"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

No bribes please, we’re corrupt Australians!

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Iain McMenamin, Dublin City University. Photo: Cleaning Parliament House Canberra, Bob Burton.
31.05.16 7:30 am

Australians should be outraged at much of what is exposed by corruption commissions and investigative journalism, but they can rest easy that bribery is not widespread in their country. Nonetheless, Australia is exposed to the corrupting influence of business, perhaps more than in any other rich democracy except the US. Opening up foundations that mask the identities of donors and their links to parties and politicians and maintaining vigilance against bribery will help. Taking business money out of politics would help a lot more.

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2 comments

NATION: There are Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

John Hawkins, Chudleigh
31.05.16 7:02 am

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… This constriction of the rules of fair play reduces the number of unemployed people in need of the Liberal mantra “Jobs and Growth” …

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3 comments

So, you want my vote?  An open letter to all politicians

Elizabeth Fleetwood
31.05.16 6:27 am

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But what makes you think you’re worthy of it?  Here is a brief list of why you’re not getting it ...

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3 comments

Turnbull campaign proves a fizza

Urban Wronski. Photo: Fizza billboard in Sydney, courtesy of Advision
30.05.16 12:25 pm

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The PM’s “Turnbullian” master stroke, as his early election gambit was hailed by Annabel Crabb, of Canberra’s press claque, barely a month ago, looks more like an Abbott’s captain’s call each week. Media polls, with all their flaws, point to an ebbing of popular support for the LNP and its hapless leader. Around the nation posters depicting Turnbull’s face are appearing with but one word, Fizza.

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9 comments

Doubly Disillusioned

Charles Wooley. Photo: 2013 election poster, Bob Burton.
30.05.16 4:00 am

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… Canberra is a remote and different world where our representatives quickly forget the interests and ambitions of the folk who sent them there. Rarely might they ever pause to give fleeting thought to us, the Tasmanian voters (poor fools) who put those over-compensated, over-superannuated, over-entitled senatorial backsides on the seductive, plush red benches of the upper chamber. Not that our senators lack all enthusiasm. Oh how fiercely and passionately they represent self-interest! I’m not sure that they all love their jobs, but I do know they love the money, the conditions, the pompous self-importance and all of those trailing lifelong perks for which you will so kindly pay forever. The promise of almost guaranteed employment and generous superannuation ensures that your representatives will never speak up on your behalf against the interests of the selectors or the party. If they do they will get dropped down the voting ticket at the next election. Horror of horrors, they might have to find a real job! The dissolution of both Houses of Parliament and a new system of voting now provides a rare opportunity in the Senate to clean out the stables and get rid of all the political time-servers in one hit. A double dissolution doesn’t happen often, only six times since Federation, so this time don’t miss the chance to take your revenge and at the same time restore democracy in the Senate.

Remember how the ALP in Tasmania dumped a most creditable woman down to the unwinnable end of the ticket to elevate a union official most of us had never heard of. And how the Libs similarly dumped a serving Federal Minister and gave the number one spot to a backbencher whose Machiavellian skills are widely admired and feared. The political party machine men will disagree with me, but you are not idiots! So prove it. This time you don’t have to vote for the candidates of THEIR choice. This time it can be YOUR choice.  …

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13 comments

Peter Brohier’s rebuttal ...

Peter Brohier*, Retired Australian Lawyer Activist and Lobbyist. Pic*
30.05.16 3:59 am

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Politas - Can we hit the Brohier mute button? It has recently come to Peter Brohier’s notice that reference to an article by Dean Winter, December 2014, relating to Peter and published online in ‘Politas’ (HERE), has now reached the top of the Google search engine under Peter’s name. Here is Peter’s rebuttal. It is aimed at putting an historical and wider context around Mr Winter’s comments and views held by some in the Tasmanian business community. 

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0 comments

eBay / Myer’s new virtual reality shopping store ignores possible eye damage to the user

Don Maisch*
30.05.16 3:58 am

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An article in a recent Mercury (page 50, 20 May)  “Myer and eBay launch virtual shopping” announced the launch of a virtual shopping site, allowing the user to browse and purchase items simply by looking at them.

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3 comments

Peter Gutwein’s 2016-17 Budget Speech

Peter Gutwein. Photo: Rob Walls
27.05.16 9:33 am

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This is the third Budget I have handed down as Treasurer, and I can confidently say that under the Hodgman Liberal majority Government, Tasmania is back on track.

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4 comments

A horror budget for patients

Martyn Goddard. Photo: Bob Burton
27.05.16 6:56 am

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Deep, deep behind the back-on-track guff, the state government has hidden the details of its ongoing evisceration of public hospitals. You will find the figures, if you look hard enough, in Table 25.2 on page 108 of the second volume of Budget Paper Number Two. You can’t get much more hidden than that without disappearing altogether.

• John Lawrence in Comments: Pete(#1) your observations are spot on as usual. I addressed some of these matters HERE .As you say the solutions are easy. Separating people from their prejudices and preconceptions is the problem.

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20 comments

Huon Valley Guessing Games: Huon waits on the real umpire’s call

Bob Hawkins.
25.05.16 4:30 am

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Nothing I have seen or heard since the new council was elected in October 2014 has dissuaded me from believing that the dysfunction that the board appears to have found at Huon Valley Council is a direct consequence of a vendetta on the part of those who wield the power at council against a man who believes that, if local government in the valley is to best serve the interests of the whole community, reform of the system and an opening up of the valley to communication with the outside world are vital.

