Search Results: Chris Johnston

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Christmas story's whisper from the edges

    • John Falzon
    • 16 December 2013
    13 Comments

    Recently Pope Francis blasted the so-called trickle-down economic theories in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Some will scorn his message as naive at best and dangerous at worst, while others will regard it as an urgent enkindling of hope in the face of degradation and despair. The Christmas story hints that another kind of world is possible.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Supermarket self-regulation is a joke

    • David James
    • 09 December 2013
    15 Comments

    It is hard not to smile over Woolworths' and Coles' 'voluntary' adoption of a code of conduct. Now that the duopoly has decided to mend its ways, it seems it can occupy the moral high ground and preach to everyone else. The Western world has been subject to a quarter of a century of propaganda about the virtues of deregulation. A closer consideration of the supermarket giants' promise to do the right thing offers little reason for confidence.

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  • EDUCATION

    Pyne's Gonski shambles

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 01 December 2013
    20 Comments

    Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne is correct in saying that the Gonski scheme is a mess, but culpably wrong to use that fact to ditch the whole idea. The Gonski mess shows few of the actors concerned in a good light, and some, including Pyne himself, in a very poor one. Pyne's contribution to this debacle was to act as spoiler from the day the Gonski report was released. In that role he has so far adopted no less than four positions.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    JFK and the myth of American innocence

    • Ray Cassin
    • 21 November 2013
    10 Comments

    The assassination of John F. Kennedy 50 years ago elicited a particular quality of grief. It was not only a matter of mourning the violent death of a world leader who, at the time, was much admired. The notion also stuck that something called innocence had been lost because of what had happened in Dallas. That sense has withered under reassessments of Kennedy's character and record in office but it has never been extinguished entirely.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Change tax tack to take power back

    • Jean-Paul Gagnon
    • 17 November 2013
    15 Comments

    What if citizens were given the chance to fill out a preference form online as part of their own personal, digital tax portal? You could choose to pick 'below the line' and individually choose what your tax money can and can't be spent on. For example you might like to spend on funding public schools, the bullet train, hospital supplies and museums, and not to spend on nuclear power plants, weapons development, or the automotive industry subsidy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    War fires should be left to smoulder

    • David Stephens
    • 10 November 2013
    12 Comments

    Remembrance Day has always been for Australians a quieter affair than Anzac Day, particularly as Anzac Day in recent years has taken on a brassy, bragging style. The historian Ken Inglis described Anzac as Australia's civil religion. Although we were the first country anywhere to come together under a national constitution after a mass popular vote, we downplay Federation and venerate instead a failed military campaign in Turkey in 1915.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate change foes need to adapt

    • Fatima Measham
    • 03 November 2013
    10 Comments

    The bases of our arguments over climate change have been trodden so much that a moat has formed around us, leaving us stuck in our little island fortresses. We know thoroughly by now the content of our disagreement. But what are the things that do not require persuasion? Is it possible that we have values and interests that intersect? Adaptation may be that intersection.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sticking it to disability

    • Tim Ferguson
    • 29 October 2013
    24 Comments

    The first symbol of my 'outing' as a person with multiple sclerosis was a walking stick. I cringed as I bought one but I soon realised that a walking stick is good for more than balance and strength. One night I was stopped on the street by an angry drunk man. 'You're too young to need a walking stick,' he shouted. 'Are you an idiot?' I replied, 'You're picking a fight in a dark laneway with a tall man who wields a large stick. Who's the idiot?'

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