No sooner had Al Gore invented the internet than early
adopters discovered a liberating opportunity: Anybody with a modem and an ego
could share his or her thoughts with the world. Remember what happened next? asks
the Chicago Tribune. By the mid-1990s, a few self-publishers were sharing with
tiny audiences links to Web sites they found interesting. After that, the
deluge. Today there are 20 million blogs worldwide, a number that grows by
thousands daily. But will everyone live happily ever after?

Howard’s young people are shallow and disengaged, writes James Norman in The Age.
They are desensitised to the very human realities of global inequity
and ethnic difference. They are moving towards evangelical religious
groups, where
disengagement with mainstream political reality is fostered. They are
hyper-consumerist and devoted to new technologies. The Howard
government is completely out of step with the lives of young people in
Australia – but they in turn are utterly anaesthetised and
disconnected from the political processes that govern them.

To speak of history in the national security state created by the Cold
War is to inhabit a fragmented space, writes Richard Thieme in Pravda. We
may know many of the same facts, but we would contextualise them
differently – we would not know the same “thing” at all. This security
state relieves us from the burden of freedom by keeping truth from us –
the devouring monster of excessive secrecy swamps us all. We can’t know
what we don’t know – but if we forget that we created this culture of
secrecy and try and live in it as if it were real, then the sane sound
mad – and those that point out its manifestations are ignored,
discredited, or ridiculed.

The Government has just missed a golden opportunity to draw down Australian forces in Iraq, says The Canberra Times.
And what exactly are we going to do there now? Training security forces
is reasonable, but could be achieved with a much smaller group. Helping
to rebuild infrastructure sounds fine, but should be undertaken after
the internal situation has died down, and at the invitation of a more
legitimate Iraqi government. Staying now may score us brownie points
with the US, but it won’t with the Iraqis.

Worth reading Highly recommended

Peter Fray

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