Articles

The USA elections and our broken system ...

John Biggs* Pic* First published November 26
28.11.16 4:14 am

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Thank you Donald Trump! That subheading does not reflect my views as a citizen, but acknowledges that the Trump tsunami helped me crystallise what I think has gone wrong with our own political system …

That outcome is surely beyond belief when seen through the lens of conventional politics. Donald Trump, a racist, misogynistic liar, arguably psychopathic, who had no political experience, nominally representing the Republican party when the leaders of that party were strongly opposed to him, promoting few if any sensible policies, had won the presidency of the most powerful and influential country in the world. What unreason is that! …

High degrees of racism were the inevitable result. Workers’ wages had not changed significantly for 30 odd years while the wealth of the urban, already rich, had multiplied many times over. Sixty years ago, the top 1 percent of the wealthy own 9 per cent of the total wealth of the USA, today the top 1 percent own 35 per cent of the nation’s wealth. This imbalance of wealth is certainly worse in the US than in Australia, but the pattern is the same as in the US …

Dr Michael Powell in Comments: The Last Trump ... There is something apocalyptic about the election of Donald Trump. No one can quite define it but there has been an utter alteration. In a tilt at our obsessive commercialism, one commentator described it as ‘product improved fascism’ and certainly this feels like an election for all those that missed the 1930s …

The Archdruid Report: The End of the American Century

ABC: Trump and Brexit success could herald Australian regional, rural revolt

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Writers | John Biggs | Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

Tasmania at the crossroads: The Planning Scheme Future

Graeme Wathen* Pic of Professor Buxton by Rob Blakers, https://www.robblakers.com/ First pub: Nov 26
28.11.16 4:00 am

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An Interview with Professor Michael Buxton 15 November 2016. Michael Buxton is a professor of Environment and Planning at the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University.
Professor
… Now if Tasmania doesn’t wake up to this, it’s going to do two things: destroy its most scenic landscapes excluding all but the privileged few, and secondly it’s going to leave towns languishing. So the people of Tasmania are going to be the losers in both ways …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

The Peter Gutwein no-show. Video. National Trust warning ...

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10 comments

Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

Should public opinion determine policy?

Max Atkinson* Pic* First published November 25
28.11.16 3:53 am

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Political philosophy, like other realms of moral philosophy, deals with issues which cannot be settled by a formal test or procedure - such as a rule of law or the judgment of a political official; either because there is no rule or the rules are unclear, so that someone must first decide what the rule should be …

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Writers | Max Atkinson | Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Thursday to Thursday ...

Leo Schofield* Foxtel Pic: of Leo Schofield. First published November 26
28.11.16 3:45 am

Image for Thursday to Thursday ...

Notes on a week on the island … How did I feel returning to Tasmania? Waves of nostalgia constantly broke over me. Not quite a tsunami but enough to constitute a warm immersion. Despite the best energies of the developers this remains a place of great beauty and I had the sense that awareness and appreciation of its unique attractions was growing. How lucky we were to be here to hear some of the most sublime music ever written performed by such outstanding musicians. And it was all happening in Hobart. Incredible. With the bonus of a road trip. …

• Bronwyn Williams in Comments: Leo’s right … the TSO was in perfect form, the three vocal artistes sang their tits off - in German - and the audience was a revelation.  Like the most conscientious of library users while the music played, and crazed, whooping, foot stomping Black Sabbath fans when it stopped. The ladies wore fabulous glittery dresses, and the singing gent looked like he’d just finished a day’s work on a horse drawn carriage, or been to a VERY fancy wedding.  There was a disembodied voice coming from the rafters, and a mesmerising oboe solo emanating from the same unseen location, and a chorus singing somewhere else entirely. …

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Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

C H Smith Development Proposal on Council Agenda today (Nov 28)

Ray Norman*
28.11.16 3:30 am

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At Launceston City Council’s second last scheduled meeting for 2016 Council will consider a proposal for the development one of the city’s iconic heritage sites, the C H Smith Buildings on the lower end Charles Street …

Examiner: Launceston Alderman Janie Finlay’s conduct charge dropped

Peter Gutwein: Northern Economic Stimulus package supporting CH Smith investment

NOVEMBER 30 ...

Launceston Concerned Citizens: How to find 9 million smackerooz in a hurry ...

