Beautifully written stories on politics, social movements, photography and books

Tag A Sense of Place Publishing

Unfolding Catastrophe: Journalist John Stapleton on the Government’s COVID Response. The Best of 2021.

By Paul Gregoire: Sydney Criminal Lawyers Blog Tensions are high in the Sydney region as the population looks towards its tenth week in lockdown, without any clear understanding of when it will be coming out of the home confinement it’s… Continue Reading →

Australia Marches for Freedom – September 2021 | Coverage

By Ethan Nash: TOTT News. Tens of thousands of Australians have marched across the country for the principles of democracy, freedom, medical choice and objection to segregation. Freedom protesters staged unified protests across Australia yesterday, delivering messages of resistance to… Continue Reading →

Pregnant Male Seahorses Support up to 1,000 Growing Babies by Forming a Placenta

Jessica Suzanne Dudley, Macquarie University and Camilla Whittington, University of Sydney. Supplying oxygen to their growing offspring and removing carbon dioxide is a major challenge for every pregnant animal. Humans deal with this problem by developing a placenta, but in… Continue Reading →

‘You Bloody Fool!’: Australia’s Talking Birds

By Anastasia Dalziell, University of Wollongong and Justin A. Welbergen, Western Sydney University Recently, two native Australian birds have stolen the limelight with their impressive vocal imitations. A superb lyrebird called Echo at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo has produced a painfully… Continue Reading →

Protests Planned Australia Wide

Last September we saw some of the most violent demonstrations and mass arrests ever seen in Australia. A year on, the protests have got larger, the heavy handed police response has made us the laughing stock of the world, and… Continue Reading →

The Zoran Strain

Paul Collits: The Freedoms Project Australian politicians and our media are, relentlessly and without shame, creating Covid hate figures out of innocent people whose crime is simply getting on with their lives.  They are doing this to deflect and to… Continue Reading →

Can the Taliban detox from Afghanistan’s opium economy?

By John Coyne with The Australian Strategic Policy Institute As the world continues to watch heartbreaking scenes from Kabul, many are bracing for the far-reaching ramifications of its fall. The impact of the Taliban takeover on the global heroin trade… Continue Reading →

Secrecy and Power in Australia’s National Security State

By Keiran Hardy, Rebecca Ananian-Welsh and Nicola McGarrity. Australia has long been regarded as a leading liberal democracy, but our global reputationis declining. Extensive lawmaking in response to terrorism, combined with an entrenchedculture of government secrecy, has put our democracy… Continue Reading →

Is Salman Rushdie’s decision to publish on Substack the Death of the novel?

Julian Novitz, Swinburne University of Technology. Email newsletters might be associated with the ghost towns of old personal email addresses for many: relentlessly accumulating unopened updates from organisations, stores and services signed up to and forgotten in the distant past…. Continue Reading →

Political Dynamite: JobKeeper for billionaires a campaign wrecker for Morrison, Frydenberg

By Michael West, founder of Michael West Media. Big business doesn’t vote, small business does. That’s the dilemma for Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg as they try to keep JobKeeper secret heading into the election. Michael West reports.  There is rising discontent… Continue Reading →

Sick Baby Trapped by Cruel Border Bureaucracy

By Sonia Hickey: Sydney Criminal Lawyers Blog. The Queensland Government hit a new low this week, refusing to let a family with a sick child drive home from Sydney to quarantine at their isolated rural property, 250 kilometres west of… Continue Reading →

Gladys Berejiklian: NSW Premier of the Lockdown State Political Wolf in Liberal Clothing

By Paul Collits SOME years ago, I essayed that Malcolm Turnbull was, for the Liberal Party, the Manchurian Candidate par excellence.  Readers may recall the 1962 film classic in which a prisoner of war was brainwashed by communists into becoming… Continue Reading →

Is The NSW Government Becoming a Hobessian ‘Leviathan’?

