June 16th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Reflections on the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx

EDITORIAL Significance of report into shooting down of MH17

CANBERRA OBSERVED Lee Rhiannon: too Bolshie or not Bolshie enough?

POLITICS Wading further through the Greens party bilge

ECONOMICS Vatican document nails some of the causes of the GFC

POLITICS Greens promise to keep Australia legally stoned and welfare dependent

ENVIRONMENT Scientist sacked for challenging claims of demise of Great Barrier Reef

REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE Humpty Dumpty has his way with words

CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIETY Tradition, Christianity and the law in contemporary Australia

EDUCATION Ladybird, ladybird: adventures in literacy

OFFICE LAUNCH NCC Sydney: a new chapter in a continuing story

ASIAN AFFAIRS Indonesia takes religious syncretism to the nth degree

WA RALLY FOR LIFE 3300 crosses in Perth poignant reminders of abortions

HUMOUR News snippets

PHILOSOPHY Bendigo initiative

MUSIC Gain is loss: Where is there left to discover?

CINEMA 2001: A Space Odyssey: Unsurpassed 50 years on

BOOK REVIEW The house that could not stand

BOOK REVIEW Australia's first official war historian

LETTERS

EDITORIAL China's pivotal role in Trump-Kim summit

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LETTERS




News Weekly, June 16, 2018

Basin blues

Regarding the Murray-Darling Basin and the mess it is in, caused by taking water from food production to run into “gum swamps”, with so many people starving, even in our own country.

The Basin authority members are doing what they are told to do by the Greens: “There will be no more dams in Australia”. I don’t think they have any future plan, just pushing papers, trying to save a cup of water here and there.

Twelve main rivers flow into the Darling, with a total length of 3360 kilometres. These rivers would stand small dams in the hills. There are 32 good rivers and creeks on which many weirs could be placed. The Darling is about 700 kilometres long and could have many weirs and hold water all year. Also there are 44 large and medium-sized towns along these rivers that are rapidly increasing in population and growth.

I think the people want our Basin water back and then plan for the future.

D. Egan,
Dubbo, NSW

 

Distance learning

Jeffery Babb in his article, “Forgotten crisis that brought world to brink”, (News Weekly, May 5, 2018) says that the Pescadores archipelago is only 17 kilometres from Fuzhou. I think he means Matsu. The distance by air from Fuzhou Changle airport to Wang-an airport in the Pescadores is 286 kilometres.

Chris Rule,
Gilmore, ACT

 

Motive for writing

Like Jeffry Babb (News Weekly, May 5, 2018), I am mystified by Clive Hamilton’s motives in writing Silent Invasion: China’s influence in Australia.

It may all hinge on what stimulated Hamilton to write the book – the swamping of a demonstration by Australian supporters of a “free Tibet” organised by pro-Beijing Chinese living in Australia.

Hamilton has done Australia a service by exposing the influence Chinese communists exert over Australia, especially since China’s forays into the South China Sea. But its lacuna is to neglect the role of India in the region. (See my review of Alyssa Ayres’ book on India (News Weekly, April 7, 2018), which documents how the two powers are to accommodate themselves and how Australia fits in.)

Organ harvesting does not rate a mention in the report of 99 per cent conviction rate.

John Barich,
Claremont, WA

 

Santayana, not Burke

Colin Teese opens his article “Two to tango: Where to now for U.S. and China?” (News Weekly, June 2, 2018) with a quotation: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it”.

He attributes it to Anglo-Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke (1730–1797). The famous observation about the cost of ignoring the lessons of history is in fact attributable to Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana (1863–1952). His exact words were: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Having regard to the appalling standard of history teaching in much of Australia, it is ironic that history teacher associations have chosen to adopt Santayana’s famous observation as if they respected and followed it.

UNESCO involved itself in the dumbing-down of Australian education in the 1960s. UNESCO promoted what has come to be known as Neo-progressive or New Education, which encompassed the view that education should be socially relevant, and involve activity and experience, rather than knowledge to be acquired and facts to be stored.

The New Education was intended to satisfy what were perceived to be the personal development needs of each child. The study of history and geography became major victims of UNESCO when they were replaced in many schools with the fuzzy subject, “Study of Society and Environment” (SOSE).

Since the 1980s, the history departments of many Australian universities have been heavily infected by Marxist postmodernism, which scorns facts and encourages skepticism concerning a nation’s achievements. The teaching of history was abandoned as a rigorous discipline.

University history students are now offered “themes” such as “Gender in History”, “Sport History”, “Modernisation and Social Change”, “Revolutions”, and” Post-colonialism”. Without placement in a meaningful historical context, these themes qualify to be described as “junk history”.

Is this important? I believe that it was English philosopher Roger Scruton who said that denying children a solid grounding in the history of their country was calculated to produce a generation of gentle sheep that could be easily led by their political masters.

James Bowen,
Melbourne, Vic.




























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