keywords: Book Review

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Data regime will see us funding our own surveillance

    • Leanne O'Donnell
    • 09 October 2015
    5 Comments

    Back in March Malcolm Turnbull told ABC radio: 'The only thing the data retention law is requiring is that types of metadata which are currently retained will be retained ... for at least two years.' In fact the laws, which come into effect next week, include an obligation on service providers to 'create' data that falls within the data set to be retained, if they don't already collect it. This isn't nitpicking. The more data that is created, the more the scheme will cost, and the greater the risk of privacy breach.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dreams, storms and boyhood

    • David Ishaya Osu
    • 29 September 2015
    5 Comments

    A family of four: an ex secret, a doll to share new moons with, a sky-blue diary and a door — nobody does the sign of the cross during sex; a braid of moonlight and shadow directs your head to a pillow, and next to your window hangs a raindrop ready to touch your heart; even a rat cannot feast on a field of vows; can i go outside of this life, you ask.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The children of Aleppo

    • Graham Kershaw
    • 22 September 2015
    1 Comment

    I dreamt of a family escaping through pines, over the crest of a forest, young and old struggling down to the shore of a great cold lake, their only hope of escape; no boat was there, but the strong might try to carry the old, at least, if they cared enough. And it made me want to simply run away, to escape the brain-ache of not doing what we are best made to do.

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

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 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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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 September 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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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 01 July 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    All deaths great and small

    • Brian Matthews
    • 26 June 2015
    1 Comment

    Many deaths of course are not small deaths. They evoke distinction, achievement, leadership, innovation, creativity or, in some cases notoriety, quixoticism or eccentricity. Yet placing some names above many, some in a class of their own, others in a ruck of the scarcely memorable, one indispensable criterion unites all the characters and places them beyond our imaginative, intellectual or descriptive reach: they are dead.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The enigma of the island

    • Ian C Smith
    • 23 June 2015
    3 Comments

    Our salt-blasted car rental veteran guzzled fuel, gearbox a disaster gasping past wallaby roadkill leaving the dramatic volcanic mountainscape for glimpses of carved bays, Crusoe beaches contrasting with weathered scrub, still farms.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    An Orwellian reading of our anti-terror legislation

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 June 2015
    13 Comments

    In George Orwell's most famous novel 1984, the white face of the Ministry of Truth bears the slogans: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Australia is not approaching dictatorship, but a quick look at Orwell's slogans in the light of the past week's news makes disturbing reading.

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  • A crucial time for a discerning voice

    • Michael Elligate
    • 10 June 2015

    'The Institutional Church has so often taken smug refuge in pushing the need for an informed conscience. However this does not certainly mean personal freedom must bow to the stand of the establishment. The rights of partners to be honest in their own sexual matters is given due place in this new book.' Fr Michael Elligate launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at Newman College, Melbourne, 5 June 2015.

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  • Meddling priest's witness to the primacy of conscience

    • Paul Bongiorno
    • 09 June 2015
    9 Comments

    'In discussing Australia's asylum seeker policies Frank laments the government's deaf ear to calls from the churches, his own included, for a greater measure of compassion and a better way of dealing with the issue of boat people. Frank wryly comments: 'If only the Abbott Government with its disproportionate number of Jesuit alumni cabinet ministers could listen.' Paul Bongiorno launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra, 8 June 2015.

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  • Reclaiming faith from the props of belief

    • David Tacey
    • 05 June 2015
    32 Comments

    'We were told to 'believe' that God could perform miracles, but this was a false lead in terms of what we now know about sacred discourse in the holy lands. This literalism was used against other religions to prove the supremacy of Christianity, but ironically it is what turned the majority of Europeans and Australians off religion as education has swept through Western nations in recent times.' David Tacey reflects on faith and belief. Andrew Hamilton replies.

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