Articles

‘Something You Need To Know…’

Paul Tapp. Pub: July 28
29.07.14 4:30 am

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Why Don Hazell came to see me ... And so last week started with a message. It was from a man that I may have interviewed a long time ago, making his way up the business ladder. He owns trucks. The message is handwritten by an Orford businessman and delivered early Monday 21 July by his wife.

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Writers | Paul Tapp | Politics | State | Editor's Choice | History | Legal | Society

Living authentically in the real world – without blind faith or mystery-mongering

Chris Sharples. Pub: July 28
29.07.14 4:15 am

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After MONA’s Fair for Freedom of Belief and Religion, Chris Sharples, ponders the Great Questions ... There are many aspects of the world we find ourselves in that seem at first sight to be frightening and difficult to accept.  That is why our ancestors invented religious belief, and it is why so many still think they need 1religion . Religious ideas have been designed precisely to re-assure us about the things we find most worrying. Yet to someone who thinks that reality actually matters, it must follow that one’s life cannot be fully authentic if one uses stratagems such as religious belief to avoid acknowledgement of the manifest conditions of our existence.  On the contrary, a life lived authentically must be one that acknowledges the actual nature of our existence – with all its potentials and all its limitations – and finds meaning, purpose and satisfaction within the constraints imposed by that reality, rather than by trying to deny them.  Thus, I object to religion for the fundamental reason that it is the greatest obstacle that stands in the way of living a truly authentic life grounded in the reality of the human condition.

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Writers | Chris Sharples | Science | Religion | Society

Elizabeth Warren is Special

Max Atkinson. Pic* Pub: July 28
29.07.14 4:00 am

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There is no one in American public life quite like the Senator for Massachusetts. A Harvard law professor who brings an unusually gracious tone to national debates, her courtesy and good humour come with impressive expertise, a razor-sharp mind and an ability to put complex issues in simple but resonant language. Add endless energy and a commitment to challenge the abuse of financial and political power, and you get a sense of why, after barely two years in office, she is emerging as an alternative to a jaded and compromised Hilary Clinton, as the first US woman President.

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Writers | Max Atkinson | Politics | International | National | Economy | History | Philosophy | Society

NATION: The search for the clean coal holy grail ... as Galilee gets go-ahead

Paddy Manning, Background Briefing Pub: July 28
29.07.14 3:45 am

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Transcript Paddy Manning: Clean coal. It’s the key to a low-emissions future for one of Australia’s largest export industries and a linchpin of the government’s plan to slow climate change. So get ready to hear more claims like this, from Environment Minister Greg Hunt, about cleaning up our coal-fired power stations:

Bob Burton: The track record of Ignite, and it’s common to a lot of these other small companies, is it’s a small company to start with. So the fact that we don’t have major coal companies pursuing these technologies tells us a lot, because major coal companies don’t think this technology is worth investing in, it’s not going to give them significant rates of return. All of these small companies rely on hyping a technology to deliver a future benefit, and then hoping that they can either find private investors, or wangle grants out of governments.

Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst: Concerns over carbon emissions from burning wood

Peter Hannam, Environment Editor SMH: Giant Galilee coal mine gets Canberra nod The federal government has approved a giant Queensland coalmine that it says will generate as much as $300 billion for the economy, but which environmental groups say will contribute to a “carbon bomb” and risk causing significant damage to the Great Barrier Reef.

Helen Burnet:The Federal Government’s Budget cuts This evening (Mon) my motion was considered at last by full council and fully supported regarding the federal government’s budget cuts on the Tasmanian science community, especially relating to climate science.

Mining outlook reaches a new five year low, says latest report

Helen Burnet: Big Issues a Council Matter

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Media | Society

NATION: No job snobs, says Eric. Sending job applications to Senator Abetz ...

Guardian Pub: July 28
29.07.14 3:30 am

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Work for dole program to be expanded to include almost all jobseekers

Morrison defiant as asylum seekers may seek compo

Helen Burnet:The Federal Government’s Budget cuts This evening (Mon) my motion was considered at last by full council and fully supported regarding the federal government’s budget cuts on the Tasmanian science community, especially relating to climate science.

Helen Burnet: Big Issues a Council Matter

Facebook: Sending job applications to Senator Abetz ... As a community we should all get behind our good Senator in his mission to help those who cannot help themselves. Just posted: Call the office, 10 times a day, be persistent, jobs WILL appear. As if by magic. Winners are grinners, the early bird catches the worm, laziness is not next to godliness.

