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Archive - Jan 2009

Date
Submitted by John Pratt on January 31, 2009 - 8:56pm.
Afghanistan – now is the time to get out
Molan says that the troop numbers required to win the war would be about 500,000. He also says that if the West in unprepared to commit these kind of resource we should “cut our loses now and get out”. I think he is right. I doubt if the US is prepared or now even has the will to commit the resources needed.
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Submitted by John Pratt on January 31, 2009 - 8:45pm.
Rudd must remove the gag
Too many women in the third world are being denied access to legal abortion. These women often have to resort to illegal backyard abortions. Many die as a result. It is time Kevin Rudd stood up for these women and gave them the same rights that Australian women enjoy.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 30, 2009 - 9:49am.
How lawyers helped create Guantanamo
One of the lessons, if we need lessons, from all of this is that lawyers can always be recruited to sanctify just about any illegality the state deems appropriate. There was the chief lawyer at the Pentagon, "Jim" Haynes, Cheney's legal advisor, David Addington, John Yoo, from the Justice Department and now at Berkeley, and Jay Bybee, who is currently a federal appeals judge.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 27, 2009 - 11:05pm.
Citizens Electoral Council slams "Rudd Bank"
“This so-called Rudd Bank proposal is a continuation of the globalist policies adopted by Labor under Hawke and Keating, which systematically handed the public resources that old Labor had built up for decades, over to private financial interests. "- CEC head Craig Isherwood
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on January 26, 2009 - 4:27pm.
Freedom of speech, Aussie style
The most concerning part of the conversation was that this man was quite well spoken, and polite.  He gave his name, why he was upset with me and the threat.   I told him that I was sorry his son had died in Afghanistan. He then repeated his name, grievance and threat.    No swearwords or invective- had he been a foul-mouthed ranter I would be able to dismiss worries much more easily.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 25, 2009 - 2:34pm.
Australian of the Year 2009
The finalists for Australian of the Year, and their biographies, appear below. What are Webdiarists’ views on the likely winner – and if none of the below appeals, who would you have nominated instead, and why?
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Submitted by Paul Walter on January 23, 2009 - 7:14pm.
The unconsidered life: Gunns' pulp mill edition
I'd argue that Gunns since the 'nineties is a subspecies of the privatisation/ PPP's phenomena that occurred over the last generation, forced on communities by burgeoning globalisation coupled with a giant con perpetrated by politicians and corporate interests on apathetic Western publics.
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Submitted by Andrew Glikson on January 21, 2009 - 2:34pm.
Planet eaters: Chain reactions, black holes and climate change
Planetcide challenges every faith, ideal and social system humans ever held. Individuals are crushed, as in H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, when cells rebelling against the insanity of a murderous global Martian society are destroyed by the parent organism.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 21, 2009 - 2:12pm.
Planet eaters 06
Planet eaters 06
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 21, 2009 - 2:12pm.
Planet eaters 05
Planet eaters 05
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 21, 2009 - 2:11pm.
Planet eaters 04
Planet eaters 04
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 21, 2009 - 2:11pm.
Planet eaters 03
Planet eaters 03
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 21, 2009 - 2:10pm.
Planet eaters 02
Planet eaters 02
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 21, 2009 - 2:09pm.
Planet eaters 01
Planet eaters 01
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 21, 2009 - 11:41am.
President Obama’s Inaugural Address
What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 20, 2009 - 8:36pm.
Just hours away...
Let's not leave Barack Obama alone to clean up the mess. As he takes his oath today, please take one yourself -- to work harder than ever to end these wars, create universal health care, save our planet, end poverty, increase knowledge and establish a true government "of, by and for the people" (Michael Moore)
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Submitted by Veronica Le Nevez on January 19, 2009 - 12:41pm.
How should I live?
'You've MADE it!' That's the message that's used to sell everything, from clothes to diets to holidays. You've made it, you're worth it – we want to shout to the rooftops that we are successful! But the moment of triumphalism is always short-lived, and always followed by a hollowness – the void that waits for the next purchase, the next triumph.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 16, 2009 - 4:40pm.
For most conspicuous acts of gallantry in action in a circumstance of great peril...
Today marks a milestone in Australian military history - the first award (following abolition of Imperial honours in 1991) of a Victoria Cross for Australia.
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Submitted by John Pratt on January 16, 2009 - 3:25pm.
Arne Naess will be missed
Arne Naess died on 12th January 2009, aged 96. He was a Norwegian philosopher who promoted an all-embracing relationship between humans and the earth. He was an inspiration for many Green political activists.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 15, 2009 - 1:50pm.
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu...
