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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    To kiss or kill a feral cat

    • Ellena Savage
    • 15 February 2013
    15 Comments

    Whenever I spot that lithe mottled feral cat lurking behind our pumpkins, I have to fight bipolar urges. The kitty-lover in me wants to lure it in with milk and sardines, then trap it into a co-dependent relationship. My other urge is the environmentally responsible one: to take it to the vet and have it put down.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Election year food, sex and meaning

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 08 February 2013

    David Marr's withering piece on Tony Abbot completes the political trinity. These writers manage the impossible: they have me feeling sorry for politicians. Well, almost. I'm not sure if such magnanimity is allowed in an election year. But what a pleasure to discover those grey Canberran corridors harbouring such a chiaroscuro of emotion.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post 9-11 demon words too simple for Africa

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 30 January 2013
    3 Comments

    Behind the labels of undifferentiated militancy lie dangerous consequences. When it comes to the disturbances in Algeria and Mali the mistake has been to equate local troubles with international significance. Both al-Qaeda and Western powers are playing on this theme, and in doing so have created enormous suffering.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mortality made articulate

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
    • 29 January 2013
    2 Comments

    For what, I ask you, was somebody called our saviour in the turbulent middle-east (still in trouble, of course it must be) two long Ks ago? Light flickered on dwellers in death's dark shadow yet those turbulent sandy nations truckle on, just where their ancestors ambled out of Africa toward the hideogram of history.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2012: Fear the politicians of the future

    • Ellena Savage
    • 11 January 2013
    1 Comment

    If my short tenure in university politics gave me anything, it is an appreciation for non-politicians. Not only did Barbara Ramjan's allegations against Tony Abbott not surprise me, the honest brutality of the act sounds preferable to the slow, steady harassment that sustains student politicians these days. Friday 28 September 

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Best of 2012: Catholic and Aboriginal 'listening revolutions'

    • Evan Ellis
    • 10 January 2013
    4 Comments

    St Benedict of Nursia knew about living in a dying world. He was born 25 years after the Vandals sacked Rome and died months after the Ostrogoths had their turn. He watched as old certainties went up in flame. As existing institutions were hollowed out or winnowed completely, Benedict started a revolution. Wednesday 12 September 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    East Timor's lessons for our abuse Royal Commission

    • Pat Walsh
    • 29 November 2012
    7 Comments

    Two principal conclusions can be drawn from the East Timor experience. First, a victim-friendly process is desirable, achievable and productive. If East Timor after decades of war and devastation could do it, Australia certainly can. But victims should not take for granted that the high level of public and political support the Royal Commission currently enjoys will translate into action.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The sinister side of African Aid

    • Ellena Savage
    • 23 November 2012
    5 Comments

    The picture disturbed me: a small child, my own age, sitting beside an infant on the stoop of a simple wooden house with a dirt floor. I cried at their hopelessness, and my helplessness. The point was to make Australian kids aware of their economic privilege. But I wonder if it also made us believe in the weakness of others. 

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  • RELIGION

    The Church is not beyond reproach

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 November 2012
    1 Comment

    'Might not the chief problem with Church language in the public square be that we tend to come from a position of moral superiority, approaching those dreadfully compromised politicians who will do anything to be elected? The abuse crisis reminds us that the Church is not irreproachable.' Text from Fr Frank Brennan's presentation at the Anglican Church of Australia's Public Affairs Commission Conference, November 2012.

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  • RELIGION

    Law and justice for abuse victims, Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 November 2012

    'Even without the political static which is drowning us all out down there in Canberra, there is real doubt whether the Gillard bluff 'Don't get on a boat because you might end up in Nauru' can do what the Howard bluff could not deliver.' Full text from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's Law and Justice Oration at the Law and Justice Foundation 2012 Justice Awards Dinner, Parliament House, Sydney.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The archbishop's last day

    • Brian Doyle
    • 10 October 2012
    13 Comments

    She admires him more than any other man she ever met, not because of his position but because of the way he handled the rapes and lies and bankruptcy hearings, he never shirked a moment, he never was anything but blunt about sin and responsibility, and even in the darkest hours he managed some thorny flinty tough cheerfulness and humour.

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  • MEDIA

    Free speech beyond the pale

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 October 2012
    23 Comments

    Free speech is fundamental to democracy because it protects public discourse and freedom of religion. But while the right to free speech must to be respected even if it causes offence, we need to question what purpose is served by Alan Jones' attack on Julia Gillard, and the French cartoons.

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