Analysis

Cancer eating the heart of Australian democracy

Beneath the sound and light show that passed for Australian politics last week, there is a much deeper question of what underlying forces have been at work that have brought us this low. Kevin Rudd The Sydney Morning Herald The uncomfortable truth is since the coup of June 2010, Australian politics has become vicious, toxic and unstable. The core question is why? There have been many factors at work. First, the histrionic politics of climate change dividing the nation for ... Read More »

Al Gore, missionary man

For someone warning of dangers of climate apocalypse, former US vice president is surprisingly upbeat. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Al Gore spent a year in divinity school as a young man, but he was well into middle age by the time he found his calling as a climate preacher. Now 70, and both grayer and portlier than when he was a full-time politician, America’s almost-president travels the world to raise awareness about climate change and what mankind can do ... Read More »

Fascism: Are we there yet?

There’s a lot of discussion about Fascism at the moment, in the media it’s “this is fascism, that’s fascism”, which indicates there’s some confusion about what fascism actually is. IA Political editor Dr Martin Hirst interviews Australia’s most prominent Nazi-hunter, Andy Fleming, to better understand this vexing term. THE TERM “fascism” and descriptor “fascist” have been bandied around by ill-informed members of the commentariat in the last few weeks. The decision to remove Sky News from televisions in Victorian railway stations was… Fascism: ... Read More »

Greece was never bailed out – it remains locked in an EU debtor’s prison

Punitive conditions attached to the ‘rescue’ package mean the Greek financial tragedy may never end Yanis Varoufakis The Guardian Over the past week, the world’s media have been proclaiming the successful completion of the Greek financial rescue programme mounted in 2010 by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Headlines celebrated the end of Greece’s bailout, even the termination of austerity. Buoyant reports from ground zero of the eurozone crisis portrayed Europe’s eight-year long Greek intervention as a paradigm ... Read More »

Ankara Tries Turkish Cypriot Journalist for Criticizing Turkey

A veteran journalist in Europe’s last divided city, Nicosia, has been targeted and intimidated by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for criticizing Turkey’s actions in Cyprus and elsewhere in the region. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute Şener Levent, editor-in-chief of the Turkish-language daily newspaper, Afrika, in Cyprus, has been charged with crimes by Turkish prosecutors in Ankara. The charges concern the January 21 front page of the newspaper, which criticized Turkey’s invasion of the Syrian city of Afrin as well as ... Read More »

People who see men and women as fundamentally different are more likely to accept workplace discrimination

How should people who care about gender equality in the workplace argue their case? The most popular approach is to make the “business case” argument: that greater inclusion of women enhances profits and performance. Authors: The Conversation Unfortunately, the business case argument often draws on a “gender essentialist” view. This holds that women are fundamentally, immutably and naturally different from men. The inclusion of women benefits the organisation, it suggests, because women bring uniquely female skills and perspectives that complement ... Read More »

Is China Repeating Germany’s World War I Mistakes?

Channeling his inner Kaiser Wilhelm, Xi calls on China’s navy to “aim for the top ranks in the world… John Maurer The National Interest Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military.” At a recent show of Chinese naval might in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping called for China to acquire a world-class navy, declaring to the assembled officers and crews that there has never been a… This demonstration of ... Read More »

Serbia, Kosovo presidents broach border changes for historic deal

Balkan leaders seek to calm fears that plan could reignite ethnic violence. Andrew Gray Politico ALPBACH — The presidents of Serbia and Kosovo made clear on Saturday they are considering border changes to reach a historic peace settlement and called on the European Union to provide crucial… The declarations by Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaçi at a panel discussion in Austria place the EU in a difficult position. EU leaders have long opposed such changes on the basis ... Read More »

What the grieving mother orca tells us about how animals experience death

For many weeks, news of a mother orca carrying her dead infant through the icy waters of the Salish Sea captured the attention of many around the world. Jessica Pierce The Conversation Keeping the infant afloat as best she could, the orca, named Tahlequah, also known as J35 by scientists, persisted for 17 days, before finally dropping the dead calf. This has been one of the most protracted displays of marine mammal grieving. Among scientists, however, there remains a prejudice ... Read More »

The reasons behind Australia’s racism

No matter how much we deny it, Australia can be a racist nation, but there are several factors causing this, writes Peter Wicks. IA WE MAY LIKE TO tell ourselves we are not a racist country in Australia, but let’s face it, a lot of Australians are racist. They may not all be neo-Nazis, but they are racist nonetheless. In New Zealand, our nearest neighbour, they celebrate Maori culture with the haka at major events such as the football. In ... Read More »

Pointless: Australian democracy is now an even bigger laughing stock

Of all the pointless convulsions in Australian politics in the last decade, this is surely the most pointless. Peter Hartcher The Canberra Times It achieved no benefit on any level but came at great cost to the government and to Australia. There was no great principle at stake. The only policies at issue could have been worked through with a bit of goodwill, as Malcolm Turnbull said. The new prime minister isn’t even as electable as… Only 54 per cent ... Read More »

Greece’s “Bailout” Was a Disaster for Greece

Some bailout that turned out to be. The European Stability Mechanism disbursed its final tranche of loans to the Greek government on Aug. 6. On Aug. 20, the program officially ended, although the loans are not expected to be fully repaid for another half-century. Matthew C. Klein Barron’s If their purpose was to support the Greek economy, the emergency loans must be considered a failure. Since 2008, the economy has shrunk by a quarter, and more than 400,000 Greeks have ... Read More »

Bunga bunga Britain

UK politics are looking distinctly Mediterranean. Erik Jones Politico BOLOGNA, Italy — Which country is hot in the summer, good at football and a political basket case? Italy? No, Britain (OK, England in the football). There was a time, not too long ago, when British politics was decisive and Italian politics was fractious. Things have changed. In the U.K., Prime Minister Theresa May is suffering the slings and arrows of warring factions within her… Her government relies on a tenuous confidence and ... Read More »

The Turkish Currency Crisis And What It Can Teach Us

Turkey’s currency turmoil follows a well-known scenario. It is one more case in the long series of financial crises that afflict the international monetary system. Antony Mueller Seeking Alpha Just over the past two-and-half-decades, international markets experienced the crisis of the British pound (1992), the Mexican and Argentinean currency crises (1994), the East Asia currency turmoil (1997), and the collapse of the… In 2007, the liquidity-driven housing boom in the United States began to falter and Lehman Brothers filed for ... Read More »

Putin and Erdoğan Knock Again at Merkel’s Door

Sanctions force the two autocrats to negotiate with Germany over Syria. By Josué Michels theTrumpet Germany’s diplomatic relations with Turkey and Russia are warming up again. For several years, these relationships have been frosty. Reuters reported last week “But now, a diplomatic firework erupted” (Trumpet translation throughout). German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a three hour discussion on August 18. A meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planned for September. Ahead of the meeting ... Read More »

How This Will End

Sooner or later, tyrants are always abandoned by their followers. Eliot A. Cohen The Atlantic Michael Gerson, one of the most eloquent and principled critics of Donald Trump, insists that we are at June 1973, the moment when John Dean’s testimony broke the dam that a year later swept Richard Nixon off into disgrace. Others agree: This is an inflection point. And yet an equally well-informed friend insists, “I no longer believe in political inflection points and neither should you.” ... Read More »