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Archive - Feb 2006

Submitted by Tony Phillips on February 28, 2006 - 5:13pm.
Well say did you hear..

"With 2242 American soldiers killed in Iraq by the end of January 2006, and another 16,400 maimed in some way or another, with the Iraqi population suffering horribly and catastrophically, and all the while the affluence of America and Australia gliding along oblivious, one cannot help but feel a little bit of Vietnam coming back. Of course much is different but there is the pattern - of a floundering superpower, callous and crazy leaders, and a tragic morass of innocents killed from a distance, by men in offices making decisions in another language and with other priorities. It is all such that one can’t help but feel like a little bit of history repeating." Tony Phillips

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Submitted by admin on February 28, 2006 - 7:21am.
Fresh from the trough
Fresh from the trough
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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on February 28, 2006 - 7:19am.
Fresh from the trough
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Submitted by Roslyn Ross on February 27, 2006 - 10:43am.
Sometimes rules were made to be broken

"And the French smoke as well to add insult to injury. But then tobacco, which is a plant, and also a herb, at one time was considered to be good for asthmatics and prescribed as such. The problem these days is more likely to be the chemicals used in the manufacturing process rather than the plant itself. Nicotine has also been found to be useful in the treatment of intestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease because it has a calming effect. This explains why soldiers in war and people who work in crisis environments tend to smoke. In years to come we may see doctors prescribing cigarettes made from organically grown tobacco." Roslyn Ross

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Submitted by admin on February 27, 2006 - 9:28am.
Millenium People
Millenium People
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Submitted by Stephen Smith on February 27, 2006 - 8:56am.
It’s a mad world – the rise of middle class angst

"As John Howard would have us believe, “We’ve drawn back from being too obsessed with diversity to a point where Australians are now better able to appreciate the enduring values of the national character.” Thus Kerry Packer was really “a sentimental bloke” and his state funeral a celebration of our core values. Howard’s message rests on: “Australia’s greatness – our sense of balance.” Of course ‘balance’ is a relative term. But as the PM is quick to tell us, it is not to imply a nation at rest. Rather, balance “is the handmaiden of national growth and renewal”. (Even the ‘war on terror’ has now found a sense of balance in the form of ‘the long war’.) But in shifting to the desired position might there be a risk that some ‘tipping point’ will disrupt the balance? If so, we shall argue here that any such imbalance is most likely to be tipped by the middle classes." Stephen Smith

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Submitted by Jeffrey Sachs on February 25, 2006 - 9:11am.
Development aid for development's sake

"Almost daily, the United States and Europe brandish threats to impose economic sanctions or cut off development assistance unless some vulnerable government accepts their political strictures. The most recent threats are towards the new Hamas-led government in Palestine. Other recent examples include threats vis-à-vis Chad, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Bolivia, Uganda, and long-standing sanctions against Myanmar." Jeffrey D Sachs

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Submitted by Irfan Yusuf on February 24, 2006 - 7:51pm.
Sharia for complete bankers – Part 2

"If you wanted to be a top class European jurist, you had to study Arabic. You would then study the great works of Muslim jurists, philosophers and doctors. Much of what you studied had little to do with Islamic theology, but it was certainly studied through Spanish Muslim-coloured glasses." Irfan Yusuf

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Submitted by Dale Mills on February 24, 2006 - 4:27am.
Big Brother says hello

"Spy agencies and police across Australia may soon be given powers, for the first time, to monitor the phone calls, email and text messages of people not suspected of any crime. The power to spy on terrorism and serious crime suspects already exists." Dale Mills

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Submitted by Dale Mills on February 23, 2006 - 7:30pm.
New shoot to kill powers

"Receiving almost no corporate media coverage, a Senate committee recommended on January 31 the passage of a bill that will make it easier for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to police and shoot civilians. The powers go well beyond dealing with a terrorist threat and in important respects put the military above state criminal laws." Dale Mills

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Submitted by admin on February 23, 2006 - 12:06pm.
On the Road to Kickbackee
On the Road to Kickbackee
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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on February 23, 2006 - 12:01pm.
On the Road to Kickbackee
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Submitted by Greg Clarke on February 23, 2006 - 9:17am.
Values, belief, politics

"I will be reminding them [Muslim leaders], as I remind all Australians, our common values as Australians transcend any other allegiances or commitments, and I will be talking in practical ways about how these goals might be achieved." This controversial statement by John Howard is discussed by Greg Clarke

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Submitted by admin on February 22, 2006 - 6:48am.
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Submitted by Roger Fedyk on February 21, 2006 - 9:55am.
All's not well in the Garden of Eden

"The marketing of modern Christianity is an interesting object of study. Churches under the benign and supportive aegis of conservative administrations here and overseas have seen their role expand and intertwine evermore closely with the government bureaucracy. The dismantling of the CES and the awarding of lucrative financial contracts for those services to the private sector had the churches scrambling over themselves to get their share of the financial spoils." Roger Fedyk

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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on February 20, 2006 - 10:48am.
Ill gotten grains - when will Downer resign?

"Downer's level of conversations with the Bush Administration, when the Invasion of Iraq was only thirteen days old, implies not only an amazing feat of meetings scheduling but also a level of co-operation that surely existed before the Coalition crossed the border. To have this situation existing at the same time as the Free Trade Agreement negotiators were calling for the dismantling of the AWB because its monopolistic existance violated US trading ethics must have been extremely galling - moreso when you've done the right thing and subcontracted Ausaid work to Halliburton." Richard Tonkin

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Submitted by Irfan Yusuf on February 19, 2006 - 8:48pm.
Sharia for complete bankers - Part 1

"Sharia is a concept that scares the shut (as they’d say in Otago) out of so many of us accustomed to living the good life in the lands of the free. Sharia conjures up a life with no privacy, where bearded morality police in long robes patrol the streets searching for spare limbs to amputate." Irfan Yusuf

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Submitted by admin on February 17, 2006 - 4:44am.
Jean Michel Severino
Jean Michel Severino
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Submitted by Project Syndicate on February 17, 2006 - 4:41am.
The quest for investment

"The Hong Kong meeting of the Doha Round of trade negotiations has left a palpable sense of frustration in the developing world over the slow pace of agricultural liberalisation agreed to by the rich countries. It may thus appear naive and counterproductive to raise the bar and suggest that we need to go beyond trade and move investment to the top of our priority list. Yet can any “development round” worthy of its name ignore this challenge?" Jean-Michel Severino

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Submitted by John Richardson on February 16, 2006 - 9:09pm.
Danna's Numbers

"With Howard, Abbott and their ilk convincingly defeated on the future regulation of RU486 today, it’s worth taking a minute to reflect on the disgusting racial and religious bigotry implicit in Danna Vale’s comments this week, particularly given that they are indicative of an increasingly common mindset in our country, consistently encouraged by the Howard government." John Richardson

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Submitted by admin on February 16, 2006 - 9:24am.
J M G Williams
J M G Williams
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Submitted by Project Syndicate on February 16, 2006 - 9:13am.
From depression to freedom

"Clinical depression affects roughly one in four people at some point in their lives. It is a severe and prolonged state of mind in which normal sadness grows into a painful state of hopelessness, listlessness, lack of motivation, and fatigue. But, however well defined, clinical depression is many things to many people, varying from mild to severe." J M G Williams

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Submitted by Tony Phillips on February 15, 2006 - 10:49pm.
The line on the Bali 9

"With the sentencing of members of the heroin trafficking conspiracy in Indonesia this week we are seeing a re-run, with variations, on what has become a familiar tune. One that began with Schapelle Corby in early 2005 and became full tragedy with the murder of Van Nguyan in Singapore in December last year. Namely the chorus of commentary around young Australians overseas and drugs." Tony Phillips

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Submitted by admin on February 15, 2006 - 10:41pm.
Back flip
Back flip
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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on February 15, 2006 - 10:39pm.
Wheat twists
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Submitted by Kerryn Higgs on February 15, 2006 - 9:55am.
George W Bush – prospects for the sixth year

"As George W Bush embarks on his sixth year in office, it’s anybody’s guess whether his administration’s egregious misrepresentations, misjudgements and (quite probably) crimes will end up carrying any penalty. We will perhaps be able to gauge the electoral implications with the midterm Congressional elections this November, though it should always be remembered that the US electoral system, which has become heavily reliant on unaudited electronic voting machines, is vulnerable to vote-tampering." Kerryn Higgs

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Submitted by Dale Mills on February 15, 2006 - 8:46am.
Australian police to use Tasers

"NSW Police are conducting a trial preparatory to the introduction of Tasers by Australian police. Tasers are hand-held stun guns that fire two metal probes attached to copper wires, delivering a 55,000-volt electric shock that lasts for five seconds." Dale Mills

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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on February 14, 2006 - 11:56am.
Politicised science

"Claims that the fossil fuel industry had unprecedented access to confidential Commonwealth government processes and the silencing of senior climate change scientists require an independent investigation." Greens Senator Christine Milne, in response to last night's 4-Corners program, "The Greenhouse Mafia."

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Submitted by Irfan Yusuf on February 13, 2006 - 3:07pm.
On Valentines and Half-Requited Love

"I seriously hope reading Van’s story doesn’t spoil your Valentines Day. Most of us find love in more conventional ways. But as Van’s story and Brokeback Mountain powerfully illustrate, unconventional love can be just as real even if the pressures of society and circumstance don’t allow it to be fully requited." Irfan Yusuf

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Submitted by admin on February 13, 2006 - 2:43pm.
Patriot news
Patriot news
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