keywords: Tension

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Journalist martyr's war on drugs

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 October 2014
    1 Comment

    In 1996, US journalist Gary Webb claimed in the San Jose Mercury News that the CIA and US State Department had supported the smuggling of crack cocaine into the US, as a way to help fund Contra rebels against the revolutionary government of Nicaragua during the Reagan era. This 'dark alliance', Webb claimed, contributed significantly to the crack epidemic in Los Angeles, and fuelled the War on Drugs that Regan himself famously escalated.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Memories of Gough

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 October 2014
    44 Comments

    What he did for me, he did for countless other Australians who dreamt of a better world and a nobler Australia. Even his political opponents are forever in his debt for having elevated the national vision and for having given us a more complete and generous image of ourselves. 

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic Church returns to pluriformity of Vatican II

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 20 October 2014
    31 Comments

    Conservative elements were quick to criticise the interim 'relatio' of the Synod that opened the door to gay and other estranged Catholics. Undoubtedly there will be pushback, but the Catholic Church is going through something not experienced since Vatican II – a Church willing to debate topics once felt long settled, without fear or favour.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic press struggles to earn trust

    • Tim Wallace
    • 07 October 2014
    21 Comments

    The sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has affected mass attendance and contributions to the collection plate. The credibility of its newspapers has also taken a hit, with coverage of the crisis generally following the official line. The publications must  appease both their clerical owners and their supporters, the readers, whose trust needs to be earned and maintained.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for remaining single

    • Ellena Savage
    • 03 October 2014
    9 Comments

    In the few times I have felt distressed by the prospect of some kind of eternal singledom, I have reminded myself of how difficult and suffocating romantic love can be, especially in the belittling shadow of celebrity couplings. My accumulated life data tells me that no-one is a perfect partner, even with 'hard work', and there are many more things to love than some perfect other individual. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Just like the original TPV only nastier

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 01 October 2014
    14 Comments

    Last week, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison proposed migration law changes that he said would speed up processing of the backlog of refugee claims, and allow asylum seekers to 'get on with their lives'. In fact they do nothing of the sort. The new temporary protection visa (TPV) denies family sponsorship, travel to visit family, and more.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    David Walsh's Catholic guilt

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 26 September 2014
    6 Comments

    A Bone of Fact is one part love letter and two parts plea bargain. That’s how Walsh can take a stab at Catholicism one minute and the next admit that in the 'thrall' of Michelangelo’s Pieta he loses all faculties. And for someone who’s gleamed much from betting, gambling gets short shrift.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Liberty and equality's forgotten sibling

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 September 2014
    12 Comments

    The way to a better society does not lie simply in defending either liberty or equality, still less in the victory of one of these values over the other. It lies in bringing together a passion both for liberty and for equality and holding them together.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sovereign aspirations and political power games

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 September 2014
    2 Comments

    The problem of who qualifies as a 'people' and what the content of the right is becomes particularly acute when the right to self-determination bumps up against that bedrock of international law, national sovereignty. In some cases, the problem goes away by agreement. The sad truth is that each side adopts the rhetoric that suits it and the result depends on the balance of political powers which each can muster. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's foreign policy flops

    • Tony Kevin
    • 12 September 2014
    11 Comments

    Since Richard Casey was External Affairs Minister in the 1950s, the three pillars of Australian foreign policy have been: a genuine reaching out to our Asian neighbours, adherence to UN-based multilateral values and institutions, and a firm but self-respecting defence partnership with the United States. All those pillars look pretty shaken now.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The challenge of a five-year Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 September 2014
    17 Comments

    All church members, and not just the victims who continue to suffer, need light, transparency and accountability if the opaque injustices of the past are to be rectified. Justice Peter McClellan and his fellow commissioners have to do more to bring the states and territories to the table and to get real buy-in by all governments. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thanks for nothing, Adam and Eve

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 September 2014
    13 Comments

    James Boyce claims that contemporary attitudes to politics, human origins, economics and human psychology can be understood only if we recognise the hidden presuppositions imported from the theology of original sin. Theories on human nature such as those proposed by Adam Smith, Sigmund Freud, Richard Dawkins and the US Founding Fathers, tried to emancipate people from religious ideas, but often unwittingly enshrined them.

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