Opinion

Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full bloe

Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. Fintan O’Toole The Irish Times One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we ... Read More »

COMMENT: Our immigration system is broken. Let’s not wait another 20 years to fix it

Something is very wrong with an immigration system that rips a well-loved family away from their regional community only to put them in detention. Andrew Bartlett * msn It was more than 20 years ago, back in October 1997, that I first entered Parliament. Across those years, many people have worked on many issues which went to the heart of trying to make our nation a fairer, less unjust place. A lot has changed. I was in Parliament when Howard ... Read More »

Why the debt deal with the EU is bad for Greece

The new Eurogroup agreement commits Greece to 40 more years of austerity and supervision. Jerome Roos AlJazeera Shortly before coming to power in January 2015, Alexis Tsipras – then still known as an outspoken Greek opposition leader and unconventional anti-austerity firebrand – vowed not to wear a tie until international lenders agreed to cut his country’s towering debt load to sustainable levels. On Friday evening, the 43-year-old prime minister, who has since presided over three years of highly unpopular austerity measures ... Read More »

Is space tourism travelling faster than space law?

Space tourism is fast becoming the new frontier in the transportation business. Driven by profit-making private venture capital, the push to offer customers some direct or indirect experience with space travel is no longer the stuff of comic books or science fiction. Gbenga Oduntan The Conversation The worry is that the legal architecture for this nascent industry has barely got its foundations in order. There seems to be a sound business case for the industry. Market studies indicate that there are ... Read More »

Indonesia’s slow and circuitous road to democracy

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the resignation of Indonesia’s authoritarian president, Suharto, who led Indonesia from 1966 until 1998. Olivia Nicole Tasevski ABC Suharto’s resignation, which was motivated by a faltering Indonesian economy and widespread anti-Suharto demonstrations, marked the beginning of Indonesia’s transition to democracy. Significant progress has been made in relation to Indonesia’s democratisation over the past 20 years. Nonetheless, a culture of impunity regarding historical human rights abuses persists in Indonesia and human rights violations continue ... Read More »

Greece Will Be Stuck In Its Bailout for Years to Come

The exit terms make it difficult for the next Greek governments to chalk up any wins. Leonid Bershidsky Bloomberg In a way, the debt relief deal Greece has received as it exits its bailout makes good sense: It keeps the country on a tight leash, all but eliminating the possibility that it will go on a borrowing spree in the financial markets and misspend the money as it’s done… On the other hand, the scheme gets superimposed uncomfortably onto the ... Read More »

This is why free speech is an industrial issue

It derived from an uprising against the wealthy. Now the wealthy use it as a weapon to silence critics Jeff Sparrow The Guardian “The voice for freedom.” That’s how the Institute for Public Affairs – the pro-business group pushing to sell off the ABC – describes itself. In particular, the IPA campaigns, it tells us, for “freedom of speech”. But what, precisely, does that mean? You can trace the emergence of the concept back to ancient Greece: think of Socrates ... Read More »

A Landmark Study on the Origins of Alcoholism

By studying rats in a smarter way, scientists are finally learning something useful about why some drinkers become addicted and others don’t. Ed Yong The Atlantic For Markus Heilig, the years of dead ends were starting to grate. A seasoned psychiatrist, Heilig joined the National Institutes of Health in 2004 with grand ambitions of finding new ways to treat addiction and alcoholism. “It was the age of the neuroscience revolution, and all this new tech gave us many ways of ... Read More »

‘Reason I live without fear’: We need to listen to this cop’s daughter

There have been dozens of newspaper columns and thousands of social media posts over the death of Eurydice Dixon, killed more than a week ago as she walked home through Princes Park. John Silvester The Age There has been empathy, sadness, shock, and anger that resulted in a fair amount of blaming. Some were angry at police for suggesting people (read women) should be vigilant, for this was interpreted by many as blaming the victim herself. Others claimed this was ... Read More »

Australia must reconsider how it deals with refugees

Nearly 70 million people globally are now forcibly displaced from their homes and 25.4 million of them are refugees. More people are fleeing conflict and catastrophe than at any other time in history. Ian Smith Brisbane Times The Middle East, South-East Asia, Central America and Africa are all melting pots of enormous unrest. The movement of so many people impacts every country in the world. In danger, people will do the natural thing and look after their families by searching ... Read More »

Refugees’ lives have become weapons in a rugged political contest

For the past five years, Australia has used the lives of 2,000 innocent refugees as a political game Behrouz Boochani The Guardian On 19 July 2013, Kevin Rudd, the then prime minister of the Labor government, announced the resumption of offshore processing. According to the policy, whoever came to Australia by boat would be exiled to Manus Island and Nauru. Together with 60 other people travelling on a leaky boat headed for Australia, I was lost on the ocean when the ... Read More »

Too bad for the tax payer

Socialising the losses and privatising the gains – Part 2 On 4 May 2018, in anticipation of what seemed to be cooking at the Co-op, I wrote an article with the title of “Socialising the losses and privatising the gains”[1] where I warned of what was likely to take place and also in order to make people aware that the most likely outcome would be the camouflaging and the passing on to the tax payer of the… Savvas Savvides Stockwatch I ... Read More »

For Eurydice’s sake, we need to do more than go to vigils

Of all the violent deaths of women, the death of Eurydice Dixon, the 22-year-old rising comic, is one we can embrace when we signal our opposition to violence against women. Jenna Price The Canberra Times We see it’s not her fault. A stranger allegedly killed her and no one could predict that. It could not have been her fault. In the contemporary era, the story of Eurydice Dixon begins with Anita Cobby, the kind and… Janine Balding. Jill Meagher. Even ... Read More »

Our democracy is more important than Facebook’s profits

No one realised it at the time, but in 2004 a poison was created that is now spreading through and threatening the stability of democratic countries around the world. Lucy Battersby Brisbane Times The poison isn’t attacking government’s directly. Instead it infects the information flowing through society to the point that citizens are confused and misled away from making proper decisions. At its worst, this poison, this disinformation, prompts people to hunt down and hurt perceived enemies. Disinformation is spread ... Read More »

Bring Julian Assange Home

The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Or it will end in tragedy. The Australian government and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have an historic opportunity to decide which it will be. John Pilger CounterPunch They can remain silent, for which history will be unforgiving. Or they can act in the interests of justice and humanity and bring this remarkable Australian citizen home. Assange does not ask for special treatment. The government has clear diplomatic and moral obligations to protect Australian ... Read More »

Curious link between world peace and gender equality

Whatever comes of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s curious get-together in Singapore it brought a welcome focus: peace. Matt Wade Brisbane Times If the optimists are right the meeting has paved the way for “major disarmament” on the Korean peninsula over the next few years. But, even if that happens, how much more peaceful would the world really be? Sadly, not that much. An ambitious number crunching exercise by the Sydney-based international think tank, the Institute for Economics and… ... Read More »