• Simon Warriner, in Comments: Over the years I have applied for a few jobs, and dealt with hundreds of job seekers. Doing so in a courteous manner takes time. Sometimes lots of time. 16,000 unemployed people on the NW Coast looking to lodge 40 job applications a month is going to waste a hell of a lot of time and money for the employers in this region. That time is worth money that would otherwise be profit. Senator Abetz’s policy is an impost on every business, and it will be bitterly resented by many business owners. It is also reminiscent of many campaigns by politicians to demonize a particular “other” in a society to further their own narrow political ends. No government that engages in that tactic is one worth having.

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Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

The Insincere Campbell Newman. Background Briefing’s Qld special

Fairfax. Background Briefing ABC Transcript
29.07.14 3:20 am

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Corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald says Premier Campbell Newman’s apology was insincere.

•John Powell, in Comments: Had the pleasure of witnessing Cambo’s empathy first hand in 2006, Qld in grip of drought and Wivenhoe dam at lowest ever level. I was Project Director of Western Corridor Recycled Water scheme designed to deliver water to the dam etc. I made a presentation to Board of SEQWA the prime water authority of Brisbane. He as Brisbane mayor was a Board Member. Showed zero interest, asked no questions and spent the entire hour playing with his new toy an IPhone! A failed major,  failed mayor and now failed Premier. GONER!

• Background Briefing: Could Campbell be the new Joh? Read the BB Transcript for yourself ... Cathy Van Extel: 25 years on, Tony Fitzgerald and his right hand man Gary Crooke believe they’re watching the LNP undo the hard-won reforms to clean up Queensland and make sure it never happens again.

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Politics | National | State | History | Legal | Society

The pervasive power of Rupert Murdoch. The Bullying and Hypocrisy of Andy Coulson

Nick Davies, The Guardian. Extract of Hack Attack ... Pub: July 28
29.07.14 3:15 am

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In this first extract from his new book, the reporter who broke the phone hacking story looks at Rebekah Brooks’s 2009 wedding – and how it was a perfect display of the nature of Rupert Murdoch’s hold on British life

Nick Davies’ Second Extract: Bullying and hypocrisy – Andy Coulson’s reign at the News of the World

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Media | Society

Essays from Near and Far - Northern Launch

Editor
28.07.14 4:00 am

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Great poet, great man, Tim Thorne, will be launching James Dryburgh’s Essays from Near and Far in the north at Petrarch’s Bookshop, 89 Brisbane Street, Launceston, Friday 1st August at 6pm.

In Essays from Near and Far, James Dryburgh manages to contextualise and illuminate the human condition. From South America to Tasmania his collection of essays reveal the motivations and beliefs of those who struggle against economic, historical and political injustices. He also succeeds in articulating his own soul and the reasons why he is drawn to the subjects explored. A great collection by an author not afraid to immerse himself and, quite literally, get his hands dirty in pursuit of the essential story in the tradition of the finest literary non-fiction.

John Martinkus, Journalist, Author and Academic. More HERE:

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Books | What's On

My anger at the instant blaming of the Ukrainian resistance and Russia

Bart Wisse
28.07.14 3:30 am

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In our society even those accused of heinous crimes have a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Like all of our species with a heart and a mind, I was deeply saddened by the horror of MH17, particularly with two daughters and a grandchild in Europe, soon to return.

Huff Post: 9/11 Human Remains Possibly Recovered From WTC Debris, Says NYC Medical Examiner

An expert’s view: Another Look at the AA Missile Theory - TTG

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Politics | International | National | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (22)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/
28.07.14 3:15 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Society

The Torquay Ferry Cross the Mersey

John Powell, Myrtlebank
28.07.14 3:00 am

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The Torquay Ferry has been in continuous operation since the 1850’s transporting community members across the Mersey from East to West and return.

• Luke Martin, in Comments: Unique, heritage assets like this don’t grow on trees, and we know from the challenge with heritage rail across the State once something ceases operation just how much more challenging and expensive it is to resurrect the operation. Nevertheless it seems from this article and stories in the Advocate, there are some fundamental challenges with the Torquay that maybe require a total rethink of its future purpose. In this context, I’d be interested if thought has gone into the following questions?

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Writers | John Powell | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society | Transport

Five reasons every journalist should be fired (me included)

Dan Uglow, Cirrus Media
28.07.14 2:45 am

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In case you didn’t notice, the media industry is in the throes of a revolution. At the forefront of this you’ll find journalists, and many of them are just as resistant to change as the organisations that employ them.

