Search Results: France

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rhyme and ruin in Tony Abbott's court

    • Brian Matthews
    • 28 March 2014
    11 Comments

    Thomas Wyatt, poet and prominent figure in the court of Henry VIII, found life there not only perilous but repugnant and dreamed of escape. There is much that Wyatt would recognise in the court of Tony Abbott: the obsessive secrecy, the suspicion of foreigners, the cruelty, the ecclesiastical connections, the dames and knights, the aggressive Anglophilia. At least he wouldn't have had to encode his unease in poetry.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When the black lady sang

    • Maureen O'Brien
    • 12 March 2014
    4 Comments

    Soprano Deborah Cheetham was in her 30s when she was reunited with her birth mother. It was the beginning of her understanding of herself as a Yorta Yorta woman and member of the Stolen Generations. At the time she was in the throes of composing her opera, Pecan Summer, based on the 1939 protests by Aboriginals from the Cummeragunja Mission. She soon learned that the story was closer to her than she had realised.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    $6 co-payment not what the doctor ordered

    • Michael Mullins
    • 24 February 2014
    22 Comments

    Health minister Peter Dutton has refused to dismiss the possibility that a $6 ‘co-payment’ for GP visits could be announced in the May Federal Budget. This would be no more than a quick and easy temporary fix that would penalise ordinary Australians. It would simply defer the government's need to tackle the vested interests that are arguably the major cause of the inefficiencies that have made our health care system prohibitively expensive.

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  • RELIGION

    Pastoral priests decry clerical culture that fostered abuse

    • Pat Power
    • 14 February 2014
    49 Comments

    Most priests believe the Royal Commission was very much needed to face up to a terrible episode in the Church's history. They also believe that sexual abuse took place in an environment of clericalism which was imposed by the highest authority in the Church, and which they felt powerless to confront. 'Father is always right' operated from the Pope down and any questioning of it was seen as disloyal or even heretical.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Without jobs we're Scrooged

    • Michael Mullins
    • 16 December 2013
    9 Comments

    Pope Francis says: 'Work means dignity, work means taking food home, work means loving!' Some commentators criticise the government for taking an active role in maintaining employment through subsidising unprofitable industries. They miss the point that it's the government's job to promote the wellbeing of the people, and having a job is so fundamental to living in modern society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't cry for the flying kangaroo

    • Michael Mullins
    • 09 December 2013
    6 Comments

    No patriotic Australian wants to see Qantas go out of business. But the principles of both good business and social inclusion demand the government not thwart competition from Virgin and its cashed up foreign shareholders. In two decades, competition has lowered fares and made it possible for less privileged Australians to fly.

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  • RELIGION

    Sweet and sour in Pope's exhortation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 December 2013
    24 Comments

    To my knowledge this is the first church document that refers to 'sourpusses'. It must be the first lengthy papal document for some time, too, that refers to the Magisterium only twice in passing. Nor does Pope Francis refer explicitly to clerical sexual abuse. Francis is not interested in radical institutional or doctrinal change but wants to help a dysfunctional church work better at compassionately communicating God's love.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Children of the revolution

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 December 2013

    As high school students they are too young to have begun the cultural revolution. But they try to fan its flames and bring its ideals to bear. Their idealism is at times tested against the cynicism or jaded moral certitude of older revolutionaries, one of whom chastises them for entertaining legitimate doubts about the means employed by Mao Zedong. There clearly is a gulf between healthy skepticism and wilful blindness.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's vision for a bruised and dirty Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 December 2013
    2 Comments

    How refreshing to have a pope write: 'It is not advisable for the pope to take the place of local bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound 'decentralisation'.' Vatican monsignori in long flowing robes will be troubled to hear him say, 'mere administration can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be permanently in a state of mission.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Near the far-sighted eyeball of God

    • Carolyn Masel
    • 29 October 2013
    2 Comments

    A French philosopher went up the Tower to spurn the matchless view. In principle. New York City sparkled at his feet. How to convince them of their value down there: the spontaneity of life on the street — its chaos, brio, democratic lack of vista ... While up here, perilously near the far-sighted eyeball of God (that insatiable, designing orb), you could forget it all, and just hang like a planet, while the lights went out ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bushfires demand response-ability

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 23 October 2013
    5 Comments

    Human land practices and increasing temperatures alter the earth, and are influenced by politics, law, philosophy and economics. In Lisbon, Western philosophy sought to sever God from nature; now we pretend that the fusion of humans and nature doesn't exist. The term natural disaster shouldn't be trusted. It is superstitious to think humans and nature aren't locked in a reciprocal relationship with political and ethical responsibility.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blessed are the whistleblowers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 October 2013
    12 Comments

    The International Day of Non-Violence on 2 October coincides with the birthday of Gandhi, who pioneered the concept of political non-violence and the notion of passive resistance, and paid the highest price for his moral choices. A great many people, like Gandhi, desire a non-violent world, in which whistleblowers and thoughtful, idealistic individuals are honoured rather than punished.

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