By Mark Powell Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of New South Wales, announced at her most recent press conference that the government is working on a “proof of vaccination app”. This will in effect take the place of the current QR… Continue Reading →

This Bird’s Stamina is Remarkable: It flies non-stop for 5 days from Japan to Australia, but now its Habitat is under Threat

Birgita Hansen, Federation University Australia Imagine having to fly non-stop for five days over thousands of kilometres of ocean for your survival. That’s what the Latham’s Snipe shorebird does twice a year, for every year of its life. This migratory… Continue Reading →

National Cabinet Leaves Us in the Dark about Reopening the Nation, so We’re Left Joining the Dots

Stephen Duckett and Anika Stobart, Grattan Institute National Cabinet met on Friday after a week of intensifying debate about the vaccination thresholds in the national plan for reopening the nation. While expectations for the meeting were high, there was no… Continue Reading →

Isolation Notes

By Paul Collits Those of us confined to lockdowns will know the pain of Covid politics.  Add to that the pain of useless isolation and you get the full, purgatorial picture. The sheer accidental genius of politicians has been brought… Continue Reading →

Cockatoos and Rainbow Lorikeets Battle for Nest Space as the Best Old Trees Disappear

By Greg Moore, the University of Melbourne Gregory Moore, The University of Melbourne The housing market in most parts of Australia is notoriously competitive. You might be surprised to learn we humans are not the only ones facing such difficulties…. Continue Reading →

How the Groundhog Day Grind of Lockdown Scrambles Your Memory and Sense of Time

By Adam Osth, The University of Melbourne. With roughly half of Australia in lockdown at the moment, a common experience is a warped sense of time and poor memory. What day is it? What week is it? Did I go… Continue Reading →

Hello, Stranger: Manly Pop-Up Party Artist Andrew Riis Serenades Sydney Police While Covid Infringement Notice is Served

The man at the centre of the “pop-up” party at Manly beachfront Andrew Riis has spoken out regarding the $1,000 infringement notice and what he claims to be the inaccurate reporting of the incident by the NSW Police. The $1,000… Continue Reading →

The Lie at The Heart of Hysteria. Part Two of Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia.

Photography by Dean Sewell. There in that frightened time, Old Alex had believed he was putting his best foot forward, almost as a military instruction, a belief that reason could survive, that democracy, despite all its deformities, was worth saving,… Continue Reading →

Carry a Mask and ID, or Face Court or a Hefty Fine. We Can’t Arrest Our Way Out.

By Ugur Nedim and Sonia Hickey: Sydney Criminal Lawyers Blog It seems that hardly a week goes without the New South Wales government issuing a new public health order, or amending or adding to existing orders. As a consequence, it can… Continue Reading →

Bloody Colonials: Extract

By Stafford Sanders. The latest from A Sense of Place Publishing. “Halloran!” barked Bascombe as we drew up in front of the stables. There was no immediate response to this, so he repeated more loudly: “Halloran!” And for good measure,… Continue Reading →

Farewell Kabul: Christina Lamb

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From one of the world’s most admired war correspondents, Christina Lamb, comes a searing indictment of the West’s involvement in wars against fundamentalist Islam, Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan to a More Dangerous World. The pointless loss of American, British and Australian lives, has achieved nothing; despite the efforts to eliminate the Taliban from the country, their presence has continued to grow. Insurgent attacks have also increased, and the region still struggles against poverty, an unstable infrastructure and a huge number of land mines. Initially billed as the West’s success story by both Bush and Blair, Afghanistan remains a lawless, violent land. The promises made to its people in 2001 have not been fulfilled. Foreign correspondent for one of the world’s leading newspapers, The Sunday Times, educated at Oxford, a Fellow at Harvard University, a member of the National Geographic Society, former British Foreign Correspondent of the year and a multi award winner, Lamb has been reporting on the region of “pomegranates and war” since the age of 21, when she crossed the Hindu Kush into Afghanistan with mujaheddin fighting the Russians and fell unequivocally in love with this fierce country, a relationship which has dominated her adult life. Lamb has fought with the mujahadeen dressed as an Afghan boy, experienced a near-fatal ambush and head-on encounter with Taliban forces and successfully established links with American, British, Afghan government, Taliban and tribal fighters. Her unparalleled access to troops and civilians on the ground, as well as to top military officials has ensured that Farewell Kabul is the definitive book on the region, exposing the realities of Afghanistan unlike anyone before, compelling, moving and impossible to put down.

