"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

Lapoinya ... The Battle for Middle Earth

Image for Lapoinya ... The Battle for Middle Earth

John Powell, Myrtlebank
27.04.15 6:00 am

They are mad as hell and they are not going to take it ... anymore ... This is a bit like a Tolkien novel, and the hobbits are winning again ...

… FT suggested a similar approach for the coupe BA388D adjacent to my property, where there were known inhabited rock shelters (according to an inspection by the previous Forestry Commission in 1990), except FT were going to do the inspection “after clearfell logging”. How responsive is that to the aboriginal heritage of Tasmania? This is a disgraceful approach to our State’s First Nation by a state owned GBE, particularly given the statements by Will Hodgman in Parliament last week, and subsequently, re recognition of Aboriginals. I note also that Paul Harriss is of Aboriginal descent. What is his view of this ongoing failure by FT/FPA to recognize his heritage? The area was not named Lapoinya (tree fern) by the Tommeginer because they were surfing at Table Cape! …

• Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release: Greens Push for Forestry Tasmania Commission of Inquiry ... • Download Summary of Forestry Tasmania Financial Support Received since 1989 to the present ...

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The Horror,  The Horror of Ice ...

Richard Butler Interviews Parents of Ice-addicted children. ©Richard Butler.
27.04.15 5:45 am

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I met Sebastian* and Helen* in the waiting room of a doctor’s clinic in Drouin, outside Melbourne. The place was alive with the twitching coprolalia of ice, bodies spitting and stammering in imprecise detox. Every ten days, they take their son Peter* there on a six-hour round trip from Melton, hoping the doctor might fix him ...

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Chinatown: It would wok around the clock ...

Charles Wooley. Pic*
27.04.15 5:30 am

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When I grew up in Launceston in the fifties and sixties a remnant Chinese influence was everywhere but rarely celebrated. There was Chung-Gon’s exotic greengrocery and various interesting looking Chinese restaurants, which sadly my family never visited. There was also, to my mind, a creepy old Joss House hidden away in a dark corner of the Queen Victoria Museum. That spooky Chinese Temple always fascinated me, even though visits there often gave me nightmares.

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What makes Tasmania different ...

Hilary Burden* https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/
27.04.15 5:15 am

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… Millie, who originally hails from England and is now retired here, is proud to say she’s succeeded showing her visitors everything in the wild except a platypus. But she’s cockatoo mad about the feral cats and can’t understand why she hasn’t seen DPIPWE laying baits for them like she says she’s seen them laying carrot baits for rabbits up the road near her place. She knows her visitors will be disappointed if she can’t show them a bandicoot, a quoll, echidna or wallaby in the wild and Tasmania will lose what makes it different. …

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The Great Plunder ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. ABC Pic of Geelong Star
27.04.15 5:00 am

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Behind the Geelong Star, alias the Dirk Dirk, alias the Naeraberg, are Dirk Parlevliet and Dirk Van der Plas of the Dutch company Parleviet and Van der Plas.

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NATION: ANZAC makes week a long climb in politics

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Mar 13. Satire: Leunig, leunig.com.au , used with permission
27.04.15 4:50 am

Image for NATION: ANZAC makes week a long climb in politics

A week is a long climb in politics but last week lasted a hundred years. Or so it seemed to most Australians as time warped into an ANZAC wormhole, stopping the nation in its tracks with a heavy bombardment of all things old Digger in a frenzied bout of military nostalgia, myth peddling, sentimentality and falsehood.  No expense was spared by a government which had to underfund advocacy groups for poor and needy citizens so desperate was it to find ‘savings.’

Tess Lawrence, EXCLUSIVE, Independent Australia: Turkey returns Gallipoli tickets as Hockey capitulates on Armenia Despite the Abbott Government doing everything possible to gloss over the horrific crimes, the Turkish Government has returned 150 tickets to yesterday’s Gallipoli ceremony in protest at Australia’s growing recognition of the Armenia genocide, reports contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence.

