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Keywords: Human Shield

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Second Amendment logic: The arming of school teachers

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 June 2022
    4 Comments

    In the context of mass school shootings in the United States, the latest of which took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a crude form of deterrence has made an appearance. To be safer, you do not remove guns, but spread them through a policy of mutually assured terror. Any gun toting individual entering the school grounds will think twice before encountering the hail of bullets from a protective teacher. Gun control, accordingly, becomes anathema.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fighting identities: Polarisation, nihilism, and the collapse of online discourse

    • Ben Rich
    • 17 February 2022
    9 Comments

    Today we see a resurgence of digital tribalism, a glorification of disingenuous engagement online and humiliating those of a different perspective. Everywhere we see simplistic and belligerent narratives of ‘us versus them’ over more nuanced explanations that might impart a greater sense of shared humanity and common purpose. So what happened?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Conflict over the conflict

    • Kenneth S Stern
    • 08 February 2022
    12 Comments

    The university campus is really the ideal place to tackle thorny issues. It is a safe place to examine all ideas, even — or perhaps especially — those that people find offensive or disturbing. The sad fact, though, is that there is a push these days to send the opposite message to students — that they should be shielded from intellectual discomfort. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the shadow of SIEV-X

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2021
    27 Comments

    Two decades ago, an Indonesian vessel given the name SIEV X sank with loss of life that should have caused a flood of tears and a surge of compassion. Instead of being seen in humanitarian terms, the deaths of 353 people became a form of rich political capital, placed in the bank of opportunism to be amortised at a federal election.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Children don’t need counselling for climate anxiety, they need climate action

    • Cristy Clark
    • 13 September 2021
    7 Comments

    It was reported recently that Coalition MPs have been calling for an expansion of the government’s school chaplaincy program in order to reduce the mental health impacts of climate change ‘activism and alarmism’ on children. Yes, that’s right, they want to address the mental health impact of activism, not the impact of the actual, visible effects of climate change itself, or the very real threat that it poses to children’s futures.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Funding shake-up leaves out key SA homelessness services

    • Michele Madigan
    • 13 May 2021
    9 Comments

    A state government has an obligation to do what is possible within the limits of state resources to help its people, to make the state an inclusive place where all have access to essential services and housing. However, over the last few weeks, with the announcement of the funding restructure for homelessness services, this idea of a fair go seems to have dissipated.

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  • MEDIA

    Lancet and the perils of peer review

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 16 June 2020
    5 Comments

    When a distinguished journal is caught unawares in its editorial judgment, others will cheer at the burning house. The academic business is a tough one, and at its core is an exaggerated virtue that often conceals core defects.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Keeping an eye on police powers

    • Bree Alexander
    • 18 April 2020
    5 Comments

    Most people would agree that certain measures are necessary to both protect those who face the greatest health risks and so that our health systems don’t get overwhelmed. However, these astronomical limitations on civil liberties raise concerns.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Smoke and the city

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 13 January 2020
    4 Comments

    Canberra has a reputation for being banal, bureaucratic and the 'bush capital'. But come 2020 it was in the news for being the city with the worst air quality in the world. What followed were four days of intense heat, sunless mornings, Blade Runner sky hues and warnings to stay indoors as much as possible. But movement is life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My mother the Surrealist

    • Michael Sharkey
    • 14 October 2019
    3 Comments

    The voices of two women in the train up to the highlands rise in volume and insistence ... 'Mother, they're not Germans. I said, gerberas, they're all around the farm. Just wait, you'll see them from the window of the lovely room we've set up for your stay. A field of gerberas in full bloom.' 'And are the Germans all in uniforms, then, dear?'

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ending the cycle of violence in Kashmir

    • Tim Robertson
    • 15 March 2019
    1 Comment

    The world leaders who rushed to condemn the Valentine's Day attack have long remained silent on state-sanctioned oppression in Kashmir. That's no longer a surprise; nor is the fact that the attack was covered by every major western media organisation, while the daily injustices perpetrated against ordinary Kashmiris go unreported.

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  • RELIGION

    Can the Church survive its terminal self harm?

    • Stephanie Dowrick
    • 06 March 2019
    85 Comments

    My relationship to Catholicism can be summed up as: I am on the outskirts, yet close and invested enough to care how the Church evolves. Because, it seems to me, how it evolves and the speed at which those urgent and essential changes take place will significantly determine whether it will survive — and whether it deserves to survive.

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