"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

The Age of Post-Democracy

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Tim Thorne*
06.07.15 5:00 am

There are increasing signs that what we know as the Western democratic world is entering an era which I think can best be described as post-democratic.

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Magna Carta, Waterloo ... not so important after all ... ?

Charles Wooley
06.07.15 4:45 am

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Two important anniversaries happened this month but if historical significance is to be judged by contemporary headlines, television news and tweets then maybe they weren’t so important after all.

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NATION: The dreadful, dreadful Abyss

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: July 6. Pic*
06.07.15 4:30 am

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Parliament rose for a six week winter break last Thursday amidst whispers of an early election and a delegation on the wing to Singapore, led by a PM in search of Asian investors, clutching his northern Australia white paper that is his government’s vision for an economic powerhouse and ever keen to boost free trade and other links with Australia’s fifth largest trading partner.

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STATE: Promoting tourism in the Tarkine ... a way ahead

Ted Mead. Pic: by Ted Mead of Lake Chisholm
06.07.15 4:15 am

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Isn’t it fascinating that the Liberal government is not promoting tourism in the Tarkine whilst their driven agenda is to open up remote areas in the WHA to their development cronies.

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STATE, WHA: No mining ... but logging still allowed ... ?

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. http://www.wilderness.org.au Media Release. Pub: July 3
06.07.15 4:00 am

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… This decision confirms an international rejection of Mr Hodgman’s plans to allow logging and mining in the WHA and identifies very clear solutions to addressing these and other issues,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society, speaking from Bonn. “Logging and mining have no place in a World Heritage Area and Government must commit to explicitly prohibit both logging and mining by upgrading the conservation status of relevant areas to National Park. This relates to iconic forest areas such as the Styx, Weld and upper Florentine valleys and the Great Western Tiers. …

Matthew Groom: World Heritage Committee decision paves way for ongoing constructive engagement

Greens: Liberals must accept UN’s rejection of Tasmanian World Heritage Area plans

Nick McKim: United Nations Slaps Down Groom on WHA Logging and Mining Parks Minister Matthew Groom’s fixation with profiting from the TWWHA has blinded him to the true value of the area. It seems that if he can’t put a dollar sign in front of it, Mr Groom is just not interested. The United Nations did not protect the TWWHA just so Mr Groom’s corporate buddies could make money from it.

Luke Martin: UNESCO findings on draft TWWHA management plan

• John Powell in Comments: … Both Minister Groom and Harriss are in denial, and Premier Hodgman and Deputy Premier Rockliff are plainly sycophants to Senators Abetz and Colbeck. Waiting for Opposition Leader Green to put both feet in mouth but. Odds on that he will.(SportsBet info)

FRIDAY ...

Vica Bayley: Tas Government rules out World Heritage mining, but snubs UNESCO’s logging call In response to the UNESCO decision regarding Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (WHA), the Tasmanian Government’s announcement to ‘rule out’ mining in the WHA represents just one part of a number of specific requests that make up the decision. The decision also asks for logging to be prohibited, for wilderness to be retained in the management plan and for a comprehensive Aboriginal heritage survey. ‘A commitment to prohibit mining is welcome but represents only one part of the requested action and it must be extended to include logging,’ said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society. ‘A ban on logging across the entire World Heritage Area is specifically requested, but Government appear determined ignore this, seek to justify World Heritage logging and bulldoze ahead with changes that remove management plan protection for iconic forest areas.’ There appears confusion in the public debate as to exactly what the Hodgman Government proposes as possible regarding World Heritage logging. The facts are … HERE

Nick McKim: Mining Ban needs to be in WHA Management Plan as Government Ignores United Nations on Logging and Tenure

SATURDAY ...

Paul Harriss: Green groups’ lock up plan exposed

Paul Harriss: Special Species and the TWWHA

Cassy O’Connor: Minister Harriss being deliberately deceitful over WHA logging

Paul Harriss:  O’Connor admission on specialty timbers in TWWHA torpedoes no case

SUNDAY ...

• Kim Booth in Comments: Great news that the World Heritage Committee has rejected the obscene push for mining and logging in the Tasmanian World Heritage area. There is no sympathy for those so called boatbuilders and craftsmen that Harris now sheds crocodile tears about not having access to specialty timbers. They stood back and watched and offered themselves as Trojan horses to facilitate the greatest resource of fine and rare specialty timbers on the planet to be bulldozed and burnt, sacrificed on the altar of woodchipping, Like modern day elephant hunters they now seek the last tusks of Ivory. Plenty of specialty timbers still being woodchipped if Harriss et al really care.  As far as the TFA goes it legislated for logging in the WHA and punished the community by removing forests identified and agreed for conservation,  if the community dared to protest against logging in other areas. It was also obvious that by the time the reserves could be proclaimed under the act, the Liberals would have well and truly repealed it. For those whom seek to rewrite history, the passing of the TFA had nothing to do with the 177 thousand hectares nominated for the WHA. Minister Tony Bourke had made it crystal clear that the nomination would proceed whether the TFA passed or not. That is why I finally voted against the bill.

