Latest articles

  • economics

    Economic doom looms in Oz's game of homes

    • David James
    • 12 December 2017

    It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where the game of musical chairs in Australia will come to a shuddering end, imperilling the banks and dragging the economy into a deep recession. As we saw in the GFC in America and Europe, government money will be thrown at the banks to rescue them at the expense of ordinary citizens.

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  • australia

    Hate thrives as much in the open as in the dark

    • Fatima Measham
    • 08 December 2017
    19 Comments

    It is apparently not enough for Muslims, Jewish, queer and Indigenous peoples to deal with homegrown hate; they must deal with imported brands, too. The latest such visitor was feted by Leyonhjelm, Hanson, Latham and assorted hangers-on. There was something pathetic about it, the scramble to goad 'lefties' about their 'worst nightmare'.

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  • religion

    Will abuse commission be another damp squib?

    • Moira Rayner
    • 07 December 2017
    30 Comments

    This royal commission has changed the public response of religious institutions, not their culture. Nor has it altered the culture at the political pointy ends of state, territory or national government. The cause of the misuse of power over children was our refusal to take a child's world view as seriously as our own adult priorities.

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INTERNATIONAL

  • Pope receives the grace of Rohingya shame

    • Michael Kelly
    • 03 December 2017
    16 Comments

    Francis' approach to the religious differences in Myanmar and Bangladesh models something of universal significance for the Catholic Church. If, in the 21st century, the Church in Asia is generations from its colonial foundations, it is also well aware of its minority status and its need to live well with fellow citizens who are religiously different.

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  • Australia could be a SE Asia game-changer

    • Erin Cook
    • 29 November 2017
    4 Comments

    The bones of the foreign policy white paper, released last week by Julie Bishop, have been picked over by the country's leading international relations thinkers and the consensus is clear - the timing is right and we must act now. But we need a leader who is willing to put the work in.

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  • Undermining NZ: Dutton's refugee ploy

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 November 2017
    8 Comments

    These sprinklings of poison through the press, with occasional mentions in New Zealand, serve two purposes: to show Australian refugee policy as sound, and offshore detention and resettlement in an unsuitable third country as appropriate; and to deflect attention from the discharge of obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.

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AUSTRALIA

  • Hate thrives as much in the open as in the dark

    • Fatima Measham
    • 08 December 2017
    19 Comments

    It is apparently not enough for Muslims, Jewish, queer and Indigenous peoples to deal with homegrown hate; they must deal with imported brands, too. The latest such visitor was feted by Leyonhjelm, Hanson, Latham and assorted hangers-on. There was something pathetic about it, the scramble to goad 'lefties' about their 'worst nightmare'.

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  • Turnbull's magic budget bowl is a fantasy

    • Joe Zabar
    • 07 December 2017
    5 Comments

    Many of us have grown up with Norman Lindsay's classic tale of the magic pudding; the pudding bowl that never empties no matter how often the pudding was eaten. It seems that the magic pudding bowl has been borrowed by the federal government, if the proposed new business and income tax cuts are anything to go by.

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  • Legislation is no substitute for respect

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 December 2017
    11 Comments

    The government has appointed a panel to report what legislation may be necessary to safeguard religious rights in light of changes to marriage laws. Given the conflictual nature of public conversation, it may be helpful to step back and to reflect on human rights more generally.

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RELIGION

  • Will abuse commission be another damp squib?

    • Moira Rayner
    • 07 December 2017
    30 Comments

    This royal commission has changed the public response of religious institutions, not their culture. Nor has it altered the culture at the political pointy ends of state, territory or national government. The cause of the misuse of power over children was our refusal to take a child's world view as seriously as our own adult priorities.

    READ MORE
  • Seal of confession should remain inviolate

    • Bill Uren
    • 07 December 2017
    23 Comments

    I suspect the royal commission will recommend the seal of confession should no longer remain absolute. I also know that all priests of my acquaintance will rather go to jail than violate the seal. I cannot then see that such a move will be anything but unproductive. Perpetrators will be less likely to go to confession and priests will go to jail.

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  • Thoughts on marriage after Yes

    • Joel Hodge
    • 16 November 2017
    58 Comments

    Arguments are made that to be recognised or not as a specific type of sexual being (with certain rights) is what fundamentally matters to who I am as a person. People on both sides have made this error. This is a dangerous position that subjects human dignity and identity to a false absolute.

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ENVIRONMENT

  • Forecast: political storm over energy

    • Greg Foyster
    • 08 December 2017
    1 Comment

    Summer is here, and so is the political spin about blackouts. This year, with a record November heatwave in Victoria and a press gallery hypersensitised to energy politics, the blame game started early - well before anything has actually gone wrong.

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  • My coal dilemma

    • Jennifer Pont
    • 24 November 2017
    11 Comments

    I can't see the issues around the coal industry in black and white terms, even though I'd vote for any ethical replacement plan in a heartbeat. As much as people build places, places substantially build our identities, and people literally lived and died by coal mines where I grew up.

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  • The moral relativism of pro-coal conservatives

    • Tim Beshara
    • 20 November 2017
    8 Comments

    The charge of moral relativism has been laid against progressives in debates about everything from marriage to multiculturalism. However when it comes to climate change and coal, it is conservatives who choose to muddy the debate by pointing out that coal can be good depending on the context in which it is used.

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ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Material girls in an addiction fuelled world

    • Isabella Fels
    • 12 December 2017

    My astute mother was the first to suspect Maya of taking and selling my clothes to fund her addiction. After that, my friendship with Maya fell apart. I began to hate her and wanted nothing to do with her. This year, that all suddenly changed.

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  • Sharpen your ears to soul

    • Sean O'Carroll
    • 11 December 2017

    And hear God dropping pins, like tropical rain; torrential.

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  • Songs for children on the path to maturity

    • Barry Gittins
    • 05 December 2017
    1 Comment

    2017 has seen us stirring a large pot of sticky issues with our 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. Old-school parenting used to play nice, with no discussion of sexuality, religion or politics. While recognising the need to speak appropriately to the ages and maturity of our kids, I disagree with that convention.

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