Author: Jim McDermott

  • INTERNATIONAL

    George Zimmerman in the Bizzaro world of US gun laws

    • Jim McDermott
    • 19 July 2013
    10 Comments

    Fearful men should not be able to walk suburban streets carrying hidden revolvers. Yet that's the Bizarro universe the US finds itself in. Politicians in the US and Australia take note: if you spend your time creating a climate of anxiety, whipping up hysteria or building walls in order to score political points, the eventual result is going to be children lying dead in your streets or drowned off your shores.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gillard's game of thrones

    • Jim McDermott
    • 28 March 2013
    12 Comments

    Were you not there when I appointed Lord Slippery to the most honourable office in the land? Were you not there when I travelled to Western Sydney to be with my people and then did only carefully controlled media events? I do not need to make sense. I am Queen! Now, send me my Guild of Faceless Men.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Beyond the Obama euphoria

    • Jim McDermott
    • 08 November 2012
    29 Comments

    In recent weeks the US Catholic bishops insisted letters be read at Mass pushing congregations to vote Republican. That approach has been repudiated twice now. At some point they would be wise to reconsider their approach. A voice in the wilderness has its place, but so does reasoned, respectful discourse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What the Conventions didn't tell us about November's US election

    • Jim McDermott
    • 10 September 2012
    3 Comments

    The US finished Act One of its quadrennial orgiastic political kabuki last week with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Originally conventions were intended to choose candidates, but today they’re more about motivating the parties’ bases, but really just a total schmozzle.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Interviewing Peter Steele for America Magazine

    • Jim McDermott
    • 04 July 2012

    About four years ago I had the great pleasure to spend four days with Peter Steele while he was at Georgetown. Hearing that he had died, I went back to those interviews, hours and hours we spent on things like the first time he read Billy Collins, growing up in Perth, unexpected blessings, and the never-ending catalogue of characters and words that fascinated and delighted him. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Peter Steele reads his poetry at Georgetown

    • Jim McDermott
    • 04 July 2012
    1 Comment

    While interviewing Peter in his office at Georgetown University in Washington in 2009, Jim McDermott SJ made audio recordings of Peter reading a selection of his poems.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    America changed and still the same

    • Jim McDermott
    • 09 September 2011
    1 Comment

    Walking down the streets of New York today, almost everything seems as it was ten years ago. The same honking horns, hustling crowds, mundane and sometimes myopic worries and preoccupations propelling us. I note this with gratitude — our fears have not overcome us.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Discerning Obamacare's rough beast

    • Jim McDermott
    • 24 March 2010
    6 Comments

    Unlike the night of Obama's election, there was no cheering to be heard in the streets after the bill passed, no roars of joy, no celebrations. If there were any exclamations, they were probably sighs of relief.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama's victory for the art of the possible

    • Jim McDermott
    • 06 November 2008
    5 Comments

    Standing amidst the euphoric crowds in Times Square, it was like we were all in a fairy tale, waking from a horrible dream. That's not to say the problems our world faces are no less large or scary. But we've been reminded that more is possible than that which meets the eye.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama could face race vote melt

    • Jim McDermott
    • 27 October 2008
    8 Comments

    In 1982 African-American Tom Bradley ran for governor of California. He lost, despite polls that showed him to be up by 12 points. Since then, analysts refer to the percentage point melt for African-American candidates on election day as the 'Bradley Effect'.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Wall Street Blues

    • Jim McDermott
    • 20 October 2008
    6 Comments

    As I walk the streets of Manhattan, things seem much the same as always. Yet newspapers are peppered with references to the market 'cratering', a term that conjures the desolate landscape of the moon. A friend suggested another interpretation: 'A crater is what's left after a massive explosion.'

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