November 2nd 2019

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Murray-Darling Basin Plan based on debunked science

CANBERRA OBSERVED What does it take to knock down GetUp?

TECHNOLOGY Beijing's push to dominate world supply of electronics components

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Hong Kong protestors speak candidly to NCC, as Xi threat calls Tiananmen to mind

LIFE ISSUES Of foetuses and fallacies

LIFE ISSUES To hold the hand ... an answer to euthanasia

LIFE ISSUES Melbourne and Brisbane on the march

QUEENSLAND AFA/NCC forum addresses euthanasia legislation

THE ENVIRONMENT Fresh visit to the Great Barrier Reef in its death throes

COLD WAR HISTORY Was the Vietnam War worth fighting?

HUMOUR England United, and all that ... but with Hume?

MUSIC Usage and abusage: Words what got rhythm

CINEMA AND CULTURE The mirror of villainy

BOOK REVIEW Eclectic example of genre of decline

BOOK REVIEW Brief battle a model for combined arms


RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ABC survey finds majority agree there is unfair discrimination against religious Australians

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News Weekly, November 2, 2019

Hal Colebatch

There is nothing more comforting to an old teacher than to read praise from a former student, especially one of the stature of Hal Colebatch.

When Hal arrived in my history and literature classes at Leederville Technical College in the early 1960s, he soon impressed as a scholar of deep perception. He understood Philip Sydney’s definition that the purpose of poetry is “to teach and delight” or, as Robert Frost said, “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” He showed this in his own poetry as his talent matured.

His deepest interests showed in historical research. I suggested one time he do a paper on the methods used by Russian General Kutuzov against Napoleon and those used by Stalin and his generals in World War II against Hitler. I was astonished at the depth and detail in his research paper and said: “You have a rare talent for historical research, Hal.  I learned a lot.” Hal gave a slight start at such an admission by a lecturer. Then his face lit up with his shy smile.

Perhaps that was the moment Hal saw his life ahead as an historian and writer.

Hal was a “big, big man” physically and intellectually, and he has earned Jeffry Babb’s elegant and sensitive obituary.

Gerard Brennan,
Lecturer, Retired,
Scarborough, WA


Benefits of CO2

Carbon dioxide, far from being a threat to the climate, is highly beneficial to the planet. Any climate scientist who tells you it poses any sort of risk to the planet should get another job.

In historic terms, current levels of carbon dioxide are very low. When dinos-aurs were on the planet, levels were over 2,000 parts per million (ppm), and life flourished.

Carbon dioxide is a vital trace gas necessary for the wellbeing of every living thing on the planet. Instead of trying to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, we should realise that higher levels of carbon dioxide should be welcomed and not be of concern, especially to impressible school-age children.

What poses a serious threat to our future is not a climate emergency but the looming power emergency created by replacing a reliable and efficient power system with a grossly inferior renewable-energy regime.

Green hysteria over carbon emissions resulting in spending tens of billions of taxpayer’s dollars on building massive unreliable renewable-energy facilities that only supply intermittent power – unlike coal, which supplies reliable and cheap baseload power – is reckless and irresponsible.

The unwarranted obsession with carbon dioxide is undermining a prosperous future for our nation by driving up the cost of living and sending local jobs offshore – all for no gain whatsoever to the planet.

Alan Barron,
Grovedale, Vic.


NSW: State of Shame

New South Wales used to be a bastion of conservative thinking in Australia. Even the ALP used to have a solid Christian power base. The passing of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 has put paid to any majority rational thinking in the Parliament of our most populous state.

What was there to cheer and hug for in Parliament when the final votes were in? Since when is the right to kill vulnerable pre-born babies and the spilling of human blood a cause for celebration?

I commend the 10 members of the NSW Legislative Council who signed a letter of protest. The letter points out 12 failures of parliamentary duties.

Compare this attitude to that of a judge in Britain who called the British Parliament a crime scene when Boris Johnson prorogued Parliament but failed to adhere to proper standards.

Where does that leave us when considering NSW parliamentary procedures employed for the endorsement of killing our offspring?

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld.

Mao and his -ism

Chris Rule (News Weekly, Letters, October 19, 2019) disputes the statement in my review of Julia Lovell’s Maoism; A Global History that “Maoism lifted the living standard of the poorest Chinese”.

Mr Rule will be well aware from this review, and others that I have written for News Weekly, of my antipathy toward Maoism and communism generally.

However (our sick culture’s current assertion of the infinite fluidity of truth notwithstanding), facts remain facts, and the fact is that, despite the appalling human rights abuses and tens of millions of deaths resulting from of Mao’s dictatorship, life expectancy in China rose from 35-40 years in 1949 to 65.5 years in 1980, one of the most rapid sustained increases in documented global history.

Bill James,
Frankston, Vic.


Good bye, Annals

For 70 years, News Weekly has provided to the Catholic faith fraternity and the community at large balanced, relevant information and leadership that was lacking within the media, politics and the church. Archbishops Mannix and Duhig, talented advocates such as B.A. Santamaria, Brian Mullins, Digger James and patriots of church and state battled complacency and betrayal.

Today the pulpit, which once conveyed relevant as well as traditional religious subject matter, provides little discussion of the social manipulation that is eroding equally our social environment and the basics of the Christian faith.

At the end of this year, a fine cleric and inspirational journalist will retire from his role as the mind and motivation for Annals. In all, for 130 years, Annals was a fine journal of Catholic culture and aided our collective enlightenment and social and Catholic enrichment.

We will be the poorer for the loss of yet another fine Catholic journal. May Fr Paul Stenhouse MSC, PhD enjoy his deserved retirement.

Tom King,
Mansfield, Qld.

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm