Vol 22 No 18

10 September 2012


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Thoughts on democracy from a martial law baby

    • Fatima Measham
    • 20 September 2012
    11 Comments

    Today marks 40 years since martial law took effect in the Philippines. I was born during this time, part of a generation who grew up not knowing any other president. Given the numerous regressions that have occurred since, it is not surprising many Filipinos look back on the Marcos era with nostalgia.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    The Vatican's Facebook guru

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 20 September 2012
    4 Comments

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Disabled is not a dirty word

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 September 2012

    After losing a bet, a gawky teenager asks a girl with a physical disability out on a date, and is humiliated when she rejects him. A deaf Jewish girl is abused in Nazi Germany. A man has a stroke and begins the hard journey back to the land of words. This is no pity party, but a challenge to engage in stories that enhance empathy.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    The Vatican's Facebook guru

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 20 September 2012
    2 Comments

    Last weekend's Muslim riot in Sydney, prompted by a YouTube trailer for an anti-Muslim film, illustrated the disturbing power of new media. As secretary of the Vatican department responsible for the Church's social communications, Monsignor Paul Tighe grapples daily with the dilemmas and promises of new media.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Life after Hitler

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 19 September 2012
    9 Comments

    How does a German teenager, the daughter of a Nazi perpetrator, face up to the fall of the Third Reich, and the revelation of the regime's true nature? 'It wasn't like the war ended, Hitler committed suicide and everybody stopped loving him,' says Australian-Jewish filmmaker Cate Shortland.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    George Orwell's example for Australian journalists

    • Sarah Burnside
    • 19 September 2012
    9 Comments

    BBC director general Mark Thompson turned down a proposal to erect a statue of Orwell on the broadcaster's premises because the writer was 'too left-wing'. But political animals of all stripes have long sought to claim Orwell. His political writing transcends both time and ideology.

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  • MEDIA

    Fashion mag's naked sexism

    • Melinda Tankard Reist
    • 18 September 2012
    18 Comments

    Men's magazine GQ's 'Men of the Year' are portrayed dressed respectably in suit and tie. By contrast, its 'Woman of the Year' appears naked and in sexualised poses. Unequal dress reflects unequal power. To be woman of the year apparently entails enduring sexism, submission, objectification and groping.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Disability, sex rights and the prostitute

    • Matthew Holloway
    • 18 September 2012
    31 Comments

    Australia is seeing a divisive battle between those who oppose people being forced into sex work, and those who advocate for the right of people with disabilities to access sex workers. It is hard to see justice in a situation where one disadvantaged group needs to stay disadvantaged in order to service another disadvantaged group.

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  • CARTOON

    Gay marriage sweetener

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 18 September 2012

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  • RELIGION

    Who is the loudest and ugliest religious donkey?

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 17 September 2012
    34 Comments

    Donkeys are gorgeous but make an ugly sound. Sadly, religious discussion in Australia too often sounds like donkeys competing to see whose braying is the loudest and ugliest. Recently Christian lobbyists spread misinformed messages about sexual orientation. Loud braying was heard on Saturday too when a group of louts hijacked what should have been a peaceful Muslim protest.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Feather on the breath of god

    • Mark Tredinnick
    • 17 September 2012
    5 Comments

    You, too, despite the false witness of the mirror in your mind, are part, a very small part, of a very old music ... Poetry writes the only prayers you feel free to offer these days. It is the glint in the eye of the god you stopped believing, when she started causing you all this pain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The iPhone 5 and Apple's profit fetish

    • Michael Mullins
    • 16 September 2012
    5 Comments

    Ahead of his Australian visit earlier this year, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak criticised the company for subjecting local consumers to 'horrible' price-gouging. Last week's release of the iPhone 5 has reinforced perceptions of Apple as an odious corporation that exploits consumers, alongside the likes of tobacco companies, big banks, McDonald's, and Coles and Woolworths.

