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[23 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 15 views ]

PROF. ROSS FITZGERALD AM
Melbourne High School EXIT 1961
Ross Fitzgerald has recently published his 39th book “Heartfelt Moments in Australian Rules Football”.
Ross lives in Redfern, Sydney with his wife, Lyndal Moor Fitzgerald.
Published by Connor Court, HEARTFELT MOMENTS is a collection of 37 original essays about Aussie Rules. including a piece by Ross entitled “The Death and Life of Darren Millane”.
The book can be purchased at:
http://www.connorcourt.com/catalog1/index. php?main_page=product_info&products_id=363#.
MHSOBA Newsletter, December 2016

Columns »

[19 Dec 2016 | 2 Comments | 47 views ]

The stark, unpalatable reality is that the numbers of prisoners in Australia grew 8 per cent from 36,134 in 2015 to 38,845 in 2016. This is nothing short of scandalous.
The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world – with fewer than 5 per cent of the world population but about 25 per cent of its prisoners. Yet the US has started reducing the size of its prison population – quite significantly in some states, including Texas. This is because it is evident that there are cheaper, more effective …

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[10 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 27 views ]

It’s great to see avid (but not uncritical) MWD reader Lisa Gorton on the PM’s Christmas reading list — her novel was equal winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Fiction in 2016. Also it is interesting to note that Malcolm Turnbull will be reading the works of Sheila Fitzpatrick and Tim Winton” both of whom were rewarded in the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Non-Fiction as a co-winner and a shortlist-recipient, respectively. The judging panel of which was the awesome (literary) foursome of Gerard Henderson (chair), Peter …

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[9 Dec 2016 | 3 Comments | 67 views ]

There is probably no other issue in Australian public life that can claim such increasing levels of support over the past decade. On the most recent polls, 84 per cent of ALP voters and 82 per cent of Coalition voters support it. Even 77 per cent of Catholics and 88 per cent of Anglicans want to see reform of the laws around it. These levels of support are also recorded in many modern European and Scandinavian democracies.
What we are talking about is dying with dignity, or voluntary euthanasia.
With such overwhelming …

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[6 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 37 views ]

A rebel union set up in opposition to the main shop assistants union is facing claims of deception for using a university lecturer posing as a shelf stacker in a promotional video on its website.
La Trobe University academic Lachlan Clohesy, an expert in Soviet infiltration and executive member of the hard-Left National Tertiary Education Union, appears in the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union video posing as a retail worker claiming he is owed thousands in unpaid salary from stacking shelves at Coles.
The video from the union, which has …

Columns »

[3 Dec 2016 | One Comment | 50 views ]

Recent opinion polls on intended voting patterns relative to federal politics in Australia have been at once fascinating and deeply uncertain.
It is clear that a significant percentage of former Liberal/National voters have departed to support Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. Such a move was entirely predictable. Many Australian voters hold deeply conservative views. There were sufficient of them at the Federal election before last to give Tony Abbott victory with a large majority.
Yet within the first term of that government Abbott was deposed, not by voters but by members of his …

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[24 Nov 2016 | One Comment | 47 views ]

How many punters missed the bravura performance of former NSW State National Party parliamentary deputy leader Adrian Piccoli on Thursday November 16? Television news services and the front page of ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ displayed Piccoli on the floor of the House lambasting the state’s Labor opposition regarding their preferencing the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party at the recent by-election for the seat of Orange.
As a result of a record 34 per cent swing against it, the National Party have lost this hitherto blue-ribbon seat to the Shooters, Fishers and …

Columns »

[16 Nov 2016 | One Comment | 31 views ]

It got less attention but something else significant happened on election night in America. As Donald Trump was being made President-elect, citizens in four states‚¬ California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine — voted to tax and regulate recreational cannabis. As well, voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas approved medical marijuana initiatives, while voters in Montana rolled back restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.
This means that eight American states out of 50 have now voted to regulate cannabis and 28 states out of 50 have now either voted for or …

Books »

[12 Nov 2016 | No Comment | 27 views ]

Shared awards at PM’s literary night of nights.
“Malcolm Turnbull was a good boy and did as he was told.” — so one of the judges of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards told me, in jest I hasten to add, after there were dual winners for the third year in a row. The point is that, unlike Tony Abbott in the fiction award three years ago, Turnbull did not use his prime ministerial prerogative to make a “captain’s call”. I understand the judges agreed to split the history prize between Geoffrey …

Reviews »

[12 Nov 2016 | No Comment | 132 views ]

Victory at Villers-Bretonneux: Why a French Town Will Never Forget the Anzacs
By Peter FitzSimons
William Heinemann, 764pp, $49.99 (HB)
Writing about defeats is an honourable and necessary part of any war historian’s job, but it is refreshing to read about a victory.
‘Victory at Villers-Bretonneux’ is the third instalment in Peter FitzSimons’s fine trilogy about the experiences of soldiers on both sides in World War I.
Having previously written about Gallipoli and the twin battles of Fromelles and Pozieres, FitzSimons now deals with what was arguably the Anzacs’ greatest triumph, the second battle of …

Columns »

[5 Nov 2016 | One Comment | 49 views ]

There are five reasons why Malcolm Turnbull should restore Tony Abbott to federal cabinet.
First and foremost, he’d do a very good job in a government that’s seriously short of ministerial star power. Under John Howard, Abbott was the employment minister who made the Job Network a success and Work for the Dole a reality. He was the workplace relations minister who established the Cole Royal Commission as a prelude to the ABCC. He was the health minister who ended the medical indemnity crisis, restored bulk-billing, doubled medical research funding, …