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Thailand: The Varieties of Expatriate Experience

The Tartan Pimpernel Walter ‘Whacky’ Douglas looked like he was having a fine old time when he was arrested and deported from Thailand in 2014. Douglas, known as “The Tartan Pimpernel” and once described as one of Britain’s ten wealthiest… Continue Reading →

Sound the Trumpets: Not All Experts Agree with the Australian Government’s Covid Stance

By Ramesh Thakur Cockwomble: A person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or engaging in inappropriate behaviour while generally having a very high opinion of their own wisdom  and importance. Presently exemplified by Agent Orange who dwells in… Continue Reading →

Falun Dafa: The End of Days

Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance “When two truths meet the most courageous one wins.” Chinese proverb. In the years since Falun Gong was launched in 1992 it has attracted millions of followers in more than 60 different countries. As evidenced by the… Continue Reading →

Winter’s Coming Back to Australia: The Photography of Dean Sewell

After one of the worst bush fire seasons in living memory, it’s easy to forget that last winter there were snowfalls across parts of Australia that don’t see snow from one year to the next. This piece was originally published… Continue Reading →

A Celebration of Genius: Maria Popova and Figuring

Luminously intelligent, gifted with a great eye and a startling, incandescent love of beauty, the already celebrated Maria Popova has finally put out a book. Figuring, is now available. For twelve years now Popova’s weekly newsletter Brain Pickings has dazzled,… Continue Reading →

Michael West: Government spending on consultants soars despite economic calamity

Government spending on EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG persists at nosebleed levels although millions of Australians have lost their jobs. New data shows a damaging blow-out in contracts to the four firms, which are also among the largest donors to… Continue Reading →

A Race Against Time

Reincarnation, Tim Johnson and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. The Vizzard Art Collection. Maintain radio silence. There is a Rat. While the rest of us have been waiting for this. Entropy in decaying forms made the mission, well this mission, urgent. From… Continue Reading →

The Kashi Vishwanath Express: The Photography of Russell Shakespeare

Apart from walking, one of the slowest ways to travel the 794 kilometres from New Delhi in the state of Uttar Pradesh to Varanasi on the Ganges is the Kashi Vishwanath Express. Multi-award winning Australian news photographer Russell Shakespeare first… Continue Reading →

The Burning Ghats of Varanasi: Photography by Russell Shakespeare

People crawl across India to die in Varanasi for one reason: according to the Hindu faith if you die there, on the edge of the sacred Ganges River, you will not be reincarnated. The cycle of life, and therefore of… Continue Reading →

The Least Expected Consequence of Hyper-Connectivity

It was the least expected consequence of hyper-connectivity. I need you to do something for me. No one could have predicted any of it. There had always been the rumours. They had always walked amongst us. Down the millennia, spilling… Continue Reading →

Vale Elisabeth Wynhausen

Elisabeth Wynhausen was a battle hardened campaigning social justice journalist of the old school of whom in the end, despite our sometimes spirited disagreements, I became enormously fond. In those final years, not long before I, too, departed that cesspit,… Continue Reading →

The Future has Arrived

Surveillance in Australia This week ten people were arrested in Melbourne for attending a protest against self-isolating, social distancing and tracking apps, the only real political protest in the country since climate demonstrations earlier in the year. The government perpetrated… Continue Reading →


Reporters Without Borders This is an interview with infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, conducted on behalf of Reporters Without Borders by Filipino journalist Maria Ressa to mark World Press Freedom Day. Maria Ressa: it is a decisive decade for journalism. Edward… Continue Reading →

Who’s Watching the Watchers? Surveillance in Australia

By John Stapleton With Australia’s economy tilting into collapse and numerous questions now arising over the government’s management of the Covid-19 response, the question of surveillance of whistle blowers, journalists and dissidents is now front and centre of the debate…. Continue Reading →

Sea Anemones: The Moral of This Story

By John Stapleton The signs were flashing. Like a sea anemone, they spread their tentacles far and wide. And withdrew in an instant. The first sign of danger. For there was always danger He had moved up an echelon. There were… Continue Reading →

Thailand: World’s Centre for Fake Passports

Visitors to Thailand are not warned by travel agents, airlines or their own governments that their passports are highly prized in Thailand, and stand a very good chance of being stolen. Depending on the nationality, a passport can fetch thousands… Continue Reading →

Boomers & Millennials: The Aftermath of Austerity will kill Australians too

By Michael Tanner with Michael West Media Yesterday, the Treasurer warned that restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus are costing Australia $4 billion a week. Is it fair for the younger generation to cop this economic fallout plus shoulder Australia’s biggest economic… Continue Reading →

A Homage to Warren Clarke

Photo-Journalist, Inveterate Traveler: The Best of Our Archives Warren Clarke was known for his high adventurism. Whether on assignment or not, he trekked to places no other photographer wanted to go. In recent years he had become fascinated by India;… Continue Reading →

Confronting A New Age of Threat

The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones, Confronting A New Age of Threat, by security experts Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum of the Brookings Institute and Harvard University Law School respectively, brings the reader into a very… Continue Reading →

Worldwide Crackdown on Journalists

Reporters Without Borders Launched by Reporters Without Borders, “Tracker 19” is a tool made for an unprecedented global crisis. So named in reference not only to Covid-19 but also article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this project aims… Continue Reading →

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