Author: Ray Cassin

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  • MEDIA

    The socialist with rosary beads

    • Ray Cassin
    • 25 June 2013
    6 Comments

    Paul Mees, who died last week at the age of 52, was a public intellectual in the best sense of the term; a scholar and teacher with an international reputation; an activist who never shrank from a fight. He was also a man of deep faith, though many who admired Paul ignored this or regarded it as an eccentricity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The rise of global surveillance anxiety

    • Ray Cassin
    • 20 June 2013
    7 Comments

    Unease about the Australian Federal Police obtaining phone and internet records without a warrant coincided with a greater, global anxiety about the more troublesome surveillance activities of the US National Security Agency. The Obama administration's defence of the NSA has been as lame as Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus's defence of the AFP.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abuse cover-ups perpetuated priestly mystique

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 May 2013
    66 Comments

    One consequence of mandatory celibacy has been the creation of a priestly mystique: a notion that the priest is a man set apart. When bishops say that cover-ups were attempts to avoid 'scandal', they are really talking about their fear of what might happen if priests were no longer thought to be special.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rudd's gay marriage backflip fires church-state debate

    • Ray Cassin
    • 21 May 2013
    62 Comments

    Most responses to Rudd's conversion on gay marriage have focused on the implications for Australia's political dynamic. Those who bother to read the lengthy blog entry in which he announced his change of heart will be drawn into a broader debate about the relationship between church and state that takes place too rarely in Australian politics.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good policy comes second to voter trust

    • Ray Cassin
    • 07 May 2013
    13 Comments

    Gillard's adroit manoeuvring of Abbott into supporting the NDIS will do little to help her come September. People typically vote for whoever they trust to govern, and the public's lack of trust in Labor derives not from policy or the legislative record but from the circumstances in which she became prime minister in the first place.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's GG gripe reignites republican sentiment

    • Ray Cassin
    • 23 April 2013
    15 Comments

    Restarting the republic debate was almost certainly not what Tony Abbott had in mind when he wrote to Julia Gillard about the appointment of our next governor-general. He has unwittingly done Australians a service by reminding us why the people, not politicians, should choose the person who holds the office.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia in a sorry state as Gonski faces failure

    • Ray Cassin
    • 16 April 2013
    6 Comments

    If the states give Gillard's Gonski education proposals the thumbs-down, as is expected to happen at Friday's COAG meeting, it will not be the first time since Labor's return to office in 2007 that Australia's creaking constitutional arrangements have made fundamental reform impossible.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's cult of Rudd-hate

    • Ray Cassin
    • 04 April 2013
    29 Comments

    In Orwell's 1984, the daily 'two-minutes hate' sees citizens gather to scream their loathing at images of Big Brother's enemy, Emmanuel Goldstein. The ritual has become so entrenched that what Goldstein is supposed to have said or done has become mostly forgotten and largely irrelevant. So now it is with Rudd.

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  • MEDIA

    Free speech is safe from Conroy's feather duster

    • Ray Cassin
    • 19 March 2013
    5 Comments

    Free speech is not at risk, and the media companies know it. Their real fears concern the proposed Public Interest Media Advocate's task to determine whether future mergers and acquisitions are in the public interest. The outcry is motivated by self-interest, not concern for the rights and freedoms of citizens. 

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  • MEDIA

    Caucusing cardinals trump greedy media

    • Ray Cassin
    • 14 March 2013
    10 Comments

    The media abhor a vacuum, and thus we got to hear about, among other things, the cabal of anonymous gay clerics who are allegedly at the heart of the Vatileaks and banking scandals. UFOs and monsters from space didn't appear in these stories, but if the Church had endured another week of sede vacante they probably would have.

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  • MEDIA

    Beware if Mr Assange goes to Canberra

    • Ray Cassin
    • 05 March 2013
    11 Comments

    It's not the Assange who aspired to strut the global stage as messiah or naughty boy who bothers me; it is the Assange of recently diminished ambition who now aspires only to strut the corridors of Parliament House. For all its faults t he democratic process is all we've got: beware those who promise to save us from it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The unknown unknowns of the sexual abuse royal commission

    • Ray Cassin
    • 13 January 2013
    57 Comments

    It can't denied that the chief impetus for the creation of this royal commission has been the appalling record of concealment of abuse in Catholic institutions. If that record did not exist, the royal commission would not exist. And Catholics — especially bishops and major superiors — cannot evade this fact by complaining.

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