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Talking of failures ...

Andrew Ricketts, Convenor The Environment Association (TEA) Inc Pic: Ted Mead of myrtle in the Tarkine First pub: Nov 24
27.11.16 3:30 am

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… Talking of failures: The State Forestry Minister, Guy Barnett’s recent foolish proposal to trash a significant amount of National Reserve System informal public reserves in Tasmania is an international disgrace. The current Tasmanian Government under Rebuilding the Forest Industry Act 2014 (RFIA) set aside the 400,000 Ha of the TFA forests (originally to be reserved) at least until 2020. Now the Liberals are reneging - cannot be trusted to even honour their own legislation …

• Jack Lumber in Comments: … No matter what view people have on Tasmania, we must all work together to ensure popularists and snake oil merchants never achieve such influence in any part of Australia.

Most Tasmanians locked out of Regional Forest Agreement process

BirdLife Tasmania: Forestry Tasmania’s careless insect spraying threatens to bring forest silence

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Politics | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Legal | Personal | Society

Purple Ribbon takes message to White Ribbon Australia

Simone Watson, National Director Nordic Model Australia Coalition
27.11.16 3:06 am

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Last Friday 25th November the White Ribbon Walk in Hobart had some input from people wanting to raise awareness about the broader issues concerning violence to women.

ABC: White Ribbon Day: Top cop praises youth for joining Hobart’s march against domestic violence

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Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Farewell Super Trawler ... and the questions remain ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic: of Geelong Star ... First published November 23
25.11.16 5:02 am

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Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has put out a Media Release detailing the apparent exit of Super Trawler, Geelong Star ...

Stop The Trawler Alliance Alliance says good riddance to Geelong Star ... but for how long?

Peter Whish-Wilson: Australian dolphins safe from Super Trawler. Loch Ness monster now at risk

Andrea Dawkins: Duplicitous Liberals Wave Off Super Trawler

Mark Shelton: Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

RELATED ...

Councillor’s attack on Environment Tasmania supporters unacceptable

• Andrew Wyminga in Comments: The Geelong Star (perhaps soon to be renamed once again and as it nears South Africa the “Faf du Plessis” might be considered) can no longer roam at sea without its transponder being turned on. In Australia it was the only sizable commercial vessel that had an exemption and therefore could not be tracked. We welcome its departure and feel safer knowing where it is …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times: John Hawkins: The Great Plunder ...

NOVEMBER 24 ...

Stop the Trawler Alliance: Now it’s time to ban them forever ...

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19 comments

Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Science | Society

Latest ‘fox carcass found in the north’

Garry Stannus* First published November 1
25.11.16 4:30 am

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Tally ho!  Well, well, well!  A fox is found, and what is the reaction?  Looking at the comment thread on the Mercury (before even DPIPWE’s Invasive Species Branch can investigate Sunday’s find), our fox intelligentsia has said it all.

NOVEMBER 29 ...

ABC: Tasmania’s multi-million dollar fox hunt based on likely hoax

ABC: Fox hunt: Tasmania’s multi-million-dollar program likely based on hoax, leaked report finds

NOVEMBER 18 ...

ABC: Origins of dead fox found in Tasmania traced to Victoria

NOVEMBER 1 ...

ABC: Dead fox discovery reignites great debate over predator’s presence in Tasmania

FRIDAY, Nov 4 ...

Mercury: Question marks over origin of fox carcass found by Frankford Rd

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Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Science | Society

Letter to the Editor on Mercury paywall ...

Kim Peart* of Ross. Pic* First published November 24
25.11.16 4:15 am

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Re: TALKING POINT: Stirred but not shaken by a bitter online backlash to the new paywall. by Phil Young ~ deputy editor, The Mercury, 24 November 2016 Dear Editor, Did you know that I cannot read this story in the on-line edition of the Mercury?

EARLIER, Bob Burton on Tasmanian Times ...

Can Spiderman save the Mercury from oblivion

MEANWHILE, Anthony Bacon ...

