The prime minister has until next May to hold an election. The government has ample time to play catch-up with the rollout. If further outbreaks are contained and the elusive herd immunity is achieved by then, lockdowns will have become a thing of the past. The relief at being able to move on may obliterate current disquiet. Further, in normal circumstances, policy virtue is not necessarily synonymous with political success. The last federal election was an indicator of this. The Coalition triumphed despite a threadbare policy program. In other words, policy prowess is only ever one measure of a government’s success.
Source: Is the COVID vaccine rollout the greatest public policy failure in recent Australian history?
Paul Taucher and Dr Dean Aszkielowicz argue that war crimes justice does not work the way commentators generally suggest it does. AFTER THE SECOND World War, the victorious Allies prosecuted German and Japanese civilian leaders and military personnel for war crimes. The decision to hold these trials was based partly on a belief that the decades prior to the war had seen a genuine awakening among nations that some rules should apply to the conduct of wars and that efforts must be made to avoid devastating conflicts.
Source: The problem with war crimes law and what needs to be done
The latest official figures show Australia’s infrastructure investment has plummeted, reports Alan Austin.
AUSTRALIA HAS BORROWED heavily to weather the recent COVID-induced economic storm. But in contrast to previous major global recessions, it is emerging with virtually nothing tangible to show for the debt incurred.
Source: ALAN AUSTIN: Australia’s low infrastructure spend, despite record debt
The Coalition government’s signature employment policy for young people JobMaker has created just 609 jobs. And thanks to the flawed design of JobKeeper, which shut out many young people from key financial support, superannuation accounts were emptied, for which the young will pay a heavy price down the track. Kathryn Daley, Belinda Johnson and Patrick O’Keefe report.
Source: JobMaker scheme fails youth as super accounts drained and JobKeeper bypassed gig economy – Michael West
Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency, as Max Blumenthal points out in his insightful book “The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump,” was made possible not only by massive social inequality and concentration of wealth and political power in the hands of the oligarchic elites but by the national security state’s disastrous and prolonged military interventions overseas.
via Reckoning With Failure in the War on Terror
Above is yet another example of Tony Abbott’s approach to ‘expert respectability’ $500,000 for ‘no advice’ in 2 years. Perception is all that counts. (ODT)
It was, declared The Australian’s resident theologian Greg Sheridan, “a pivotal moment in modern Australian history”. Was Sheridan referring to the arrival of the First Fleet, perhaps? The end of transportation? The celebration of federation? The landing at Gallipoli? The victory in the Coral Sea?
No, none of the above – something far more important: the Australian National University’s decision to end negotiations to establish a partnership with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. According to Sheridan, the university’s decision means that intellectual freedom at our universities is now imperilled.
This is hyperbole beyond the wildest imagination of even Gerard Henderson, but it shows just how seriously our national newspaper and its right-wing commentariat is fighting its culture wars. What was originally a minor controversy in academia has been blown up into a crisis of apocalyptic proportions. The Monthly
Western Civilization IS being taught at ANU, however, donor bribery such as the Ramsay Centre’s attempt isn’t being given the privilege to run its own tertiary course under the auspices of the ANU. The Ramsay Centre is trying to buy interloper rights to their own specifications taking them outside the bounds of what it is the ANU represents. Tony Abbott is on the board of the Ramsay Centre trying to do what he did with Dr Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Center (which has nothing to do with Denmark) to try to bribe Australian Universities to take on board and give legitimacy to his personal political bias on anti- Climate Change. All he was trying to do is provide respectability for a failing argument that was already being debated anyway. He failed and here he is repeating the same stunt. (ODT)
When one of his carefully selected directors, Tony Abbott, said the Ramsay Centre would be not only about Western civilisation but in favour of it and would have a say over curriculum design and staff appointments, he was merely following the script.
But of course the influence was supposed to be covert, not trumpeted in Quadrant – the idea was that the proposed centre could be justified within the umbrella of academic independence and autonomy, when in fact it could not. The Monthly
The end of civilisation? | The Monthly
It has been 15 years since OIF, and there – in Iraq and Syria – US servicemen remain, wedged between Saudi-backed Sunni Islamists, and Iranian-backed Shia militiamen. Some 4500 American soldiers have already died, with upwards of 30,000 more wounded. And, like a bad sitcom, the US military still spends most of its time fighting spin-off wars (Syria, Iraq 2.0, ISIS, Yemen) of the original Iraq disaster. That ill-fated farce of an invasion either created the conditions, or exacerbated the existing tensions, which inform today’s regional wars.
via The Unmitigated Failure of the Iraq War
This is crazy! So what did they do with the rest of the money? It didn’t trickle down!!
The Red Cross has failed massively in its promise to Haiti. After the devastating 2010
The Red Cross announced plans to build no less than 130,000 homes for survivors of the earthquake, many of whom were left with absolutely nothing.
There was a generous influx of relief from people all across the world, totaling half a billion dollars, but a series of bungling errors has led to the halted plans, while many doubt if the houses will ever be built.
via Red Cross Built Exactly 6 Homes For Haiti With Nearly Half A Billion Dollars In Donations
Drastic corporate tax cuts have one corporate CEO in the Midwest ready to move his company to another state.
Source: CEO Eviscerates Trickle-Down Taxes in Viral Open Letter