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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unskilled immigration is good for Australia

    • Gabriela D'Souza
    • 09 November 2015
    10 Comments

    George Megalogenis describes a protest rally in 1849 organised by residents of Sydney against arrivals of more convict boats. Workers who 'wanted to maintain their high-wage society' made 'the first of countless calls that would be made against migrants who threatened to undercut their standard of living'. It is a familiar refrain today. In a world where three-fifths of a person's income is determined by their place of birth, it defies logic that we place restrictions on people's movement to preserve our standard living.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    School reunion cracks the amber of middle age

    • Barry Gittins
    • 06 November 2015
    6 Comments

    I never thought I'd do the whole high school reunion thing. Yet here I am, nametagged and ready to face the music, along with 50 of my fellow 1985 alumni. I recognise some straight off. Others mystify. Teenagers trapped in the amber of middle age. High school was genuinely hard for many of us. Some have died. Some entered Boggo Road's then-penal walls. Some are still paying for decisions made back in those mid-80s. Memory propels the sail of our union and we've left safe harbours.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Corporate benefit trumps public welfare in TPP

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 07 October 2015
    3 Comments

    According to WikiLeaks, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the 'icebreaker agreement' for what will be a 'T-treaty triad' which will ultimately apply to 53 states, 1.6 billion people and two-thirds of the global economy. Each of the countries was being sold the implausible idea that the agreement was too large not to sign, that this was the train of history that needed to be occupied, even if seating was in third class. What was on sale, however, was a dogma of corporate benefit rather than public welfare.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Francis sticks in Republicans' craw

    • Fatima Measham
    • 30 September 2015
    28 Comments

    The only people who regard Francis as radical are those who think popes should only attend to matters of personal conscience. Topics such as abortion and same-sex marriage are safe zones for comment because they don't concern the economic order, or threaten systems that generate wealth for the few. But Francis has smudged the line between faith and economics in a way that many conservatives find inconvenient.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Moving on after two unhappy years

    • Tony Kevin
    • 16 September 2015
    14 Comments

    Now is an exciting moment for Australia, after all the low points of the past two years. We can look forward to a real return to greater civil discourse and intellectual integrity in politics. It will be good if the parties can set aside the negative energy that was brought to the Parliament and return to an informed contest of ideas, for there is much to debate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers are people like us

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 11 September 2015
    2 Comments

    Some refugee advocates will almost deify the refugee, and take away their humanity by making it seem that the refugee is always right. In reality refugees make bad decisions, tell lies and exaggerate, just like the rest of us. But that does not mean they're contemptible. Recognising their humanity makes it easier to feel empathy with them, and less likely we will fear them. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Traditional marriage needs fixing

    • Gail Grossman Freyne
    • 02 September 2015
    20 Comments

    Traditional marriage is on very shaky ground because we are continually trying to extract equality out of inequality. While parenting and housework are the essence of family life, her caring work within the home is not considered of primary value. Feminism confronts not only sexism but also racism and classism, indeed, the interweaving of all forms of oppression. Marriage changes its shape as we change our culture — and we are.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Vigilante' applies to the government more than environmentalists

    • Fatima Measham
    • 24 August 2015
    10 Comments

    The epithets used against environment groups have been extraordinary after a judge of the Federal Court set aside Environment Minister Greg Hunt's approval of the Adani thermal coal mine. Perhaps legislation has always been an instrument for ideological agendas, but the compulsion and ease with which the Coalition has taken to the law to restrict scrutiny doesn't bode well for us. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Addiction is about social exclusion not moral failing

    • Paul Jensen
    • 21 July 2015
    11 Comments

    Greens leader Richard di Natale is currently visiting Portugal for a first hand look at how they have successfully bypassed the criminal justice system in treating drug addiction. There’s increasing acceptance of the view that addiction is caused by a lack of social connection and bonding. For Portugal, the most crucial step was to provide addicts with secure housing and subsidised jobs so they had a purpose in life and a sense of responsibility.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign fighter with the 'Anzac spirit'

    • Tim Robertson
    • 13 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

    Intimidated ABC embraces self-censorship

    • Fatima Measham
    • 07 July 2015
    17 Comments

    Nine days after the Zacky Mallah Q&A episode, the ABC Board said it had censured the program's executive producer. It could have been a failure of the producer's editorial judgment, but there is a worrying sense that it was really a matter of the ABC appeasing the Government. There is a chilling echo of the Philippine media under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The media came to anticipate direct interventions from Malacañang Palace; eventually, none had to be made.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's retrogressive Indigenous Advancement Strategy

    • Michele Madigan
    • 30 June 2015
    8 Comments

    This week sees the new budget allocations for Aboriginal communities take effect, with deep soul-destroying cuts being spun as 'advancement'. They reflect a redefinition of reality faced by many Australians, with indigenous people unsure how they have benefited from the Tony Abbott declaring himself the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and putting the Indigenous Affairs Office within his own Department. 

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