While I am flattered that The Mercury chose to publish and credit one of my aerial images on page 18, Wednesday November 23, 2016, I would like to state that I was not contacted or notified of it’s publication nor asked permission for it’s use in this instance. All my images are subject to copywrite, including any stills taken from video. I have never granted The Mercury perpetual usage rights to any of my images …

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Writers | Kim Peart | Politics | State | Economy | Opinion | Media | Society

Honouring Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Robin Banks

Rodney Croome. Pic: of Robin Banks
25.11.16 4:00 am

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An address by Rodney Croome to the TasCOSS Conference, Bellerive Oval, 24.11.16 The term “epic” inspires thoughts of great literature, of Homer or Dante. But there is an epic which we are all part of and which some of us are privileged to have a role in writing. It is a story of ideals and tragedy and of heroes and villains, as dramatic as anything found in the Odyssey. That epic is the law …

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Writers | Rodney Croome | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Peter Gutwein, do your duty for the Huon ...

Bob Hawkins* Pic* First published November 22
23.11.16 4:15 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games So far, so good: Huon Valley Council’s nine elected members have been sacked by Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein; and General Manager Simone Watson has been disposed of by Commissioner Adriana Taylor.

… None of this augurs well for anything but more of what Tasmania has been known for since it was settled more than a couple of centuries ago: turning its back on the past and “moving on”. …

• Reg Maxwell in Comments: I agree with most of what Bob says and I definitely agree that someone must act on the BoI recommendations which cost we ratepayers a lot of our scarce money; if it is not to be done by the Commissioner then Minister Gutwein please tell us whom you intend to get on to it and how soon it will be done. This is an important matter that will continue to fester for years unless it is cleaned up in a transparent manner, so don’t leave it to be dealt with by our next elected Council members. Next, the selection of a replacement for Watson. This must be a completely transparent process so it ought to be done by one of the several Executive Recruitment firms with broad experience in the selection of Local Authority executives …

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: #9 John, none of us out here in ratepayer land have any idea of the quality of the PS report because it’s still “secret”. It’s been seen only by those few who, by law, must see it — and, of course, conveniently leaked to those whose knowledge of it (7HOFM and The Mercury) was likely to help the cause of those who wanted the dysfunction blamed entirely on the People’s Mayor. The PS report might be, for all I know, a brilliant piece of legal sleight of hand that made council management and the Heart of the Huon only too happy to hand over $54,000 of taxpayers’ money to promote their cause rather than that of what I regard as the few who make up the forces for good governance.

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

TT: The Future ...

Lindsay Tuffin*
23.11.16 4:08 am

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Firstly to the regular contributors to Tassietimes ... Alison, PJG, Kev, Anon, Claire, Geoff, gerrya, Andrea, Bob, Intheloop, Service One, Sir Andrew Bolt, Ben Bradlee. Guyzzzz ... your regular support is utterly priceless. Thankyou ... Now to the future: TT is planning to switch platforms to a rather cute Wordpress site which will be mobile friendly and ultimately include classies ... Hopefully the first version of this will be happening around February/March. There will be hotlinks to Ice Age TT (the current site), and Jurassic TT (the original) ... so all archives will be accessible over the 14 years of TT’s existence. The future beckons with enormous joy.

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | International | Local | National | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Media | Personal | Society

NATION: Kiss your ring of steel ...

Urban Wronski* (aka David Tyler) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First published November 21
23.11.16 4:00 am

Image for NATION: Kiss your ring of steel ...

… Unchallenged also are MPs who insist billionaire Trump’s win is a victory for ordinary people, a spin happily encouraged by mainstream media and seized upon by Eric Abetz, George Christensen, Corey Bernardi and a crush of attention-seekers, nutters and trouble-makers infesting the lunar right of the Coalition or our own dark side of the mooners, the odd-ball cross-bench created by Turnbull’s double dissolution. Yet they, too, claim the same about their own nonsense; they are not using their position to promote their own lunatic views, they are just saying what ordinary people are thinking. …

Fairfax: Our politicians go populist at their peril

Fairfax: The world’s jerks are rising to the top

MSN: Property developer revealed as Hanson’s secret backer

• Urban Wronksi in Comments: … No hint in Operation Ring of Steel, moreover, that intercepting vessels carrying asylum seekers beyond the 24-mile contiguous zone is prohibited under the law of the sea. No hint either that it’s really a ring of cracked aluminium, given that the navy’s Armidale Class Patrol Boat fleet have aluminium hulls which are not wearing well. Since they entered service ten years ago, several of the 13 vessels have been laid up with structural, corrosion and mechanical problems. Unless there’s been a top secret (on water matter) change of plan, the fleet will not be replaced with steel hulled Offshore Patrol Vessels until 2022.

