GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MICHAEL KEATING. The Future Demands for Government Revenue

At The Australia Institute’s Revenue Summit on Wednesday I presented a paper that showed that the Federal Government’s future economic and budget forecasts are most likely wrong. Instead, I showed why a modest increase in the ratio of revenue to GDP will be necessary over the next couple of decades, if we want to maintain economic growth and a socially inclusive society. Below I summarise that paper. Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

HUGH EAKIN. The Khashoggi Killing: America’s Part in a Saudi Horror (New York Review, 18.10.18)

In the spring of 2012, I made an extended visit to Saudi Arabia to report on the effects of the Arab Spring there. The arch-conservative oil monarchy was pursuing a robust counter-revolution, but the uprisings had brought new energy to reformers across the region. I was curious to see how Saudis themselves saw their country’s future. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

ERIC HODGENS. The Fifties – Werribee’s Greatest Years.

Werribee’s fiftieth year as a scene of priestly training will also be its last. Nostalgia prompts deeper reflection. Our thesis is that the fifties were Werribee’s greatest years.

This article was published by Catholic View in October 2018.  Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | Leave a comment

PETER VARGHESE. Australian Universities and China. Part 2 of 2

 My remarks today are very much a personal perspective, drawing on my past engagement with China as a foreign policy practitioner and informed by my current role, but it is not an official University of Queensland position.

Today I wish to talk about what China means to Australian universities: what are the issues we face, how best to think about the relationship with China and, importantly, how do we manage risks while expanding opportunities. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education, International Affairs | 1 Comment

GEORGE MONBIOT. As the fracking protesters show, a people’s rebellion is the only way to fight climate breakdown.

Our politicians, under the influence of big business, have failed us. As they take the planet to the brink, it’s time for disruptive, nonviolent disobedience. 

This article was published by The Guardian on the 18th of October 2018. 

Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | Leave a comment

HENNY SENDER. The weaponisation of the dollar risks rebounding on the US.

One consequence of the America First policies will be to create a bipolar financial world.  Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | Leave a comment

WILLIAM BRIGGS. There are no racists here.

Race and racism have come to dominate political debate in Australia in recent times. However, as Senator Ian McDonald assured us earlier this year, racism does not exist in Australia! The Liberal Party have declared themselves a racist free zone, although the Sudanese community in Melbourne might see Dutton’s statements that they are nothing more than a collection of crime gangs a little inflammatory. There is no racism in the ALP, although Shorten has claimed that foreign workers are responsible for a rise in unemployment. Both parties share policies that effectively criminalise asylum-seekers. The Greens are not racist, but there has been an appreciable rise in anti-Chinese racism following Greens leader Cassie O’Connor’s outbursts. Nobody is a racist and yet racism is on the rise. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

STEPHEN HOWES. Bringing in backpackers is not the right way to get more workers onto farms.

Suddenly, getting workers onto farms is a top political priority.

Over the weekend, and again in parliament on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans to get more backpackers working on farms. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 2 Comments

DAVID WOLPE. The Japanese Man Who Saved 6,000 Jews With His Handwriting.

What the astonishing Chiune Sugihara teaches us about moral heroism. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Tributes | 1 Comment

PETER VARGHESE. Australian Universities and China. Part 1 of 2

 My remarks today are very much a personal perspective, drawing on my past engagement with China as a foreign policy practitioner and informed by my current role, but it is not an official University of Queensland position.

Today I wish to talk about what China means to Australian universities: what are the issues we face, how best to think about the relationship with China and, importantly, how do we manage risks while expanding opportunities. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Have we got to a tipping point in our cruelty to refugees?

Recent developments suggest we might be prepared at last  to act with humanity and decency. Prime Minister Scott Morrison  seems to be interested in taking up with New Zealand its long-standing offer to take 150 refugees from Manus and Nauru.   Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 8 Comments

MICHELLE FAHY. Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths-the arms trade and the British royals

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived and the media frenzy has erupted, fuelled by news of the royal pregnancy. As media coverage goes, the Invictus Games team couldn’t have managed it any better. Yet, when it comes to the actions of the royal family, all that glisters is not gold. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Sport | 13 Comments

Let us stop the Queen’s death watch (Editorial SMH 18.10.2018)

The visit by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Australia has been delightful, especially since the happy surprise that they are expecting a baby. Back in Britain, however, there is reportedly growing impatience at Australia’s uncomfortable impasse on whether to become a republic.   Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

CHRIS GERAGHTY. Faith-based Beliefs or Long-held Prejudices.

The recent “conversation” as to whether faith-based schools should be permitted by law to discriminate against gay boys and girls, or against teachers who belong to the LGBT cohort, has resulted in a magnificent own-goal scored by so-called liberal conservative politicians and their ecclesiastical lobbyists. Another victory to the forces of evil! It’s so embarrassing to see just how out of touch some of our leaders, political and religious, have become. Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

GAY ALCORN. ‘Australia is in trouble’: majority media and lobbying destroy trust in politics, Garnaut says.

Economist Ross Garnaut tells conference the independent centre is being drowned out by business interests,main stream media and lobbyists.

Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 2 Comments

JIM RUTENBERG. Reality Breaks Up a Saudi Prince Charming’s Media Narrative.

Just six months ago, American media outlets presented a sunny-side-up portrait of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia as he made a good-will tour of New York, Hollywood and Silicon Valley and dining with Rupert Murdoch. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Media | Leave a comment

ANDREW FARRAN. Rendering ‘rules-based order’ to meaninglessness.

The constant reiteration in speeches of a “Rules-Based Order” is reducing the concept to relative meaninglessness, lacking either content or policy. There is already in existence a rules-based order which is undergoing change. The question is: what kind if change should that be.  Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Whose rules? What order?

As baby diplomats we learned always to vote in good company. Countries, we understood, were judged by the company they kept. Not any more. The countries Australia rubs shoulders with now, and the hips we are joined at, make people who used to represent Australia overseas wonder how much worse it can get. Other Australians who come back after a decade abroad say they can’t believe what we have become.  Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 4 Comments

JOHN DWYER. The extraordinary determination of China to have the world embrace its traditional medicine. (Part 3 of 3.)

The artemisia annua plant has been used for centuries in China to fight malaria. In 2011 a Chinese scientist, Tu Youyou, discovered how to extract the ingredient responsible for the anti-malarial effect (now called Artemisinin) and her reward was a Nobel Prize. Where there is good anecdotal evidence that something in a herb or plant can help with certain diseases, it’s more than appropriate for modern scientific techniques to be used to try and identify, purify and standardise the responsible chemical. This has nothing to do with the concepts associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  Many of the drugs we use today are derived from plants thought to have medicinal properties in numerous cultures. Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

MICHAEL PASCOE. Scott Morrison’s Australia resembles the 51st American state (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

 “We’re a sovereign nation,” said Scott Morrison. And then proceeded to act as if we were not, as if Australia was not merely an American vassal, but a Donald Trump toy. Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

JIEH-YUNG LO. Morrison attempts his own Australia-China reset.

When you see a Prime Minister wonder into a marginal seat, you know a federal election is on the horizon. Scott Morrison did just that at the start of this month when he joined local member David Coleman in the ultra marginal seat of Banks. The purpose: to reconnect with the electorate’s large Chinese-Australian population and at the same time send a message to our largest trading partner.  Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS. Pomp and circumstance. The Royal tour.

There is some debate whether it was H.L. Mencken or P.T. Barnum who said that nobody ever went broke under-estimating the intelligence of the public.  Either way, the executives of Australia’s self-proclaimed Royal Network followed the advice faithfully when preparing for the current Royal tour.  They assumed that the entire population of our continent is brain-dead.  Judging by Channel Seven’s coverage of the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the assumption was warranted.  Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

RICHARD DENNISS. Trump’s tax cuts will increase inequality. Australia shouldn’t follow his lead.

The fiscal policies of conservatives like Trump and Scott Morrison are eating away at the fabric of society. 

Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JULIE INGERSOLL. Why Trump’s evangelical supporters welcome his move on Jerusalem (the Conversation, 08.12.17)

President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, Dec. 6 that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel received widespread criticism. Observers quickly recognized the decision as related not so much to national security concerns as to domestic U.S. politics and promises candidate Trump made to his evangelical supporters, who welcomed the announcement.. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | Leave a comment

Trudeau refuses to let ‘politics slip into’ decision on Huawei (Globe & Mail, 16.10.18)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa refuses to let “politics slip into” the decision to allow Huawei equipment into Canada’s next-generation mobile networks even as the U.S. and Australia have barred the Chinese telecom giant on grounds of national security.

The Prime Minister’s comments come just days after two U.S. senators took the unusual step of publicly urging the Liberal government to ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G networks. Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Mark Warner warned that Canada’s telecommunication safeguards are insufficient to address the risks posed by the Shenzhen company. They both sit on the U.S. Senate select committee on intelligence and Mr. Warner is vice-chair. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

BERTIL LINTER. China’s shifting view on the Korean Peninsula (Asian Times, 10.10.18)

As US-China relations deteriorate on various fronts, the last thing Beijing wants is for North Korea to fall into Washington’s sphere of influence Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | Leave a comment

‘Divisive’: Former RBA governor Bernie Fraser turns on neoliberalism (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

Former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser has called for a radical rethink to policy-making, saying the way to a fairer, more equal society is with a pragmatic approach. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

SOPHIE VORRATH. Coalition backing “big coal” over climate, says Sachs: “Unbelievably irresponsible”.

US economics professor Jeffrey Sachs has slammed the Australian federal government as “unbelievably irresponsible” for its inaction on climate change, and suggested that policy progress in the Coalition – alongside the current US Trump administration – has been held hostage by major fossil fuel interests. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | Leave a comment

JOHN DWYER. The extraordinary determination of China to have the world embrace its traditional medicine. (Part 2 of 3)

Remarkably and unfortunately politics, not clinical effectiveness, is powering the global penetration of Traditional Chinese Medicine into health care systems. The term “Traditional Chinese Medicine” (TCM) was dreamt up by Chairman Mao Zedong in a cynical response to the Communist Party’s inability to provide evidence-based health care for the then 500 million Chinese. Mao knew that TCM was largely useless and was derogatory about TCM practitioners but he none-the-less set about its expansion. This saw a reversal of a progressive acceptance of scientific medicine in China which started in the 19th century.  Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments