Opinion

Power, privilege and public good

What does it really take to be aware of power and to give it up? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about power. Kristy Muir The Mandarin Who has it, who doesn’t; who knows it, who is blind to it and the consequences of how it is consciously and… In September, I had the privilege of moderating a couple of sessions at the Philanthropy Australia conference. Besides an incredible event with hundreds of people and some great sessions, it pressed ... Read More »

Brazil’s incomplete democratic transition

In 1986, just a year after Brazil shed over two decades of military rule, the famed Império Serrano samba school in Rio de Janeiro brought a new song to the… By Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho The Washington Post “Eu quero, a bem da verdade” (“I want, for the sake of the truth”) immediately enthralled the public, with lyrics that spoke to the basic desires of all Brazilians. “Give me what’s mine / 20 years were taken from us,” rang the chorus, ... Read More »

How Brazil’s left should respond to Bolsonaro

SÃO PAULO — Brazilians have now democratically elected a far-right president who is obsessed with death and torture and brags about his love of firearms. Rosana Pinheiro-Machado The Washington Post The flagship policies of president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain, involve harsher penalties for criminal offenses and legalizing firearms. “Good citizens,” he argues, must be able to defend themselves against “bandits,” a term he uses loosely. He has called left-wing and liberal activists “red outlaws” who must be “banished ... Read More »

Brian Wilson: Leipzig shows how history’s giants bring people together

In Leipzig, Brian Wilson finds evidence of the greatness of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who took an extraordinary decision that helped make the reunification of Germany a success. Brian Wilson The Scotsman It is surely a paradox of history that so much time now has to be spent resisting efforts to create new borders when most of the past couple of centuries’ heroes are those who brought people together. This week, I was in two German cities – Berlin for ... Read More »

Diarmaid Ferriter: Nuns’ side of story needs to be heard

Silence and selective recounting of history reinforces caricature of ‘bad nuns’ Diarmaid Ferriter The Irish Times Just what is the nuns’ story? That is a question I’ve often pondered when absorbing the revelations of recent years about Ireland’s reliance on institutions, the things that went on within them and the social, economic and cultural currents that… There has been much testimony from survivors of abuse and numerous declarations of sorrow from politicians reacting to the publication of the reports of ... Read More »

Why believing in ghosts can make you a better person

Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. Tok Thompson The Conversation But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives? Roots of Halloween The origins of modern-day Halloween go back to “samhain,” a Celtic celebration for the beginning of the dark half of the year when, it was widely believed, the realm between the living and the dead overlapped and ghosts ... Read More »

Whatever you think of Packer, he was brave to talk about depression

The photograph was so disturbing, the first time I viewed it, I had to look away, as I felt as though I was intruding on someone’s deepest personal pain. Wendy Squires Brisbane Times The picture showed James Packer at the Crown Resorts Annual General Meeting in Melbourne in 2016, looking bloated and overweight, his eyes red and watery and seeming to scream “help!”. His pallor was an angry red; his gait that of a whipped dog temporarily let off its ... Read More »

Italy’s Budget Isn’t as Crazy as It Seems

EU officials must recognize that the country needs stimulus. Ashoka Mody Bloomberg Europe’s leaders have come down hard on Italy for its plans to increase spending with the aim of boosting growth and helping the poor. What they fail to recognize is that a little stimulus might be just what the… The outlook for the global economy is deteriorating more rapidly than forecasters realize. A slowdown in China has hit global trade, European exports are decelerating, and euro-area business sentiment is sharply down. All ... Read More »

Cyber security a risk to small business project wins

Your company tries to secure project work from a corporate. The tender requires an explanation of your firm’s cyber security strategy and key staff involved in this area. Tony Featherstone The Sydney Morning Herald You narrowly lose the tender because a rival has better cyber security resources. Cyber security has suddenly become a bigger factor in whether your firm wins or loses jobs. Welcome to the world of cyber security and its impact on supply networks. Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) ... Read More »

A New Report Shows the White House Is Terrified of Socialism

The Council of Economic Advisers’ investigation into the “opportunity costs of socialism” reads like a nervous undergraduate’s term paper. Kate Aronoff The Nation The White House Council of Economic Advisers this week authored a report assessing the “Opportunity Costs of Socialism.” Really. The council may have decided to pull the trigger and release it after polling came out yesterday showing that a majority of Republicans support Medicare for All, which the report spends no small amount of space attempting, unsuccessfully, to… At 72 ... Read More »

Trump, Saudi Arabia and à la carte Human Rights

Saudi Arabian Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and then killed. It has been widely reported that Khashoggi was cut to pieces in the embassy whilst still alive. Turkish secret recordings of the murder are said to confirm this. Vasilis Giavris * Khashoggi was a dissident who was critical of the Saudi Royal family. He relocated to the United States in June 2017, where he obtained permanent residency and began ... Read More »

Why America Shouldn’t Threaten Preemptive War

Continually pushing for dominance in the backyards of the world’s nuclear powers is madness. Doug Bandow The National Interest As a Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson was a moderate conservative. But as the current U.S. ambassador to NATO, Hutchinson seemed to lose her prior restraints. She appeared to threaten an attack on Russia. Moscow is developing a new cruise missile which Washington claims would violate the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty. If Russia proceeds, said Hutchinson, then the Putin government would be put ... Read More »

Why the West Should Care About the Turmoil in Armenia

Human rights and stability in Yerevan impact the whole region. Wes Martin The National Interest National Security Advisor John Bolton is planning to visit the South Caucasus, a strategic mountainous region sandwiched between Russia, Turkey and Iran, which changed hands repeatedly between these imperial masters for the last one thousand years. In Georgia, he will deal with a pro-western country still reeling from the war with Russia ten years ago. But a real challenge awaits Bolton in Armenia—a small mountainous country with ... Read More »

There’s a solution to the refugee crisis – but no one will like it

The Pacific Solution is septicaemic and threatening the political life of the Coalition Legitimate refugees and failed asylum seekers languish on Manus and Nauru desperately waiting for resettlement. Roman Quaedvlieg Brisbane Times The much-vaunted US deal is turning slowly with the anticipated uplift of 1250 refugees failing to reach even half of that target. The level of mental ill-health among both refugees and asylum seekers has reached an appalling state. It’s time to get them off Manus and Nauru. There ... Read More »

A Glimpse Into the Next Decade of Erdogan’s ‘New Turkey’

Upon winning his second term as president in June, and assuming the strong executive powers that had been approved by voters in a 2017 referendum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cemented what he had long been seeking: the creation of a… Sinan Ciddi Stratfor The “new Turkey,” as Erdogan calls it, is a country fast becoming insular and inward-looking. From Erdogan’s perspective, Turkey’s founding elite of the 1920s created a state, society and culture fashioned according to the preferences of ... Read More »

Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression

A note from Karen Attiah, Global Opinions editor… I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.” That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free.” Jamal Khashoggi The Washington Post As a result, Arabs living in these ... Read More »