Fairfax: Peter Dutton thinks he’s got magic touch to lead Liberal Party out of its hole

Mark Satire ...

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Media | Society

Why The Trump & Abbotts of this World Can’t Stop the Neo-Revolution

Ted Mead* First published November 19
21.11.16 4:30 am

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If you are concerned about global renewable energy being hamstrung by the new wave of conservative politics, then forget about the American election outcome as Asia has foreseen the future, and it all looks inspiring in that part of the world …

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19 comments

Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Bulk-billing rates crash

Martyn Goddard* Pic* First published November 18
21.11.16 4:15 am

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Medicare bulk-billing rates for GP visits in Tasmania have dropped to their lowest level for five years, apparently in response to the federal government’s continuing freeze on Medicare rebates …

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11 comments

Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Health | Society

The family of the case study is without primary income, a husband and a father ...

Mark Temby* Pic* First published November 18
21.11.16 4:00 am

Image for The family of the case study is without primary income, a husband and a father ...

The Sentencing Advisory Council has called for public submissions to its report on “Sentencing of Driving Offences that Result in Death or Injury: Consultation Paper” [October 2016] by 18 November 2016.  HERE My feedback follows …

Rene Hidding: Remembering road crash casualties

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Writers | Mark Temby | Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Legal | Personal | Society

Can Spiderman save the Mercury from oblivion?

Bob Burton* First published November 15
21.11.16 3:30 am

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In early August the Mercury enlisted Spiderman and a bevy of his superhero friends to help in a marketing drive aimed at arresting the nosedive of Tasmania’s largest circulation newspaper. But Spiderman and his allies may well be way too late to save from oblivion the weekday print editions of Rupert Murdoch’s largest Tasmanian newspaper.

• John Hawkins in Comments: … The independent Wilkie and those Greens in parliament are streets ahead of the Lib/Lab dross that represent us. Where is the Mercury or the Examiner as the disaster of a bankrupt Forestry Tasmania deepens and its debts are funded by Tasmanian taxpayers? Where is the Mercury and Examiner regarding the Tasmanian Planning Commission and the badly considered changes to our planning laws to benefit developers that put 500 thinking Tasmanians into the Town Hall - not a squeak …

• Bob Daniels in Comments: Unfortunately The Mercury is directed by News, Sydney. Increased subscription and advertising costs don’t encourage Tasmanians to support their local paper. A sure fire way to lose subscribers. It would have been better to lower subscriptions and keep advertising rates competitive therefore maintaining circulation levels and attracting bigger advertisers with an assured readership. After all, the staff as been cut to the bone to offset the profit loss. A crying shame for a once great local newspaper.

• Mick Kenny in Comments: This is a fantastic and detailed summary of the Mercury’s recent decline. Rupert might hope to shape the future of media to his own commercial ends but I doubt even he can turn back the tide of change … He struggles to tweet without sounding like a prophet short of a flock … On the up side, there are many alternative news sources, the Guardian not least, with its increasing local and national content.

• Mark Worley in Comments: The Mercury deserves a chance. It’s by no means perfect, it never has been. But Hobart needs it. Tasmania needs it. As much as I love the ABC, the state needs another voice. If anyone thinks Rupert or any senior News Corp execs give a damn about their smallest asset, they are mistaken. If anything, the push towards an online paywall appears to be ensuring the death of the paper - a case of Sydney HQ ordering Hobart’s editors and staff to play Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun. The online price point is simply too high to attract enough subscribers. I am sure the execs know that. But damn it, what is the alternative here? …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Mercury ... The Fall ... and why it matters ...

• Ian M in Comments: … After an inquiry the ABC, I believe, reported it was found that the media had “contributed” to the tragic outcomes. While I do like some local content, the local rag has to do better than he said/she said, ads and syndicated content. And because of multiple failings, they deserve exactly fuck all until they can demonstrate they’ve resolved these issues.

