Our challenges in dealing with China

America was built on the Bible, the gun and slavery.Our interests in dealing with China are not the same as America’s interests. We have differences with China, but we must handle them in our own way rather than joining Trump’s strident chorus of criticism.

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Posted in China, Politics | 3 Comments

How would a fairness campaign fare in Australia?

Whether it was ever a myth or not there has been – until recently – an ingrained belief that Australians value fairness and the fair go, as the concept was often characterised. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

What is ‘middle income’ in Australia?

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’ Middle income, a term beloved of politicians, is like that. At a time when we’re hearing demands that the further reductions in tax rates on personal incomes legislated in 2019 should be brought forward to stimulate spending it is useful to consider some data. Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

‘You will be put into detention’: Former ABC bureau chief tells story of fleeing China for first time (ABC News Sep 21, 2020)

It was late on a Friday evening and I was about to head home from the ABC’s Beijing office when the telephone rang.

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Posted in China | 21 Comments

Morrison’s choice: blimps and gas-fired power

If Scott Morrison ever went back to his old job of promoting tourism and needed to ramp up the travel industry, he would put his money on blimps. So gas is obviously the go. A sensible middle course, obviously the best option, even if it is the wrong one.

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Posted in Environment and climate, Politics, Top 5 | 4 Comments

The Budget – possible additional measures

Yesterday I considered the economic outlook and concluded that on present policies the pace of the recovery post-Covid is likely to be too slow. Today’s article discusses what extra stimulus should be incorporated in the Budget in two weeks, and what form that stimulus should take.

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Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

Soon we must admit defeat in Afghanistan, and war crimes

I doubt we can fashion much of a narrative of which Australians could be proud when we consider what will be happening soon with Afghanistan. What will probably be good for Afghanistan — a measure of peace — will be a result of our defeat, not our participation.

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Posted in Defence/Security | 6 Comments

No, Scotty, gas did not choose itself. You chose it.

Morrison claimed that ‘gas chose itself’ to replace the Liddell power station. No, be honest Scotty, you and your mates chose gas.

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Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Australian values and obligations: a follow up

We often hear politicians spouting about ‘mutual obligation” – usually in the context of Centrelink benefits or the like.  The emphasis seems always to be on what the recipient of benefits must do – not on the obligation of Centrelink or the Government. 

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Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Aged care has become a property play – perhaps even for some church groups?

Whenever governments outsource or subsidize a community service, it is amazing how quickly and cleverly the private sector finds a way to milk it.

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Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Scientists and capitalists agree on climate. When will governments act?

Time again for Australia’s political leaders to ignore the regular cycle of reports that highlight the failure to deal with the coming climate disaster. The pandemic might provide a “look over there” opportunity to distract citizens, but the recent climate publications warrant close attention. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Neoclassical economics II: pseudo-scholarship

Neoclassical economics is without scholarly integrity. It does not belong in universities. It certainly should not be the dominant source of policy advice to governments.

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Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

P&I ISSUES in Stuart Rees’ Cruelty or Humanity , Bristol: Policy Press  2020

Regarded by international jurist Richard Falk as ‘A road map for humanity’ and by Noam Chomsky as ‘a wonderful guide to the challenges we face’, Stuart Rees’ ‘Cruelty or Humanity‘ identifies world-wide threats to freedom and democracy and displays the humanitarian alternatives.

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Posted in Reviews | 4 Comments

US spy plane impersonates Malaysian aircraft, apparently to fool China (Popular Mechanics Sep 10, 2020)

A US Air Force RC-135W reconnaissance aircraft carried out several flights off China’s Hainan island. The plane switched its transponder code in mid-flight, mysteriously becoming a Malaysian airplane. The RC-135W was likely trying to keep a low profile while it spied on Chinese military bases.

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Posted in World Affairs | Tagged | 1 Comment

Home based and community health care

Home based care and community health teams require a diversity of funding models. Post COVID ,it is most unlikely that community health care will return to its pre-COVID state. Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

The economic outlook and the Budget

In two weeks the Government will bring down its delayed 2020 Budget. This article discusses the economic outlook and concludes that further stimulus measures will be necessary in the forthcoming Budget. The desirable size of that additional fiscal stimulus and the possible new measures to accelerate economic recovery will then be discussed in a subsequent article tomorrow. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

Brave Thai students put government in a quandary

Student-led protesters in Bangkok are publicly demanding a fundamental change that was once merely thinkable – reform of the monarchy

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Posted in Asia | 4 Comments

Military and Economic Deals aren’t ‘peace arrangements’ just because Trump says so (Canberra Times Sep 19, 2020)

‘Peace’ is not in the air, (Carlill, Canberra Times, 16/9). The deal done between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE, boastfully brokered by President Trump, has little to do with ‘peace’, but much with military hardware and hoped for economic gain.

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Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 1 Comment

Freeing the indigenous flag

It is a flag that can be admired and cherished, a beacon for reconciliation and beyond. It is, in the truest sense, an Australian institution. Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

Australian aged care death rate among highest in the world. Aged care Insite. August 12 2020

The aged care royal commission has heard evidence that the government had no COVID-19 plan for the aged care sector, leading to one of the highest aged care death rates in the world.

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Posted in Health | 2 Comments

Neoclassical economics I: farcical global warming analyses

Analyses of the economic effects of global warming by prominent economists are based on patently invalid arguments, profound ignorance of the global response to solar energy and basic misrepresentation of scientific sources. Their conclusion that the effects are minor is egregiously in error and use of their analyses to advise governments has placed the world in peril.

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Posted in Economy, Top 5 | 13 Comments

Morrison thinks gas is the new coal, and it’s just as big a climate threat (RenewEconomy Sep 18, 2020)

Australia’s government thinks that gas is the new coal, and intends to delay decarbonisation for another decade or more by investing taxpayer funding deeply into another fossil fuel.

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Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 20 September 2020

One in four chance that global warming will exceed 1.5oC at least once in next five years, and floods, water scarcity and food insecurity are set to create more displaced persons. Climate change is one of seven factors increasing the likelihood of another pandemic. Killer cats!

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Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Scott Morrison’s gas plan is an arrogant, irresponsible disaster (Canberra Times Sep 17, 2020)

The only rival to the arrogance of Morrison’s gas-led recovery strategy is its irresponsibility. 

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Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 5 Comments

A Government Program to lock-in Fossil Fuels

The federal government’s “Next Generation Energy Technologies Investment Package” is designed to lock-in fossil fuels. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 3 Comments

It’s a gas, gas, gas.

With the Federal Government announcement of a gas-lead recovery (and as a potential centrepiece having the large coal-fired power station, Liddell in NSW, replaced by gas generation) Australians can now have both lower emissions and lower energy prices. High fives all round.

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Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Children in jail: why change and why now?

The recent expression of concern at 10 year olds being imprisoned is quite appropriate, but the age of criminal responsibility is not the only issue. More important is who does it and why they do. Continue reading

Posted in Justice | 2 Comments

Australian multiculturalism is a success story: it is time to enshrine it as our shared value

What makes Australia unique and special is the ability to celebrate one’s ethnicity and cultural heritage in an Australian setting. I am able to call myself a Chinese-Australian and Asian-Australian without having my loyalty questioned and allegiance to Australia judged.

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Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 8 Comments

A dialogue of the deaf as the noisy hawks circle (AFR Sep 16, 2020)

Now that the Australia-China relationship has hit a new low, the timing’s right for charting a way out of the current impasse.

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Posted in Politics | 24 Comments

The Catholic Church and Modern Science: From Contraception to the Covid Vaccine

In a letter to the Prime Minister on August 20th, co-signed by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, and the Greek Orthodox Primate, Archbishop Makarios, Archbishop Fisher suggested that the use of a Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine might cause a crisis of conscience for some recipients because cell lines derived from a 1973 aborted foetus were involved in its production. Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 3 Comments