Search Results: Columbia

  • AUSTRALIA

    The US Supreme Court's gay marriage overreach

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 July 2015
    75 Comments

    In its determination that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the US Supreme Court took it upon itself to discover a definitive answer in the silent Constitution on this contested social question. This is regrettable, because there can be no doubt that the democratic process was taking US society in only one direction, and the Court's unilateral intervention has reduced the prospects of community acceptance and community compromise regarding the freedom of religious practice of those who cannot embrace same-sex marriage for religious reasons.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Linguist's life and language lost to Alzheimer's

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 February 2015
    2 Comments

    The brilliant linguistics professor Alice Howland and her biologist husband, John, sit down to break the news to their adult children: Alice has early-onset Alzheimers. At first Alice maintains a fragile, trembling stoicism. But when she tells them the disease may be passed on genetically, the façade slowly implodes. 'I'm sorry,' she weeps, horrified by the prospect of what she clearly sees as a betrayal.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 December 2014
    27 Comments

    What a dreadful year it has been for parliamentary democracy. Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken pride in the number of members she has ejected. Senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced his same sex marriage bill in an orderly fashion, but the decision will rest with the Abbott Government, which won't want to to hand the bouquet for breaking the logjam to Leyonhjelm. To get arrangements for the bearing and nurturing of children right, we need our parliament to be a more considered and dignified place than a battlefield.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Americanisation of Australia's universities

    • Sarah Klenbort
    • 10 November 2014
    23 Comments

    The US, whose citizens owe more on student loans than they do on credit cards, is the land of deregulation. Australia’s Education Minister Christopher Pyne has the support of university management in his desire to see Australia to follow the US path. But it is clear to lecturers, tutors and researchers that this will only create more inequality, mainly by forcing people without money to either miss out all together on higher education or go into a huge amount of debt.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sad life of a serial killer whale

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 21 November 2013
    1 Comment

    I was grateful that I had my back to my colleagues. My tears were occasionally due to sadness, but just as often they were a result of outrage. Blackfish finds much ground for moral outrage in its consideration of the suffering endured by trained orcas. It is an impassioned riposte to a commercial model in which death and suffering, human and cetacean alike, are merely the byproducts of profit.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Obama no 'wuss' but at what cost to Syria?

    • Evan Ellis
    • 18 June 2013
    4 Comments

    Alluding to his own military style intervention in Kosovo, Bill Clinton warned Obama not to look like a 'wuss' on Syria. Still, Obama's decision to start providing arms to Syrian rebels is an enormous risk. Australia's history of state interventions to tackle Indigenous disadvantage provide surprisingly apt criteria for evaluating the decision.

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  • ECONOMICS

    How financial devils came to rule the universe

    • David James
    • 05 June 2013
    7 Comments

    Religious authorities may not spend a lot of time pondering the nature of global financial systems, but the Pope's recent comment that 'money has to serve, not rule' suggests it can be useful when they do. Given scope to become rule makers, rather than just people who know how to exploit the rules, financiers have moved themselves to a position of mastery.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Euthanasing the disabled

    • Moira Byrne Garton
    • 29 June 2012
    6 Comments

    Earlier this month a Canadian Supreme Court effectively legalised physician-assisted euthanasia. While there is a general perception that those opposed to euthanasia do so on religious grounds, many people with disabilities oppose euthanasia because they believe it is bad policy that denies their right to live. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Testing nature vs nurture

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 September 2011
    5 Comments

    During the 1970s, a chimpanzee named Nim was placed with and raised by a human family, with the aim of seeing whether he could learn language. On a larger canvas the experiment asked the question, 'how much can we make Nim human?'

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  • MEDIA

    Julia Gillard vs Kim Jong-il

    • Alan Austin
    • 29 July 2011
    21 Comments

    North Koreans admire their glorious leader and his visionary ministers, despite their poor economic and human rights record. By contrast, most Australians despise the current Labor Government, despite the high esteem with which it is regarded internationally. How can this be? 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Good journalism and Murdoch's pie-gate

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 21 July 2011
    1 Comment

    Rupert Murdoch's News International has found itself with more than egg on its face over the News of the World scandal. As this case reveals journalism at its most prurient and base, a new film pays tribute to journalism at its most noble and courageous. 

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Being humanistic about fish

    • Susie Byers
    • 20 October 2010
    2 Comments

    Harry Wetnose the Bigeye Tuna will probably never adorn any T-shirts. Nevertheless, the endangered Bigeye Tuna is in big trouble and could do with some help. The way we relate to fish raises some important questions about what it is to be a responsible person in the world.

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