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Articles Archive for November 2014

Reviews »

[30 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 300 views ]

David Horner, The Spy Catchers. The Official History of ASIO, Volume 1, 1949 , 1963, Allen & Unwin: Sydney, 2014, pp 710, $59.99;
Val Noone and Rachel Naughton (eds), Daniel Mannix: His Legacy, Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission: Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, 2014, pp 178, $20;
Ann Moyal, A Woman Of Influence: Science, Men & History, University of Western Australia Press, 2014, pp 201, $34.99
In 1943 the United States Army’s Signal Intelligence Service began intercepting and then decrypting Soviet cable traffic between KGB headquarters in Moscow and KGB officers …

Reviews »

[22 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 120 views ]

William Heinemann, $49.99
Award-winning journalist and prolific author Peter FitzSimons has an enviable ability to bring history to life. In this, his 27th book, FitzSimons takes us deep into the disastrous Gallipoli campaign and spells out in detail the fateful steps that led Australian and New Zealand soldiers to utter devastation, if not absolute despair.
When the Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey, at dawn on April 25, 1915, the plan was to secure the Dardanelles, thus allowing the Imperial Fleet to go all the …

Columns »

[22 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 104 views ]

VICTORIANS go to the polls next Saturday to elect a new government and the bookies have Labor as odds on favourites to win. However an even shorter-priced bet is that neither the Coalition nor Labor will have control of the Victorian upper house. This may well reside with a small party and possibly a religious one.
Saturday could be one of the most crucial upper house state elections that Australia has seen for many years. This is because it comes at a time when a clutch of progressive social issues are …

Columns »

[17 Nov 2014 | One Comment | 70 views ]

In the US mid term elections on November 4, voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC, like voters in Colorado and Washington states back in 2012, passed ballot initiatives to start taxing and regulating recreational cannabis. Also in the 2014 elections, voters in California supported a very important ballot initiative to reduce the severity of penalties for drug offences. This initiative is expected to substantially reduce the very high incarceration rate in the most populous state of the union. It is now clear that voters in the US are growing …

Books »

[15 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 92 views ]

Review of ‘Peacemongers’
By Barry Hill
UQP, 676pp, $45 (HB)
BARRY Hill and I share at least one thing in common: an abiding admiration for Indian poet, novelist, ­philosopher and playwright Rabindranath Tagore. Born in 1861 in Calcutta (now Kolkata, West Bengal), Tagore died in 1941, a few months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
A friend of Albert Einstein, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohandas Gandhi, Tagore was one of the world’s great public intellectuals, an early leader of India’s nationalist movement and, in 1913, the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. …

Columns »

[11 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 115 views ]

Retired Supreme Court judge and former corruption inquiry head Tony Fitzgerald has described former Queensland premier Wayne Goss as a man of “uncompromising integrity”.
Mr Goss implemented the reforms Mr Fitzgerald recommended in his 1989 landmark report into Queensland police corruption.
The report’s findings of entrenched corruptions led to an election which swept away of 32 years of conservative Queensland government.
“Wayne Goss was a man of uncompromising integrity and an outstanding Queenslander whom I greatly admired,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“We first met when I held a few meetings with him and the other …

Columns »

[8 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 80 views ]

“RUSSIANS are shits. They always have been shits. They always will be shits. If you understand that, boys, you can understand foreign policy!
This is what our biology teacher, Norton Hobson, a strongly anti-communist ex-communist, said to us at Melbourne High School in 1960.
Although somewhat of a caricature, Mr Hobson’s pithy statement contains at least an element of truth, which Tony Abbott might keep in mind when he meets President Vladimir Putin at next Saturday’s G20 leaders summit in Brisbane.
Because the G20 is a consensus-based forum, any decision to ban the …