Issue 32 – 18 February – 24 February 2021

Government serves old capital, Facebook wields new. Who to hate more?
Guy Rundle | Crikey
At last, a global behemoth wielding monopoly power has been brought to heel! Ah ha ha ha! Crumple, pace pace pace. The pathetic Morrison government protecting media monopoly against free circulation! Ah ha ha! Crumple. Back and forth, unable to know who to hate more.

We need to stop scapegoating individuals during Covid outbreaks. The virus is the villain
Van Badham | The Guardian
If you read certain newspapers – or, if you’re only on Facebook, filled with the kind of rumour-mongering that your ex’s step-brother might half-remember from a newspaper – you’d have a firm case to make that this year of misery and mass death was all due to the dude in the pizza shop, definitely him.

Welcome to the hospitality industry, where you get fired for sitting on a chair
Chloe Ann-King | Overland
Between being fired for the most ludicrous reasons and in the most hurtful ways and employers expecting us to undertake pointless tasks like cleaning down alcohol bottles that were cleaned only last week, working hospitality can be one hell of a lesson in humiliation and monotony. 

Human nature is no barrier to socialism
Louise O’Shea | Red Flag
Of all the reasons to be angry during the pandemic—the profit-first response of governments, the neglected state of the health system, the environmental crisis underpinning the disaster, the millions dead—it has been people buying extra toilet paper that has elicited the most outrage.

Women continue to carry the load when it comes to unpaid work 
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
In news that will shock no women around the nation, the latest survey shows women do much more unpaid work than men. At least the survey shows that in the past year more men doing more unpaid work than they were last year. The problem is so too are women.

Promoting equity is one thing, achieving it is another
Chris Bonnor | Inside Story
Australian ministers’ declarations say we are committed to providing education that is inclusive and free from any form of discrimination. Yet school fees and entry tests discriminate and exclude. More schools than ever have overt or covert control over who walks through the gates. And rather than compete against other schools in terms of quality, schools compete to attract the same students.

Neo-fascism and the Culture of Silence
Yanis Iqbal | Arena
The health system in Manaus, Brazil, has collapsed. Hospitals are overwhelmed and supplies of oxygen are rapidly depleting. Warnings that the oxygen supply was running out came to local- and federal-government officials a week before the calamity led to mass death by asphyxiation in patients afflicted with COVID-19. Neo-fascist president Jair Bolsonaro said that the government had done what it could there. 

One problem at a time: jobs first, inflation (much) later
Ross Gittins | Nine Newspapers
It had to happen: at a time when inflation is the least of our problems, some have had to start worrying that prices could take off. Funny thing is, it’s not the usual suspects who are concerned.

What Texas’s blackouts tell us about Australia’s energy market
John Quiggin | Inside Story
The real question is why Texas lost power when neighbouring states, also experiencing the freeze, did not. The answer involves regulatory failures, some of which have important implications for Australia.

Crown Casino ran Melbourne, now it may have run its course
Guy Rundle | Crikey
After decades in which the standard metaphor for the bleeding obvious has been the scene in Casablanca where Captain Renault closes down Rick’s because, “I am shocked, shocked to find there is gambling going on here!” — well, it can actually be applied to gambling!

Crown will have the most useless royal commission since banking inquiry
Bernard Keane | Crikey
The experience of banking regulation shows that it won’t take long for Crown’s scandals to be forgotten amid a torrent of money through political donations.

The Liberals’ agenda is bad for regional Australia – but the Nationals play along anyway
Richard Denniss | The Guardian
You can see why the Nationals spend so much time attacking industrial laws, renewable energy and “urban elites” – creating blame is a lot easier than creating regional jobs.

Long-awaited Cashless Debit Card evaluation made public
Rachael Knowles | National Indigenous Times

Pilbara Aboriginal leader strongly criticises Rio Tinto
Hannah Cross | National Indigenous Times

Tax big media to fund public interest journalism
Zebedee Parkes | Green Left Weekly

Free all the refugees: Join the national day of action on March 5
Kerry Smith  | Green Left Weekly

Whether Morrison knew or not, he is an abject moral failure and should resign
Jennifer Wilson | Independent Australia

Facebook got everything it wanted out of Australia by being willing to do what the other guy wouldn’t
Joshua Benton | NiemanLab

Gomeroi youth leader calls for climate justice
Jim McIlory | Green Left Weekly

“Tidal wave” of new wind and solar will force early coal plant closures
Michael Mazengarb | Renew Economy

The frightening cost of Morrison’s climate inaction
Noel Turnbull | Pearls and Irritations

Australia slides from world’s greatest country to pariah – in just ten years
Alan Austin | Independent Australia

War for Water: foreign investor firepower over Australian farmers in water deals
Callum Foote | Michael West Media

Workers Should Take Back Control of Their Pension Funds
Dave Kerin, Dan Musil | Jacobin

Understanding the Right-Wing Political Ecosystem
Craig Johnston | Jacobin