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November Articles have moved to the Archives

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December 2014

Read in 111 Countries

31 December 2014

Australia 'damaged' relations with Arab world by voting down UN Palestinian resolution

Warning from the chief Palestinian representative in Canberra comes after Australia votes against the resolution demanding an end to Israeli occupation

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour

Australia’s relationship with Palestinians and the Arab world will be damaged by its decision to vote against a United Nations resolution that demanded the end of Israeli occupation within three years, the chief Palestinian representative in Canberra has warned.[Read More...]

31 December 2014
by John Kelly

The Failure of Mainstream Media.

The way in which the mainstream media (MSM) chooses to report and discuss the economy, i.e. in conventional neo-liberal terms, reinforces the notion that the economy is some sort of God who must be served and obeyed by the people in one particular way to the exclusion of any other. This is a false concept wrapped in metaphorical jargon that has not only poisoned our minds but, in the process, allowed us to become enslaved to its will.[Read More...]

31 December 2014
by Bridie Jabour

The McDonald's disguised as a hipster cafe

It looks like a just another Sydney cafe, but beneath the bread boards and beyond the quinoa is the latest McDonald’s incarnation – a testing lab

The breakfast brioche from The Corner

Would you like fries with your pulled pork and Asian slaw salad?

McDonald’s has opened a hipster cafe called The Corner in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Camperdown. Described by the fast-food titan as a “lab,” it will serve as a test run for new menu items which may then start being sold in other stores. It is the only one of its kind in Australia.[Read More...]

30 December 2014
by Yale Stephens


The announcement that John Bjelke-Petersen — son of former National Party Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen — will stand for the Palmer United Party against deputy Premier Jeff Seeney in his seat of Callide marks a point at which the damage Palmer inflicts on his conservative forebears becomes palpable. The electoral humiliation the younger Bjelke-Petersen has signed onto will be immense. It will forever stain an iconic Queensland name.[Read More...]

30 December 2014
by David Leyonhjelm

Standing up to the anti-smoking bullies

It is becoming less and less socially acceptable to bully people nowadays. Picking on people because of their physical appearance, opinions or intelligence is frowned upon.

But there are some people who remain fair game – smokers. Which is why, anywhere you see a smoker, you will find a bully lurking not far away.[Read More...]

29 December 2014
by John Kelly

The Government’s Economic Credentials in Freefall.

If you want more evidence that the present government is doing its best to wreck our economy, a stark example was revealed just before Christmas, one that should satisfy the most hardened of LNP supporters. It further illustrates their lack of understanding of how our economy works.[Read More...]

29 December 2014

Newspoll shows support for Coalition plunged across all states in 2014

Bill Shorten chats with staff and diners as he serves up a coffee, at the Salvation Army Cafe in Melbourne last week.

Voter support for the Abbott government has plunged across all states over the past year and is significantly behind Labor in two-party-preferred terms everywhere except Western Australia, a Newspoll analysis shows.[Read More...]

29 December 2014
by Rowan Forster

A veritable miracle: fine tuning without a fine tuner

Last week's edition (18/12) of ABC TV's science program Catalyst was titled "Custom Universe - Designed for Us?" Presenter and narrator Dr.Graham Phillips began with this observation: "If some of the laws that govern our cosmos were only slightly different, intelligent life simply couldn't exist. It appears the universe has been fine-tuned so that intelligent beings like you and me can be here. To write off the fine-tunings as mere coincidences seems far-fetched."[Read More...]

29 December 2014
by Rodney E. Lever

Is the net closing on Rupert Murdoch

The British national election, set for next year, could see the end of Rupert Murdoch's grip on political power in that country.
Current polling shows the British Labor is in a strong position and unlikely to hand their party over to any other magnate — as Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair both did.
A similar change in Australia in 2016 will surely follow now that our Labor Party has seen the result of giving Rupert the gift of an unprecedented monopoly that he has maintained for several years.[Read More...]

