Category Archives: Uncategorized

Failure in Afghanistan. We don’t want to talk about it.

On the 24th June, I posted a link to a review from the London Review of Books.  (See  http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=3957) In referring to the UK involvement in Afghanistan, it was headed ‘Worse than a defeat: shamed in Afghanistan’. The review by … Continue reading

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Tilly Gunning. A good story from my grand-daughter.

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Eric Hodgens. No Change in Priestly Recruits

The Melbourne Age said on Sunday 3 May that the Catholic Church was attracting more trainee priests. SBS had a similar article. Both are factually wrong. The last big year of seminary entries was 1968. Recruitment dropped steadily for 20 … Continue reading

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Tony Kevin, Tony Abbott’s crassness could cost the Bali duo their lives.

  Let me first declare my biases. I believe that I honour and respect Indonesia’s values and culture. I oppose the death penalty in general. In this case, I would welcome an outcome that saved the lives of the last … Continue reading

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Chris Bonnor. School funding and achievement: following the money trail

The recurrent expenditure on school education in Australia is over 44 billion dollars, around 36 billion of this provided by governments. These are considerable sums, more often than not expressed as a cost rather than an investment – especially when … Continue reading

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John Menadue. If I were a Muslim…

The brutality and assasination of the editors and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo must be condemned. Those responsible must face and perhaps have faced the full consequences. But if I were a Muslim, I would have been offended by the Charlie … Continue reading

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Antony Ting. Australia eyes missing billions with very own ‘Google tax’.

Joe Hockey has hinted he may introduce a “Google tax” as a new weapon to tackle profit shifting by multinational enterprises. The Treasurer’s suggestion is not only political as a counter to aggressive tax avoidance by multinationals, but also suggests … Continue reading

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Medibank Private and members’ equity.

In the New Daily on 6 October, George Lekakis drew attention to a letter sent to a policy-holder in 1994 by Mary-Jo Henrisson, a customer services manager in Medibank’s NSW head office. Mary-Jo Henrisson said “We would be sorry to … Continue reading

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Chris Bonnor, Bernie Shepherd. School equity since Gonski: how bad became worse.

This is a shorter version, prepared for Pearls and Irritations, of a paper which was reported in the Sun Herald on September 14 Go to http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/schools-worse-now-than-when-gonski-wrote-report-20140913-10gepz.html A longer version, including graphics, is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxK25rJrOw-eVU4zM2p2UTF5ZkE/edit?usp=sharing   The story of the … Continue reading

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Peter Hughes. Australian Jihadists: Is Revoking Citizenship the Answer?

One of the policy solutions being considered by the Australian government to deal with the expected problem of returning Australian jihadists is to preclude their return to Australia, or expel them, by revoking their Australian citizenship. The recently released report … Continue reading

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John Menadue. The Iraq disaster – reaping what we have sown.

The seeds of the disaster in Iraq were sown long ago. We are now reaping a very bitter harvest. A major contributor to the upsurge in violence, terrorism and extremism in Iraq is the sense of outrage that many young … Continue reading

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‘The real danger to Israel comes from within’ interview with Eva Illouz and De Spiegal.

This interview in De Spiegal is of interest and merit on the Gaza crisis. See link below.  John Menadue. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-sociologist-eva-illouz-about-gaza-and-israeli-society-a-984536.html

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Walter Hamilton. One Man’s War.

Japan both treasures and abhors its status as the only nation to have suffered a nuclear attack. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are perceived, because of their unique and extraordinary destructiveness, as moral markers: warnings to the world and … Continue reading

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What might have happened to MH370

An interesting and speculative account!

