How to Make Refugees

20/02/2019

If the conditions within a country are so terrible as to force their civilian population to flee and seek refuge elsewhere, then we should be doing everything that we can to alleviate their suffering, and everything we can to deescalate whatever tensions sparked such conditions. One country in particular, where the conditions are incredibly abhorrent, receives relatively little coverage – Yemen. But instead of a humanitarian approach to such a devastating situation, the “West” has been directly and indirectly responsible for the suffering of millions since 2015. Australia, usually a bystander unless in coalition with US interests, is now about to actively participate in this suffering.

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Medivac Bill Scare Clouds Paladin Contract

17/02/2019

After what has been called the ‘medivac’ bill was passed, ensuring that the refugees on Manus and Nauru would be brought to Australia for health reasons, the Coalition has gone all out on a scare campaign to smear Labor and the Greens (not so much the Independents who initiated this bill, though), reviving lovely slogans about an endless stream of boats. A few points have been picked up by the media that put this into question, such as the reopening of the Christmas Island detention centre and the fact that the bill only applies to the current cohort of refugees, and not to any new arrivals. More importantly, but (from what I could tell) hardly mentioned in comparison, is the new contract with a security firm, Paladin.

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Quick Quips: (Literally) Bloody Hell

16/02/2019

I have been slack and haven’t posted in a couple of days – I am still ahead on my goal to reach 365 posts this year, but I’ll admit I was having a bit much fun testing out my new laptop’s capabilities and didn’t get around to writing much. But while I’ve been quiet, the world sure has not been. Neither has our government here in Australia, despite the fact they are so inept they can’t even do their job.

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Australian Game of Thrones

13/02/2019

A massive Game of Thrones fan friend of mine tagged me in a post shared by our local Federal MP, Andrew Laming. The original post was from a meme page that supported the National Party, and with the GoT poster background and font, they had photoshopped Bill Shorten onto it with the words “The Boats Are Coming”. Funny in a way, if entirely untrue, but as my friend pointed out, there are some relatively trivial but accurate comparisons between the show and real life.

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Pine Gap: A Reflection

01/01/2019

I recently read the book Pine Gap by David Rosenberg, who worked for the NSA and was stationed at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs in Central Australia, for 18 years. The mostly US-run and secretive base has been the centre of numerous conspiracy theories and protests, but David’s book (as he explains his intention to be) dispels a lot of the wild ideas, while confirming the more expected details.

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