Opinion

Australia has much to celebrate – and to fear

An acquaintance was walking his dog along the promenade at Sydney’s Manly beach one beautiful morning recently. Peter Hartcher WAtoday He describes the golden sun sparkling on the waves, the mild breeze, the grace of the surfers, the people strolling and jogging, enjoying the early calm under the soaring Norfolk pines. He happened to pass one of the many park benches overlooking the ocean, where three older blokes sat contemplating the scene, pudgy hands clasped across substantial bellies. “Yeah,” he overheard ... Read More »

We can’t fix violence against women until we see this as an epidemic

The day I heard that Olga Edwards’s children had been murdered by their father in July this year, I rang the only women I know who would really understand. Jenna Price Brisbane Times Rosie Batty and Ann O’Neill. Their children were killed in front of them. Just writing those words is chilling. We take our children with us in our hearts everywhere, every day. They are at once the reason we live and the elephant on our shoulders. Their death ... Read More »

Confront Turkey’s ethnic cleansing and stop indulging it

Every April, Turkish diplomats and members of the Congressional Turkey Caucus scramble to avert a resolution recognizing as genocide the World War I-era Ottoman massacres of Armenians. Washington Examiner Turkish officials oppose any resolution holding Turkey responsible both because the Republic of Turkey was not formally declared until 1923 and because they hold that what happened was not deliberate but… Other Turkish historians and politicians hold that the evidence upon which genocide historians rely is exaggerated if not fraudulent. Lost ... Read More »

Socialism: What do Americans think?

| In 60 Seconds In a recent USA Today article, President Trump stated that “If Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America.” Karlyn Bowman American Enterprise Institute Is he right? AEI’s Karlyn Bowman reviews polling data to discover American attitudes about socialism… Read More »

Arctic’s record warming propelling ‘broad change’ in climate: study

US scientists have warned that higher temperatures in the Arctic could be fueling extreme weather in the US and Europe. DW The NOAA report said 2018 was the second-warmest year on record in the Arctic since 1900. The warming of the Arctic is occurring at a record pace and having a significant impact across the planet, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revealed in its 2018 Arctic Report Card. The report was released on Tuesday at the ... Read More »

The Writer Who Destroyed an Empire

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, born 100 years ago today, did more than anyone to bring the Soviet Union to its knees. Michael Scammell The New York Times When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, pundits offered a variety of reasons for its failure: economic, political, military. Few thought to add a fourth, more elusive cause: the regime’s total loss of credibility. This hard-to-measure process had started in 1956, when Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave his so-called secret speech to party leaders, in which ... Read More »

Why do the media demonise African Australians?

Calling out the media for its biased reporting of crimes committed by African Australians is not about defending criminals or failing to sympathise with victims. Nyadol Nyuon The Age No African Australian I know supports criminal activity, thinks it is OK or wishes to excuse it in any way. What we are trying to do, however, is to highlight that the media consistently reports crimes committed by black people vastly differently from the way it reports crimes committed by white ... Read More »

Dying With Dignity Versus The Metastases Of Our Religious Heritage

Why do we let religion rule our lives, but in particular our deaths? Geoff Russell takes a look at the power of Churches to prevent people from making the most intimate of choices. Geoff Russell New Matilda The fingers that once skipped around the frets and strings of her guitar made hard work of rolling the little plastic wheel. But as it finally moved into place, the process began: drip, drip, drip. Clear sodium pentobarbital moved into the plastic intravenous ... Read More »

Economic hardship and nationalism are gutting climate action

What a difference three years makes. In December 2015, world leaders gathered in a historic display of species consciousness to sign the Paris climate accord to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post Today, in December 2018, Paris is experiencing a winter of discontent, with a virtual uprising against a tax increase on fuel aimed at fulfilling France’s 2015 obligations. In a dramatic illustration of the battle between the present and the future, the mantra of ... Read More »

End the Innovation Obsession

Some of our best ideas are in the rearview mirror. TORONTO — A year ago I stepped into the Samcheong Park Library in Seoul, South Korea, and saw the future. David Sax The New York Times The simple building in a forested park had a nice selection of books, a cafe at its center and a small patio. Classical music played while patrons read, reclining on extra-deep window benches that had cushions to sit on and tables that slid over ... Read More »

A dying industry is displacing entire communities

KEYENBERG, Germany — Norbert Winzen remembers the winter they laid the cobblestones in the courtyard of his family’s farmhouse here in this small village. Peter Mellgard The Washington Post He was 12 years old, maybe 13. He and his brothers and sister scrubbed each and every one of the hundreds of heavy stones so their father could lay them in tidy rows. It was the kind of drudgery he despised as a kid but that he looks back on fondly ... Read More »

Voters are crying out for better government but have mixed views on how to achieve it

Support for democracy and trust in politicians is falling. We hear a lot about evidence-based policy as a way to stem this decline, but less about how that evidence should be generated. Authors: The Conversation One idea that may generate the type of evidence that will help make more informed decisions appears, paradoxically, fairly unpopular with the punters. Perhaps the problem is that not enough has been done to explain to the public what this idea – carefully testing new ... Read More »

It’s no wonder we no longer trust our institutions

I’ve been thinking about institutions a lot lately. About how if there is anything that characterises our current political moment of disillusionment, anger and a rampant, destructive cynicism, it is that we no longer… Waleed Aly The Canberra Times Try to name one; it’s more difficult than you’d think. Our trust in politics – even in democracy itself – is at an all time low. Whatever belief we once had in the idea that business, for all its self-interest, was ... Read More »

Hunger, violence and constant stress: The brutal truth of life as a child refugee

As a former child refugee, I feel very strongly for the children on Nauru. I know the sense of uncertainty and hopelessness that comes from being stuck in limbo — not knowing if or when you might get to live freely in a… Sayed Rabbani ABC I was just 9 years old when my family fled Afghanistan for the third time in 2001, when the war in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks on America began. I remember the first airstrike ... Read More »

Australians’ trust in politicians and democracy hits an all-time low: new research

Over the past four years, we have conducted a range of attitudinal surveys with the Social Research Institute at Ipsos on the relationship between trust in the political system and attitudes towards democracy in… Authors: The Conversation Our latest research, conducted in July 2018 (prior to the Liberal Party’s leadership spill), includes a quantitative survey of a representative sample of 20 focus groups and 1,021 Australians from a wide range of… We understood political trust in this survey as “keeping ... Read More »

Narcissists less likely to support democracy

New research suggests that people with a narcissistic self-view are more likely to demonstrate lower support for democracy. University of Kent EurekAlert! They are also more likely to feel that democracies are not good in maintaining order, or that it would be better if countries were run by strong leaders or the military. The research, which was co-led by psychologists at the University of Kent, suggests this is probably because narcissists tend to feel entitled and superior to others, which ... Read More »