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The peril of ignoring history’s lessons

One more thing about the creeping erosion of liberty in the name of security: underlying public acceptance of these measures is the assumption that we will continue to live under a benign government. History gives the lie to that. Look at Turkey, for example. Or Italy and Germany in the thirties, where the expectation that embracing authoritarianism would make everyone much safer. Except it didn’t.

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The worst Aussie politician ever?

Tough call, I know, but Pauline Hanson must be a serious contender if not the champion. This week, in regard to the government’s two tax bills,  she has switched positions on her and her party’s voting intentions so frequently that no-one knows what her current stance is. One minute she’s saying she’s “steadfast” in her opposition, only to say hours later she’ll vote with the government if her demands are met, one … Read more

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More erosion of liberty (2)

Yesterday I was concerned about a federal bill to limit the right to protest freely. Today I discover that the New South Wales Parliament has just issued a regulation that provides public officials with broad power to “direct a person” to stop “taking part in any gathering, meeting or assembly” that takes place on public land, e,g. roads, squares, parks. The only exception is “in the case of a cemetery, for the … Read more

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More erosion of liberty

The Foreign Espionage Bill (or, to give it its full name, National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill) going through parliament at the moment is a threat to not-for-profit (NFP) organisations in that it could make peaceful protests punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Hundreds of thousands of people around Australia took to the streets to protest against Australian involvement in the Iraq war. Potentially, they could all be … Read more

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Not everyone seeks to aspire

Years ago I received a phone call from someone saying I’d been referred to him by my local servo owner. The caller said he had a great investment that would interest me. It was one of those too good to be true opportunities and I told him I wasn’t interested. “But,” he said, “you’ll  make a small fortune.” “Still not interested,” I said. “Don’t you want to be rich?” he persisted. “No. … Read more

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Antarctic ice melting faster than ever

“Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies. A report led by scientists in the UK and US found the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has accelerated threefold in the last five years and is now vanishing faster than at any previously recorded time. A separate study warns … Read more

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Dunning-Kruger Effect and politics

(Video from YouTube)

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Is Neoliberalism the same as capitalism?

Capitalism is an economic system where the means of production and distribution of goods and services for profit are owned by a few as opposed to the state. The means of production are entrepreneurship, labour, capital goods, and natural resources. Capitalism requires a free market economy in which to operate. Neoliberalism is both an economic and a political system. It embraces laissez-faire (unregulated) capitalism, removal of all constraints to trade, globalisation (removal … Read more

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Interchange between politicians and the mining industry

This post is not implying that anyone mentioned below has broken the law. It serves only to show the close relationship between mining companies and Australian politics. The influence gained is unlikely to be in the public’s best interests. *I’ve bolded the names of the people and entities mentioned. From a comment in The Guardian to an article about the interchange between politicians and the mining industry. Politicians: Former Nationals leader and deputy prime … Read more