24 December 2014

Abbott: Merry Christmas People

Homelessness advocacy groups lose $21m in federal government funding

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is calling for a Senate inquiry into the cuts

Peak organisations told on Monday they would no longer receive funding, raising questions over whether voice of homeless people and sector will be lost

Homelessness groups are facing an uncertain Christmas after the federal government reportedly pulled funding from a number of advocacy organisations.

Several peak organisations that provide policy advice and research into homelessness and housing services received word from the Department of Social Services on Monday that they would no longer receive funding.[Read More...]

24 December 2014
by Dr David Pascoe BVSc PhD OVH Repro


Homecoming; Chalie Phillott - new hat, new man - photographed home at last in a very old land.

Yes, believe it or not – it’s absolutely true!

Charlie Phillott gets his beloved home Carisbrooke Station back not just for Christmas – but forever. The ANZ Bank has now given Charlie full control of Carisbrooke Station once again and agreed to his conditions and demands to repair all the damage to the homestead and outbuildings, gardens, dams and pumps during the period of his forced removal when the station was left in the hands of the banks.[Read More...]

23 December 2014

God's Loophole

As Christians world wide celebrate the immaculate conception of Jesus at this time of year, and moderate Christians wonder how the heck Mary did it.

The sceptics have achieved an answer. An answer that absolves all young Christian women of the sin of sex before marriage. It may also explain the exploits of many of the clergy... God's Loophole in all its glory. Enjoy!!!

23 December 2014
by Julian Burnside

Scott Morrison's calculated cruelty is his legacy

He proved to be a callous Immigration Minister, yet he is given another portfolio that requires compassion.

Cruel minister: Scott Morrison espouses Christian principles, but took an extraordinarily harsh stance on boat people. Now he will be dealing with another group of vulnerable people under the social services portfolio.[Read More...]

23 December 2014
by Jennifer Brassel

So much for Christmas cheer!!

Under the Abbott government, Australia is now a cruel, mercenary and pessimistic country. Author Jennifer Brassel reflects on the battered psyche of the once 'Lucky Country' and urges us all to embrace the true 'spirit of Christmas'.[Read More...]

22 December 2014
by Duncan Graham

Australian-Indonesian relations threatened by executions

Andrew Chan, 30, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33.

Barring a political somersault our northern neighbour is heading for major diplomatic confrontations with Australia and other Western nations as it enforces the death penalty for drug trafficking.[Read More...]

22 December 2014
by Peter Wicks

Silence is Golden - Corruption Rife - TURC

Colonel Klink and Shultz - They see and hear nothing relating to Jackson

Last Friday there must have been a lot of thankful people dishing out a lot of thank you messages.

Last Friday Commissioner John Dyson Heydon handed over his Interim Report regarding the Trade Union Royal Commission.

The report was originally due later in January but was released earlier for reasons that many have speculated on. But it is fair to say it was released on a day that shows that the government thought this Royal Commission had been a failed exercise, why else dump it out there on the Friday before Xmas?[Read More...]

22 December 2014
by John Passant

The GP co-payment and the Goods and Services Tax – more than $60 to go to the doctor?

Through the back door the Abbott government has introduced what is in effect a $5 co-payment on visits to the doctor and also frozen the indexation of the Medicare rebate until 2018.[Read More...]

22 December 2014

Department of Human Services spends $500,000 on legal fees fighting $6000 child support dispute

A "scandalous waste of taxpayers' money": Nick Xenophon.

The Department of Human Services has spent more than half-a-million dollars of taxpayers' money in legal fees fighting a child support dispute over $6000.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says the case is a "scandalous waste of taxpayers' money … to protect the backside of the department".[Read More...]

21 December 2014
by Mike.B

Left; Right; Left; Right....

Left; Right; Left; Right....
Left; Right; Left: Squad! Halt!

Well that's how I remember my cadet days. And, it got me thinking.
In our global region, to the West we have the Imperialist forces of the United States and its cronies, and to the East, we have the blacklisted coalition of the unwilling with China, Russia, Korea, and 'their' cronies.[Read More...]

