GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts covered in other media.

On ABC’s Saturday Extra (from 0730 to 0900 or on their website in case you miss it)

Questions arise about Lion Air following the latest crash, with Neil Hansford, Strategic Aviation Solutions and Captain Mike Michaelis, Chair of the Allied Pilot Association National Safety Committee in the US;

Justice reinvestmentwith Mick Gooda and Sarah Hopkins, chair of the Just Reinvest NSW;

Farewell to financial giants: Nicholas Moore and Garry Weaven with John Durie from The Australian;

Social housingwith Professor Hal Pawson from Built Environment at the University of New South Wales;

Changing alliances during WWII: economist and adjunct professor at the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy John Edwards discusses his second volume on John Curtin: Triumph and Decline with Minh Dui Jones, editor of the Mekong Review, a literary review from Southeast Asia.

Other commentary

On politics – but not the Victorian election

Two programs on ABC radio deal with the rise of populist right-wing political movements. The Big Ideasprogram broadcasts a recorded panel discussion Is democracy decaying worldwide? held at the University of Melbourne in October, with political experts covering developments in Poland, Venezuela and India, followed by a discussion on the health (or otherwise) of our own democratic institutions. (54 minutes). On the Minefieldprogram Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens introduce Francis Fukuyama on identity politics. “Identity has been substituting for class” says Fukuyama. He suggests that the left finds it easier to campaign for a marginalised group identified by race, gender or sexuality than to persuade a government to raise taxes to support programs such as job training that provide opportunities for those who have been left behind by globalisation and structural change. (38 minutes)

70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

From Wednesday 5 December until Monday 10 December the Evatt Foundation will be hosting a series of events at the Seymour Centre and Law School Foyer, University of Sydney, to be introduced by the Hon Elizabeth Evatt, AC. Gillian Triggs is to give the keynote address. Further details including tickets are available at the Evatt Foundation website. For those less familiar with Elizabeth Evatt’s ideas and her work as a human rights advocate, Fairfax journalist Linda Morris has an article Lunch with Elizabeth Evatt, in which some of the themes of the coming events are discussed.

At last the Korean War may be coming to an end

There has been an outbreak of cooperation between Seoul and Pyongyang, with the dismantling of guard posts, clearing of mines, and other progress on a series of reconciliation agreements reached in a recent pair of summits. Uri Friedman, staff writer at The Atlantic, points out that reconciliation and disarmament, however, are different matters. The USA may be less than enthusiastic about reconciliation without disarmament.

How to make people believe in “small government”: trash it

“The best way to undermine government is to make it as stupid and as inept as your rhetoric has always claimed it to be.” That’s Fintan O’Toole’s take on Donald Trump’s administrative policy, in his New York Review of Books coverage of Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk. Don’t criticise Trump for ineptitude when he appoints incompetent cronies to head up government agencies, or leaves important agencies understaffed: it’s all part of his plan to discredit government.

Low-cost, dispatchable electricity

Writing in Renew Economy, Giles Parkinson’s only criticism of Labor’s energy policy is that its planned transition to renewable energy is not fast enough. Even in the six months before Labor’s likely accession to government, the cost of tracking solar photovoltaic electricity is likely to fall to around $US 20/MWh, “beating the cheapest coal by a country mile”. Technology and economics are not on the side of the Coalition Government, or its backers in the coal lobby.

The fearless Aussie digger – a dangerous myth

An urgent rethink is needed on the idealised image of the ANZAC digger warns Effie Karageorgos, who has researched the experiences of Australian soldiers. The archetype of the rugged digger who shrugs off the traumatic events of war is unattainable, and the mental health consequences for soldiers can be tragic.

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