Search Results: Chris Johnston

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign fighter with the 'Anzac spirit'

    • Tim Robertson
    • 12 July 2015
    7 Comments

    It's hard not to admire Reece Harding, whose sense of social justice, idealism and internationalism led him to take up arms against an organisation he seemingly believed lived up to Tony Abbott's characterisation as a 'death cult'. The Federal Government has warned Australians against travelling to the Middle East to fight on any side. But these calls are drowned out by decades of contradictory rhetoric that has seen the Anzac legend placed at the fore of our history and culture.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The normalisation of lying in Australian politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 July 2015
    18 Comments

    The terms 'lie' and 'liar' have become so completely devalued that there are now far worse sins in modern politics. That is why it's hard to get excited about Opposition Leader Bill Shorten choosing to lie on air to Neil Mitchell about his involvement in discussions with Kevin Rudd to unseat Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.

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  • RELIGION

    Who cares for lonely white Muslim converts?

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 23 June 2015
    10 Comments

    A poorly-organised ill-resourced minority community often feels it has better things to worried about than 'white' converts who, like converts to any faith or belief system are known for their zeal. If the government really imagines young Muslims and converts are ripe for 'radicalisation', an excellent investment they could make would be in support services for new Muslims. In our lucky country, there is much loneliness in this group and many reasons to feel marginalised.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Australian Muslim' is not an oxymoron

    • Somayra Ismailjee
    • 14 June 2015
    16 Comments

    There is a particular anatomy to the process of othering. In any context, the formula consists of propaganda, hatred, division, suppression and control. I'm from Perth. Some people would dispute this due to my brown skin and non-Anglo name. But I was born here, and have lived here for my entire life. Still, people like me are too often considered Australian only by law, and not by sociocultural connotation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Give sporting politicians a sporting chance

    • John Warhurst
    • 07 April 2015
    7 Comments

    Despite often treating sports people uncritically as celebrities, Australians are ambivalent about their place in public life. Former Howard government minister Peter Reith launched an unfair personal attack on former champion Canberra Raiders rugby league forward Senator Glenn Lazarus after he defected from the Palmer United Party. The general lesson from the example of Lazarus - who is actually quietly capable - is that he is as well suited as the parliamentarians who have been lawyers, blacksmiths, builders, business and army people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Blessed are the taxpayers in Abbott's Australia

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 15 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Allow Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumuran to flourish

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 February 2015
    21 Comments

    While people are alive there is the possibility, admittedly sometimes remote, that they will respond by reflecting on their lives, becoming deeper and more generous as human beings, making connections with others and contributing even in small ways to the happiness of others and to society. Capital punishment brutally excludes possibility and leaves all of us the smaller for it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shrugging off the robots

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 September 2014
    8 Comments

    We created the robots to make our lives easier. Before we knew what was happening the robots had transformed our world. Each day people go about their business, feeling unhappy but unable to name the source of that dissatisfaction. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Turning off the lights on Australian research

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 08 September 2014
    4 Comments

    The research sector in Australia is increasingly one marked by casualisation and disappearing career paths. The depressed nature of working in this environment means that the very people who we'd want to solve our society's most crucial, pressing issues are the ones who will be looking elsewhere to establish their careers. How do we equip our community with better ways to live, work and connect without research? Where will answers to persistent problems come from?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Imelda Marcos and the seduction of time

    • Fatima Measham
    • 28 August 2014
    7 Comments

    As the world marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance on August 30, new generations of Filipinos find it hard to grasp what it meant to express dissent when Ferdinand Marcos was president. Some assert that, compared to the current standard of governance and politics, life must have been better under Marcos. Such perceptions are validated when trusted institutions invite Imelda Marcos as guest of honour.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Church congregations have role in healing abuse victims

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 17 August 2014
    33 Comments

    The recent independent redress scheme announcement by the Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council is welcome. However it is not simply a matter for church hierarchy. Congregations need to be brought into the process of healing and reparation, which might include liturgies of lamentation and practical ways to make the church a safe place for victims of abuse.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The unjustified secrecy of the Abbott Government

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 10 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Liberal democracies keep secrecy in check. Where secrecy is justified, this justification should itself be public. The Abbott Government has withheld important information from the public on questionable grounds, and it has shielded itself from criticism by stifling debate on whether that secrecy is justified.

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