Wiping out ISIL impossible? I despair.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 8.52.27 amWe wake up this morning to ‘breaking news’ in a Sydney Morning Herald ‘exclusive’ (cue #sarcasmfont) that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, believes that wiping out Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, etc.) is impossible.

I despair, for two reasons. Neither of which has anything to do with the inherent truth in what Bishop is almost saying – that you can’t destroy an ideology with force: military, police or otherwise.

Continue reading Wiping out ISIL impossible? I despair.

Blind arrogance or sheer ignorance

I am not prone to anger, but this sentence from the first front page article of The Saturday Paper got my blood boiling:

“These deaths weighed heavily on the conscience of politicians as they struggled in 2012 to find a policy that would stop people undertaking the journey.” Continue reading Blind arrogance or sheer ignorance

Australia’s Education Sausage Factory

a-class-of-clowns

Since the recent protests by Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney, the media spotlight has been on Australia’s international education industry. It’s an export industry estimated to be worth around $14 billion a year, and the industry that I’ve earned my living from for the last four years. I started working as an English teacher in a private language school, and more recently I’ve been working as an examiner for the English exam that people take if they want to migrate to Australia or study in one of our universities. Continue reading Australia’s Education Sausage Factory

Not such a good head for politics…

International media last week (and continuing into this) was concentrated on the presidential elections in Iran and the death of Michael Jackson. Both are engrossing, for very different reasons. Iran needs to release the remaining British Embassy staff asap (or Downing Street will write them a very angry letter) and the latest I’ve heard about Michael Jackson is that his body will go on public display in Neverland. Weird. But with all that going on, the story I was most interested in was going on in the Australian Parliament House. The press dubbed it Utegate. Continue reading Not such a good head for politics…

Swine Flu – Catch it, Bin it, Kill it!

So how serious should we be taking swine flu? Is it a real global pandemic or just the latest story for the media to dance around with blazing torches? Yes, close to 100 people have died due to the virus, and unlike other flu strains the majority of humans have no natural resistance to it, but then again, cases outside of the United States and Mexico have been mild. Continue reading Swine Flu – Catch it, Bin it, Kill it!

They came from somewhere

The explosion on a boat of asylum seekers off the north-west of Australia, killing five and injuring more, has rekindled some familiar issues and debates. From the right of the fence, we’re given the impression (yawn) that Australia is in danger of being over-run by economic refugees arriving by sea to take advantage of Australia’s social welfare system. Take your binoculars to Bondi and play spot the Boat People, kids. Continue reading They came from somewhere

Are racism, nationalism and violence what ‘define’ us?

I have mixed feelings about Australia Day. On the one hand I am proud of my country. I think it’s a beautiful place full of wonderful people. I think that should be celebrated. I’m also partial to the annual festivities at my local, Parramatta Park, which start with hot air balloons in the morning and culminate with a concert and fireworks close to eighteen hours later. Continue reading Are racism, nationalism and violence what ‘define’ us?

The pin is pulled, now wait for the bang…

Championed by the United States, India is now allowed to engage in nuclear trade. This is despite India’s continued refusal to sign up to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Basically, they’ve been given a key to the back door. Condoleezza Rice is in Dehli at the moment to iron out the details of the arrangement which will be good for India, the USA and also Australia, who will likely begin to supply India with uranium. Continue reading The pin is pulled, now wait for the bang…