13 December 2014

And a happy festive season to all...

11 December 2014
by John Passant

It isn’t the co-payment they are killing; it is Medicare

Tony Abbott hasn’t backed down on his scheme to make us pay for going to the doctor. He has merely changed the focus of who imposes the co-payment and hopes that we will blame doctors rather than the government for any increase in our health bills.[Read More...]

10 December 2014
by Dr David Pascoe BVSc PhD OVH Repro



Politicians of Australia, the people are speaking - and you need to listen.

The team of people who are supporting David - who is flat out working and operating on horses right now - took a call from one of Australia's most respected and best loved former political leaders this morning who said:


Editor: You can listen to, or download Alan Jones on 2GB read the transcript of this post by clicking on the links below [About 30 mins], with a following interview with an insipid and circumspect Joe Hockey.
For the first time I have a spine tingling premonition that the Aussie people are about to explode...

Download mp3


09 December 2014
by Jack Wilkie-Jans

The bush betrayed

It's been a breath of fresh air to see on the ABC the documentary mini-series highlighting the history and changes of the National Party. One of the saddest things to see however, and we didn't need a television show to tell us this, is that the National Party is but a shadow of its former self and essentially a cheer-squad nowadays for the Liberal party, playing not much more than a symbolic role within the Coalition.[Read More...]

09 December 2014

Technical issues ground another Qantas flight

Qantas planes plagued by technical issues on three separate flights in 24 hours.

Three Qantas planes have been forced to make emergency landings in 24 hours following technical issues, air conditioning failures and strange odours on various flights.[Read More...]

09 December 2014

Abbott Government's cruel ABC cuts hurt women's soccer

Australian women's soccer is going from strength to strength — but maybe not for much longer after the Abbott Government's cruel cuts to the ABC, reports Lachlan Barker, who also previews the summer's first cricket Test.[Read More...]

09 December 2014

Abbott government accused of trying to set up climate change talks for failure

Australia’s insistence on legally binding emissions targets an ‘impossible requirement’ that would drive away the US and China, experts say

The Abbott government has been accused of setting impossible requirements for Australia’s participation in any global climate change agreement clinched in Paris next year by insisting it must include legally binding emissions targets.[Read More...]

08 December 2014

Nick Xenophon to launch new party, hopes to press reset on politics

Independent senator Nick Xenophon hopes his new political party will improve the "toxic partisan disconnect" between politicians and voters.

Senator Xenophon hopes the Nick Xenophon Team, or NXT, will represent the "sensible centre of politics" and attract strong candidates with bold ideas from across the country.

He said most Australians were increasingly disillusioned with their political representatives and it was time another voice offered an alternative.[Read More...]

08 December 2014
by James Page

The separation of powers, and the Australian Electoral Commission

The separation of powers is one of the central doctrines of contemporary representative democracy. The doctrine owes much to the influence of French philosopher Montesquieu, and particularly his 1748 work The Spirit of the Laws. Montesquieu therein outlined the principle that the best form of government is where no person needs to be afraid of another, and the way to do this, according to Montesquieu, was a separation of the powers of government, between the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. This was an essential safeguard against despotism, and a way to undergird the liberty upon which democracy relies.[Read More...]

08 December 2014

The Liberal Party conundrum: Abbott must stay and go

With Tony Abbott's polling remaining in the doldrums, how long can it be before nervous Liberal backbenchers replace him with someone more electorally popular.

In an ABC 7.30 interview on this week (4 December), Leigh Sales asked Tony Abbott if he would...

"... contemplate stepping aside in order to give your party the best chance of holding on to power."

It was an extraordinary question to ask a new prime minister and one that reveals the changing nature of Australian politics. While the third year of a government’s term has traditionally been the time to woo the public, as Clive Palmer argued in his budget reply, modern politicians now seek re-election from day one. To that end, many Coalition MPs holding marginal seats are very nervous indeed.[Read More...]

