On July 11, the federal government released two new COVID-19 campaigns.

The first, shared across Australia, is a call to “arm yourself” (and others) against the virus by getting vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible.

The second is a graphic fear appeal, broadcast only in New South Wales, which shows a young woman in a hospital bed struggling to breathe. The advert has the caption: “COVID-19 can affect anyone. Stay home. Get tested. Book your vaccination”.

It’s clearly intended to leave the NSW audience shaken by the severity of the virus, and with the knowledge that residents, particularly younger people…

The first globalising influences were the European empires, which stretched their trade empires from one side of the planet to the other. Through these, the empires were able to start influencing markets and economic conditions from the other side of the planet. It didn’t matter if the next village sold good bowls in Szechuan, because the English may sell better ones at the port.

This expanded greatly into the Opium wars, where the British were selling Opium in China and actually fought a war over their right to continue doing so.

The global production line followed, where items were created…

Ever since his ascension to the throne, our finest professional journalists and trolls have attempted to define the shifting nonsense mass that is Scott Morrison’s leadership. It’s a rolling cringefest that we can’t stop watching. There’s the ScoMobile, there’s his galaxy of hats, he’s the dude discussing his first pash, he’s the man with the thumbs up and a coy wink to people’s mums.

Today, The Guardian suggested that he’s our own Billy Joel. Journalist Peter Lewis suggested that Joel, “wrote a mean melody but could only ever attach it to an existing musical trend. From Rat Pack to Motown…

In a development that should surprise few, the oil company that set the ocean on fire has a long history of unrelated explosions causing hundreds of deaths.

The company, Petróleos Mexicanos (colloquially known as Pemex) started looking for oil in the Gulf of Mexico in 1979. Soon thereafter, their well, Ixtoc I, suffered a blowout, causing one of the worst oil spills in history.

Winding the clock forward to 1992, and the company was responsible for ten explosions in Guadalajara, caused by fuel leaking in the sewers underneath the city. …

June 30 is the traditional date when citizens pause to reflect the HECS debt they’ve accrued and been unable to shift. However, if you’re feeling victimised by the tens of thousands in debt that is collecting interest, you should be. But it is certainly not your fault. In 2020, modelling by the independent Parliamentary Library discovered that the recent changes to the system would see it take twice as long to pay the debt off, with 20 years being the mean average.

As Fergus Hunter of The Sydney Morning Herald noted, “According to the projections, men who study a degree…

This morning, we suddenly had the whiff of change, as the Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke proclaimed that the Murugappan family from Biloela will be released from Christmas Island and be welcomed back to the mainland.

Per a statement, Hawke said that “I have exercised my power under section 197AB of the Migration Act to make a residence determination to allow the Sri Lankan family currently in held detention to reside in the Perth community.”

However, a liberal amount of salt should be added to the news, as Hawke also said “in making this determination I am balancing the government’s…

Once a man becomes president, he becomes known by the title. Barack Obama becomes “President Obama” — rarely “Barack”. Donald Trump ceases being “The Donald” and is kowtowed to as, “President Trump”. It’s a measure of respect for the office. However, only occasionally is Joe Biden referred to as “President Biden”. The press and public continue calling him by his full name; not “Biden” or “Mr. President”, not “Joe” but, “Joe Biden”. Or, as it now falls trippingly from the common tongue, a hipster sounding: “J’Biden”.

Well, J’Biden has now been with us for that mythical 100 days, hence it’s…

Announced in 2019, the Respect Matters program was instituted to support teachers educate students about safety, consent and wellbeing.

In a press release, Minister for Education Dan Tehan said parents and teachers played an important role in teaching children about the value of healthy and respectful relationships, and the impact of their behaviour.

“This program builds on the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework, released in 2018, and will include resources to help students understand vital concepts like consent and respect,” he said.

To achieve these aims, the Morrison government budgeted $7.8 million. More than half of was spent on the video…

This morning, the NSW Police Minister, David Elliott attacked a group of primary school students for hanging a Black Lives Matter poster in the wake of the George Floyd ruling. Sensationally, Elliott made the case that children were being brainwashed with anti-police propaganda, and he would be pursuing an apology from the teacher involved.

The poster, shared by GetUp! media advisor Alex McKinnon on Twitter, asks us to ‘Stop Killer Cops’ surrounded by hashtags calling for #JusticeNow and #BLM. …

This morning, as Newsweek put it, “a jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd…Chauvin was the first of four officers to face a jury. The other three responding officers involved in Floyd’s fatal arrest — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — have been charged with aiding and abetting murder. They will be jointly tried in August. All four officers were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department the day after Floyd’s death.”

On Friday, Portland, Oregon, police murdered an unarmed man…

The Big Smoke

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