December 3rd 2016

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Anti-discrimination law validates Safe Schools

CANBERRA OBSERVED Triggs on the way out, but her weapon (18C) must go too

ANALYSIS What is possible to a Trump White House

EDITORIAL Trump portends the start of a new political era

EUTHANASIA Late-night reprieve in SA Parliament

EAST ASIAN AFFAIRS Taiwan and Japan look extinction in the face

SEXUAL POLITICS Victorian Liberals pledge to scrap Safe Schools

LAW AND SOCIETY No-fault divorce a tragedy of nuclear proportions

PARENTING Experts envisage lustrous future for infant graduates

POLITICAL HISTORY Folly with a touch of good sense: Colonel Sibthorp

ECONOMICS Trump as a symptom of the end of neoliberalism

MUSIC Vale Leonard: did we ever really understand you?

CINEMA Fantastical and beastly: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

BOOK REVIEW A Life well spent

BOOK REVIEW Catholic revisals


FOREIGN AFFAIRS How the left whitewashed Fidel Castro

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News Weekly, December 3, 2016

U.S. election

The two pages on the U.S. presidential election in the November 19 issue of News Weekly were disappointing in that there was no mention of the role abortion played in the election of Donald Trump.

During one of the presidential debates, Hillary Clinton said that she wants a Supreme Court nominee who would support unlimited abortion. She reiterated her promise to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who will support Roe v Wade, the undemocratic Supreme Court decision that allowed unlimited abortions and that resulted in the killing of more than 7,000,000 unborn children.

Emily’s List, a militant pro-abortion feminist organisation, was reported to have donated $US60 million to Clinton’s campaign.

Trump had made it clear that he was opposed to abortion and said he would appoint judges to the Supreme Court who had the same values as the recently deceased Antonin Scalia.

That Trump chose Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana, to be his Vice-President is significant and a contributing factor to his presidential victory. Pence is a Catholic, married with three children and a well-known opponent of abortion.

At a campaign meeting in Liberty University, Virginia, the vice-presidential candidate said: “Donald Trump and I will work to advance the sanctity of life in the rule of law. We will sign a bill banning late-term abortions and we will uphold the historic Hyde Amendment that will prevent the use of taxpayer dollars to fund that which millions of Americans find to be morally objectionable.

“I long to see the day that Roe v Wade is consigned to the ash heap of history, where it belongs.”

The abortion debate that raged throughout the campaign is one of the main reasons pro-life Christians rejected Hilary Clinton in large numbers.

Brian Peachey,
Woodlands, WA

Car industry ran out of luck

The fact that the now-defunct Australian major car manufacturers are foreign owned is certainly important, but it is by no means the sole reason why the industry shut up shop.

As John Spooner implies (News Weekly, “Foreign ownership not sole reason for breakdown”, November 19, 2016), the reason they were denied further assistance by the Federal Government was a political decision. The Government had simply run out of patience with the car manufacturers.

The car industry had been dependent on tariffs, subsidies and tax breaks for its entire existence. As we all know, the Liberal Party is dominated by New South Welshmen. If the Victorians had been dominant, as in the days of Malcolm Fraser and Philip Lynch, the car industry might have been luckier. Under these two Victorians, car tariffs were the highest they had ever been.

I wish to be explicit about one point. Nowhere in his reply does Mr Spooner mention profits, wealth creation or anything else to do with the normal function of private enterprise. Car manufacturers are businesses, not sheltered workshops. Instead he proposes that taxpayers dole out hundreds of millions of dollars to these companies, which will somehow be repaid on the never-never of tax revenue.

As for the government advancing a very large amount of money to a company, to be somehow repaid from company and income taxes, all I can say is, it the most bizarre business proposition I have every come across.

Jeffry Babb,
Essendon, Vic.


Perceived threat

In reply to Stephen Asic’s letter (News Weekly, November 5, 2016) responding to my review of The Official History of ASIO (News Weekly, October 22, 2016) I’m not sure that author John Blaxland exonerates Croatian extremists from terrorism; however, I don’t intend to take that further here.

The point in my review, probably implied rather than stated, is that the threat of Croatian terrorism, real or perceived, was of concern to the governments of the day. Blaxland makes the point that by 1972 there were those within ASIO who had come to the view that violence was likely to come from right-wing groups rather than the left.

A Special Projects Branch report, Terrorism: Its Nature, Objectives and Revolutionary Role, gave particular emphasis to the Croatians.

Blaxland further states that Attorney-General Greenwood “accepted the view that the greatest threat of terrorism came from the Croatians”; and, as I pointed out, concerns about Croatian terrorism were definitely front and centre for the Whitlam government.

Gough Whitlam and Lionel Murphy were particularly concerned that Yugoslav Prime Minister Bijedic might be assassinated by “extremist Croatian nationalists” during his visit to Australia in March 1973.

Chris Rule,
Gilmore, ACT


Government “by the people”

Have Bill Shorten and Labor forgotten that democracy is government “by the people”? How can Labor justify blocking the plebiscite on same-sex marriage when the plebiscite was an announced policy of the re-elected Government?

Certainly a debate before the plebiscite would be robust. To predict that it would be hate filled is disrespectful to the voters of Australia.

If the polls already held indicate that a majority of Australians favour legalising same-sex marriage, then Labor should not have any concerns about the plebiscite. A “yes” vote would vindicate the campaign for change.

By denying the people the opportunity to vote on this key social issue, Mr Shorten and Labor will in fact lose favour with the electorate.

Richard Finucane,
Alfred Cove, WA

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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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