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  • AUSTRALIA

    Worshipping Princes Romney and Obama

    • Zac Alstin
    • 17 October 2012
    30 Comments

    Whatever happened to American Christians concerns over Mitt Romney's Mormon faith? Like unease about Romney's conservatism and pro-life record, theological issues have been brushed aside in anticipation of November's US presidential election. Can a religious believer rightfully put their trust in either Romney or Obama?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tony Abbott's monsters

    • Michael Mullins
    • 24 September 2012
    35 Comments

    The Federal Coalition has taken to making monsters of its own MPs in the hope that their larger than life profiles will translate into electoral success. But with the Cory Bernardi gay marriage bestiality debacle, Tony Abbott might have finally learned the lesson of Mary Shelley's morality tale Frankenstein.

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  • MEDIA

    Puncturing Australia's cult of the mind

    • Zac Alstin
    • 17 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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  • MEDIA

    Justifying garden-variety torture

    • Max Atkinson
    • 12 July 2012
    6 Comments

    Any discussion of the morality of torture must distinguish two kinds of justification. The first is concerned with cases so exotic they have nothing to do with the ordinary affairs of mankind, such as the nuclear bomb ticking away in a New York basement. A real-life justification must provide a rationale for a wide range of common garden cases. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sympathy for the dodgy salesmen of Australian politics

    • Zac Alstin
    • 12 June 2012
    34 Comments

    Duplicity in politics is not new. Every utterance is tainted by the subtext of scoring points. If it is painful for us to listen, how much worse must it be for the politicians? It is dispiriting to constantly undermine one's own integrity, and the 'dodgy salesman' is no one's ideal of human flourishing.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Vietnam mates' post-war suicides

    • Karl Cameron-Jackson
    • 12 June 2012
    9 Comments

    My dad and his RSL mates repeatedly told us 'Vietnam was a toy-boy war, only 501 died' as though numbers are a marker of grief. My tears often fall in an unremitting flood for eight mates who committed suicide soon after they arrived back home.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Diplomat priest built bridges to China

    • Camilla Russell
    • 14 May 2012
    11 Comments

    As the diplomatic crisis unfolded between the US and China over the fate of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, hard questions re-emerged regarding how the West should best relate to China. A Jesuit missionary who died 400 years ago offers a tantalising alternative to the cycle of comprehension and mystification.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Warm bums and nuclear activism in Tokyo

    • Ellena Savage
    • 11 May 2012
    6 Comments

    I took the train into central Tokyo, my bum warmed by the heated seats. Each time we stopped, the train's engine shut down briefly, and the bum heater switch off for a few seconds. Over the loudspeaker I heard 'Setsuden chu', the catchphrase meaning 'We're currently using less electricity', which is posted all around the city.

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  • RELIGION

    On Jesuit collaboration

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 April 2012
    4 Comments

    'This Jesuit network will not succeed where Copenhagen failed, but it is an incremental contribution to one of the great moral challenges of our age [climate change].' Text from Frank Brennan's paper 'An interpretation and a raincheck on GC 35's call to develop international and interprovincial collaboration', Boston College, 28 April 2012.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The footballers who booted out Australian racism

    • Brian Doyle
    • 11 April 2012
    6 Comments

    At this juncture in the life of the Mighty Currawongs the usual bigotry poured forth. One columnist raged and sputtered about invasions by 'evil, small statured people'. The ensuing burst of street protests against racism in every corner of Australian life would permanently alter the course of Australian history.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cold showers for unprincipled Labor

    • Zac Alstin
    • 06 March 2012
    15 Comments

    Labor must have anticipated the negative response to its axing of the solar hot water rebate scheme, yet it went ahead. Does this suggest determination, arrogance or desperation? One thing's for sure, the decision contributed to the impression this government has lost its way.

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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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