Features

  • Chief Editor: Dear readers, OPMG is changing

    Dear readers, Olbrycht-Palmer Media Group is approaching its one year anniversary, and to mark the occasion we’re making some changes. As of Saturday 1 September 2018, the Olbrycht-Palmer Media Group publication will be rebranded as OPMagazine. When OPMG was launched nearly one year ago, I didn’t know where it would lead. The fundamental idea was to create a truly independent news organisation which cut through the noise and commentary of the 24/7 news cycle, and ... ► Read more

  • Our safety is not your choice

    We often walk home in the very early hours of the morning as a pair. On one particular walk home we were being yelled at by two adult men. They had gotten off the train like we had and were both much larger than the two of us. They were jeering and commenting on our appearances, and how exciting it was that we are identical twins. Of course we couldn’t ignore them, but we couldn’t ... ► Read more

  • Meet Adam. He’s challenging Florida’s bump fire stock ban.

    In response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February 2018 and the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, lawmakers in Florida enacted a raft of new laws aimed at reducing gun violence in schools. Included among these new laws is a purported ban on “bump fire stocks”, to which many individuals and organisations in Florida have reacted negatively. One such individual is Adam Roberts, a native of Florida. Adam has decided to personally ... ► Read more

  • Trump shouldn’t get a Nobel Peace Prize

    Last Friday, the world witnessed a truly historic moment — the meeting of the leaders of North and South Korea. As Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in shook hands and crossed the border together, smiles ablaze, I think everyone watching understood that this meeting signalled a new era; possibly an era of lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. From the threat of nuclear war to talking about building a brighter future together, many, including myself, were stunned ... ► Read more

  • OPMG Collective: the Ruddock Review and religious freedoms

    The Religious Freedom Review, an expert panel to inquire into the protection of religious freedom in Australia, was announced on 22 November 2017.  The expert panel, with Philip Ruddock as its chair, is due to hand down its report on 18 May 2018. In the wake of the same-sex marriage debate, the findings of the review promise to be controversial, and to re-ignite the debate on the role of religion in society. For OPMG’s second ... ► Read more

  • Why haven’t we already had WWIII?

    As of late, there seem to be more and more potential conflicts that could escalate to a global level. The US and North Korea, the US and Russia, and the recent situation in Syria, which various countries decided should be solved with missiles. Because they make everything better, right? Right…. The growing fear is that we’re heading speedily towards WWIII. Which, given the weapons we currently have access to, could well mean the destruction of ... ► Read more

  • OPMG Collective: Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

    This is a new segment that we’ll be doing semi-regularly, where each of the editors will weigh in on a topic or story with their own thoughts and opinions. We hope that it will help to promote discussion around the various issues, as well as display the range of perspectives that there are on a topic, as well as within OPMG itself. Without further ado, our first collective article — on the story of Facebook and ... ► Read more

  • Syria: The world’s geo-political fighting pit just got crazier

    For years now, headlines about war-torn Syria have flooded our newspapers and television screens for various reasons — chemical attacks, the civil war, IS and other terrorist organisations. But most significantly, Syria has become a battle ground for nations to indirectly fight each other and assert their dominance. However, the Syrian Government may have just dealt a game-changing hand. Turkey invaded Syria’s northwestern Afrin region in a military campaign – codenamed Operation Olive Branch – against the Kurdish YPG ... ► Read more

  • Ukraine is worse off than it was four years ago

    Public demonstrations are great, right? Marches, protests, rallies — the right to gather and give the government a good yelling at is the pulse of democracy. Of course, the quality of the democracy is determined by how well the government listens and responds. It all hinges on whether an outcome is achieved. Unfortunately, Ukraine has a history of mass demonstrations that end with a promise of change, but stops short of any actual change. The last ... ► Read more

  • Love is in the … wallets?

    February 14th — a day of sending people red roses, and heart-shaped cards, and boxes of chocolates big enough that they don’t mind that you’re not actually there, right? A day following in the tradition of St Valentine, who did…er…something to do with romantic love? Well, while many are worried about their wallets when Valentine’s Day comes around, I thought it would be interesting to look at the history of the day. Most people know that ... ► Read more

  • Canada changed my mind about lowering the corporate tax rate

    If there’s one thing corporations dislike, it’s tax. No one really likes paying tax regardless of which way they lean — there are those who feel it is a societal duty and those who feel it is a burdensome waste, but neither actually enjoy giving their money away. When the Government announced plans to lower the corporate tax rate, I was slightly sceptical but largely in support of the move. My reading of the global ... ► Read more

  • Why not changing the date is denying history

    What makes a national day? In the United States, as with the majority of nations, it is a commemoration of defiant independence. France celebrates the storming of a fortress – a moment of fire and blood that gave way to the Republic.  Over the border, it is a day of unification, when East and West reunited as one Germany. In short, it is a day where a country looks to the past to celebrate the ... ► Read more

  • Fake news isn’t the problem, we are

    Image credit: Mike MacKenzie (Flickr) – CC BY 2.0 After copping criticism over the spread of “fake news” via Facebook during the 2016 US Presidential Election, Mark Zuckerberg has announced Facebook is introducing measures that will prioritise “trusted” and “informative” news sources in users’ Facebook News Feeds. According to Mr Zuckerberg: “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if ... ► Read more

  • A brief history of nuclear near misses

    The events in Hawaii last week brought to the fore the numerous ways in which maintaining a nuclear deterrent can sometimes go awry. It’s worth reflecting that the lack of a nuclear winter has been a close run thing at several moments throughout history. So, in the spirit of laughing because we cannot cry, we’ve collated a few of the most memorable nuclear near misses. Date Blah Place Blah What happened? Blah Why didn’t we ... ► Read more

  • Dear White House: Do you understand what crisis management is?