• Matthew Sykes in Comments: … All this commissioned by a disgruntled former editor at the Merc. How’s that for balance? Editor: Helluva lot more nuanced than that Matthew. Firstly the article wasn’t commissioned ...

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29 comments

Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | State | Editor's Choice | Media

In Tasmania, some people never change ...

John Hawkins*, Bentley, Chudleigh.
18.11.16 3:05 am

Image for In Tasmania, some people never change ...

Maybe a reader could help with the year (perhaps 1989-90) but while hunting for the date when Erich Abetz was made President of the Tasmanian Liberal Party I came across a surprising gem in the form of a complete Letters column in an issue of the Examiner of January 1990 entirely devoted to the career of serial letter writer Mr Trevor G Cowell and centred by his portrait …

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30 comments

Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Media | Society

Huon council’s benign dictatorship can’t solve its serious problems ... The Payout ...

Bob Hawkins* Pic* First published November 3
18.11.16 3:00 am

Image for Huon council’s benign dictatorship can’t solve its serious problems ... The Payout ...

SATURDAY November 19 ...

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: We seem to be getting off topic: too much theory, not enough action. Here in the Huon Valley, at one extreme we have a general manager — with a $180,000 payout —despatched with the best wishes of the LG Minister-appointed commissioner, and, at the other, the People’s Mayor lumped with a massive legal debt, incurred as a result of a sustained politically motivated attack on his integrity and his determination to improve council’s governance standards. Sounds awfully unfair to me, but not a surprising outcome given the consistently abysmal performance of Tasmania’s ruling classes these past two centuries. If some degree of fairness is to prevail, at least the People’s Mayor should be reimbursed his legal expenses and each of the nine sacked councillors should be awarded at least a year’s salary plus their entitlements.

WEDNESDAY November 16 ...

ABC: Huon Valley Council general manager paid out $180k after contract cut short

• Geoffrey Swan in Comments: HVRRA could be a good start ... some 80 odd locals turned up on Tuesday night, some of the questions could have been answered if they had attended any of the previous HVC Council meetings.. or as someone stated if the Huon News got back into it’s old practice of reporting on the meetings by having a journo at each meeting and providing a summary.
However I am personally not convinced at all about the Huon Citizens Council ... …

EARLIER ...

Huon Valley Guessing Games Superficially, the Huon Valley Council dictatorship, possibly deceptively, looks benign, and a municipality-wide charm-fest is proceeding with verve.

• Pat Synge in Comments: … HVRRA is holding a public meeting in Huonville Town Hall at 7pm on Tuesday, 15th November. … If you want to know more about HVRRA go to http://www.hvrra.weebly.com

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: Now that the decks have been cleared, it is to be hoped that Commissioner Taylor will put her mind to sifting through the many allegations contained in the 80 or so submissions made last year to Gutwein’s Board of Inquiry into the affairs of Huon Valley Council. Though the BoI tended to tread lightly with them, serious issues were raised and, it is to be hoped, as an elected parliamentarian in an alleged democracy, Gutwein has instructed his appointee to get to the bottom of those allegations. If he has not, he is failing in his responsibility as a minister. My understanding is that some allegations, should they prove to have substance, should end up in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions, or with other statutory bodies, for careful examination. I would like to think that this has already happened, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill offers hope to Tasmanians

Labor Member for Franklin Lara Giddings. First published November 17
18.11.16 2:33 am

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Compassion is at the heart of legislation tabled today in the House of Assembly that will help Tasmanians suffering persistent and intolerable pain that cannot be relieved through medical treatment or palliative care, to die.

ABC: Voluntary euthanasia: South Australia to watch Victorian experience closely before re-attempting reform

COMMENT below ... or EARLIER on Margaretta Pos’ evocative account of her dad’s death ...

An Argument for Assisted Dying in Australia: Andrew Denton’s Di Gribble Argument in full

MARGARETTA POS on Tasmanian Times ...

