Search Results: Free speech

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Building gender equality from the playground up

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 22 October 2015
    15 Comments

    Sissies are on their way out on British playgrounds. Guidelines produced by the Institute of Physics for the Department of Education recommend that teachers strongly discourage sexist language at school. While internet forums are replete with admonitions from members of the public furious at the erosion of so-called free speech, the guidelines are a welcome tool in the long and exhausting fight for female equality, and Australia would do well to consider adopting such procedures too.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Contours and prospects for Indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 October 2015
    2 Comments

    I acknowledge those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who insist that they have never ceded their sovereignty to the rest of us. I join with those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who hope for better days when they are recognised in the Australian Constitution. As an advocate for modest constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, I respect those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who question the utility of such recognition. But I do take heart from President Obama's line in his Charleston eulogy for the late Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney: 'Justice grows out of recognition'.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Francis sticks in Republicans' craw

    • Fatima Measham
    • 29 September 2015
    28 Comments

    The only people who regard Francis as radical are those who think popes should only attend to matters of personal conscience. Topics such as abortion and same-sex marriage are safe zones for comment because they don't concern the economic order, or threaten systems that generate wealth for the few. But Francis has smudged the line between faith and economics in a way that many conservatives find inconvenient.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The roots of troll culture are closer than we think

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 24 September 2015
    6 Comments

    The common perception of internet trolls is that they are outsiders descending on a particular platform in order to wreck it. But there is a close relationship between trolls and the culture in which they operate. If you're a publisher seeking virality, you need to foster the strong emotions in which social media trades. Getting people to love your content is great, but outrage, incredulity and even hatred also work.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Moral injury and the recalibration of priorities

    • Fatima Measham
    • 17 September 2015
    5 Comments

    French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has stirred controversy over cartoons depicting Aylan Kurdi. Superficially it appears this is about the bounds of propriety, but the hard truth is that body of a three-year old refugee cannot be a holy relic that is untouchable. What is the point of being miserable over things we cannot control?

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Moving on after two unhappy years

    • Tony Kevin
    • 15 September 2015
    14 Comments

    Now is an exciting moment for Australia, after all the low points of the past two years. We can look forward to a real return to greater civil discourse and intellectual integrity in politics. It will be good if the parties can set aside the negative energy that was brought to the Parliament and return to an informed contest of ideas, for there is much to debate.

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 August 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coalition tactics on marriage and climate change risk self-destruction

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 August 2015
    25 Comments

    The consequences of the present Coalition manipulation will be that the hostility between opponents and proponents of legalisation is likely to be intensified, and the proper way to resolve the issues involved seen to lie in the untrammelled exercise of power and not in reasoned conversation. In such a climate, any appeal to other values at stake in legislation, such as religious freedom, will be regarded simply as self-interest, and will be overridden by the principle of non-discrimination.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Four preconditions for supporting marriage equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 August 2015
    142 Comments

    I readily accept that the Commonwealth Parliament will legislate for same sex marriage in the foreseeable future. When Parliament does, I will be fully accepting of that decision. If asked by politicians how they should exercise their conscience vote, there is no way that I would say that they should not support civil recognition of same sex marriage. But neither would I say that they must support it NOW. If I were a member of parliament, I would want four assurances before I voted for same sex marriage.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian academics right to resist respected global warming skeptic

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 August 2015
    8 Comments

    Lomborg's profile was built by a book on global warming in which he accepted its reality, but argued its effects would not be as catastrophic as predicted. He is a good media performer whose métier is not scholarship but popularisation. Universities, which claim that their activities are characterised by depth, appoint people with higher scholarly credentials and research experience to lead their research centres.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Booing Adam Goodes

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 28 July 2015
    31 Comments

    What is the difference between people who boo Goodes because they disagree with his statements on Aboriginality, and those who lined the streets of Selma to abuse Martin Luther King and his companions on their marches? What they are doing is designed to further marginalise and alienate Aboriginal voices brave enough to speak out against the status quo. The actions of those booing Goodes need to be called out for what they are - racism.

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