Monthly Archives: July 2011

Democracy and speed cameras

By Andrew L. Urban It’s encouraging to see that people do participate in democracy when given a chance. And just as gradual, almost invisible erosion of democratic principles is as dangerous as large scale trampling of those principles, so is … Continue reading

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Misplaced party loyalty

There are those who vote for their preferred political party out of blind loyalty; this is one of the features of democracy, of course, but it shows poor quality of thought. Loyalty to a sporting club or other social group … Continue reading

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The faked killing of Osama bin Laden

16/5/2011: General Hamid Gul, a former director ofPakistan’s ISI, believes that Osama bin Laden’s killing by US Navy SEALS on May 1 was “an elaborate hoax by Obama to get re-elected and an excuse to go after our nuclear assets. … Continue reading

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Kissing and no telling

16/5/2011: Henry Kissinger’s new book, On China, has surprised and disappointed many in theUS for the way Kissinger glosses over human rights abuses inChina and ignores crackdowns on dissidents. In 40 years, Kissinger has visitedChina more than 50 times. He … Continue reading

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Syria unrest Q&A July 24, 2011

By Andrew L. Urban  A leaflet comprising 20 question-clusters and intended for media outlets was sent to me onJuly 19, 2011 by Susan Dirgham, a Melbourne woman married to a Syrian academic working inAustralia. It was the latest in a … Continue reading

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Living the Dreamocracy

By Andrew L. Urban All democracies are equal – but some democracies are more equal than others, if you’ll pardon the Orwellian correlation. All democratic governments make mistakes and some make terrible mistakes. Some are gold plated, a few are … Continue reading

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The burqa, dress codes and democracy

By Andrew L. Urban   Inflamed by the notorious case of a Muslim woman falsely accusing a Sydney policeman of forcibly removing her face covering (June 7, 2011), the public bushfire over the banning or not of the burqa continues to … Continue reading

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China – compassion, its final frontier

By Andrew L. Urban The Chinese Communist Party celebrates its 90th year this month – July 2011. It can celebrate another milestone as it overtakes Japan as the world’s second largest economy. But the candles are blown out by the … Continue reading

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Can democracy calm jihadists?

By Andrew L. Urban “We can’t build a global set of moral values while each religion is in its own moral ghetto, eg the Taliban, whose moral code is anathema to everyone else.” Richard Dawkins I used to think it’s only … Continue reading

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Democracies and authoritarian regimes

By Andrew L. Urban   Democracies are failing to meet the authoritarian challenge. Watching international news bulletins, trawling the internet for instant updates on protests around the Arab world, reading eye witness reports of torture, rape and other abuse by the … Continue reading

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