keywords: Kennedy

  • INTERNATIONAL

    The politics and ethics of the moon landing

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 23 July 2019
    4 Comments

    In 1964, sociologist Amitai Etzioni noted the misgivings of the scientific fraternity to the space program. The effort risked losing perspective. An 'extrovert activism' had taken old, obsessed with gadgets, 'rocket-powered jumps' and escapism. In terms of budgetary expenditure, this showed, with NASA spending $28 billion between 1960-73.

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  • ECONOMICS

    NZ's riposte to modern economic myths

    • David James
    • 02 July 2019
    5 Comments

    While money can be transacted for things that are bad — air pollution, road deaths, cigarette ads — as long as more transactions occur, it creates the illusion the economy is growing, which, ipso facto, is good. Thus, Japan's GDP rose sharply after the tsunami disaster. New Zealand's initiative will track better what is really happening in the country.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Militarising the Moon

    • Barry Gittins
    • 17 April 2019
    2 Comments

    This journey outwards is threatened by demagoguery. The UN's treaty declaring 'celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes' has been challenged by sabre-rattling by Donald Trump, with his declaration that 'it is not enough to have American presence in space; we must have American dominance'.

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  • RELIGION

    John Molony and his Catholicism

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 March 2019
    1 Comment

    'John was Catholic to his bootstraps: Catholic, Irish Australian, a Labor man and a Carlton supporter. He'd have loved the inaugural speech delivered in the Victorian Parliament last month by the new Labor member for Hawthorn.' — Frank Brennan, Great Hall University House, Australian National University, 1 March 2019.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Passport paradox at the Israel-Jordan border

    • Brian Matthews
    • 22 January 2019
    5 Comments

    As you couldn't enter Jordan with a passport in which there were Israeli stamps, officials in the Australian Embassy advised us to arrange a second, 'clean' passport. This was a weird business because we would be entering Jordan from Israel — our physical presence in Israel would deny the cleanliness of our passports.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The woman who got me into Ned Kelly’s funeral

    • Martin Flanagan
    • 02 July 2018
    6 Comments

    We share a love of poetry, having come to Gerard Manley Hopkins from opposite directions, her from religious ecstasy, me from the dark sonnets. In the 1980s we met, in a shelter for Aboriginal women in Collingwood. My next memory? Ursula introducing me to the granddaughter of Kelly's sweetheart, an old woman dying in a Melbourne hospital.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ted Kennedy's darkest hour

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 May 2018
    2 Comments

    Chappaquiddick notes the effects of these expectations on Ted's actions, without sympathising. 'I'm not going to be president,' he murmurs, by way of announcing Kopechne's death to Gargan. He comes off as more pathetic than Machiavellian, the future Liberal Lion rarely having the courage of his convictions.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Brutal Aboriginal fable in the postwar outback

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 31 January 2018
    6 Comments

    Aboriginal filmmaker Warwick Thornton exercises his visual mastery to its fullest in order to elevate a straightforward story of outback brutality and racial prejudice to the proportions of myth.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A few crumbs from a table of plenty

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 09 October 2017
    2 Comments

    He's not difficult to find. Black men stand out in rich barrios. He'll be standing outside the supermarket, smiling, a self-appointed doorman selling a magazine nobody buys. His name is Samuel. He's from Ghana. His father is dead. He sends what money he can to his mother. He has no papers and no work because he has no papers. Madrilenos offer small change after shopping.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The life of a travel writer is all in the story

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 13 September 2017
    3 Comments

    The Nenet and Russian drivers in our convoy surveyed the scene nonchalantly. They smoked cigarettes and conversed. One of them waded into the water, ice-cold even though it was summer. Their jagged, strident Russian dialect swirled around us in an incomprehensible fog. What was going on? Would we make it across? Were we doomed? I wasn't concerned about any of these things. Indeed, I had never felt so relaxed in my life.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Beyond fake news lies the fog of fake figures

    • David James
    • 02 May 2017
    6 Comments

    Fake news aside, increasingly, we live in a world of fake figures. There is a cliche in management that 'what gets measured gets done'. In public discourse that might be translated to 'what gets measured is considered real'. One obvious fake figure is GDP, which is taken as a measure of national wellbeing. In fact, it is just a measure of transactions. If money changes hands because something disastrous happens then GDP will rise. That is hardly an indicator of national wellbeing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    No one wins as public discourse thins

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 March 2017
    18 Comments

    It is a commonplace that our political discourse is much impoverished. Speeches are built around sound bites. The Trump administration is experimenting with letting go of speeches and communicating within the limits set by Twitter. In such a world there is little space for more complex rhetoric, for cultural reference, for reflection on historical precedents, or for wondering. Our politicians' words leave no echoes. It is worth musing on what may be lost in the thinning of public discourse.

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