Digitally altered madness. The transition of my old paper the Sydney Daily Telegraph (I covered the 1972 federal election as its political correspondent) from being a tabloid newspaper into something more akin to a comic book continues apace. The fine art of photo shopping now runs riot to provide ever new ways to distort and denigrate. From Korea’s leader to Australia’s, reality is no longer enough.
Quite appropriate, really, that my successor (many times removed) giving learned political commentary in the Tele is harking back to 1975 to describe this Labor government.
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For not since that election has there been such a concerted effort by the Murdoch press to have a government thrown out.
Make marijuana legal. Public opinion polling in the United States shows that for the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favour legalising the use of marijuana. According to Pew Research, 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not.
Burning in Burma. That the steps towards democracy in Burma are tentative at best is shown in evidence produced this week by Human Rights Watch. From March 20 to 22 an estimated 40 people were killed and 61 wounded in the clashes between Muslims and majority Buddhists in Meiktila in the Mandalay Region. Satellite images analysed by Human Rights Watch show the scale of the destruction: an estimated 828 buildings, the vast majority residences, were totally destroyed and at least 35 other buildings were partially destroyed.
News and views noted along the way.
- Breakthrough in hydrogen fuel production could revolutionize alternative energy market — “A team of Virginia Tech researchers has discovered a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant, a breakthrough that has the potential to bring a low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel source to the world.”
- CO2 emissions: can Europe save its cap-and-trade system?
- Japanese bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda makes history with monetary blitz — “The Bank of Japan has launched the most daring monetary experiment of modern times, aiming to double the money base within two years to overpower deflation and catapult the economy out of slump.”
- Ban pesticides linked to bee deaths, say MPs
- Stupidity: what makes people do dumb things
- Thailand’s booming car industry — Detroit of the East
- Hello, my name is Porterhouse Chop. I used to be ‘Pork Chop’