"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

Following Ireland down the path to equality

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Rodney Croome* Pic*
25.05.15 6:00 am

The thumping Irish vote for marriage equality is bittersweet for Tasmanian marriage equality supporters. We watch the Irish celebrate with joy and pride, and we think “that could have been us”. In 2012 Tasmania had a chance to lead Australia towards a reform that has been called “the civil rights issue of our time”. But instead, a combination of fear and misinformation defeated marriage equality by just two votes in the Upper House. Now, the Upper House faces another test. This week it will debate a government bill watering down the Anti-Discrimination Act …

YESTERDAY ... on Tasmanian Times ...

Australia: The only Anglosphere nation without marriage equality

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We need you ... Thankyou!x

The Editors. Pub: May 18
25.05.15 5:50 am

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SUNDAY, May 24: Seven days after our appeal ... and immense thanks are due to Anon, Anon, Anon, Karl, Luuk, John, John, TGC, Bronwen, Leon, Anon, Estelle, Michael, Richard, Anon, Ian, Anon, Casey, Peter, Onya, Anon ... and the monthly contributors who include, Anon, Anon, Service, Onya, In The Loop. Thankyou!x

MONDAY, May 18: Tasmanian Times (TT) needs you. TT believes that the democratic purpose of the media is best served when information is freely available to citizens. While many other news websites opt to put their articles behind subscription screens or barrage readers with annoying pop-up banner ads, TT has swum against the tide.

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They are too busy writing badly to read well ...

Charles Wooley. Pic: of Xavier Herbert
25.05.15 5:49 am

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…In classrooms and lecture theatres around the nation the book was, without affection, better known as ‘Poor Fellow My Reader’. In the early eighties, I met the writer in a shack in far north Queensland by which time I had only just recovered from his books and was reading again. I remember he offered me a consoling large can of beer, which I accepted. It was warm and took forever to drink. 

Reading has always been a big part of my life and these days, naturally, I am deploring that the kids don’t do enough of it. On the other hand some of my adult friends are not helping the situation by doing too much writing. I don’t want to name, or fall out with, anyone here and maybe its only because I’m a journalist, but it seems everyone I know is writing a novel. Worse, many are even publishing them. And still worse, most of the work, proverbially, isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. It just devalues the literary coinage.

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NATION: Abbott’s boatload of accountability

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: May 25. Pic: ABC of Julie Bishop in Parliament
25.05.15 5:48 am

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Accountability is the cornerstone of good government. It ensures answerability, a readiness to explain itself; to provide sufficient information and justification to the people for its actions. We, the people, feel secure in being listened to, understood and provided for by our elected representatives who may be relied upon to provide wise leadership at home and to justly uphold our rights and discharge our responsibilities as members of an international community of nations abroad. And so it was last week that Australians of all walks of life rejoiced in a wealth of edifying and illuminating explanations ranging from Australian dogs’ best friend, Barnaby Joyce, whose Yorkshire terrier turn-back was a triumph of diplomacy and statesmanship to our barking mad Prime Minister’s gnomic repudiation of all notion of social contract ‘Nope, nope, nope.’

Never to be outdone, Julie Bishop elbowed our recycled former health watchdog Peter Dutton out of the spotlight with her forensic rationalisation of our nation’s cruel indifference towards several hundred wretched men, women and children found starving, destitute and begging for help in a wooden fishing boat turned back by Malaysia to fend for itself in the Andaman sea. How do we know they are real refugees? Bishop asked.

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Heritage: Matthew Groom might ... but many of us out in voterland don’t ...

Tom Bailey* Pub: May 25. Pic*
25.05.15 5:45 am

Image for Heritage: Matthew Groom might ... but many of us out in voterland don’t ...

“Reviewing the Integrity of the Tasmanian Heritage Register” by delisting selective sections of selective streetscapes starting with Launceston ... … The accumulative effect is the beginning of the destruction of Launceston streetscapes. 