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Pure: Timothy Mo’s Neglected Masterpiece

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Timothy Mo, who as the son of wealthy Hong Kong Chinese attended Oxford, is a superbly gifted writer but a difficult man who has long fought with his publishers. Once a favourite of the English literary set, he fell out of favour. In later life he has produced a masterwork, Pure. Mo had always wondered why a dynamic art form such as fiction had failed to confront the single most pressing issue of the age, the minds and motivations of Muslim fundamentalists. With a tide of jihad sweeping the world, the question became ever more pressing. In Pure Timothy Mo uses the device of character. He pits an ice addicted yaba addled Bangkok lady boy, a freelance entertainment journalist called Snooky, “Snooky was lonely because she was smart”, into the world of mujaheddin training camps in southern Thailand. Co-opted as a spy, there she grows a beard, participates in forays into the world of jihad in Indonesia, and reports to her minder, caught between the hidden, complex worlds of intelligence operatives and Muslim jihadists. Thanks to fights with his publishers, this book has never received the attention it deserves. Simply put: Pure is a must read, a neglected masterpiece.

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Grassroots Dissent in a Time of Lockdown: The Best of 2020.

By Tim Flynn, Illustrated by Michael Fitzjames The End the Lockdown Australia group on Facebook was formed in early April, mainly because of the fundamental belief of the founder Tim Flynn that “he had to do something”. In a time… Continue Reading →

Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept Resignation Exposes The Rot In All Mass Media

By Caitlin Johnstone Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, world renowned for his much celebrated involvement with whistleblower Edward Snowden, has made major waves throughout mainstream and alternative media by resigning from The Intercept, an outlet he co-founded in 2014… Continue Reading →

Crime is Falling, Why is Imprisonment Rising?

By Nicholas Cowdery with Pearls and Irritations The Australian prison population has doubled since 2000 and recidivism is at 55%. Yet almost all categories of crime have fallen in the past decade. Why do we spend $3.6 billion a year… Continue Reading →

THE WIKILEAKS FILES: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO US EMPIRE

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Julian Assange continues to demonstrate why he is one of the most significant journalistic, publishing and whistle blowing figures of the 21st Century, with the latest bout of revelations about the conduct of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton foundation, linking them to the same sources of Saudi Arabian funding as for Islamic State. WikiLeaks came to prominence in 2010 with the release of 251,287 top-secret State Department cables, which revealed to the world what the US government really thinks about national leaders, friendly dictators, and supposed allies. It brought to the surface the dark truths of crimes committed in our name: human rights violations, covert operations, and cover-ups. The WikiLeaks Files exposes the machinations of the United States as it imposes a new form of imperialism on the world, one founded on tactics from torture to military action, to trade deals and “soft power,” in the perpetual pursuit of expanding influence. The book also includes an introduction by Julian Assange examining the ongoing debates about freedom of information, international surveillance, and justice.

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Betraying the Future: The Worst Internet in the World

The Terrible Legacy of Malcolm Turnbull The First Harpoon Strikes the Flank In the petri dish of Australian politics, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull thrashes in a blood soaked sea. The first leadership spill, on Tuesday 21st August, 2018, precipitated by the… Continue Reading →

THE PLACES IN BETWEEN

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The Places in Between by Scottish author Rory Stewart is one of the most beautiful travel books ever written. He walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers’ floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion-a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan’s first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following.

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THE TOPOGRAPHY OF TEARS: ARTICLE FROM BRAIN PICKINGS

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“Emotions are not just the fuel that powers the psychological mechanism of a reasoning creature, they are parts, highly complex and messy parts, of this creature’s reasoning itself,” philosopher Martha Nussbaum wrote in her incisive treatise on the intelligence of emotions, titled after Proust’s powerful poetic image depicting the emotions as “geologic upheavals of thought.” But much of the messiness of our emotions comes from the inverse: Our thoughts, in a sense, are geologic upheavals of feeling — an immensity of our reasoning is devoted to making sense of, or rationalizing, the emotional patterns that underpin our intuitive responses to the world and therefore shape our very reality. Our interior lives unfold across landscapes that seem to belong to an alien world whose terrain is as difficult to map as it is to navigate — a world against which the young Dostoyevsky roiled in a frustrated letter on reason and emotion, and one which Antoine de Saint-Exupéry embraced so lyrically in one of the most memorable lines from The Little Prince: “It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”

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THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

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One of the most truly brilliant and profound texts of the age, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, written by Buddhist master Sogyal Rinpoche, immediately assumed, upon first publication in the 1990s, its rightful place as a great spiritual masterpiece. It has now been republished with a Forward by the Dalai Lama. With the international security situation rapidly devolving, a sickness of heart, mind, culture and belief, a sickness of the world and a sickness of the spiritual realm, there could be no more relevant text.

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