Vol 22 No 22

05 November 2012


 

  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Rebuffing the religious right

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 16 November 2012
    4 Comments

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  • MEDIA

    Putting the soul back in the media carnival sideshow

    • Caroline Zielinski
    • 16 November 2012
    1 Comment

    Speed was a huge factor in the BBC debacle: the story about a senior Tory 'rapist' began on Twitter and went viral. The Australian's associate editor Cameron Stewart recently argued that journalism courses focus too much on 'critical assessment of the media' rather than 'the nuts and bolts of reporting'. But the lack of deep cognitive understanding of the role of the media is precisely the problem.

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  • RELIGION

    Advice to Bishops on Royal Commission

    • Geoffrey Robinson
    • 16 November 2012
    70 Comments

    There has been a bland assertion in places that obligatory celibacy has not in any way been a cause of abuse. Few people believe this assertion, and personally I find it impossible to deny that it has been a significant contributing factor. Unless obligatory celibacy is put on the table for discussion, the question will not go away.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Rebuffing the religious right

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 16 November 2012

    Obama's election win was a rebuff to America's ultra-conservatives, including the religious right. Extremists in this camp see the Second Coming as imminent, and view God as vengeful and violent. John Dominic Crossan has spent his adult life trying to lead Christians to a more thoughtful and educated view of the Bible.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's bad job of asylum seeker policy

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 November 2012
    11 Comments

    You can tell bad policy making by the trail of broken human lives it leaves behind it. The image of asylum seekers held in tents on Nauru, many on hunger strike and at least one now in risk of death, will surely be followed by images of people withering from depression and resentment and needing medical care.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Quadriplegic sex and dignity

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 November 2012
    5 Comments

    A quadriplegic and a virgin, Mark hears from others how disability hinders or enhances their sexual activity, and recalls the humiliation of ejaculating involuntarily while being bathed. It is a human dignity issue for him, but what of the dignity of the 'sex surrogate' whose specialised services he employs?

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  • RELIGION

    Why the Church should thank the media

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 November 2012
    52 Comments

    Cardinal Pell argued this week that the Church has been unfairly vilified by the media. But the media has done the Church a favour in bringing this issue to light. Until the Church can provide a proper account of its misdeeds and point to real commitments to victims, the attacks will justifiably continue.

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  • RELIGION

    Royal Commission a sign of the times for the Church

    • Pat Power
    • 14 November 2012
    61 Comments

    Fifty years ago, Pope John XXIII called Catholics to 'read the signs of the times' to bring the light of the Gospel on to every aspect of the life of the Church. Unless women and married people are made part of Church governance, there will continue to be a lack of balance and reality in its teaching, especially around sexuality.

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  • CARTOON

    Churches' sin of omission

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 14 November 2012

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Broken shoes and dead ends in China's leadership transition

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 14 November 2012
    1 Comment

    Australia's unimaginative perspective on China's growing power accords with Washington's. In Obama's terms, China can be an adversary or a partner. China is a complex leviathan, and the great challenge is how to integrate it into the global system without conflict.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Feminist mothers' domestic dilemmas

    • Madeleine Hamilton
    • 13 November 2012
    4 Comments

    When I'm scrabbling around wiping up cereal under the baby's highchair and she's twisting her milky fingers into my hair, what good is it to recall that it is due to the privileging of men's professional work and their superior earning power that it is me, not my husband, who is being subjected to this assault?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    No lowly scapegoats in 'necessary' Royal Commission

    • Moira Rayner
    • 13 November 2012
    58 Comments

    One of the informing moments of my career as a lawyer came from the survivors of a family who disclosed that an authoritarian father had beaten and raped every one of his children — under the very eye of their mother. The Royal Commission isn't about punishing predators. It must find a way to institutionalise the right of every child to be heard.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dreaming of redemption

    • 2012 Blake Poetry Prize
    • 13 November 2012
    6 Comments

    It's the alcohol that makes me white. The magic of intoxication suits my dreaming fine. I want to be civilised. The harder I drink the whiter I get. O how I want to imbibe like a gentleman ... I want God to make me white and rich and fat.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Church sexual abuse in the media

    • Michael Mullins
    • 12 November 2012
    39 Comments

    Those paying close attention to media coverage of clergy sexual abuse might find Cardinal George Pell’s defence of the Church hard to swallow. But the weekend’s resignation of the BBC director general over mistakes in investigative reporting should cause us to treat the genre with a degree of scepticism, even though the media helps us to empathise with victims.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Debunking the global financial con job

    • David James
    • 12 November 2012
    12 Comments

    Even after the most dangerous financial crises ever seen, finance industry lobbyists still argue that the sector should not be too heavily regulated as that would be counterproductive. This is nonsense. Money is rules. It is a question of who sets the rules and what kind of rules they should should be.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we'll never agree about abortion

    • Lyn Bender
    • 09 November 2012
    35 Comments

    Abortion seems to be an inherently insoluble moral and human rights conundrum. The ethical debate consists of grappling with many untenable positions. The best course may be to face this complexity rather than seek to reduce it to a final solution. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Supermarket witches and the Australian pumpkin boom

    • Brian Matthews
    • 09 November 2012
    13 Comments

    Last week saw many people all over Australia observe a ritual that is entirely imposed, bears the magic and irresistible imprimatur of the US, and grows out of nothing in our own history, traditions or folk lore. What significance can Halloween have for Australians about to embark on their hot summer?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Beyond the Obama euphoria

    • Jim McDermott
    • 08 November 2012
    29 Comments

    In recent weeks the US Catholic bishops insisted letters be read at Mass pushing congregations to vote Republican. That approach has been repudiated twice now. At some point they would be wise to reconsider their approach. A voice in the wilderness has its place, but so does reasoned, respectful discourse.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Amish psychopaths and Gandhian action heroes

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 08 November 2012
    1 Comment

    A grief-stricken Amish man stalks and psychologically tortures the man who murdered his daughter. A Vietnamese veteran seeks vengeance on the American soldiers who slaughtered his fellow villagers. But for one alcoholic writer, the idea of absolving violence through violence jars with his pacifistic leanings.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious persecution is not a contest

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 November 2012
    11 Comments

    Research into the persecution of Christians brings to notice abuses that could otherwise remain hidden. But the persecution of Christians is often compared with that undergone by other groups, like Muslims. The discussion takes on a competitive and proprietorial edge. This has unfortunate consequences.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sting in the tail of Gillard charities red tape reduction

    • Paul O'Callaghan
    • 07 November 2012
    2 Comments

    Last week, the Federal Government streamlined bureaucracy when it legislated for a single body to regulate charities and not for profits. But it is also pursuing a new charity tax under the guise of cracking down on abuse of the current system, by 'better targeting of tax concessions'. This could force agencies to downsize programs that support disadvantaged Australians.

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  • RELIGION

    Blindsided by a saint at the Catholic Worker

    • Brian Doyle
    • 07 November 2012
    8 Comments

    I showed up on First Street one day, when I was about twenty, thinking that I would perhaps magnanimously volunteer for the day, or get into a long cool intense conversation with Dorothy Day, or be instantly hired as genius-writer-in-residence, or something like that.

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  • CARTOON

    The other race

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 07 November 2012

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Painful lost years for unmarried mothers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 06 November 2012
    23 Comments

    The phrase 'enforced adoption' conjures up visions of babies being wrenched from a wailing mother’s arms, or babies being spirited away in the dead of night. Of course it wasn’t like that: girls signed the requisite consent forms. But the idea of force is there, because the notion of choice rarely was.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Meeting mortality

    • Anne Elvey
    • 06 November 2012

    This is the wild thing that turns to loam, the seal pup dead on the shore, a fish caught in a crevice of rock when the tide ebbs.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cup Day losses to soar with betting apps

    • Michael Mullins
    • 05 November 2012
    5 Comments

    Australians are expected to spend $60.6 million in betting on tomorrow’s Melbourne Cup, an increase of 7.5 per cent since last year. But while the majority of bets will be placed in person at the TAB, online and mobile betting is rising rapidly. Because this form of gambling is particularly susceptible to impulse behaviour, pre-commitment laws are essential.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    America's choice through Australian eyes

    • Tony Kevin
    • 01 November 2012
    9 Comments

    If citizens of other nations could vote, it should be Obama by a mile! Outsiders are perplexed by polling that suggests a cliffhanger in the contest between the incumbent Obama and the Republican compromise candidate Romney. The issues – many of which are vital for Australia – are clear, but the outcome is not.

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