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  • Main image: Woman watering garden (Marc Romanelli/Getty)
    australia

    Out of the hothouse, into the garden

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 September 2020
    4 Comments

    An everyday exercise in planning and humility is gardening. For amateur gardeners, at least, planning, planting, pruning, watering and placing all have their place. But ultimately the plants make their way and take their individual shape.

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  • Main image: Sydney skyline (Andrew Merry/Getty Images)
    economics

    Class and COVID-19

    • David James
    • 17 September 2020
    3 Comments

    The issue of class, economic inequality, has for some time been conspicuously absent in contemporary political debate. In the wake of COVID-19, which will greatly exacerbate income and wealth disparities, such inattention must be addressed.

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  • Woman wearing handcuffs (Nichcha Sombutpanich/Getty Images)
    australia

    Getting the balance right with COVID-19 and prisons

    • Clare Johnstone
    • 15 September 2020
    2 Comments

    With COVID-19 having reached the prison population, the risks for prisoners are real. It is plain to see that prisons are vulnerable environments. Hundreds of people detained in close confined quarters and concerns around hygiene standards and access to masks are but some of the issues that make them fertile ground for the virus to grow in.

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  • Woman with I carry you in my blood on her face at event for International Day of the Disappeared  (EPA/LEONARDO MUÑOZ)

    Legacy of disappearances and state violence in Latin America

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 08 September 2020
    1 Comment

    The coronavirus pandemic has been utilised by Latin American governments — prominent examples being Brazil and Chile — to militarise societies, criminalise resistance and normalise violence.

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  • Hungry people lining up coronavirus on a platter (Chris Johnston)

    Food insecurity, health privilege and COVID-19

    • Maddison Moore
    • 01 September 2020
    2 Comments

    The global impact of COVID-19 has further increased inequality in food security, with nations already facing widespread famine, malnutrition and food insecurity being hit the hardest.

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  • Main image: Michelle Obama at speaking teleconference DNC (Handout/Getty Images)

    It is what it is

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 August 2020
    9 Comments

    When watching a news clip recently I was taken by a young woman’s attitude to the coronavirus restrictions. When asked how they had affected her, she said simply, ‘It is what it is’. The answer suggested an impressive acceptance far from the outrage, frustration and resentment that in the circumstances would not have been surprising.

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  • Nurse holding patient's hand (Getty Images)

    Discussions about euthanasia

    • Justin Glyn
    • 10 September 2020
    7 Comments

    While the legislation was proposed as something of a measure of last resort, the numbers already tell a different story. Unfortunately, many of us with a disability look at these figures (and at the proposed legalisation of euthanasia in New Zealand, which will be voted on later this year) with a weary mix of familiarity and horror.

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  • Main image: Woman sitting on bed at home (Getty)

    Support after Suicide report: 'Fighting the system as well as the illness'

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 September 2020
    3 Comments

    A recent report from Jesuit Social Services’ Support after Suicide program reflects on the experience of people who have accompanied a friend or family member before, through and after their suicide. At the heart of the report is its insistence on the importance of the human face in health care.

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  • Close up of police vest (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

    Human rights and pandemic lockdowns

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 08 September 2020
    11 Comments

    The Buhler arrest stirred a range of responses from across the political divide, many troubled. Legal representatives and human rights advocates were similarly disturbed by what they regarded as a lack of proportion and restraint in police action.

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  • Confessional

    The Catholic Church and modern science

    • Bill Uren
    • 15 September 2020
    22 Comments

    Whereas the Vatican II document sought to engage with, and to respect, the autonomy of the modern world and its science, only too many of the Vatican’s official statements over the past fifty years have effectively resiled from that commitment.

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  • St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Parramatta (Credit: Leelakajonkij / Getty)

    Factions and ginger groups within the church

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 September 2020
    24 Comments

    What is happening at the moment is that certain bishops are condemning members of the church renewal movement as pressure groups pushing an agenda, while ignoring the well-known fact that groups with other agendas are widespread within the church.

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  • Main image: Father and son on the couch (Belinda Howell/Getty Images)

    Mental health as a gift

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 September 2020
    10 Comments

    The Catholic Social Justice Statement embodies this generous vision. Its title emphasises the gift that each human being is, and the blessing that is mental health. Health is not to be taken for granted as an entitlement but accepted and nurtured as a gift.

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  • Gas range (Peter Asquith/Flickr)

    Climate truth should guide recovery spending

    • Various
    • 18 September 2020

    The pandemic has afforded us a preview of how a crisis plays out when the science is not properly heeded. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists have long been sounding the alarm that the health and safety of large parts of the population are at serious risk, both here and around the world. We are already seeing the damage to health and to the environment that they predicted.

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  • Weeds (Unsplash)

    The virtues of weeds

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 17 September 2020
    7 Comments

    The freesias are a delight, for they flower in random places on their knife-edge leaves in yellows and whites and mauves, their beauty absolving them from their dubious classification as weeds. They delight the eye, therefore they are forgiven. But why not the nightshade and the onion weed, with their delicate flowers? What makes a weed a weed, anyway?

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  • Trees cut down in Amazon (Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

    Solidarity with land and environmental defenders

    • Bree Alexander
    • 06 August 2020
    1 Comment

    While the world is largely focused on COVID-19, a recent report from Global Witness revealed that murders of land and environmental defenders, defined as people who take a stand for land and environment in a peaceful manner, reached a high in 2019.

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  • Illustration Chris Johnston

    Singing the unsung

    • Louise Miolin
    • 15 September 2020
    2 Comments

    I stare out the bus window, my eyes chasing raindrops down the glass. They jiggle in unison as we jolt over speed bumps. I imagine they’re dancing along with the songs belting through my tangled earphones. A Carla Geneve lyric catches my attention: It's raining on Tuesday, got my Doc Martens wet. I glance down and smile at my soggy docs.

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  • Women walking on street (Jez Timms/Unsplash)

    Funny, thongs

    • Katherine Spadaro
    • 15 September 2020
    1 Comment

    Funny, thongs, how they make that thwack thwack noise: Your ten little pistons push off the ground and the earth calls back a little salute, just a nudge, really: I’m here. So…

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  • Replica of Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome (edoardo taloni/Pixabay)

    Father shows best

    • Barry Gittins
    • 03 September 2020
    7 Comments

    I have been thinking for several months about fathering and wisdom. To my surprise, I found some of Marcus Aurelius’ truisms to be reflected, if erratically, by the pronouncements of my own pater familias, Kenneth Hugh Gittins.

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