Then there is St Georges Square – a picturesque green block at the top of High Street – on this Removal List.  Alarm bells start to go off here.  Why remove a park?  Am I too cynical if I wonder if this little piece of park is earmarked for development? A galling aspect of all this is that these beautiful intact streetscapes bring tourism to Launceston.  What we have is unique.  We have one government department, Tourism Tasmania, supposedly promoting tourism for our island state, and then we have another government department, Heritage Tasmania, deliberately dismantling it.The fate of this island depends as ever on the whims and personal agendas of our politicians whose catchcry is ‘Development at any cost’.  We should be building on the unique asset we already have, not destroying it piecemeal. Napier in New Zealand got it right, so should we.

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Push polling on native forest biomass as RET decision moves to the Senate

Markets For Change CEO, Peg Putt Media Release
25.05.15 5:40 am

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… The proposal to burn native forest biomass is being pushed by the Coalition and the forest industry in Canberra. Whilst opposed by Labor nationally, in Tasmania the State Labor leader has broken ranks in support of the bid. “It’s clear that some entity wants to claim public support for native forest biomass to go into the Renewable Energy Target to put pressure on the Senate in what is expected to be a tight vote,” said Markets For Change CEO, Peg Putt. “It’s likely that the move is also designed to drive the Labor split in Tasmania on the issue further.” 

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Dear Brett Whiteley ...

George Smiley, 'The Picker's Tax Hike' at georgesmileyblog.BlogSpot.com . Pic: of Brett Whiteley
25.05.15 5:30 am

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Dear Brett Whiteley, After your last community tea at Stowport you said I had been uncharacteristically quiet.  As you might have noticed that day, having anything worthwhile to contribute takes a lot of thought and research and there was simply no point in adding my voice to the outcry against selling secretly compliant halal foods at the major supermarkets, and the potholes on Greta Road.  So there is no hope and I felt some sympathy for you.

Does our entitled leadership actually know anything at all about the macro and microscopic facts of life?  Have any of them ever gone beyond fitting straight lines to crooked charts or actually got their hands dirty, even in their youth - beyond enjoying free higher education, schmoozing at Young Liberal fundraisers or risking the accidental begetting of bastards in the manner of weak but deeply - committed (oops; deleted for reasons of decency) everywhere?  Someone once said ‘the future is another country’.  Or maybe that was the past.  I used to think it was this one.

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A simple yes or no will suffice

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: John Hawkins' Ad
25.05.15 5:20 am

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Senator Eric Abetz has been granted Leave of Absence from Parliament by the Prime Minister - this poses the question as to why?

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How I Didn’t Become A Victim To Bullying: Caroline Dean, TEDxQueenstown

Caroline Dean, TEDx Pic: of Caroline Dean
25.05.15 5:19 am

Image for How I Didn’t Become A Victim To Bullying: Caroline Dean, TEDxQueenstown

Published on 15 May 2015 Caroline’s story is quite a shock. Her experience is deep and traumatic from time working inside the closed community of the Australian prison system. She talks of the systematic failures to understand the issues, the people that pit one person against another and the denial, denial, denial. How can such behaviour on this level be ignored? In fact this type of ‘victim’ versus ‘perpetrator’ model is the fundamental problem. Caroline finds clarity and systemises a way to build a culture and systems around this with alarming results.

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Keep Our Rail lines Tasmania (KORT): The North-East multi-use trail

Clinton Brown, KORT
25.05.15 5:18 am

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KORT has announced an alternative plan for the North-East line which combines the better of two forms of tourism. Their suggestion leaves the rails in place for small railcars but also includes the infilling of the gap between the rails to allow the rail trail to proceed. 

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There was so much smoke it was hard to pinpoint where the burns were ...

Clive Stott, http://www.cleanairtas.com Pub: May 25
25.05.15 5:15 am

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Back in 2008/09 Tasmania was blanketed with shocking planned burn smoke. It was happening before this but let’s start here. In fact there was so much smoke it was hard to pinpoint where the burns were.

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Australian Possums in Kiwi Blunderland

Tony Orman Journalist/Editor BLENHEIM, 7240 New Zealand
25.05.15 5:00 am

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Possums in Australia are protected in mainland states but in New Zealand just a few hours flight away and in total contrast, the possum is classed by authorities as a destructive pest, sentenced to death by extermination and hounded by mass poisoning efforts. The sharp contradiction seems bizarre and the more you delve into the New Zealand attitude and policy, it is ...

