New ways to make news matter

My following article is published today by the Melbourne Age: During the bruising Democratic Party tussle with Hillary Clinton in April, a citizen journalist recorded Obama saying that he understood why working-class voters in decrepit industrial towns were “bitter” and clung to “guns or religion”. Despite being a paid-up Obama supporter, writer Mayhill Fowler worked…

Yes, it’s a dictatorship

Don’t be under any illusion about China’s post Olympic Games attitude to human rights: While the start of this week marked the beginning of the month of Ramadan for Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslims, China’s Communist authorities are reportedly cracking down on Muslim religious activity. The Web site for the town of Yingmaili currently lists nine rules…

Beating the western drum

My following essay appears in the Guardian today: During the recent war between Georgia and Russia, bloggers on both sides of the conflict provided searing accounts of atrocities and manoeuvres unseen by western journalists. In a country such as Russia the space for alternative and critical views are rare. The war showed an authoritarian regime’s…

A different side of China

China is undoubtedly struggling to create an enviable atmosphere for the Olympic Games. Fun and sport aren’t exactly gelling. So, in the spirit of not simply demonising China – something I wrote about last week – I’ve recently discovered this wonderful Chinese singer, Sa DingDing. Born in Mongolia to a Mongolian mother and Chinese father,…

Sports for the white man

The Olympic Games, from a Palestinian perspective: So let’s hope that in the next Games we’ll see contestants competing for a medal in events such as constructing a concrete wall, mixing cement, milking cows, cleaning stairs, and digging sewage ditches along the roads of the capital of the host country. And boycotting China? I’m not…

Let the patriot games begin

My following article appears in today’s ABC Unleashed: Before the Beijing Games launched spectacularly last weekend, the vast bulk of Australian media expressed general disdain for China, finding little positive to report. It was just the kind of coverage that played directly into the Communist regime’s hands; such is the widespread belief there that the…

Keeping the Zionist flame alive

Poor, little Israel is blocked from selling death to a foreign country (albeit briefly, as Georgia seems to have been the lucky recipient of the Jewish state’s weapons): Israeli security firms have been shut out of the Olympic Games in China and in the process lost lucrative contracts, industry sources said. U.S. pressure blocked the…