Guardian: Turkey eclipses centenary of Armenian massacre by moving Gallipoli memorial

Gina McColl, Fairfax: Fighting words: Do Australian jihadis have anything in common with World War I Anzacs? It’s a dangerous idea, drawing parallels between the idealistic recruits who left Australia for Gallipoli and World War I and young jihadis leaving to fight with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq today. And potentially incendiary on Anzac Day in its centenary year. But think for a moment. Young men, many from migrant families who came to Australia seeking a better life, going to the Middle East to fight in a war that shows their fellowship with an international brotherhood, fighting for Empire. Exploited as fodder in battle and put into unwinnable situations. The parallels have their limits but they are compelling.

Marilyn Lake, historian and professorial research fellow at the Melbourne University, agrees the broader politics of World War I is often reduced to a binary of good allies and bad enemies in a simple nation-building narrative, when the reality of the past is more complex. When the Anzacs went to Gallipoli, they were part of a British imperial force invading the Ottoman Empire, because it was an ally of the German Empire.  Lake points out: “It was a war between empires.” To occupy Constantinople (now Istanbul) would, among other things, help Britain’s ally Russia “which in 1914-15 was a Tsarist autocracy – and hardly a beacon of freedom and democracy, which is what children today are taught we went to fight for. “Binary oppositions are essential to politics, she says, but they are not useful to understanding history.”

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NATION: The failure of The System ...

Mike Bolan. Pic*
27.04.15 4:31 am

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As an experienced complex systems consultant, I cannot help but notice that our governments appear unable to achieve the objectives that they set for themselves. It’s also clear that the approaches they use to their task are slow, expensive and ponderous; and they frequently fail because by the time that they’ve formed committees and held public hearings with teams of lawyers, everything has changed around them.

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Wildlife To Be Hit Hard In Tas Budget

Boohoo. Pic: of good Leo (Schofield ...)
27.04.15 4:29 am

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… Meanwhile in other political news the summary offence of LS Swear Jar has been introduced to the penal code. Under this provision, anyone making a complimentary remark about Leo Schofield will be fined up to $10,000 and/or three months’ imprisonment for a first offence.  …

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Discovering the Spirit of Tasmania ...

Peter Patmore, Bob Phillips, Tim Holmes
27.04.15 4:20 am

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Transcript of launch speeches for Discover the Spirit of Tasmania - and western civilisation by Shannon Davey

• Peter Patmore When I first looked at this book I was a bit worried about my thoughts. What were they going to be?

• Bob Phillips I think it is a fascinating book in that it explores the history of Tasmania from its geological, geographical and biological history through to human occupation and history of ideas that have influenced our culture and community.

• Tim Holmes I was not so sure about the cover when I first saw the book. But having read the book, I can say with confidence that you can judge this book by its cover.  However you won’t understand the cover until you have read the book. 

LAUNCHED LAST WEEK on Tasmanian Times ...

Robbed of Every Blessing ...

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Once-proud Rowitta is now an abandoned ship ...

Carol Altmann, Bluestone Magazine, South-West Victoria
27.04.15 4:15 am

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A tale of two ferries: as the century-old Tasmanian wooden steamer, the Cartela, is restored at Franklin, its even older sister-ship, the Rowitta, is being chainsawed apart by a Victorian maritime museum that can no longer afford to keep her. How did it come to this?

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Will the Homeless again be struggling ... ?

Stan. Pub: April 27. ABC pic
27.04.15 4:00 am

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Reflecting upon the arrival of another Winter in Tasmania, this question troubled me: Will the Homeless be again struggling to find adequate protection from hypothermia this year?

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MEDIA: The system turns journalists into thieves and liars ...

Standpoint. Guardian etc
27.04.15 3:45 am

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If you want to see the future of online news and entertainment, look at the Mail and see a future neither the Mail nor its enemies want.

• Taxing times for Channel Nine as News Corp bites back  Media reports about Rupert Murdoch’s tax arrangements for News Corp Australia have not pleased the company. Last week Nine’s A Current Affair ran an eight-minute story off the back of Michael West’s Fairfax media report about the amount of tax the company pays.

Byline: Why does the newspaper that has consistently backed the winning prime minister for the last 36 years sound so panicked?

The Independent: If Rupert Murdoch can’t swing it for the Tories, he will lose his grip over Britain Only now are the fruits of Ed Miliband’s laceration of News International four years ago fully ripening

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Cherrytopia & Hipsteria ...

Henni Aaltonen, Journalist, Finland
27.04.15 3:15 am

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I am a journalist from Finland, currently travelling in Tasmania. I am deeply impressed by this island and its people. I stayed a couple of weeks at a farm called Cherrytopia, in Lilydale. These people, farmers John and Lesley, have a beautiful lifestyle, sharing organic growing and permaculture ideology for guests and visitors in a farm/ farmstay. They are, as well, creative personalities and interesting people, participate to Bahai faith and Esperanto community. Both are originally from England ... their story of coming together and moving to Tasmania is so interesting ...

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Mutiny of the Soul ...

Charles Eisenstein. Image*
27.04.15 3:00 am

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Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new.

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Australia no longer has a 2-party system ...

Kosmos Samaras, Deputy Campaign Director @ Vic Labor, cyclist, cat enthusiast
27.04.15 2:25 am

Image for Australia no longer has a 2-party system ...

Before I go on. Whilst I am commenting on all matters relating to psephology, in this case the rise of the Greens, I must make one thing very clear. It’s my strong opinion that Australia no longer has a 2 party system. For far too long now those in the political ‘commentariat’ have explained away the Greens Political Party support as a protest, a flash in the pan, and a product of temporary voter disillusionment. And they are still doing it without any data to substantiate their claim.

• John Day, in Comments: #1 - I know of 17 young qualified Tasmanian’s many with families who have"taken retrenchment” from a single government department:with relatively low levels of settlement packages ( 5 to 10$K including statutory entitlements),who have all bar one moved to the mainland - and all have found jobs .All are fed up with the climate that they have to work in, the standard of our elected representatives and the likely future facing them and their families. The majority of our elected representatives, the management of government departments and what the media serve up - are in a different world and archaic in their thinking and output. Youngsters are connect like no other group and have completely different ways of looking at things, and completely different values of justifications and concerns. They also have a lot to say but do not connect with the media or government organisation as older Tasmanian’s might.The Greens Party and Independents are nearer to youngsters than any other party, and that where the change will come from. I have some issues with the Greens and no regard for the Liberals and Labor parties and their governments.But until they and the media recognize and speak objectively about each other and particularly the Greens and Independents - then Tasmania will not change and we will stay as we are.

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Footfalls echo in the memory ...

Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp
26.04.15 6:00 am

Image for Footfalls echo in the memory ...

These companion pieces reflect the horror of war and the effect of chance on our lives. The first, by Evan Whitton’s daughter Margaret, is a poem about her response to a 1918 photograph of wounded soldiers nursed by her grandmother, Bernice Margaret Collopy. Margaret is a clinical nurse consultant at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Her poem was first published in the April 2015 issue of The Lamp, the journal of the NSW Nurses’ and Midwives’ Association (membership c. 59,000). The second is about the war experiences of Evan Whitton’s father, Thomas Evan Whitton. He was nursed by Bernice Margaret Collopy and they later married. The piece originally appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on 26 April 1983.   

ABC: Anzac Day 2015: Private war collection much more than ‘snapshot’ of personal stories behind military records

Will Hodgman: Centenary of ANZAC: Tasmanians Remember

John Martinkus, Mercury’s Tasweekend: Hidden Horror of War ( this is a brilliant essay ... do yourself the immense favour of reading it ... ) … I can write this because I’ve seen it, lived it and felt it. I’ve lost hearing permanently from working in a helicopter in Afghanistan, I’ve lost a marriage and I’ve lost and left jobs, and I live with constant recurring nightmares of being kidnapped and blown up in Iraq. Sometimes the dreams are about Timor, hiding in the roof of a burning building with militia waving machetes outside. Sometimes it is the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Iraq when the blood was dripping off the awning of a building onto my notebook as I tried to write the number of the dead whose corpses I was trying to not step on. Sometimes it is just the sheer animal fear of being stuck in the last slow-moving Humvee in a convoy on a dirt road strewn with improvised explosive devices. But, unlike many other Australians who served in Vietnam, Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, I have my legs, my arms, my feet, my life and (although I know some would debate this) my sanity. The wars to which Australia has committed itself in the past 50 years have taken a huge toll, emotionally and physically, on a very small proportion of our population. And it is that we should reflect upon on this 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. …

