolution officially declaring African American Vernacular English as a separate language or dialect.
- 218 BC – Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia – Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.
- 1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.
- 1642 – Abel Tasman becomes first European to land in New Zealand.
- 1655 – The Whitehall Conference ends with the determination that there was no law preventing Jews from re-entering England after the Edict of Expulsion of 1290.
- 1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.
- 1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
- 1793 – Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French Royalists to Lord Samuel Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.
- 1878 – John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires is executed in Pennsylvania.
- 1878 – The Al-Thani family become the rulers of the state of Qatar
- 1888 – Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde.
- 1892 – Premiere performance of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
- 1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the first officially recognized land speed record of 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h) in aJeantaud electric car.
- 1900 – The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook, Victoria Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic.
- 1912 – The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is announced by Charles Dawson.
- 1916 – World War I: The Battle of Verdun ends when German forces under Chief of staff Erich von Falkenhayn are defeated by the French, and suffer 337,000casualties.
- 1917 – The resolution containing the language of the Eighteenth Amendment to enact Prohibition is passed by the United States Congress.
- 1932 – The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first ever NFL Championship Game. Because of a blizzard, the game is moved from Wrigley Field to the Chicago Stadium, the field measuring 80 yards (73 m) long.
- 1935 – The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon.
- 1939 – World War II: The Battle of the Heligoland Bight, the first major air battle of the war, takes place.
- 1944 – World War II: 77 B-29 Superfortress and 200 other aircraft of U.S. Fourteenth Air Force bomb Hankow, China, a Japanese supply base.
- 1956 – Japan joins the United Nations.
- 1958 – Project SCORE, the world's first communications satellite, is launched.
- 1966 – Saturn's moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.
- 1969 – Capital punishment in the United Kingdom: Home Secretary James Callaghan's motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years.
- 1971 – Capitol Reef National Park is established in Utah.
- 1972 – Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmasbombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.
- 1973 – Soviet Soyuz Programme: Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.
- 1973 – The Islamic Development Bank is founded.
- 1978 – Dominica joins the United Nations.
- 1987 – Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.
- 1989 – The European Economic Community and the Soviet Union sign an agreement on trade and commercial and economic cooperation.
- 1997 – HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
- 1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
- 2002 – 2003 California recall: Then Governor of California Gray Davis announces that the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.
- 2005 – The civil war in Chad begins when rebel groups, allegedly backed by neighbouring Sudan, launch an attack in Adré.
- 2006 – The first of a series of floods strikes Malaysia. The death toll of all flooding is at least 118, with over 400,000 people displaced.
- 2006 – United Arab Emirates holds its first-ever elections.
- 2010 – Anti-government protests begin in Tunisia, heralding the Arab Spring
- 1507 – Ōuchi Yoshitaka, Japanese warlord (d. 1551)
- 1602 – Simonds d'Ewes, English antiquarian and politician (d. 1650)
- 1610 – Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange, French philologist (d. 1688)
- 1620 – Heinrich Roth, German Sanskrit scholar (d. 1668)
- 1661 – Christopher Polhem, Swedish scientist and inventor (d. 1751)
- 1662 – James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry, Scottish politician (d. 1711)
- 1707 – Charles Wesley, English Methodist hymnist (d. 1788)
- 1725 – Johann Salomo Semler, German historian and Bible commentator (d. 1791)
- 1734 – Jean-Baptiste Rey, French conductor and composer (d. 1810)
- 1756 – Ghasidas, Indian Saint(d.1850)
