Search Results: technology

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  • RELIGION

    Francis puts environment above short-term politics

    • Paul Collins
    • 18 June 2015
    24 Comments

    Laudatio si is an extraordinary document addressed to 'every living person on this planet'. Ecological issues are no longer an after thought but up there with social justice and equity in an incisive, practical, realistic and far-reaching encyclical that tackles the most important issues facing us honestly and with absolute integrity. It will upset a lot of apple carts in the Church and in the world.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Indigenous youth pay price for ’get tough on crime’ election promise

    • Mathew Drogemuller
    • 30 March 2015
    6 Comments

    The WA premier plans to increase mandatory prison sentences for burglars. Mandatory sentencing regimes fail to take into account the underlying causes of the crimes they seek to punish. They remove a judge’s discretion to avoid a sentence of imprisonment, and fail to address the reality that such crimes reflect social problems that ensue from racial discrimination and colonial dispossession.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    • Fatima Measham
    • 24 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Mandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Through the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Joe Hockey's crystal ball

    • David James
    • 05 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Britain's Bahrain bid triggers human rights alert

    • Daniel Read
    • 22 February 2015
    1 Comment

    Britain's recent drive to establish a naval base in Bahrain has only widened the rift between the UK's foreign policy and its respect for human rights. Bahrain will now potentially play host to a British military presence for the long-term, despite the Gulf state's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests over the past several years. This may be yet another instance of political expediency taking precedence over all else.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Oil and gas redraw world strategic alliance map

    • David James
    • 15 February 2015
    3 Comments

    Sanctions against Russia have pushed Russia and China much closer together. Russia is set to provide two fifths of China’s gas needs after the completion of two massive pipelines. This will easily replace what they have lost in supplying Europe and deliver what the Chinese most crave: security of supply. Meanwhile, Russia has cut off 60 per cent of its supplies of gas into Europe, re-routing it to Turkey, and saying that Europe will have to build its own infrastructure to transport it to the Continent.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Australia out of step with Pope's climate action mission

    • Thea Ormerod
    • 26 January 2015
    33 Comments

    It is no coincidence that Pope Francis chose to visit the Philippines before he releases his encyclical on the environment, and that he made a point of visiting Tacloban, which was ground zero for super typhoon Haiyan. This follows the recent UN climate talks in Lima, where Australian negotiators so regularly blocked consensus that they won us the 'colossal fossil' award for 2014 from environmental observers.       

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 December 2014
    27 Comments

    What a dreadful year it has been for parliamentary democracy. Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken pride in the number of members she has ejected. Senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced his same sex marriage bill in an orderly fashion, but the decision will rest with the Abbott Government, which won't want to to hand the bouquet for breaking the logjam to Leyonhjelm. To get arrangements for the bearing and nurturing of children right, we need our parliament to be a more considered and dignified place than a battlefield.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Films a blind man loves

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 December 2014
    1 Comment

    Try watching slasher parody Scream 4 with your eyes closed and see how much sense it makes. On the other hand, Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and Kevin Smith's Clerks, with stories driven by strong characters and dialogue, offer up cinematic pleasures even a blind person can appreciate. Welcome to the world of America's Blind Film Critic, Tommy Edison.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Killing Religion an own goal for ABC managers

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 November 2014
    29 Comments

    ABC presenter Quentin Dempster has referred to a 'nincompoop' in senior ABC management who was heard to comment on the need to get rid of the 'strangle-hold of specialisation'. Radio National is the home of specialisation at the ABC, and religion has been one of its signature specialisations, because of the public broadcaster's 'cultural diversity' charter obligation. Management is executing the emasculation of the ABC that Rupert Murdoch expects from the Abbott Government as a reward for his role in its 2013 election victory.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Do we have a right to assisted suicide?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 November 2014
    38 Comments

    Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are back, in the courts of Canada and the UK, and in the parliaments of the UK and Australia. The Australian Senate is considering the Greens' formulation of a broad and fuzzy law that goes further than UK proposals in that it would allow Dr Philip Nitschke to administer a fatal injection.

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