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  • AUSTRALIA

    Banks remain protected species

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 February 2019
    10 Comments

    Kenneth Hayne's royal commission into the financial sector has named, shamed and excoriated banks, regulators, insurance companies and other financial services businesses to the extent that you would think they are now extremely vulnerable and universally unloved. That would be a mistake.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What we can learn from the Covington incident

    • Chris Middleton
    • 04 February 2019

    Because this story is in the political arena, it seems vicious comments from celebrities, politicians, and countless others are made with impunity. And we wonder why young people can be so cruel online and why it is so hard to educate them that words matter; that words hurt. Then, as they say, the story got complicated.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A half way to live

    • Peter Bowden
    • 04 February 2019
    1 Comment

    Distant she said. Superficial was his word. Words to describe all that they cared, after the years gone by, long gone, and two children now almost reared. Twenty they were, those changing years. Love replaced by void, even fears. A house, a high hill, ambitious pride. A façade, an emptiness.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Art, economics, science, and all that jazz

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 February 2019
    9 Comments

    The Five Quintets is a long, conversational poem of almost 350 pages. In an age that focuses on detail, its topic is vast: the nature of Western modernity and its future. In a secular age its perspective is unobtrusively but deeply religious. It is therefore unlikely to make the best-sellers list. But it is an important and rewarding work.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate indifference is an Aussie tradition

    • Greg Foyster
    • 31 January 2019
    9 Comments

    One of Australia's foundational myths is of white settlers weathering nature's worst. It's actually in our national character — the story we tell about the nation — to dismiss climatic extremes like heatwaves. Maybe one missing part of taking climate change more seriously in Australia is a shift in culture to respect the heat.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The prayer-poems of Mary Oliver

    • Carol O'Connor
    • 31 January 2019
    10 Comments

    Mary Oliver, who died recently, came to realise it's not just kneeling and kissing the ground that needs to be encouraged, but that the natural world itself, which fed and sustained her creatively and emotionally for a lifetime, is now endangered. We are in danger of wrecking creation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reckoning is due after Afghanistan endgame

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 31 January 2019
    18 Comments

    John Howard promised to 'stay the course' in Afghanistan. So too did Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. So complete was the political consensus that parliament didn't even debate the Afghan intervention until nine years after it began. Now that there's no longer a course on which to stay, we're due some accountability.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cultural change beyond royal commissions

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 January 2019
    17 Comments

    Experience suggests that royal commissions disclose only a fraction of unacceptable behaviour committed, and that the cultural attitudes that entrench it outlast the proposed reforms. The reasons for their comparative ineffectiveness can be illuminated by reflection on reforms of the 19th century.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Venezuela beset by American dirty tricks

    • David James
    • 30 January 2019
    13 Comments

    If you wish to peer into the heart of darkness, the nexus between big oil and big money is a good place to start. Those who control the energy market and the financial markets control the world. The latest victim of this brutal intersection is Venezuela, a country that has made the mistake of having the biggest oil reserves in the world.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Lecturing Venezuela

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 30 January 2019
    6 Comments

    Think of how it grates with the non-interference doctrine of the UN. Such interference 'must be forcible or dictatorial, or otherwise coercive, in effect depriving the state intervened against of control over the mater in question'. Yet many countries, most purported liberal democracies, have very happily made Venezuela the exception.

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  • CARTOON

    That sinking feeling

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 29 January 2019
    4 Comments

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The misanthrope on New Year's Eve

    • Geoff Page
    • 29 January 2019
    3 Comments

    Half past ten, I'm off to bed. One more whizz around the sun. Ho hum ... What's the point? If it were the solstice, maybe. All that nonsense on TV. And fireworks, celebrating what? The triumph of chronology? This year maybe I will die ...

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