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around the traps

  • The Quietus | Reviews | The Drones: Australia must look like a very strange place to the rest of the world right now. Compared to practically every other country on earth, we're doing brilliantly: low unemployment, economic policies given a ringing endorsement by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, and an average level of material wealth that makes our compatriots in the UK and the US look like poor cousins. Life is very good here indeed, and yet our public discourse is entirely rancourous. Our Prime Minister has an abysmal approval rating and is constantly harried by lackwits who think the epithet 'Juliar' constitutes cutting political commentary. A handful of desperate asylum seekers arriving by boat has been confected into a political nightmare so severe that processing them on an island 4,200 kilometres from Canberra at a cost of $500,000 per person seems like a good idea. Meanwhile, the national press is so far out of touch with reality that it has seriously entertained a debate about whether people earning $250,000 (£171,814) or more per annum are having it tough. To those outside, we must seem particularly myopic: ignorant of our good fortune and unwilling to interrogate whether we deserve the extravagantly good lifestyle we lead.
  • So It Turns Out Political Candidates Are Legally Allowed To Lie To You | Junkee: [The] Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics ... states: "Currently, there is no legal requirement for the content of political advertising to be factually correct." and [The Australian Electoral Commission] states: “The Australian Parliament has determined that the Act should not regulate the content of political messages contained in electoral advertising. Rather, the intent of the [Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918] is to ensure electors are informed about the source of political advertising and to ensure that political advertising does not mislead or deceive electors about the way in which a vote must be cast.” and finally This means there is no simple way of telling whether the claims made by any party in the inevitable attack ad frenzy between now and September 14 are true or not. If voters want to make the informed decision required of them in a successful democracy, it is up to each of them to Google every claim made in every election ad, and fact check them before deciding their vote. In other words, this is why Abbott can lie outrageously and never really be held to account. Which in turn explains why election campaigns are so unutterably depressing and despicable.
  • For the First Time Ever, You Can Now Hear What Alexander Graham Bell Sounded Like - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic

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