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: For the record: Cr Ken Studley resigned early in tonight’s council meeting, and immediately left the chamber, briefly pausing for a comment by the mayor. His departure appeared to have been premeditated. Studley was elected to council in October 2014 on the Heart of the Huon ticket.

• Geoffrey Swan in Comments: … I wrote a comprehensive letter of formal complaint to the General Manager of 7HOFM on 10th April which I said in part: The behaviour and conduct of Michael Newell in his interview with Mayor Peter Coad was totally reprehensible, abusive, rude, dominating and frankly, disgusting. Michael Newell’s vocabulary and continued aggression demonstrated: …

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19 comments

Damning findings on training company spark calls for Tasmanian Liberals to return donations

Bob Burton. Photo: A Careers Australia webpage.
24.05.16 5:17 am

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The Tasmanian Liberal Party is under pressure to return a $23,500 political donation after an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) led to the private training company repaying $44 million in public funds and cancelling the enrolments of over 12,000 students.

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7 comments

Stop the nonsense Mr Turnbull

Urban Wronski. Photo: Rob Walls
23.05.16 6:11 am

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NBN Bust! A brief, grainy, almost noir, news item, with not much action and an eerily silent soundtrack screening repeatedly on national TV Thursday night wins feature of the week, Le chat mort or the dead cat award, in the Federal Election campaign, the latest episode of the long-running Canberra political soap opera, Days of our Knives, (M for mature audiences only.)

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24 comments

Australia’s soaring housing costs signal need for a new economic consensus

Tom Bentley, RMIT University and Jonathan West, University of Tasmania.
23.05.16 12:13 am

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The questions we need to ask now are not so much whether house prices will slump, or whether they are too high. Instead, we should ask: what is investment’s role in the wider economy? And how can the underpinning consensus, which is outliving its usefulness, be renewed?

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10 comments

Media Releases: May 23 to 29, 2016

Editor
23.05.16 12:01 am

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If you have a media release you want published, please submit it as a comment on this thread and the editors will review it as soon as possible and publish it if appropriate. This thread will only be open for the week of May 23 to 29, 2016. For the following week a new thread will be created.

• May 24, 2016: Standing up for CSIRO public meeting

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7 comments

Lamby

Photo: Bob Burton.
22.05.16 12:25 am

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Lamby by Anna Williams. Lamby - which is made from old spark plugs and steel - currently resides on the Sculpture trail at the Birchs Bay Art Farm. The trail is open until July 17th, 2016.

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7 comments

Peter Dutton: a menace to multicultural Australia

Michelle Grattan. Photo: Kate Ausburn (Flickr)
20.05.16 6:37 am

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If Malcolm Turnbull is returned he should tip Peter Dutton out of the immigration portfolio when he chooses his new ministry.

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43 comments

Southern hemisphere joins north in breaching carbon dioxide milestone

Paul Krummel, CSIRO and Paul Fraser, CSIRO. Photo: Paul Krummel
19.05.16 4:40 am

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As we predicted last year, the background atmospheric carbon dioxide levels measured at Cape Grim on Tasmania’s northwest coast have officially passed the 400 parts per million (ppm) mark. Our measurements, compiled by our team at CSIRO together with the Bureau of Meteorology, show that the milestone was reached on May 10 ... That is an increase of 43% in scarcely more than two centuries, largely as a result of human activities. The time to start reversing that trend is now.

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36 comments

Paul Mason warns political journalists: ‘You have no real idea what is going on’

Martin Belam Guardian in Perugia
18.05.16 11:59 pm

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Ex-Channel 4 News economics editor tells International Journalism Festival that making a film about Greece gave him new insight into reporters’ knowledge

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10 comments

The Australian Financial Review goes missing on Unaoil scandal

Bob Burton
18.05.16 12:01 am

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The leaking of a treasure trove of internal documents to The Age unmasking corruption in the global oil industry has triggered global media coverage and triggered police to launch anti-corruption investigations in a raft of countries. But the Australian Financial Review (AFR) – Australia’s only national business newspaper – paid scant attention to the scandal.

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2 comments

Media Releases: May 16 to 22, 2016

Editor
17.05.16 1:55 pm

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If you have a media release you want published, please submit it as a comment on this thread and the editors will review it as soon as possible and publish it if appropriate. This thread will only be open for the week of May 16 to 22, 2016. For the following week a new thread will be created.

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4 comments

When the going gets tough on the campaign trail ...

Urban Wronski. Photo: Rob Walls
17.05.16 11:09 am

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When the going gets tough on the campaign trail, Australians discovered last Wednesday, the tough may just get up and leave.

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40 comments

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

NATION: There are Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics 

Media

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Stronger environment laws needed to avoid Swift Parrot extinction 

Arts

Arts

Wrest Point: Rick Brewster and The Angles ... 

Books

Books

Be under no illusion: Malcolm Turnbull wants to destroy Australian literature 

Plate/Grape

Plate/Grape

Tasting Tasmania ... 

Travel

Travel

Australia Motorcycle Adventure – Journey to the West Ep25 

What's On

What's On

CLIMATE CHANGE: PARE BACK THE POLICIES, special guest Paul Gilding 

Satire

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They’re on to us! 

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The non partisan, Climate Change Forum “Pare Back the Policies” to be held in Hobart on June 14, with help from…

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