Death in Amsterdam

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4 comments

Politics | National | State | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Around Australia by schooner: Things that make me nervous

Tom Ellison* First published November 18
18.11.16 2:30 am

Image for Around Australia by schooner: Things that make me nervous

I’m a robust sort of individual.  Not much troubles me. But there are certainly some things that make feel a little bit sick inside …

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Writers | Tom Ellison | Politics | National | Personal | Travel

The EPA verdict on Macquarie Harbour ... Probe reveals ‘salmon farming laws written by industry’

Lindsay Tuffin*, 4 Corners, ABC. Pic* First published October 27
17.11.16 3:15 am

Image for The EPA verdict on Macquarie Harbour ... Probe reveals ‘salmon farming laws written by industry’

There’s been a rash of Media Releases following the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revelation that it found concerns over bacteria and oxygen levels in Macquarie Harbour. EPA director Wes Ford said data showed conditions had worsened since last year.

Environment Tasmania: New investigation reveals salmon farming laws written by industry

Download a copy of ‘Cleaning up Tasmanian Salmon: How the Tasmanian Government can restore social licence and secure jobs in Tasmania’s salmon industry:’
HERE

Peter Whish-Wilson: Feds must intervene in Macquarie Harbour salmon farm regulation

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Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Science | Society

Ruby, Camilla, and all that lovely prickly, tasty, delicious gorse ...

John Hawkins* Pic* Chudleigh. First published November 14
17.11.16 2:51 am

Image for Ruby, Camilla, and all that lovely prickly, tasty, delicious gorse ...

… A new directive came through from the commissars executing the Hodgman Liberal government’s Fairer, Faster, Cheaper planning scheme, declaring that an all-around safety balustrade enclosing the mounting platform was required. Ruby and Camilla went weak at the knees at the thought of being boarded by brats climbing over a fence on the edge of their platform. R&C thank the camel experts from the Ministry, sorry Council, for acting in their best interests by trying to prevent tourists leaping unannounced onto their unsuspecting backs. …

I have to report that Russell, our only Chudleigh cameleer, has thrown in the towel because with no further funds available after the initial $6000 his will is now exhausted, his temper is frayed, and the fight has gone out of him …

• Andrew Wyminga in Comments: If John and the intrepid cameleer had first applied for a substantial government grant and fast-tracking status for “a major new tourism development” (preferably in one of our National Parks where gorse is rife) exemptions would have been obtained from building regulations and Council approvals and Ruby and Camilla would now enjoy celebrity status (photos with cabinet ministers). The laudable “roll up your sleeves” and “fund it yourself” approach just does not work here anymore.

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Trumped into Climate Change

Ted Mead* First published November 14
17.11.16 2:30 am

Image for Trumped into Climate Change

We all know it’s early days with Donald Trump at the helm of the world’s most influential country, but it was his language espoused through the recent election campaign that sent shivers of horror through the souls of every climate change activist across the globe.  As far as keeping the earth’s rising temperature to below a 1.5 degree increase this century, then it seems we have just taken an ominous step backwards. No wonder there is panic out there …

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Stupidity is on the rise in our age of enlightenment

Barry Jones* Pic* First published November 14
17.11.16 2:10 am

Image for Stupidity is on the rise in our age of enlightenment

Once Science Minister Barry Jones delivered this lecture on August 8, 2012 ... Public debate is dumbed down amid sloganeering, manic polling, managerial talk and pernicious spin …

Simon Schama, New Yorker: A New York Knight … I saw him for what turned out to be the last time a few weeks ago, in his rooms at Cambridge. Illness had shrunk him quite a bit, so that now he not only sounded like the elderly Voltaire but looked like him, too. Like Voltaire, Plumb held up a historical mirror that had become quite dark in old age. He was not sanguine about our chances of survival, and he likened modern America to the late Roman Empire, circa 300: impossibly overextended, beleaguered by barbarians, aware that all its glories of law and engineering might yet be demolished by incomparably less sophisticated peoples for whom destruction is a vocation and life is expendable. …

• Simon Warriner in Comments: … One of the things that is pissing people like me off about politicians is not their acceptance or otherwise of climate change, but their complete bastardisation of the science communication behind it by either telling lies to diminish, or exaggerating for effect. Both are destructive of public trust and counter productive, but hey, that’s what you get from the pointless dick measuring contest that is party politics these days. Oh, and one other thing, if you care to explore beyond the intellectual vallium type comfort of the clueless talking heads in the OZ media you might find that China and Russia have tied themselves together in ways that make the US unable to be besties with Russia while engaging in an arms race with China. Decades of watching the “leaders of the free world” terrorising the rest of the kids in the school yard promotes that sort of alliance, it would seem . Australia would be well advised to stand back and let the yanks find out the hard way without offending our biggest potential market by lining up, yet again, for the schoolyard bully.

