"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
Bob Hawkins. Photo: Bob Hawkins
03.09.15 10:51 pm
Two largely unremarked vanishing acts provided elements of intrigue at Huon Valley Council’s ordinary meeting last month (August 26). Each reinforced my impression that, not surprisingly, something strange is going on inside the bastion of secrecy that is council’s Huonville headquarters.
Brian McNair, Queensland University of Technology. Photo: Bob Burton.
03.09.15 9:15 pm
To lose the BBC and the ABC, or to see them reduced to a pale shadow of public service media – think PBS and NPR in the United States – would be a cultural disaster from which there would be no recovery that was not directed by News Corporation and other private media interests.
Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics, Centre For Applied Philosophy & Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University
02.09.15 6:31 am
The contest over ‘political correctness’ has historical significance. If we consider the struggle between left and right in the Anglo world over the last five decades it’s pretty clear that the right won the economic and political war (neoliberalism, the 1%, increasing corporate power, the rise of money politics and so on) and the left won the culture war. For conservative activists losing the culture war rankled deeply.
01.09.15 6:30 am
Time for an ever-so-brief-respite from a World filled with horror … it’s the first day of the month when TT celebrates the extraordinary beauty of this island …
01.09.15 6:15 am
John Hawkins*, Chudleigh. Senate Hansard. Pic: of Damien Mantach. First published August 31
01.09.15 6:00 am
• John Hawkins: Who is the Power behind the Throne?
• Senate: Hansard. Thursday, 20 August 2015 Page: 109
• ABC: Damien Mantach affair: Liberal Party members respond angrily to president’s letter about financial management Tasmania’s Liberal Party president Geoff Page has written to members about the Damien Mantach row, reassuring them “financial management” of the party has been modernised. Mr Mantach was forced to resign as the party’s state director in 2008 after using a party credit card for $48,000 worth of personal expenses. He repaid the money but it did not appear on the party’s annual return. He is now being investigated in a separate matter for allegedly stealing $1.5 million from the party’s Victorian branch between 2010 and 2014. In a letter sent to Tasmanian party members on Friday, Mr Page said the party president at the time, Dale Archer, the senior vice-president, Mike Dyson, and the treasurer, Sam McQuestin, took a “sensible decision” and negotiated to have the money refunded. Mr Page told members Opposition Leader Bryan Green, who referred the matter to police last week, was using Tasmania Police “as pawns in… political game playing”. The letter also said members should have confidence that the party would move on, with procedures in place to remain a strong and vibrant political organisation. But some party members replied to the letter in anger. One said, “Why weren’t we told the truth at the time”, while another said, “The damage this is doing us in the community is huge. Cover ups never work.” In a reference to Tasmania’s most senior Liberal, senator Eric Abetz, another response said: “[Dale] Archer did not contact all state exec. Me thinks that poor old Will [Hodgman is] not in Uncle Eric’s coterie and is now a rabbit in the headlights.”
• mr t in Comments: As a matter of interest I just completed a search on the Mercury website using “Mantach.” I then entered each article since 21 August to date. Not one article was open for comment … Good to see the conga line of Liberals still continuing with the “operational matters” defence with Sam dancing at the rear and seeing no need to add to his own Heyson defence of an “oversight.” I also note Mr Page’s claim “financial management has been modernised” since 2008. 2008 was not in the Dark Ages! We have had them-there new fangled adding machines for quite a while now. Heck, we even have software! Some people study accounting and have qualifications. Some people have studied law although those in the Liberal Party obviously do not practice either ... and we put them in charge of our Treasury!
• Dr John R. Wilson in Comments: A future Royal Commission into corruption and intimidation in the Liberal Party seems ever more likely ...
FRIDAY, September 4 ...
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: August 31. Pic*
01.09.15 5:43 am
‘It never happened. Nothing ever happened ... It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.’ Harold Pinter
• Richard Flanagan, Guardian: Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers was bound to lead to something like Border Force. As history teaches us, tyranny condoned against some will finally become a tyranny visited on us all. Tony Abbott cannot distance himself from this It was news to me, as I suspect it was to many Australians on Friday, that there had been created in our country a paramilitary force that seemed not answerable to the legal limits and public expectations of our police and military forces, but only, and directly, to politicians – those same politicians who of late seem to have little respect for the rule of law, the truth, or the necessary independence of the judiciary. Known as the Australian Border Force, this goon squad – formerly public servants, lately militarised at considerable taxpayer expense, given guns, the power to detain people, vaguely fascistic uniforms and a mandate that seems to not recognise the laws of their own country – were, we now told, mounting a large operation on Melbourne CBD streets, “speaking with any individual we cross paths with”. As is so often the case with the Abbott government, this comic event felt like Vladimir Putin meets Rob Sitch’s Utopia; something sinister undone by a reliable stupidity, perhaps our last national virtue. The hallmark bullying swagger of this government’s was matched in this instance by a grovelling backdown as the illegality of the proposed actions become clear and public condemnation overwhelming, and the arse-saving swung into full gear. Peter Dutton, the minister responsible, seemed, understandably, not to want to take any responsibility, until his office finally came out and said they had been sent the press release announcing the operation two days prior to the operation – but no one had read it. Really? Oh no, it later emerged; they saw it twice, and once at a high, but not ministerial level. Really? … Certainly Windsor, a man with no small experience of the ways of national politics, believes so, seeing it as part of the Abbott government’s “agenda to create fear”. It’s “a very sad agenda … to frighten people,” he said. “I have no doubt that some of these people in Tony Abbott’s government hope that something goes wrong domestically. They can taunt a Muslim into doing something so that they can say that we’re the only one who can protect you.” In this, the Orwellian Border Force seems well primed to do the dirty work. … And who is Team Australia anyway? Coal companies, thugs, rapists, goons and News Corp propagandists? To which list I almost forgot to add that epitome of Team Australia achievement, Prince Philip. …
• Bill Rowlings, CEO of Civil Liberties Australia: Reporting on the state of the nation…
• mr t in Comments: … In the workplace he would have been targeted for redundancy many years ago.
FRIDAY, September 4 ...
Jim Marwood* First published July 28
01.09.15 5:35 am
H.G.Wells was famous for his War of the Worlds but in later years he became notorious for his flamboyant sexual liaisons.
Editor. Pic: of Clare Rewcastle Brown
01.09.15 5:30 am
James Dryburgh. Pic: of Julian Burnside. First published August 31
01.09.15 5:15 am
Julian Burnside QC is a renowned barrister who has appeared in many high-profile legal cases, including representing the Maritime Union of Australia in the 1998 waterfront dispute with Patrick Corporation, which became Australia’s most famous industrial relations controversy. But it wasn’t until acting against the Australian Government over the Tampa episode in 2001 that he became more widely known to the public. Today, Burnside is one of our most prominent human rights advocates and, increasingly, one of the most consistent voices arguing for truth and compassion to be embedded within Australia’s approach to asylum seekers. Here, James Dryburgh speaks with Burnside about language and law, art and asylum.
01.09.15 5:00 am
There are fears forest contractors in Tasmania and interstate face potential bankruptcy because of new legal action being taken by Gunns Limited liquidators.
• mr t in Comments: #2, quite correct. The liquidators are doing their job on behalf of all creditors be they preferred, secured or unsecured. In this examination they look at the solvency of the company and this could extend to the knowledge of the directors they were trading whilst insolvent (tut, tut!) The Forest Contractors Association can whinge all it likes but if they received payments as unsecured creditors during a period of insolvent trading then it’s time to pay the piper. The preferred creditors, like the banks, also know the insolvency laws. A few of the forestry contractors should be able to tap into their Exit Packages…no?
01.09.15 4:45 am
The main person of interest in the 1969 disappearance of Tasmanian woman Lucille Butterworth is convicted murderer and rapist Geoffrey Charles Hunt, a coronial inquest has heard.
ON TASMANIAN TIMES ...
31.08.15 5:40 am
Trains, lanes and an AFL team are our latest delusional fantasies - they are starting to challenge (a) trees (I’m agnostic - fantasists both, the huggers and the chippers) and (b) tourists (“It’ll be a tourist attraction!!!!”).
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
A Tasmanian Citizen. First published: November 17 2014
31.08.15 5:30 am
August 31, 2015: What has happened so far in relation to the fire threat since this article was published nearly a year ago. I contacted the Office of Security and Emergency Management (Department of Premier and Cabinet) after the local TFS district fire officer refused to respond. The person liaised with the TFS and then got back to me and said the plantation would be cleared within the next 12 months and suggested that the company may be prepared to change the clearing buffer between our house and the plantation. He said that if this doesn’t happen to get back to him and let him know. Spring is approaching. It is therefore logical for the trees to come down now. In summer it would be too late. The fire threat this summer is extreme. The Forest Enterprise plantation absolutely dominates and also edges onto the rest of the West Calder community. However the plantation is now owned by ‘Resource Management Services’ in Alabama in the US. So far I’ve been unable to locate a contact name and address for this company. A letter is being drafted to post to this corporation by registered mail.
November 17, 2014: This is our humble abode. A little cottage and garden surrounds slowly taking shape since 1984 in what once was an unmaintained cow paddock. Since this photo was taken there’s been a lot of work done on landscaping etc. It looks better but so what! No matter what we do to beautify and improve our home, this place has now become unviable as an abode. We can no longer live here in safety nor without a constant feeling of trepidation each summer. I don’t want my real name and my house to be linked together in the public sphere. I don’t feel protected at all from the malevolence of people in government or the industry that supports this monstrous invasion of our human right to basic security.
Fiona McQueen MD FRACP Pic*
31.08.15 5:15 am
Few topics have caused such a furore within the ranks of government, the conservation lobby and the NZ public in general as the 1080 issue. For many, 1080 is filed away in the memory banks as “old news” and indeed it has been in and out of the limelight since its first use in NZ in the 1950s. But one of the reasons that the 1080 issue does not go away is that it is continuing to be used in NZ forests.
31.08.15 4:45 am
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
31.08.15 4:40 am
The intense heat generated from Forestry Tasmania’s ‘regeneration burns’ (also called napalming) is necessary for new growth, says FT. But a recent study reveals something rather different ... and worrying ...
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
David Halse Rogers, South Hobart.
31.08.15 4:30 am
I refer to the article “Call to save Hobart’s architectural ‘gems’ (Sunday Tasmanian, 23rd August, 2015, here) in which notable Tasmanian architects bemoaned the loss of important twentieth century architectural buildings: the so-called “gems of ‘unloved modernism’”.
Shane Humpherys, Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc.
31.08.15 4:20 am
In the ongoing debate over Southern Waste Solution’s (SWS) proposed hazardous materials landfill at Copping, SWS CEO, Christine Bell has marked her tenure in this role with what appears to me to be scant regard for accuracy.
The Guardian via Dr Alison Bleaney
31.08.15 4:18 am
Landscape-wide research by former UK government agency on oilseed rape fields in England and Wales shows link between neonicotinoids and honeybee colony losses
31.08.15 4:15 am
Since the original National Sea Highway Committee NSHC ended its work some years ago there continue to be a number individuals and independent groups, some started by the writer, that are interested in Bass Strait equalisation.
Re - Southwest roading proposal There is no link to the Council meeting agenda. What is the proposed road, eco-tourism and…