keywords: Chris Johnston

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  • ECONOMICS

    Inside US and China's dodgy economies

    • David James
    • 07 September 2019
    6 Comments

    One of the ironies of the intensifying tariff war between America and China is that that neither of the two giants seems to have a viable economic model. Both countries' systems are based on dodgy financial engineering and printing money, or just inventing new types of money out of thin air.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Swearing? Won't have a bar of it

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 September 2019
    7 Comments

    Those were the days when children could expect to have their mouths washed out with soap and water if they uttered certain words. Fast forward quite a few years: once I got the hang of Greek swear words and realised my children were using them, I rejected the idea of soap and water, but began a system of fines.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Timor-Leste's bloody sunrise

    • Mark Raper
    • 23 August 2019
    4 Comments

    One man rushed at Dewanto and cut him with a machete. The sister claims that the slaughter then began. Blood flowed out under the doors of the church like a river. Was this what she saw then or what she could not stop seeing in her nightmares? Or both? Over 100 died in Suai that day.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The contrasting gospels of Morrison and Shorten

    • Barry Gittins
    • 13 August 2019
    6 Comments

    In Jensen's take, while Shorten expresses honest doubt and cites Christ's golden rule, care of his Jesuit educators, Morrison indulges in a marathon of spiritual self-indulgence. Morrison masterfully works right-wing media outlets, or is worked by them, with Alan Jones leading the PM through a radio interview 'like Simpson led his donkey'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    To be or not to be PC

    • Alana Schetzer
    • 11 August 2019
    14 Comments

    To accuse someone of being 'politically correct' has become a fast and effective way to shut down attempts to make public spaces safe and welcoming to all people. It means that those whose words and actions are at best thoughtless and at worst discriminatory can continue to avoid having to think about what they said or did.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate catastrophe and the irrational race

    • Megan Graham
    • 05 August 2019
    7 Comments

    The debate around climate change shows the danger in believing we humans are principally rational. History gives example after example of how our biases can make us do very irrational things. In the words of Dan Ariely, our species is 'predictably irrational'. It is helpful for us to know this, so that we can become better.

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  • RELIGION

    Father Page versus the Bolsheviks

    • Nick Brodie
    • 26 July 2019
    15 Comments

    This year marks the centenary of British forces landing in Russia to fight the Bolsheviks. Now, Russia is generally agreed to be interfering in liberal democracies around the globe. A Jesuit priest serving as a chaplain to the British forces helps illuminate this oft-neglected story, and reveals a bit of how the Church was adapting.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My seasons among the homeless

    • Barry Gittins
    • 19 July 2019
    7 Comments

    The regulations these guys have to abide by — the behavioural hoops they need to navigate — are designed to protect them, the volunteers and the property of the host churches. It is an ethical dilemma, the ceding of normally inviolate personal freedoms for the use of the facilities. I don't know how I would feel about it if I was in their shoes.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An Orwellian view of climate change

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 July 2019
    6 Comments

    By 'belly to earth', Orwell meant not only the uncomplicated, hands-on approach he threw himself into at Wallington. It also denoted a quality of engagement with the natural world that he saw to be threatened by the nature of what he considered to be the 'evil' times in which he lived — a feeling familiar to many in 2019.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Spit decisions: DIY tests endanger DNA data

    • Jacinta Bowler
    • 28 June 2019
    6 Comments

    When One Nation puts forward a policy to DNA test Aboriginal people, DNA databases are solving crimes abroad, and commercial ancestry kits are as popular as ever, it's important to ask what we're giving away when we get our DNA sequenced. You'll only ever have one set of genes and once that data is out there it's very hard to get it back.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    A guide to pragmatic climate action

    • Chris Middleton
    • 25 June 2019
    10 Comments

    In addressing these issues as priorities, I would argue for not focusing on big ideological statements or on a one-size fits all climate policy, but rather invest in the resilience and adaptability of a capitalist/consumer system to meet our environmental concerns.

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  • EDUCATION

    Better conditions, not better pay, for teachers

    • Tim Hutton
    • 14 June 2019
    8 Comments

    It's a common cry among progressives that teachers should get paid more. In some instances, this is true. What is, however, more pressing are the poor working conditions that force teachers to choose between students and their own wellbeing and lead them to leave the profession in droves.

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