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23 comments

Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Media | Personal | Society

Trump’s victory comes with a silver lining for the world’s progressives

Yanis Varoufakis*, The Conversation. Pic: of Donald Trump, Gage Skidmore Flickr
16.11.16 3:30 am

Image for Trump’s victory comes with a silver lining for the world’s progressives

The election of Donald Trump symbolises the demise of a remarkable era. It was a time when we saw the curious spectacle of a superpower, the US, growing stronger because of – rather than despite – its burgeoning deficits. It was also remarkable because of the sudden influx of two billion workers – from China and Eastern Europe – into capitalism’s international supply chain. This combination gave global capitalism a historic boost, while at the same time suppressing Western labour’s share of income and prospects …

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Society

NATION: A great and momentous choice

Urban Wronski* (aka David Tyler) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic: of Pauline Hanson, Steve Daggar, Flickr
14.11.16 4:15 am

Image for NATION: A great and momentous choice

“My door will always be open” tweets Pauline Hanson, at the first signs of Donald Trump’s surprise victory but she is soon elbowed aside by other MPs with a soft spot for a con-man or a misogynistic, sexist, racist thug. Suddenly everyone is part of a Trump reaction.

Fairfax: Little right, much wrong with Trumponomics

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What might have been ... Democrats’ embrace of neoliberalism won it for Trump ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic*: Pic: Leunig, http://www.leunig.com.au/works/cartoons . Used with permission ... First published Nov 10
14.11.16 4:00 am

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Donald Trump leads the free world today because the Democrats failed to go with the Old Guy …

AND if you don’t believe me …

Independent: Donald Trump would have lost US election if Bernie Sanders had been the candidate

Google News here for the breaking latest OR Guardian Live here ...

• Phil na Champassak in Comments: … Trump is an anti-politician par excellence, and his anti-establishment crusade resonated with the majority of American voters, whose vote was principally to register “against” rather than to vote “for”, as Trump’s policy platform for the US election was minimalist and contained little detail for scrutiny. If anything, Trump is not a true Republican, but rather a radical to the left of the Clinton Democrats … This is the worst possible outcome for Australia, that is highly dependent on an international free trading system and maintaining China as its largest trading partner …

Documentary maker Michael Moore predicted this result months ago ... HERE, AND Noam Chomsky years ago ... HERE

Angela Merkel Issues Not-So-Subtle Warning To Donald Trump After His Presidential Win

Independent: Climate change may be escalating so fast it could be ‘game over’, scientists warn It is a vision of a future so apocalyptic that it is hard to even imagine. But, if leading scientists writing in one of the most respected academic journals are right, planet Earth could be on course for global warming of more than seven degrees Celsius within a lifetime. And that, according to one of the world’s most renowned climatologists, could be “game over” – particularly given the imminent presence of climate change denier Donald Trump in the White House …

Naomi Klein, Guardian: It was the Democrats’ embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump People have lost their sense of security, status and even identity. This result is the scream of an America desperate for radical change

• Simon Warriner in Comments: … Trump is many things that are unpleasant and undesirable, but he has been smart enough to see that endlessly goading the Russian bear was not going to end well for anyone. Those who repeat the now thoroughly discredited mainstream media line about “Russia’s aggression” without ever mentioning the US Empire’s endless provocation and interference in other nation’s affairs need to start reading a little more widely. Getting your opinions from stooges whose world view is handed to them from further up the corporate ladder is, or should now be, clearly a recipe for painful embarrassment. Better it be political than military …

Satire ...

Occupy Democrats: Democrats Just Named Bernie To A Senate Leadership Position

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Transforming commitment into action on disaster risk reduction

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar* Pic: Martin Luff, Flickr of a 2011 NZ earthquake
14.11.16 3:58 am

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Nothing erases development gains as suddenly and severely as natural disasters. Earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones wreak destruction, not only across borders but across generations, reversing the hard-won progress of many years in poverty reduction, delivery of essential services, promotion of small business and economic opportunity. Disaster resilience in Asia and the Pacific is mission critical for the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development …

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