Heatwaves and the Winter Solstice

As the Winter Solstice came and went and our wood heater consumed the last of 2020’s firewood, the US mid-west was  sweltering through an early summer heatwave. Australia is, hopefully, at least five months away from its first hot spell. But in the US mid-west states, which have been in the grip of the worst drought in 20 years, the mercury is rising. Cue Martha and the Vandellas.. Canadian relatives had already been posting photos…

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Australia’s most over-analysed Budget

We’d been out to dinner on Budget night, so turning on the TV later, I caught the last comment from Lee Sales: “That completes our first hour of this special Budget coverage.” Budget analysis is a challenging topic for extended television viewing. The ABC borrowed David Speers from Insiders (wearing a blue suit and maroon socks), who took over to talk to a bank of television sets, splitting this up with breath-taking interludes (“Crossing now…

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Asylum seekers and the seven-year itch

If Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton ever had a lapse in judgement, it would be thinking that asylum seekers and their supporters have given up. Over a seven-year span, Mr Dutton and his predecessors have exposed asylum seekers to a punitive system (which is outside the UN Convention on Refugees). As you may hear this weekend, Sunday marks seven years of detention for those who were sent to centres on Manus Island and Nauru. At…

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Cyber attacks and the Faraday cage

Just as I was thinking about the unexpected email from the Australian Taxation Office, She Who Mocks ScoMo called me in to watch a live press conference about cyber attacks. Beware of State-based actors with sophisticated means to hack Australian infrastructure, began the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison (ScoMo). “He’s dog-whistling,” interjected SWMS. This of course sent me off to google what ‘dog-whistling’ meant. After discounting a video of a wizened old Kiwi farmer in gumboots…

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