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USA Children in Prison

In the USA there are 100,000 children in adult prisons. Children as young as 8 are being tried as adults at the discresion of prosecuting attorneys meaning children are targeted on the basis of race and socio-economic status.

The US Supreme Court has decided that children do not have the same level of responsibility as adults in criminal cases. This has not stopped some states sentencing children as young as 13 to life without parole.

Sacrifice

ANZAC Day has become one of the saddest days in the Australian calendar. It's a desperately sad day because it highlights how far governments will go to deny the truth to suit their political objectives in 2014. It's one thing remembering and honouring sacrifice, it's another thing examining why so many Australians were sacrificed during World War One.

Anniversary of the Rana Plaza

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. Sohel Rana, the plaza's owner, ignored warnings from safety inspectors that the building was about to collapse and forced around 5,000 garment workers to return to work. The collapse of the Rana Plaza resulted in 1,129 deaths and over 2,500 injured.

Power of Recall

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's unwillingness to keep his election promises, "No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC and SBS" (Sunday Age 13/4), highlights parliamentary democracy, like religion, is essentially an act of faith. Every parliamentary election electors give a signed blank cheque to a parliamentary representative to make decisions for them for the next three to four years.

And Yet Still They Fight

The 2014 Tasmanian elections were a disaster for the Greens and for the ALP. The ALP lost 9.55% of their vote (36.88% to 27.33%), falling from 10 seats to 7, whereas the Greens lost 7.78% of the vote (21.61% to 13.83%), falling from 5 seats to 3. Only in Denison did Labor and the Greens make up the majority of the vote.

For Labor this follows a 12.39% loss in the previous 2010 election under the the anti-Greens leader David Bartlett. In eight years, Labor has dropped from 49.27% of the primary vote to 27.33%.

Surprising

It's surprising to see the almost universal praise that has been heaped on Australia's "free trade" agreements with Japan and South Korea. Considering the Abbott led government gained its parliamentary majority as a result of a campaign based on protecting Australia's sovereignty from asylum seekers, it's ironical the same government is willing to give up this hard won sovereignty for thirty pieces of silver.

How to get away with murder

The government won't be telling us how an asylum seeker under their care was murdered and scores of others beaten and terrorised. They won't be telling us why the Federal police are refusing to cooperate with the PNG police investigation. They won't be telling us why the organisation responsible for the brutal treatment of detainees is now also also the organisation responsible for monitoring their welfare. They won't be telling us why those detainees will now be denied access to legal advice and representation.

Disturbing

There is nothing more disturbing than to see young Australians parrot the myths surrounding World War One that have been promoted over the past century, "The History Sleuths" (Sunday Age 30/3). It broke my heart to read one of the Goondiwindi students involved in the project thought "we are really lucky that they went over and fought for us at an age that is only three or four years older than us".

Vale dicere, Frans Timmerman.

Frans was a man of great intellect and seriousness, who deeply understood the practical requirements needed to achieve a just and rational society.

As a conservative manager of resources and ever pessimistic of the chances for success, he was all too modest of his own significant achievements.

All of those who knew him had nothing but the deepest respect for his steadfast and enduring commitment to human freedom and dignity.

Vale dicere, Frans Timmerman.

Economic migrants

Tony Abbott arrived in Australia from the UK as an assisted migrant in 1960 yet it was not until 21 years latter that he finally applied for citizenship. At that time Abbott was applying for a Rhodes scholarship, which stipulates that the applicant must be an Australian citizen.

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