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Archive - Apr 2009

Date
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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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 8, 2009 - 3:35pm.
We are all in this together: A jobs and training compact with Australia
I am here to issue a national call to arms: and that is for the nation to bind together as one in a national campaign against unemployment. While government must take the lead, everyone has a part to play. And our end point is clear: to do whatever it takes at the global, national and local level to support local jobs and to help those who lose their jobs to retrain and to find a new job. (Kevin Rudd)
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on April 8, 2009 - 2:46pm.
Wilkins ice shelf
Wilkins ice shelf
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Submitted by Andrew Glikson on April 8, 2009 - 2:41pm.
Can Obama’s carbon caps bridge Antarctic’s ice shelf gaps?
Obama, the EU (and Rudd?) face two issues: first the plethora of extreme weather events around the world, including fatal fires and floods, inherent in accelerating climate change, and second, a massive well-funded disinformation campaign, which has provided governments an excuse to undertake no mitigation measures or over more than 20 years.
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 8, 2009 - 2:22pm.
Access block
According to the Medical Journal of Australia over 2,000 Australians die every year while waiting to be admitted to hospital emergency departments. No wonder doctors are frustrated. What would happen if we were faced with a large scale disaster?
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on April 5, 2009 - 4:45pm.
Getting back on track
Camaraderie, altruism, singing, mediation, a belief that things will turn out well (even if only after death) are all techniques confirmed by science. However, we felt betrayed by religion and turned away. We realised that not only is there no God, but that religious institutions were often as venal and corrupt as secular institutions.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 3, 2009 - 3:54pm.
A turning point?
"Ultimately, the challenges of the 21st century can't be met without collective action.  Agreement will almost never be easy, and results won't always come quickly. But I am committed to respecting different points of view, and to forging a consensus instead of dictating our terms.  That's how we made progress in the last few days. And that's how we will advance and uphold our ideals in the months and years to come." (President Barack Obama)
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Submitted by Eliot Ramsey on April 3, 2009 - 2:05pm.
Danse macabre - Paul McGeough's 'Kill Khalid' and the rise of Hamas
In the surreal, bizarre and frequently deadly world of Middle Eastern politics, and against a backdrop of decades of compromise, incompetence, failure and corruption by secular movements like Fatah, the rise of ultra-conservative, ultra-nationalist Islamist factions such as Hamas and its Lebanese counterpart Hizbolla have signalled a tectonic shift in power relations in the region.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on April 1, 2009 - 12:38am.
Testing ... one, two ... April Fools!
Between the counterterrorists’s Achilles Heel exposed at Sydney Airport last week by the biker brawl, and the failure of the communications system installed at Sydney's most-ever likely time to face a terrorist attack, is it possible to maintain faith that other counterterrorism systems and practices are going to work as and when they're supposed to?
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