• Karl Stevens in Comments: Good to see Kim Booth back defending forests. I think the speciality timber industry is more like the trade in rhino horns. Rhinos are critically endangered and the horns are bought by mostly Chinese who use them to enhance virility. So the most overpopulated country on Earth buys rhino horn to promote reproduction? I’ve noted that countries that cut down all their trees (like Greece) end-up bankrupt. Will this happen to Tasmania? I’ve also noted that heavy frosts in my area are only on cleared land. I saw no frost in bushland adjacent to grassland. How do trees generate heat?

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A boomer’s take on the housing crisis: a personal response

Garry Stannus
06.07.15 3:45 am

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Recently, Tas Times on-published an article by Matt Ellis (via John Lawrence) which carried the title “The housing crash we had to have: A Gen Y perspective on the bubble”. You can read the article again [Here] and Ellis’s full article in [Rational Radical: Here]. I share Ellis’s view that we have a broken economic model. Ellis says that this…

utterly broken economic model is wholly reliant on housing speculation … and unacceptable financial risk.

Furthermore Ellis points to private debt (‘we borrow too much’) and certain financial policy settings which apparently enable Gen Ys to do so much borrowing.

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Hockey’s defamation win is dark news for democracy and free speech

Michael Douglas, Lecturer in Law at Curtin University, The Conversation. Pic: of Joe Hockey
06.07.15 3:30 am

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We should all be careful before saying anything that will hurt our politicians’ feelings: they might sue us for defamation. On Tuesday, Treasurer Joe Hockey was awarded A$200,000 damages against Fairfax Media in relation to a series of publications that focused on his political fundraising activities.

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Sexuality, Feminism and the Coming Crunch

Christopher Nagle. Pic*
06.07.15 3:25 am

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Lincoln Siliakus ...

Jenny Weber, The Bob Brown Foundation
06.07.15 3:19 am

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Lincoln Siliakus - a man of true history and very influential action in the Franklin campaign - passed away today (Sunday).

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This week’s Feminist Roundup

Bronwyn Williams
06.07.15 3:15 am

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Feminist Roundup This looks cute, doesn’t it – but look closely and think about what it is.  It’s a baby girl dressed up like a woman advertising lingerie.  She can’t walk or talk or feed herself, but that’s okay, because she looks fabulous in high heels and pearls! Source: http://www.peeweepumps.com

International Business Times, via Isla MacGregor: Greek crisis: Thriving sex industry shows austerity has violated women’s rights

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Could wood be bad for the environment? That depends on policy

Andrew Macintosh, David Lindenmayer, ABC
06.07.15 3:00 am

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When considering the greenhouse gas emissions from the full lifecycle of anything, the relevant government policies should be factored in. Otherwise the results may surprise.

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Deep thinking, Brian!

Billy MacTold
06.07.15 2:30 am

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Tired of all that blathering (apt word that) by our less than exalted leaders on television – pollie-speak, aided and abetted by an army of spin doctors? Switch off and go for the alternative: the silver screen, with excellent viewing fare offered by our North Hobart establishment, the State Cinema.

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The rabid attachment to the past

Dr Michael Powell*. Picture: Daniel Haley. First pub: July 2
05.07.15 7:30 am

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The rabid attachment to the past by the Forestry Minister Paul Harriss is an heroic act in the twilight of the problem, but an utterly forlorn hope. The die is cast and has been for a long time.

SUNDAY July 5 ...

• Peter Henning in Comments: It was just a couple of weeks ago that Rick Pilkington raised the issue of the repetitive nature of the debate taking place on TT, over and over, not moving on, but stuck, with the same old stuff, arguing strongly that it was actually wrecking the site, turning people away, turning them off. It’s a good point, but my response then was that Tasmania hasn’t changed since the Tasmanian parliament licked Gunns’ boots and did their bidding, hasn’t learned, doesn’t want to and won’t.  Gunns has been replaced by others, that’s all. The politicians want to pursue the same policies they always have in relation to forestry.  We shouldn’t forget that after the collapse of Gunns there was still great hope within the Giddings government and then the Hodgman government that the pulp mill would rise from the dead and pollute the Tamar Valley for decades into the future, sucking public funds into its maw like a huge vacuum. It is beyond strange that this stuff keeps going round and round. It’s like a recurrent disease.  Maybe we should identify the obsession with clear-felling water catchments of their vegetation for woodchips which have to be subsidised to sell, then napalming the clear-felled site in order to eliminate competition for monocultural exotic p[lantations which will never earn a buck, as Easter Island syndrome. …

• Simon Warriner in Comments: re 8, so what to do about this dismal, atrocious and sad situation, Peter? That is what we are all searching for isn’t it? We could agitate for a corruption inquiry, but the mainstream media here quite obviously cannot be bothered getting off its collective arse to give it the push it needs even when the math as presented by independent rep Wilkie in the federal parliament is beyond question. no go there. We could wait for the greens to use their collective political clout with the media to get the issue up. no go there either as the greens in their infinite wisdom have supported the plantation industry. We could babble endlessly on Tasmanian Times but that is quite clearly not getting us anywhere …

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Abbott urged to play fair, not foul on marriage equality bill

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome Media Release. First pub: July 2
04.07.15 10:00 am

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Marriage equality advocates have cried foul over Tony Abbott’s claim ( here ) that the cross-party marriage equality bill may not come to a vote any time soon because it is a private members’ bill.

