Neil Ormerod | 25 July 2014
Christopher Pyne's proposed changes to tertiary education place many theological providers in an interesting situation. We have seen a number of theological colleges enter into relationships with universities to assist with their financial bottom line, in the face of falling support from their church constituencies. If private providers are to receive government funding directly, we could see some of these arrangements begin to fall apart.
Mike Bowden | 24 July 2014
The implications of the Good Samaritan story are clear on Christmas Island. The evil of child imprisonment is of the Government's own doing, and it must be shamed into remedying it. Is the Catholic Education Office in Western Australia right then to provide education to these children? Catholic agencies that alleviate the harm done to those imprisoned should also make clear their condemnation of the evil of that imprisonment.
Andrew Hamilton | 24 July 2014
In mines, where bad air could be lethal, miners used to bring canaries with them. If they fell ill and died, the miners had warning to get out. The recent book by Bishop Bill Morris, replete with documentary evidence, tells the story of a canary caught in the shafts of Vatican culture. His early expiry date pointed to something amiss in the governance of the church, heralding the larger disclosures in the Royal Commission on sexual abuse.
Antonio Castillo | 23 July 2014
The exodus of thousands of unaccompanied and undocumented children from Central America countries to the US — via Mexico's unforgiving northern border — has become a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented dimensions. While organised crime continues, economic violence remains unresolved and the US doesn't get its migration policy right, such children will keep risking their lives.
Justin Glyn | 22 July 2014
The horror of the crash that killed 298 people was not a day old before blame was being vigorously assigned by all sides. Not only is this deeply unhelpful and disrespectful, it obscures the fact that, whatever actually happened, a terrible tragedy is at risk of being compounded by the hot-heads on all sides calling for more war and escalation of a conflict in which both Russia and the United States have acted with rank opportunism.
Tony Kevin | 22 July 2014
Initially I was uneasy about Abbott's strong anti-Putin rhetoric. Why was Australia so upfront, so early? I thought he was jumping to conclusions too soon. It is clear now though that his response was based on the same satellite imagery intelligence that John Kerry and Hilary Clinton cite as evidence that it was a Russian missile fired from Russian-supported insurgent territory. He was right, and Bill Shorten is correct to support him.
Michael Mullins | 21 July 2014
The Coalition glorifies business entrepreneurship, which is promoted as a good that trumps social inclusion. It is paradoxical that there is more appetite for social entrepreneurship in the USA, which is known as the land of the self made man. The explanation is that investing in social capital ultimately makes good business sense.
Binoy Kampmark | 21 July 2014
Last week the Dutch Supreme Court found that the Netherlands was liable for the deaths of over 300 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in Bosnia-Hercegovina in July 1995. They had been part of a group of 5000 refugees, who had been sheltering with Dutch UN peacekeepers known as Dutchbat and were handed over to Serb forces in exchange for 14 Dutch peacekeepers. A historical arrangement had been writ in blood.
Raff Piccolo | 18 July 2014
The latest round of attacks on Gaza is not an isolated incident or bout of violence. It is part of a larger ongoing trend that has persisted for over 60 years. Thus it will come to an end soon, and the Palestinians will begin the process of rebuilding their lives. Like the violence, it is a process to which they have unfortunately grown unaccustomed. To break the cycle Israel must abandon the rhetoric of 'national security' and find a new approach.
Brian Matthews | 18 July 2014
Life in Orwell's Airstrip One is graceless, demeaning and inhumane for all but those entitled to preferment. Surveillance is increasing, ruling-party secrecy and monopoly on information is rigid, refugees are demonised and language is reduced to sound bites and slogans. The leadership is disjoined from and cynical about the natural world. Just as well it's fiction because it sounds awful doesn't it?
Andrew Hamilton | 17 July 2014
My response to government reports is often like that of a small boy watching a magician. You know that a rabbit will be produced out of the hat, but you can’t quite work out how it will be done. For a Government set on cutting costs the McClure report into Australia's welfare system will be easy to cherry pick by further depriving the already deprived. The risk is that it will not pull a white rabbit out of the hat, but a ferret.