The return of capital punishment

In February, my attention was caught by a bizarre story about the Sri Lankan government advertising for two public executioners of “strong moral character”. I let it go at the time, as the topic seemed too morbid for FOMM readers. But that was before Donald Trump’s government last month re-introduced capital punishment in the US for Federal offences. People in Trump’s government have been lobbying to reintroduce capital punishment, last used in 2003. The main…

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We’ll need a huge crowd to stop war against Iran

I’m not good with crowds – not since the early days of journalism in Toowoomba when I under-reported numbers at the annual Carnival of Flowers parade. “Next time check with the police,” I was told and mostly continued to do so, on occasions when crowds gathered for newsworthy events. It is not always a given that members of the constabulary will give you an accurate-enough figure of crowds. Police under-estimated by 50% or so the…

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Facebook – does it really matter if they share our data?

Since we’re discussing Facebook and who has the rights to personal information you’ve posted, I wanted to show you my ‘Wall.’  People used to call their Facebook page their ‘Wall’, though that has become passe. As walls go, this one would be ‘liked’ by Shirley Valentine fans (cultural reference), as it suggests romance and sun-bleached beaches. I joined Facebook in 2009 (apparently) as this is the first image I posted. At the time we were…

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Censorship, guns and the right to arm bears

  I was idly wondering if I should have a go at George Christensen for pulling that silly, anti-greenies gun stunt at the firing range but self censorship kicked in. What if he knows where I live? I blanched. The process known in journalism school as ‘self censorship by osmosis’ still kicks in, even 18 years down the track. You may have assumed I was about to jump into the very deep pool of acrimonious…

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