MUNGO MACCALLUM.-The Veil of the Temple is Rent in Twain

If there is nothing you really believe in, consistency is an optional extra. Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. NATO, the Middle East and the policy vacuum

The Iran crisis has inspired three public utterances of relevance to Australia’s foreign and strategic policy; from, in chronological order, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, President Trump, and our own inestimable Prime Minister. Collectively, they reveal the real depths of the crisis and a disturbing lack of strategic vision.

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Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

DAILAN PUGH. The Demise of a Koala Population

Last year the North East Forest Alliance found an unusually dense Koala colony, part of a regionally significant population in a forest proposed for logging. As we geared up for a blockade, the Busbys Flat fire changed direction on the night of the 8 October last year and burnt out most of our proposed 7,000 ha Sandy Creek Koala Park. Some 90% of the Koalas were lost from the burnt forests, along with vital source colonies. Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM.-Indonesian Free Trade – not there yet                        

For much of 2019’s last quarter Australian rural journals and politicians were forecasting a bonanza.But some reality is overdue Continue reading

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DANIELLE CELERMAJER.-Opinion Omnicide:Who is responsible for the gravest of all crimes?(ABC Religion and Ethics 7.1.2020)

As the full extent of the devastation of the Holocaust became apparent, a Polish Jew whose entire family had been killed, Raphael Lemkin, came to realise that there was no word for the distinctive crime that had been committed: the murder of a people. Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI.-Where have Dutton and Pezzullo been hiding?

 The culpability of Dutton and Pezzullo for the bushfire crisis. Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Dwelling construction is still falling despite record low interest rates.

Monetary policy has lifted the prices of the most expensive dwellings, but this impact is yet to flow through to the rest of the housing market. This experience reinforces doubts about the effectiveness of monetary policy when inflation and therefore interest rates are very low. Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. A New Era of Fire Part 2

Never before have we experienced fires like the present. They challenge us to re-assess our whole approach to living in Australia. With global warming a reality, we now face some pretty stark options. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 4 Comments

KEN HENRY.-In these dreadful times,spare a thought for the wombat.

The iconic wombat has faced numerous challenges since white settlement of the Australian continent. And the events of recent months have elevated several threats.   Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

MELISSA PARKE.-“Support for Palestinian rights is not anti-Semitic” (The West Australian 8.1.2020)

I had but dipped my toes back into federal politics via a bid for Julie Bishop’s former seat of Curtin when the campaign was over. Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs, Politics | 13 Comments

CAMERON LECKIE. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is mired in the past.

The latest fearmongering by ASPI on the military threat posed by the Russia – China partnership is not helpful to either our future security or prosperity. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 8 Comments

JOHN TAN. About Hegemony, Leadership ….. and Assange?

There has been one global hegemon since WWII, a commander with enough soft and hard power to make all the rules that matter, and to enforce them. Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEANE A Digital Civilization: China Reimagined

In the Chinese political lexicon being civilized means ‘fitting in’ with the national plan, accepting the party-state’s directives and guidance, and obeying laws. This ‘harmonious society’ model, represents a collective response to uneven social development. Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 12 January 2020

The dismal failure of the Madrid COP meeting in December starts the round up for 2020, and no one should be surprised by Australia’s disgraceful performance in Madrid when they see the government’s latest greenhouse gas emission projections to 2030.  In better news, the highest court in the Netherlands has required the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. Nothing about the fires themselves, just a couple of observations about reactions to them.

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Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

We’re back, with links to writings, broadcasts and happenings over the last three weeks. Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. Bushfires and the Culture War. Part 1

The bushfire culture wars have already begun. For some the current crisis is apocalypse now, for others it’s just an extreme example of business as usual on our incendiary continent. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 4 Comments

JON STANFORD.- Second rate leadership. Part 1 of 3

Australia is now a confident, wealthy nation that has the right to expect its leaders to rise above the second rate. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 12 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. Beware of whom you threaten, Mr Trump.

There is no tougher nut to crack in the Middle East than Iran. It is ferocious in its Shia Islamic nationalism. It has a proud historical heritage going back 2500 years to Cyrus the Great and the fabled Persian empire. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL WEST.-Who Pays: should ordinary taxpayers foot the bill for bushfires or the fossil fuel giants who pay no tax?

Five of Australia’s top coal companies – Peabody, Yancoal Sumitomo, Citic and Whitehaven – racked up $54 billion in total income over the past five years and paid zero income tax in Australia, according to Tax Office corporate tax data.  Fossil fuel companies should foot the bill for the fires, not ordinary taxpayers. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL THORN,- The cricket trifecta-booze,junk food and betting.

Cricket Australia’s gift to fans this Christmas was an unhealthy serving of booze, betting and junk food ads. Continue reading

Posted in Health | 5 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. The re-election of Donald Trump

The biggest question in geopolitics is; will President Trump be re-elected? This issue will be prominent in the private councils of Heads of Government in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. However, the American presidential election will be determined by domestic issues that swirl around a collection of policy issues as well as identity and values.

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Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. A Repost: Drug policy reform series

Attached is a collection of articles on drug policy reform, which were published as a series on Pearls and Irritations between 6 and 11 August 2018. This series is designed to draw attention to this important issue, and to the failure of our current policies. Continue reading

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TONY SMITH. Gladys for Prime Minister? Winning friends in a crisis

It has been interesting to watch the various leadership styles on display during the bushfire crisis. In contrast to the Prime Minister’s pathetic attempts to dominate, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has displayed integrity, administrative ability and empathy. Indeed it seems a pity that she is not Prime Minister.

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NICHOLAS KEARNS.- Bushfires. If this is the future we have no future.

Dr Strangelove warned us of a “Doomsday Machine” that would destroy the entire planet. Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. It’s not the marketing – it’s the marketer

Scott Morrison has failed a fundamental marketing test-communicating authenticity. Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE – The Trumpet shall sound, And we shall be razed!

Australia’s response to US Trumpeting in Iraq has been muted and said nothing about whether we agree in principle that it is acceptable to assassinate foreign nationals in other countries. Russia in Britain? Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 7 Comments

AMANDA MEADE.-The Australian newspaper downplays bushfires in favour of picnic races.( The Guardian 4.1.2020)

And the Herald Sun relegates bushfires to page 4 while the Courier Mail brings good news via’Onion Oricle’ 

Read how the Murdoch papers deny climate change and largely ignore the fires.
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MIKE SCRAFTON. Crisis and the Transformation of Government Administration

Today, there are four simultaneous and momentous crises before which modern democracies seem impotent; global warming, population growth, wealth inequality, and a dangerous geostrategic shift. This brings me to the Thodey Review.

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JOCELYN PIXLEY. Are the Liberals “born to rule”?

Australia’s tragedy has brought a scandal about hard issues: Morrison separated politics from government too publicly. Continue reading

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CHAS SAVAGE.-Global warming and action in good faith.

Meaningful action to prevent global warming requires joint action through time. In this sense, we require a focus on outcomes—the goal of limiting warming to two degrees Celsius—and what must be done to realise this. Justice, of course, requires a sharing of the burden, because only a sharing of the burden will prompt and sustain action. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 3 Comments