A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America – the Guardian.

Australia’s least competitive industries are earning super-profits Ross Gittins  – Canberra Times.

Michael Lewis writes on Trump’s campaign against Department of Agriculture scientists in Vanity Fair.

Americans can spot election meddling because they’ve been doing it for years – the Guardian

A quarter of the World’s land will be permanently drier if Paris climate goals not met: Study

NBN expert, Paul Budde laments ‘second-rate’ network – Newcastle Herald

Trump and the liar’s paradox from The Washington Post

In the Fairfax Media John Hewson’s New Year contribution warns that we should not repeat squandering policy opportunities as we did in 2017. “In almost every area of public policy the real challenges have simply been kicked down the road by an obsession with short-term, opportunistic, mostly negative, point scoring and blame shifting.”

In a re-broadcast of an ABC Religion and Ethics Report from May 2017, essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra examines the worldwide sources of popular rage that have led to phenomena such as Brexit, Trump’s election, the re-emergence of right-wing nationalism, religious dogmatism, civil unrest, and a general rejection of cosmopolitanism and liberal secularism. He frames his analysis in terms of the competing philosophies of Voltaire and Rousseau, and concludes that a path to reconciliation lies in a rediscovery of the values of solidarity and compassion.


John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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