    Crises are almost unavoidable when under the scrutiny of the public eye. People will always be offended by something, an action will always be interpreted differently, and accidents will always happen. It will always be a struggle for public entities and high-profile individuals to build and maintain trust. All that can be done is to plan for foreseeable scenarios, and draw from previous experience to resolve unforeseen problems as they arise. A crisis is usually ... ► Read more

  • The US is fueling the fire with its response to Korean dialogue

    Image credit: Vborodinova (Pixabay) – CC0 After a year of rising tension on the Korean Peninsular and war seemingly at breaking point, 2018 may signal the beginning of better relations between North and South Korea. In his new year address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said it was vital to lower military tensions in the region and improve ties with the South, adding that there is an opportunity for dialogue. Kim said he was prepared ... ► Read more

  • Do we love the Royals?

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock of late, or have been taking a break from social media, you’ll likely have heard of the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle (of Suits fame). Their wedding day is already confirmed as May 19, about six months after they were engaged. Not having had such an event for many a year, the various magazines and the like are going a little bit crazy over it all; talking about ... ► Read more

  • The difference between Americans and Russians

    Image credit: Russian Government (Kremlin.ru) If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity. — John F. Kennedy The first American I recall meeting was a middle-aged male tourist from San Diego. He was the most stereotypical American tourist one could conjure up. He had a classic goatee, and was dressed in baggy cargo shorts, an oversized black t-shirt, velcro strap sandals, and a cowboy hat. He was ... ► Read more

  • How the Second World War led to the longest peace in Europe

    War punctuates human history with a monotonous regularity. Although typically terrifying and tragic to those who live, die and fight through wars, great things can grow from these seemingly inevitable conflicts. The English Civil War (1642–49) and Glorious Revolution (1688–89) laid the groundwork for modern democracy, while the American and French Revolutions (1775–83 and 1789–99 respectively) made substantial contributions to the development of what are today recognised as fundamental human rights. In more general terms, the vast empires established by conquest throughout history have aided the spread of ideas, albeit usually at the expense of native populations. War, while bad, can lead to good or at least useful results. ► Read more

  • Should we bring back conscription?

    Is your country under threat? Is your youth unemployment rate getting too high? Does your economy need a pick-me-up? Wouldn’t it be good if I could tell you one way to achieve a highly skilled, experienced and employable workforce with a strong work ethic, while also being able to protect your nation and boost its economy? You probably guessed where I’m going with this: conscription. Right now you’re likely thinking “shock and horror”, but you need ... ► Read more

  • Deterrence, 2017

    The world in which we find ourselves seems like a series of crises teetering on the edge, simmering away under the careful stewardship of world leaders and their accompanying bureaucracies. There is no starker example of this than the precarious Korean peninsula, at the epicenter of a growing war of words and threats, all with the lives of a minimum of four million souls hanging in the balance. ► Read more

  • The Purpose of Section 44(i)

    Now that the High Court prepares to hear cases concerning the dual citizenship status of seven current and former parliamentarians, it is important to reflect on the reasons why section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution exists. What exactly is it meant to prevent? Is it doing its job? ► Read more

  • What are marriage laws meant to do?

    With two months left until the result of the Australian Marriage Law Survey is announced, a lot of attention will be dedicated to the proposed changes to the Marriage Act, with many column inches and plenty of airtime postulating on the effects and justification of doing so. Lost in this analysis is the purpose for which marriage acts are (and have been) enacted, which may provide a context in which to differentiate what they can ... ► Read more

  • Marriage equality debate raises issues at the heart of Australia’s constitution

    Australia stands almost alone in the Anglosphere in its lack of marriage equality, with only Northern Ireland to keep it company. Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, most of the United Kingdom, and the United States have all achieved marriage equality over the past decade-and-a-half, through a variety of judicial and legislative mechanisms. Australia is a special case, not just because it has so far held out against what seems to be inevitable, but because ... ► Read more

  • A regional human rights system for Asia and the Pacific?

    In 1953 the Council of Europe adopted the European Convention on Human Rights, establishing a regional system to protect human rights in its member states, complete with domestic and regional courts to enforce it. Regional systems have also developed in the Americas through the Organisation of American States, and through the African Union. This leaves Asia and the Pacific as the only region without a human rights system. ► Read more

  • Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan, Malcolm Roberts, Nick Xenophon, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters are all in hot water over their dual citizenship.

    ANALYSIS: Citizenship woes are far from over

    The recent spate of referrals to the High Court about dual citizenship has put quite a few political careers on the line, and has made for some pretty interesting news in the meantime. But can we expect things to get resolved anytime soon? Not likely — at least not before the High Court starts considering cases in October. Either way, the path forward on the citizenship issue is rocky, and is a bit different for each House of Parliament. ► Read more

  • Freedom To Speak, Part 2: Australia and Online

    In Part 1, we had a look at the definition of free speech according to two United Nations instruments, and some common principles that give rise to exceptions for it. In this article, we'll be looking in more detail at how this applies to a country — namely Australia — and then how everything changes once you jump online. ► Read more

  • Freedom To Speak, Part 1: The World and Principles

    Here in Australia, we consider ourselves quite 'lucky'. I can put pretty much what I like on Facebook, and know that police won't be showing up at my door. Unless I start posting about bombs, or assassination, or terrorism, perhaps - but even then, it depends on the context. I could be talking about water bombs, the mafia card game, and Counterstrike. ► Read more