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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex and haikus

    • Philip Harvey
    • 07 November 2013
    6 Comments

    Saying we love someone can take all our courage, our wisdom, our foolishness. Often we don't know how to say it. When we do get to say we love someone, sometimes we reach for the pitch known as poetry. Of all the art forms, poetry and song relay love most immediately. A new book of Australian love poems shows how poetry can stretch the message to screaming point, or say it all in a few seconds.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Big and little crooks of politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 November 2013
    12 Comments

    Unethical misconduct by public figures, proven and alleged, is in the public eye almost daily. No one is above suspicion, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Is it a case of a few bad apples or are there systemic problems? There are levels of seriousness in these cases and it is helpful to disaggregate them to keep a sense of perspective.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A conversation in the wind

    • Bai Helin
    • 01 October 2013

    When husbands and wives quarrelled, I put it down to personality clashes. It's not till I got married that I found it's a tradition.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Boost budget by chopping charities' tax take

    • David James
    • 27 August 2013
    3 Comments

    Australia is one of only a few countries in the world that has a franking credit system. Though it is designed to stop 'double taxation' on company tax, in many cases it ends up being a 'double reward' for entities that already have tax favoured status. Last year the Tax Commissioner generously refunded over $500 million to charities and not-for-profits on dividends because they pay no tax.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    21st century hermit

    • David Lumsden
    • 27 August 2013
    5 Comments

    He carried no phone and sent no text. He had no email address, deleted no spam, recharged no devices, never backed up.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A legal tax rort is still a rort

    • Michael Mullins
    • 22 July 2013
    11 Comments

    The salary packaging and car manufacturing industries resented not being consulted about changes to fringe benefits tax rules. But as treasurer Chris Bowen said when he shrugged off the criticism: 'This is a matter of the integrity of the tax system.' A tax system that makes compromises with sectional interests is by definition corrupt and turning its back on the common good that it has been set up to serve.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How an advertiser toppled a dictator

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 April 2013

    Pinochet's supporters are, with good reason, banking on the populace's fear and willingness to maintain the status quo. Enter brash young advertising executive René Saavedra. His rusted-on socialist colleagues are at first aghast but gradually persuaded by his conviction that rather than wallowing in negativity, they should be selling optimism.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A wild new pope

    • Barry Gittins, Brian Doyle and B. A. Breen
    • 12 March 2013
    8 Comments

    Man, yeah, I would be pope, if the phone rang, late at night, collect from the Vatican. Yes, I would, if I could do it right. I'd call a meeting of the Curia and say boys, we are letting women run everything for the next five years. Each of you gets a new boss in high heels.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Oscar-winning racism in Hollywood's mixed bag

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 February 2013

    After cataloguing the ways in which the film belittles and marginalises the experiences of black slaves, Williams laments the fact that such marginalisation continues to exist seemingly unnoticed in mainstream popular culture. The Oscar awarded to Django Unchained is the epitome of popular culture 'not noticing'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Vegemite interrogation on the Prague night train

    • Anne M. Carson
    • 19 February 2013

    Cash-strapped, post midnight. Transport police rifle our rucksacks, suspicious of backpackers. One prises open my Kodak canister, sniffs, says 'ach!', fires Czech questions at me. 'Vegemite fur frustuck,' I say, trying to convince Vegemite is not hash resin. I smile the smile of someone who doesn't know how bad it can get.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The bankable brats and buffoons of Australian sport

    • Michael Visontay
    • 15 January 2013
    10 Comments

    Professional sport is driven by two competing forces: the pursuit of unrealistic achievement and the need to be entertaining. Shane Warne has spent his career playing buffoon-genius, and cricket now celebrates the buffoon over the genius. It remains to be seen if tennis' Bernard Tomic can escape the pressure of his own ego. 

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Best of 2012: Catholic and Aboriginal 'listening revolutions'

    • Evan Ellis
    • 10 January 2013
    4 Comments

    St Benedict of Nursia knew about living in a dying world. He was born 25 years after the Vandals sacked Rome and died months after the Ostrogoths had their turn. He watched as old certainties went up in flame. As existing institutions were hollowed out or winnowed completely, Benedict started a revolution. Wednesday 12 September 

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