08 December 2014
by Gary Johns

Activists should pay taxes

Australian governments subsidise "charities" that want to stop development. Stopping development is against the public interest. So why is the government spending the public's money against the public interest?

This year is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal. It was the greatest engineering feat of its time. It is now being widened and deepened to cope with larger ships, and more ships, that queue at each end of the canal.[Read More...]

06 December 2014
by Bob Ellis

Morrison's Death Row: The new lost generation

Scott Morrison's temporary protection visa (TPV) legislation, passed by the Senate last night, is like death row and will create a new lost generation of second-class fugitive non-Australians.

It is easy to understand why Palmer, Lazarus, Wang and Muir – though with great misgivings – voted for Morrison's 'compromise' last night.

They feared that children and adolescents, already shattered and suicidal, would do away with themselves if they did not.
[Read More...]

05 December 2014

IPA: Not quite behind the throne

The IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) has had many words written about it, including that it may be the power behind the throne in the Abbott government. The problem is that ‘behind the throne’ usually means a shadowy or lesser known presence but the IPA is making itself anything but that, which may well lead to its undoing.[Read More...]

05 December 2014
by Bill Alcock

End of life care: my life my death my choice

With reference to the article "A failure of moral leadership"....

I am an 88 year old EDA veteran affairs pensioner I have recently arrived home from Prince of Wales hospital where I had open heart surgery. I have several other failing parts and I am scared stiff that I may be confined indefinitely in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer's, dementia, incontinence and the like.[Read More...]

05 December 2014

Victorian government ordered to pay Tatts more than $540m compensation

The Victorian government will have to pay Tatts more than $540m in compensation after an appeal was dismissed in the court of appeal.

An appeal by Tabcorp for compensation of $687m was dismissed at the same time, as the appeal court justices upheld the Victorian supreme court’s decisions on both matters from earlier this year.

Tabcorp and Tatts sought compensation after losing their duopoly over poker machines outside Melbourne’s Crown Casino in 2012 following a government decision in 2008.[Read More...]

05 December 2014
by Lyn Bender


Abbott's Brave New World

The Abbott Government's so-called 'Year of Achievement' – otherwise known as his attempt to transform Australia into a dirtier, meaner, more unfair, dog eat dog world – continues apace.
Happily, this has not come without some significant setbacks for him and his band of merry wreckers.
This week, for instance, legislation attempting to put higher education out of reach of the poor by deregulating university fees has failed in the Senate.[Read More...]

03 December 2014

The Eureka Stockade

The 1854 Eureka Stockade in Ballarat was one of the defining moments in Australian history. It was a struggle for democracy against authority and for economic justice against establishment interests, which has inspired generations of militants in the workers’ movement and beyond. Jessica Lenahan in Red Flag tells the story of goldfields in revolt. Here is a snippet.[Read More...]

03 December 2014

Union says defence minister David Johnston should quit and 'die of shame'

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union calls on the government to give local shipbuilders a chance to tender to build submarines

Collins class
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has rejected the government’s claim it does not have time to put out an open tender on replacing the Collins class submarine fleet.

The president of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has pilloried David Johnston’s performance as defence minister, calling on him to quit and saying “he should basically crawl off and die of shame”.

Andrew Dettmer rejected the government’s claim that it did not have the time to put out an open tender on replacing the Collins class submarine fleet.[Read More...]

03 December 2014
by Chris Graham

Albanese Brands 'Negative Abbott' A 'One Trick Tony' In Stinging Parliamentary Attack

If you like passionate politics and zinging one-liners, then Anthony Albanese's speech in parliament today won’t disappoint. Chris Graham reports.

Labor heavyweight Anthony Albanese has delivered a stinging rebuke of the Abbott Government in parliament today, describing the Prime Minister as ‘one-trick Tony’, courtesy of his incessant negativity in opposition and government.[Read More...]

02 December 2014
by Geoff Lines

Unemployed ? Get used to it!

So why do I say this and who am I to make this claim. The answer to the first question is one word: efficiency.

