Media in the Asian Century

Our main stream media just does not understand Asia. It’s ignorance and hostility is on display day after day.It relies on news ‘drops’ from our security and defence agencies. Continue reading

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It is high noon in the wild West for Clive Palmer

Extraordinary legislation rushed through State Parliament this week to protect Western Australia against an estimated $30 billion damages claim marks a dramatic escalation of the Government’s battle with Clive Palmer. Continue reading

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A pandemic letter from an Aussie in the USA (PURSUIT August 14, 2020)

How did one the world’s most inequitable health care systems cope with COVID-19? The short answer is that it provides the starkest of warnings

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Queensland’s election in the shadow of the virus

Queensland faces a full state election on 31 October. Unlike recent state and federal by-elections, this election will be severely effected by the Coronavirus. And as with the virus, just what will happen in 11 weeks time is anybody’s guess. Continue reading

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The art of grabbing headlines

NSW Police Minister and former CEO of the Australian Hotels Association (NSW), David Elliott, is a master at getting his name in the media.  Today he is attempting to use the same formula to support his ambition to become Premier. Why isn’t it working? Continue reading

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Are the ‘big four’ accounting firms above the law?

In 2004, the federal parliament passed the Age Discrimination Act, making age discrimination in employment, education and the provision of goods and services unlawful. But the major accounting firms seem to think it doesn’t apply to them. Continue reading

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Why do LNP Governments hate the arts and universities?

LNP Governments’ vindictive attitudes to the arts are obvious from the widespread cutbacks they have imposed on the sector. Ditto universities which have been forced to rely on overseas students to make up funding shortfalls and are then attacked for doing so. Continue reading

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Kamala Harris might ensure a fair fight

Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his candidate for Vice President is outstanding. It takes the fight to Trump and Pence forcefully. Harris’ presence in the debates and the campaign will strengthen the possibility that the vote will be allowed to determine the outcome, not corruption. Continue reading

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US sanctions policy ‘on steroids’: a legitimate tool or is Donald Trump using it for retribution? (Michael West August 10, 2020)

The Trump Administration is adding foreign individuals and entities to US sanctions lists at a rate never before seen and it’s increasingly been done without Congressional oversight, judicial review or any requirement to produce evidence, writes Marcus Reubenstein.

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The Australian Catholic Church’s silent treatment

Changing the culture of the church should be the major task for the Australian Bishops. After all, the first and only independent assessment of that culture, by the Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of minors, described the culture as “toxic”.

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Victoria’s gutted public service hasn’t handled the coronavirus well

The scale of the coronavirus disaster in Victoria has been more than two decades in the making.

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‘Poor moral leadership’ and our alleged war crimes

‘Australia’s SAS must be accountable for possible war crimes’ in Afghanistan, says Professor Philip Dwyer (P &I 27.7.20). Indeed, it must. We must emphasise also that individual soldiers have responsibility for their actions. And that we, our government and nation, are responsible too. Continue reading

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Why is Australia’s public health data hidden?

Against the backdrop of Melbourne’s Stage 4 Restrictions, Victoria’s State of Disaster and diminishing personal freedom in other parts of Australia, we need to have a discussion about the lack of public health data in Australia.

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Modernising Merit: It’s time to Rethink Judicial Appointments

Pale, Male, and Stale; such is the criticism levelled at our judiciary by detractors, rightly arguing it is too white, male dominated, and out of touch to represent and deliver just outcomes for an increasingly diverse Australia. Continue reading

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What went wrong with Aged Care?

The definite turning point in the quality and the humanity of Australia’s care of the elderly was the Aged Care Bill 1997 (Cth), introduced as part of the Howard Government’s 1996 Budget measures. It was a huge failure. Continue reading

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Endemic secrecy in the Catholic Church

Throughout the child sexual abuse Royal Commission the inquirers regularly asked why institutions not only tolerated child abusers but actively concealed their crimes. Secrecy was endemic in the culture of these institutions.

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Rodrigo Duterte’s war on many fronts (East Asia Forum 9 August, 2020)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his penultimate State of the Nation Address as the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic continues. Instead of providing a concrete plan to address the rise and spread of the virus, he used the opportunity to attack his political enemies and reiterate his declaration of a war on many fronts.

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Our states are crying poor. They wouldn’t if they charged for rezoning like the ACT (The Conversation, August 4 2020)

Throughout Australia, when land is rezoned from industrial to high-rise residential, a charge is levied to help fund the required infrastructure.

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John Menadue talks with Friendlyjordies

Jordan chats with Pearls and Irritations publisher and editor John Menadue about his time working for Rupert Murdoch and Gough Whitlam. The topics of China and the Palace Papers also gets a run.

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To mask or not to mask? Is that the question?

The debate about wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic has fluctuated, but there now seems to be consensus that it is safer for the public to wear masks to avoid or at least reduce community transmission. Continue reading

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The Philippine War, the American saviour syndrome and the manifest destiny. (REPOSTED from February 9, 2018)

The American war against the Philippine Republic which began in 1898 and its subsequent colonisation of the Philippines teaches us many things about perennial American beliefs and actions. The concept that the US is saving somebody from something is a constant in American foreign policy.

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America’s Unholy Crusade Against China (Project Syndicate August 5, 2020)

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an anti-China speech that was extremist, simplistic, and dangerous. If biblical literalists like Pompeo remain in power past November, they could well bring the world to the brink of a war that they expect and perhaps even seek.

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The New Zealand SAS inquiry: the most serious findings against the NZSAS and NZDF in their history

Five years ago I was approached by a man who played a part in a New Zealand SAS raid in Afghanistan where civilians were killed and injured. He wanted an official inquiry. Two weeks ago that inquiry reported. Continue reading

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Child sex victims being bent to national security agenda

We are all against cyber-crime – criminal offences done with the aid of a computer – are we not?  And cyber-terrorism – bad guys, and not only jihadist terrorists, using the internet to recruit, propagandise, communicate and, probably transfer money to each other?

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Putting Rosalind Franklin into pandemic perspective

The British decision to put Rosalind Franklin’s famous Photograph 51 on the new 50p coin is a reminder that the controversy over her DNA X-ray diffusion work is but one part of a much larger scientific career. Continue reading

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130 Degrees (NYRB August 20, 2020 )

With the climate crisis…no one is going to produce a vaccine. Continue reading

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Why America shouldn’t have nuked Japan (Asia Times 6 August, 2020)

US belief that atomic bombings were necessary to obviate even deadlier invasion of Japan is as false 75 years later as it was at the time….The idea of a Soviet occupation of Japan was their worst nightmare.

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How big government and big companies erect communications barriers

We can’t communicate with the entity except on terms dictated to us, and those terms are often weighted against us.  This trend is so universal it must be deliberate.  It surely increases disillusionment and even anger.

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The federal government is hiding under the covers

Having tried pleas, threats, restrictions, lockdowns, fines and closures in vain, our political masters are now apparently cutting to the melodramatic climax: scare the living crap out of us writes Mungo MacCallum.

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Welfare state – do we even need one?

Welfare state, a concept of government in which the state … plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of citizens. Continue reading

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