keywords: Clear Thinking

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Religion and violence in Australian-Indigenous history

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 July 2016
    2 Comments

    The violence at the pastoral frontier of the British colonies here in Australia was all pervasive. 228 years after it commenced, we are still experiencing the after-effects. When I started advocating Aboriginal rights here in Australia almost 40 years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that the missions and missionaries were all bad news. It will come as no surprise that I have always doubted that Aborigines were well rid of religion and the missionaries in all circumstances.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Losing and finding Dad in dementia

    • Julie Guirgis
    • 16 June 2016
    13 Comments

    Today I walked past the bathroom and noticed a pale yellow puddle with an odour worse than an unflushed toilet. I cringed at the stench, with the realisation that I had to wash urine off the floor ... Dad's illness sometimes causes ambiguous loss. It is unclear, has no resolution or closure. He is like someone I don't know anymore; he is gone-but-still-there. This leads to complicated grief. I can't look at him without seeing a fading picture of who he used to be, and speak of him in the past tense.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The bleak ballad of Wilson Parking

    • Ellena Savage
    • 10 June 2016
    13 Comments

    When my friend and I get to the payment station of the car park, it says we owe 70 bucks, which can't be right because we got the early bird special which was a quarter of that, so, nah. We call the parking lot people and they say look at the fine print, it clearly states that the early bird deal only applies if you leave the car park after 3pm. Wilson Parking is a subsidiary of a subcontractor of Transfield Services, which runs security at Nauru and Manus Island. I grow petulant and say I'll wait til 3pm.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis' social activism has long roots

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 16 May 2016
    38 Comments

    Pope Francis is determined to highlight the opposition of Christian social thinking to the tenets of neoliberalism or market fundamentalism, an ideology which assumes that free markets of themselves will produce the best outcome, and which pushes aside considerations of social or distributive justice. It is unlikely Francis would be waving the flag of social justice so boldly on the world stage had Pope Leo XIII not written his famous social manifesto, Rerum Novarum, 125 years ago.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election budget fiddling

    • John Warhurst
    • 06 May 2016
    12 Comments

    It was a political budget in a special sense, given the forthcoming election. Yet it turned out to be neither an election-winning nor election-losing budget. It was more continuity than change. In that sense it probably was the best the government could hope for given the nation's economic and financial circumstances. However it falls far short of the sort of budget that might have been expected from a prime minister like Malcolm Turnbull whose image is one off a 'big picture man'.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Dumped-on Elders down but not despairing

    • Michele Madigan
    • 03 May 2016
    11 Comments

    As fifth century BC Athenian historian and general Thucydides said: 'The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.' 'I'm sitting here trying to eat my weetbix and keep my thoughts calm,' said Enice Marsh, Traditional Owner for the Flinders Ranges area of SA. Enice and the other Adynamathanha Elders had just received the news that former Liberal Senator Grant Chapman's property Bardioota is 'at the top of the list' to be the site of Australia's national radioactive waste dump.

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  • RELIGION

    The past, present and future of the Easter Rising 1916

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 May 2016
    2 Comments

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When parents play favourites

    • Jen Vuk
    • 22 April 2016
    5 Comments

    As a parent you learn to shore yourself against those uncomfortable questions from your offspring, but not all uncomfortable questions are created equally, and right up there with 'Mummy, where did I come from?' is the question: 'Am I your favourite?' Last week, US research published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that 70 per cent of mothers admitted to favouring one child over another. Whatever my usual protestations, do I do this too? Unfortunately, sometimes, I think I do.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope promotes radical tenderness

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 April 2016
    10 Comments

    By the standards of papal documents Amoris Laetitia is a baggy elephant. Many in the developed world hoped the document would break new ground in allowing communion to the divorced and adopting new attitudes to gay marriage and gender issues. They will be disappointed that it works within traditional definitions of marriage, gender and discipline. But Francis' insistence on going out to people where they are with full respect for who they are demands an even more radical change of heart.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 March 2016
    10 Comments

    Rui Maria de Araujo, the prime minister of Timor-Leste, wrote to Malcolm Turnbull inviting him to turn a new leaf in the Australia-Timor relationship. It was not to be. But the Timorese are well used to winning the hearts and minds of Australians even when our political leaders appear to be tone deaf to their pleas. This time they have convinced the Labor Party about the justice of their cause, and there is every chance that the Australian community will rally behind them after the federal election.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A new year, a new Bill?

    • Osmond Chiu
    • 18 March 2016
    9 Comments

    While Turnbull may be ahead as preferred prime minister, the Coalition has yet to demonstrate the principle of fairness that is deeply held and widely felt across the electorate. Labor's narrative needs to be not only that it is the party best equipped to deal with the challenges we face, but is the only party that can ensure any changes will be just and equitable. A plan for the future that is both convincing and seen as fair may end up being the difference between being in government and opposition.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Electing a president in an age of superheroes

    • Jim McDermott
    • 08 February 2016
    5 Comments

    Many Americans want a President who speaks to their deepest dreams and ideals. A champion. Trump's vision of reality is the polar opposite of Obama's, a hellscape where foreigners, the unemployed (and women) are eroding society. But, like Obama, he has positioned himself as a champion of those filled with frustration, insisting it doesn't have to be this way. Bernie Sanders is in many ways the Trump of the left, a political outsider who says what progressive Americans have long been thinking.

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