Author Archives: John Menadue

JOHN MENADUE- The National Party is dudding farmers.

The National Party remains highly sceptical of climate change and its effect on farmers. Yet the science is clear that global warming has contributed to the current drought. Some farmers are pointing to the failure of the National Party to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

KERRY GOULSTON. Why not commemorate the Frontier Wars in the Australian War Memorial?

As an Australian schoolchild I learnt the history of England, including a long list of English Kings, but nothing at all about the Frontier Wars here in Australia or indeed the history of our Indigenous, the oldest people on the … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Peter Dutton wants to rule the nation.

If Peter Dutton was to be arraigned before an international tribunal for serial abuse of human rights I would cheer. If the charges were upgraded to crimes against humanity I would regard it as a fair cop. But if the court … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

HYLDA ROLFE. What’s in a name? The threat to our National Parks

For three years now, Sydney-based company Gap Bluff Hospitality Pty Ltd (GBH) has been revising an offer it made to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) under which the company would assume a large share of the burden of … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL McKINLEY. Whither Political Science?: Not dead but on life support – a response to Roger Scott.

In a recent post Roger Scott asks an appropriate question but it’s anachronistic – like asking why doesn’t Elvis do live concert anymore? Political Science was always a bastard, left-handed, red-haired child of the turn to scientism by the social … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. National Parks and the new squatters

The new squatters on public land are being given a leg-up, as they were in the 19th Century, to seize and occupy public land. By deliberately underfunding National Parks developer-friendly governments are putting commercial interests ahead of the public interest.   … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s invisible Asians

There are three components to any spoken or written act of communication: the intended message (what was meant by the sender); the message as conveyed (what was actually said); and the message as received (how it is interpreted by the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE Drug reform series

From next Monday Pearls and Irritations will be posting fifteen articles on the need for drug reform.  

Posted in Drug Reform | 3 Comments

FINTAN O’TOOLE. ‘Yeats Test’ criteria reveal we are doomed (Irish Times 28/7/2018)

There are many ways to measure the state of the world and economists, ecologists and anthropologists labour mightily over them. Opening the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo last week, I suggested another one: the Yeats Test. The proposition is … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

ROBERT MICKENS. The Pope’s long, hot summer. (La Croix 27/7/2018)

Will Francis make the necessary and radical changes needed to save the Catholic Church from its ongoing meltdown?  

Posted in Religion and Faith | 3 Comments

American Imperium – Untangling truth and fiction in an age of perpetual war. (Repost from 1/1/2018)

In this article ANDREW BACEVICH says ‘Republicans and Democrats disagree today on many issues, but they are united in their resolve that the United States must remain the world’s greatest military power. This bipartisan commitment to maintaining American supremacy has … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. A prime minister progressively shriller and less coherent.

Well, what was all that about?  After nearly three months of unremitting angst, barely restrained hysteria and several shitloads of money, we are precisely back to where we started.  

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Hywood was the very model of a modern chief executive.

It would not be fair to blame Greg Hywood alone for the destruction of the Fairfax brand. The rot set in a long time ago, arguably some 30 years before when young Warwick Fairfax decided on his own disastrous takeover bid … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS.  The weirdest by-election of them all

On a day of weird and silly by-elections the weirdest of all was held in Perth. For Sydney-siders who have never heard of the place, that’s a remote capital city on the Indian Ocean side of the continent.  

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ANDREW LEIGH. Rising to the challenge of inequality. (Repost from 18/6/2018)

Thomas Piketty and his colleagues have used new data to track inequality and sharpen the choices we face. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Who is in charge of Australia’s relations with China? The Australian Prime Minister or ASIO? (Repost from 28/5/2018)

ASIO is on a roll in co-ordinating the attack on China and its alleged covert operations in Australia. Only last Friday we learnt that super patriot Andrew Hastie, formerly an officer in SAS and currently Chair of the Parliamentary Joint … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Is the sun setting on the US imperium? (Repost from 15/5/2018)

China is on the march to a dominant military footprint while American policy lacks strategic intent.