• Morton Bartlett, in Comments: Nailed it in one, this stuff is slowly killing this country, species by species

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The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

Johann Hari, Huffington Post
25.05.15 4:45 am

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It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned—and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments.

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EU dropped pesticide laws due to US pressure over TTIP, documents reveal

The Guardian
25.05.15 4:30 am

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As negotiations for Australia to conclude the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) enthusiastically pushed by Trade Minister Andrew Robb it is revealed ... US trade officials pushed EU to shelve action on endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to cancer and male infertility to facilitate TTIP free trade deal

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ... the TPP and its implications explained ...

Peter Henning: Tell me a story ... about free trade

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The world is waking up to the $5.3 trillion cost of fossil fuels

John Quiggin, REneweconomy, reproduced from The Conversation
25.05.15 4:15 am

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Prospects for global energy markets have been reshaped by two recent pieces of news, one of which helps to explain the other.

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Tassie Pine - Episode 11 - Abbott Loves Women

Tassie Pine
25.05.15 4:05 am

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This week on Tassie Pine Tony Abbott discovers a new love for women through the art of product design …

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The day Letterman said ‘no’ to Rupert Murdoch

Bruce Guthrie, Editorial Director The New Daily
25.05.15 4:00 am

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US talk show host retires after 33 years – but would he have had the same long and illustrious career if he’d said ‘yes’ to Rupert Murdoch?

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Australia: The only Anglosphere nation without marriage equality ...

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome Media Release
24.05.15 6:18 am

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“If traditionally-conservative Catholic Ireland can endorse marriage equality, Australia’s political leaders have no more excuses for dragging the chain.”
- Rodney Croome

Rodney Croome: Call on Abbott to back Coalition marriage equality free vote

YESTERDAY on Tasmanian Times ...

Richard Griggs, Terry Polglase, Deidre Murray: Religious freedom does not extend to excluding children ...

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Nick Davies, a journalist who investigated his own

David McKnight, Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Research Centre at UNSW Australia. Pic* Pub: May 22
23.05.15 5:30 am

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When journalists justify what they do, they invariably say: “We hold governments to account. We act in the public interest.” It justifies the most noble investigative journalism. It is a sacred catechism taught in journalism schools. But the same public interest arguments are also trotted out by the types of journalists who hacked mobile phones to produce sex scandals for Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World. All of this makes The Guardian’s Nick Davies a very unusual journalist. Davies did what few other journalists do. He undertook investigative journalism on journalists themselves. For this, says Davies, the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, jailed for hacking, called him a “traitor”.

• John Powell, in Comments: Listened to his interview with Richard Fidler on ABC Conservations - HERE - during the week. Amazing commentary on the corruption and manipulation of the Rupert Murdoch media empire. Now clearly evident in the manipulation of the Abbott Government and the MSM representation of the untruths therein enunciated. Shame to all involved.

• Mike Ward, in Comments: I note David McKnight did not declare himself as the author of Rupert Murdoch: An Investigation of Political Power - probably my favourite Murdoch hatchet job, not to mention a sobering and disturbing read in its own right.

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Religious freedom does not extend to excluding children ...

Richard Griggs, Deidre Murray, Terry Polglase. Pic* Pub: May 23
23.05.15 5:29 am

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Religious freedom is a fundamental civil liberty but it does not extend to excluding children from enrolling at publicly funded schools because of their religion ...

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Brian Greig OAM (Former Senator): Tasmania introduces “religious freedom” legislation, just days after Indiana scraps it

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Following Ireland down the path to equality 



Family Violence 



The Rundown ... This Weekend: The unparalleled joy of EUROVISION! 



Reviewed! High Beam 



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



Snowy Mountains awarded world cross-triathlon championships 

What's On

What's On

MAC, June 4: Book Launch; A Reason to Live 



The NZ Flag ... 



I believe it was Marx who deduced that capitalism was best represented by a snake eating its tail. Robotising the workforce…

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