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  • MEDIA

    Don't be a Twitter twit

    • Amy Clarke
    • 04 May 2015
    12 Comments

    Just because you can legally say something, doesn't mean you should — or that it is professionally responsible to do so. As SBS presenter Scott McIntyre discovered when he was sacked for his controversial tweets about Anzac Day, the internet can sometimes be a treacherous place to test the boundaries of 'acceptable' free speech. McIntyre learned this lesson the hard way, and he is hardly the first to do so.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Anzac Day a jarring experience for migrant Australians

    • Fatima Measham
    • 20 April 2015
    65 Comments

    Since John Howard promoted the memory of 25 April 2015 in the years after 9/11, it has become entrenched in the public imagination as the definitive Australian moment. I look upon it from a distance, in awe, and as the deification of the white male soldier continues apace, with a deeper sense of alienation. As a non-white Australian who migrated to this country from the Philippines, I did try to make it relevant for myself for a while.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Blessed are the taxpayers in Abbott's Australia

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 16 March 2015
    39 Comments

    In relation to the future of remote Aboriginal communities in WA, the Prime Minister said: 'It is not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise particular lifestyle choices.'  The statement raises this question: on whose behalf does the government govern? The logical response is: the taxpayer. We must then ask whether it works on a sliding scale – the more tax you pay, the more the government attends to your needs.  

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    God's bikie trashes New Age feelgoodism

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 13 March 2015
    5 Comments

    A new book by counter-cultural warrior and Christian God Squad motorbike club founder Rev John Smith says that feeling good about yourself may not actually be that good for you in the long run. It's not that he wants you to be depressed, but rather let your discomfort prompt self-reflection.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Joe Hockey's crystal ball

    • David James
    • 06 March 2015
    8 Comments

    The 2015 Intergenerational Report is reminiscent of a comment by that great 20th century philosopher and baseball player Yogi Berra: 'It’s tough to make predictions – especially about the future.' Many economic commentators have pointed out, rightly enough, that Treasury cannot even get its one year predictions right. Nevertheless, it is worth looking at how the 40 year forecasts are constructed to see the kind of thinking involved.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Images that empower women

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 06 March 2015
    7 Comments

    Studies confirm that sexualised images of slim young women used in advertising and popular culture lead to body dissatisfaction, psychological impairment and eating disorders. A new initiative from the non-profit LeanIn.org is fighting this entrenched culture through a partnership with Getty Images. It has created a photo library depicting females in many sizes, cultures and styles of appearance, but all strong and determined and in-charge.  

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Birdman or (The Totally Expected Sin of Hollywood Narcissism)

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 01 March 2015

    With Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) winning the Best Picture Oscar, a lot of people are pointing out the fact that three of the last four Best Picture winners are about movies, or the act of making them. That's not including 2011 winner The King's Speech, which was about the art of performance. That Hollywood loves itself a little too much is an obvious, and probably valid, conclusion to draw. But the deeper question to ask is why films like Birdman resonate so strongly. Read more

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    We are all bigots

    • Justin Glyn
    • 19 January 2015
    18 Comments

    According to large sections of the media, 'we' are all Charlie now. While it is absolutely right that we stand with the victims and their families in grief and outrage at the terrible acts that took place in Paris earlier this month, predictably we have been told that we should, as a corollary, also defend people’s rights to say what they like, no matter how hurtful it may be. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    G20's opportunity to nail multinational tax dodgers

    • Angela Owen
    • 07 November 2014
    3 Comments

    The media has reported that Swedish furniture company IKEA's Australian arm has earned an estimated $1 billion in profits since 2003, almost all of which has been exported tax-free. Action to crack down on tax avoidance is on the agenda of next week's G20 in Brisbane, but it remains to be seen if the interests of developing countries will be looked after.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Looking for depth in the selfie

    • Ellena Savage
    • 31 October 2014
    4 Comments

    I take a lot of selfies. Some of them are silly, coquettish, dramatic. Others are just my face looking into my computer, sitting where I work, dressed in work clothes. They mean more or less nothing. They’re just an inane collection of data on my laptop, or too easy self-portraits. Nothing means nothing, but it says something about the culture. 

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Flawed thinking that allows us to abuse animals

    • Valerie Wangnet
    • 24 September 2014
    14 Comments

    In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates used the term 'hysteria' to account for emotional instability and mental illness in women. This is a diagnosis that survived up until the first sparks of the women's suffrage movement in mid–19th century. In the case of food animals, we are told that they cannot think, suffer or feel pain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    ISIS misusing ancient religious symbols

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 22 September 2014
    21 Comments

    Today the Kalimah Shahada is being used on flags of groups whose mission is to kill Sunni and Shia Muslims. Imagine how it must feel to be a Sunni Kurd or a Shia Iraqi or an Alawi Syrian . Imagine how it must feel to be an ordinary Shia or Alawi or Sunni Australian walking around in a Sydney shopping centre and being treated by one's neighbours as an ISIS fighter.

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