Vol 20 No 7

12 April 2010


 

  • RELIGION

    Human rights framework only a start

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 April 2010
    19 Comments

    There is no getting away from the public's interest in a human rights act. But the Labor Government has baulked at the recommendation for such an act. While many Australians enjoy adequate human rights, we can do better.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Meditation guru's monastery without walls

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 23 April 2010
    4 Comments

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Possibility springs in Russian winter

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 22 April 2010
    5 Comments

    Winter in the Russian industrial city of Yaroslavl has been hard since the Global Financial Crisis. The 'contract' between Russia's elite and ordinary Russians, whereby the latter sacrifice their civil and political rights for economic wellbeing, is not delivering.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Anzacs underground

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 April 2010

    War films tread a fine line if they are to respect the experiences of soldiers without glorifying war. Beneath Hill 60 is the true story of Australian miner-soldiers tasked with tunnelling beneath the front lines during World War I. It is not unkind to the Anzac myths.

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  • MEDIA

    The dignity of Carl Williams

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 April 2010
    43 Comments

    When celebrities who have treated people violently suffer themselves from violence, their suffering is approved because it is an expected part of the plot. The death of Carl Williams has been covered as if it were an episode of Underbelly. Williams deserves better than this.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When Harry Hogan went to war

    • Brian Matthews
    • 21 April 2010
    14 Comments

    Harry was 18, a knockabout bush larrikin ready to give anything a try. He joined the Second Machine Gun Battalion on 10 February 1915 and landed at Gallipoli on 16 August. For the next four months he, like so many of his fellow soldiers, had an undistinguished, brutalising time, memories of which would stay with him forever.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Learning how to die

    • Tony London
    • 20 April 2010
    3 Comments

    The old people in the mortuary silence of the doctor’s waiting room, rehearse the look, the patois, become familiar with the creeping symptoms, the medicines of resistance, the gentle small steps on the way.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott and the new Catholic Conservatism

    • Michael Furtado
    • 20 April 2010
    30 Comments

    There is much to salvage from Howard's policies, misconstrued as universally liberal and bereft of state intervention in the interests of the underprivileged. More could be done to link such a policy frame with several aspects of Catholic Social Teaching.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Putting patients before premiers' egos

    • Michael Mullins
    • 19 April 2010
    6 Comments

    Premier John Brumby's boast that Victoria has the best health system came unstuck during his address to the National Press Club. Putting patients first is about understanding the social context of those with acute health challenges, not the construction of political ego.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palestine's heavy metal revolution

    • James M. Dorsey
    • 19 April 2010
    5 Comments

    Boosted by technologies that facilitate mass distribution without government control, the heavy metal and hip-hop music scene in the Middle East recalls the role music played in the velvet revolution that toppled regimes in Eastern Europe and Indonesia.

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  • EDUCATION

    The trouble with school ethics classes

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 16 April 2010
    22 Comments

    The Sydney Anglican diocese is concerned that proposed ethics classes in schools might attract students away from existing scripture classes. This looks more like a matter of turf wars, of seeking to maintain numbers and so justify their continuance.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Black Saturday gibe mars Murray's might

    • Philip Harvey
    • 16 April 2010
    6 Comments

    In one poem Les Murray would reduce the causes of the Black Saturday fires to differences in forest management between 'hippies' and 'rednecks'. Utilising poetry to play the blame game demeans our understanding of the complexity of that disaster.

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  • RELIGION

    Abuse cases teach Church deportment under fire

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 April 2010
    17 Comments

    Every day brings new instructions about deportment to the Pope: he must sack bishops, resign, apologise, submit to independent investigation. Good deportment can be mere spin, but it is a first step to dispelling anxiety. And good deportment often helps to good attitudes.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Imelda Marcos the Musical

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 April 2010

    'Like most politicians, she was driven by psychological angels and demons', writes musician David Byrne of Imelda Marcos, the former first lady ofthe Philippines. Byrne has written a 'musical' about Marcos' life. From the outset, he risks deifying a monster.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    High-tech health in the bush

    • Ben O'Mara
    • 14 April 2010
    3 Comments

    New technology can improve health care for geographically remote and ethnically diverse Australians. But it won't make much difference unless these people know how to use the technology and are involved in its design and implementation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Death and rebirth of a migrant

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 14 April 2010
    4 Comments

    When such melancholy descends the only thing to do is walk. I fetched up near a chapel on a hill, for the village is ringed by chapels, six of them, in a kind of protective belt. Outside I found a gum tree and a Judas tree standing side by side: my life, or my two lives in a neat symbol.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fruit half-eaten by animals

    • Libby Hart and Belinda Rule
    • 13 April 2010
    2 Comments

    Lift up a stone, find a spider, fat as a grape ... Run, and I will be tucked up in the heel of your shoe, gnawing at the lining.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Plane tragedy prolongs Polish-Russian curse

    • Tony Kevin
    • 13 April 2010
    4 Comments

    The Devil himself could not have better orchestrated Sunday's air tragedy at Smolensk Airport. It was to be a symbolic moment of reconciliation between two neighbouring countries that have been separated by war.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Yes we can beat church sex abuse

    • Michael Mullins
    • 12 April 2010
    19 Comments

    In his Easter message, Cardinal George Pell made an oblique reference to sexual abuse in the Church. While most Australians dismiss such utterances as too little too late, it is possible to look at them optimistically when set against actions of the recent past.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Refugee backflip misses what matters

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 April 2010
    23 Comments

    The decision to suspend the processing of future asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka does not respect the dignity of asylum seekers. Now that the Government has bent to the populist winds fanned by an opportunistic Opposition, there are grounds for fearing the claims of asylum seekers will be judged in a way that unduly reflects the interests of the Australian Government.

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