• Claire Gilmour, in Comments: What a harrowing story from John Martinkus. When will that sort of thing be taught as part of history in schools? Makes one think that instead of all the ‘glory’ attributed to war, and those young people considering such a military career, should also be given the ‘warning’ signs (in no uncertain terms)  prior to enlisting. Makes one really wonder about just who are behind the scenes of the so called Isis ‘war’ …. The creation of a so-called common enemy and all … to keep the ‘war’ efforts up. I watched the Gallipoli movie about the true story of some journalists in the war. I didn’t know Rupert Murdochs father had been one of the main characters to help get the truth out.  Makes one wonder why he (Rupert) doesn’t do the same ? Instead seems to want to pander to big government and the big end of town … yay what a hero he is, not! Also makes me wonder about Nikolic, and his seeming penchant for attacking some of those who want to get the truth out … Ultimately the government continues to create PTSD in sooo many ways, but they, especially at the moment, are saying YOU, the individual are not worthy … you do not deserve help and consideration … you are just a pawn to be sacrificed on the table of naughts and crosses. Check mate ! to the government of the day … !

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Peter Jones: It’s also brave to stand for peace

Peter Jones, Mercury Talking Point Feb 28. Pub: April 20
26.04.15 4:00 am

Image for Peter Jones: It’s also brave to stand for peace

As we approach the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and then the shift of focus to the Western Front, it is worth reflecting that there is another side to the story.

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TasWater concedes NE Tas water may have been contaminated for years. A Will ... but no way?

Michael Atkin, ABC. Pic: Michael Atkin ABC* Pub: Apr 24
25.04.15 4:45 am

Image for TasWater concedes NE Tas water may have been contaminated for years. A Will ... but no way?

Tasmania’s water authority has conceded that communities across the north-east could have unknowingly been exposed to unsafe levels of lead in drinking water for years before they were warned.

Isla MacGregor has campaigned for years for the truth about water supply ... surely this is her breach of the stonewall of Tasmanian bureaucracy ...

• Jack Jolly, in Comments: An award for the best imitation of a startled rabbit caught in a spotlight goes to the guy from the water authority interviewed on Lateline. Or has he been drinking the water?

• Tim Slade, Pioneer, in Comments: The ABC’s 730 Report last night was much appreciated national exposure for us here at Pioneer. However, my criticism of the story is that, in the last part of the report, new rainwater tanks were pictured everywhere, as if we all had one; that we were unhappy with this and were demanding treated water. This is not the case. The question that was not asked, and should have been, is: Where are our rainwater tanks?!  It is 2 years since the town signed a petition stating that that is what we want.  And yet, only 8 properties have their tanks - 8 tanks were installed 6-months ago. We are not demanding treated water: we are demanding rainwater tanks, coupled with a reticulated supply. This is the fundamentally incorrect slant to the story which I feared. Anyway, there is much to be pleased with in this ABC 730 Report.  And we are very grateful to the ABC for the report.  Hopefully the story works as a general source of pressure upon TasWater.

• Isla MacGregor, in Comments: At the centre of this Lead contamination of water issue across Tasmania is that Councils prior to 2009 were not monitoring water properly and especially for metals. TasWater chief executive Mike Brewster told 7.30. “It’s possible ... we don’t know because the [water] testing regime was only brought in in 2009, so I couldn’t answer that,” he said. The State’s former Director of Health Dr Roscoe Taylor, then responsible for ensuring safe drinking water for all Tasmanians, needs to be called in by the Commissioner of an Integrity Commission Inquiry and asked Please explain? ............and can the state’s Councils please explain to the ratepayers of Tasmania as well…......why did they allow some in the community to be poisoned by Pb etc in the water?

Kim Booth: Urgent Action Needed as Heavy Metal Contamination of Drinking Water Continues in North East Towns

Michael Brewster, TasWater: Major upgrades of North East water supplies underway

• Jack Jolly, in Comments: This is all easy to solve. If the board meetings of TasWater were served with only the lowest drinking quality water available for Tasmanians (as their only refreshment during a hot summer) all of a sudden fixing the problem would be essential and in the ‘public’ (i.e. ‘their’) interest. Perhaps Miles Hampton could bottle some up for his family as well? If this is not the standard that public organisations are upholding, it is pretty obvious to everyone that we have system that is not serving the most vulnerable Tasmanians. It is only serving the most powerful.

