MICHAEL PASCOE. Scott Morrison’s Australia resembles the 51st American state (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

 “We’re a sovereign nation,” said Scott Morrison. And then proceeded to act as if we were not, as if Australia was not merely an American vassal, but a Donald Trump toy. Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

JIEH-YUNG LO. Morrison attempts his own Australia-China reset.

When you see a Prime Minister wonder into a marginal seat, you know a federal election is on the horizon. Scott Morrison did just that at the start of this month when he joined local member David Coleman in the ultra marginal seat of Banks. The purpose: to reconnect with the electorate’s large Chinese-Australian population and at the same time send a message to our largest trading partner.  Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS. Pomp and circumstance. The Royal tour.

There is some debate whether it was H.L. Mencken or P.T. Barnum who said that nobody ever went broke under-estimating the intelligence of the public.  Either way, the executives of Australia’s self-proclaimed Royal Network followed the advice faithfully when preparing for the current Royal tour.  They assumed that the entire population of our continent is brain-dead.  Judging by Channel Seven’s coverage of the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the assumption was warranted.  Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

RICHARD DENNISS. Trump’s tax cuts will increase inequality. Australia shouldn’t follow his lead.

The fiscal policies of conservatives like Trump and Scott Morrison are eating away at the fabric of society. 

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Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JULIE INGERSOLL. Why Trump’s evangelical supporters welcome his move on Jerusalem (the Conversation, 08.12.17)

President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, Dec. 6 that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel received widespread criticism. Observers quickly recognized the decision as related not so much to national security concerns as to domestic U.S. politics and promises candidate Trump made to his evangelical supporters, who welcomed the announcement.. Continue reading

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Trudeau refuses to let ‘politics slip into’ decision on Huawei (Globe & Mail, 16.10.18)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa refuses to let “politics slip into” the decision to allow Huawei equipment into Canada’s next-generation mobile networks even as the U.S. and Australia have barred the Chinese telecom giant on grounds of national security.

The Prime Minister’s comments come just days after two U.S. senators took the unusual step of publicly urging the Liberal government to ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G networks. Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Mark Warner warned that Canada’s telecommunication safeguards are insufficient to address the risks posed by the Shenzhen company. They both sit on the U.S. Senate select committee on intelligence and Mr. Warner is vice-chair. Continue reading

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BERTIL LINTER. China’s shifting view on the Korean Peninsula (Asian Times, 10.10.18)

As US-China relations deteriorate on various fronts, the last thing Beijing wants is for North Korea to fall into Washington’s sphere of influence Continue reading

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‘Divisive’: Former RBA governor Bernie Fraser turns on neoliberalism (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

Former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser has called for a radical rethink to policy-making, saying the way to a fairer, more equal society is with a pragmatic approach. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

SOPHIE VORRATH. Coalition backing “big coal” over climate, says Sachs: “Unbelievably irresponsible”.

US economics professor Jeffrey Sachs has slammed the Australian federal government as “unbelievably irresponsible” for its inaction on climate change, and suggested that policy progress in the Coalition – alongside the current US Trump administration – has been held hostage by major fossil fuel interests. Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. The extraordinary determination of China to have the world embrace its traditional medicine. (Part 2 of 3)

Remarkably and unfortunately politics, not clinical effectiveness, is powering the global penetration of Traditional Chinese Medicine into health care systems. The term “Traditional Chinese Medicine” (TCM) was dreamt up by Chairman Mao Zedong in a cynical response to the Communist Party’s inability to provide evidence-based health care for the then 500 million Chinese. Mao knew that TCM was largely useless and was derogatory about TCM practitioners but he none-the-less set about its expansion. This saw a reversal of a progressive acceptance of scientific medicine in China which started in the 19th century.  Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

BOB CARR. How the Israeli Lobby operates.A repost

The letter was in the bulging file marked ‘Premier’s Invites’. The invitation was to an annual dinner where a peace prize was presented to a person chosen by the Sydney Peace Foundation at Sydney University. This year they had decided to present the award to Hanan Ashrawi. I knew her from CNN and had been impressed by her dignity. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 5 Comments

JOHN MCCARTHY. The Jerusalem Embassy,Iran and our national interest

Prime Minister Morrison’s announcements of a potential move of our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and less newsworthy  but nonetheless significant, of a review of our support for the Iran Nuclear Deal, threaten seriously to prejudice  the Australian national interest. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Will behaving like the 51st state of the United States win Wentworth for the Liberals?

Prime Minister Morrison has been channeling Donald Trump for the Wentworth By-Election, on two key policies and in his handling of the truth of important matters. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

GREG AUSTIN: Australia, Israel and the Pentecostal PM

Israel may prove to be the biggest winner from the prime ministership of Scott Morrison. Events this week raise not only a legitimate question about the degree of political influence being exercised by Israel in Australia but also a question about Morrison’s political common sense.   Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

GEORGE BROWNING. The Jerusalem Embassy thought bubble.

To contemplate moving the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to shore up the chances of the Liberal candidate for Wentworth, Dave Sharma, is a small but very significant example of what is horribly wrong with Australian politics and why so few Australians now have any trust in the political process. That the Prime Minister denies any connection between the thought bubble and the weekend byelection stretches credulity and pokes fun at the electorate’s intelligence. What is it about our present government that it would even contemplate such a course?  Please Mr Morrison you can do better than this, Australia certainly deserves better than this. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MEDIA WATCH TRANSCRIPT (Paul Barry). News Corp’s contempt for climate science revealed in its coverage of last week’s IPCC report


Hello, I’m Paul Barry, welcome to Media Watch.