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Media

Forestry Tasmania’s Blueprint for Entitlement ...

Dr. Gordon Bradbury, http://www.blackwoodgrowers.com.au ABC pic of Steve Whiteley. first pub; July 23
27.07.14 7:25 am

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Forestry Tasmania creates logging blueprint for state’s timber production zone: Mercury here, and: Forestry Tasmania here It’s all a bit hum-hum, sad and pathetic isn’t it? Forestry Tasmania is in absolute crisis and they go and release a 3 Year Wood Production Plan as if it’s business as usual – wasting Tasmanian taxpayers’ money and continuing the political dogfight logging our public native forest.

• PB, in Comments: There is a veil of secrecy over the pricing terms for Ta Ann’s peeler billets which Forestry Tasmania refuses to release. Former Greens MP Tim Morris applied for details under the old Freedom of Information Act on 3 August 2007 and the Ombudsman subsequently determined that Forestry Tasmania should be exempt from releasing price information on the grounds that it would be “likely to expose it to competitive disadvantage in international markets”.

• John Hawkins, in Comments: I am willing to take this matter of the Peeler Billet contract with Ta Ann further with a possible court action if evidence of malpractice can be gathered and collated. This action would be taken by me as a private citizen on behalf of the people of Tasmania regarding the possible misuse of a public asset by a GBE. How and if this can be done could be ascertained by good legal and inside advice all to be publicly expressed on this site ...

• John Hawkins, in Comments: Thankyou for the above. You can immediately see the collective nous of the TT readership swinging into action. If Barnett can have a Parliamentary Committee enquiring into a private transaction at Triabunna conducted by a private company over an asset they actually own, surely we as a quid pro quo may use the private sector, employing the same rules of engagement to enquire into a loss making GBE that is hurting the state’s bottom line and costing jobs in our public service all to the detriment of the people. FT is a monopoly business who claim “Commercial in Confidence” as an excuse to protect themselves from external scrutiny. We can work out a plan based on Timelines, public documents and FOI over the granting of the Ta Ann quotas, those involved and the likelihood of corruption of due process. Add to this all the gifts under the TFA, where and to whom this money has gone, it cannot be gifted without documentation. We know the sum paid to Ta Ann to surrender the FT quotas, we know who granted the quotas, we know that they were impossible to meet without overcutting, we know the long duration of the contracts and we know the low price as tied to a now unsaleable woodchip product. From this it is obvious that those running FT were not acting in the interest of the public or their employees. Barnett and Triabunna may yet set a precedent that may be turned to the advantage of the people of Tasmania.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Michael Ferguson: Rebuilding Tasmania’s Health System

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health. First pub: July 26
27.07.14 7:00 am

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Speech to Tasmanian Health Conference 2014 at the UTAS Medical Science Precinct today It is my privilege to be here to speak to you today as the Tasmanian Minister for Health. In my first 100 days as Minister I have met and talked with hundreds of dedicated Tasmanian clinicians and health services staff, and hundreds of Tasmanians impacted by a system that is not operating as it should be. And two things have become crystal clear to me.

In order to reflect the fact that we have a distributed model of health care delivery in Tasmania, the administration and secretariat of the new single Tasmanian Health Service will be situated in Launceston.

THO Reform Welcome but Launceston Wrong Location. Download Cassy’s THC speech

Michael Ferguson: One State, One Health System; Better Outcomes

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Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Tassie: Public Servants make up carbon tax shortfall

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk. Will Hodgman (ABC). July 25
26.07.14 11:00 am

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… It is now clear from this week’s announcement of a freeze in public service salaries aimed to save $50 million per annum that public servants have been selected to make up for the shortfall in government revenue arising from the abolition of carbon pricing.

Andrew Wilkie: Don’t leave pensioners out in the cold

Andrew Wilkie: One health organisation a good idea ... but not Launceston

Jan Davis: Let’s fire up and cut the fuel risk

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Writers | John Lawrence | Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

Tabloid-driven sentencing policies waste public money and lives

David Harper, University of Melbourne First pub: July 24
26.07.14 10:00 am

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The simplistic nature of the tabloid coverage of sentencing ignores the hard truth that the threat of punishment serves only as a vague general deterrent. Particular sentences, and even publicised increases in maximum penalties, serve almost no deterrent purpose at all. Witness, as an entirely typical example, the public brawl last May between James Packer and David Gyngell at the height of the publicity given to a new maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment for a death resulting from a “king hit”. Tough new ‘one punch’ penalties clearly didn’t deter James Packer and David Gyngell. Nevertheless, the hopelessly skewed message of the tabloids has its effect.  The tendency to public outrage is fostered. The public’s desire for sterner punishments is born and then cultivated. Inappropriate law and order policies are adopted.

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Writers | Buck Emberg

Richard Flanagan lone Aussie on Booker longlist

Jason Steger, Literary Editor, The Age. First pub: July 24
25.07.14 4:45 am

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Richard Flanagan is the sole Australian writer on the longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize, the first time the prize has been open to writers of any nationality.

What The Man Booker Prizes says about Richard Flanagan

• And a little more reading ...

• Paul Tapp, in Comments: Long list good; short list better; Booker Winner, best! Richie Porte for riding; Flanagan for writing…a good global look for Tassie…do hope a certain mayor catches up with this!

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Writers | Richard Flanagan | Books | Society

Damon’s sparkling launch ...

An Insider
25.07.14 4:30 am

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Lord Mayor Damon Thomas’s C3 church ‘last canvas event’ on Wednesday evening was star speckled.  Colourful John X was the MC and well known culture vulture Leo Schofield formally launched the campaign. 

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Politics | Local | Economy | Society

2012-13 Child Protection Australia Report Highlights Need for Change

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services Media Release
25.07.14 4:15 am

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The Liberal Government took to the election a commitment to, and acknowledgment of, the need for a major cultural shift in child protection.

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | Society

Will voters find out who is funding Tasmanian local government election campaigns?

Bob Burton. Photo: Hobart Town Hall. Photo Bob Burton. First pub: July 21
25.07.14 3:45 am

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When Tasmanians vote in the October local government elections they will have no way of knowing who is funding the election campaigns of the candidates due to the state’s outdated local government regulations. Nor will voters ever find out, as Tasmania is the only state in Australia that has no requirement for local government candidates to disclose who funded their campaign.

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

Helen Burnet hosting women in local government event

Peter Gutwein: 102nd LGAT Conference

Nick McKim: Still Time to Ensure Transparency for Local Government Elections

The Mercury: Clarity call on local government election donors

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Society

Tasmanian Times Traffic Report July 2014

The Editors
24.07.14 4:39 am

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Dear Readers, It has been a while since the last TT traffic report so here’s a long-overdue update.

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Submitting material for Tasmanian Times

The Editors
24.07.14 4:30 am

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Readers are encouraged to contribute material to Tasmanian Times (TT). It could be a news article, an opinion column, a portfolio of photos, a cartoon, links to videos or anything else you think would appeal to TT’s audience. TT also publishes media releases from a wide range of groups to help record debates about important topics.

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Tony Abbott briefed Rupert Murdoch on paid parental leave before party room

Laura Tingle, AFR
24.07.14 3:19 am

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Tony Abbott gave media proprietor Rupert Murdoch a detailed briefing on his controversial $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme before he announced it without consulting his shadow cabinet or MPs.

James Massola, SMH: Joe Hockey biography by Madonna King reveals Treasurer wanted tougher budget

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When the mayor’s away, a relaxed council plays

Bob Hawkins. Pic: of HVC Mayor - and MLC - Robert Armstrong. First pub: July 22
23.07.14 6:00 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games  Robert Armstrong — Huon Valley Council’s sometimes mayor and the Huon Division’s sometimes member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council (parliament’s upper house) — was, I believe, still playing council clown and toying with the municipality voters when Wednesday’s council meeting (July 16) began. And he wasn’t even there.

Yesterday on Tasmanian Times. Bob Burton: Will voters find out who is funding Tasmanian local government election campaigns?

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

Helen Burnet hosting women in local government event

Peter Gutwein: 102nd LGAT Conference

Nick McKim: Still Time to Ensure Transparency for Local Government Elections

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

Damon painting his last canvas

Andy Woodworker. First pub: July 22
23.07.14 5:15 am

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The residents of Hobart directly elect the Lord Mayor in October this year. The role is important being the Mayor of the capital city. This election is an important one as, for the first time the Mayor will be elected for a four-year term rather than a two-year term.

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

•Alderman Jeff Briscoe, in Comments:In this era, more that ever, the times are a changing, transparency and honesty are required and conflicts of interests should be declared and/or managed openly and that includes the overdue reform of declaring donations to Lord Mayoral campaigns. Those paid guests to Damon Thomas’s last canvas launch at the C3 on Wednesday should be reminded of that before they open up their cheque books.

Helen Burnet hosting women in local government event

Peter Gutwein: 102nd LGAT Conference

Nick McKim: Still Time to Ensure Transparency for Local Government Elections

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

And Nothing Changes (2). Christopher Nagle: Shylock in the 21st century ...

© Martyn Turner, Irish Times. Used with permission. First pub: July 21
23.07.14 5:10 am

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ABC, 5am, July 21, 2014: Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says world supports military operation as day of fighting takes Gaza death toll beyond 400

• Earlier: And Nothing Changes ...

Christopher Nagle: Shylock in the 21st century, who says ... The subject of the enduring unpopularity of Jews since ancient times maybe these days a risky exercise, but it is nonetheless an extremely rewarding seam of exploration. Nobody, despite their best efforts, can truly remain neutral about this extraordinary and fraught little tribe, despite a welter of hypocrisy, cant and denial, that pretends we are all extremely cool on this very dangerous subject.  All the prejudices about Jews, regardless of where they are coming from, are likely to be juicy, subterranean and barely explored beyond the boundaries of safety and ideological self-consciousness. The roots of this conundrum are absolutely fascinating, both personally and intellectually.  And when you get to the point in the narrative when you feel you have got a bit too close to the tiger’s cage for comfort, that is when you just have to read on…...

• Leonard Colquhoun, in Comments: ‘Fascist / fascism’ became an “equally awful cliche” and just as “unusable” after, say, the 1980s. To adapt a well-known saying, ‘We’re (or maybe ‘You’re’) all fascists now’. Mostly, it now deserves no more than an ‘If you say so’ put-down, especially when used by people who seem to have no clue about what the real fascists did. Let’s add ‘outrage/d’ and ‘devastated’ to the list -  a story in today’s Mercury reported how some people were “outraged” by a Commonwealth Games swimming uniform having a Tasmania-less diagram of Australia, FFS!!  “Outraged”?  -  We’re all fucking ‘outraged’ now!! All the fucking time. At fucking anything.

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Politics | International | Satire

Righteous pollies come down hard on Jacquie ...

ABC
23.07.14 5:00 am

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Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has issued an apology for a radio interview in which she described her perfect man as being well-off and “well-hung”.

• Mark, in Comments: Yes, as expected every lightweight media dribbler and self-righteous pollie is desperate to weigh in. On the media side, well it’s just a reflection of their operating levels. They’d rather sink their teeth into this one and wail about Lambie being fit for office than go out and dig up any real stories. On the political side, spare me. We’ve got the likes of Bryan Green weighing in with their opinion. I’m still more concerned with Bryan’s two well hung juries than Lambie’s well hung comments.

• Simon Warriner, in Comments: Being lectured by Bryan Green about embarrassing Tasmania is hypocrisy exemplified. The sanctimonious nonsense being spouted by her political opponents is no surprise. She is unafraid of calling a spade a spade and using one. Having her digging in the dirt that is Tasmanian politics must scare them shitless.

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

Aussie UN resolution passes ...

ABC
22.07.14 6:00 am

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ABC: MH17: UN Security Council backs Australian resolution condemning Malaysia Airlines plane’s downing, includes video

Count to Ten when a plane goes down ...

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Politics | International | National

Catastrophic failure of justice system in Sue Neill-Fraser case

Eve Ash. Graphic: Miguel Robertson
21.07.14 5:30 am

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‘Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction is a wrongful conviction’, says Dr Bob Moles one of Australia’s foremost experts on miscarriages of justice. Chester Porter QC, Robert Richter QC, Stuart Tipple and other top Australian legal minds are alarmed by this case. It is a catastrophic failure of our justice system in Tasmania and Australia.

Barbara Etter: In Baden-Clay Scratch Marks on His Face - In Sue Neill-Fraser a 1-2 cm cut on her Thumb?

Court of Criminal Appeals decision. Read for yourself, here

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Writers | Barbara Etter | Politics | State | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Public opinion and democracy

Max Atkinson. Pic: of Edmund Burke
21.07.14 4:30 am

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Richard Cooke, writing in the June edition of The Monthly ( The People v the Political Class, here ), condemns politicians for ignoring public opinion. His thoughtful and informative essay on the causes of the present discontent looks to the demise of two-party politics to restore substance to democratic ideals; but is there any basis for this optimism other than that it might restore integrity to political debate by challenging doctrines of party unity? His account of the problem, persuasive as it is, arguably ends just where serious debate begins.

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Writers | Max Atkinson | Politics | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Society