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  • MEDIA

    Puncturing Australia's cult of the mind

    • Zac Alstin
    • 16 September 2012
    25 Comments

    Half a million Australians have an intellectual disability and 600,000 are projected to have dementia by 2030. Yet our lives increasingly depend upon advanced cognitive activity, seen in the proliferation of online social networking, banking and shopping. Can the fullness of life really be encompassed by our immersion in the life of the mind?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ethical dilemmas on safari in Africa

    • John Warhurst
    • 13 September 2012
    3 Comments

    I've just returned from a 14-day holiday in Kenya and Uganda. Everywhere you go, you are invited to help the local people in various ways, including financially and through volunteering. In the end we all react differently and in many cases spontaneously to what we see in these situations.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fuzzy thinking on obeedjunt wives

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 September 2012
    15 Comments

    An old Dublin man once observed to me that my wife must be an 'oncommonly obeedjunt woman'. Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen's argument regarding the suggestion in his diocese's draft new prayer book that brides be invited to 'submit' to their husbands is equally fuzzy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Beasts of the climate change apocalypse

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 September 2012

    It is often the poor who suffer most in a disaster. When the polar ice caps melt, rising seawaters flood an impoverished southern American bayou town. The survivors destroy a dam that keeps the nearby city dry and their village flooded. The indictment here of the prosperous West is hard to miss.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom is negotiable

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 September 2012
    18 Comments

    Many conflicts over religious freedom are associated with discrimination: the freedom of schools to employ only Christian staff, or of ministers to conduct marriages only between a man and a woman. Many see these pressures to limit religious freedom as part of a concerted effort by secularist forces. They don't have to be seen that way.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Catholic and Aboriginal 'listening revolutions'

    • Evan Ellis
    • 11 September 2012
    12 Comments

    St Benedict of Nursia knew about living in a dying world. He was born 25 years after the Vandals sacked Rome and died months after the Ostrogoths had their turn. He watched as old certainties went up in flame. As existing institutions were hollowed out or winnowed completely, Benedict started a revolution.

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  • EDUCATION

    Rhetoric rules in Gillard Gonski announcement

    • Chris Middleton
    • 11 September 2012
    5 Comments

    The Prime Minister's credibility in announcing an education policy response before reaching agreement with the states may be questioned. Without the states, the implementation of Gonski is impossible. This was illustrated graphically by the NSW Government's announcement of funding cuts to Catholic and independent schools.

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  • CARTOON

    Labor's moral drift

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 11 September 2012

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Workers' just war on construction bullies

    • Dustin Halse
    • 10 September 2012
    10 Comments

    The Federal Opposition blamed the battle between Grocon and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union that brought parts of Melbourne to a standstill on union 'thugs' and 'goons'. But the safety concerns of construction workers are not trivial. Australia's safety record compared with other developed nations is embarrassing.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    September 11 shudder

    • Brian Doyle
    • 10 September 2012
    7 Comments

    Just before the first plane hit the north face of the north tower there was a flickering of power, a brown-out, just for an instant. Maybe all the people in the tower at the exact same moment thought, did I say that I loved her or just think to say it? ... Maybe that's what happened when the building shivered.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Christian lobbying and politicians' self-interest

    • Michael Mullins
    • 09 September 2012
    9 Comments

    Lobbies such as the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce are frustrated but doing the right thing by attempting to appeal to the sense of compassion in our politicians. We can only trust in human nature that this will ultimately prevail. Unfortunately other groups such as the Australian Christian Lobby think in terms of the 'Christian vote' and play on politicians fear of electoral oblivion.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What the Conventions didn't tell us about November's US election

    • Jim McDermott
    • 09 September 2012
    3 Comments

    The US finished Act One of its quadrennial orgiastic political kabuki last week with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Originally conventions were intended to choose candidates, but today they’re more about motivating the parties’ bases, but really just a total schmozzle.

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