What do we really celebrate on Australia Day?

Spare a thought for Australian representatives abroad who face awkward questions about what we celebrate on our National Day. It just goes to highlight the confusion and hypocrisy about pretending it was a noble venture by heroic and benign colonisers. Continue reading

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Patriotic ins and outs at the Australian unity jamboree

It wouldn’t be late January if Australians were not being drawn into pointless “national conversations” about Australia Day, its occurrence on the anniversary of British settlement and the beginning of Aboriginal displacement, and what it means to be Australian. Continue reading

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Fundamental purpose of superannuation is to provide adequate retirement incomes, not finance bequests

The priority for retirement incomes policy is to ensure that retirement savings are used efficiently to generate an adequate income. Until this occurs, there should be no change in the legislated increases in the compulsory superannuation guarantee contribution rate. Continue reading

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Morrison’s private school funding model ignores the Bank of Mum and Dad

Private schools will receive $130 billion from the Federal Government over the next eight years. It constitutes massive over-funding by taxpayers because the Government’s funding model ignores a major source of family income used to assess the financial need of private schools. Continue reading

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Victors of colonial terrorism, disguised as civilised democracy, get to write the story

Just as Israel’s Independence Day and the Palestinian Nakba Day, in remembrance of deportation and deadly dispossession, have a bloody symbiosis, Australia Day/Invasion Day is celebrated or mourned according to the victors or the vanquished. Continue reading

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Survival Day 2021: What January 26 means to me

Many Australians believe that January 26 fails in its purpose. While it aims to unite, it actually divides us. Instead, the customary Indigenous theme ‘Always was, always will be Aboriginal land’ has the potential to unify.

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Trump’s presidency embodied the raw politics of US white supremacy

Throughout America’s history, the bigotry that fueled Donald Trump’s rise to power has never been far from the surface. Trump’s departure is an opportunity for a new beginning, not only in the deeply-wounded United States, but in multiethnic societies everywhere. Continue reading

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The Queen’s implausible denial on the Whitlam sacking (repost July 21, 2020)

It beggars belief that the Queen did not know that John Kerr was planning to sack Gough Whitlam. She may not have known the detail of the coup in progress, but she knew the substance. But like Lord Nelson she pretends she did not see anything. Nonsense.She is trying to mislead us.That is not surprising for our Head of State who lives in London. Continue reading

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An ‘ugly plot’ by the ‘Democrats’ in Hong Kong

The arrest of 53 persons on January 6-7 this year in Hong Kong on suspicion of subversion has, once again, raised a frenzy of condemnation by western leaders and the media.
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Posted in China, Politics | 9 Comments

Fake news abounds in the misguided war on the digital media platforms

Opposition is growing both locally and globally to media laws introduced by the Coalition Government requiring tech giants Google and Facebook to pay for displaying original news content. Why should our domestic monopolists get preference? Continue reading

Posted in Media | 14 Comments

Sleepwalking into a fascist alliance

Those critically engaged in understanding and debating the future of Australian defence and national security strategies should pass two votes of thanks: the first is to former President Donald Trump; the second to the recent political-strategic proclamations of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Continue reading

Posted in Defence and Security | 20 Comments

Pompeo and Blinken are wrong: China is not committing genocide in Xinjiang

On his last day as US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo declared China’s human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region constituted “genocide” against ethnic Uighur Muslims. This outrageous declaration was the last of many that Pompeo has issued in a deliberate attempt to destroy relations with China on his way out of office. Continue reading

Posted in China | 13 Comments

Japan’s kow-towing to US is leading to ecological destruction on a majestic reef.

 Japan, in consultation with the US, is trying to build a huge military facility for the US Marine Corps by reclaiming a large part of the wondrous, biodiverse Oura Bay. It is akin to Australia offering part of the Great Barrier Reef to the Pentagon to establish a military facility.

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Posted in Defence and Security | 1 Comment

Let the JobKeeper rorts roll

Where do we start when considering the $100 billion JobKeeper scheme? Should we focus on the opaque nature of the scheme in which less than 3% of JobKeeper payments have been disclosed in public company accounts and there is no way of finding out who got what and how much? Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

Is Trump’s 1776 Commission report an extremist manifesto?