- 1778 – Joseph Grimaldi, English clown (d. 1837)
- 1825 – Charles Griffin, American general (d. 1876)
- 1825 – John S. Harris, American politician (d. 1906)
- 1835 – Lyman Abbott, American author (d. 1922)
- 1847 – Augusta Holmès, French composer (d. 1903)
- 1849 – Henrietta Edwards, Canadian women’s rights activist (d. 1931)
- 1851 – Graciano López Jaena, Filipino orator and satirist (d. 1896)
- 1856 – Sir J. J. Thomson, English physicist and Nobel laureate (d. 1940)
- 1860 – Edward MacDowell, American composer and pianist (d. 1908)
- 1861 – Lionel Monckton, English composer for the musical theatre (d. 1924)
- 1863 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (d. 1914)
- 1867 – Foxhall P. Keene, American race horse owner and polo player (d. 1941)
- 1870 – Saki, English writer (d. 1916)
- 1873 – Francis Burton Harrison, American political figure (d. 1957)
- 1878 – Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union (d. 1953)
- 1879 – Paul Klee, Swiss-born painter (d. 1940)
- 1882 – Paulin Lemaire, French gymnast (death date unknown)
- 1882 – Richard Maury, American naturalized Argentine engineer (d. 1950)
- 1886 – Ty Cobb, American baseball player (d. 1961)
- 1886 – Martin Dooling, American soccer player (d. 1966)
- 1887 – Bhikhari Thakur, Indian Bhojpuri writer(d.1971)
- 1888 – Dame Gladys Cooper, English actress (d. 1971)
- 1888 – Robert Moses, American public works official (d. 1981)
- 1890 – Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (d. 1954)
- 1897 – Fletcher Henderson, American arranger and composer (d. 1952)
- 1899 – Peter Wessel Zapffe, Norwegian author and philosopher (d. 1990)
- 1904 – George Stevens, American film director (d. 1975)
- 1907 – Bill Holland, American auto racer (d. 1984)
- 1907 – Lawrence Lucie, American jazz guitarist (d. 2009)
- 1908 – Paul Siple, American Antarctic explorer (d. 1969)
- 1908 – Celia Johnson, English actress (d. 1982)
- 1910 – Abe Burrows, American playwright (d. 1985)
- 1910 – Eric Tindill, New Zealand rugby and cricket international player and referee/umpire (d. 2010)
- 1911 – Jules Dassin, American film director (d. 2008)
- 1912 – Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American General (d. 2002)
- 1913 – Alfred Bester, American author (d. 1987)
- 1913 – Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1992)
- 1913 – Ray Meyer, American basketball coach (d. 2006)
- 1916 – Douglas Fraser, Scottish-born American trade unionist (d. 2008)
- 1916 – Betty Grable, American actress (d. 1973)
- 1917 – Ossie Davis, American actor and activist (d. 2005)
- 1920 – Robert Leckie, American marine and author (d. 2001)
- 1922 – Jack Brooks, American politician (d. 2012)
- 1927 – Ramsey Clark, 66th U.S. Attorney General
- 1927 – Roméo LeBlanc, 25th Governor General of Canada (d. 2009)
- 1928 – Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (d. 2003)
- 1929 – Gino Cimoli, American baseball player
- 1929 – Józef Glemp, Cardinal-Archbishop Emeritus of Warsaw
- 1930 – Moose Skowron, American baseball player (d. 2012)
- 1931 – Allen Klein, American rock and roll business manager (d. 2009)
- 1931 – Alison Plowden, English historian (d. 2007)
- 1932 – Roger Smith, American actor
- 1933 – Lonnie Brooks, American musician
- 1934 – Boris Volynov, Soviet cosmonaut
- 1935 – Jacques Pépin, French chef
- 1936 – Malcolm Kirk, English professional wrestler (d. 1987)
- 1938 – Chas Chandler, English musician (The Animals) (d. 1996)
- 1938 – Joel Hirschhorn, American songwriter and composer (d. 2005)
- 1938 – Roger E. Mosley, American actor
- 1939 – Michael Moorcock, English author
- 1939 – Harold E. Varmus, American scientist and Nobel laureate
- 1941 – Wadada Leo Smith, American trumpeter and composer
- 1942 – Harvey Atkin, Canadian actor
- 1943 – Keith Richards, English guitarist (The Rolling Stones)
- 1943 – Alan Rudolph, American film director and screenwriter
- 1945 – Jean Pronovost, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1946 – Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist (d. 1977)
- 1946 – Alex Ligertwood, Scottish rock singer
- 1946 – Steven Spielberg, American film director
- 1947 – Leonid Yuzefovich, Russian crime fiction writer
- 1948 – Edmund Kemper, American serial killer
- 1948 – Bill Nelson, English musician (Be-Bop Deluxe)
- 1948 – Laurent Voulzy, French singer and composer
- 1949 – David A. Johnston, American volcanologist (d. 1980)
- 1949 – Terry Hertzler, American poet
- 1950 – Gillian Armstrong, Australian film director
- 1950 – Randy Castillo, American drummer (Ozzy Osbourne) (d. 2002)
- 1950 – Sarath Fonseka, former commander of the Sri Lanka Army and a former Chief of Defence of Sri Lanka.
- 1950 – Heinz-Josef Kehr, German footballer
- 1950 – Leonard Maltin, American film critic
- 1952 – John Leventhal, musician, producer, songwriter, and recording engineer, married to Rosanne Cash
- 1953 – Elliot Easton, American guitarist (The Cars)
- 1953 – Khas-Magomed Hadjimuradov, Chechen singer-songwriter
- 1954 – John Booth, British racing driver
- 1954 – Ray Liotta, American actor
- 1955 – Vijay Mallya, Indian Business man
- 1956 – Ron White, American comedian
- 1957 – Jonathan Cainer, English astrologer
- 1958 – Geordie Walker, English rock musician and lead guitarist for post-punk band Killing Joke
- 1958 – Julia Wolfe, American composer
- 1960 – Kazuhide Uekusa, Japanese economist
- 1961 – Brian Orser, Canadian figure skater
- 1961 – Leila Steinberg, American poet, artist manager
- 1962 – Renaldo Lapuz, Filipino-born American singer
- 1963 – Norman Brown, American musician
- 1963 – Karl Dorrell, American football coach
- 1963 – Greg D'Angelo, American musician (White Lion)
- 1963 – Pauline Ester, French singer
- 1963 – Allan Kayser, American actor
- 1963 – Charles Oakley, American basketball player
- 1963 – Brad Pitt, American actor
- 1963 – Pierre Nkurunziza, Burundian politician
- 1964 – Stone Cold Steve Austin, American professional wrestler
- 1964 – Don Beebe, American football player
- 1964 – Robson Green, English actor and singer
- 1965 – Shawn Christian, American actor
- 1965 – Mick Collins, American musician (The Gories, The Dirtbombs)
- 1965 – Manuel Peña Escontrela, Spanish footballer (d. 2012)
- 1965 – Fawna MacLaren, American model and actress
- 1966 – Makiko Esumi, Japanese actress
- 1966 – Mille Petrozza, German singer (Kreator)
- 1966 – Gianluca Pagliuca, Italian footballer
- 1967 – Toine van Peperstraten, Dutch sports journalist
- 1968 – Mario Basler, German footballer
- 1968 – Mark Cooper, English footballer
- 1968 – Rachel Griffiths, Australian actress
- 1968 – Alejandro Sanz, Spanish singer
- 1968 – Casper Van Dien, American actor
- 1968 – Nina Wadia, British actress and comedian
- 1969 – Santiago Cañizares, Spanish footballer
- 1969 – Justin Edinburgh, English footballer
- 1969 – Akira Iida, Japanese racing driver
- 1970 – Anthony Catanzaro, American fitness model
- 1970 – DMX, American rapper and actor
- 1970 – Lucious Harris, American basketball player
- 1970 – Miles Marshall Lewis, American author
- 1970 – Giannis Ploutarhos, Greek singer
- 1970 – Victoria Pratt, Canadian actress and fitness model
- 1970 – Fernando Solabarrieta, Chilean journalist
- 1970 – Cowboy Troy, American rapper
- 1970 – Rob Van Dam, American professional wrestler
- 1970 – Jonathan Yeo, English artist
- 1971 – Barkha Dutt, Indian journalist
- 1971 – Noriko Matsueda, Japanese composer
- 1971 – Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Spanish tennis player
- 1972 – Trevor Chowning, American painter
- 1972 – Rah Digga, American rapper
- 1972 – Raymond Herrera, American drummer (Fear Factory) and businessman
- 1972 – DJ Lethal, Latvian-born American DJ (House of Pain, Limp Bizkit)
- 1973 – Leila Arcieri, American actress and model
- 1974 – Peter Boulware, American football player
- 1974 – Bill Duggan, American television actor and host
- 1974 – Euroboy, Norwegian musician (Turbonegro)
- 1974 – Mutassim Gaddafi, Libyan army officer (d. 2011)
- 1975 – Sia Furler. Australian singer
- 1975 – David O'Doherty, Irish comedian
- 1975 – Trish Stratus, Canadian professional wrestler
- 1975 – Masaki Sumitani, Japanese comedian
- 1975 – Vincent van der Voort, Dutch darts player
- 1976 – Koyuki, Japanese actress and model
- 1977 – Axwell, Swedish DJ
- 1977 – José Acevedo, Dominican baseball player
