Well, that’s it…

By | History, Media | 30 Comments

Dear All, Fare you well,  commenters who do battle with each other almost every day, readers who simply read and have other lives to live, and occasional readers who write to me privately because they don’t want to be seen in public, so to speak. It has been fun writing the essays and not having to worry about what the editor might have felt. But it got to be a bigger and bigger job as the readership grew, and especially when tempers flared in the Comments. And it actually cost money to maintain the site, as well as an increasing…

Read More

On death and dying

By | Health, History, Politics, Religion, Society | 21 Comments

One of the readers asked me to write such an essay, and I am happy to do my best. I live in an aged-care facility, commonly referred to as ‘God’s waiting room’. I’ve been there now for two and a half years, and am the longest-serving resident at my table. The others are all men. Six guys have died from that table in my time, and one was moved into ‘high care’ because he was disruptive. We don’t talk about death or dying much, only to say, in rather hushed voices, that ‘so and so’ has gone. If it is…

Read More

Some concluding thoughts about climate change

By | Climate Change, Economy, Environment, History, Media, Politics, Religion, Research, Society | 349 Comments

Climate change got me into establishing and maintaining a website, so it’s fitting that I farewell the website (almost) with a comment about this vexed issue. As with defence, nothing much has changed since I first got interested in the issue twenty years ago. Very briefly, I was writing a book about Australia twenty years from now (= then = 2002), and it needed a chapter on ‘the environment’. That took me to global warming, and on the advice of a friend or two, including Ian Castles, the former Australian Statistician, I ploughed through the WGI paper of the Third…

Read More

A different defence policy

By | History, Politics, Research, Society | 43 Comments

I wrote an essay like this for the National Times some fifty years ago. Nothing has changed. If I could find it in my papers I could just run it again. I grew up under the shelter of the Royal Navy. The war brought in a new defender, the United States. Increasingly we bought US weapons apart from submarines. All this was formalised in the ANZUS Treaty of 1951. The essence of ANZUS was that an attack on any of the three parties would be seen by them as an attack on them all. This has led us into a…

Read More

What sort of Australia do I want?

By | History, Politics, Society | 30 Comments

Actually, the Australia I live in is pretty good, if I compare it to other countries in which I’ve lived and/or worked. I decided against both England and the US when I could have had good jobs in each. Why not England? The class system, I guess, was the clincher, even though I would have been up there rather than down there. America? Too much gun violence, even in a lovely mid-west college town. Canada? Too cold, apart from Vancouver. New Zealand? Not foreign enough, but the country, scenery and people were and are wonderful. That’s only one sort of…

Read More

The music I can’t live without

By | ABC, History, Music, Society | 15 Comments

This essay is late because I’ve been in hospital again, for a third kidney stone removal and the second with complications afterwards. I’ve been in and out of hospitals for a week and that meant I listened to a lot of good music. It also meant that I was badgered almost every music break ‘to vote now’. Voting meant saying what was the one piece of music I couldn’t live without, and it is a reprise of Classic FM’s first countdown twenty years ago. I’ve only taken part in one of the twenty Countdowns, and stuffed my entry up because…

Read More

The choice facing Labor

By | Climate Change, Economy, Environment, History, Media, Politics, Society | 117 Comments

The Australian Labor Party is in something of a mess, a state exemplified by its defeat in the NSW Upper Hunter by-election. Upper Hunter has been Labor and Country party and National. It all depends on where the boundaries are drawn. Some of it is pastoral, and some of it is mining. Labor picked a miner as its candidate, but its vote plummeted, from 28 per cent to 22 per cent. Let’s think about this. Labor at 22 per cent, and a fall from 28 per cent? Who got the rest? The National candidate won a bit over 31 per…

Read More

A looming referendum

By | History, Indigenous, Politics, Society | 42 Comments

I think is my ninth-last essay here, and I would like to thank all those who have sent courteous messages to me, both here and by email, about the end of the donaitkin.com blog. Today’s essay is about the proposed amendment to our Constitution to acknowledge the fact that indigenous Australians were here first. There have been a number of such proposals in the last hundred years. Most of them were said to be bi-partisan, have been shaped through consultation with Aboriginal people, and have been supported by some of the good and the great. None of them has yet…

Read More

It’s time to go

By | Other | 41 Comments

I posted my first essay on this website on 16 July 2012. Why did I start it? Because I liked writing analysis and commentaries, and after the GFC in 2009 newspapers and magazines shed staff as though they all had some dread disease. Paying for outsiders like me was out of the question. My first essay, way back, was at the beginning of 1968, and was a request to the Liberals to choose Paul Hasluck as leader. That was an editorial in The Canberra Times, unsigned of course. Alas the Liberals took no notice, and selected John Gorton. I had…

Read More

The perfect essay on climate change

By | Books, Climate Change, Economy, Environment, History, Politics, Religion, Research | 444 Comments

Every now and then I come across someone else’s work that is so good I want everyone to read it. This essay, by Richard Lindzen and William Happer, is one such. They are supremely eminent scientists, and their current status is given at the end. Yes, they don’t give references, but then neither do most alarmist speakers, like Steffen, Karoly, Mann and so on. They are speaking from a position of intellectual eminence. Like a few others who are outspoken in their sceptical cause, they are retired. No deans are complaining to the university president about these two. So read…

Read More