ABC: A Will ... but no way ... HERE ... but there is for lawyers ... HERE Tasmania’s Premier Will Hodgman is demanding answers as the national spotlight falls on more than two dozen Tasmanian towns where locals are unable to drink from the water supply. In 26 towns across the state the water is unsafe to drink and either needs to be boiled or cannot be consumed at all. … But Mr Hodgman did not commit any money to help speed up pipe upgrades, or install more rain water tanks. “The responsible owners are of course, local government, so we need to work with them as well, but as a State Government we cannot accept the current situation,” he said. TasWater chief executive Mike Brewster said the organisation was working to fix the problem but some residents could be waiting for years before they could safely drink from the tap. “We’re fixing it,” he said. “And that’s why we’re spending $110 million a year for the foreseeable future to ensure that Tasmania never finds itself in this position again,” he said. … 

• O’Brien, in Comments: Re: #11 “It has been clear to many citizens of this state that from the Governor down to the lowest management levels there is an attitude that doing nothing is OK.” From my experience within the State Service most managers did nothing as a means of self preservation. To actually ‘do’ something meant there was a potential for consequences. Most Tasmanians would be flabbergasted at the depth of sloth, waste, nepotism, ineptitude and plain meanness of those meant to serve us. It was not uncommon for managers to arrange endless meetings at other ends of the state so as to accrue allowances. Managers were openly referred to as ‘pigs’ by the staff.

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Tasmania introduces “religious freedom” legislation, just days after Indiana scraps it

Brian Greig OAM (Former Senator) Perth, WA. Pub: April 20
24.04.15 4:30 am

Image for Tasmania introduces “religious freedom” legislation, just days after Indiana scraps it

In the last few weeks something extraordinary happened in the US state of Indiana. Governor Michael Pence presided over new legislation to strip the rights of gay and lesbian people under the guise of “religious freedom” ... but the whole thing blew up in his face after a huge backlash from the broader community and from big business right across America. Curiously, the Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman, is about to introduce very similar “religious freedom laws” into the Tasmanian parliament, oblivious to the potential backlash that awaits him. In Indiana, Governor Pence was convinced by religious conservatives to pass new laws that would allow all business people in Indiana to refuse service to any person who “contravened their religious beliefs.”

Rodney Croome: Religious exemption from anti-bias law likely violates constitution

Nick McKim: Government Has Nothing to Say on Bigot’s Charter; Download George Williams’ Opinion ...

• uh-owe, in Comments: ... When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? …

• Pippa, in Comments: As a Christian this entire “debate” makes me incredibly sad. I do not support this legislation. Yet I do believe the Bible, and I believe in the moral teachings of the New Testement.

• uh-owe, in Comments: Thanks Pippa for being Christian.  It is your practice of your beliefs that is what I admire and respect. Jesus regularly criticied the scribes and pharisees, and those ‘orthodox’ individuals that crossed the road, leaving the non ‘orthodox’ Samaritan to express concern. Your active expression of your faith demonstrates that in Christian terms these laws are not required.

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Footfalls echo in the memory ... 



Liberal Government budget cuts set to continue 






Lyrical Lee, Bush Balladeer 



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



Meeting the locals .... 

What's On

What's On




Your Country Needs You ... 



Good point Kosmos. Of course the “liberals” stand for capital, Labor for labour and the Greens for the environment.…

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

TV Tonight

Daily Kudelka


Martyn Turner



The Automatic Earth

Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

The New Daily

The Saturday Paper


Truth in Media

The Intercept

Blogger Me


Daily Mail Australia

ABC News Fact Check


Bluestone Magazine


No Fibs

ABC Vote Compass

Learn Discover Access

TROVE at National Library

The Guardian - Australian Edition

The Global Mail

The Conversation

Eureka Street

3 Quarks Daily

The Idiot Tax



Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands

Independent Australia

ABC Radio National

David Horton

Failed Estate


Feeding the Chooks

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Racket

Paige Loves Books

Don Knowler

Tim Squires


Gazette of Law & Journalism

The Culture Concept Circle