Vol 22 No 6

26 March 2012


 

  • RELIGION

    Easter in detention

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 April 2012
    13 Comments

    Over many years I have celebrated Christmas and Easter in places where people are locked up — in refugee camps, prisons and detention centres. To be in these places at such times is hard. It is also a privilege.

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  • RELIGION

    Easter manifesto

    • John Falzon
    • 06 April 2012
    10 Comments

    The Easter motif of suffering and resurrection comes alive in movements of social change, when people who have been treated as nothing proclaim by their collective dreaming we are everything. For those who hunger for justice it is a sin to be disorganised, when the misery we confront is well organised.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Australia doesn't want East Timor to know

    • Pat Walsh
    • 05 April 2012
    10 Comments

    The famine of 1977–79 cut a swathe through East Timor's civilian population. Having failed to subdue the Timorese, the Indonesian military opted to starve them out. Details from that little-understood period are contained in cables that Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has blocked from public access.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Titanic sets human tragedy apart from Hollywood gloss

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 April 2012
    4 Comments

    Legend has it that upon its original release, Titanic was listed as running for two hours and 74 minutes, to placate 'dumb' Americans averse to films over three hours. Titanic's strength is not its trite central 'lust story' but its accumulation of small human tragedies against the disaster of the ship's final hours.

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  • CARTOON

    Burma: the fine print

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 04 April 2012

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Mormon in the White House

    • Alan Gill
    • 04 April 2012
    5 Comments

    So we may yet have a Mormon, Mitt Romney, as the Republican contender for the White House. Forty years ago this would have led to a perceived clash of loyalties: 'Who runs America?' — remember the fuss about John F. Kennedy's Catholicism? Nowadays this seems to the be least of Romney's troubles.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Russia's liberal wind of change

    • Dorothy Horsfield
    • 04 April 2012

    Among Westerners and locals alike, Moscow seems to be afloat on scurrilous innuendo, focused on Putin's bully-boy tactics, fondness for young women and pathological greed. Still, since the eruption of street protests after last December's parliamentary elections, the narratives appear to be shifting.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Australia's mystic river

    • Poet
    • 03 April 2012
    3 Comments

    That river is almost embarrassed at the space it occupies — professionally shocked to be spotted despite the camouflage dust it wears. It scrawls on the grey-soil plains. This consecrated vellum is read by cockatoos.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Targeting aid workers

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 03 April 2012

    Australian aid worker David Savage was severely injured by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. The Taliban tried to kill him in revenge for the shooting of 17 unarmed Afghan civilians by a deranged American soldier. In more innocent times aid workers were regarded as angels by all sides.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The age pension was fairer than super

    • Brian Toohey
    • 02 April 2012
    8 Comments

    Paul Keating says he changed superannuation from an elite system to one which would include 'the bloke running behind the garbage truck'. But a new elite has left the garbo in the dust. Labor's core constituency and the economy would be much better off with the age pension rather than super. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bob Carr's 'overlap of cultures' and the Victorian bishops on gay marriage

    • Michael Mullins
    • 02 April 2012
    28 Comments

    Foreign minister Carr used the phrase 'overlap of cultures' to describe people of different cultures living together. The bishops are entitled to expect the Government not to legislate to 'smash' the sacrament and religious institution of marriage. But tolerance of other cultures and faiths must be reciprocal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Close-ish encounters with two queens

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 March 2012
    4 Comments

    I saw a gloved hand at the window and that was it. The experience turned out to be the one time when I saw the Queen 'in the flesh'. I had gone under duress, having even at that young age vestigial republican tendencies. A few weeks ago I went with more enthusiasm to see another Queen. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Canned pairs reveal Opposition's fruity strategy

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 March 2012
    9 Comments

    The Opposition has unrelentingly resisted pairs, whereby an MP from one side doesn't vote in order to allow an MP from the other side to be away. Their strategy is to emphasise the closeness of the numbers in parliament. This hardline attitude has recently led to some crazy and downright silly situations.

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  • RELIGION

    US bishops' contraception conundrum

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 March 2012
    39 Comments

    To maintain moral influence, the US Catholic bishops' fastidiousness about indirect cooperation with government on contraception would need to be matched by an equal fastidiousness in cooperating indirectly with government in the abuses associated with military, penal and immigration policy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Geriatric sex and dignity

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 March 2012
    4 Comments

    The characters' move to India is not merely about stepping outside of comfort zones, but also stepping beyond the familiar in order to examine life in, literally, a new light. Graham has unfinished business there that dates back to his youth. Ageing tomcat Norman simply wants to get laid.

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  • RELIGION

    Revelations shed new light on Bill Morris dismissal

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 March 2012
    57 Comments

    Some think last year's dismissal of William Morris as Bishop of Toowoomba was just a storm in a teacup and that it is time to move on. This is a serious misreading of the signs of the times. More details have come to light showing how threadbare and confused the processes were that led to the dismissal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Greek peasant's faithful fatalism

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 28 March 2012
    7 Comments

    Maria was born into poverty and did not have much luck in escaping it. Yet she was an unchallenged believer, who would say regularly, Oti thelei o Theos: Whatever God wants. This, while I would huff and puff and mutter that God helps those who help themselves. But part of me envied Maria her certainties.

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  • CARTOON

    Queensland Labor: The horror! The horror!

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 28 March 2012
    1 Comment

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Man versus wind

    • Alistair Stewart
    • 27 March 2012
    4 Comments

    The day has no front teeth, it raves in the street, it is grey as a tap, a murky x-ray of a multiple trauma. The front door keeps whistling old songs about going away ... these hinges hate me, not one screw will stay put. They are moving out.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stynes a man of flesh and steel

    • Joe Caddy
    • 27 March 2012
    8 Comments

    Jim Stynes was such a determined character that he joined me in swimming the 1985 Pier to Pub at Lorne, even though he did not know how to swim — he completed the 1200m open water swim doing a kind of dog paddle. In 2001 I officiated at his wedding. Today I will officiate at his funeral.

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  • MEDIA

    Elitism in online dictionaries

    • Philip Harvey
    • 27 March 2012
    19 Comments

    Free dictionaries on the internet are often bland and incomplete, while those that are complex and exhaustive require a credit card. Quality comes at a price, and this is an increasing educational issue. Rich institutions and individuals can pay for the words we all use, while others cannot, or just do not.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The slow torture of kids in detention

    • Michael Mullins
    • 26 March 2012
    16 Comments

    Julian Burnside taunted his audience at La Trobe University in 2010 with the suggestion that we take a couple of children out of detention and publicly execute them. His point was that we are not bothered by the mental torture of children in immigration detention because it is out of sight.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia playing catch-up with latest refugee reforms

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 26 March 2012
    9 Comments

    Australia's refugee processing regime saw two major reforms take effect on Saturday. They bring Australia into line with the EU, Canada and New Zealand. The changes are welcome but do not go far enough. 

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