The answer to the second. I worked in the IT industry for 25 years: 1980 – 2005. During that time, I worked in technical and sales roles visiting many industries and seeing the efficiency technology could bring. (until I fell out of it because I was over all the hype)

One thing the IT industry does well is to enable efficiency. I have on my mantle piece a 400 Megabyte drive that cost me $2,800. That was $7.00 per megabyte in 1991. Last week, at Officeworks you could get 4 terabytes (that's 4,000 megabytes) for $199.00. That's $0.05 cents per megabyte. Now, that's efficiency.

Efficiency is what every CEO wants from their business. And one of the most expensive resources is people.[Read More...]

02 December 2014

An Opinion from Our Reader Salstarat

Tony chatting with another Liberal

Tony Abbott is the classic ROAD SCHOLAR senselessly backing more and more roads at the cost of improving public transport. Abbott just doesn’t get it! If brains were petrol, Abbott wouldn’t have enough to ride a moped around a fruit loop! His head-in-the-sand attitude to climate change and global warming reveals a DUMBED DOWN idiot beyond redemption.[Read More...]

02 December 2014
by John Kelly

Will Keeping Abbott in Play be Beneficial?

The Victorian State Election has become a defining moment for the LNP, whether they like it or not. The burning question on most Liberal minds right now is what to do with the dear leader, Tony Abbott.

On the one hand it is difficult to see the Liberals allowing Abbott to lead them to the next election. His propensity for appearing dysfunctional cannot be tolerated indefinitely. The odds that he will continue to embarrass his government in one way or another are very short. The likelihood he will change and assume statesman-like characteristics is a pipe dream. He is just so far out of his depth a submarine would struggle to find him.[Read More...]

02 December 2014

Clive Palmer launches attack on News Corp journalist at press club

Palmer United party leader refuses to answer questions relating to legal case involving Chinese-owned Citic Pacific

Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer has launched a pugnacious attack on a journalist at the National Press Club, ridiculing him and refusing to let him ask questions relating to Palmer’s legal case involving the Chinese-owned company Citic Pacific.[Read More...]

01 December 2014

Gap year

Why have things happened this way?

The polls are showing how far the Coalition has drifted from the mainstream. The problems go back to well before the May budget.

In a few days’ time, a full year will have passed since the federal Coalition was ahead of Labor in the opinion polls. Individual surveys have put Tony Abbott’s government in the lead once or twice – Newspoll on one weekend in April, for instance – but the polls as a whole, aggregated by William Bowe at Poll Bludger, show a dismal two-party-preferred performance dating back to early December last year, barely two months after the election. Commentators often talk about the government’s post-budget slump, but it would be more accurate to call it a post-election collapse, unprecedented in Australia since serious polling began.[Read More...]

01 December 2014

Budget deficits will be even larger than predicted, Deloitte Myefo report says

Deficit in 2014-15 alone may be $5bn more than forecast, with worse to come as further savings measures are unlikely to get through Senate

The treasurer Joe Hockey’s prediction of a balanced budget in 2017-18 is “well and truly toast”, says Deloitte Access Economics economist Chris Richardson.[Read More...]

01 December 2014
by Debbie Kilroy

Indigenous women behind bars: Persecuted by the system

The treatment of criminalised women and girls in Australian prisons is deteriorating rapidly, but it is a whole lot worse if you happen to be Indigenous.

The treatment of criminalised and imprisoned women and girls is deteriorating rapidly in Australia. The Productivity Commission’s updated report on Indigenous disadvantage, which showed a huge jump in the number of Indigenous people being imprisoned and in the numbers self-harming, is an indictment on us all — but the information isn’t new.[Read More...]

01 December 2014

Getting rid of dysfunctional Prime Ministers

Former Liberal Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett this morning dumped big time on the federal LNP, claiming that dislike for Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a major factor in the Victorian election result that yesterday brought a resounding victory to the ALP, ousting the Liberal government in its first term.[Read More...]