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Articles Archive for December 2008

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[20 Dec 2008 | One Comment | 2,067 views ]

In The Best Australian Essays 2008, David Marr presents 31 offerings, including a piece by himself — supposedly because ‘the publishers insisted’ and he ‘didn’t fight’!
Not unsurprisingly the result is a curate’s egg, although it does seem clear that a disproportionate number of essays hail from the Monthly, which like this book is published by Morry Schwartz’s Melbourne-based Black Inc. This means that much of this volume is intellectually inbred.
But enough carping, let’s deal with some of the positives.
Two of the most promising pieces in the collection are ‘To Hell …

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[15 Dec 2008 | No Comment | 1,086 views ]

IF 29 countries, including France and Germany, can completely or partially ban the advertising of booze and in the process reduce alcohol consumption, why is Australia dragging the chain?

This is something our health ministers should urgently consider.

According to a recent commonwealth report, the annual cost to Australia of alcohol abuse in terms of policing and health care is $15 billion.
In NSW, the chief health officer estimates alcohol causes 1220 deaths and 47,000 hospitalisations a year.
Last week, NSW Health Minister John Della Bosca called for a public debate …

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[6 Dec 2008 | No Comment | 879 views ]

DOOMSAYERS who think the current global economic crisis spells the end of capitalism as we know it should think again.
For a start, instead of winding back after the failure of the globalising free marketeers, the stated aim of the G20 group of countries, enthusiastically endorsed by Kevin Rudd, is to extend the unregulated free market worldwide. In a similar manner, and despite the opposition of China, Rudd is pushing for all 21 of the Apec member countries to universally embrace ‘free trade’.
Rudd and other world leaders should look before …

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[2 Dec 2008 | No Comment | 885 views ]

QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh’s spectacular backdowns on recycled water and on the controversial Traveston dam project will not save her at the next state election. Not unless she shelves her plan to add fluoride to the drinking water.

Those who think the introduction of fluoride is a minor issue should think again. It was, after all, a highway through koala habitat in southeast Queensland that ended the government of Wayne Goss.
Fluoride will be added to Queensland drinking water just before the new year break. The …