- 1977 – Claudia Gesell, German athlete
- 1977 – Ryan Scott Ottney, American journalist and comic book writer
- 1978 – Daniel Cleary, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1978 – Ali Curtis, American soccer player
- 1978 – Katie Holmes, American actress
- 1979 – Mamady Sidibé, Malian footballer
- 1979 – Eric Pérez, Puerto Rican professional wrestler
- 1979 – Carlos, Portuguese footballer
- 1980 – Christina Aguilera, American singer
- 1980 – Heinz Inniger, Swiss snowboarder
- 1980 – Benjamin Watson, American football player
- 1981 – Joshua Dallas, American actor
- 1981 – Jens Schmidt, German rugby player
- 1983 – Darren Carter, English footballer
- 1983 – Andy Fantuz, Canadian football player
- 1984 – Derrick Tribbett, American singer and bass player (Twisted Method and Dope)
- 1985 – Tara Conner, American beauty contestant (Miss USA)
- 1985 – Natalie Gal, Russian fashion model
- 1985 – Hana Soukupová, Czech supermodel
- 1986 – François Hamelin, Canadian short track speed skater
- 1986 – Usman Khawaja, Australian cricketer
- 1987 – Miki Ando, Japanese figure skater
- 1987 – Ayaka, Japanese singer
- 1987 – Fernando Jara, Panamanian jockey
- 1987 – Sneha Ullal, Indian actress
- 1988 – Lizzie Armitstead, English cyclist
- 1989 – Ashley Benson, American actress
- 1989 – Ashley Slanina-Davies, English actress
- 1989 – Emily Atack, English actress
- 1990 – Sierra Kusterbeck, American singer-songwriter and model (VersaEmerge)
- 1990 – James Lawrie, Irish footballer
- 1992 – Bridgit Mendler, American actress and singer
- 821 – Theodulf of Orléans, Bishop of Orléans
- 1133 – Hildebert, French writer (b. 1055)
- 1290 – King Magnus I of Sweden (b. 1240)
- 1442 – Pierre Cauchon, French Catholic bishop (b. 1371)
- 1495 – King Alfonso II of Naples (b. 1448)
- 1591 – Marigje Arriens, Dutch suspected witch (b. ca. 1520)
- 1692 – Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman (b. 1626)
- 1737 – Antonio Stradivari, Italian violin maker (b. 1644)
- 1787 – Francis William Drake, British Admiral and territorial governor (b. 1724)
- 1787 – Soame Jenyns, English writer (b. 1704)
- 1799 – Jean-Étienne Montucla, French mathematician (b. 1725)
- 1803 – Johann Gottfried Herder, German writer (b. 1744)
- 1829 – Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, French scientist (b. 1744)
- 1843 – Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch, British statesman (b. 1748)
- 1848 – Bernard Bolzano, Bohemian mathematician and priest (b. 1781)
- 1869 – Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American composer and pianist (b. 1829)
- 1880 – Michel Chasles, French mathematician (b. 1793)
- 1892 – Richard Owen, English biologist (b. 1804)
- 1922 – Sir Carl Meyer, 1st Baronet, British banker and mining magnate (b. 1851)
- 1927 – Ram Prasad Bismil, Indian Revolutionary (b. 1897)
- 1936 – Andrija Mohorovičić, Austro-Hungarian-born Croatian seismologist (b. 1857)
- 1944 – Alexander Cudmore, American soccer player (b. 1888)
- 1950 – Johnny Hyde, Russian-born American talent agent (b. 1895)
- 1968 – Joan Tabor, American film and television actress (b. 1932)
- 1969 – Charles Dvorak, American track and field athlete (b. 1878)
- 1971 – Bobby Jones, American golfer (b. 1902)
- 1971 – Diana Lynn, American actress (b. 1926)
- 1973 – Allamah Rasheed Turabi, Pakistani orator and philosopher (b. 1908)
- 1974 – Harry Hooper, American baseball player (b. 1887)
- 1975 – Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ukrainian geneticist (b. 1900)
- 1977 – Michio Nishizawa, Japanese baseball player (b. 1921)
- 1980 – Alexei Kosygin, Soviet politician and Premier (b. 1904)
- 1980 – Gabrielle Robinne, French actress (b. 1886)
