Opinion

Opinion: Don’t Miss the Boat on Australian and U.S. Policy in the South China Sea

Australia’s 2016 Defense White Paper expresses concern over “friction” in the South China Sea (SCS) arising from U.S.-Chinese naval interactions, and it worries that territorial disputes have created “uncertainty and tension.” Those statements, which show Canberra (like the rest of the states in the Indo-Pacific region) is slowly coming around to the gathering threat posed […] Source: Opinion: Don’t Miss the Boat on Australian and U.S. Policy in the South China Sea – USNI News Read More »

Why is David Cameron so silent on the recapture of Palmyra from the clutches of Isis?

Palmyra 1a LLLL

The biggest military defeat that Isis has suffered in more than two years. The recapture of Palmyra, the Roman city of the Empress Zenobia. And we are silent. Yes, folks, the bad guys won, didn’t they? Otherwise, we would all be celebrating, wouldn’t we? Source: Why is David Cameron so silent on the recapture of Palmyra from the clutches of Isis? | Voices | The Independent Read More »

The Unbearable Lightness of Schulz Cyprus Journey 

ISF logo Leventis' NGO 1a LLLL

It is a truism to say there is a price to everything in the world we live in. As more and more ‘atmospheric’ noise is made by international actors (UN, EU) about the imminence of a Cyprus settlement, it is vital that we shed at least some light on the real cost of the settlement and pose the fundamental question… Such an exercise of estimating the multiple costs involved in the implementation of the three-state settlement – one Greek… Source: ... Read More »

The Putins of the EU by Nina L. Khrushcheva

Hungary and Poland, once beacons of hope for liberal democracy in post-communist Europe, now have leaders who are determined to emulate Russian President Vladimir Putin, hollowing out independent democratic institutions and suppressing citizens’ fundamental freedoms. The question is whether the EU will follow through with sanctions… Source: The Putins of the EU by Nina L. Khrushcheva – Project Syndicate Read More »

Economy rests on Christian foundations

I can’t think why, but Easter always reminds me of Christianity. Not, of course, that Christianity has anything to do with the grubby, materialist world of economics. Or does it? Australia is the most unbelieving it has ever been, with the most recent census saying that only 61 per cent people identify themselves as even nominally Christian… Source: Economy rests on Christian foundations Read More »

Religion’s tax break is a cross we shouldn’t have to bear

Religious groups are not taxable. No wonder there’s no transparency in how their billions of dollars are spent. Whether or not you are a practising Christian, Easter is a time to think about religious traditions. The ongoing proceedings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual… Source: Religion’s tax break is a cross we shouldn’t have to bear Read More »

We don’t ‘lose’ our mothers – the reality is more violent than that

Sce 2b

Saying goodbye to your mother is a pain we all must face. That doesn’t make it any easier to do David Ferguson The Guardian T wo dear friends of mine lost their mothers this month, a high school friend and an old love. I’ve been sitting… We don’t ‘lose’… Read More »

Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria

They don’t hate ‘our freedoms.’ They hate that we’ve betrayed our ideals in their own countries — for oil. By ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR In part because my father was murdered by an Arab, I’ve made an effort to understand the impact of U.S. policy in the Mideast and particularly the factors that sometimes motivate bloodthirsty responses from the… Source: Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria – POLITICO Read More »

The day I decided to wear the hijab

Watt 1a

Sudanese-born, Australian-raised Yassmin Abdel Magied chose an auspicious date for this new step in her life as a Muslim woman. Yassmin Abdel-Magied SBS I decided to wear the hijab on 10 November 2001, the day of an Australian Federal election. I chose an auspicious date for this turning point in my life, the day I started to dress like a ‘Muslim woman’, just in case I forgot. It would be a date I could look up in the history books, ... Read More »

Ex-Black Panther freed after 43 years in solitary confinement

Sole 1a

Chicago (AFP) – A former Black Panther activist who spent a record 43 years in solitary confinement was freed from a US prison after decades of legal battles to prove his innocence. AFP Yahoo! Albert Woodfox is the last of the “Angola Three” activists to taste freedom in a case which provoked outrage among rights groups. A federal judge had ordered Woodfox’s unconditional release in June in a strongly-worded ruling that barred any further trial on charges of murdering prison ... Read More »

How to Live Wisely

James Yang for The New York Times 1a LLLL

Imagine you are Dean for a Day. What is one actionable change you would implement to enhance the college experience on campus? RICHARD J. LIGHT The New York Times I have asked students this question for years. The answers can be eye-opening. A few years ago, the responses began to move away from “tweak the history course” or “change the… How to Live… Read More »

Towards a true democracy with the Apolitical Party

Democracy - IA

With the aim of injecting true representative democracy into Australia’s flawed political system, IA announces the launch of its True Democracy Project and calls for interest in its proposed ‘Apolitical Party’. Oliver de Nicolai Independent Australia Project coordinator Oliver de Nicolai and managing editor David Donovan explain what’s going on. Australia has a… Towards a true… Read More »

Slavoj Žižek: What is freedom today? – video

Luk 6f

Are we free to live our lives as we want? We might think so, but philosopher Slavoj Žižek argues that this apparent freedom is actually governed by a complex series of conditions. With Slavoj Žižek. The Guardian Produced by Nicole Jackson, Ben Marshall, Bruno Rinvolucri, Anetta Jones, Robbie Kilgour and Caterina Monzani, theguardian.com For Žižek, a ‘pathetic, old romantic’, the highest form of freedom is in fact love • The books Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism by Slavoj Žižek and Comradely ... Read More »

Asian Gambling Addiction

Klen 3c

“We have this saying in Chinese: if you don’t gamble, you don’t know how lucky you are.” —Anonymous Chinese gambler This strong belief in luck, fate, or fortune is part of the driving force behind Asians and gambling. Sam Louie MA, LMHC Psychology Today It’s no coincidence there is such a high proportion of Asians gambling and the deep cultural factors which not only encourage gambling but discourage seeking help when it becomes compulsive or addictive. Research shows Asians in the ... Read More »