Vol 22 No 14

16 July 2012


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Beyond the Liesel Jones fat spat

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 26 July 2012
    7 Comments

    The brutal media critique of swimmer Liesel Jones on the eve of the Olympics was typical of society's tendency to chew up and spit out its heroes once it deems them to be no longer useful. If it dented her confidence, Jones may have taken strength from Australia's first ever international sports champion.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Why atheists are wrong about science and religion

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 26 July 2012
    32 Comments

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's asylum seeker turn-back policy is a bad joke

    • Tony Kevin
    • 26 July 2012
    15 Comments

    Can Abbott and Morrison be serious about turning back the boats? Do they really want to expose the Navy to the fear, the rage, the encouragement to self-harm and lethal criminality, the emotional damage, the risks to Australian-Indonesian relations that have beset past turn-back policies?

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Why atheists are wrong about science and religion

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 26 July 2012

    To believe Richard Dawkins, you'd think there is a deep gulf between science and religion, that the two are intractably at loggerheads and have nothing useful to say to each other. Anglican clergyman Chris Mulherin has a foot in both camps, arguing that they are different but complementary ways of understanding.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Updating the Malaysia solution

    • John Menadue
    • 25 July 2012
    9 Comments

    There is a lot of political point-scoring over whether particular countries have signed the Refugee Convention. But there is no signatory country on the route used by almost all asylum seekers fleeing to Australia. A regional framework must be built on what's available — such as the Malaysian agreement.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blaming Batman for gun violence

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 July 2012
    12 Comments

    As far as US politicians are concerned, blaming Batman for the massacre at Aurora is as good as hiding their heads in the sand. The larger issue is not violent entertainment, but gun control. Ironically, the Batman films take a decidedly thoughtful approach to violence in general, and gun violence in particular.

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  • MEDIA

    Vagina dialogue

    • Moira Rayner
    • 24 July 2012
    20 Comments

    Johnson & Johnson's 'Carefree' ads talked unblushingly of women's vaginas, inter-period discharge and daily smells. According to some, we shouldn't talk about such things, not on television. Until recently commercial products for absorbing menstrual blood didn't exist, with dreadful effect on women's participation in community and public life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When gamers rule Australia

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 24 July 2012
    2 Comments

    Imagine if life was a video game. You could earn health points for a good diet, citizenship points for catching the train, social awareness points for reading the news. But how many points would you get for helping a homeless person? And how would you measure an activity such as talking to your family?

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  • CARTOON

    Greens' light

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 24 July 2012

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Beatitudes for Aung San Suu Kyi

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 23 July 2012

    Blessed are those with empty chests, soles ripped from their shoes, fed to dogs. But most blessed are those who stole the hound scraps, nailed them to their feet and kept on marching.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Those crazy Greens

    • Dustin Halse
    • 23 July 2012
    28 Comments

    New South Wales ALP General Secretary Sam Dastyari called the Greens 'extremists not unlike One Nation'. Paul Howes, the Australian Workers' Union National Secretary, denounced them as a 'fringe' party with 'extremist agendas'. But who better represents mainstream Australian values — the Greens or the ALP?

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  • RELIGION

    Child abuse dobbing laws

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 July 2012
    42 Comments

    Most, if not all priests, would prefer to go to jail than disclose material from confession. The seal of the confessional is a red herring when it comes to protecting children. If confessional reporting were mandatory, chances are that the perpetrator would simply not come to confession.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Only good policy will save Labor

    • Michael Mullins
    • 22 July 2012
    7 Comments

    The passage of time has shown that it has not made a great deal of difference whether the ALP leader was Gillard or Rudd. In all likelihood, it doesn't really matter who leads Labor to the 2013 election. What is more important is that they are able to demonstrate good policy achievement.

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  • RELIGION

    A new conversation about Church sex abuse

    • Peter Day
    • 22 July 2012
    71 Comments

    The spectre of sexual abuse has become a defining moment for the Church; one that, if not addressed more universally, more openly, and more humbly, poses a serious threat to the Church's life and authority. We are, after all, dealing with something akin to crimes against humanity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The lighter side of dementia

    • Brian Matthews
    • 19 July 2012
    4 Comments

    Just when my friend was thinking to find a quieter place for this lost and distressed elderly woman while he worked out what to do next, she turned to him, her face alight. With one movement she opened her mouth, removed her denture and held it towards him. On the 'gum' was clearly inscribed her name and a phone number.

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  • MEDIA

    When rape is a joking matter

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 19 July 2012
    6 Comments

    US comedian Daniel Tosh sparked a furore with his now notorious rape joke. Many women have at least one story about being inappropriately and non-consensually touched — it first happened to me when I was 13. While jokes like Tosh's perpetuate such a culture, other comedians' 'rape jokes' seek to enlighten as well as entertain.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dying politician's tilt at immortality

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 July 2012
    2 Comments

    A politician learns he has a degenerative neurological disorder. His marriage is a partnership where political expediency has long supplanted affection. His estranged daughter is a religious minister and wavering ex-addict. He exudes invincibility in public, while privately he is forced to confront his own mortality.

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  • RELIGION

    Truth and reconciliation in Toowoomba

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 July 2012
    35 Comments

    The consecration of Bishop McGuckin in Toowoomba threw into relief the poverty of our public life and the need of symbols of trust. In applauding dismissed Bishop Morris, the people expressed their esteem for a man who was deeply trusted, but also expressed their judgment on what had been done to him.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Contraception not the answer to maternal mortality

    • Eugene Hurley
    • 17 July 2012
    67 Comments

    More than 350,000 women die every year from difficulties related to pregnancy or childbirth, many on our own doorstep in East Timor and Papua New Guinea. Senator Bob Carr's announcement of a doubling in AusAID funding for family planning targets pregnancy itself as the problem, rather than the lack of good basic health services.

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  • CARTOON

    Labor pains

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 17 July 2012
    1 Comment

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    POW priest and the sacrament of sport

    • Brian Doyle
    • 17 July 2012
    3 Comments

    The Japanese had taken the island and the priest was imprisoned with many other residents. One Sunday, the POWs set up stumps in the morning, dressed in the best clothes they had left, and assigned teams. One captain was a minister, the other a teacher. The priest opened the bowling. The guards were angry.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Across the purgatory sea to Botany Bay

    • Maria Takolander
    • 16 July 2012
    3 Comments

    Sophie, a Malagay slave in Mauritius, torched a barn housing a collection of leather straps — the flames soaring like the sounds of the black horses inside — and was packed off in a ship-sized crate to New South Wales.

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  • MEDIA

    Orwell in 2012 Australia

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 July 2012
    2 Comments

    As word of the national security inquiry filtered through Twitter last week, one wit remarked, '1984 is meant to be a cautionary tale, not a manual'. The proposed reforms constitute a disturbing concession that our intelligence sector is not equipped to deal with the increasing sophistication of covert online activity, without resorting to questionable laws.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sin, spin and sex abuse in the church and military

    • Michael Mullins
    • 15 July 2012
    16 Comments

    Church leaders are often criticised for putting the reputation of the Church before the needs of victims. Last week the Australian Defence Force faced similar criticism following the release of a damning report on sexual abuse. There are lessons for Defence in Pope Benedict XVI's 2010 admission that sexual abuse reflects 'the sin inside the Church'. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ageism in the jobs market

    • Malcolm King
    • 15 July 2012
    7 Comments

    Go to seek.com.au and enter the keywords 'Dynamic, Young, Funky'. You will have before you about 24 job ads. Exclude the word 'Funky' and it rises to 300-400. Ads should focus on the skills, competencies and capabilities of the position rather than the applicant's age. 

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