Vol 29 No 6

24 March 2019


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Resist the normalising of gun culture

    • Susan Biggar
    • 04 April 2019
    4 Comments

    I was on a train in Melbourne's CBD when word came through there was a suspected gunman at Flagstaff Station. It turned out to be a false alarm. After Christchurch and One Nation's attempts to cosy up to the NRA, it is not surprising guns are on our minds. For most Australians this is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. That's the way it should stay.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget 2019 boosts inequality

    • John Falzon
    • 03 April 2019
    13 Comments

    The much trumpeted projected budget surplus is built on the backs of people who are left out and often made to feel that they are left over, surplus to the economy: people on low pay or no pay, young people, sole parents, people experiencing homelessness, people living with a disability.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget back in black — and the white blindfold

    • Esther Anatolitis
    • 03 April 2019
    10 Comments

    Budget 2019-2020 makes a lot more sense when interpreted in the light of Scott Morrison's first speech. Like most first speeches, it's about how his personal values manifest in his political actions. And what those values expose about the current prime minister's understanding of Australian history is quite telling.

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  • MEDIA

    Sense and censorship in social media crackdown

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 03 April 2019
    5 Comments

    The thrust of the Morrison government's changes is one of heavy handed and forced deferral, outsourcing government policing by vesting it in social media platforms. Israel's Cyber Unit, by way of contrast, has been seeking the same object via more subtle means, collaborating with Facebook and YouTube to remove errant posts and content.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blind injustice on the job hunt circuit

    • Casey Hyde
    • 02 April 2019
    4 Comments

    When I attended a rare job interview, I would put a bow tie around my guide dog's neck to deflect some of the heat off me. The interviewer would ask questions that were of a chatty, personal nature — everything except questions about my qualifications. The only thing that seems to be holding me back is my vision impairment.

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  • CARTOON

    Costing the Earth

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 02 April 2019

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Repatriating remains is an obligation not a gift

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 01 April 2019
    4 Comments

    The South Australian Museum is rectifying slivers of colonial damage by repatriating the remains of over 4000 Aboriginal people to their communities. This will be welcome news for Aboriginal communities, but also a reminder of the need to lobby against policies that deprive them of the right to a dignified connection with their ancestors.

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  • RELIGION

    No shortcuts to reform after church abuse crisis

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 April 2019
    74 Comments

    The sentencing of Pell highlighted the dismay and soul-searching among Catholics at sex abuse and its devastation of the lives of victims and their families. It also brought home the depth of the crisis caused by clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Although it still challenges understanding, a historical parallel may help illuminate it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    That old Easter story

    • Paul Turley
    • 01 April 2019
    5 Comments

    What a poor showing. This collection of the desperate clinging to a dream so old it is just a tattered mumble for old men in the fading light. All myth and spittle.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Addressing the woman drought in politics

    • Eliza Berlage
    • 29 March 2019
    3 Comments

    Headlines celebrating Gladys Berejiklian as the first female elected as Premier of NSW exemplify how far we have come and still have to go with women in politics. That women are held to a different, higher standard than men is evident in all facets of society, but in the political sphere it is a test of worthiness.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate action future is for the young

    • Greg Foyster
    • 29 March 2019
    12 Comments

    Twenty thousand students are chanting 'climate action now!' He has been shouting the same thing for decades, first in scientific papers and then in newspapers, televised debates and rallies just like this one. Now he stands with a new generation, but he can't open his mouth to join them. He is scared he will say what he knows he can't say.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coming and going in Greece and Australia

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 28 March 2019
    8 Comments

    That leaden weight in my chest is back. My self-diagnosis is heartache, and once upon a time I thought I'd get to the stage at which this heaviness would leave me for good, but I know now that this is never going to happen, at least not as long as I am engaged in my back-and-forth movements between Greece and Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's time for a native title reckoning

    • Kate Galloway
    • 27 March 2019
    5 Comments

    In the wake of the Timber Creek Decision, state and territory governments should be looking to implement negotiations with traditional owner groups around the nation to seek to settle the property claims — comprehending economic and non-economic losses. It is in no one's interest to engage in a court process for every single claim.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Echoes of Auschwitz in Manus memoir

    • Brian Matthews
    • 27 March 2019
    6 Comments

    Like Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi in his works, Behrouz Boochani's No Friend but the Mountains exemplifies among many other things 'the possibilities of human decency' despite the Manus prison's squalor. Like George Orwell in another time and place, he is buoyed by hope in irrepressible nature.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hubris and hate speech in Mark Latham's Nation

    • Moira Rayner
    • 26 March 2019
    11 Comments

    How is it that with so few people 'on the ground', with sharp divisions among its spokespeople, and with the flight of PHON candidates, once elected, to continue to hold their seats as 'independents', the party may sneak into a position where, as Ashby and Dickson mused, they 'hold the balls of the government' in their sweaty little hands?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Policy, not paranoia, is the antidote to Trump

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 26 March 2019
    3 Comments

    The Mueller investigation was meant to be the confirmation of every parochial instance of anti-Trumpism. The mechanism was the supposed Russian connection. It provided a perfect distraction on domestic politics, taking attention away from debates on refugees and borders and discussions on poverty and social reform.

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  • CARTOON

    The (far) right stuff

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 26 March 2019

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The gifts of poetry and Down syndrome

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2019
    5 Comments

    To devote the same day to reflection on both Down syndrome and on poetry, though probably unintended, was a very human thing to do. Precisely because one is so commonly regarded as a defect and the other as an idle activity, we need to be reminded that both are a gift.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Hypocrisy in Australian-Turkish chest puffing

    • Justin Glyn
    • 25 March 2019
    7 Comments

    The stoush between Erdogan (who said New Zealanders and Australians visiting Turkey would leave it 'in coffins ') and Morrison (all options to erase this insult were 'on the table') amounts to less than meets the eye. But it speaks volumes about what a toxic brew hypocrisy and the prospect of a forthcoming election can produce.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The wake

    • Wally Swist
    • 25 March 2019
    4 Comments

    A child approaches the casket, reaches within to try to lift my folded hands, to make sure, as she tells her mother later, that I am not just sleeping.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Charity is no substitute for justice

    • John Falzon
    • 22 March 2019
    13 Comments

    The work of charities, including the generous work of volunteers, should not be a means of letting governments off the hook. People do not want to have to rely on charity; they want to be able to count on justice. And charity is never a substitute for justice. But it becomes so when governments abrogate their responsibilities.

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  • MEDIA

    Journalism and ethics after Christchurch

    • Francine Crimmins
    • 22 March 2019
    5 Comments

    The difficulty for journalists reporting emergencies is they're having to make important and hugely impactful ethical decisions right in the moment. In balancing those tough decisions, how often does the common good start drowning in what will draw the most attention from an audience, and away from competing news organisations?

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