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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Passport paradox at the Israel-Jordan border

    • Brian Matthews
    • 22 January 2019
    5 Comments

    As you couldn't enter Jordan with a passport in which there were Israeli stamps, officials in the Australian Embassy advised us to arrange a second, 'clean' passport. This was a weird business because we would be entering Jordan from Israel — our physical presence in Israel would deny the cleanliness of our passports.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mad blokes

    • Bruce Shearer
    • 21 January 2019
    1 Comment

    He's recently retired / But not voluntarily and he / Walks down the street / With his two dinky dogs / Saying, off to the grind, as / I trudge up the hill, but / There is so much pain / In his voice as the trusty / Dinky dogs drag him on / Into the new world

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  • ECONOMICS

    We need to redefine exclusion

    • John Falzon
    • 21 January 2019
    22 Comments

    Inequality is not an aberration that comes with neoliberalism. It is the foundation of neoliberalism, along with its partners in social crime: patriarchy and colonisation. As Sharan Burrow, the Australian General Secretary of the ITUC, puts it so poignantly: 'We live in a fragmented world.' The excluded form the majority across the globe.

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  • ECONOMICS

    What are banks for?

    • Colin Long
    • 18 January 2019
    6 Comments

    The opening of the finance sector to scrutiny provides an opportunity to examine its position in the structure of the Australian political-economy, and, most importantly, to make the changes necessary to place it at the service of the people, rather than allowing it to continue to prey on us.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The Darling's dead fish of late capitalism

    • Cristy Clark
    • 17 January 2019
    13 Comments

    A key benefit asserted to justify treating water as an economic good is that the market will encourage 'high-value' water use to be prioritised. But, as the fish of the Darling River and the people of Walgett are experiencing, the problem with commodifying water is its social and environment values are not naturally reflected in the market.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Scenes from the Mexican border

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 17 January 2019
    4 Comments

    There are others here on the beach, standing and staring at the border wall as the ocean tides crash and spray. I've met so many now who have been separated from their partners, parents, and children, those physical bonds forcibly torn with little possibility of reconnection.

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  • ECONOMICS

    On banks and bonuses

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 January 2019
    6 Comments

    One of the issues raised at the royal commission into banks was the size of salaries and bonuses paid to senior staff. Subsequent discussion has tripped lightly around the issue. The larger question is whether it is in the best interests of financial institutions to offer to its senior officers huge salaries and bonuses.

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  • RELIGION

    Epiphany defeats hobgoblin evil

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 January 2019
    8 Comments

    One reason for the importance of Epiphany in Eastern Orthodoxy is the belief that Christmas is a period during which the world is threatened by various wicked spirits, most particularly the kallikantzaroi, the spirits of the dead: at this time they emerge from Hades (via a cave not too far from where I live) and roam the Earth.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom in schools

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 January 2019
    38 Comments

    When Parliament resumes, one outstanding item of business will be Penny Wong's bill dealing with religious schools' capacity to discriminate against students on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. I support the bill subject to the proviso that religious schools should remain free to teach their doctrine respectfully and reasonably.

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  • CARTOON

    Misfortune teller

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 15 January 2019
    2 Comments

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  • ECONOMICS

    The true lesson of capitalism

    • David James
    • 15 January 2019
    2 Comments

    One of the most basic distinctions in finance, with which any stockbroker or fund manager is familiar, is that between equity and debt. As the global economy teeters on the edge of a debt and banking crisis, with global debt more than 300 per cent of global GDP, the merits of equity is something that needs to be better understood.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Approaching the turnstile

    • Ross Jackson
    • 14 January 2019
    1 Comment

    If, when called upon at eighty years of age, I cannot prepare a sandwich, make a mess of my words, I fear that the thought may occur: I have my Seniors Card but I have no legacy, and I have no Torah, I have no Bible, and I have no Koran.

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