Want Fries With That PhD?

That Australia’s current system of higher education is unsustainable is a fact most are willing to concede. The latest evidence, revealed by the ABC, is of a $13.5 billion debt accrued over four years. This news adds another nail to the coffin of Entitlement Era higher ed and must surely accelerate a large-scale overhaul of the present—pun intended—arrangement.

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The Conversation that Isn’t

gagged speech

Islam-is-violence or Islam-is-peace? Take your pick because there is no third option available to those who would like to see debate and policy based on a rational, informed and unbiased approach to Islam’s history and interpretations

As attacks inspired by Islamist ideology continue to erupt around the globe — Paris, San Bernardino, Africa, stick a pin the map and stayed tuned– the tourniquet on the Islam-and-terrorism conversation is tight and getting tighter. The popularity of #YouAintNoMuslimBruv, in response to the London Underground stabbings, bolstered by President Obama’s latest glib insistence that ‘ISIL does not speak for Islam’, highlight just how, since 9/11 and earlier, the West has imposed tacit and active restrictions on what can and cannot be said about Islam and its multiple interpretations.
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Trivial or important? ‘Lifestyle choices’ or good policy?

Tony Abbott in Kalgoorlie

There is a difference between ‘lifestyle choices’ and ‘way of life’. The former carries underlying judgement, the latter respect and a level of understanding.

Or at least that’s how it looks to me.

Apparently Tony Abbot either doesn’t agree or didn’t think about it when he suggested that taxpayer money should not be used to fund certain small Aboriginal settlements based on the inhabitants’ ‘lifestyle choice’ of living there in the first place.

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Perfect enough to kill ‘em? Then throw the first stone

firing squad

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I knew who Chan and Sukumaran were, or what the Bali 9 had done to deserve their fate. But that’s the point, regardless of who it concerns, the what of the case (the death penalty) is as ever, up for debate.

The impending executions of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has caused a flurry of commentary from journalists, doctors, lawyers, human rights groups, and politicians in Australia. Considering this possible overexposure to the case, I cautiously add my 2 cents worth.

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Islam & the Scotsman: moving the goals or looking for truth?

More attacks, more dead. Same battle cries, same denial. Candlelit vigils, mourning masses.

Seventeen Parisians and anywhere from 150 to 2,000 Nigerians in Baga. Vehement outrage or muted indifference … whatever the initial emotions, when it comes to trying to understand the ideological basis for the attacks, history is left at the door, as too is reason.

‘Why do they hate us?’ cries the grieving widow. ‘It’s not Islamic or a state,’ argues the President. ‘It’s not Islam,’ reason certain Sheiks.

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