- 1982 – Hans-Ulrich Rudel, German pilot (b. 1916)
- 1984 – Aris Maliagros, Greek actor (b. 1895)
- 1985 – Xuan Dieu, Vietnamese poet (b. 1916)
- 1987 – Konrad "Conny" Plank, German record producer and musician (b. 1940)
- 1990 – Anne Revere, American actress (b. 1903)
- 1990 – Paul Tortelier, French cellist and composer (b. 1914)
- 1991 – George Abecassis, English Formula 1 driver (b. 1913)
- 1992 – Mark Goodson, American game show producer (b. 1915)
- 1993 – Sam Wanamaker, American actor (b. 1919)
- 1994 – Roger Apéry, Greek-French mathematician (b. 1916)
- 1995 – Brian Brockless, English organist (b. 1926)
- 1995 – Konrad Zuse, German engineer and computing pioneer (b. 1910)
- 1996 – Yulii Borisovich Khariton, Russian physicist (b. 1904)
- 1997 – Chris Farley, American actor and comedian (b. 1964)
- 1998 – Lev Dyomin, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1926)
- 1999 – Robert Bresson, French film director (b. 1907)
- 2000 – Stan Fox, American race car driver (b. 1952)
- 2000 – Randolph Apperson Hearst, son of William Randolph Hearst; father of Patty Hearst (b. 1915)
- 2000 – Kirsty MacColl, English singer and songwriter (b. 1959)
- 2001 – Gilbert Bécaud, French singer (b. 1927)
- 2001 – Marcel Mule, French saxophonist (b. 1901)
- 2001 – Dimitris Dragatakis, Greek composer (b. 1914)
- 2002 – Ray Hnatyshyn, Canadian politician (b. 1934)
- 2002 – Wayne Owens, American politician (b. 1937)
- 2004 – Anthony Sampson, British journalist and biographer (b. 1926)
- 2005 – Alan Voorhees, American engineer and urban planner (b. 1922)
- 2006 – Joseph Barbera, American cartoonist (b. 1911)
- 2006 – Ruth Bernhard, American photographer (b. 1905)
- 2006 – Mike Dickin, British radio broadcaster (b. 1943)
- 2006 – Shaukat Siddiqui, Pakistani author and political activist (b. 1923)
- 2007 – Gerald Le Dain, Canadian Supreme Court Justice (b. 1924)
- 2007 – Jack Linkletter, American television host; son of Art Linkletter (b. 1937)
- 2007 – William Strauss, American writer (b. 1947)
- 2007 – Alan Wagner, American opera critic (b. 1931)
- 2008 – Majel Barrett, American actress; widow of Gene Roddenberry (b. 1932)
- 2008 – Mark Felt, American Watergate figure (b. 1913)
- 2010 – Phil Cavarretta, American baseball player (b. 1916)
- 2010 – Tasso Kavadia, Greek actress (b. 1921)
- 2010 – Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Italian banker and economist (b. 1940)
- 2010 – James Pickles, English jurist and columnist (b. 1925)
- 2010 – Jacqueline de Romilly, French philologist and classical scholar (b. 1913)
- 2011 – Václav Havel, playwright, philosopher and dissident, last president of Czechoslovakia, and the first president of the Czech Republic (b. 1936)
Holidays and observances
- Christian Feast Day:
- Eponalia, feast of Epona, celebrated during Saturnalia. (Roman Empire)
- International Migrants Day (International)
- National Day (Qatar)
- Republic Day (Niger)
- UN Arabic Language Day (United Nations)
2012 Dishonest Reporting Awards
The 2012 Dishonest Reporting Awards:
Louis Nowra discovers just how punitive our laws against free speech are - even when he’s cleared, insane years later:
AT first I thought it was a joke, but it turned out to be true. Two women decided to take me to the Human Rights Commission, complaining about a play I had written. Set in Sarajevo, it was based on a beauty pageant held during the siege in the Balkan conflict. I wrote it because I was tired of films and plays that depicted the misery of the events, always portraying the besieged as victims. I was more interested in the beauty contestants symbolising the resilience of the human spirit.
The two women had no connection to the siege or the ethnic groups involved. However, they had decided that I was pro-Serbian and the clincher was that one of the actresses in the Melbourne production had a Serb background. The women wanted royalties from previous productions confiscated and demanded the play be banned because it was a piece of Serbian propaganda.Their interpretation of the play couldn’t have been more wrong, so much so that I wondered just how bright they were. But if I thought the ludicrous nature of the complaint would be laughed off by the HRC, then I didn’t understand its bureaucratic mission. For a year I had to deal with hundreds of pages pouring out of the commission and had to engage a lawyer. The complaint eventually was thrown out but, not to be denied, these two dolts found a loophole in the law and appealed again. It was nearly another year before this appeal was dismissed.During this time I didn’t write a play. I found I was censoring myself. Just what could I write that wouldn’t offend anybody, even if they took offence from a total misinterpretation of the play? What subjects would cause other people to take me to the HRC? What disturbed me above all was that there was no attempt to understand my side of the story. If the two women intended to creatively paralyse me then they couldn’t have found a better bureaucratic vehicle.
Read it all. This new war against free speech not only endangers us but shames us. It is mad and bad.
When even Maurice Newman as chairman of the ABC couldn’t achieve some balance or diversity in its presentation of important political and social issues, does this suggest reform is impossible?
On November 24, Robyn Williams intoned to his audience on ABC’s The Science Show, “if I told you that pedophilia is good for children, or asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma, or, that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, you’d rightly find it outrageous. Similar statements are coming out of inexpert mouths again and again, distorting the science”. My article was given as an example of an anti-scientific position.
Really? Questioning climate science is like advocating pedophilia, abetting mesothelioma and pushing drugs to teenagers? Well yes, according to the ABC’s science man. Stephan Lewandowsky, a guest on the program, asserted that those with a free market background were, according to his research, more likely to be sceptical of science. As well as climate science, “they are also rejecting the link between smoking and lung cancer; they are rejecting the link between HIV and AIDS”, the professor said. Happily, it was extremely difficult to detect people on the “Left side of politics who are rejecting scientific evidence”....Ordinarily it should be unnecessary to object to such appalling commentary. It should have been automatically withdrawn. But no. An ABC response used sophistry to satisfy itself “that the presenter Robyn Williams did not equate climate change sceptics to pedophiles”. Tell that to his listeners…We have seen the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change discredited. We know the science is less robust. And, for the past 16 years, mother nature has been kind to the sceptics… Yet the “weight of evidence” argument is often used as a licence to vilify holders of alternative views. As a taxpayer-funded organisation, the ABC shouldn’t even have a view on global warming. What it does have is a duty to all Australians to broadcast honestly the best available evidence on both sides of the argument so that we can make up our own minds. This is not happening.
I retain a deep affection for the ABC. But, like the BBC, there are signs that a small but powerful group has captured the corporation, at least on climate change. It is up to the board and management to rectify this.
And if they cannot…
Socialists may tax but the rich may move. And when the rich are as loved as Depardieu, Socialists are left with neither money nor honor:
Asterix and Obelix have deserted Gaul. Or at least the two actors who played them in three blockbuster movies have. With Gérard “Obelix” Depardieu’s much-trumpeted exile to Belgium last week, following Christian “Asterix” Clavier’s move to London in October, France has lost her best-known fictional heroes, undefeated by Julius Caesar’s legions, but vanquished by François Hollande’s punitive new 75 per cent top marginal income tax rate, recently hiked capital gains tax, and reinforced wealth tax.
My Spectator diary. With regret that Julia Gillard should divide me from Barrie Cassidy.
What concerns me of the imbalance is that boys don't do worse, neither girls do better, but the difference in achievement is solely related to the assessment system bias. - ed
God bless you. I don't know when you will find your rest, but I know your life is inspirational.- ed