Posted in International Affairs | Comments Off on RAMESH THAKUR. Is the sun setting on the US imperium? (Repost from 15/5/2018)

GARETH EVANS. How we should manage Donald Trump’s meltdown world (Repost from 22/6/2018)

The assumptions that have sustained and underpinned Australian security and economic policy for decades are in meltdown. The post-Second World War global order – an open, rules-based system underpinned by a robust network of security alliances, and by effective multilateral … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

HENRY REYNOLDS. Australia’s perpetual ‘war footing’. (Repost from 7/5/2018)

We should have paid more attention at the time. It was September 2013 and the Abbott government had just been sworn in. The new Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston, gave an interview to a Fairfax journalist which was reported on … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 10 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The facts don’t show that Liberals are better economic managers. (Repost from 7/4/2018)

Malcolm Turnbull has made it clear that his mantra of ‘Jobs-and-Growth’ will be at the forefront of his campaign in the next election. This week he will be talking about the growth of a million jobs in 5 years, but … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Our security agencies are not accountable. (Repost from 29/5/2018)

To cover up illegal activities in East Timor, the government has embarked on a campaign to charge whistle-blowers.  The wrong people are being charged.   The performance and integrity of our security services is a serious national problem. These are particular … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trump, the Queen and Putin.

It could have been worse. Donald Trump did not try and grab Queen Elizabeth by the pussy – at least as far as we know. But no doubt his critics would say that was only because he was so preoccupied … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

Kim Jong-un says “Me too”

I meant “wouldn’t” denuclearize.  

Posted in International Affairs | Comments Off on Kim Jong-un says “Me too”

CAVAN HOGUE. Putin, Trump. Morals and Australia

Trump has shown little political savvy and even less powers of analysis. However, it is hard to see the USA as having the moral high ground to justify the hysterical moral outrage generated by Trump’s incompetence when it has done … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

ROBYN MOLONEY. Learning languages early is key to making Australia more multilingual (The Conversation 3/7/2018)

Simon Birmingham recently announced the government will invest an additional A$11.8 million in a successful preschool language learning program. Some 300 languages are spoken in Australia. In the Greater Sydney area alone, nearly 40% of households speak a language other than English and many children of … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Comments Off on ROBYN MOLONEY. Learning languages early is key to making Australia more multilingual (The Conversation 3/7/2018)

GAURAB SHUMSHER THAPA. China and Nepal reach across the Himalayan divide (Asia Times 6/7/2018)

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to China last month was closely watched by both domestic and international observers.  

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | Comments Off on GAURAB SHUMSHER THAPA. China and Nepal reach across the Himalayan divide (Asia Times 6/7/2018)

ELIZABETH HLAVINKA. High Opioid-Use Counties Voted Trump in 2016 (Medpage Today 22/6/2018)

Opioids are symptom, symbol of ‘larger social and economic problems’.  Counties with the highest rates of chronic prescription opioid use were far more likely to back Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, a new study of Medicare claims data found.  

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

JEAN-MARIE COLLIN. The Nuclear Illusion Strikes Again (La Tribune, 08/06/2018)

The issue of NW’s, everyone’s, is riddled with hypocrisy. This is a great example; from France, an ardent defender of the Iran agreement and, a country which played a major role in Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | Comments Off on JEAN-MARIE COLLIN. The Nuclear Illusion Strikes Again (La Tribune, 08/06/2018)

TERRY BARNES. Pharmacy power is a paper tiger (AFR 4/7/2018)

If something looks, walks and acts like a duck, it’s a duck. In the case of pharmacy giant Chemist Warehouse, however, it’s anything but.   

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | 1 Comment

TOM HUSSAIN. In Pakistan’s currency crisis, China is the problem and the solution. (South China Morning Post 7/7/2018)

Having racked up unsustainable bills in supporting Beijing’s infrastructure master plan, Islamabad is bailed out by China to the tune of US$1 billion – leaving it more dependent than ever on its ‘all-weather ally’.  

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment