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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    You beaut country

    • Tony London
    • 02 July 2017

    His baseline is country, ridges, lakes, breakaways, songlines, and we are taken along the skylines of his imagination which shoulders its way through the streamers of the players race, colours askew, bursting out into the field of play where we are invited into his game, his rules, goal posts he moves forever, we engage with the master gamer.

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  • RELIGION

    Family matters: Strengthening respectful relationships

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 June 2017
    6 Comments

    Here in Ballarat, you know better than most other Catholics that respectful relationships in the church community have been rent asunder by the depredations of child sex offenders whose exploits went unchecked by those ordained to exercise tradition, authority, teaching and discipline. We will strengthen respectful relationships only with a voluntary commitment to truth, justice and healing — and not one forced by a royal commission or public odour. 

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  • RELIGION

    Live by love and not by fear

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 June 2017
    6 Comments

    These cardinals have a few strong concerns. They think the pope should be setting down clear universal rules that apply to everyone in every situation. Having spent a life time as a pastor in Buenos Aires, Francis knows life is much more complex and messy than that. These four cardinals pine for the papacy of John Paul II. John Paul was a great leader and a great pope for his time. Francis is also a great leader and a great pope for his time, for our time. John Paul and Francis are very different. But then again, the times are very different.

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  • MEDIA

    Balance vs fairness in giving airtime to conspiracy theorists

    • Francine Crimmins
    • 18 June 2017
    4 Comments

    The NBC has pushed ahead with its plans to air Megyn Kelly's interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones despite criticism from friends and family whose loved ones were killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, which Jones claims was 'staged by actors' and 'never happened'. This contentious interview has sparked a conversation about which forums should allow dissenting viewpoints and whether dangerous ideas should be given public airtime in a news context.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The forgotten people of the Flint water crisis

    • Cristy Clark
    • 18 June 2017
    7 Comments

    Last Wednesday, five Michigan officials were charged with involuntary manslaughter for their role in the unfolding health crisis in Flint, Michigan - a crisis that has included at least 12 deaths from Legionnaires' disease, in addition to the possible lead poisoning of a whole population. The people of Flint were aware that something was wrong from the moment their water was switched over to the Flint river in April 2014. They just couldn't get anyone to listen.

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  • MEDIA

    Shielding kids from Grenfell Tower televised trauma

    • Barry Gittins
    • 15 June 2017
    4 Comments

    An article focusing on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings reported that people 'exposed to more than six hours of daily media coverage of the tragedy were more likely to experience symptoms of acute stress than those directly affected by the event'. News junkies, or those who saw extended coverage, were found to be worse off than those who actually survived the bombings. This is sobering as we consider how we deal with our children's exposure to traumatic events playing out on TV news.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remembering, dismembering on World Refugee Day

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 June 2017
    3 Comments

    World Refugee Day is a time for remembering. We remember we live in a world of millions of refugees, and that many of our fellow citizens arrived as or are the children of refugees. We may remember refugees, but in their own lives they are dismembered. The tiles we take for granted in the mosaic of our ordinary lives have been hacked out of refugees' lives. Many people lost parents, siblings and children in the persecution and terrors they endured. With each loss part of themselves also died.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Who killed Whitney Houston?

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 June 2017
    1 Comment

    Running parallel to this is Houston's intimate, long-time friendship with Robyn Crawford. Broomfield stops short of characterising it as romantic; others do not, and space is given to rumination about the difficulties of being a black, gay woman. In any case, the friendship sparks tension with Brown, and disapproval from Cissy. Crawford's abrupt departure from the tour is another turning point. In Broomfield's thesis, Houston's drug habit is a reaction to these various threats to her authenticity.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Lessons for ALP in UK Labour fightback

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 June 2017
    17 Comments

    When Corbyn invoked the many against the few, he did so while advocating free education, the renationalisation of utilities and a break from the US alliance. By contrast, Blair coined the phrase in a speech where he urged listeners to put behind them 'the bitter political struggles of left and right that have torn our country apart for too many decades. Many of these conflicts have no relevance whatsoever to the modern world - public versus private, bosses versus workers, middle class versus working class.' We all know which version sits closer to Shorten's heart.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    When cricket, work and Catholic teaching collide

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 June 2017
    5 Comments

    To consider cricket as work would strike many people as odd. They would see it as a hobby, a recreation, a game or a calling. Professional sportspersons receive little attention in Catholic social thought, which is a pity because a Catholic understanding of work provides a helpful perspective. Its crucial insight is that work is a human activity, and that each human being is precious, unique and needs to be respected. Neither people nor work can be seen as means to an economic end, or as expendable.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    On Aboriginal land: seeking a place at the table

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 May 2017
    6 Comments

    Indigenous leaders this last week have called for the creation of two new legal entities. They want a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution, and a Makarrata Commission set up by legislation. The Makarrata Commission would supervise agreement making between governments and First Nations and engage in truth telling about history. The envisaged destination is a national Makarrata (or treaty). So the immediate constitutional issue is the creation of the First Nations Voice. There is no point in proceeding with a referendum on a question which fails to win the approval of Indigenous Australia. Neither is there any point in proceeding with a referendum which is unlikely to win the approval of the voting public.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Uluru Statement has lit a fuse that cannot go out

    • Kate Galloway
    • 29 May 2017
    10 Comments

    Political response has been ambivalent at best, and ambivalence sounds a death knell for mainstream engagement by a tentative public. Turnbull pointed out that any claim must be acceptable to the general public to succeed. In the next breath he discussed the success of the 1967 Referendum. This was disingenuous given the political reality of 67, where there was no case presented for a no vote. After the Uluru Statement, it is now not possible to ignore substantive constitutional reform, or treaty.

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