The 1776 Commission Report released on 18 January 2021 is a time bomb of extremist propaganda; a source document for the arguments and recruitment of white nationalists and white supremacists, and for the apologists of radical libertarianism. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

Biden’s economic centrism isn’t exciting, but it’s right for these divisive times

In an age of hyperpartisan politics, the Biden presidency offers a welcome centrism that might help bridge the divides. But it’s also Biden’s economic centrism that offers a chance to cut through what has become an increasingly polarised approach to economic policy. Continue reading

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Not ‘Apartheid in the West Bank.’ Apartheid

For just six months of its 73 years was Israel a democracy. Six months, and not one day more. This shocking fact, which most Israelis and the wider world repress and truth-seekers have no way of denying, must resound in every civics lesson and every debate in Israel.

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Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 24 January 2021

The land this week: strategies to reduce agricultural land and habitat loss, and improve human health, even as the global population increases; the massive carbon footprint of dairy products; problems in Asia – slow-onset impacts of climate change to displace millions and dodgy deforestation practices harm the environment and communities; biochar promises much but many unanswered questions; rains help Australian birds breed up.  

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Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

We have the tools to help control the pandemic; we have to use them

The arrival of more infectious Covid variants means more of us need to be vaccinated than previously thought, with an uptake of at least 80%. The federal government must now drive that promotion campaign with a focus on vaccine safety. Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

The strategic thinking behind the EU-China investment deal

Washington was understandably perplexed that a China-EU investment agreement was concluded a few weeks before the Biden administration, especially a  president who has been advocating for multilateralism and the restoration of trust and an alliance with the EU. Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

US presidents love to play a round

The US presidency is said to be the office of the “leader of the free world” yet, as highlighted by the dying days of Donald Trump’s presidency, one of the most challenging handicaps for US presidents seems to have been on the golf course.

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Vale Andrew Mack

The many Australian friends and colleagues of Professor Andrew Mack will be deeply saddened to learn he passed away in Vancouver on 20 January 2021 after a year of serious illness. Continue reading

Posted in Tributes | 1 Comment

Australia can phase out coal power while maintaining energy security

The end of coal-fired generation in Australia is inevitable. The key is for an orderly transition to spread the costs fairly. Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

There’s nothing entrepreneurial about Rentier Capitalism, as it sucks up more of the wealth pie

‘Rentier Capitalism’ is a cracking thesis on a cruel economic order. Read it and you’ll start seeing rentiers everywhere, hearing them in every news bulletin, all involved in massive anti-competitive behaviour and impoverishing the rest of society. Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | 5 Comments

Meanness versus mindfulness: Trump versus Biden

The contrast in the content and tone of the final days of Trump’s Presidency and the early days of Biden’s is stark. Trump bungled, blamed, and bullied; Biden already seems competent, considered, and compassionate. Apart from Me-ness, Trump’s Presidency was also characterised by Meanness; Biden is already showing a certain Mindfulness. Continue reading

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The US Money Tree: The Untold Story of American Aid to Israel

On December 21, the United States Congress passed the COVID-19 Relief Package, as part of a larger $2.3 trillion bill meant to cover spending for the rest of the fiscal year. As usual, US representatives allocated a massive sum of money for Israel.

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Posted in World Affairs | 8 Comments

Call of Duty: Capitol insurgents playing the role of heroic avengers who kill without consequence

Donald Trump and the Republican Party alone have the capacity to restore stability to the United States. They have to acknowledge that the game is over, and their claim that the election was “stolen” was a big lie.

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Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

Let’s build something decent from the rubble of this empire

The US empire will fall sooner or later. All empires do. So, this crisis, just at the start of the Biden and Harris years, is a fine time to begin thinking about what might be built in its place. Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend 

What people in other forums are saying about public policy Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 20 Comments

A Letter to President Biden: Rebuilding US credibility

You will be acutely aware that, after the ravages of the Trump years, you have a big healing job ahead of you, not only at home but abroad. Continue reading

Posted in Top 5, World Affairs | 34 Comments