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Isobel Blackthorn

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  • Mauritania and curly haired dudes from Harvard

    Mauritania and curly haired dudes from Harvard



    I woke this morning with Mauritania on my mind. I heard the nation mentioned yesterday and realised I had forgotten where in Africa it was located. I was shocked at this, normally priding myself on knowing more or less where every nation in the world is.
    ...
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  • Downhill to Galilee

    Downhill to Galilee

    BREAKING NEWS FROM THE GREENS: The Abbott Government has just approved Australia’s LARGEST coal mine, two weeks after abolishing the country’s first climate laws. They just don’t get climate change. The coal from Adani’s Carmichael mine would be equivalent to almost one quarter of Australia’s total emissions – a climate disaster! This mega mine would also destroy 20,000 ha of native bushland, use 12 billion litres of Queensland’s groundwater per year and threaten the endangered black-throated finch with ...
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  • Absolute Power begets Absolute Nutters: Ideas are more dangerous than guns.

    Absolute Power begets Absolute Nutters: Ideas are more dangerous than guns.

    I have known since the eighties when I learned of Ronald Reagan’s association with The Rapture that there exists a section of the power Elite who hold dear some whacky ideas. It occurred to me last night that it is entirely possible if not probable that there are prime movers within this Elite who believe in something more sinister still than fundamentalist Christian beliefs in an end-time event and second-coming of The Christ, a ludicrous set of beliefs based on Scripture taken as literal tru...
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  • Waking up to the Third World

    Waking up to the Third World



    Back in the 1980s I enrolled in a course as part of my undergraduate degree with the Open University (UK) entitled Third World Studies. I was twenty-four and full of awe and amazement and outrage as I learnt about India’s Green Revolution, issues for the Tuareg of Niger, and of the economies of the newly-industrialised countries (NICs) of south-east Asia. I learnt about the problems created for poor economies by big business. I learnt about the IMF and the World Bank. I studied the
    ...
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  • Spiders in scandals

    Spiders in scandals



    I am developing an aversion to spiders. There is something disturbing in that.

    Consumed by an oil spill caught in a slow-moving storm.

    Sending wave upon wave of Special defilement on virgin shores.

    Moral outrage it is good, it is just, it is true.

    And manipulated.

    Obfuscating outrages conjured by those in charge.

    Whose violations are devastating my soul.

    What happenstance conspired to cause
    ...
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  • The whole world as we know it now.

    The whole world as we know it now.



    Waking at four every morning seems to provide me with a reflective perspective on life, as if the pre-dawn hours are meant for contemplation. While the world around me sleeps and only the cock crows prematurely, I can think. And my thoughts have settled today on the will-to-empire.

    For it occurs to me that humanity has now entered a new era, certainly the new age has dawned but not on a lovely sunny day, more on a scene from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

    This
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  • In a social democracy welfare is a right

    In a social democracy welfare is a right



    Another critical piece showing that the Abbott government’s reforms to Newstart and Youth Allowance will simply not work can be found here in The Saturday Paper,

    Welfare changes ‘more about prejudice than policy': Hewson

    In the article, Mike Seccombe highlights former Liberal party leader John Hewson’s comment that our incumbents are driven not by a sense of humanity but by ideology. I agree with Hewson that these reforms reveal not a measured rational response to
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  • Totalitarianism is wearing a new coat.

    Totalitarianism is wearing a new coat.



    It might seem extreme to talk of totalitarianism in the same breath as America. Totalitarianism belongs to the twentieth century, to Stalin and Mussolini and Hitler. It smacks of despots wielding absolute power through state control. America is nothing of the sort. America is a democracy. Or is it?

    When I think of what occurs in the world today, what has gone down since 9/11 2001, that pivotal day that changed America, I begin to wonder. The aftermath of 9/11 saw the formation
    ...
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  • Hard Attitudes for Hard Times

    Hard Attitudes for Hard Times

    Despite the grandiose speeches and the spin, across western democracies post-GFC austerity seems to have little to do with reducing government debt and everything to do with controlling populations largely through the expansion and oppression of the underclass – the dalits of western civilisation – the guts sucked from the welfare system leaving a wizened carcass of a once plump beast. Welfare services are corporatised, sold off to the lowest bidder whose sole concern is profit. Corporations or quasi-co...
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  • Dystopia is here in all but name.

    Dystopia is here in all but name.



    There was a time when I believed wholeheartedly in the possibility that humanity would transcend its divisions and polarities, with all the attendant hatreds and racism and sexism; that consciousness would expand collectively and that we would embrace unity in diversity and be good neighbours within and across borders.
    ...
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