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Keywords: Black Hole

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's human dumping ground Nauru

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 07 August 2013
    13 Comments

    Welcome to Nauru. Land area: 21 square kilometres. Permanent population: around 10,000. Chief economic activity: human dumping ground. Nauru has joined PNG in the Cohort of the Willing — willing, that is, to take dollops of Australian money to hide away an Australian problem. Substitute 'asylum seekers' for 'convicts' and it recalls the way Australia was used by Great Britain in the 18th century to dispose of a British problem.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Trying hard not to die

    • Belinda Rule
    • 16 July 2013
    1 Comment

    Green and stony hills rise like mesa, thin and steep, like the holes in Swiss cheese inverted. A narrow road winds up and down and around. We have to hurry. My tires plough the verge: dirt falls to nothing ... Someone else is in the car: who?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The alchemy of Australia's personality politics

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 July 2013
    9 Comments

    Voters find it difficult to buy ideas wholesale when they don't make sense in retail. Imagine a voter who would like to see the Labor Party build on reforms in education and health but cannot abide its policy on asylum seekers. This is where the focus on personalities actually matters. Much of the dissatisfaction with leaders ultimately rests on a public assessment of the way policies are prosecuted.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bumpy road trip to a remote community

    • John Adams
    • 29 May 2013
    7 Comments

    Patrick tells me where the road is bad and where the water holes and outstations are. If I miss one of his subtle finger movements and we hit a hole in the road too hard he grumbles. I feel Patrick and I have the start of a relationship. Sixteen hours in a Hilux will do that to two grumpy old buggers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Black hole budget will penalise the poor

    • Brian Toohey
    • 07 May 2013
    9 Comments

    Labor is struggling with a $12 billion write down in anticipated revenue for 2012-13 after Treasury bungled the forecasts. It could cut back on government assistance to those who can fend for themselves. But it has chosen to penalise the poor, with those on the parenting payment being switched to the lower Newstart. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    The truth about middle class welfare

    • David James
    • 09 April 2013
    5 Comments

    Commentary on the proposed changes to tax on super has created the impression that the truly needy will miss out on extra cash as politicians pander to middle class voters. This is almost entirely false. In terms of where tax dollars are allocated, Australia has definitely concentrated on lower class welfare.

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  • RELIGION

    Ratzinger and Rowan Williams side by side

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 14 February 2013
    21 Comments

    Now that Williams has returned to academic life and Ratzinger has resigned, it is tempting to commit both their reigns to the category of failure, and debate mostly the nobility or otherwise of their inability to bend lurching structures or less gifted minds to their own wills. This would not, however, be the whole picture in either case.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia proves a soft touch at UN over toxic warfare

    • Donna Mulhearn
    • 03 December 2012
    13 Comments

    Four new studies on the health crisis in Fallujah have been released in the last three months. The studies suggest babies are dying of wounds from a war they never saw. Australia has already breached its admirable 'Australian Agenda' at the UN, succumbing to US pressure to abstain from a vote on depleted uranium weapons.

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  • RELIGION

    Dysfunctional Church stares into the abuse abyss

    • Michael Kelly
    • 27 November 2012
    77 Comments

    Rome is seen to be out of touch with the membership. Local bishops often behave as branch managers of a poorly administered, centralised multinational corporation. Royal Commission notwithstanding, there won't be healing of the community of faith until there is systemic change. 

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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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  • 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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  • 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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