Vol 22 No 3

13 February 2012


 

  • EDUCATION

    Gonski's reductionist view of education

    • Chris Middleton
    • 24 February 2012
    9 Comments

    The report's argument that a base level of funding be established might lead to a lowest common denominator approach to determining what is an 'efficient' education, in both the state and private systems. Creativity, diversity and experimentation may be hindered in such a regime.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Gillard should lead

    • Tony Kevin
    • 24 February 2012
    36 Comments

    Minority government has presented unique challenges to Gillard and her team, to which they have responded with dignity, clarity and efficiency. Politics in the Australian party system is a  team sport, and it's clear Kevin Rudd has a thing or two to learn about loyalty and solidarity.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    'Buddhist' Catholic nun's interfaith leadership

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 24 February 2012

    'As Catholics we learn that this is the one true faith ... I believe God has opened many paths.' Sister Joan Kirby is a veteran of inter-religious dialogue. She is a past director of one of the oldest interfaith organisations, the Temple of Understanding, and currently serves as its representative at the UN. 

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    'Buddhist' Catholic nun's interfaith leadership

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 23 February 2012
    4 Comments

    VIDEO

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Islamic women's sex and power

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 February 2012
    1 Comment

    The women begin withholding sex from their husbands in order to pressure them into bringing running water to their remote North African village. This act of self-empowerment brings hardships to both the men and the women of this patriarchal Islamic community.

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  • RELIGION

    What should Rudd do now?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 February 2012
    46 Comments

    If Rudd loses Monday's expected leadership ballot, he will either go to the back bench or resign from Parliament. If he stays, what will he do? Spend the next six months undermining Gillard as Keating did Hawke? Rudd might not think that is a morally appropriate course of action.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Feminism in Bougainville

    • Ellena Savage
    • 22 February 2012
    3 Comments

    'Women in Bougainville have no choice but to be political,' I was told by a community leader. From housekeepers to businesswomen, they all seem to be pretty fierce feminists. Even random women I meet at cafes and pubs tell me about the work women do in their communities.

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  • CARTOON

    Loving Labor's leadership lark

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 22 February 2012
    4 Comments

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  • RELIGION

    Alain de Botton's pastoral atheism

    • Patrick McCabe
    • 22 February 2012
    22 Comments

    Where Richard Dawkins could be described as a missionary intent on saving souls from religion, fellow atheist de Botton is more concerned with the spiritual needs of the existing flock. His latest book Religion for Atheists is likely to annoy believers and non-believers alike.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Op-shop religion

    • Matthew Davies
    • 21 February 2012
    2 Comments

    If you try on any more religions, torn, weary and grey like many a tweed jacket from St Vinnie's ... they're never your size.

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  • EDUCATION

    Gonski process leaves schools in limbo

    • Scott Prasser
    • 21 February 2012
    9 Comments

    A two year process of research, consultation, public input and expert consideration and analysis is a reasonable route to follow for a government-appointed independent inquiry into a major policy issue. But when that process simply leads into a further protracted process, its value is questionable.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In defence of 'adults only' video games

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 February 2012
    3 Comments

    Opponents of the government's proposed R18+ video game classification argue that playing violent video games leads to violent behaviour. But researchers have found mental health to be a more reliable predictor of negative outcomes.

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  • MEDIA

    Virgin's sexism in the sky

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 20 February 2012
    33 Comments

    For all the things Qantas stands accused of — selling out its Australian employees, uncompetitive pricing, bad management — it appears to be respectful of women. A ticket on a Virgin flight, on the other hand, brings with it the allure of sex, the commodity on which the company's brand has been built.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Innocence lost in Greece and Australia

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 17 February 2012
    11 Comments

    The dismissal of Gough Whitlam by then Governor-General Sir John Kerr in 1975 has been described as the greatest political and constitutional crisis in Australia's history. It seems pallid in comparison with what is now happening here in Greece. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gillard the Brave

    • Moira Rayner
    • 17 February 2012
    24 Comments

    Just about every reporter and would-be opinionator wants Rudd to mount an open challenge to Gillard. Her spack-attack on the Chief Justice of the High Court after he scuttled the Malaysia solution was bitterly disappointing. But I have had to reconsider my feelings about her leadership. 

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  • MEDIA

    Shane Warne and News Limited's hostility cycle

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 February 2012
    32 Comments

    As a cyclist who shares the pavement with pedestrians and the road with cars, I am constantly struck by how common is the unkindness of strangers. The relations between cyclists, drivers and pedestrians mirror the qualities I see as characteristic of News Limited commentary.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Melbourne's Gen Y hollowman

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 February 2012
    1 Comment

    The 'quarter life crisis' is perhaps a Gen Y phenomenon where, despite a dedication to 'experience' and 'connection', one feels life is hollow. The greatest weakness of Any Questions For Ben? is that it offers pat answers to existential questions, where perhaps it should offer none. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Baby steps in 'reformed' Burma

    • Duncan Maclaren
    • 15 February 2012
    5 Comments

    Burma has embarked on a series of reforms that have altered its pariah status. But Burma's icon of democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, does not fully represent all Burmese, and there are vast problems that must be addressed before sanctions are fully lifted.

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  • CARTOON

    Tony Abbott's Valentine

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 15 February 2012

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Malaysia's migration paradox

    • Joachim Francis Xavier
    • 15 February 2012
    3 Comments

    A large segment of Malaysian society and the government in particular is clearly xenophobic. Yet Malaysia has thrown its arms wide open to asylum seekers heading to Australia. What is the motivation underlying Malaysia's sudden love affair with refugee swap deals?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Art after shock

    • Sasha Shtargot
    • 15 February 2012
    8 Comments

    Walk in one direction and you meet a photograph of a dog humping a naked man. Turn a corner and there is a long row of plaster-cast vaginas. In one place a mummified cat's head. Shock is not new in art, but it loses its transgressive power when pursued for its own sake.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How to wrestle an angel

    • Barry Gittins and P. S. Cottier
    • 14 February 2012

    Try a Cobra Clutch Bulldog; an Elevated Gutbuster; Wheelbarrow Driver; Gorilla Press Slam; a Frankensteiner. There's always the Alley Oop, where you hoist him, (the opponent) on your shoulders. But be aware of the possibility of take-off ... Who will be riding whom?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Russia's concern for besieged Syrian Christians

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 14 February 2012
    12 Comments

    Russia's opposition to military intervention or orchestrated regime change in Syria runs deeper than mere contemporary strategic interest. Its interest in Syria and the broader Middle East stems also from its historical conception of itself as the protector of eastern Christians.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Means test won't fix health funding

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 February 2012
    12 Comments

    The current private health insurance subsidy has the poor paying for the wealthy. The proposed means test will make health funding a little fairer, but it won't do much to change inequities in the health system as a whole. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's story in Indigenous languages

    • Brian McCoy
    • 13 February 2012
    17 Comments

    I will never forget the look on her face. I had asked her a simple question. But I had used her language. She seemed shocked that a white person would even try. Indigenous languages offer rich ways to describe and name our world, and valuable insights and knowledge for all Australians.

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