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Archive - 2009

Submitted by Joe Garavente on May 6, 2009 - 12:06pm.
Protecting the job market as working holiday visas soar
Earlier this year, as you might recall, the Federal government cut its skilled migration program by 14% in response to worsening economic conditions. Many people worried about Australia’s unemployment supported the decision - but they may not realise the number of working holiday visas is rising rapidly instead.
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Submitted by Isheeta Sumra on May 6, 2009 - 12:12am.
Unveiling the “real” pirates
Doesn’t sound right, does it? Why then call a Somali fisherman one, when it was the western powers that exploited the socially, politically and economically unstable Somalia and turned the small-time Somali fisherman into a pirate?
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Submitted by Steven Bowman on May 5, 2009 - 11:56pm.
Party like it’s 2009
To the recently unemployed, the current economic crisis may seem like a flashback to the soup lines of The Great Depression. However, to many still working in high-paying sectors such as finance, law and technology, the credit crunch is merely a recurring news headline that could lower the cost of their next holiday.
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Submitted by Lucy Polkinghorne on May 5, 2009 - 11:23pm.
Stamping the wrong message
When Australia Post made the controversial decision to remove Brett Stewart’s face from the 2008 NRL Grand Final Collector’s stamps, it sent out a strong message to the public. Guilty. But Stewart has not yet been found guilty. So why should he be punished by being left off the stamps?
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Submitted by Megan van der Hoeven on May 5, 2009 - 4:42pm.
Child care affordability: Not as easy as ABC
The collapse of ABC has seen government funds being spent on bailing out ABC, rather than being spent on establishing new centres, or improving the quality of existing ones. One man’s greed has impacted on hundreds of thousands of families across the country.
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Submitted by Nadia Saccardo on May 4, 2009 - 6:56pm.
Liquor licences still out of reach for small Sydney bars
A combination of processing delays at the City of Sydney council and staffing issues at the state government run Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) make applying for a small bar licence unaffordable for many entrepreneurs. Changing the law simply wasn’t, and isn’t, enough.
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Submitted by Louise Easson on May 4, 2009 - 6:48pm.
Appearance matters
Sob-stories about the unfair way that females are judged by their appearance globally have been all over the Australian press in the last couple of weeks, from the frumpy Scottish singer Susan Boyle’s rise to fame, to Veronica Lario’s objection to her husband’s selection of beautiful young women to the European Parliament.
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Submitted by Michelle Webber on May 4, 2009 - 6:10pm.
Social network monitoring: Are employers ‘unethical’ or showing initiative?
It’s no wonder why employers are monitoring social networking sites and sacking workers for posting potentially threatening material to protect their company’s reputation. That’s why employees need to develop some common sense about using social networking services.
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Submitted by Yichen Zhu on May 4, 2009 - 5:55pm.
Fare you go – granting travel concessions benefits both students and the State Government
It’s strange that just when Australia’s education system is crying out for more full-fee paying international students, the NSW government is continuously discriminating against them. While travel concession is generally provided to students, I am not getting it – because I am an international student. This means I’m paying twice more each week to get to and from uni.
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Submitted by Anushika de Alw... on May 4, 2009 - 4:24pm.
Patriotic injustice and Fiji's media
In Fiji, the military regime has been exercising the time-honoured routine of silencing critique by media censorship. If the expectation was to ensure social stability and continued power, then, thus far, they have been successful.
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Submitted by David Roffey on May 3, 2009 - 8:19am.
Management Update 40
Abbreviated report submitted from a motel in Lightning Ridge, where unexpectedly have free WiFi broadband access (enabling me to use Skype from my iPhone for the first time to compensate for Vodafone having no coverage here - how the world moves on, eh?)
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Submitted by Bec Crew on May 1, 2009 - 4:05pm.
The record industry hazes its own hype machine – with a little help from Google
Music bloggers the world over are getting nervous. Suddenly they are the target of an industry that censors and deletes content without warning, and there’s very little the blogger can do to prevent it. Since late last year, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been making reckless attempts to crack down on online music piracy.
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Submitted by David Roffey on April 29, 2009 - 4:23pm.
Take that, you swine!
JULY UPDATE: Now we have many dead Australians and the belated pandemic declaration it's probably time to re-open discussion on this one. PS note that no-one knows how many swine flu cases there have been globally, as very few countries actually test everyone with flu symptoms to find out whether they have H1N1 A. Nearly everyone's case numbers are an underestimate.
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on April 28, 2009 - 2:55pm.
Halbbildung: Imperialism and education
This is Halbbildung: it is not half-education but the denial of education. Each step in the dismantling of the system through which I was educated, each step in the process from education to Halbbildung, has been marked by the rhetoric of standards and testing. With the implementation of each review standards plunged further into the depths of Halbbildung. Good luck! Get all the private education for your kiddies that you can. It’s not going to make any difference.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on April 28, 2009 - 1:29am.
Lest We Forget
What will be the psychological technique applied to exonerate Americans from the leaked CIA memos and the declassification of the damning photos, some of which are of torture of Afghans? How can the U.S. convict Khalid Sheik Mahommed when the public now knows that the CIA waterboarded KSM around a hundred times in a single month? How can the confessions of anyone who arrived at Cheney's Halliburton-built Guantanamo camp via rendition or a CIA ghost camp be treated as anything but the torture-conditioned responses of people who have been treated worse than is permitted for any animal?
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on April 26, 2009 - 2:04pm.
The dance of change
Many of the postings on this site discuss problems and solutions. Much of these discussions are about radical change. This thread seeks to contextualise the broader discussions by outlining a model of five types of problem solving: doing nothing; bombing the bejesus out of it; throwing money at it; continuous improvement; and disruptive innovation.
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 26, 2009 - 1:48pm.
The RAN needs aircraft carriers
The new aircraft carriers proposed by the Chinese would end the domination of our region by the US navy. The Australian navy needs to rethink its policy on aircraft carriers. We will not always be able to rely on the US navy to provide air defence on the high seas; we will have to redevelop our own fleet air arm.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 26, 2009 - 1:36pm.
Hughie is at it again
It's really all about keeping up with the Jones (or whatever the Asian equivalent may be) so now we spend 2% of GDP on armaments, White thinks it should be at least 2.5% – given we always need to ever more secure, why stop at 2.5%?
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on April 24, 2009 - 1:19am.
We Shall Overcome: Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday
"It's no wonder that Seeger remains such an inspiration to musicians of purpose and conscience around the world. He was a founding member of two highly influential folk groups: The Almanac Singers and The Weavers. Although blacklisted and hounded by the House Un-American Activities Committee in August of 1955, he became a figurehead of the Civil Rights movement, inspiring other folk singers to rise up with a national voice of potency"- David Sly
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on April 21, 2009 - 12:31pm.
Hegel for beginners
As I understand it, to be critical is the very opposite of the approach of adopting an alternative worldview, whether from left, right or centre. What we need is not an alternative economic worldview so much as a critical approach in the real sense of the word.
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 20, 2009 - 12:51pm.
More refugees because Australia is a "soft touch” – or because more civilians are under threat?
As the political debate heats up on who is to blame for the increase in the number of Afghan refugees, Malcolm “Returnbill” is pointing his finger at the “softening” by the Rudd government of Australia’s immigration policy. The reality – as the Human Rights Unit of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan points out in a new report – is that the increasing civilian death toll in Afghanistan (and other places) is more likely to be the cause of the increase in refugee numbers than changes to Australia's immigration laws.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 18, 2009 - 12:12pm.
The Panic of 2008
Fear. Breakdown in confidence. Market capitulation. Financial turmoil. These words are different, not just in degree but also in kind. They are more normative, but no less consequential to the real economy. They are indicative of panic conditions. In panics, once firmly held truths are no longer relied upon. Articles of faith are upended. And the very foundations of economies and markets are called into question.
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 18, 2009 - 11:55am.
Project Iron Boomerang
In a time of economic downturn when the private sector is reducing its work force, the national government should step up to the plate with infrastructure spending to stimulate the economy and create jobs for the unemployed. We should be building infrastructure to benefit Australia when the boom times return.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on April 18, 2009 - 11:02am.
scream
scream
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on April 18, 2009 - 11:01am.
geoengineering
geoengineering
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Submitted by Andrew Glikson on April 18, 2009 - 10:38am.
Toward climate geoengineering?
It is likely only a combination of deep urgent cuts in carbon emissions, coupled with major investments in fast-tracked development of a wide range of effective geo-engineering methods may be capable of making the difference.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on April 15, 2009 - 10:42am.
Democratic Audit Update April 2009
Pluses and minuses of federalism, poverty by electorate, campaign finance, electoral redistributions, electronic voting trials, FOI amendments and much, much more in this month’s update.
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Submitted by Anthony Nolan on April 14, 2009 - 5:30pm.
Critical economic theory
One of the problems with the demise of neoliberalism is that it has left an intellectual vacuum in public and policy discussion on economics. Public discussion of economics has been dominated by mysticism founded on the belief that somehow markets are a form of social organisation separate from and distinct to social life.
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Submitted by Alan Thornhill on April 9, 2009 - 1:44pm.
Australia’s banks take a risky path, holding back on rate cuts
The government is arguing, very strongly, that it is doing all it can, to help Australians cope, as the global economic crisis hits the nationnal economy. It is saying, too, that the banks should be playing their part, in that national effort. This is powerful talk. So if the banks do, in fact, have a good case for holding back, on the benefits of the latest rate cut, they would be wise to state it, very clearly.
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Submitted by Rod Reynolds on April 9, 2009 - 11:50am.
The digital super highway
The whole issue of data-carrying capability of the internet and associated services is complex in the extreme, and a very small proportion of the total users could actually use the capacity being talked about today, let alone know what to ask for.
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