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2011 in review

1 Jan

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Overall Site Statistics – Top 15 Posts

11 Jun

This might be of interest to readers who wants to know which are the most often viewed postings in this blog. These are the all-time top 15 posts. Continue reading

The Last Post (for now)

15 Jan

After much consideration, I have decided to stop making any new posting. At least for now. The main reason for doing so is personal. To pause and take a breather. To recollect my thoughts and figure out the next step.

After all, for the past four years, I have maintained this political blog, often with the aim of providing a personal take on what I believe to be some of the most important events around the world. Spanning close to 500 posts, it has touched on so many different areas and aspects of politics and human rights that I’m sometimes surprised at its diversity.

From the local (e.g., the industrial dispute between my university, UNSW and its union, NTEU) to the global (e.g. Copenhagen Summit in 2009); or the East (e.g. democratic developments in Asia) to the West (e.g. anti-corporate capitalisation movements in Australia), many of these posts have shown how the political arena remains biased towards the power brokers. In most instances, they are the corporations, governments and political leaders who persist in illegal and/or immoral actions, believing that they can get away with it. Very often, these questionable behaviour would come to light and be vigorously opposed by conscientious people around the world. It is this opposing voice which I believe, lies at the core and optimism of politics.

As I am writing this, global events unravel at the speed of light.

Who would have thought that Tunisians, without any Western interference, have managed to a popular uprising to overthrow their despotic ruler, Ben Ali.  There is talk that this people revolution might inspire others around the region, sparking off another cascading effect of democratic revolutions.

Some commentators have claimed that an important impetus of this revolution can be attributed to the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks. Meanwhile, its founder, Julian Assange remains under virtual house arrest in the UK while Bradley Manning, the alleged whistleblower who provided information to the site is still incarcerated in America, facing  the prospect of a military court.

Across the Atlantic, European governments are having a life or death battle of their own. In the UK,  for instance, the coalition government comprising of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats is facing the possibility of a unhappy split. The latter who came to power because of voter students turnout have faced street wrath in breaking their promise to increase tuition fees.

People power aside, the world faces insurmountable interlinking global problems that sometimes appear as if they are impossible to overcome. The latest intergovernmental meeting on climate change in Cancun has come and gone without much fanfare as the binding Kyoto protocol expires. The global financial crisis is expected to worsened while bankers  continue to reward themselves handsomely with taxpayers bailout money. As developed societies become more unequal, the rest of the developing world languishes in war, poverty and misery that could have been averted.

Clearly, this brief summary is inadequate. But it does show that there is so much more to be said, exposed and done. As such, I end with a cautious but hopeful remainder. May the good fight for the important things that matter such as human rights and social justice continue.

Multilateralism in Cancun? Who are we deceiving?

18 Dec

Unlike the Copenhagen Summit last year, COP 16 or the 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties in Mexico, Cancun, has occurred with less media attention. Perhaps the pathetic agreements achieved in the last conference had diminished public expectations and soured hopes of a possible breakthrough for this year.

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Wikileaks and Singapore’s reputation

12 Dec

A series of Wikileaks cables obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald has shown that senior Singaporean officials have been sending confidential information to their U.S. counterparts on their dismissive impressions of neighbouring states.

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National security, public interest, Manning, Assange and Wikileaks

11 Dec

National security is usually an overriding reason given by governments to suppress information or persecute those who choose to release these information to the public. Yet, when it comes to defining national security, most officials would have a difficult time, trying to justify the need to classify these information as confidential.

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NSW Climate Camp 2010

6 Dec

According to this SMH report, 67 people have been arrested in NSW, near Muswellbrook at ”Climate Camp” for offences ‘related to anti-social or criminal behaviour’.

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