keywords: Shame

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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Magna Carta's spotlight on today's political arbitrariness

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 17 June 2015
    3 Comments

    It was far from democratic and arose from circumstances of pure opportunism, but the Magna Carta was created as a break on arbitrary rule and power. Therefore contemporary moves to undermine such principles as the rule of law are prescient. Australia's parliament commemorates its birthday even as it extends the reach of national security laws and endorses a draconian refugee policy.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Italian perspective on Australia's asylum seeker shame

    • Anna Martin
    • 12 June 2015
    31 Comments

    Over the last few months, I have been completing a Masters in International Criminal Law at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute in Turin, Italy. Over the last two weeks, our classes revolved around human rights — always a bit of a cringeworthy topic when one comes from Australia. Certainly Italy's attitude and approach to asylum seekers puts Australia's to shame.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fossil fuel divestment economics in line with morality

    • Michael Mullins
    • 01 June 2015
    3 Comments

    The Norwegian Parliament has just ordered its $A1.15 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund to divest from coal. This represents the largest single divestment from fossil fuels in human history, and our biggest sign yet that the age of coal is over and the financial case for investing in fossil fuels is likely to disintegrate. Australia will crash and burn both economically and morally if we do not follow suit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's 'stop the boats' policy as iconic

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 May 2015
    18 Comments

    The world is gazing with astonishment at our single-minded way of dealing with people who come to us for protection. It is iconic, now that nations in the region have adopted it. The modern understanding of icons as embodying qualities people desire differs from the Byzantine approach in which traditional religious icons do not impress us with their dominance over their environment, but draw us to their eyes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Joe Hockey's 'better bang' foreign aid cut delusion

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 May 2015
    38 Comments

    As a nation, we have demonstrated to the world that we have no shame when it comes to the treatment of asylum seekers. Now it's as if the aid cuts are being worn as a badge of honour. Joe Hockey talks about the 'targeted outcomes' philosophy of the cuts, 'build[iing] the prosperity and assist[ing] with poverty alleviation in our region', in order to get 'better bang for our buck in foreign aid'. But leading aid economist Stephen Howse argues the opposite.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Politics beckon, we're better off dead than alive on Nauru or Manus

    • Barry Gittins
    • 05 May 2015
    2 Comments

    Anglo-Saxons and Germans and Dutch and the Frisians all saw ‘the evil’ as inferior breeding. When you’re tagged as ‘bad’ or evil it seems you’re guilty of dreaming non-tribal dreams. The African-American ‘n-word’, ‘bad nigger’ was tribal rejection by white folks de rigueur.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Complicity in Turkey's wilful forgetting of the Armenian Genocide

    • Michael Mullins
    • 27 April 2015
    11 Comments

    The British commanders used the Australian troops who landed at Gallipoli as cannon fodder. The Turkish Government is doing something similar with the Australian visitors whom it is welcoming with open arms, in that it is using them to help smother the memory of the Armenian Genocide, which also occurred 100 years ago this week. In connection with Genocide, Pope Francis said recently that ‘concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it’.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Europe's more humane approach to on-water matters

    • Ellena Savage
    • 24 April 2015
    13 Comments

    Australian references to 'boat people' is simplistic and offensive. 'Queue jumper' inaccurate and moralising. Even the term 'asylum seeker' has become politically complicit. European coverage of this week's Mediterranean boat tragedy describes the victims and survivors simply as 'migrants', which is an open description of a person on a boat crossing borders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis' public shaming strategy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 April 2015
    10 Comments

    Francis is always ready to criticise unbridled capitalism, but he makes a point of not shaming particular tax dodgers or profiteers. Targeting individuals has become a thing in the age of social media, but those who are left alone are more likely to come forward and join the public conversation. Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest persons, did this when he declared that he paid less tax than his employees, and that he and his wealthy friends have been 'coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Inside the head of an IS martyr

    • Ellena Savage
    • 20 March 2015
    13 Comments

    The language of martyrdom is being used to recruit young Australians to brutal stateless warfare. Because martyrs are morally superior to suburban burnouts. IS propagandist Abu Ismail described Melburnian Jake Bilardi as 'a lion on the battlefield although he was at a young age and with a weak body'. So, Bilardi was a weak young lion and therefore ripe for battle. How obscene!

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political roadblock stalls remote kidney disease treatment

    • Brian Stacey
    • 18 March 2015
    6 Comments

    In 2011 the Commonwealth set aside $10 million for the NT Government to provide for dialysis patients from remote communities in Central Australia. But the funds remain in the Commonwealth’s bank account, while the need is acute. Community organisations and others including Vinnies and Caritas are helping, but it’s shameful that the needs of one of Australia’s most vulnerable groups are still unmet long after funding has been allocated.  

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