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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government blasé on Australian drone deaths

    • Justin Glyn
    • 26 May 2014
    13 Comments

    While recent weeks have been taken up with thinking about the Budget's disproportionate impact on poorer Australians, another, more spectacular, area of government disregard for the lives and rights of its citizens has gone relatively unremarked. It goes to the heart of democracy, revealing not only the distance between Western governments and their citizens, but also the acceptance of that gulf as a fact of modern political life.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The right to be bad

    • Ellena Savage
    • 08 May 2014
    8 Comments

    There's nothing wrong with being nice. But women need to stop asking nicely for equality, and instead just expect it. I relate strongly to my near namesake, F. Scott Fitzgerald's Eleanor Savage, who in 1920 asks why she couldn't have been born 100 years into the future, assuming that a century of progress would give her the freedoms she desires. Women do have it it better today, but that is not the same as having innate equality.

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  • EDUCATION

    Audit Commission's Gonski landmines

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 05 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Commission of Audit has planted so many landmines across the political landscape that two have been scarcely noticed. One is planted directly under Gonski, the other under the federal role in schooling. Christopher Pyne's brazen effort to get rid of Gonski served only to show that he is not to be trusted. Abbott must be wondering whether this minister could carry the day with the kind of scheme recommended by the Commission.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A plague of killer robots

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 April 2014
    6 Comments

    Killer robots — drones in an advanced stage of development — are now a daytime reality. They will be autonomous in their operation, able to identify targets, track them down, work out the best way to destroy them, and learn from their failures, all without the need for human direction. These qualities raise serious ethical questions. Obama's use of just war theory to defend such drones was misguided at best, pernicious at worst.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's killing the charities regulator?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 March 2014
    5 Comments

    The Federal Government is moving to abolish the body set up to protect and regulate the non-profit sector. Vinnies CEO John Falzon describes the action as 'ideological', while Melbourne Catholic education chief Stephen Elder sees it as an opportunity to spend more time raising money and delivering services. The Government must explain the policy imperatives driving it to dismantle such an extensively considered piece of legislation.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bali fear beyond Rhonda and Ketut

    • Ali Winters
    • 16 March 2014
    14 Comments

    Insurer AAMI's 'Rhonda and Ketut' Balinese love story, teased out over four commercials and three years, has come to its soapy end. Whether you loved it or cringed, its camp, cocktail soaked tentacles have penetrated the Australian mainstream. But the knowledge Australians have for our closest Asian neighbour is poor. According to a DFAT report released last year, 30 per cent of respondents didn't know Bali was part of Indonesia.

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  • RELIGION

    Radical Pope's gender flaws

    • Megan Graham
    • 12 March 2014
    47 Comments

    The broad support Francis receives from progressives, despite his unwillingness to even consider female ordination, demonstrates how marginalised women's issues really are in our society. He may have changed the game in terms of the Church's engagement with the poor, but this does not diminish the significance of his oppressive and outdated views on gender roles.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Closing the Gap won’t work without human reconciliation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 16 February 2014
    14 Comments

    The Prime Minister's Closing the Gap speech to Federal Parliament last Wednesday was a finely crafted piece of work that failed to hit the spot. It seems that 'Closing the Gap' is the Government's Indigenous policy. Yet it can be seen as a justification for getting out the big stick to achieve short term gains that will look good on the Government's own political report card. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bleeding hearts alone won't save asylum seekers

    • Fatima Measham
    • 27 January 2014
    21 Comments

    Those who campaign for more humane treatment of asylum seekers cannot keep assuming that the elements of the debate that matter to them most are the most persuasive. The hardest thing to accept may be that the socioeconomic anxieties for which immigration serves as proxy, as well as the insecurity and resentment generated by state impotence and political opportunism, do not necessarily make for 'bad' people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: Domestic violence reality check for the 'manosphere'

    • Sarah McKenzie
    • 13 January 2014
    1 Comment

    The 'battered husband' claim has flourished online where aggressive men's rights groups blame feminism for everything from high unemployment rates to shorter male lifespans. There is no doubt that some victims of domestic violence are men, and that these men are equally deserving of resources and support. But to suggest that domestic violence is a gender-equal crime is plainly incorrect, and dangerous.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Best of 2013: Slow down, you're just in time

    • Megan Graham
    • 07 January 2014
    1 Comment

    At a certain point, emotional and mental overstimulation leads to a sort of emotional numbness, as the brain and central nervous system can only respond to so much. With enough dopamine hits from 'likes' on Facebook, and adrenalin spikes from sensationalised news stories, one's emotions can become blunted. That is, with the notable exception of general irritability borne of expecting one's real life to be as fast-paced as one's online one.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Trott a hero for quitting the Ashes

    • Michael Mullins
    • 01 December 2013
    2 Comments

    English batsman Jonathan Trott was pilloried in some media comments because he abandoned his team because he felt 'stressed'. We should be celebrating the fact that a high profile male sportsman finds that he can declare he has a stress-related illness and then seek help for it.

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