A scene from the state-wide February freeze in Texas (Image: AP/Brett Coomer)


The fallout from the failure of the Texas power grid continues — and Australia gets a bit part (as an Australian media worker I am duty-bound to find any and all even tangential local angles to any overseas story — it’s a contractual thing).

The origin of the catastrophe here; the fury the absurd billing practices of Texan electricity retailers provokes is here; how Macquarie Bank has done very well out of Texas; how climate denialists and the far-right are lying about the failure (gee, sounds familiar) and what journalists could do about it (if they, like, cared).

And just for change of pace: how failures in Texan law enforcement mean serial killers have been operating with impunity.


France has made “repairability” a priority for consumers — something Australia should also be looking at, except that we’re a global village idiot. The Polish government is engaged in a staggering and frightening process of official Holocaust denialism. Tablet magazine gives the Polish PM’s office room to explain its censorship, then historian Havi Dreifuss shreds them.

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Meantime, crime statistics show anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise in Germany. Across the ditch, the failure of the rebuilding of Christchurch.


What will German foreign policy look like post-Merkel? Deutsche Welle looks at two of the key contenders. Is the Taliban on the verge of victory — and Afghanistan of seeing off yet another empire? Don’t ignore Biden’s airstrikes on Iranian militias: why they’re important. And what future for Armenia, a failed client state of Russia?


Is the market place of ideas an amplifier for them as well? (this reminds me of Spinoza, whose ideas received their best circulation posthumously from critics eager to disprove his outrageous ideas).

We may not be able to know what it’s like to be a pigeon but they have some cool sensory gear. Ethics in politics: what the Scottish nationalists did to Charles Kennedy. An inside account of building China’s censorship wall.


Falsifying Popper. Charlotte Sleigh takes on Karl Popper and his claims of value-free scientific method. Flat earth society: a new global map promises to be the most accurate yet — it’s quite a record!

The return of the living dead social media platforms. What a tragedy —  the far right platform Gab has been hacked, and it’s waaaaaay worse than what happened to Parler. Putting guns/paint brushes on mechanical dogs: time for a chat about robotics (in art or war, or both).


Two dog stories that explore different sides of the human-canine relationship: the painful cost when damaged dogs can’t be helped, and watching a loved old friend deteriorate.

“Old age is uncompromising. It’s fierce. Even a dog understands that. And when there’s a human who doesn’t — well, for me, that conversation is done.” As a proud owner of a senior dog, I can wholly commend this piece.