SATURDAY…

Rodney Croome: NRL backs marriage equality

The Age: Eric Abetz letter blasts Hobart Council over same-sex marriage: ‘Children deserve the best start in life’

Rodney Croome: Abetz should respect strong support for marriage equality among Hobart residents

The Age: Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster challenges him to allow conscience vote

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The bid to crush the green movement

Samantha Trenoweth, The Saturday Paper
02.07.15 3:00 am

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A new inquiry into environmental groups’ eligibility to receive tax-deductible donations appears to be the latest salvo in a sustained campaign to crush the green movement and starve it of funds.

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The Yezidi: Hadi’s Cry from the Heart ...

Richard Butler
02.07.15 2:45 am

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“We’ve lost everything we ever owned. All we worked for has been taken. Our dreams…our lives..Now..apart from what we have in our hands..there is nothing..” “Best case we start again. Worst case - I think - is too frightening to think.”

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Tony Windsor: Stop the Brutes

Tony Windsor, The Saturday Paper. First published: July 1
02.07.15 2:30 am

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The only thing I have real regrets about during my time in the 2010-13 hung parliament is that I was unable to help resolve the issue of asylum seekers from Australia’s perspective. It was the greatest failure of that parliament, and the blame lies with all of us. What we are left with is a national shame.

The treatment of our nearest neighbour in particular, Indonesia, has been appalling and insulting to a nation attempting to deal with its own terrorism and refugee transit issues. I can understand Tony Abbott not comprehending the implications, but for our foreign minister to inflame the situation with Indonesia is worrying.

(Abbott’s) entire life in politics has been based on encouraging and fanning division within society. Whether it be climate science, windmills, school and university education, the strategy is always the same – divide and, in his mind at least, rule.

Download Open Letter from doctors to The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, and Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten:

Open_Australian_Border_Force_Act_A4_version.pdf

Guardian: Detention centre staff speak out in defiance of new asylum secrecy laws

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The War Against Nature Resumes

Tony Orman, George Monbiot via Pene
02.07.15 2:15 am

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In 2007, after nine years of research, the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB sent its final report to the UK government. It discovered that “badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB in Britain”.(2) Rather than suppressing the disease, killing badgers appears to spread it. This has great relevance to the New Zealand situation that parallels the Badger case with its possum case.

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First Day: A celebration of the West Coast ...

Isla MacGregor
01.07.15 4:30 am

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Winter at Bluff Hill Point, north of Arthur River, West Coast about four weeks ago.

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Cable Car setback ...

Jason Turvey Spokesperson Respect The Mountain. Ted Cutlan ROCC Media Releases
01.07.15 4:00 am

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Respect The Mountain applauded the findings by the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) that the Wellington Park Management Trust (WPMT) inadequately responded to the concerns of the community with regards to the Pinnacle Boundary Extension. Respect The Mountain is now calling for the amendment to be abandoned.

• ROCC: Statement on Tasmanian Planning Commission’s decision on the Wellington Trust’s process to consider extending the ‘Pinnacle Specific Zone’ on Mt Wellington After a long process that should never have taken place, the Tasmanian Planning Commission has severely criticised the process run by Wellington Trust to extend the development zone on Mt Wellington.

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Open letter, $4m lost, an illegal jetty . . .

Bob Hawkins. First published: June 30
30.06.15 5:00 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games Cr Mike Wilson is trying to undermine the standing of Cr Peter Coad, who has been mayor at Huon Valley Council since November. In an ‘Open letter to residents of the Huon Valley’ (in an advertisement published on June 24 in the Huon Valley News), Wilson, leader of council’s Heart of the Huon team, accuses Coad of failing to “accurately report the policies and decisions of the council”.

YESTERDAY on Tasmanian Times ...

Peter Coad: To all Huon Valley residents ...

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

NATION: The dreadful, dreadful Abyss 

Media

Media

The Barn Market- Midwinter 

Arts

Arts

ROCKWIZ SALUTES THE ARIA HALL OF FAME NATIONAL TOUR STARTS 30 SEPTEMBER! 

Books

Books

Jennifer Scoullar, the Scholar 

Plate/Grape

Plate/Grape

Tasting Tasmania: Pointing to food, wine reviews, with latest news, MRs below ... 

Travel

Travel

It’s snowing in the Snowy Mountains 

What's On

What's On

The Barn Market - Midwinter 

Satire

Cartoons

Colours of the Rainbow ... 

Comments

Comments

#14, couldn’t give a shit, yet finds the time to comment?!?! Here’s a little bit of insight for you Richard,…

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