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A letter to Pope Francis

The Australian Catholic Coalition for Church Renewal has called for structural amd cultural change in the governance of the Catholic Church The letter can be found on my web site.Go to top left hand of the home page and click … Continue reading

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Cooking the books. John Menadue

Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have decided that there wasn’t really a budget emergency or a debt crisis that they have warned us about for many years. Perhaps they may have also privately conceded, as they should, that the Australian … Continue reading

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Mid-east Journey to Nowhere. Guest blogger: John Tulloh

I read Marcus Einfeld’s response to my blog regarding Israeli settlements posted on October 16 with both interest and incredulity. It seems that he has grasped my piece as an opportunity to voice his own musings on the question of … Continue reading

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Deconstructing the election result. Guest Blogger: Walter Hamilton

1. Labor lost the election before the Coalition won it. 2. There was a narrowing in the state-by-state differences in the two-party preferred voting ratios of Labor and the Coalition, which partly accounts for the bigger swings against the ALP … Continue reading

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Zimmerman – race or gender? Guest blogger: Marcus Einfeld

Following their counterparts in the US, the attention of the international media has been attracted by the acquittal last Saturday by a Miami jury of 6 women of neighbourhood watch monitor George Zimmerman for shooting dead a young black teenager … Continue reading

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The personal, public and social costs of mistakes in health. John Menadue

After examining more than 14,000 hospital admissions in NSW and SA, the national cost of harm from avoidable  adverse events (mistakes) in our hospitals was estimated at  just over$2 b pa in 1995/96. This study was undertaken by the Task … Continue reading

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Does Catholic Health really want to destroy Medicare? John Menadue

In his submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration on February 15, 2013 Martin Laverty, the CEO of Catholic Health wrote.” Another option (to achieve a single funder in health) would be to embrace the Medicare … Continue reading

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Curbing health costs starting with pathologists and radiologists. John Menadue

In discussing the looming budget deficits there has been focus on the rising costs of healthcare. And so there should be. But before addressing some of the factors leading to increased costs, we should keep in mind that Australia spends … Continue reading

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Child sexual abuse: who are the abusers? Guest blogger, Professor Kim Oates

The awareness of the existence of child sex abuse, particularly its frequency, has only occurred in relatively recent times.  Now, we read or view daily stories about it. Whether this widespread public awareness of the problem has done much to … Continue reading

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The Neverending Story. Guest blogger: Greg from Cottesloe

Side show alleys have become smaller these days. They used to be the centre of attraction at the annual Royal Show with the boxing troupes, the bearded ladies and so on but even the shrunken lane of today still has a … Continue reading

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What the Subtitles Say. Guest blogger Greg from Cottesloe

Here’s a popular generalisation. Subtitles or dubbing? Americans prefer dubbing of foreign films because it demonstrates that even Shaolin monks can speak English with a Bronx accent if they try hard enough. The fact that the lips keep on moving … Continue reading

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The Bad Samaritan. Guest blogger Greg at Cottesloe

  You don’t have to be Christian to get it about helping sick or injured strangers but the parable of the kindly Samaritan does have its limits. What happens when the Samaritan notices the packet of smokes and the crumpled … Continue reading

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Sport and Markets. Guest blogger: Ian McAuley

We are all suitably shocked by Justice Minister Jason Clare’s announcement of the findings of the Australian Crime Commission’s investigation into the use of prohibited substances and links to organized crime in sports. I heard his solemn announcement as I … Continue reading

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Japanese Amnesia. Guest blogger: Susan Menadue Chun

In the Washington Post articles http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/japan-must-face-the-past/2013/01/25/7a9b9244-6713-11e2-85f5-a8a9228e55e7_story.html  Jennifer Lind describes how Japanese conservative politicians have been playing a potentially dangerous game in disputes with neighbouring countries. The dispute arises mainly because of Japan’s inability to acknowledge its past aggression. The current Japanese … Continue reading

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Handle with Care. Guest blogger: Greg from Cottesloe

  When I was a kid, the pictures on Saturday afternoons were a highlight of the week. Before the main feature, the cartoons and even the Pathe newsreel would come one of the top favourites, a government warning on the … Continue reading

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