Issue 74: 9 Dec to 15 Dec 2021

Peace on Earth While Stocks Last

Christmas bonus for all? ‘Tis the season to be jolly, not broke
Benjamin Clark | Crikey
The average Australian will spend $1232 on gifts and food and alcohol. But for millions on the breadline the tree and the table will be bare.

Editorial: Battening Down the Hatches
Alison Caddick | Arena
Despite all our problems—all our terrible forebodings—it seems we remain wedded, yet, to a form of life that is, simply, unsustainable, and to a form of human organisation that is ethically bankrupt.

Inheritance: the major life event no politician wants to mention
Ross Gittins | SMH/Age
Since Australia killed off death duties in the 1970s, inheritances have become a very efficient way of transferring and retaining family wealth – which may explain why we hear so little about bestowed riches.

No, There Is No Such Thing as the Undeserving Poor
David Sligar | Jacobin
Former Liberal Party minister Pru Goward recently published an opinion piece outlining her views on the “underclass.” Her analysis exemplifies the ignorance, mediocrity, and condescension of Australia’s elite.

Richest 1% takes 38% of global wealth while bottom half gets 2%
Jake Johnson | Pearls and Irritations

Anxious, overwhelmed, abused: what it’s really like working in retail during the pandemic
Retail Worker | The Guardian
Retail is already not an easy job, but when you add a highly contagious deadly pandemic and people’s lack of care, it really does take a toll.

Environmental Health

Don’t believe the Coalition’s ’emissions are down’ spin. Australia has not delivered on climate policy
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
The bad news is this “cool” year is still warmer than any year on record before 2015, and it marks the seventh consecutive year of the planet being more than 1C warmer than the late 19th century average.

Comparing the Coalition and Labor’s climate modelling reveals some underlying truths
Richard Denniss | The Guardian
It’s no surprise the Business Council, the Australian Industry Group and the National Farmers’ Federation are supporting Labor’s position

Politicians are failing us on climate change. They must do this instead
Alan Kohler | The New Daily

Returning to Normal Programming

Suture Shock: Humanity goes Under the Knife
Richard King | Arena
As we become ever more remote from ‘meatspace’, it’s worth considering the role the scalpel and the needle may play in that development.

The true story of the Covid-19 vaccines
Rick Morton | The Saturday Paper
In many ways the world was cruel to Hungarian biochemist Katalin Karikó, until she saved it.

Omicron response exposes serious gaps in pandemic preparedness 
Tom Bramble | Red Flag

An Omicron Christmas is coming, but mixed messages threaten confusion
Amber Schultz | Crikey
It’s different strokes for different folks around the states and experts fear people will flout the rules because they’re just too hard to make sense of.

Australian governments create conditions for a huge surge of COVID infections
Oscar Greenfell | World Socialist Website
Rights and Far Rights

The rise of far-right violence in Australia
Ruby Healer | Red Flag
These attacks alone should outrage anyone concerned with public health and workplace safety. Unfortunately, however, they are far from isolated examples.

Anti-vaxxers and the far right
Daniel Lopez | Overland

Protesters say ‘No’ to AUKUS, nuclear submarines and war with China 
Kerry Smith | Green Left

Australia’s ability to destroy universities is world-class
Guy Rundle | Crikey
Who’s responsible for the demise of Sydney University, and Australian academia in general? The right and the left can share the blame.

Stop stealing children say Human Rights Day protesters
Rachel Evans | Green Left

Over Overseas

Abortion under attack: the US Supreme Court is humiliating women
Leslie Cannold | Crikey
The devastation wrought upon the lives of American women by the constant attacks on legal abortion is not a side effect. Rather, it’s the point of the entire exercise.

A free press should press for Julian Assange to be free
Guy Rundle | Crikey

The Judicial Kidnapping of Julian Assange
John Pilger | Arena