Presidents can try to avoid hard decisions and therefore avoid controversy. That's just not my nature. I'm the kind of person that, you know, is willing to take on hard tasks, and in times of war people get emotional; I understand that. Never really, you know, spent that much time, frankly, worrying about the loud voices. I of course hear them, but they didn't affect my policy, nor did they affect – affect how I made decisions. (President George W. Bush)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 15, 2009 - 1:27pm.
Torture used at Guantanamo Bay: Susan J. Crawford
Throughout the Bush years, politicians and the media, both in Australia and abroad, have been prepared to play brazen Alice in Wonderland games with definitions. ... You can admit to the use of stress positions, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation and the rest of it – brutalities long familiar from the dungeons of the most sinister regimes in the world – so long as you barefacedly announce, as Bush did in 2006: "The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values." (Jeff Sparrow)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 14, 2009 - 1:39pm.
The Fed's response to the global financial crisis
A clear lesson of the recent period is that the world is too interconnected for nations to go it alone in their economic, financial, and regulatory policies. International cooperation is thus essential if we are to address the crisis successfully and provide the basis for a healthy, sustained recovery. (Ben Bernanke)
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 13, 2009 - 11:22pm.
Demand for more change on immigration detention
The Australian Human Rights Commission says asylum seekers are still being treated like political footballs and enduring "miserable" conditions at some immigration detention centres...The Government says conditions are improving and it is committed to a set of immigration values. But the Human Rights Commissioner, Graeme Innes, has told Naomi Woodley in Canberra that he's still waiting to see if those values translate into actual changes. (Brendan Trembath, Radio National's AM)
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Submitted by Norman Abjorensen on January 12, 2009 - 11:02pm.
State of Exception
New South Wales likes to think of itself as Australia, but it isn’t. Back in 1887, the redoubtable Henry Parkes even proposed that the colony of New South Wales change its name to Australia – a move not unexpectedly opposed (and ridiculed) by the other colonies. But the sentiment persists. The former prime minister John Howard was a typical Sydneysider (an early Victorian term for those who lived on the Sydney side of the Murray). He professed not to recognise state identities or loyalties; we are, after all, simply Australians. (Norman Abjorensen)
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Submitted by B.A. Brown on January 12, 2009 - 11:39am.
Thoughtful wishing: in the days of terror from the air, patriot acts on the ground
If we wish an end to terror, then we need to act to halt terror from the sky. Well-resourced airstrikes, slowly improving blasts from Gazan shanty-towns and mad mullahs invoking the gods; they all reign over terror, with innocent civilians too often on the receiving end. Bearded cult-leaders from all three Apocalyptic or Messianic faiths have to be reined in. Their ill-considered orthodoxies, centred on out-dated doctrines damage children, be they blasted bodily as cost of war, or blitzed conceptually by head-rocking rote drills from holy scrolls of one era or another.
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Submitted by admin on January 11, 2009 - 11:07pm.
We're baaaaaaack
Webdiary returns, in fighting trim for an interesting 2009.
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Submitted by Andrew Glikson on January 11, 2009 - 11:06pm.
The Faustian Bargain
The sensitivity of the Earth’s atmosphere to anthropogenic carbon gases has been underestimated. As the orgy of burning carbon products of 400 million of biological evolution continues unabated, pushed by business, advertisers and consumption-promoting governments, global warming proceeds at a pace faster than projected by the IPCC, tracking toward likely climate tipping points.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on January 11, 2009 - 11:05pm.
Cruci-fiction at Christmas: Murdoch's annual Hicks attack
The paper started this summer's attack on Hicks just before Christmas, as the restrictive control orders expired.  There was no messing around as every point possible was fired into the public mindset, accompanied by a command that Hicks should reveal all.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 11, 2009 - 11:04pm.
But the greatest of these is love
There is nothing like the prospect of a radical life change to concentrate the mind on things that really mater. So I want to identify, if I can, the most important thing that we discover in life. At least, it is the most important thing that I have discovered. I will share it with you, like a precious jewel, fit for this occasion. I refer to love. Love for one another. Love for our community. Love for others everywhere in the world. Love transcends even scholarship, cleverness and university degrees. It is greater than pride and wealth. It endures when worldly vanities fade.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 11, 2009 - 11:03pm.
Gaza Media Statement
We are Australian Jews who join thousands in Israel and around the world condemning ongoing Israeli military attacks on Gaza. Together with Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, we condemn the current war as "inhuman, superfluous" and "abominable". While Israel has the right to protect its citizens and to demand an end to the crime of Palestinian rockets that target civilians, this cannot be used as a pretext for the grossly disproportionate military assault on Gaza ...(Australian Independent Jewish Voices)
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