November 5th 2016

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Hazelwood closure will push up power prices in Victoria

CANBERRA OBSERVED Out of the shadows of the backbench ...

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Obama Administration exacerbates Syria conflict

INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT Wikileaks reveals U.S, funding behind anti-coal campaign

TAIWAN New president cautious, ambivalent towards Beijing

OPINION How to convert citizens into subjects and victims

FINANCE Untangling some knots of international tax

BRITISH AFFAIRS Brexit revisited: courts may come into play

LITERATURE The paradoxical idyll of Tolkien's Shire

HUMOUR Assembled and curated by Sebastian Gunlighter

MUSIC Unresolved melancholies

CINEMA Bittersweet Woody Allan: Cafe Society

BOOK REVIEW From von Ranke to van Gend

BOOK REVIEW More mystery than history

BOOK REVIEW An empire's collapse


NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal rebuts commission's 'Get Pell' campaign

U.S. AFFAIRS First Brexit, now Trump: it's the economy, stupid!

ANALYSIS What is possible to a Trump Whitehouse

Books promotion page


News Weekly, November 5, 2016

“Terrorism” not the right word

In his review of the book, The protest Years: The Official History of ASIO, 1963-1975 by John Blaxland (News Weekly, October 22, 2016), Chris Rule refers to “the threat of extreme right-wing, particularly Croatian, terrorist activities in Australia”.

There have not been any “Croatian terrorist activities in Australia”. John Blaxland, in his book refers to “Croatian extremism”, not terrorism.

To highlight this point I refer you to page 148 of the book, where the author quotes the words of then Attorney-General of Australia Ivor Greenwood: “Croatians were not anti-Australian and no evidence had been brought forward to show that the intention of Croatians in Australia was to overthrow the Australian Government.” He also stated that “there was no credible evidence of Croatian terrorism” in Australia!

Furthermore, he states, that in fact it was the Yugoslav Secret Service that was intent to carry on terrorist activities, “and were prepared to use agents provocateurs and even to damage their own buildings” in order to put blame on Croatian nationals (p152). ASIO supported this assessment of the Attorney-General!

This is different to the actual terrorist acts carried out lately in Australia by Muslim extremists, where human lives were lost!

Yes, the 1970s was a very politicised period of Australian history, when many newcomers to Australia felt strongly about freedom in their own country of origin, and were not afraid to publicly express these feelings. For these reasons they were often loosely branded as troublemakers, extremists and terrorists. With books like The Official History of ASIO, we know better.

Stephen Asic,
President of Australian-Croatian Congress,
Past President of Croatian World Congress


Census sense

The 2011 Census shows that there were 33,000 same-sex couples (50 per cent male, 50 per cent female).

Twenty-two per cent of female couples had children and 2 per cent of male couples had children.

Overseas experience shows that about 10 per cent choose to marry. So, we will change our marriage laws for the sake of about 5,000 couples, based on 2016 figures.

While the position of “English-speaking advanced countries” is interesting, a more relevant fact would be that in our Asian-Pacific region only one country has taken this iconoclastic step. Marriage is the peoples’ institution and only they can change it – not courts or parliaments.

John R. Barich,
Claremont, WA


Marriage mockers

It looks like Bill Shorten and the ALP have short-changed the Australian public on a plebiscite for same-sex marriage. The inside polling they usually do must have convinced them that Australian people do not agree with them.

One objection offered is the cost of a plebiscite. It is unusual to see the ALP claiming frugality, as plebiscite costs are dwarfed by the give-away of $20 billion from our surplus by Kevin Rudd.

Curiously, Mr Shorten tells us that increased suicide has become a factor for not having a plebiscite. Is he trying to alert us to the vulnerability of LGBT people to increased health dangers?

On looking around, I found a recent Queensland survey telling us: “It seems that LGBT people would require targeted approaches in mental and general health services.” (See

Mocking marriage through politics does not sit well with ordinary people.

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld.

Deficit paradox

I may have seriously misunderstood something important, but would Colin Teese please explain to novice economics students such as me why a continuing budget deficit – in our present situation of a national government debt incurring monthly interest of $1.25 billion and presumably steadily increasing – does not matter?

Philip Burke,
Gilberton, SA


Philip Burke raises an important question that not nearly enough people are considering. It is, however, a difficult subject because the answer is actually counter-intuitive to what we are all conditioned to think.

Might I suggest you listen to a YouTube presentation by Professor L. Randall Wray entitled How Money Works? It is the best introduction to the subject I know. Any questions that arise from the YouTube I would be happy to answer.

Colin Teese,
Toorak, Vic.


Casinos and crime

Three Australian employees of Crown Resorts are in prison in China.

China is cracking down on corruption. President Xi Jinping is sick of foreign companies like Crown that provide a service to help wealthy Chinese money-laundering crooks to thumb their noses at Chinese law.

It is commonly conceded that “casinos breed crime” – perhaps equally true to say that casinos “are” crime. Isn’t gambling intrinsically evil – fostering greed, envy, theft and idolatry?
Idolatry being the worst – thumbing one’s nose at God.

Small-time gambling like a “flutter” on the Melbourne Cup or at the bingo is generally considered fairly harmless.
But it isn’t.

Arnold Jago,
Nichols Point, Vic.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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