Search Results: Chris Johnston

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Obama's cannabis defence illuminates NSW booze laws

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 03 February 2014
    7 Comments

    In a nation still divided bitterly along race lines, blacks, and to a lesser extent Hispanics, bear the brunt of America's prisons-for-profit program. The perils of mandatory sentencing should serve as a warning to NSW, which has announced mandatory minimum sentences as a response to alcohol-fuelled violence. The question is not which drug is more dangerous, but how society chooses to deal with each one and why.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Celebrating diversity on Australia Day

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 January 2014
    20 Comments

    This week began with Australia Day and ends with the Chinese New Year. The juxtaposition suggests pertinent questions about Australian identity, especially the ways in which Australians have alternately included and excluded those seen as outsiders. This is most evident in the relationship between Australian settlers' attitudes to Indigenous Australians, but it is also seen in Australian attitudes to Chinese and other Asian peoples.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gasploitation in Queensland

    • Lily O'Neill
    • 20 January 2014
    6 Comments

    The WA Government recently acquired 3414 hectares at James Price Point near Broome, in the continuing saga to develop the region's liquefied natural gas reserves. Meanwhile, the building of four LNG processing plants on Curtis Island, off Gladstone, Qld, is proceeding smoothly. While the traditional owners of James Price Point have received international attention, traditional owners in Gladstone have barely been heard.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: Australian democracy needs an intrusion of the excluded

    • John Falzon
    • 16 January 2014
    1 Comment

    Kevin Rudd says we need a 'new politics' or a 'new way'. Tony Abbott says we'll only get a new way by electing a new government. What is missing in both statements is the recognition that what we actually need is a new kind of economic democracy: a reconfiguration of our economic prioritising away from individualism towards the common good, and towards the participation of all rather than the exclusion of many.

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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2013: End of the education revolution

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 15 January 2014

    The backsliding began before Gonski even got started: his riding instructions were to ensure that 'no school will be worse off'. Since then one backward step has followed another. What the prime minister wants now from the state premiers when they meet on 19 April is not Gonski but the appearance of Gonski. She may not get even that.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2013: Sticking it to disability

    • Tim Ferguson
    • 14 January 2014
    3 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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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Advice for the Pope on reforming the Church

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 14 January 2014
    13 Comments

    I wish he would invite me to be his temporary consultant, to offer him advice for his next 500 days. I'd begin by proposing a substantial Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Then I would point to the experiences of several large secular institutions, including the New York Times and US Army, that have rebuilt after crises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: Invisible Icarus and asylum seekers

    • Maureen O'Brien
    • 06 January 2014
    4 Comments

    With his back to the sea, the ploughman negotiates the wooden plough drawn by his horse. If he heard Icarus falling from the heavens it didn't interrupt his routine. The crew of a ship close enough to rescue the drowning boy instead takes advantage of a favourable breeze and sails away. The shepherd daydreams, the angler continues fishing. To all intents and purposes Icarus is invisible to those in his immediate vicinity.

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