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Archive - Jan 2008

Date
Submitted by Richard Tonkin on January 31, 2008 - 9:33am.
AFP = Above Freedom of Press?
"The ministers that presided over the fiascos have been booted from thecorridors of power to the back-alleys of Liberal Party HQ.  Keelty, onthe other hand, remains aloof from calls that such as him should beaccountable for their mistakes."
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Submitted by David Roffey on January 30, 2008 - 5:32pm.
Peak Coal?
"The perception that coal is the fossil fuel of last resort may well be an illusion." Energy Watch. Professor David Rutledge of CalTech in a lecture last October, suggests that world coal reserves are grossly overstated and could be substantially exhausted this century.
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Submitted by John Pratt on January 30, 2008 - 4:38pm.
Past the tipping point?
Last month may have been the most important yet in the two-decade history of the fight against global warming. ... But what may turn out to be the most crucial development went largely unnoticed. ... A NASA scientist named James Hansen offered a simple, straightforward and mind-blowing bottom line for the planet: 350, as in parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It's a number that may make what happened in Washington and Bali seem quaint and nearly irrelevant. It's the number that may define our future. (Jim McKibben)
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Submitted by Bob Wall on January 30, 2008 - 3:42pm.
Bush's Last Hurrah
"Not a good start for reality. And that's just the first paragraph. Starting there, there should be plenty of opportunities for 'Diarists to provide their views on the validity (or otherwise) of Bush's claims." 
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Submitted by PF Journey on January 29, 2008 - 5:35am.
The legacy of Suharto
Greg Sheridan, writing for the Oz, describes the Suharto as "an authentic giant of Asia, a nation-builder, a dictator, a changer of history" My own analysis is that he has done more harm to Indonesia than good. He did create short term stability for the country, but on the fundamental issues that are vital to the long term prosperity, democracy and survival of the country, he has come out short, very short.
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Submitted by Melody Kemp on January 29, 2008 - 5:21am.
A death in the family
Australians have a fear of Indonesia that is only equalled by Indonesian’s fear about Australia. The major difference is that Indonesians know far more about Australian politics than Australians know about Indonesia.
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on January 28, 2008 - 7:43am.
They make a grain into a kubba
Over the past two and a half years, researchers at the Fund for Independence in Journalism have sought to document every public statement made by eight top Bush administration officials from September 11, 2001, to September 11, 2003, regarding (1) Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction and (2) Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Although both had been frequently cited as rationales for the U.S. war in Iraq, by 2005 it was known that these assertions had not, in fact, been true.(Center for Public Integrity)
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Submitted by Basil J Smith on January 26, 2008 - 1:32pm.
Resurrecting democracy
The genius of Athenian democracy lay in the fact that the people were able to join in all the discussions and decisions. However, the size of populations in modern societies has caused a reliance on government by representatives - and our political system is now contaminated by political parties. We must recreate the dream of democracy — the rule of a participating, responsible people.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 17, 2008 - 5:24pm.
Empire versus Democracy: Why Nemesis is at the door of the USA
In Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, Chalmers Johnson compares  the US’s present military behaviour with that of the Roman Empire, and warns that financial bankruptcy could herald the breakdown of constitutional government in America.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on January 16, 2008 - 6:26am.
Filipino Monkey - the new "Tonkin Incident"?
Sound from a man speaking from a small open boat would be accompanied by background noise like wind and the engine, but the dialogue on the video is unhampered, as spoken from a closed room. The Pentagon, according to the Guardian, has countered  this problem by saying that it recorded the film and the sound separately and then edited them together to give a "better idea of what is happening"...
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Submitted by PF Journey on January 14, 2008 - 9:07am.
The SCG Cricket Match: The new Lagaan
Not much has been written, in fact nothing at all, about the geopolitical significance of that controversial New Year cricket match at the SCG. Yes, geopolitical. It was about the emergence of India as the next economic super power and manifesting itself as a cricket super power as well. This is the elephant in the room that everyone is still not seeing.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 6, 2008 - 1:54pm.
Leftie? Yeah, right...
Why is it that in Greece and other European countries, being on the Left or supportive of the Left is not met with ridicule, disdain or horror? Why is it that PASOK leader George Papandreou can say at the end of his election speech: ‘I ask all Greeks of democratic persuasion to vote against the Right’? And why didn’t every newspaper in the country attack him or laugh at him for saying it? (Jeana Vithoulkas)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 6, 2008 - 12:57pm.
Swings and Roundabouts
One of the insights of behavioural economics - which is the study of the way people actually think about economic issues, not the way they should think - is that, unlike economists, most people don't add pluses and minuses together to get a net result. (Ross Gittins)
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 6, 2008 - 12:49pm.
An Ottoman warning for indebted America
Future historians will look back on the current decade as a turning point comparable with that of the Seventies. No, not the 1970s. This is not going to be another piece pointing out the coincidence of an unpopular Republican president, soaring oil prices, a sagging dollar and an unwinnable faraway war. I am talking about the 1870s. (Niall Ferguson)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 6, 2008 - 10:45am.
People like us
There is a gulf in Australian society between Muslim and non-Muslim, fuelled by fear and ignorance but, more significantly, by arrogance, says Aly, a lecturer in politics at Monash University.
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on January 3, 2008 - 10:34am.
The Yorick Despatches - Part VII
Well, as I reported earlier, the Yorick papers are more engrossing all the time. These are the replies to his despatch of October 1807. Rum stuff.
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Submitted by David Roffey on January 1, 2008 - 8:13pm.
Management Update 26
December unsurprisingly quieter on the site than November ...
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