And last week’s dramatic report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change really sounded the alarm on the future of our planet, with scientists predicting the Great Barrier Reef could be wiped out by 2050 if we don’t act to slow down global warming..

Why does News Corp hold climate science in such contempt?…Presumably because Rupert Murdoch is a non believer….and not just in Australia. Back in 2012,America’s Union of Concerned Scientists audited News Corp’s coverage in the US and concluded:Representations of climate science on Fox News Channel and in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages are overwhelmingly misleading Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 2 Comments

WILLIAM PESEK. In Asia, ghosts of crises past return amid Trumpian trade war.

In a region where traces of the 2008 and 1997-98 carnage linger, Washington’s assault on Asia’s biggest growth engine could ignite another disaster.  Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. Wentworth Democracy

Our Prime Minister has declared that the Wentworth election threatens the stability of our country unless a majority vote for the Liberal candidate. It may be the most hotly contested in living memory, and the Wentworth by-election also reveals much about why our democracy is broken and needs fixing! Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

SHIRO ARMSTRONG. Japan’s high stakes diplomacy with the US and China. (East Asia Forum 14.10.2018)

Japan is now fully embarked on navigating a course through the economic and national security minefield that lies between the United States and China. Continue reading

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GRAEME STEWART. Growing inequality in access to health care is curable.

It has been sad to observe the growth in out-of-pocket expenses for patients seeking expert medical consultation and the resultant rising inequality in access to timely care and in health outcomes (“Specialists charging extreme fees”, March 6. These twin inequities are deeply felt in western Sydney. Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JOHN DWYER. The extraordinary determination of China to have the world embrace its Traditional Medicine. (Part one of three)

The child was six years old. His parents were struggling to manage his Diabetes. He had Type 1 diabetes, the most serious form of the disease caused by his own immune system destroying his pancreas. As a result he could no longer produce required amounts of Insulin to control his blood sugar levels. Regular injections of Insulin were keeping him alive. The heartbreaking tragedy that descended on this vulnerable child and caused his death involved the practice of “paidalajin”, an alternative Chinese medicine technique that involves slapping, pulling and stretching the skin until it bruises.

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Posted in Health | 7 Comments

IAN MACPHEE. I plead with the Labor Party to adopt a humane policy regarding asylum.

I plead with the Labor Party to adopt a humane policy regarding asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. I have no doubt that the majority of Australians feel humiliated by the disgusting treatment that recent governments have given to asylum seekers and especially to those on neighbouring islands. Parts of Queensland might support Hanson’s racism but most Australians will not. Labor must realise that and adopt our belief in a fair go. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison channels Joh Bjelke-Petersen

We are now more than six weeks into the ScoMo regime, but most of us – and that includes some of our most recent Prime Minister’s close colleagues as well as a tentative opposition – are still trying to figure out just who the man really is trying to be. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ANTHONY PUN: A response to PM Morrison’s speech in Hurstville concerning Australia/China relations.

The Chinese Community Council of Australia welcomes PM Morrison’s olive branch on community relations and the China-Australia relations at face value and with goodwill.  However, we reserve judgement pending resolution of issues with the Chinese Australian community. Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. East Asia Just Became a More Dangerous Place

Hugh White in his controversial 2010 book, China Choice, warned Australian policy makers that with the rise of China, the time would come when the US would have to make a choice as to whether to withdraw gradually from East Asia and allow China strategic space for its continued expansion or to take a stand and seek to limit China’s rise. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

VINCENT BEVINS. Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s Would-be Dictator.

For most of his twenty-seven-year career in national politics, Jair Bolsonaro has been a fringe figure on the far right of Brazilian politics, hopping among nine different political parties and yelling his support for Brazil’s bygone military dictatorship into empty congressional chambers. All that has changed. Last weekend, the former army captain won over 46 percent of the vote in Brazil’s presidential race—close to an outright win in the first round. He goes forward to the run-off election on October 28 as the clear favorite. Continue reading

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DOROTHY HORSFIELD. The St Petersburg International Economic Forum. A New World Order?

One of the most interesting aspects of this year’s St Petersburg International Economic Forum was the way it undermined commonplaces about a post-Soviet Russia with an economy is on the skids as a result of sanctions, international vilification, and its overdependence on energy sector revenues. How plausible were the Forum’s optimistic evocation of a new world economic order, shaped by a Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which Russia can play an integral role? Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

RICHARD ECKERSLY. Getting to the heart of democracy’s decline.

The crisis in democracy is much discussed these days, but almost entirely in political terms that ignore its deeper causes. In this sense, the mainstream news media can be considered ‘enemies of the people’, peddling ‘fake news’. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

GREG JERICHO. Australia’s climate idiocracy must end – and there’s no time to waste.

The Liberal party’s biggest con was the idea that reducing emissions could be done without pain and at little cost. 

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Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

CATHERINE STUBBERFIELD. UNHCR urges Australia to evacuate off-shore facilities as health situation deteriorates.

The following is a transcript of the remarks by Spokesperson for the UNHCR Regional Representation in Canberra, Catherine Stubberfield  at today’s press briefing(12 October 2018) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.  Continue reading

Posted in Health, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment